WJTN Headlines

The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance will be receiving $100,000 to help cover expenses for weed management and shoreline maintenance this year. 

 

However, the County Legislature last night unanimously agreed that no county funds be used to pay for a recent, limited amount of herbicide use in Bemus Bay.  The legislature agreed to the allocation of 2% bed tax funding by a 13-to-4 vote. 

 

Hanover Republican George Borrello supported an amendment requiring the alliance provide the necessary documentation to be reimbursed.  Borrello says that's because, last year, the alliance needed more money for shoreline clean-up than was allocated, and they couldn't clean-up the shortline. 

 

Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro urged lawmakers to keep in mind that the alliance, and the other lake entities seeking the funding stated these were "anticipated" costs.  He wanted to reduce the allocation to $50,000 now and, then see if they needed the additional $50,000.   Nazzaro says that could be approved in August. 

 

An handful of other lawmakers agreed with Nazzaro's concerns but, ultimately the majority said they were comfortable with the language in the resolution ensuring that receipts would have to be shown for money to be doled out.


State parks and New York Sea Grant are getting the word out about algae that can make dogs sick. 

 

The problem is harmful algal blooms, which poison water with toxins from blue-green algae.  The toxins can disrupt liver and nervous system function and cause skin irritation in people, pets and wildlife. 

 

Dogs are especially susceptible because they often drink from ponds and lakes and eat scummy algal mats with attractive odors.  Fact sheets and brochures are being provided at numerous state parks where harmful algal blooms occur.  New York Sea Grant has also posted information on its website.


Chautauqua County lawmakers took the final step to extend the county's 8% sales tax at last night's meeting in Mayville. 

 

Lawmakers said, prior to the meeting that the proposed extension of the tax is for a longer period of time this time around.  It is a three-year extension versus a two-year one. 

 

The measure was approved unanimously at last night's monthly meeting.  The State Legislature approved the extender allowing the county to impose the additional one-percent tax last month.  County lawmakers initially approved the legislation earlier this year.


The idea of using "textalyzer technology" to help law enforcement agencies when it comes to dealing with accidents caused by texting while driving will be investigated. 

 

That after Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee Wednesday to study the new technology.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he will be following the results very closely because it currently would be a "post-crash" type of application. 

 

Gerace says privacy issues will also have to be addressed at some point.  Gerace says the problem of drivers texting behind the wheel continues to grow according to Gerace.  He says it can still be a problem to prove if a driver is using a cellphone but, he says in many cases, they can't validate those with current technology. 

 

The committee will work with member agencies, advocates, legal experts and other stakeholders to gather information about the technology and its impact.  But, Gerace says the best advice is to wait before texting.


A member of the County Legislature says he believes Cott Corporation's decision to sell Cott Beverages to Refresco could be a good thing for the local area. 

 

That from Silver Creek area Republican, George Borrello, who is also a member of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency's Board of Directors.  He has done some research into sale that was announced on Tuesday and, found that Refresco want's to expand it's North American operations. 

 

Cott Beverages operates a plant in the city of Dunkirk and Borrello feels that the move should help the local facility which Cott acquired from the former Cliffstar and, he said there is every indiction that this is a "positive move" for the county.  Cott and Refresco announced the sale for $1.25-billion. 

 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas indicated that the city will be reaching out to Refresco to see how they can work together.


The annual Chautauqua County Fair in Dunkirk has moved into it's second half and, those attending this year's fair will see a strong presence by the County's 4-Hers on the fairgrounds off Central Avenue. 

 

Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County's Emily Reynolds says it’s a great opportunity to learn more about 4-H and see all of the animal exhibits and, take part in the annual Meat Animal Sale tomorrow afternoon beginning at 12 p.m. 

 

Reynolds says 4-Hers are eager to show off their animals and to share their knowledge with fairgoers about many of the approxiamtely 600 animals they bring to the fairgrounds during the week.  All the animals with the exception of the Market Chickens will be there. 

 

Again the annual 4-H market sale that will be held tomorrow starting at Noon.  Our Dennis Webster will preview the sale tomorrow morning.

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WJTN Headlines

A man was reportedly flown to a regional hospital after being struck by a car on Route 394 just west of the Lakewood village line. 

 

Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say the accident was called in about 9:15 Tuesday night.  Fire rescue units responded, and Starflight was called in to transport the victim.  Dispatchers say Route 394 from Route 474 to Fardink Road was closed for some time to get the victim transported, and the scene cleared. 

 

Efforts to reach Lakewood-Busti Police for comment so far have been unsuccessful.


Combustables too close to a light bulb is the apparent cause of a fire that heavily-damaged an upstairs apartment on Jamestown's eastside late Monday night. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 262 Falconer Street shortly before Midnight and, found fire on the second floor.  That from Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular who says they also had to assist the family living in that apartment out of the building after an occupant called in the alarm for a fire that started in a room in that apartment. 

 

He adds that it took about 10 minutes to bring the blaze under control and, there was extensive fire damage to a room on the second-floor.  He says an off-duty shift of nine firefighters was called in.  A pet perished in the blaze.  Sigular says fire crews and investigators were at the scene until about 3:30 Tuesday morning.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utiliities has agreed to a two-year extension of a contract with a local manufacturer to provide them with lower cost electric so long as they keep up their job numbers and invest in their facility. 

 

BPU and city officials signed the deal with Monofrax through October of 2019.  Monofrax was an original partner with the BPU once it was able to offer "Flex Rate" programs to local industry.  President and General Manager William Andrews says with the help of their parent company Callesta, they've been able to again grow the company which now has 217 employees.   

 

Andrews says they've been able to expand markets for their ceramic glass refactories and will soon need a second furnace to make their ceramic linings for furnaces and glass products.  He adds their acquisition by Callesta last year has also made a difference in working with the community. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says Monofrax is one of seven companies that are part of the Flex Plan program.


The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency's Board of Directors has approved incentives including a 20 year PILOT agreement with Athenex as the company prepares to break ground for a new plant in the town of Dunkirk. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan who attended a meeting held at the IDA Office in Jamestown Tuesday morning.  Horrigan says the incentives were part of the plan to land the project in Chautauqua County and, without those incentives he believes the project would not be moving forward. 

 

Horrigan says Teresa Bair, Athenex's Vice President of Corporate Development and Legal Affairs, was among those attending the meeting.  He says ground-breaking will be sometime during the third quarter.


Cott Corporation in the north county announced Tuesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its traditional beverage manufacturing business, Cott Beverages to Refresco for $1.25-billion dollars. 

 

The transaction includes Cott's North America, U.K., and Mexico businesses.  The move, according to Refresco's website, would create the world's largest independent bottler for retailers and A-brands in Europe and North America.


Several Boy Scouts from Chautauqua County and the surrounding area, were on hand to hear President Donald Trump's 40-minute address to them at their National Jamboree in West Virginia. 

 

The scouts from the Allegheny Highlands Council arrived there in Glen Jean last week and, will be there through Friday.  One of them is Eagle Scout Joe Pillitieri-the-third who says it was a "once in a lifetime experience" to see the president.  Pillitierri says the President gave "a good speech" and, tried to encourage the scouts to work towards what they want to achieve. 

 

Pillitierri says the message from the president resonates because he's been a successful businessmen in the world.  He says Mr. Trump emphasized that if it worked for him, it could work for them also.  Pillitierri says there's still plenty to do at the Jamboree which is being attended by some 30,000 Boy Scouts from across the country. 

 

Pillitierri's father, Joe, Junior, heads up the Allegheny Highlands Council which has brought 36 youth to the Jamboree along with one youth adult and three adult leaders.  Mr. Trump's address makes him the eighth president to attend the National Scout Jamboree.


For the fourth-straight year the annual Cents for St. Susan's campaign to raise money for the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen has wound up with more than $17,000. 

 

Officials with St. Susan's and the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities announced yesterday that the 18th annual drive raised $17,346.  St. Susan's Executive Director Jeff Smith says he's "thrilled" with the final amount... making it the fourth-straight year the Cents for St. Susan's effort raised more than $17,000. 

 

Smith again thanked the community and event sponsors for their great support during the campaign including their hot dog and bake sales.  Smith says KeyBank pledged $2,000, while 15 others contributed at least $500. 

 

During it's 18 years of existance the fund-raiser has brought just over $195,000 to the soup kitchen to support it's on-going efforts to feed the city's hungry residents.  For more information on St. Susan's Center call 664-2253.

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WJTN Headlines

An early morning fire Monday in Jamestown that destroyed a vacant home at the corner of Lincoln and 5th Streets has now been ruled arson. 

 

That from city fire officials who say the investigation is on-going into the blaze at 426 East Fifth.  City Fire Lieutenant Don Mowery says crews were called to the scene shortly before 5 a.m., and, found heavy fire through-out much of the structure. 

 

Mowery says they were unable to make an interior attack due to the intensity of the blaze and, it took about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control using master stream lines to put out the fire, and a handline to protect an exposure at 7 Lincoln St. 

 

Mowery says no one was inside the building, and the alarm was called in by a passer-by.  He says most crews were at the scene about 3-hours.  Mowery says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  He says two firefighters suffered minor injuries. 

 

Mowery says no utilities were hooked up to the building.  The city's Department of Development tore down the house yesterday afternoon.


A former Jamestown police officer who is now the Police Chief in the town of Carroll has been awarded more than $170,000 in damages regarding time he served with the military overseas. 

 

Attorney Michael Macomber of Albany who represented Timothy Wright has announced that Wright received the award last week in State Supreme Court.  Macomber says the court ordered the police department and city pay Wright just over $44,000 plus an additional $44,000 as liquidated damages, and further ordered the city to pay him just over $83,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.  The case resulted from what Macomber says was JPD denying vacation time and a promotion within the department.


U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in Jamestown yesterday morning to officially roll-out new legislation designed to get to what she calls one of the "root causes" of the nation's Heroin and opioid addiction crisis. 

 

The New York Democrat was at the Mental Health Association in Jamestown to announce the Opioid Addiction Prevention Act... which addresses the need to curb the amount of opioid pain killers that a doctor can prescribe to someone with "acute short term pain." 

 

In 2015 Gillibrand says the Centers for Disease Control reported the amount of opioids prescribed was enough for "every American to be medicated around the clock for three full weeks."  Gillibrand says the legislation has come out of meetings she's had with several families who have been impacted by the crisis like Jamestown's Kim Carlson whose son, Alex Foulk, died of a Heroin overdose in February of 2016. 

 

She says his problems started when he was prescribed a pain killer for a hockey injury in January of 2015.  Carlson says he died from a drug overdose on February 26th of last year.  She says it was a combination of Heroin and, a large amount of Fentanyl.  She says in "her grief" she decided to do what she can to help others overcome the horrors of addiction.  Local leaders urged support of the bill.


The 135th annual Chautauqua County Fair is officially underway. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's local representative Lori Cornell read a special proclamation from the top state leader during today's opening ceremonies held at the fairgrounds in the city of Dunkirk who wished the fair a "wonderful week."  Cornell also assisted in firing the Civil War-era cannon during the ceremonies. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan was among those present.  Horrigan says the fair is a great way to enjoy the summer in Chautauqua County and, expressed his appreciation to the Fair Board for it's hard work.  He predicted the weather this week will "be "fair!." 

 

Others turning out included Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and several county legislators.  After the ceremonies concluded, the elected officials had the opportunity to tour the fairgrounds with 4-H members.  This year's Chautauqua County Fair continues through Sunday, July 30th.


A Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly backing his boat into another vessel that was moored off Loomis Bay Road in the town of Busti seveal days ago. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Raymond Yoder of Mayport, PA allegedly backed his rented boat into the other boat during the late night hours of July 15th and, left the scene. 

 

Deputies say they investigated and that led to Yoder being identified as the operator of the rental boat.  He was arrested for a violation of the state's Navigation Law and, issued an appearance ticker for Busti Town Court.

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WJTN Headlines

Flames have destroyed a vacant home at the corner of Lincoln and 5th Streets in Jamestown. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 426 East Fifth Street shortly before 5 AM.  Lieutenant Don Mowery says they found heavy fire in much of the building when initial crews arrived.  Mowery says there was heavy fire coming from at least half-the-building on both floors, and one exposure nearby was being theatened.  He says it took about 45-minutes to bring the flames under control.  He says no one was inside the building, and the alarm was called in by a passer-by. 

 

Mowery says they pulled hand-lines to put the fire out at 426 East 5th and protect a nearby exposure at 7 Lincoln Street.  He says most crews were at the scene about three hours.  One crew still there. 

 

Mowery says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  He says two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  Mowery says no utilities were hooked up to the building.  The cause is under investigation.


Three people were found dead after a reported shooting late Sunday morning in a home near North East Pennsylvania. 

 

State police at the scene in North East Township confirmed that three people were deceased in an area containing some mobile homes and houses behind a machine shop.  Police said Sunday it appeared to be a murder-suicide.

 

The Erie Times-News reports 53-year-old Jack Hemmis apparently shot a man and woman, both in their 50's, several times and then turned the gun on himself.


The 16th annual Scandinavian Festival wrapped up Sunday at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds. 

 

Festival organizer, Don Sandy speaking Saturday was pleased with how the event went.  He says there was a nice crowd on hand -- especially for the Mid-Summer event late in the morning. 

 

One of the special moments at this year's festival was a tribute to the late Norm Owen.  Known as the inventor of the 'korv burger', Owen was a committed leader of the America Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, and worked hard for the festival each year.  Sandy said during the planning this year people often said, "well, Norm would have done it this way." 

 

The 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums made a special appearance, and played Amazing Grace in Owen's honor.


A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly stabbing a woman during a "violent domestic incident" on Jamestown's westside. 

 

City police say they were called to the scene at 401 West Seventh Street just after Midnight Saturday and, on arrival found the female victim with a stab wound to the arm.  Officers say they learned that 48 year-old Carlos Castellano had stabbed the woman during a brief argument. 

 

Police say the victim was treated for a non-life threatening wound at the scene.  Castellano was arraigned on one count each of second-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon and, sent to the county lock-up.


A city man has been arrested for allegedly shooting off three compressed air guns within the Jamestown City limits. 

 

City police were called to the scene in the area of Barrows and Willard Streets late last Thursday night on a report of a man shooting off a B-B gun.  Officers say they found 36 year-old James Chapman trying to leave the area in a car but, he was stopped on Forest Avenue. 

 

Police found the air guns that Chapman had just purchased and, was reportedly shooting off to check to see if they worked properly.  He was charged with unlawful discharge of firearms within the city limits, and issued an appearance ticket for City Court.


Threatening skys and some rain in the immediate Jamestown-area Sunday morning may have kept some people away but, those who were on hand for the annual World Series of Cars at Bergman Park were treated to another good show. 

 

That from local Babe Ruth President Russ Diethrick who says the skys were kind of ominous about mid-morning and, that kept some participants at home.  But he says once there was a break in the clouds people and cars really began arriving.  In fact, he says the cars were backed up onto Baker Street once the sun came out. 

 

For the first time this year Russ Diethrick says the World Series of Cars was not a "judged" show with prizes.  He says that may have played a role also because a number of people with classic and vintage cars look for judged shows. 

 

Diethrick expressed his appreciation to the Dave Warren Dealerships, which brought several trucks to the event as well.  Officials say preliminary counts show they had more than 100 cars and other vehicles on hand for this year's World Series of Cars.


The annual Chautauqua County Fair gets underway this morning at the fairgrounds off Central Avenue. 

 

That from Fair Board member Dave Wilson who says everything has come together well.  Wilson says the rainy weather hasn't set them back, and hasn't created any real issues there.  He says they'll begin the 135th fair with the traditional cannon shot at 10 a.m. following remarks from several local officials and dignitaries at the Main Gate. 

 

Wilson says they've really been working to get the fairgrounds and events ready the past several months but, adds they begin work on the next year's fair once the current one ends.

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News Headlines for Sat., July 22, 2017

Clean-up continuing in southern Erie County after twin tornados strike Hamburg and Holland...
The clean-up is now underway in Erie County -- south of Buffalo -- after two tornadoes caused significant damage Thursday afternoon.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo says the first tornado touched down at about 12:30 p.m. in Hamburg, while the second touched down 20 minutes later in the Town of Holland.  Governor Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Hamburg after the tornadoes hit... and, called it another "test" for New York's response.  Cuomo says the tornados are a "high-level" test.  He says western New Yorkers are ready and "can handle it."  He says 100 National Guardsmen were deployed, and are now on hand to help with cleanup efforts.  He says they'll be helping to remove debris from roadways, yards, and other places.  A state of emergency was declared in Hamburg and Orchard Park... and, no unnecessary travel is advised.  As many as 23,000 residents in Erie County had lost power.
 
 
CLA Harvester swamped by rough waters, sinks in Chautauqua Lake near Lakewood...
Officials with the Chautauqua Lake Association will try again this week to salvage a weed harvester that took on water earlier this week... and, capsized on the lake.  A source tells us the operator began encountering rough water near the Bemus Point area... and, tried to return to the CLA headquarters in Lakewood before having to abandon the 35 year-old vessel.  CLA Executive Director Doug Conroe tells The Post-Journal that they met with the county's Water Emergency Team to try and lift the harvester, but, that didn't work.  The rough water incident was reported by the operator... who was the only person on board the vessel.  He was able to get off the sinking vessel and was retrieved by another lake harvester near Lakewood. 
 
 
Horrigan, Sheriff, tout Motorcycle safety in latest "100 Days of Summer Safety" event in Falconer...
Summer-time means more motorcycles on the road... and, that means make sure to share the road an be safe.  In fact... Chautauqua County's top cop says operate your motorcycle as if you're "invisable."  Sheriff Joe Gerace was one of the officials on hand for County Executive Vince Horrigan's latest "100 Days of Summer Safety" event.  Gerace emphasized the importance of making sure you wear your helmet... leathers and other safety equipment in the wake of two recent fatal accidents in the north county.  He also reminds motorists that motorcycles are unique because they can accelerate and, brake quicker.  He adds that judging their speed can be more difficult.  Horrigan's latest program was held at Harley-Davidson of Jamestown located in Falconer.  Helmets are legally required for riding in New York state... but, Gerace says he's happy to report that compliance is "very good" in Chautauqua County.  County Senior Paramedic Mike Volpe adds that you should always dress for safety when riding... including helmets, leather jackets and other safety equipment. 
 
 
New Exec. Director, and Marketing and Events Mgr. named for JRC...
There are two new leaders at the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... which also has a new location on the city's eastside.  That from the JRC's new Marketing and Events Manager, Zach Agett, who says Lisa Hatch has been on the job now for about two weeks... and, is pleased to be back in Chautauqua County.  Agett says Hatch is a Buffalo native... but, adds she came to love Chautauqua County while attending the SUNY College at Fredonia.  He says -- after graduation -- she worked in health care for 25 years in the Buffalo-area.  Hatch is a 1994 graduate of SUNY at Fredonia.  Agatt adds that Hatch was most recently the Administrative Director at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  Agatt has also been with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation a short time.   He replaces Edwin Rodriguez... who is now work at Lutheran.  Agatt is from West Ellicott, and, has a Masters in Business Administration from Capella University.  He saw several positives happening in Jamestown during that time that had the JRC's name on them... and, he wanted to be part of it.  Kristy Kathmann served as Interim Director during the time prior to Hatch's arrival.
 
 
Scandinavian Folk Festival underway in Gerry...
An annual event high-lighting the Jamestown-area's rich, Scandinavian heritage continues today on the Gerry Rodeo grounds on Route 60 -- just south of the four-corners.  The Scandinavian Folk Festival continues today until 9:30 p.m.  Organizer Don Sandy adds the hours for Sunday will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  It began Friday afternoon.  Sandy says Jamestown was known from 1870 to about 1930 as a place where Scandinavians -- especially those from Sweden -- settled.  He says they'll have all the Swedish foods, too, including Korv, and Swedish Meatballs.  Sandy says they'll have plenty of education and music to convey the culture of Scandinavia.  The second of two musical performances will be tonight at 7.  There will also be several vendors on hand... selling their wares this weekend at the festival.   A number of lectures on Scandinavian history... and, language will also be presented.
 
 
World Series of Cars set for Sunday at Bergman Park -- rain or shine...
The Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee will hold it's major, yearly fund-raiser again this weekend... as the World Series of Cars will be held Sunday at Bergman Park.  Local Babe Ruth President Russ Diethrick says they'll again have upwards of 400 cars on the ballfields at Bergman Park Sunday... but, adds this year will be different.  He says it will no longer be a "judged" show... but, adds there will be "People's Choice" awards this year.  Diethrick says the World Series was created by the Chautauqua County Antique Automobile Association.  He says the event... as usual... will begin with their annual Breakfast in the morning... and, it runs until 5 p.m.  The event will be held rain or shine.  The car event has raised just over $250,000 for the World Series tournaments.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County officials say their official presentation of proposed projects in their application for the state's $20-million in Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition went well. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says he County Legislator George Borrello and, his Executive Assistant Dan Heitzenrater made a 20-minute presentation to a six-member review panel in Albany Wednesday about the 13-projects in the application. 

 

Horrigan says the county partnered with 23 local governments to develop the final application.  He says they had videos of mayors and supervisors who helped make the pitch to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's six-member review panel for the grant. 

 

Horrigan says the projects include the dissolution of the village of Cherry Creek into the town of Cherry Creek... merging the Portland and Brocton Fire Departments  and the proposed consolidation of the towns of Gerry and Charlotte into one town and, Sinclairville dissolving into that single town.  He says they aren't ready to announce how much each project would receive but, he says the county's Regional Solutions Commission would also receive some money for future project development. 

 

Horrigan says the panel told him the winner of the "winner-take-all" grant would likely be sometime between late August and early to mid-September.


Forecasters with the National Weather Service have now confirmed that two tornados struck parts of western New York, just south of Buffalo early Thursday afternoon. 

 

No injuries were reported as severe storms ripped through the area shortly after Noon... uprooting trees and knocking down power lines.  Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Hamburg to assess the damage.  He says additional utility crews had been called in to help restore electrical service there and other parts of the region. 

 

The first storm struck the Hamburg area at the Erie County Fairgrounds while the second hit in the town of Holland.


A Stockton man had to be hospitalized after his car slammed into another vehicle from behind on the Stockton-Cassadaga Road in the town of Stockton earlier this week. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene about 8 p.m. Monday and, determined that 29 year-old Joshua Burke of Bowen Road was southbound when his car struck the car in front of him. 

 

Officers say the driver of the other car, 40 year-old Andrew Hall of Sherman, was not hurt.  Burke was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. 

 

He's been charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and, having no insurance. Burke was issued appearance tickets for Stockton Town Court.


Some unexpected retirements in the Police Department and overtime in the Fire Department has led spending to be over-budget for the first half of 2017. 

 

That from City Comptroller Joe Bellitto who presented first-half budget figures to the City Council at this week's work session.  Bellitto says they are about $300,000 over budget in Police buy-outs. 

 

While that's the case he believes the city will make up at least "some" of those costs once new hires are in place.  Bellitto adds that the fire department's overtime budget is up about $40,000 due to several arson fires this year. 

 

However he says they are still pretty much on target on salaries overall.  Bellitto also says the city had hoped to be presenting it's new incentive program to get Medicare eligible city retirees off the city's insurance plan by now. 

 

However he says their proposal was just recently approved by the state's Restructuring Board.  That means it won't be implemented until the fourth-quarter of the year because the attorney general's office has to sign off on it.  Bellitto adds that the city's health care spending is about half-a-percent over budget right now.


Two new Jamestown Police officers will be added to the ranks soon. 

 

However they won't be going onto the streets but, into the city's middle and high schools.  That from City Council Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce, who says his committee this week approved the hiring of three officers total to be School Resource Officers for the distrct. 

 

Dolce adds their cost will also be taken on by the school district at $95,000 for each of the three, total SROs.  He says once the hirings take place the Jamestown Police Department's ranks will increase to 62 officers. 

 

That's above the minimum staffing requirement in the city's IMPACT Agreement with the Kendall Club-PBA... the city policemen's union.  Dolce says with the increase in the number of officers it will decrease the city government's IMPACT Payment to the union membership. 

 

The hirings will be formally voted on by the full City Council at it's July 31 voting session.


A Warren, PA native who served in the U-S House of Representatives with Senator John McCain is wishing him well and, believes if anyone can beat Cancer it's him. 

 

Retired Congressman Bill Clinger served with McCain in the House from 1982 to 1986 when McCain was elected to the Senate.  During our Chautauqua Now program yesterday morning he told us that the Arizona Republican is a man of independence and integrity and, says if he's not able to serve any longer it's the Senate's loss. 

 

It was announced late Wednesday that McCain has the same type of Cancer that killed former Senator Ted Kennedy.  Clinger served in the House from 1980 to 1997.  He is a past president of the Chautauqua Institution Board of Directors.

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WJTN Headlines

The north county woman accused of shooting and killing a man in the city of Dunkirk has been ordered held over for Grand Jury action. 

 

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 28-year-old Rebecca Ruiz made an appearance late Tuesday in Dunkirk City Court for a preliminary hearing, where Judge Walter Drag determined that there was sufficient evidence presented to hold Ruiz in custody.  Swanson says a preliminary hearing is just the beginning of the process of trying a felony case, and adds that each defendent has a right to that. 

 

Judge Drag made his ruling after hearing testimony from two Dunkirk Police officers during the hearing.  Swanson says the next step is presenting the case to a Chautauqua County Grand Jury.  He says bail was set for Ruiz at one-million dollars cash two-million property bond.  Swanson says the case must they go before the secret panel within 45 days

 

Ruiz is accused of second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Julian Duman on July 6th at her home at 141 Lake Shore Drive East.  The two reportedly had a relationship at one time.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a woman, who had an order of protection against him with a golf club. 

 

City police add that 40 year-old Simeon Leeper, Senior was also in possession of drugs when he was arrested.  Officers were called to the scene at 270 Fairmount Avenue about 3 a.m. Wednesday and, spotted a vehicle leaving the scene.  They then detained the vehicle and arrested Leeper who was taken to the city jail. 

 

Police say they found nearly 11-grams of cocaine in his posession and, he tried to hide a quantity of marijuana.  Police say Leeper also spit at officers, and ripped up evidence paperwork.  He was charged with second-degree menacing, harassment and trespassing in connection with the Fairmount Avenue incident. 

 

He was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and three counts of trying to conceal or destroy evidence.  Leeper is being held pending arraignment.

 



A Jamestown man and a teenager have been arrested after their Sports Utility Vehicle was pulled over on the city's southside and, the man was found in possession of illegal drugs. 

 

Jamestown officers say they went to pull over the SUV operated by an unidentified 17 year-old male early last Monday night near Willard and Allen Streets.  However the 17 year-old driver allegedly ran over a stop sign before driving off at a high speed.  He was later stopped and, arrested on several charges including obstruction for those violations. 

 

Meantime police later arrested the passenger, 22 year-old Karee Rizzo-Walker, after he was found with nearly 12 grams of cocaine and, another 5-grams of a "cutting agent" use to mix with and dilute the drug.  Walker was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail on charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.


There have been some wild animal sightings mainly of Coyotes in the city of Jamestown in recent days. 

 

City Councilman Tony Dolce says he and others have received some complaints and, heard some concerns in recent days.  Dolce asked City Police Chief and Public Safety Director Harry Snellings Monday night what residents should do if they see a Coyote, and have small pets. 

 

Snellings says they aren't equiped to deal with those calls but, says he would recommend people in the city not allow their pets to "run freely."  There were some Coyote sightings in the Jamestown-area mainly in the Moonbrook area of the town of Ellicott a couple of years ago. 

 

Encroaching development is believed to, at times drive them into more urban areas.  At the time a wildlife biologist with the state DEC said such incidents are relatively rare.  But he also recommended that anyone experiencing problems with coyotes call  the DEC and report it.


A north county man has been arrested after being accused of forcibly touching a child in the village of Silver Creek last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they issued an arrest warrant for 27 year-old Arthur Hubbard of Southside Avenue in Cherry Creek late Tuesday morning.  In addition to forcible touching deputies say Hubbard was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child out of Silver Creek Village Court. 

 

They says Hubbard was taken into custody without incident and, arraigned on the charges.  He was then sent to the county jail with bail to be set, pending a future court appearance.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have increased by about a penny this week moving back to just under $2.44 a gallon for regular, unleaded. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the price is up about 6-tenths of a cent from last week's $2.43.9.  However that's still down 4 cents from the same time last year.  AAA says states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast saw moderate changes in gas prices on the week. 

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that only Washington, D.C. and Maine saw prices increase albeit by one cent while six states saw prices drop.  Nationally the price has fallen one-cent this past week to $2.25 per gallon.

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WJTN News Headlines

A north county man has been arrested after being accused of forcibly touching a child in the village of Silver Creek last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they issued an arrest warrant for 27 year-old Arthur Hubbard of Southside Avenue in Cherry Creek late Tuesday morning.  In addition to forcible touching deputies say Hubbard was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child out of Silver Creek Village Court. 

 

They says Hubbard was taken into custody without incident and, arraigned on the charges.  He was then sent to the county jail with bail to be set, pending a future court appearance.


A Cassadaga man is in the Chautauqua County Jail without bail for allegedly driving drunk for the second time in the past decade. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they got a report of a vehicle traveling erratically in the area of Hall Road in the town of Charlotte about 5 p.m. Monday.  Deputies later found the vehicle, and identified the operator as 47 year-old Shawn Cavender. 

 

Upon further investigation officers found that Cavender to be driving while intoxicated.  He was arrested for Felony DWI, Aggravated DWI and first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation along with several other traffic violations.  Cavender was arraigned in Stockton Town Court and sent to the county lock-up.


A leading authority on China’s economic policy and its global economic relations says the world's biggest nation is trying to return to "the world stage." 

 

That from Deputy Director of China Studies Scott Kennedy with the Center for Strategic and International Studies... who was Tuesday's featured lecturer in the Chautauqua Amphitheater.  However Kennedy spoke earlier with our Dennis Webster about the U-S and China "Trading Places."  He says China is the "world's factory floor, and innovation workshop now" and it's taking a leadership role in multi-lateral discussions. 

 

Kennedy has worked hard to understand China and, it's international relations by working for nearly 30 years traveling to China where he has interviewed thousands of officials, business and political leaders.  He adds China has changed dramatically from when he first traveled there in 1988. 

 

While it's still a dictatorship it's been quickly growing economically.  Kennedy says, while the United States has it's political disagreements with the Asian nation the people there are "awesome."  He says they have a "rich history and culture."  Kennedy also says the people are "very competitive."  He spoke as part of "Geopolitics Today" Week at Chautauqua.


A city woman is free on bail but, faces several charges including a violation of Leandra's Law after her car was stopped for a loud exhaust on Jamestown's northside early Monday morning. 

 

City police say they pulled over 31 year-old Vanessa Maldonado on Lakeview Avenue about 4:30 a.m., and, found that Maldonado was allegedly drunk.  Officers say they also found a quantity of cocaine inside the car along with a 6 year-old child. 

 

Police say Maldonado has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated DWI, a Leandra's Law Violation.  Officers say she's also been charged with Felony first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Maldonado was arraigned and, later released on bail.


New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is heading to the North Country as his summer tour of upstate New York continues. 

 

The Bronx Democrat is scheduled to stop at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton and visit the Thousand Islands on Wednesday.  Heastie was in Rochester on Tuesday, where he toured a training center for apprentice carpenters and saw damage from recent flooding. 

 

Heastie is also planning trips to western New York, the Southern Tier, the capitol region and Long Island later this summer and fall.  He took a similar upstate tour after becoming speaker and says the trips help him better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the state's many regions.


Three children were among the six people hospitalized after a pickup truck crashed off a rural Cattaraugus County road not far from Buffalo. 

 

Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the accident occurred around 4:30 PM Sunday in the town of Freedom, where the Cattaraugus, Wyoming and Allegany county lines meet 40 miles southeast of Buffalo.  Officers say the truck, driven by 18 year-old Richard Neamon, Junior of Freedom, crashed off state Route 98 into a parked minivan with two children in it, then hit another child and two adults who were in front of a yard sale near the van. 

 

Neamon and the adults, ages 42 and 39, were taken to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, while the children ages 2,3, and 4, were taken to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  No information has been released on their conditions and, there's no word on any charges.


The annual Chautauqua County Fair is less than a week away, and this year, there will be plenty of new entertainment at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk. 

 

One of the big attractions at the fair has always been the demolition derbies, which will run on Tuesday, July 25th and Sunday, July 30th.  But one of the demolition derbies will feature something new this year. 

 

Fair Board member and past president Dave Wilson said there will be a "lawn mower" demolition derby during intermission on Sunday.  Fair Board Vice-President Becky Merrick says a country musician will perform at the fair on Monday, July 24th Ruthie Collins, who was born and raised in Fredonia. 

 

Merrick says Collins has been named as one of Country Music Television's Top 10 "rising stars."  She says her first music video was filmed at the Fredonia Opera House and, has "that connection to the Fair."  For more information about this year’s fair go on-line to www.chautauquacountyfair.org, or call 366-4752.

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WJTN Headlines

An overnight fire has heavily-damaged a two-story apartment house on Jamestown's southside. 

 

City Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews were called to the scene at 14 Lindwood Ave. for the blaze just after 2 a.m., and, people were reportedly trapped on the roof.  However Finson says the people living in the second-floor apartment were able to get out of the building safely by the time fire crews arrived.  He says there were seven people inside the second-floor apartment that were able to get down off the roof, and out of the house while the three people in the downstairs apartment were already out. 

 

Finson says once firefighters accounted for everyone inside they looked to get inside to battle the flames.  However he says the building was not safe at that point and, crews pulled three handlines to put out the stubborn blaze.  Finson says it took about an hour to bring the fire under control but, adds a crew is still there dousing hot spots. 

 

Most crews returned to the fire station at 7 a.m.  An off-duty shift was called in.  Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and two pets perished in the blaze.  The cause is under investigation.  Finson says the building will be torn-down today.


For the first time since the proposal was announced there was a little 'back-and-forth' between Jamestown officials and a Falconer official regarding the proposed annexation of about 4-acres of property in the village at the city line into Jamestown. 

 

As he has during all recent City Council meetings Falconer Mayor Jim Rensel addressed lawmakers about the plan to bring the land, belonging to the Board of Public Utilities into the city.  Rensel again asked what city officials have heard from their constituents and, referred specifically to recent comments made by Council President Greg Rabb, who said recently that he didn't hear any "burning negative" comments about the proposal. 

 

However, he says he would like to hear what negative comments have been made.  Rensel said he was concerned that council members weren't really talking to consitutents, and debating the matter, but just "following directions" on the matter.  That drew the ire of At-Large Councilman George Spitale who shot back that all Rensel has done when he comes to their meetings is hurl insults and, he referred to last month's public hearing in Falconer on the proposal as "a set-up."  The BPU formally requested the city look into annexing the land the board uses to house it's Dow Street Substation.


Five people have been arrested and three guns and, a large amount of drugs were seized over the past weekend by Jamestown police during three different separate incidents. 

 

City Police were called to the area of South Main Street and Newland Avenue about 6:30 p.m.Sunday on the report of a person with a gun.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers arrived and, got information about the suspect, identified as 24 year-old Giovanny Torres, and, his direction of travel. 

 

Samuelson says police arrested Torres a short time later after what appeared to be dispute with another person.  He says the loaded hand-gun was found to have been stolen from a Rochester, NY location back in 2015. 

 

Samuelson says Torres was found in possession of the hand-gun which was seized.  He says Torres was arrested for second-degree criminal possesion of a weapon and, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was being held pending arraignment.

 


The second gun-related incident was early last Friday morning in which three people were arrested for being in possession of two loaded hand-guns and, a large quantity of Heroin and cocaine. 

 

That happened when officers were called to the scene of a gun being pointed at someone at 601 Lafayette Street.  CIty police were called to the scene shortly after 3 a.m., and made contact with a group of adults and children gathered outside the residence.  Officers were approaching when one person later identified as 27 year-old Jean Jimenez-Camacho, ran off and police pursued.  She was caught and initially charged with obstruction. 

 

Police later found the original suspect, 26 year-old Juan Tuffino, Junior, hiding inside, and arrested a tenant of the building, 30 year-old Sasha Montanez, after finding the guns and drugs, which were found in the presence of children.  Samuelson says all three suspects face a number of Felony charges including multiple-counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts each of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  If you have any information on alleged drug activity call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.


Sheriff's officers in Cattaraugus County say three children were among the six people who have been hospitalized after a pickup truck crashed off a rural western New York road. 

 

Deputies say the accident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the town of Freedom, where the Cattaraugus, Wyoming and Allegany county lines meet 40 miles southeast of Buffalo.  Deputies say the man's truck crashed off state Route 98 into a parked minivan with two children in it, then hit another child and two adults who were in front of a yard sale near the van. 

 

The driver and the adults were taken to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, while the children were taken to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo.


Chautauqua County's Congressman will be holding his annual Manufacturing Summit in his 23rd District later this week in the Rochester-area. 

 

Corning Republican Tom Reed made the announcement during yesterday afternoon's weekly conference call with regionial media nothing that they'll have several panels involved in the program focusing on what he calls the "optimism" surrounding the future of U-S manufacturing. 

 

He says they'll be looking mainly as supply chain, and trade and tax reform will be discussed.  Reed says there are two main areas of focus for him on helping manufacturing one is access to cash, and the other is access to investment opportunities. 

 

Reed adds that one panel will focus on ways to bring the North American Free Trade Agreement into the 21st Century and, creating what he called a "fair and level playing field" so US manufacturers can make it here to "sell it around the world."  He says the summit will be held Fridayfrom 9 AM to 2:15 PM at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua and, that'll be followed by a tour of GW Lisk Incorporated in Clifton Springs at 3 p.m.

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WJTN Headlines

A Warren County, Pennsylvania woman was killed in a one-car, rollover crash in Pittsfield Township last Sunday afternoon. 

 

State Police in Warren say 36 year-old Rachel West of Tidioute was northbound on Davey Hill Road about 3:30 p.m. when she lost control of the car and, it hit an embankment.  Troopers say the vehicle then rolled over several times before coming to rest on it's roof. 

 

State Police say the woman, who is not being identified at this time was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.  She was taken to Warren General Hospital where she later died from her injuries.


No one was hurt after a car got stuck on the CSX railroad tracks on Berry Road in the town of Pomret last weekend and, was struck by a westbound train. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the driver of the car, 20 year-old Kayla Boedner of Fredonia, allegedly moved a "Road Closed" barrier and attempted to cross the tracks shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday.  Deputies say her vehicle got stuck on the crossing but, she was able to get out while the train was approaching. 

 

However her car was struck because the engineer didn't have time to stop. Officers say Boedner was ticketed for failure to obey a traffic control device and, will appear in court at a later date.  No one was injured in the incident.


One person was serious hurt in a one-car crash blamed on drunk driving early Sunday morning on Route 430 in the town of Mina.  Sheriff's officers say the car, driven by 22 year-old Christopher Jones of Jamestown, was eastbound about 3:15 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and it left the roadway. 

 

Deputies say the vehicle then struck several trees and overturned.  Officers say an unidentified passenger sustained serious injuries and, was taken by ambulance to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment. 

 

Further investigation led officers to arrest Jones, who was not hurt, for driving while intoxicated.  Deputies also charged him with Felony first-degree vehicular assault and Aggravated DWI.  He was arraigned in Sherman Town Court and sent to the county jail without bail.


Members of the public still have a week to comment on the city of Jamestown's application for federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds this year. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says the timetable is much later this year because the Trump Administration has proposed eliminating the program offered by the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The city council held it's required public hearing on the proposed plan in late June... but, Teresi says it's pretty much in line with the past two action plans.  He says there's little change in the plans because this is the fhird-year of the five-year plan they submitted two years ago, and the program's status is "up in the air." 

 

Teresi says the five year plan must be submitted by entitlement communities like Jamestown to HUD.  He says, while the Trump Administration is looking at eliminating the CDBG and HOME programs funding has been reduced significantly over the past 10 years. 

 

The public comment period runs until Monday, July 24.  The CDBG and HOME Program plans can be viewed at the city's website at Jamestownny.net.


The 13 year-old Jamestown Babe Ruth All-Stars have won the New York state Championship and, have qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Regional. 

 

However... they need to raise between $15,000 and $20,000 for their trip to Sommers Point, New Jersey a week from today.  Manager Tom Tantillo says they're excited to have won the state tournament but, adds they're thinking more about fund-raising at the moment.  He says they had some fund-raisers over the past weekend including a chicken barbecue.  He says they've also been able to obtain some individual donations and, are accepting those. 

 

Tantillo says people can contact him or send donations to Jamestown Babe Ruth c/o 13 year-old State Champs at 758 Harding Ave., Jamestown.  He says they'll have three-games in pool play starting next Tuesday, July 25 before moving onto the rest of the tournament. 

 

Tantillo says their next Tag Days for the Babe Ruth All-Stars will be from Noon to 7:30 next Friday at Brigotta's on Fairmount Avenue in Jamestown and, the same day and times at Wal-Mart in Lakewood.  A car wash, and bottle and can collection fund-raiser will be held at Raymor and Flanigan this Tuesday from 12 Noon to 5 p.m.


A federal court decision overturning the conviction of ex-state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is bringing fresh attention to the New York Legislature's chronic corruption problem and reigniting efforts to address conflicts of interest and government ethics. 

 

The downfall of the Democratic powerbroker from Manhattan sent shockwaves through the state Capitol but prompted only modest ethics reforms.  While federal prosecutors plan to retry Silver, some in Albany say there's no reason to wait for the final outcome of Silver's case to act. 

 

They've floated ideas including tighter limits on campaign contributions, restrictions on how much lawmakers can make from outside jobs and even term limits.  Other suggested reforms include term limits on leadership positions, more robust ethics enforcement and greater government transparency to prevent top lawmakers from making big decisions behind closed doors.


Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers were able to revive an opioid overdose victim early last weekend in Silver Creek with Naloxone commonly known as Narcan. 

 

Deputies say they were called to the scene on Main Street about 3:15 p.m. last Friday and, found an unresponsive 38 year-old woman. 

 

Officers say they administered Narcan and, stabilzed the victim who was taken to Lake Shore Hospital in Irving for further treatment.  Deputies were assisted at the scene by a Silver Creek Fire-Rescue crew.

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New Headlines for Sat., July 15, 2017

Hochul on hand for ground-breaking, Champaign toast for new Celoron Haborfront Hotel...
Construction is underway on the new, $30.8-million Celoron Haborfront Hotel.  Several local and state officials were on hand yesterday afternoon just west of Lucille Ball Memorial Park for an official ground-breaking, and toast to the effort.  The project is being undertaken by Buffalo-area Developer Peter Krog and Hotel Operator David Hart.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was on hand for the toast and ground-breaking... and, says she's known both Krog and Hart for a long-time.  With that... she says the project is "going to happen..." adding that hotel's "telegraph confidence."  Hochul says they do "magnificant" work, which has been seen at their hotel's in Watkins Glen and the Thousand Islands.  She says the project is important because hotel's "telegraph confidence" for other development.  She and the other officials noted the state's investment of $5-million in the new National Comedy Center... and, $10-million for the city of Jamestown's Downtown Revitalization Initiative that will help make the area a 'destination point.'  State Senator Cathy Young adds the new hotel will be a great addition to the area... and, adds they are pleased to see the state provide a $1.9-million grant for the project... as well as $2.6-million in tax credits.
 
 
Peter Krog and David Hart look forward to project, using local contractors...
Both the developer and hotel operator involved in the Celoron Harborfront Hotel project say they are pleased to put putting up their latest, state of the art facility on Chautauqua Lake.  Peter Krog and David Hart say they look foward to opening the facility by Summer of next year.  Krog expressed his apprecation to local and state officials for their support of the project.  He adds that they are also using local businesses to help put up the new hotel... including Chautauqua Brick, Tri-James, and Southern Tier Supply.  Hart says the grant... and, the state Office of Community Renewal tax credits were a big help in getting the project started.
 
 
Funeral taking place in Northern NY for slain Trooper...
Several thousand law enforcement officers from across the U.S. and Canada are expected to attend this weekend's funeral for a New York state trooper killed in the line of duty.  WWNY-TV in Watertown reports  that state police officials expect 3,000 to 5,000 officers to attend Saturday's services for Trooper Joel Davis.  The 36-year-old was fatally shot Sunday night while responding to reports of gunfire on a couple's property in the town of Theresa.  Police say a Fort Drum soldier, Staff Sgt. Justin Walters, fatally shot his 27-year-old wife before shooting Davis.
 
 
Horrigan stresses slowing down to deal with "slow-moving" traffic in latest 100 Days of Summer Safety event...
Slow down and pay attention to the road ahead.  That's the message from local and county officials when it comes to dealing with farm vehicles and Amish buggies this Summer in Chautauqua County.  County Executive Vince Horrigan hosted his latest 100 Days of Summer Safety event at John Wiggers and Son Farm Equipment on Route 474 in Clymer Friday morning.  Horrigan urged people to be ready for the unexpected... especially when it comes to dealing with animals pulling buggies along rural roads.  He says the horses sometimes get spooked by unexpected noises and movement.  The ability to be able to stop within your sight distance is a key to a member of the Sheriff's Department Traffic Safety Board.  Pete James of Chautauqua was on hand for the program in Clymer.  He says emphasized being able "to stop within your sight distance..." adding that if you do that "you won't crash." 
 
 
Bharara believes Silver will be convicted again on re-trail...
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is defending his prosecution of ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver after Silver's conviction was reversed.  The prosecutor fired earlier this year by President Donald Trump's administration after he refused to resign says the evidence of public corruption against Silver was strong.  He says he thinks the 73-year-old Democrat will be convicted again.  Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim has said prosecutors will retry Silver.  Bharara shared his opinion about the Silver case on Twitter after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the conviction Thursday.  The appeals court said the evidence against Silver was sufficient, but instructions on the law given to the jury were not consistent with a Supreme Court ruling in another case that came out after the Silver verdict.
 
 
St. James Italian Festival underway...
The annual St. James Italian Festival will take place today at the St. James Catholic Church grounds in Brooklyn Square.  Preparations have been taking place over the past several days... and, the big tent already up.  Festival Chairman Tom Franco says they're compressing the festival into just one day this year... and, activities will begin at 10 this morning... and, run until 9:30 p.m.  Franco says they decided to make it one day to allow volunteers to only have to commit to one day this year.  Franco says they have some new wrinkles this year... including the operator of a new pizzaria -- named "Sauce" -- in the downtown area who'll be selling his wares.  
 
 
Jamestown 13 year-old Babe Ruth Team wins NYS title, moves on to Mid-Atlantic Regional...
The Jamestown Babe Ruth 13-year-old all-stars have won the New York State Babe Ruth Tournament... and, have now advanced to the Mid-Atlantic Tournament.  Manager Tom Tantillo says they're very excited about going to the tournament in Sommers Point, New Jersey beginning July 24th and 25th.  However... Tantillo adds they need to raise $15,000 and $20,000 for the trip.  Tantillo says fund-raising is underway... with a number of events planned to cover the kids food, lodging and other expenses.  Tantillo says they have one fund-raiser today... with a Tag Days event now through 5:30 p.m. at Farm Fresh Foods on West Third Street.  There will also be a Chicken Barbecue Dinner served on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Quick Lube Parking Lot located across from the Foote Avenue Plaza.
 
  

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WJTN Headlines

Quick response by Jamestown fire crews prevented serious damage to a bar frequented by the city's LGBTQ community that caught fire early yesterday morning in Brooklyn Square. 

 

Fire officials say the investigation into the cause of the fire at Sneakers at 100 Harrison Street is continuing but, the owner says it was intentionally set.  City Fire Battaliion Chief Sam Salemme says firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 2 a.m., and on arrival, they found heavy smoke, and tracked the flames to a storage room in the bar area. 

 

Salemme says firefighters had the blaze under control fairly quickly.  Fire damage was confined to the storage room area... but, there was some smoke and water damage through-out the first floor area.  Salemme says a person living upstairs called in the blaze after hearing smoke alarms going off. 

 

He says the bar area was closed by the time the fire broke out.  He says an off-duty shift of eight firefighters and a shift commander was called in to assist.  Salemme says no one was hurt fire damage was confined to the storage room near the bar.  Fire crews were at the scene for about 2-and-a-half hours. 

 

Sneakers owner Mary Green who also lives in the building says on her Facebook page that it appears someone broke in and started the blaze.


A federal appeals court has overturned the 2015 corruption conviction of former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 

 

He was found guilty in a 4-million dollar pay to play scheme, but the Second-U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited a Supreme Court decision last year in the case of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell that narrowed the definition of official corruption.  Area Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who has a legal practice in Chautauqua County, explains what happened. 

 

He says when there's a change brought about by a Supreme Court ruling, that can affect all previous decisions that have been made.  Goodell says he hopes the prosecutor will retry Silver and obtain a conviction as well as require Silver to give up the "millions of dollars that he improperly pocketed." 

 

The Bemus Point Republican says the overturned conviction "does not mean Sheldon Silver is innocent."


The head of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee says he's pleased to have 14 candidates on the ballot for the county legislature in this Fall's elections. 

 

Norm Green says the group includes the four incumbants on the panel and, 10 newcomers who have experience in the business and the public sectors.  Green announced the slate yesterday noting that it's an "exciting slate of candidates" he believes will be "well-received" by the voters in each district. 

 

He says each of the candidates will be on a least one other line in November.  Green says all of them, except Charles Nazzaro in Jamestown, will be on the Working Families line, and some will also be on the Independence Party or Women's Equality lines.  He says the slate is complete because Thursday was the final day to turn in petitions to run for office. 

 

He says there are a few interesting contested races shaping up.  The big one in the Jamestown-area Green says is in the city in District 11 where young businessman Frank Besse is running against incumbant Republican Dave Wilfong who is also County GOP Chairman. 

 

In the north county Tommy Roque is challenging Republican Kevin Muldowney in District-1 in Dunkirk. 

 

In addition Chautauqua Lake Elementary School Principal Ella Ames will take on incumbant GOP Chairman David Himelein in District 18.


Incumbant Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore has announced that he's running for re-election to a second-term in office adding that he "really enjoys" the job he first won in 2013. 

 

Barmore made it official yesterday, though he had already been endorsed by the county's Republican Committee.  Barmore says he's been able to update and modernize their facilities even with a 50-percent turn-over in personnel during his 3-and-a-half years in office. 

 

Barmore says they implemented electronic recording land records in early 2014 and, now they're working to get approval to E-file court records.  He says a few "pilot counties" were set up for the program a few years ago, and Chautauqua will become part of that on August 16th

 

Barmore says probably the biggest accomplishment during his first-term was getting the Jamestown Department of Motor Vehicles Office moved out of the South County Office Building to a new location on West Third Street that's bigger, and has more off-street parking. 

 

He says they've also made the move at a cost savings of about 9-thousand dollars a year.  Barmore will also have the Conservative line in the November election.


Scientists predict a ``significant'' harmful algae bloom will form on western Lake Erie this summer. 

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and research partners are releasing their annual algae forecast Thursday for the shallowest and warmest of the Great Lakes.  It's been plagued by massive summer algae formations that pose health risks for humans and wildlife. 

 

A bloom in 2014 contaminated drinking water for 400,000 people in Toledo, Ohio, and southeastern Michigan.  Scientists base a bloom's severity on how much algae it contains over a sustained period.  They predict this year's will register above the level considered potentially harmful. 

 

But they think it will be smaller than the largest blooms, which formed in 2011 and 2015.  Some algae blooms generate toxins. Size doesn't necessarily indicate degree of toxicity.


U-S Senator Charles Schumer says New York state's power plants are vulnerable to cyberattacks and that Washington must do more to ensure their security. 

 

The Democrat said Wednesday that he has written to the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy seeking an update on efforts to improve cybersecurity at critical facilities such as power plants.  He says that reports that hackers have targeted power plants should serve as a "wake up call" that the facilities could be at risk. 

 

Schumer says the federal government must to more to safeguard power stations from attacks that could disrupt the power grid.  Specifically, Schumer wants any infrastructure bill that passes Congress to include funding for cybersecurity upgrades at power plants and other vital facilities.

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WJTN News Headlines

Quick response by Jamestown fire crews prevented serious damage to a bar and apartment building in the city's Brooklyn Square-area. 

 

City Fire Battaliion Chief Sam Salemme says firefighters were called to Sneakers Bar at 100 Harrison Street shortly after 2 this morning and, traced the flames to an indoor storage room.

 

Salemme says there was heavy smoke inside the bar when crews arrived.  He says firefighters had the blaze under control within minutes.  Salemme says a tenant in an upstairs apartment called in the fire and, everyone was out of the building when they arrived. 

 

Salemme says an off-duty shift of eight firefighters and a shift commander was called in to assist at the scene.  He says no one was hurt fire damage was confined to the storage room near the bar. 

 

Salemme says the cause of the blaze is under investigation.


Police in Western New York are investigating fatal shooting. 

 

The Erie County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at the Spring Wood Trailer Park in Collins around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.  Police say a male was killed.  No further information is available.


Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings are slipping amid transit problems in New York City.  46% of those surveyed in a just-released Quinnipiac University poll say they approve of Cuomo's performance, the lowest rating for the governor in the Connecticut college's polls since September 2015. 

 

Respondents gave Cuomo low grades for New York City transit, with nearly a third awarding a "D'' or "F."  The city's subway and commuter train systems have been plagued by mounting delays and breakdowns, prompting Cuomo to warn of a "summer of hell" as emergency repairs begin. 

 

Cuomo is a possible 2020 presidential contender but Tuesday's poll indicates 55 percent of New Yorkers don't want him to run.


Proposed cuts to Medicaid in New York state have raised concerns that money will be taken away from the fight against the Heroin and opioid drug crisis. 

 

However local Congressman Tom Reed says the money "is there" in the Republican health care bill approved by the House of Representatives.  Governor Andrew Cuomo voiced those fears in a weekend Op-Ed piece in a New York City newspaper. 

 

However Reed says Cuomo's fears are unfounded because it has a priority designation.  He says Cuomo and the state legislature need to make the tough decisions on either covering the reduction, or cutting the program.  However Cuomo says the House bill will cut Medicaid funding to New York by $2.3-billion something he says has to be made up somewhere in the state budget. 

 

Reed says a move towards private insurance is a better solution.  However the Corning Republican acknowledged the fact that many with addiction issues aren't able to hold a job and, don't have coverage.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.


A House committee has unveiled legislation to fund President Donald Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. 

 

The $1.6 billion-dollar appropriations for a down payment on building a physical wall and other blockades matches Trump's request, but comes after the GOP-controlled Congress failed to deliver the money when passing an omnibus spending measure earlier this year. 

 

Democrats objected to the funding and the Trump administration and congressional Republicans took a pass on forcing the issue.  But the fight over funding the wall is a major obstacle to funding government agency operations for the budget year beginning October 1st

 

Some conservatives are threatening to shut the government down if the wall is not included.  The wall money is embedded in a $44 billion homeland security funding bill released Tuesday by the House Appropriations Committee.


The mayor of Dunkirk says progress is being made on two major economic development projects that will have an impact on the Dunkirk area. 

 

Willie Rosas says that he met with State Senator Cathy Young on Monday and she assured him that NRG is moving ahead with the repowering project.  However the issues are more with the federal government right now. 

 

Young says repowering is on track, and the state has a written, and sign agreement with NRG.  Rosas says he also has news regarding the new Athenex plant planned for property on Route 5 just outside the city limits.  He says they are close to scheduling a groundbreaking for the plant. 

 

He says they are waiting for Governor Cuomo to open up his schedule so he can be here for the event.  Back to the NRG Repowering project, Senator Young is continuing to work on having the city made whole by the state on any tax revenue losses caused by the delay in repowering plant.  The NRG plant has been moth-balled since January of 2016.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady this week and are hovering around $2.44 a gallon for regular unleaded fuel. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the average price locally is now $2.43.9.  That's 4-tenths of a cent less than last week.  During the week New York and Vermont saw prices drop by one penny.  On the week, AAA says gas stockpiles decreased by 2-million barrels and, currently sit 5.6 million barrels below levels this time last year. 

 

Nationally... for the first time in five weeks, the national average gas price is increasing.  At $2.26 a gallon today’s price has been moving higher since July 6th and, is 3-cents more than last week.

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WJTN Headlines

One person is jailed while two others are free on bail after being arrested for allegedly being in possession of a quantity of Methamphetamine during a traffic stop on Jamestown's westside Tuesday morning. 

 

City police say a bike patrol stopped a vehicle for alleged traffic violations on West Sixth Street at Lafayette Street shortlly before 8 a.m.  Officers say they found the driver of the vehicle, 37 year-old Chad Nelson, had a suspended driver's license.  Further investigation turned up the Meth and drug paraphernalia. 

 

Police also arrested 35 year-old Manda Moffett of Jamestown, and 32 year-old Heather Crilley of Ashville.  Officers say all three are chargd with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. 

 

Moffet is also charged with fourth-degree criminal possesion.  She's jailed without bail while Nelson and Crilley were arraigned and freed on bail.


A preliminary hearing is still scheduled for this afternoon in last week's shooting death in the city of Dunkirk. 

 

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson confirms that the preliminary hearing for 28-year-old Rebecca Ruiz is set for 3 p.m. in Dunkirk City Court.  Ruiz has been charged with second-degree murder in the July 6th death of 21-year-old Julian Duman.  Ruiz was arraigned on Friday and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.


As many as 2-million Americans are currently "suffering" under the collapse of the health insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed who Tuesday cited a report countering the possible loss of health insurance to some 22-million to 24-million people under the two Republican Health Care proposals.  Reed says he won't predict where the Senate is going on health care legislation but, adds he's hopeful that something will be approved before the August recess, because Senators know they only have two to three weeks to work. 

 

President Donald Trump recently suggested that if the Senate can't come up with a plan to "repeal and replace" lawmakers should just go ahead and repeal the ACA and, replace it later.  Reed says regardless. that will be an ongoing process with the issue of improving health care namely quality of care. 

 

The Senate GOP Majority's task got much harder over the Fourth of July recess because a 10th Republican in the Senate voiced his opposition to the GOP healthcare bill.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


The appointment of Conservative Neil Gorsuch, and the possibility of as many as three more appointments to the U-S Supreme Court, could pull the court to the far right for the next several decades. 

 

That from Senior Editor and Legal Correspondent Dalia Lithwick with the on-line magazine "Slate" who appears this morning in the Chautauqua Amphitheater.  Speaking with our Dennis Webster yesterday she also noted that the next step may be replacing Anthony Kennedy who is rumored to be looking at retiring before next year's mid-term elections. 

 

Lithwick says there "no question" that if Kennedy leaves the court, it will signal the end of Affirmative Action, abortion, and same sex marriage because he is now "the fifth vote."  Lithwick says that's the feeling among court observers because Trump promising to nominate conservatives to the high court and, did so with Gorsuch. 

 

In fact, she says Gorsuch has been everything that conservatives want.  Lithwick says Gorsuch was on the bench for a handful of rulings in April, May and June and, was even to the right of late Justice Antonin Scalia whom he replaced.  She adds, though, there are still more than 130 lower court seats Trump has yet to fill and, those could have even more of an impact.


New York State Police say the calling hours and funeral for slain Trooper Joel R. Davis will be held at Magrath Sports Complex at Fort Drum in northern New York. 

 

Separate calling times are scheduled Friday for law enforcement and the public.  The funeral will be held at 1 p.m.Saturday.  A 32-year-old Fort Drum soldier, Staff Sergeant Justin Walters, is accused of killing his wife and Davis who was responding Sunday to reports of shots fired at the Walters' home in rural Theresa, near the base.  Walters, a native of Zeeland, Michigan, was ordered held without bail in the Jefferson County Jail at his arraignment on murder charges Monday.


A number of "last-minute gifts" has helped Catholic Charities of Buffalo meet and exceed it's goal of $11-million raised through this year's Appeal. 

 

That from Monsignor David Slubecky during yesterday afternoon's announcement about the campaign which officially ended back on June 30.  Slubecky says their early results looked good but, then sank as Spring turned to Summer and, they had a one-million dollar shortfall entering the final month of the effort. 

 

He says, though with the community, their friends and local media support "we slowly, but, surely inched closer and closer to our $11-million goal as the deadline rapidly approached."  Catholic Charities has two offices in Chautauqua County, one in Jamestown and the other in Dunkirk.

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WJTN Headlines

Police in upstate New York are investigating a three-vehicle crash that killed one person and hospitalized four others. 

 

The crash occurred on U.S. Route 20A in Varysburg in Wyoming County Sunday afternoon.  Police say a car crossed over into oncoming traffic, striking two motorcycles.  It's the second fatal car-motorcycle accident in Western New York Sunday

 

The other happened in the north county town of Hanover.  Both motorcyclists in the Varysburg crash were travelling with a passenger.  All four people riding on the motorcycles were taken to the hospital.  One person died at the hospital. 

 

The driver of the car was also hospitalized.  The names and ages of the victims haven't been released.


Helping manufacturers save costs on energy and, use new technology to make their operations more efficient is the goal of new, bi-partisan legislation being introduced on Congress this week by local Representative Tom Reed. 

 

The Corning Republican was at Artone Manufacturing on Allen Street in Jamestown Monday morning to announce the SMART Manufacturing Leadership Act.  Reed says he and Vermont Democrat Peter Welch will be filing the legislation when they return to Washington, D-C from their Fourth of July break adding it allows small and medium-manufacturers better access to federal resources to help lower their costs.

 

Reed says the main part of the plan will be to establish a national "SMART Manufacturing Plan" to help deploy smart technologies to small and medium-sized manufacturers like Artone.  Artone manufactures "custom made" and millwork furniture for hotels and resorts.

 

President and Owner Mike Calimeri expressed his appreciation to Reed noting that they are already moving towards "smart' techologies.  Calimeri says it's exciting to see legislation helping smaller manufacturers like Artone.  Reed and Calimeri were joined for the press conference and a tour of Artone by State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and several others.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says the Senate needs to get the job done when it comes to passing a new health care plan. 

 

We talked later with Reed on topics including the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.  The Corning Republican says the House has taken action on the measure and, adds it's time for Senate Republicans to do likewise. 

 

Reed says, while there is the possibility of millions of Americans losing coverage under the proposal there are millions now suffering under the burden of the ACA.  He says he believes the Senate will take action in the next two to three weeks. 

 

However over the Fourth of July recess, a 10th Republican in the Senate voiced his opposition to the GOP healthcare bill.  Senate leaders can only afford to lose two Republicans if they have chance to pass a final bill.


An Afghanistan combat veteran charged with killing his wife and a New York state trooper in the driveway of his home has been arraigned and ordered held without bail for grand jury action. 

 

About a dozen troopers stood at the back of LeRay Town Court as Justin Walters was led into the room in shackles Monday evening.  Walters is from Zeeland, Michigan. He's accused of killing his wife, Nichole Walters, and Trooper Joel Davis on Sunday

 

Defense Attorney Eric Swartz waived a preliminary hearing.  He says the next appearance will be in Jefferson County Court later.  He won't comment further.


City lawmakers have restated their support for a $1.4-million "green" project on Jamestown's Tracy Plaza. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says the City Council early Monday night approved a new environmental assessment form for the Tracy Plaza project... and, again approved a resolution from last Spring.  Teresi says state officials found they needed more information on the project, and action needed to be taken before the end of this month. 

 

He says the state money will come in the form of an Environmental Facilities' Grant.  He says the previous resolution had to be rescinded, and the new one with the new EAS included approved.  Teresi says the functional part of the project will involve continuing work on leaking issues into areas under the plaza including the parking garage and, police department. 

 

He adds there will also be a change made in stormwater drainage keeping the water there for the new green and landscaped areas on the plaza that will recycle rainwater collected there.


A note for Jamestown-area motorists today that Foote Avenue between Harrison and Water Streets will be closed to all traffic starting today until the barricades are removed. 

 

The county's Department of Public Facilities will be doing bridge deck repairs on the span there during that time.


A Lakewood restaurant that also has a location in Fredonia has announced it will be closing at the end of business this coming Sunday, July 16th

 

Wing City Grille on Fairmount Avenue made the announcement today on it's Facebook Page.  Restaurant officials say the closing will not affect any of our other restaurants in the area. 

 

They say the Lakewood location has "not allowed us any return on our investment and the closing of this restaurant will make our other area restaurants much stronger both financially and operationally."  They say their Lakewood employees will be utilized in their other local facilities. 

 

In addition to the Fredonia Wing City Grille owner Andrew Carlson also operated the Village Casino in Bemus Point.

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WJTN Headlines

A Buffalo-area man has been arrested for boating while intoxicated after he had an accident on his jet ski in the northern end of Chautauqua Lake late yesterday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's Department Navigation Team was called to a reported accident in Bemus Bay about 4:30 PM and, on arrival the operator of the jet ski that was involved with the incident failed to comply with deputies and, road off at a high rate of speed. 

 

Another patrol boat from the Navigation Division intercepted the Jet Ski in the north basin of the lake and the operator failed to comply again.  After a 15-to-20 minute pursuit it was called off due to the Jet Ski entering a high traffic area. 

 

After the pursuit was terminated the Sheriff's Office received reports from shore that the operator was ejected from his Jet Ski landing in the water.  Deputies were able to take the operator 35 year-old Jason Schlemmer of Orchard Park into custody. 

 

They say Schlemmer was take to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for observation and, he faces charges including boating while intoexicated reckless operation and two counts of failure to comply.  There were no injuries nor serious damage due to the persuit and crash.

 

 

Raleigh, North Carolina's Chesson Hadley eked out a one shot victory Sunday at the second annual LECOM Health Challenge Golf Tournament at The Peek'n Peak Resort. 

 

The 32 year-old Hadley was estatic saying the week was "magical" adding that his family was on hand for the event.  He shot a record 23-under par, one shot ahead of Beau Hossler. 

 

As the winner was accepting his $108,000 check, his three-and-a-half year old son interrupted to say something to his dad who then responded, and they would get him "all the toys you want, bud." 

 

Michele Turner, one of the tournament directors, said attendance was up for the second year and she thanked Peek'n Peak, the sponsors and those who volunteered to help.  The PGA's Web.com tour presented its 'Small Business of the Tournament' award to Jim Pullan of Jamestown Mattress.



New York State police issued over 10,000 tickets during their annual Fourth of July crackdown on drunk driving. 

 

Overall, troopers issued 10,435 tickets statewide during the 96-hour campaign, which began July 1 and continued until midnight last Tuesday.  DWI arrests totaled 240, and crashes killed three people. 

 

Troop K, which patrols part of the Hudson Valley, arrested 30 drivers on DWI charges and investigated 75 motor vehicle accidents that injured 25 people.  The troop also issued 364 tickets for speeding, 24 for distracted driving, 75 for seatbelt violations, and 25 for the move-over law. 

 

Last year Troop K issued 496 tickets for speeding, 13 for distracted driving, 38 for seatbelt violations, and 30 for the move-over law.


A multi-year effort to re-claim McCrea Point Park and Boat Launch in Jamestown was celebrated with a ribbon cutting this past weekend. 

 

A large turn-out was on hand for the re-dedication of the park along the Chadakoin River.  Mayor Sam Teresi thanked several people for helping to get the park back to it's early splendor.  Teresi especially thanked members of the Riverfront Council along with those involved with the parks system including the city Parks and Recreation Commission, and the city's Planning Commission. 

 

The program started with a boat ride on The Chautauqua Belle from Celoron to the boat landing a first for the steamship that still goes up and down the lake.  Teresi also thanked state and county leaders for their help in funding and planning the project. 

 

State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the project "builds on our past" but, also helps plan for the future that includes a city where people can go out and enjoy "this beautiful riverfront."   Riverfront Management Council Chairman Bill Stevenson hoped the entire Riverwalk would have been open but, says part is now closed for installation of two, new pedestrian bridges. 

 

The Chautauqua Belle served as a backdrop for Saturday morning's festivities.  Teresi also thanked Sheryl McCrea, whose grandparents originally owned the riverfront property where the park is located.

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News Headlines for Sat., July 8, 2017

North County man killed in car-motorcycle crash...
A north county man has died from injuries suffered when his motorcycle was struck by one of two cars involved in a crash at the intersection of Route 39 and Hanover Rd. in the town of Hanover.  Sheriff's officers say the accident occured shortly after 6 p.m. when the driver of one of the cars... 57 year-old Dawn Clayburg of Tonawanda... had stopped at the stop sign on Hanover Road.  However... deputies say she failed to yield to the other car... driven by 23 year-old Brandon Hilton of Westfield.  Officers say Hilton's car then continued westbound, and struck the oncoming motorcycle, operated by 61 year-old William Wagner of Forestville.  Deputies say Wagner suffered serious injuries, and was flown by Starlight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo... where he later died.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team responded to the scene.  At this time the accident is still being investigated.
 
 
Dunkirk woman arrested for allegedly shooting and killing boyfriend...
A Dunkirk woman is jailed without bail for allegedly shooting and killing a man some Buffaloj media have identified as her boyfriend in the north county city late Thursday night.  City Police Chief David Ortolano says police were called to the scene at 141 Lake Shore Drive East shortly after 10 p.m.  Ortolano says they found the male victim outside in a yard when officers arrived... and, he later died at the hospital.  He says they had their suspect, 28 year-old Rebecca Ruiz, in custody a short time later for second-degree murder.  Ortolano says the victim's name is being withheld until family members of notified.  Ruiz was charged with second-degree murder... and, arraigned in Dunkirk City Court late Friday morning.  Ortolano declined to comment further on the arrest... but, did say that this was not a "random act" of violence.  He says it was "an isolated incident."  Dunkirk Police were assisted at the scene by Fredonia Police, State Police, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, the County District Attorney's Office and the Chautauqua County Forensic Team.  Thursday night's murder was the first of the year in the city of Dunkirk.
 
 
Ribbon cut on McCrea Point Park...
The ribbon has been cut on the new McCrea Point Park and Boat Launch along the Chadakoin River on Jamestown's westside.  Several dozen people... including several who were in traditional dress clothes from the late 1800s and early 1900s... were on hand for the re-dedication of the park.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi thanked several people for helping to get the park back to it's early splendor.  Teresi noted that -- as part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk project -- the city has been trying to "reclaim our past" -- and this was the latest example.  Teresi called it a "back to the future" type of project.  The program started with a boat ride on The Chautauqua Belle... the steamship that still goes up and down the lake.  However... for the first time... the Belle was taken down the outlet, and served as a backdrop for this morning's festivities.  Teresi especially thanked Cheryl McCrea... whose grandparents originally owned the riverfront property where the park is located. 
 
 
Horrigan says sales tax extender important part of getting 2018 budget in place...
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan and his financial team have begun work on his final budget... and, he says there shouldn't be any surprises now that the county's additional, one-percent sales tax, has been okayed by the state.  The county's added tax was approved during the state legislature's recent "Extraordinary Session."  While the renewal is a routine matter... Horrigan says it's an important function of the legislature for some 53 counties -- including Chautauqua.  As for the budget... he says having a five-year plan in place has helped the process.  With the plan... Horrigan says they have that blueprint now through the year 2022.
 
 
Horrigan talks bicycle safety during latest installment of 100 Days of Summer Safety...
There are now biking lanes on some streets in the city of Jamestown... and, across Chautauqua County.  With bicycle traffic picking up... County Executive Vince Horrigan is continuing to high-light Summer safety.  Horrigan was at the Jamestown Cycle Shop Friday afternoon to stress being safe while riding bicycles.  He says it's the second-part of his 100 Days of Summer Safety series... and, says they want to high-light bicycle safety because so many people are doing it now.  Horrigan was joined by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi for the event... who stressed the need to know the rules of the road -- especially in the city.  That includes wearing bike helmets and, keeping bicycles off the sidewalks in the city.  Teresi says the city has great places to bike now... with the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk nearing completion.  Fortunately... City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says there aren't many such accidents in Jamestown... adding they typically involve driver "inattention."
 
 
Independent Financial Advisor talks seven questions you need to ask for make sure your advisor is acting in your best interests...
A person needs to ask questions before deciding on a financial advisor who has their best interests at heart.  That from a 28-year veteran of providing independent, ethical and transparent financial guidance.  Managing Partner Carol Clark with OnCenter Financial Advisors recently taught a class on the seven questions you should ask an advisor before signing up with them.  Clark taught three classes on that topic during the first week of the season at Chautauqua Institution.  Clark says the first question is whether the advisor is a "broker."  She says 90-percent are paid by commission, and there is no legal obligation to represent their clients best interests first.  She adds that the other type of advisor is a registered investment advisor, and they are legally required to represent their client's interest first... and, adds they do not charge commission.  Clark says there are about 309,000 registered financial advisors in the United States who vy for people's business.  When you find a financial advisor you like... Clark says you need to ask about their affiliations.  She says if they are affiliated with a broker/dealer that person can steer you to programs with "inbedded investments."  Clark says you should also ask if the advisor provides proprietary mutual finds... and, where the money is held.  She says you should ask if it has a "third-party custodian..." meaning that no one can withdraw your money except for you.  Clark says that's important given recent scandals involving people like Bernie Madoff.  For more information on OnCenter Financial Advisors... go on-line to oncenterfinancial.com.
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Dunkirk woman has been arrested for allegedly shooting a man duirng an incident on Lake Shore Drive in the north county city last night. 

 

Dunkirk police say they responded to a report of a gunshot victim at 141 Lake Shore Drive East about 10 p.m. Thursday.  On arrival officers found a male victim laying unresponsive in the yard outside the home. 

 

An investigation led to the arrest of 28 year-old Rebecca Ruiz of the 141 Lake Shore Drive East address on one count of second-degree murder.  Police say Ruiz is being held in the Dunkirk City Jail pending arraignment. 

 

The victim's name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.  Police officials say they believe the shooting was an isolated incident and, not a random act.  Dunkirk Police were assisted by the Sheriff's Office, State Police and Fredonia Police and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.


Jamestown police are continuing to investigate following a pair of drug raids on the city's north and east sides. 

 

Officials say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided the residence at 853 Prendergast Avenue and, the Noe Place Can Redemption Center at Second and Winsor Streets yesterday afternoon. 

 

Tlhe Prendergast Ave. location is where an unsolved murder occured in June of last year.  However no arrests have been reported as yet.  More when it becomes available.


A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin laced with Fentanyl in the Randolph-area. 

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they had been investigating 30 year-old Dakotah Kaltenbach of Steamburg for some time.  Task Force members accuse Kaltenbach of selling the illegal narcotic mix from a home at 92 West Main Street in Randolph. 

 

He was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, one count of third-degree criminal sale.  Kaltenbach was arraigned in Randolph Town Court and, sent to the Little Valley Jail on $5,000 cash bail. 

 

The Task Force in Cattaraugus County is made up up Sheriff's officers and members of the Salamanca, Gowanda, and Franklinville Police Departments and, State Police.


The gerrymandering of Congressional District in the United States has led directly to the polarization of the House and Senate. 

 

Those are the feelings of former Congressman Bill Clinger of Warren, Pennsylvania.  Clinger spoke with our Dennis Webster on our "Chautauqua Now" show and, discussed the current situation where the Senate broke for the Fourth of July Holiday without acting on health care bill. 

 

Clinger says many Congressional Districts seem to wind up either heavily one-way or the other and, with that more hard-line Republicans and Democrats are elected and, they don't "want to negotiate."  Due to the situation Clinger says "we don't have a working Democracy anymore." 

 

He was known as a "moderate" Republican member of the House of Representatives from 1980 to 1997 and, saw the problem beginning as he was retiring from Congress.  Clinger recalled talking with "freshmen" members of a committee he chaired the last year he was in the House. 

 

He says he told them he wanted them to work with the committee to "move legislation" ahead and he says they told him no "we won't."  Clinger adds that's the main reason he didn't run for Congress again.


The McCrea Point Park and Boat Launch will be re-dedicated tomorrow morning after a lengthy project to clean-up and upgrade the location on Jamestown's westside. 

 

That from City Riverwalk Commission Chairman Bill Stevenson who says the park is one of the city's "hidden jems."  The re-dedication will be held at 9 AM at the launch off West Eighth Street. 

 

Stevenson says they're excited because there'll be plenty of chances to take a ride on The Chautauqua Bell to get a look at the outlet and, the rides will take place at 11 a.m. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and take people up, then down the outlet. 

 

Stevenson says the activities at the boat launch begin right after the rededication and, continue until 4 p.m.  He says those activites also include the chance to rent out kayaks or canoes at $10 each to check out the outlet on your own. 

 

He says there will also be a petting farm a small car show and, chainsaw exhibition.  Stevenson says there will also be music.


A city man has been arrested for allegedly using Methamphetime while he was supervising a young boy on Jamestown's northside. 

 

City police say officers were called to 230 Price Street about 5 Thursday morning on a report of a domestic incident.  When officers arrived they say they spoke with 27 year-old Zachary Legere and a 29 year-old woman who both admitted to taking the narcotic drug. 

 

Police say they also found drug paraphernalia and hypodermic needles that were within reach of the child.  Further investigation led to Legere's arrest on charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, endangering the welfare of a child.


A Cassadaga man is okay after his canoe capsized in Cassadaga Creek late Wednesday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 66 year-old Raymond Jordan, Junior, was out on Cassadaga Lake in his canoe early in the afternoon but, had not been heard from since 3 p.m. 

 

Deputies were called to the scene and, deployed kayaks along with Cassadaga Fire, and Chautauqua County Emergency Services crews.  They later found Jordan on Cassadaga Creek where his canoe had capsized after encountering a beaver dam. 

 

Cassadaga crews helped Jordan getting back to shore where he was checked over and released.

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WJTN Headlines

State Police in Pennsylvania say a body found along the New York shoreline of Lake Erie with a gunshot wound to the head and an anchor attached to the torso has been identified as that of a woman whose husband reported her missing last month. 

 

Police add that 48 year-old Christoper Leclair has been charged with killing her.  51 year-old Karen Leclair of Albion, PA was reported missing last June 11 by her husband who is a commercial fisherman. 

 

Lt. Wayne Kline says dental records were used to identify Karen Leclair's body Wednesday.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says his DIVE Team found Mrs. Leclair's body about 11 a.m. Tuesday.  Kline says Christopher Leclair's dad tried to hide the revolver used to shoot her and has been arrested. 

 

Christopher Leclair told police his wife was sitting on a bucket on the edge of a boat when she apparently fell overboard while he wasn't looking.  Authorities charged him with criminal homicide because dock surveillance cameras show the couple left together the day before he reported her missing and he returned alone.


A Falconer man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a hand-gun from a village residence early Tuesday morning. 

 

Ellicott Town Police say they were called to the unidentified location where the victim identified 22 year-old Aaron Johnson of Park Avenue as the suspect involved.  Officers say they found Johnson a few blocks away and, he was arrested. 

 

Police add that a search turned up the weapon and, Johnson was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and, criminal possession of a weapon.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.



Three residential burglaries in the Ripley-area has led the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office to issue a warning to residents there to lock their doors especially if they are away. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say the break-ins occured over a three-day span and, during the evening hours.  Officers say, in each case the suspects committed the crime while the residents were inside sleeping. 

 

In all 3 incidents the doors of the victim's homes were unlocked.  They were all reported around July 1st.  The Sheriff's Office is advising residents in the Ripley area to lock their doors.  To report any suspicious activity contact the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.



The opening round of the second-annual LECOM Health Challenge gets underway this morning at the Peek 'n Peak Year-Round Resort near Findley Lake. 

 

The PGAWeb.com Tour event runs through Sunday and, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says it's great to have the tour back in town.  Horrigan said Wednesday that they have a special event taking place for military veterans who will be admitted free today. 

 

He adds they'll have another special event Sunday morning and, veterans will again be involved later in the day Sunday as veteran's "tend the flag" on the 18th hole that day.  There will also be a prayer service early Sunday before tee-off. 

 

Horrigan says it's going to be a fun four days and each days events will be shown on The Golf Channel again this year.  Tickets are still available including single-day or four-day passes. 

 

Other activties including a Wellness Fair are being put on during the week.  You can go on-line to their website at LECOMhealthchallenge.com.  Tickets are also available at the gate each day.


There are seven questions that a person should ask when they're looking for a financial advisor that has their best interests in mind. 

 

 

That from Managing Partner Carol Clark with OnCenter Financial Advisors who is a 28 year veteran of providing independent, ethical and transparent financial guidance.  Clark taught three classes on that topic during the first week of the season at Chautauqua Institution. 

 

Clark says the first question is whether the advisor is actually a "broker," because that means fees because different products are priced differently, and many fees are hidden.  Clark says 90% of the registered financial advisors in the United States are actually brokers meaning they work by commission. 

 

When you find a financial advisor you like Clark says you need to ask whether they or their firm affiliated with a broker-dealer.  She says you should also ask if the advisor provides proprietary mutual funds and, where the money is held. 

 

Clark says you should ask if it has a "third-party custodian" meaning that no one can withdraw your money except for you.  Clark says that can help stop fraud in many cases.  For more information on OnCenter Financial Advisors go online to oncenterfinancial.com.

 



A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection when he was found at the scene of an alleged domestic incident early Wednesday morning. 

 

City police were called to the scene in the 100-block of East Second Street and, found the suspect, 23 year-old Joseph Novak, inside the home.  Officers say Novak resisted when they went to arrest him and, he faces several charges after being found with the victim. 

 

Novak is charged with first-degree criminal contempt aggravated family offense and, resisting arrest.  He was being held in city jail pending arraignment.

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WJTN News Headlines

The investigation is continuing into a fatal car-motorcycle crash that occurred on Route 20 in the town of Hanover on Monday afternoon. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies responded to the crash on Route 20 just after 4:30 p.m.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace who says the accident apparently occured at an intersection when the driver of the car failed to yield at a stop sign. 

 

Gerace says the motorcyclist, 60 year-old Michael Shoemaker, was flown to the Erie County Medical Center, where he later died.  He says the driver of the car, 48-year-old Tammy Mays of Silver Creek, has been ticketed for failing to yield the right of way at a stop sign. 

 

The Sheriff indicates that while a ticket has been issued, the case remains open.


Authorities in upstate New York are warning residents about a telephone scam where callers pose as police officers. 

 

WGRZ-TV in Buffalo reports several residents have notified the Erie County Sheriff's Office about the calls.  Sheriff Timothy Howard says in each case the caller identified themselves as an Erie County Sheriff's Office Sergeant named Robert Stzeczario. 

 

Howard says the callers threaten to arrest residents unless they pay a $2,500 fine for not appearing at jury duty.  Howard says the scammers ask for money orders. 

 

The Sheriff's Office says residents should hang up if they receive questionable calls.


Chautauqua County has submitted what it hopes is the winning application for New York's 20-million dollar Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Competition. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan said late last week that the application was sent before the June 30th deadline.  Horrigan also praised the work of his Executive Assistant, Dan Heitzenreiter, and Legislator George Borrello on the final application.  He says they and the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester did a lot of work on the application. 

 

Horrigan says about 14 projects from across the county are included in the final application... and, he says they're in a variety of areas.  Horrigan adds there is still more work ahead.  He says each of the six entities involved in the state-wide competition will have to give a presentation in Albany in mid-July. 

 

While no date has been announced, Horrigan doesn't expect a winner to be determined until sometime in September.


The Chautauqua County Independence Party has endorsed George Borrello for County Executive in this Fall's election. 

 

In making the announcement Party Chairman Thom Shagla say's they've watched Borrello's career "as a legislator and the way he has immersed himself in the business of Chautauqua County."  Shagla says "we are impressed with his intimate knowledge of all aspects of it's running and the energy he had exhibited." 

 

Borrello is a Republican from Silver Creek and, founded his business "Top-Shelf Marketing" in his early 20s and, grew it into a national recognized supplier to the hospitality industry.  Borrello was first elected as a legislator in 2009 and, is finishing his fourth-term on the panel. 

 

He was endorsed last month by the county's Republican Committee.


Many of the best up-and-coming pro golfers in the world are in Chautauqua County for this year's second-annual LECOM Challenge tournament at the Peek 'n Peak Resort in Findley Lake. 

 

Tournament play begins Thursday in the 72-hole PGA Web.com tour event.  One of the tournament co-director's, Michelle Turner with the Chautauqua County Regional Economic Development Corporation, says they're excited to see the event return this year and, is hoping for another exciting finish like last year. 

 

Turner says there are still plenty of tickets remaining and, adds that single-day tickets cost $10 each and, a weekly pass is $25 for all four days.  She says the annual Pro-Am is being held at The Peek today but, adds that they've had activities taking place all week beginning with two on Monday

 

She said Tuesday that one was a Kid's Golf Clinic with many of the pros which was followed by a Kids Pro-Am.  Turner says about 100 kids took part in the activites. 

 

The LECOM Health Challenge runs through next Sunday afternoon.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County continue to fall just like national prices have over the past week. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says they've fallen to just over $2.44 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The Fuel Gauge says the local price has fallen nearly a penny and are now $2.44.3 cents.  Elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region this week gasoline prices have declined again this week. 

 

Compared to one month ago, gasoline prices are on average 12 cents cheaper in the region.  Gasoline stockpiles in the region were on an upward swing on the week, rising by 600,000 barrels.  This was the only region in the country to see stocks increase, which contributed to the gasoline prices drop.  Nationally AAA says the average price is now $2.23.

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WJTN Headlines

Jamestown police are warning about a social media and telephone scam that has resulted in hundreds of dollars being stolen from local residents. 

 

City police say they've received multiple complaints about the scams over the past weekend.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says several people have reported that they were advised via Facebook, other social media, or e-mail that they were winners in a lottery. 

 

They were then told they would have to text a phone number to claim their cash prize and send Western Union funds or to electronically transfer Apple I-Tunes cards or prepaid Visa Cards totaling $550 or more to handle the processing fees. 

 

However Samuelson says, in each case, once the transfer was made, the victims were never contacted again and, were out the money they sent Captain Samuelson also says they are also seeing a renewal of the IRS Scam in which someone calls a person saying that the victim is being sued by the IRS because they owe back taxes. 

 

The suspect on the phone then tells the victim that they will go to jail if they don't pay.  That person then tells the victim that they should wire the funds, or electronically send pre-paid cards for the payments. 

 

Samuelson says citizens are urged to ignore such posts or phone calls and, never give any personal information to anyone over the phone if you cannot confirm who they are.


The crackdown continues against impaired and distracted driving in New York state and Chautauqua County during the Fourth of July holiday. 

 

Sheriff Joe Gerace says the New York State STOP-DWI crackdown and continues through 6 a.m. Wednesday.  Gerace says the Sheriff's Office, all local law enforcement and the State Police will continue to enforce laws related to driving while impaired.  He says drive defensively and wear your seat belt. 

 

Gerace also says put the hand-held devices away so your full attention is given to the road ahead.  He says the problem of distracted driving is getting so bad, you have to watch it even if you are walking or running along the highway.  He says a lot of people aren't paying attention to their driving but, "doing other things." 

 

There were 70 vehicle stops, arrests and summonses during the last STOP-DWI enforcement held on the Memorial Day weekend.


A city has been arrested on multiple charges including unlawful imprisonment and assault for allegedly holding a woman against her will and choking her last weekend. 

 

Jamestown Police were called to the scene at 164 Chandler St. shortly after 4 p.m. last Saturday and, arrested 40 year-old Joseph Thayer.  Officers say their investigation determined that Thayer choked the woman from behind then tackled her to the ground, and wouldn't allow her to get up. 

 

He was arrested for second-degree unlawful imprisonment criminal obstruction of breathing and third-degree assault and menacing.  Thayer was taken into custody without further incident, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.


A Frewsburg man has been arrested following a fight in the town of Carroll that involved two people. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Maple Street in Frewsburg just befoe 2:30 p.m. Sunday and, investigated the alleged altercation.  Deputies later arrested 35 year-old Jaron Dallas on several charges including second-degree assault and strangulation and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Dallas was arraigned, and sent to the County Jail with bail to be set.


New and modern technology has muddied the waters and, is challenging what paleoentologists previously knew about the origins and development of man. 

 

That from Monday's featured lecturer at Chautauqua Institution.  National Geographic Magazine Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger led off the Week-Two theme of "The Human Journey: Origin, Exploration, and Preservation." 

 

Berger says they know know that at least part of European and Asian origins include Neanderthal man who came from Africa.  He says they'll have .5 to 3 to 4% Neanderthal DNA meaning some of our genes come from them.  Berger says paleoentologists had discovered a new species scientists orginally thought existed about 2 to 3-million years ago. 

 

However... he says they have now determined that "Homo-noleti" was here about 250,000 years ago.  Berger says they've made incredible strides through the use of robotics, drones and other new technology.  But he says just a few years ago, it took about six-weeks to get a correspondence from a colleague elsewhere in the world. 

 

Now, it's instantaneous with discoveries shared while they're happening.  Berger is originally from Georgia but, moved to South Africa in 1989 to be closer to where his reseach takes him.  He is the author of the new book, "Almost Human" which came out back in May.


The majority of local fireworks displays and, Fourth of July celebrations around the Jamestown-area are today. 

 

The day begins in Lakewood where the annual Firecracker 10-K run and 2-mile walks will be held at 9 a.m.  There will also be food, vendors and music on Chautauqua Avenue and Hartley Park. 

 

Local band Two for Flinching will play from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and ,the day concludes with fireworks at 10 p.m. 

 

In Mayville the annual Fourth of July Parade kicks off at 10 AM from the intersection of Routes 430 and 394, and will conclude at Lakeside Park.  The day's activities at Lakeside Park with food, and other events and activities through the day.  There will also be music. 

 

Fireworks will begin at 10 PM The Bemus Bay Pops is celebrating the Fourth of July with a Journey Tribute band tonight.  The show begins at 8 PM and fireworks will follow the performance.  For more information go on-line to www.bemusbaypops.com.

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The ribbon was cut Sunday afternoon on the new Chautauqua Amphitheater to much fanfare. 

 

The chairman of Chautauqua’s Board of Trustees, Jim Pardo, thanked donors and the people who designed and built the new Amphitheater Pardo offered this dedication.  Pardo says this space equally as sacred as it's predecessors that stood here shall indeed serve as the institution's new assembly and gathering space." 

 

Conductor Rossen Milanov of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, said the institution is now positioned to provide the highest level of programming for decades to come.  Milanov touted the new facility's larger stage, accustics and sight lines. 

 

Following remarks from several other institution officials as well as Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, Chautauqua’s orchestras, and the opera, theater and dance departments presented brief performances on the new stage concluding with the Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.


State Police and local law enforcement agencies are increasing patrols over the long, holiday period to crack down on drunken driving and other traffic infractions. 

 

Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints along with speeding and seat-belt enforcement details from Saturday through Tuesday. Last year State Police issued nearly 11,000 vehicle and traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend.  Troopers arrested 206 people for DWI and responded to 756 crashes resulting in three deaths. 

 

Troopers will also be looking for drivers using cell phones or failing to move over for stopped emergency vehicles.  All Chautauqua County Departments are taking part in the latest Stop-DWI Crackdown which runs through Midnight Tuesday.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 146 people died nationwide in alcohol-related crashes during the Fourth of July period in 2015.


New York state is working to make driving less of a pain this Fourth of July weekend. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state will suspend all non-essential construction-related lane closures during the busy holiday weekend.  Cuomo says state officials are doing "everything in (their) power" to make traveling as painless as possible this Independence Day.  The restrictions will run through July 5th.


Returning to Chautauqua County and being named the new superintendent for the Jamestown Public Schools is a "dream come true" for Mayville native Bret Apthorpe. 

 

Apthorpe was unanimously approved late last Friday as the new head of the district during a special meeting of the school board.  Apthorpe says it will be a "coming back home" of sorts for him when he takes over the reins on September 1st

 

Following the meeting Apthorpe said he'll be working with Interim Superintendent Silvia Root to get a lay of the land and, begin pouring over reports and audits and, will likely spend the first six-months meeting people in the community and the schools. 

 

Apthorpe comes to Jamestown after three years as superintendent in the Frontier School District in Hamburg.  Prior to that he was an assistant Superintendent in the Fairport School District near Rochester.  He says he jumped at the opportunity in Jamestown when it was announced because such opportunities don't come about often because there "aren't that many big schools in Western New York." 

 

Apthorpe says that's were most of his experience is.  He is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and the SUNY College at Fredonia and, got his doctorate from the University of Rochester.


The new superintendent at the Fredonia Central School District begins his new duties on July 21st. 

 

As with Jamestown he comes from the Frontier School District.  Jeffrey Sortisio, the principal at Frontier High School, says he's looking forward to his new job and was impressed by the community. 

 

Sortisio says his first goal is to learn as much as he can about the district, and the community.  He admits he will have a challenging task, wrapping up his work at the Hamburg-based school district and getting ready for his new job.  He says he's got a good team around him at Frontier so he's not concerned about that. 

 

Sortisio adds that he's "very excited" to begin his new postion later this month.  He is not a stranger to the Dunkirk-Fredonia area.  His wife Kim is an educator at Dunkirk High School, which could make for an interesting inner-family rivalry!  Sortisio succeeds long-time school superintendent Paul Difonzo who retired in March.


An Erie, Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to taking part in a car-jacking and brandishing a firearm in the north county city of Dunkirk in July of 2015. 

 

Acting US Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced that 37 year-old Dimas Colon-Cruz of Erie, Pennsylvania entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Lawrence Vilardo late last week.  Prosecutors say Colon-Cruz traveled with co-defendants Michael Gonzalez-Colon and Denis Cruz from Erie to Dunkirk on stolen all-terrain vehicles. 

 

But shortly after arriving in Dunkirk, the ATV's were seized by police leaving them without transportation.  Colon-Cruz and his co-defendents then assaulted two people in the area of Robin and Second Streets and, struck one with a pistol before stealing his car. 

 

Prosecutors add the trio also broke into and stole several items from Lakeside Lawncare in Fredonia including a pickup truck.  Police recovered both the car and truck in Erie two days later.  One other defendent Michael Gonzalez-Colon has been convicted and sentenced.  Charges are pending against Denis Cruz.  Dimas Colon-Cruz is to be sentenced next Oct. 25.

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News Headlines for Sat., July 1, 2017

Apthorpe introduced as new Jamestown Public School Superintendent...
A Chautauqua County native says it's "very exciting" to be selected as the new Superintendent of the Jamestown Public Schools.  Dr. Bret Apthorpe... a 1983 graduate of the old Mayville High School... was unanimously approved by the city School Board last night to be the new superintendent... starting Sept. 1.  Following the vote, and introduction... Apthorpe took a moment to thank the board.  He says he was "very encouraged" to see the school board's passion and commitment to bringing "the best to this school."  The decision to hire Apthorpe ends a relatively short search after former Superintendent Tim Mains left for a similar position in the Pine Bush District last February.  Apthorpe comes from the Frontier School District in the Buffalo-area... where he has been superintendent for the past three years.  He was an assistant superintendent in the Fairport District near Rochester before that.  Apthorpe is a graduate of the SUNY College at Fredonia... and, began his teaching career in the Southwestern Central School District.  School Board President Paul Abbott says Apthorpe will work with Interm Superintendent Silvia Root to begin the transition towards his taking the reins on Sept. 1.
 
 
Gerace says latest Stop-DWI Crackdown underway, targeting drunk and impaired drivers...
A combination of the lowest gasoline prices in several years... and, a four-day holiday for many is expected to lead to a record number of travelers for the Fourth of July weekend across the U-S.  Of the 44.2-million people expected to travel through next Tuesday night... 37.5-million will travel by car.  Locally... traffic began picking up in the Jamestown-area early yesterday afternoon... and, local police will be stepping up enforcement efforts through the holiday period.  That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says the Summer season is now in full swing... and, the typical influx of tourists and visitors is here.  Gerace says the Sheriff's Department and other local agencies will be stepping up their drunk driving details.  However... in recent years with the Heroin and opioid drug crisis... they've had to be on the look-out for people also driving while under the influence of drugs -- or both.  Gerace some people may be under the mistaken impression that they can drink less... but, use drugs and not be arrested for driving while under the influence... but they can be.  He says they'll also be on the look-out for seat belt and other violations.  Gerace made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
City unveils new Street Paver...
For the first time in several years... the Jamestown Public Works Department has a brand new piece of major equipment to help with it's Summer road and bridge program.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who announced the city has lease-purchased a new Caterpillar Paver on an emergency basis.  Teresi says the city's 1994-model paver recently "gave up the ghost..." and, could no longer be repaired.  He says he, DPW Director Jeff Lehman, and others, began looking at various options.  Teresi says they found the new paver for $420,000 on state contract.  Teresi says they need to make sure they've got good, state-of-the-art equipment that can do the job for the DPW.  He says the new paver will be plenty busy... with the city's most ambitious paving season in years underway.  He says they've already done some significant milling on streets -- mainly on Second Street -- and there's more paving to come.  Teresi says they are not able to pay the entire cost up front... so the matter was taken to city council... and, it approved the agreement with Milton CAT of Batavia this past Monday night.  Teresi says they will likely pay for the paver using a Bond Anticipation Note.
 
 
Leone says being County Dir. of Emergency Services has been an "excellent opportunity..."
The long-time Director of Emergency Services in Chautauqua County believes the 15-years he has held the job of coordinating public and emergency responders has been a "excellent opportunity."  Julius Leone will be leaving the position he has held since March of 2002 at the end of October.  Leone says he has been thinking about it for a while since his children now live in Maryland.  Leone is quick to credit the work of first responders in Chautauqua County for working with him to "do what's necessary to make sure the county is safe."  He has worked under three county executives, starting with Mark Thomas and continuing through Vince Horrigan.  He has seen many changes, not only in technology, but also with the involvement of the position.  Leone says emergency services really changed after "9/11" in terms of public safety, and how to keep people safe.
 
 
Pennsylvania Leg. approves budget, but, lawmakers don't know how it'll be funded...
The main spending bill in a $32-billion-dollar bi-partisan budget package is past the Pennsylvania Legislature on the state fiscal year's final day, although lawmakers don't know how it'll all be funded.  The House voted 173-to-27 on Friday, hours after the Senate voted 43-7. The package was unveiled a day earlier, after being negotiated in secret. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf supports it, but has yet to say whether he'll sign it if lawmakers can't figure out a spending plan.  Both chambers recessed until at least Wednesday, and lawmakers say they'll try next week to find $2 billion-plus to cover the shortfall.

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WJTN Headlines

Two people are jailed after they were arrested during a drug bust in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph last night. 

 

Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they were investigating 29 year-old Brent Robbins of Kennedy for allegedly trafficking Heroin when they spotted his car stopped on Swamp Road about 8 PM

 

Task Force agents say they found both Robbins and his passenger, 24 year-old Ashley Waite of Salamanca in possession of a bag of Heroin, and Heroin that was packaged for sale.  Both were arrested by Task Force members and Olean Police on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

 

Robbins was also charged with criminal sale.  Robbins is in the Cattaraugus County Jail on $15,000 bail Waite on $5,000 bail.


The man who has headed up Chautauqua County's Emergency Services Department for the past 15 years says he'll be calling it a career in late October. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan announced Thursday that Fredonia's Julius Leone will officially step down from the position October 27th.  Horrigan says he'll miss having Leone's expertise and ability to lead local fire departments in responding to major fires, tornados, and floods. 

 

He says their relationship goes back to Horrigan's time as director of the local Red Cross and, he says Leone has been a "master" at handling emergency situations here and across the state.  He says Leone will "truly be missed."  Horrigan adds that Leone has also led the annual training of firefighters at the county's Taylor Training Center in Jamestown and, the Murphy Training Center in Dunkirk. 

 

He's also been fully-involved in developing the county's new "Fly-Car" EMS Service.  Horrigan says he's already spoken with Legislature Chairman David Himelein about creating a search committee to find a replacement.  However he says not only does a person need the expertise but, they need someone who works well with several local fire agencies. 

 

In a printed statement Leone says it's been "an honor and privilege" to serve county residents and, work with the local fire departments.


After several hours, crews finally left the scene of Thursday's dust bin fire in the village of Silver Creek. 

 

Firefighters from Silver Creek and Sunset Bay first responded to the blaze which originated in a bin near Newbrook Machine on Mechanic Street around 9:30 AM.  They later had assistance from the Chautauqua County Hazardous Materials Team. 

 

County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone said late Thursday that village residents could go outside again shortly after 4 PM after the fire was put out.  Leone says the all clear was given at that time. 

 

Village residents had been asked to stay indoors with windows closed and ventilation off while the fire was burning.  Leone says crews did an excellent job in getting the blaze under control adding they are difficult fires to put out.  Leone says investigators are still looking into what sparked the blaze.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a measure that extends mayoral control of schools in New York City and names the new Tappan Zee Bridge after his father, the late Governor Mario Cuomo. 

 

Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the measure Thursday shortly after lawmakers approved it and adjourned.  The law giving Mayor Bill de Blasio control over city schools had been set to expire Friday.  The extension renews the 15-year-old policy for another two years. 

 

The Legislature also voted to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.  The span will replace the current, aging structure and is expected to open later this year.  Cuomo says his father would not have sought the tribute and would have considered it an act of vanity.


People in Chautauqua County are again able to buy fireworks that are considered "sparkler-type" devices this year for the Fourth of July. 

 

The County Legislature took advantage of a new state law in 2016 that allows local counties to sell such devices within two weeks of the Fourth of July and, New Year's Day.  Sheriff Joe Gerace voiced several concerns over the ability to sell such devises last year and, he still has those concerns now. 

 

Gerace says the biggest one is parents allowing children to have, and set these off, unsupervised.  He says in that case the parents are responsible.  Gerace says the new law has taken an old one that was "difficult to enforce" and, made it "impossible" to enforce. 

 

He says fireworks that go "boom" like M-80s are still illegal in New York state.  Lawmakers hoped that lightening up on regulations for sparklers would keep residents in border counties from going into Pennsylvania to buy fireworks. 

 

On this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program Gerace also urged residents to attend one of the several professional fireworks displays locally.


The Uber and Lyft ride-hailing services are up and running in upstate New York and on Long Island. 

 

The apps became available for those regions as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday under legislation approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo this month. 

 

The original measure called for the services to begin upstate and on Long Island on July 9th but Cuomo and the Legislature worked out a deal to push up the start to just before the busy Fourth of July holiday.

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WJTN Headlines

Chautauqua County legislators are clearing the way for establishing a sustainable energy loan program in the county. 

 

By an 18-0 vote, lawmakers approved a local law that established the program for state financing for energy efficiency upgrades for commercial properties and multi-family homes.  Legislator George Borrello of Hanover has concerns about large-scale projects, but supported the local law.  Borrello says this is unlike large-scale wind and solar projects that are a "burden on the community... these projects are practical." 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says he now supports the program because it could have a positive economic impact and will not require any county funding.   In other action, the County Legislature approved a measure that allows the Transportation Alternatives Program Project on Dale Drive in the village of Cassadaga to proceed. 

 

Engineering and preliminary work will be able to move ahead on the shoulder expansion project that was recently awarded $588,000 in federal funding by the state.


The state Assembly has voted to name the new Tappan Zee Bridge after the late Governor Mario Cuomo.  The legislation endorsed by lawmakers early Thursday morning also would renew the law giving the mayor of New York City control of public education in the city.  That 15-year-old policy is set to expire Friday

 

Under the bill, the new bridge would be known as the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.  The structure is being built to replace the old Hudson River crossing, formally named the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge.  The Senate is expected to consider the legislation later today.


A Buffalo-area man accused of attacking a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputy last September 11th reportedly told police he suffers from multiple mental conditions. 

 

The Post-Journal reports that 22 year-old Justin Haffa of Cheektowaga appeared Wednesady for the continuation of a Huntley Hearing in County Court.  The hearing began in late April and, looks at how police obtained statements from the defendant. 

 

Police did report that Haffa may have been suicidal.  He faces multiple felony charges for allegedly attacking a female deputy in the early morning hours of late September 11th while a field sobriety test was being administered along Route 60 in Pomfret.  Haffa's trial is to begin August 22nd.


A decision on whether a one-time candidate for New York governor who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama should remain on a school board is expected in several weeks. 

 

Layers wrapped up a five-day hearing in Albany on Wednesday.  State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will make her decision on Carl Paladino's future on the Buffalo school board after receiving written briefs until mid-July. 

 

Fellow school board members say Paladino improperly disclosed information about teacher contract negotiations discussed in closed-door sessions.  But Paladino says the real reason for the action is comments he made about Obama published in a Buffalo arts newspaper.


There will be a "cruise-in" event in downtown Jamestown this Summer thanks to the efforts of the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce which has stepped forward to put on the event.

 

Community Chamber Coordinator Lee Harkness made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in front of one of the sponsors of the August 18th event Shawbucks Press Room. 

 

Harkness says the event will begin at 4 and run until 10 PM that day and, adds they're getting a lot of help from the local Der Kobblers classic car organization.  In addition to dozens of classic cars Harkness says there'll be plenty of other activites taking place including live music, vendors and food.  He says the main stage will again be at the corner of Third and Main Streets. 

 

Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum thanked Harkness for taking on the project. The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation will continue involvment as a sponsor this year.  The Media One Group is also a sponsor of the event. 

 

For more information call Lee Harkness at 338-6089.


A Jamestown man has been cited for keeping a wild deer on the second floor of his home. 

 

State Department of Environmental Conservation Officer Jerry Kinney says his office received a complaint that a neighbor was harboring a wild animal in his city house. 

 

The resident told responding officers he believed it was legal to keep the whitetail deer fawn in his house for up to six weeks before he had to release it.  Officers told him this was not true and issued the resident a ticket for illegal possession of protected wildlife.  Kinney says the deer was in good health and was released back into the wild.


The Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services are up and running in upstate New York and on Long Island. 

 

The ride-hailing apps became available for those regions as of Midnight this morning under legislation approved by state lawmakers and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this month.  Uber and Lyft had been limited to picking up passengers in New York City until lawmakers voted this year to permit the expansion.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling New York lawmakers back to Albany today to extend Mayor Bill de Blasio's control of New York City schools, with some lawmakers also calling for immediate action on the city's beleaguered subway system. 

 

Lawmakers ended their regular session last week without a deal to extend the state law giving the mayor oversight of city schools.  The 15-year-old policy expires Friday if lawmakers don't act, threatening to undermine the governance of the nation's largest school system.  Local leaders are also urging lawmakers to take up soon to expire sales tax extenders.


Jamestown Community College has announced that President Cory Duckworth is retiring at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. 

 

Dr. Duckworth informed JCC’s board of trustees of his decision earlier this week saying that he's enjoyed his tenure at JCC where he's served as the college’s eighth president.  Duckworth says, as part of his original agreement he would sit down with the board to determine where they were going at the end of his fourth year. 

 

However he and his wife decided the time was right to retire and, he says it gives the college plenty of time, better than a year to find a replacement.  Duckworth says he was to begin new discussions with the board about his future at the end of his fourth year.  He says next year will be the final year of his five-year contract. 

 

He says professionally his tenure at JCC will "forever be considered one of the most exceptional experiences of my life."  Duckworth's 33-year career in higher education has included leadership positions at several other colleges and universities.  He says he and his wife will retire in 2018 back to Utah.


A 15 year-old from Brocton is being treated for serious injuries at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital after his bicycle was struck by a car on Route 20 in the town of Pomfret Tuesday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say the teen was eastbound on the side of the road about 1:30 PMwhen his bike entered the roadway.  Officers say the driver of the car, 27 year-old Nicholas Galardo of Fredonia, was unable to avoid hitting the youth and, the bicycle. 

 

The teen rider was flow to UPMC Hamot Medical Center for treatment.  No charges have been filed in the accident.


A Jamestown woman has been ticketed for driving while on an electronic device after her car crashed in the town of Carroll early Tuesdayafternoon injuring her 3 year-old child. 

 

Sheriff's officers say 23 year-old Brittany Smith was driving on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road shortly before 2 PM when she was distracted and, her car left the road and rolled onto it's roof. 

 

Deputies say Smith was not hurt but, her daughter, Amaria Rose, was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries.  Officers say Smith was also charged with driving with a suspended driver's license.


Even before yesterday's decision to delay a vote on the Senate version of health care legislation, local Congressman Tom Reed wasn't sure the support was there for the measure. 

 

Reed supported the House version of the bill which passed but, adds that the current Affordable Care Act is collapsing and, lawmakers are running out of time.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates some 22-million people would lose coverage under the Senate Plan. 

 

Reed doesn't believe those will be the final numbers but, adds lawmakers have to be "sensitive" to that.  He says the current "one size fits all" system doesn't work.  New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has stated that the Senate bill would provide an average $37,000 a year tax cut to the wealthy. 

 

Reed disputes that saying that he's pushing a program that will cut costs for everyone.  The Corning Republican says he's not sure where Hochul's numbers come from but, adds he believes she's being at least somewhat "disengenuous."  He made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with local media.


Despite a surge in the demand for gasoline nationwide the average price for regular, unleaded fuel continues to near all-time lows for the year. 

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says in the Jamestown-area the price has fallen about 4.5-cents from last week's $2.50.  AAA says the average price in Chautauqua County is just over $2.45 a gallon. 

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that gas prices have declined in every Mid-Atlantic and Northeast state on average by three cents on the week, and in-line with the national trend.  However, the price drop is an outlier given that the region made the country’s largest gasoline inventory draw on the week.

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WJTN Headlines

The future of the former Arcade Building on North Main Street in Jamestown may be determined by a study of the four-story structure, and a smaller two-story portion recently damaged in a fire. 

 

The City Council last night approved a resolution supporting the Gebbie Foundation and the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation's Consolidated Funding Application for money to support a study of possible re-uses for the building. 

 

Mayor Sam Teresi says given the fire that heavily-damaged the former shoe store last Wednesday a study is even more critical to the future of the building.  Teresi says if the best use of the property is tearing down the current building and marketing the vacant site, they want to know that also. 

 

The cause of the fire in the former shoe store remains under investigation.


Three men had to rescued from Chautauqua Lake after their boat got swamped during a storm and, overturned near the town of Ellery late Sunday morning. 

 

Sheriff's Department Navigation Team member Greg Paterniti says the incident was called in 11 AM after the storm filled the 12-foot boat with water, and it overturned near the Interstate 86 overlook.  Paterniti says, fortunately, the three men were able to hold onto the edges of the boat until Bemus Point fire resuers were able to arrive. 

 

However he says they are very concerned this year with people on non-motorized craft.  He says their biggest concern this Summer is kayaks and paddle boards, which have grown in popularity. 

 

Paterniti says the three men 32 year-old Nicholas Gibbons and Thomas Parks of Jamestown and, 31 year-old Nathan Gibbons of Kent, Ohio were out fishing when the incident occured. 

 

All three were returned to shore unhurt.  However he says their predicament underscores the need for people to wear their life jackets don't just have them stowed away.


The first major water rescue on one of Chautauqua County's five lakes of the 2017 Summer Season was on everyone's minds Monday morning as County Executive Vince Horrigan officially kicked off his "100 Days of Summer Safety" initiative. 

 

Horrigan says when he was an officer in the U-S Air Force they always had a 100 Days of Summer Safety Program as a way to remind people to enjoy Summer but, also be safe. 

 

Sheriff's Department Navigation Team member Robert Richter emphasized the need for people in "paddle-craft" to have a personal floation device because they are required. 

 

With the number of people using the non-motorized craft Richter urged young people and their parents create a "float plan" in case something happens.  He says that's where you tell a parent or another adult about where you're going and when you are to return.  But, Richter says they often ask the parent if the children are overdue where they are, and they don't know. 

 

The press conference was held at Chautauqua Marina in Mayville where owner Ken Shearer noted that they have all the latest safety equipment any boater needs.  He adds they're also holding a boater safety course tonight from 5 to 9 PM.


Rough waters on Lake Erie resulted in three separate rescues by the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Erie, Pennsylvania this past Saturday. 

 

One of the calls involved a 28-foot charter boat that was taking on water about three-miles offshore.  A total of seven people were recovered from the water, with one person being treated for inhaling water.  Another rescue involved a 22-foot boat with 12 people aboard that had capsized near Presque Isle Bay. 

 

A Coast Guard crew rescued a total 10 people while a good Samaritan rescued two others.  And a Coast Guard crew also rescued two kayakers while on patrol.


Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly trafficking methampheamine and LSD and, being in possession of a stun gun on the city's southside early last weekend. 

 

Jamestown police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and JPD SWAT Team raided two apartments last Friday night and, arrested 35 year-old Jeremy Gross, and 34 year-old Kimberly Fred. 

 

Task Force members say they found about 10 grams of Meth along with doses of LSD along with drug paraphernalia, a quantity of cash, and the stun gun at the two locations, 21 Hazzard Street and 57 Colfax Street. 

 

Gross faces several charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Kimberly Fred is charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Both are jailed pending further court action.

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WJTN Headlines

Three Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of drugs during a "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" this past weekend. 

 

City police say they spotted the vehicle going the wrong way on Bowen Street at Bush shortly before Midnight Saturday night.  Officers did a traffic stop and, found 34 year-old Richard Hanson was driving the vehicle in an impaired condition. 

 

Police say they found a quantity of Methamphetamine inside the vehicle and, some was packaged for sale. 

 

Officers say they also arrested Robert Comber and Alicia Machado both 23 and charged all three with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

 

Hanson was also charged with driving while under the influence, and, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  All three are jailed pending further court action.  State Police assisted in the traffic stop.


A Jamestown man is accused of breaking into a home on the city's northside and, hitting the person living there and holding the victim against their will early last weekend. 

 

City police were called to a location on Fulton Street shortly after Midnight Saturday on a report of a domestic dispute.  On arrival officers say they spoke with both the unidentified victim, and the suspect, 36 year-old Nicholas Clark. 

 

Police say evidence showed that Clark allegedly broke down a door to gain entry to an apartment, and then choked, and struck the victim several times.  Officers arrested Clark on several charges including second-degree burglary and unlawful imprisonment, and third-degree assault.  He was held pending arraignment.


Chautauqua's New President, Michael Hill stood in the new Amphitheater Sunday morning, and opened the Chautauqua season for the summer with the traditional "three-taps" of the gavel. 

 

Hill says he believes Chautauqua's founders John Heyl Vincent and Lewis Miller provide a framework for this summer and the future in three promises:  To listen and to learn, be responsible citizens in our communities, and seek the best in human values to "shape a better tomorrow." 

 

Hill outlined a vision for Chautauqua that includes a 'more muscular' civil dialogue, and an institution that would be more diverse, and more welcoming to millennials. The new President also addressed people who live in the immediate region, saying for too many, Chautauqua's gates are barriers and, "those separate us" and it's time to "transform those gates into gateways." 

 

He also talked about Chautauqua gaining an increased digital, or on-line, presence all year long and more practically including an app that allows you to make a reservation, order a book, or tickets for an event. 

 

Michael Hill is Chautauqua's 18th president.  The season will run through August 27th.


Chautauqua County's top elected official says the approval of a sales tax extender is crucial to the county. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says the loss of sales tax revenues would be a major hit for the county and local municipalities that receive a share of the revenues.  Horrigan says the amount is around $37-million dollars or about two-thirds of the total property tax assessment. 

 

Horrigan says the extender would keep the county's sales tax at 8 percent.  The current sales tax rate is set to expired at the end of the year if no action is taken.  If that were to happen the sales tax would revert back to the basic, 7%.


Several high-profile measures failed to pass before the New York Legislature wrapped up its annual session late last week and, will likely return next year if not before. 

 

They include bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide, permit alcohol sales in movie theaters and crack down on heroin dealers.  Other proposals that fell flat this year would have loosened the statute of limitations on child sex crimes to give victims more time to step forward to file lawsuits or seek criminal charges.

 

The Legislature adjourned late last Wednesday, and isn't scheduled to return until January.  However... a special session appears likely.


A Silver Creek woman escaped serious injuries when her car was struck by a second-vehicle that was making a left turn on Routes 5 and 20 in the town of Hanover. 

 

Sheriff's deputies say the other car, driven by 69 year-old Patrick White of West Seneca, was traveling near Alleghany Road when he went to make the left turn and, turned in front of the oncoming car. 

 

The driver of that car, 27 year-old Maria Baez, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.  White was not hurt but, was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way.


A New York City auction house now has received the nearly 40 pieces of artwork from the Prendergast Library in Jamestown that will be sold later this year to help raise money for the library. 

 

The Library Board recently approved turning over the artwork purchased with funding from Mary Prendergast's will and, from the Packard Estate to Sotheby's Auction House.  Board President Tom Rankin says the move comes after a final decision was made by the state Attorney General's office regarding a tentative offer by Jesse Marion and his wife of Houston, Texas to buy the artwork. 

 

Since then, they have consigned the work to Sotheby's which will clean-up and get the artwork ready for sale in October.  Library Director Tina Scott says most of the artwork involved in the sale was being displayed but, adds much of it had been taken down during renovation work done last year on a passenger elevator. 

 

Scott says movers from Sotheby's began moving the artwork out, carefully last Tuesday.  She says because the frames are "very delicate" it took until Wednesday to complete moving the artwork.  Scott and Rankin were guests on Media One Group's "Community Spotlight" program last weekend.

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News Headlines for Sat., June 24, 2017

Man sought on warrant arrested in Jamestown after 3-plus hour stand-off with Police...
A man sought by police on a warrant for parole violation in Jamestown is jailed after allegedly arming himself with a knife... and, holing up in an upstairs room on the city's southside.  Jamestown police say they responded to a distubance call at 242 McKinley Ave. shortly before 11 a.m. Friday... and, found the suspect, 27 year-old Alberto Acevedo, had fled the scene.  However... they soon after learned Acevedo had fled the scene to 131 Baker Street.  Officers and Jamestown SWAT Team members were called in... and, Acevedo allegedly armed himself with the knife and went up stairs.  The JPD Crisis Negotiation Team was called in... but, after just over 3 hours... the SWAT Team was able to get inside... and, capture Acevedo about just before 2:30 p.m.  He was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital for evaluation... and, is now being held in the city jail pending arraignment.
 
 
Goodell says State Legislature leaves Albany without approving Sales Tax extenders... including one for Chautauqua County...
The state legislature will be returning to Albany again soon to deal with unfinished New York state business... including the need for tax extenders to be granted for 53 counties -- including Chautauqua.  That from State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who says the current session ended Thursday without renewing New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio's "control" of the city's school system.  Goodell says Assembly Democrats tied mayoral control to the renewal of sales taxes in the various counties... and that led to a stalemate.  On Friday... he said he was on his way home Thursday when his phone rang... and, he was initially called back.  He says about 100 miles into the return trip, he was again called and state officials said "oh, nevermind."  Goodell expects the state legislature to return Albany, possibly in a few weeks after the Fourth of July holiday.  He says they can't afford to not approve the extenders because of the impact on the counties... many of which are controlled by Democrats.  Chautauqua County needs approval of an additional one-percent tax... with half-a-percent split with local towns, cities and villages. 
 
 
Cuomo disappointed about unfinished business -- including measure regarding statute of limitations on molestation cases...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's disappointed state lawmakers have ended their session without loosening the statute of limitations for molestation to give victims more time to report abuse.  The bill would have given victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers. It also would have created a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits.  Victims now have until they turn 23 to sue, but supporters say it often takes far longer for victims to report their abuse.  The bill was supported by the Assembly and Cuomo, but never got a vote in the Senate. It faced strong opposition from the Catholic Church and other institutions.
 
 
Jamestown man, Eddie Sundquist, announces run for Congress...
A Jamestown man will be among several candidates who want to take a shot at running against incumbant Republican Congressman Tom Reed in 2018.  Eddie Sundquist has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination... and, says he's excited about running.  The Chautauqua County man says it's time to have a Congressman who keeps their promises.  Sundquist says it seems like the 23rd Congressional District is the "land that time forgot," and Reed has not kept his promises.  Sundquist is a practicing attorney with offices in Jamestown and Olean.  He says among the major issues in the campaign, agriculture, the environment and health care.  He says there are a number of area residents who are on Medicaid... or are low to middle income... and, can't get insurance, or afforable insurance.  Sundquist says he will embark on a listening tour, visiting all 11 counties in the district... and, he wants to hear about "real issues" from the people of the region. 
 
 
Green likes Sundquist as candidate...
Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says he's excited about the announcement of Eddie Sundquist running for Congress.  Green says the Jamestown man has a lot of energy and is eager to run.  He also talked about the need for possible opponents to Reed announcing early... adding that candidates now have to raise "$2-million to $3-million to run..." and, that "doesn't happen in a month or two."  Green says he likens the 28 year-old Sundquist to a "young Bobby Kennedy."
 
 
Asian Carp found in Chicago waterway near Lake Michigan...
A live Asian carp has been discovered in a Chicago waterway about nine miles from Lake Michigan.  Federal and state officials tell The Associated Press a commercial fisherman netted the silver carp below the T.J. O'Brien Lock and Dam.  The fish was 28 inches long and weighed about 8 pounds.  Silver carp are among four Asian carp species threatening to invade the Great Lakes, where scientists say they could compete with native species and devastate the region's $7 billion fishing industry.  This is the second time a live Asian carp has turned up beyond an electric barrier network 37 miles southwest of the city that's designed to keep the invasive fish from reaching the lakes.  
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

A Chautauqua County man will be among several candidates who want to take a shot at running against incumbant Republican Congressman Tom Reed in 2018. 

 

Eddie Sunquist of Jamestown has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination and, says he's excited about running.  Sundquist says he came back to the area and, felt the region was the "land that time forgot, here." 

 

He says we've been given promises by current Congressman Tom Reed that "were never kept."  Sundquist is a practicing attorney with offices in Jamestown and Olean.  He says among the major issues in the campaign, agriculture, the environment and health care. 

 

Sundquist says there are a lot of people in the district who are low-to middle income, or on Medicaid, and can't affort health coverage otherwise.  Sundquist says he will embark on a listening tour, visiting all 11 counties in the district and, he wants to hear about "real issues" from the people of the region.

The chairman of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee says he's excited about the announcement of Eddie Sundquist running for Congress.  Chairman Norm Green says the Jamestown man has a lot of energy and is eager to run.  He says Sundquist has a "campaign staff that's already up and running."  He says the 28 year-old is "young Bobby Kennedy" like.  Green says Sundquist is beginning his campaign early because it takes time to raise the $2 to $3 million that is necessary to run for Congress.


It was a night of "firsts" at Chautauqua Institution last night as the nearly 300 members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2017 got their diploma's during the annual graduation. 

 

It was the first event to be held in the new Chautauqua Amphitheater.  That fact was not lost on many of the speakers during JHS Commencement starting with Principal Mike McElrath who asked the graduates to "think about it" because the Amp is built to last the next 100 years.  He called that "quite a first." 

 

Commencement Speaker Chris Olsen a member of the JHS Class of 1982 also told graduates that they were now "a part of history" at the institution.  Olsen urged them to embrace their legacy and do great things like many of the people who have appeared at Chautauqua and, who came from Jamestown. 

 

He says he's gotten to know many members of the Class of 2017 and, he likes their future and, made one prediction:  One of them will be there in 35 years, and addressing the Class of 2052.  Olsen says the graduates that everything they "need to know to succeed in life" they learned in Jamestown" including the values of hard work and persevering.



The lawyer for a Buffalo school board member who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama and his wife says a state Education Department hearing for the lawyer's client is "all a charade." 

 

Dennis Vacco says the hearing Thursday in Albany is "a subterfuge to get at Carl Paladino in retaliation for his intemperate remarks" in a Buffalo alternative weekly last December.  Vacco is a former New York attorney general. He says the derogatory remarks Paladino submitted to Buffalo's Artvoice were "low and unfortunate," but nonetheless constitutionally protected. 

 

The hearing is being held to determine whether Paladino disclosed confidential school board business when he released information on teacher contract negotiations.


Republicans in the U-S Senate finally revealed details about their health care plan but, many are saying it has a tough road ahead. 

 

The measure dismantles much of former President Obama's health care law.  It would cut Medicaid, and erase tax boosts that Obama imposed on high-earners and medical companies to finance expanded coverage. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says the Senate needs to take action because the current system is not working for many Americans because many of the ObamaCare exchanges are collapsing.  Reed says he has yet to have anyone at his Town Hall meetings say the Affordable Care Act is working "perfectly" and, solving their problems. 

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly pushing for a vote on health care next week.  However some Senate Republicans still have concerns.  House Republicans passed a plan earlier this year.


Two more big names have been added to the line-up of comedy in Jamestown and Chautauqua Institution the week of July 31st through August 6th. 

 

That from National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson who says Lisa Lampanelli will appear on Satuday night, August 5th, at 9 PM at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.  Gunderson tells us Lampanelli is a contemporary star referred to as the "Queen of Mean" who is a cross between Don Rickles and Archie Bunker. 

 

In fact Gunderson says Howard Stern says Lampanelli is a "true original" who steals the show each time.  The other name added will be part of the week on Comedy at Chautauqua Institution.  Gunderson says W. Kamau Bell is well known on CNN. 

 

Bell, who is a stand-up comedian also hosts the program "United Shades of America" program which is an emmy nominated show.  Gunderson says tickets are on sale now for Bell's appearance at Chautauqua but, tickets for Lisa Lampanelli don't go on sale until next week. 

 

She says National Comedy Center members will be able to buy them Tuesday on-line at www.LucyComedyFest.com and, the general public will get their crack at tickets a week from Thursday.  You can also call the Comedy Center at 484-0800.

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WJTN News Headlines

Flames have heavily-damaged the former two-story shoe store that was part of the former Arcade Building on North Main Street in Jamestown. 

 

However crews were able to prevent serious damage to the main structure next to the railroad tracks in the heart of the city.  Jamestown fire crews were called to the scene between First Street and Brooklyn Square about 4:18 PM Wednesday

 

Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says first-arriving crews at the scene found heavy smoke coming from the buillding. He says they found heavy fire on the southeast corner of the building, and they extended hand lines and Falconer's aerial truck was called in because Jamestown's was out for repairs.  Harvey says it took about 30 to 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control. 

 

He says no one was hurt and, no one was inside the structure.  Harvey adds that a machine shop behind the structure was not involved in the blaze. 

 

Harvey says they called in an additional 10 firefighters and a shift commander along with Falconer and Kiantone crews.  The cause is under investigation.


The Jamestown High School Class of 2017 will make history tonight when their hold their commencement exercises in the new Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution. 

 

Some 311 members of the graduating class will accept diplomas during the ceremony which begins at 7 PM.  This year it's being held on a Thursday as opposed to Friday as the institution continues preparations for their first event Saturday night. 

 

Class Advisor Tony Dolce says the students are excited, and have been on "pins and needles" in anticipation of being part of the opening for the new Amp.  Dolce says each class has it's own charactoristics and, are about equally diverse. 

 

He says he tries to meet and get to know each class member he says he has had many in his Government class or as a coach.  JHS Class of 1982 member Chris Olsen who is a producer and attorney in Los Angeles will be the Commencement Speaker. 

 

Principal Mike McElrath says Olsen is a "proud and highly successful JHS alum and I'm certain his message will be well-received by students and audience members alike."


The more than 300 Jamestown High School Graduates are set for their commencement and, will hear from a number of speakers during tonight's graduation. 

 

Among them will be Class President, Bradley Brown.  Brown says he and fellow class members are "excited" about being the first event ever at the new Amphitheater adding that it will be a special occasion for them. 

 

Brown will be joined on the stage by other students including Class Valedictorian Kelly Emerson who will be attending Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, where she plans to go into pre-med. 

 

Salutatorian Madison Card plans to attend the University of New Haven, and major in Forensic Science.  As for Brown he plans to attend the SUNY College at Fredonia where he'll be in pre-med.


A one-time candidate for governor of New York who publicly insulted former President Barack Obama and his wife may be booted off the Buffalo School Board. 

 

A hearing is scheduled to begin Thursday in Albany over whether wealthy developer Carl Paladino disclosed confidential board business.  State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is set to hear testimony on a petition filed by other school board members seeking Paladino's removal. 

 

They say Paladino publicly disclosed information about teacher contract negotiations discussed in closed-door sessions.


The search continues for a missing Westfield man who hasn’t been seen since June 12th. 

 

Westfield Police are asking the public for it's help in finding 31-year-old Patrick Thompson of Clark Street.  He was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute, with a missing person report being filed the following day. 

 

Police believe Patrick may be distraught and may want to do harm to himself.  There have been some searches for him including one that was held last night near the Chautauqua Gorge.  However Westfield Police say there haven't been any signs of his whereabouts.  Anyone with information is asked to call them at 326-3375.


While he generally has a good relationship with the media local Congressman Tom Reed is very outspoken about comments made by a national news anchor following last week's shooting that wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others. 

 

Scott Pelley of CBS News said following the shooting, "It's time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted." 

 

Reed called Pelley's comments "despicable" and "lacking in basic human decency."  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media Tuesday afternoon, Reed stated that Pelley doesn't deserve to be working in a newsroom any longer because of a "reckless attitude towards human life."  Pelley officially ended his tenure as CBS Evening News anchor last Friday.

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WJTN Headlines

The proposed developer of Jamestown's Sheldon House has withdrawn it's plan to purchase the location at 9 Falconer Street for new office space. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports today that Lynn Development President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Spain stated in a news release that they will no longer be trying to acquire the Sheldon House for their corporate headquarters.  Lynn Development is currently located at 301 East Second Street. 

 

Spain expressed disappointment saying the latest Appellate Court decision against the Zoning Board of Appeals granting of a variance for the proposal was "unexpected."  He adds that "we respect the decision and would find no honor in continuing this effort at the ongoing expense of our beloved community college.  Therefore Lynn Development Inc. will acquiesce for the greater good."


Legislation co-sponsored by area State Senator Cathy Young that would provide $6.9-million dollars in flood recovery funds for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties has cleared both houses of the state legislature. 

 

However it still needs the backing of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the bill would help cover the costs from flash flooding that occurred in July of 2015. 

 

Horrigan says it's part of a package that also includes funding help for victims of the severe shoreline flooding along the Lake Ontario Shoreline.  He praised Young for staying with the effort to get the local counties relief help.  The flash floods caused about $2.1-million in damage across multiple municipalities in Chautauqua County. 

 

The damage did not meet the requirements for federal aid through the Federal Emergency Management Administration.  The funding is part of a $90 million package to assist upstate individuals, small businesses and local governments still dealing with damage from flooding and other natural disasters since 2007.  Horrigan says its now up to the Governor to sign or veto the bill later this year.


Chautauqua County's Congressman is not saying what his position is when it comes to carrying a gun for personal protection following last week's shooting in Washington during a GOP baseball game practice. 

 

Corning Republican Tom Reed's western New York colleague, Chris Collins, said Monday that he will carry a gun while traveling in his district.  Reed was asked about the issue during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media Tuesday afternoon. 

 

He says security in general has been discussed with his staff, with the need to make sure that "we learn from the tragic events of last week."  Reed did say that he remains a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. 

 

He also indicated that he hoped the tragedy would bring House members closer together adding there is a "uniqueness in many of the friendships" he has formed with fellow members of Congress. 

 

Chris Collins first indicated last week that he would be carrying a gun after the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others during the Republican baseball team practice last week in Alexandria, Virginia.

 


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have dropped slightly from last week to just under $2.50 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge report says the price is down just over a penny to $2.49.6 per gallon.  AAA says that's also about 5-cents less that one year ago. 

 

The Fuel Gauge says prices at the pump dropped in every state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, on average by 4 cents on the week.  However it says gas prices vary significantly, by a range of 43 cents, from state to state. 

 

Nationally AAA says motorists can find gas prices less than $2.24 a gallon at 56% of gas stations nationwide.  That's well below today’s national average gasoline price of $2.29 cents a gallon.


Jamestown Police are on the look-out for a man who allegedly drove up to an eastside welding business and, stole a piece of equipment Tuesday afternoon before driving off. 

 

Officers say the unidentified man pulled up to Welder's Supply Company at 47 Winsor Street about 4 PM and grabbed the equipment from the garage and, drove off in his tan-colored, 1990s Honda Accord.  If you have any information on the theft contact Jamestown Police.


There were some hardships, but Great Lakes researcher and SUNY College at Fredonia professor Sherri Mason was able to successfully complete a 15.5 miles swim on Chautauqua Lake on Monday. 

 

Dr. Mason tells us the swim, from Lakeside Park in Mayville to Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron, was going well before she encountered some challenges in the southern basin of the lake, and she ran into windy and rainy conditions which produced choppy waves. 

 

She credits her team for helping her complete the swim especially her two kayakers who kept her motivated for finish the swim.  She completed the swim in 10 hours and 37 minutes.  She is gearing up for a swim across Lake Erie on August 19th.

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WJTN Headlines

A Great Lakes researcher accomplished an impressive feat, swimming the 17 mile length of Chautauqua Lake. 

 

Sherri Mason, who is the chair of SUNY College at Fredonia's Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, swam the length of the lake in just over 10 hours Monday morning.  WGRZ-TV reports Mason undertook the aquatic marathon to raise awareness about protecting fresh water sources. 

 

Mason says Monday's swim is practice for a planned 12.5-mile (20.11 kilometer) swim across Lake Erie in August.  She is fundraising for the swim through a personal GoFundMe page.


Falconer's mayor is again urging the Jamestown City Council to call-off the proposed annexation about 4 acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities for the Dow Street Substation into the city. 

 

Jim Rensel pointed out to city lawmakers that no one among the nearly 30 people who spoke during last Monday night's public hearing in Falconer supported the proposal.  He says that included a handful of residents from Jamestown who also spoke against the proposal. 

 

Rensel says judging by the public hearing "it doesn't appear as though you have any support for it."  Rensel added that the Jamestown School District would be benefitting from the annexation because it would also receive a payment in lieu of taxes on the property located at the city line. 

 

He said it was curious that no one representing the school district spoke at the hearing.  The City Council and, the Falconer Village and Ellicott Town Boards held the hearing last week on the proposal which would save the Board of Public Utilities about $325,000 in tax payments to the village, town, Falconer school district and the county. 

 

No council members responded, and we were unable to reach City Council President Greg Rabb last night for comment.


An Adirondack region manufacturer of scenic components has been awarded a 2.9-million dollar contract to create scenic art for exhibits in the new National Comedy Center in Jamestown. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo late Monday announced the contract with Adirondack Studios of Washington County will provide for the fabrication and installation of those components.  Cuomo says Adirondack creates the scenic and themed environments experienced in venues that range from theme parks to casinos, museums, live shows, retail and public art. 

 

He says with this contract the comedy center continues to make progress toward its targeted opening in 2018.  Cuomo says "The National Comedy Center, once completed, will boost the local economy and spur job creation for Western New York, while creating a world-class cultural hub for visitors and residents alike."


A strong cold front crossed the area this past Sunday night, bringing some severe weather late Sunday afternoon and evening. 

 

It also spawned some wind damage and localized flash flooding.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there were several reports of thunderstorm related wind damage across the area. 

 

There was a report of a possible tornado about two miles east-southeast of Frewsburg.  Hamilton said Monday the weather service is still checking out that report. 

 

But the weather service late Mondaysaid they have not been able to get anyone down to check the scene yet.  Forecasters, though, add that all the information points to "straight-line" wind damage.


Phone and Internet scams continue to be a major concern for local law enforcement officials and, they are finding that scammers have developed another tool to add their arsenal of deception and theft. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says local phone exchanges are now being used by some scammers who are trying to get your money and identity.  Gerace says they are able to do this through the use of new computer software that can be researched on the Internet. 

 

While it's virtually impossible for law enforcement to get the victim's money back in most cases, Gerace says it's still important to report such crimes.  He says if nothing else they can "stop the bleeding." 

 

However in most cases the money given to the scammers is gone.  In the most recent IRS Scams they found most were coming from Pakistan.  Gerace says he believes the best way to fight this type of crime is by educating the public.


The city of Jamestown's annual Summer Playground Program will run a week longer this year at five different sites where free lunches will be served to the children who take part. 

 

Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the program begins it's seven-week run next Monday, June 26th at 11 AM.  Ciesla-Hanley says that's a later starting time and, adds the program will run until 5 PM at each location. 

 

She says they'll run through Aug. 11 at Allen Park, Lillian Dickson Tot Lot, and three elementary schools Lincoln, Ring, and Fletcher schools.  Ciesla-Hanley says the program is free of charge and, the free lunches will be served to all children through the Jamestown YMCA and the St. Susan's Center from 12:30 to 1:30 PM each day. 

 

She adds that while the playground program is limited to children ages 5 to 13 children up to 18 years of age can get a free lunch at the playground nearest them if they need one.  However they need to sign up the day prior to get one. 

 

Ciesla-Hanley adds they have a new Playground Program Recreation Leader this year Katrina Kerkendall who is a Jamestown Community College graduate.  For more information on the program, call the Recreation Office at 483-7523.

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WJTN Headlines

Severe storms roar through Chautauqua County, Warren Co. reports two possible tornadoes.

There were some trees and power lines knocked down but, no serious damage was reported in Chautauqua County from severe storms that raced through the area yesterday afternoon and early evening.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say most of the problems were in the Frewsburg and Ashville areas.  However no severe damage, nor injuries were reported. 

 

Several trees were reported down in the Frewsburg-area.  There were preliminary reports of a couple of possible twisters in Warren County, Pennsylvania between 4 and 5:30 p.m.Sunday, according to the Warren Times-Observer.

 



U-S Senator Charles Schumer is calling for federal help in the fight against opioid addiction in New York. 

 

Schumer is asking the Drug Enforcement Agency to provide the state with one of four special heroin enforcement teams being formed to combat the problem. 

 

The four teams are specifically dedicated to counteracting heroin trafficking and are sent to states that report heroin as the highest drug threat. 

 

The Democrat says New York's heroin overdose death rate increased by 30% in 2015.  New data show there was an average of four overdose deaths a day in New York City alone last year.  That was double the rate two years earlier.

 

New York City also is a major distribution hub.  Overall 24 New York counties are considered High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.


With the necessary funding now in place it's full-speed ahead on completing the new National Comedy Center on Jamestown's westside by Spring of 2018. 

 

Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says the approximately $30-million project is is "a good spot" right now as the outside work on the new entryway and, a connecting structure between the former Board of Public Utilities' Storage Building, and Gateway Train Station is being completed. 

 

He says they "finished up" the funding with a $5-million grant from Empire State Development Corporation, and $3-million from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.  Gunderson says she and the Comedy Center Board of Directors are especially grateful to the foundation community in Jamestown which really stepped up and has supported the project which began with an August 2015 ground-breaking. 

 

She says the indoor work will involve a lot of coordination between firms that will put up the exhibits including Cortina Productiions which is a major exhibit producer.  Gunderson says they have done work in such places at the College Football Hall of Fame. 

 

Gunderson says she and Board President Tom Benson who is also chairman of the project "couldn't be happier" with the progress they have made.  She made her comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


In state government news New York lawmakers are entering their final week of work in Albany and control of New York City schools remains the top issue. 

 

Meanwhile, bills to protect the environment, crack down on heroin- and opioid-dealing and bar alcohol in movie theaters hang in the balance.  Another piece of high-profile legislation would extend the statute of limitations to allow molestation victims to sue for potentially decades-old abuse.  The session is scheduled to end Wednesday

 

The state law giving Mayor Bill de Blasio control of his city's schools expires at the end of the month unless lawmakers vote to renew it.  Last year, they extended the policy by a single year. De Blasio and other Democrats want a longer extension this year, but Senate Republicans are skeptical.


The headquarters of 'Filling the Gap' a group of corporations associated with the Resource Center has been named in honor of Mike Felice. 

 

The Felice Corporate Center on Fairmount Ave near the 6th Street Bridge was officially dedicated on Friday afternoon.  Mike Felice spent more that 30 years volunteering for The Resouce Center and the corporations, right up 'til the time of his death in the fall of 2016. 

 

The Resource Center's Chief Executive Officer, Denise Jones, says Mike Felice always "led with his heart" in everything that he did.  Mike's widow, Laura, says the family became committed to the Resource Center when Jennifer, their youngest daughter, began to receive services from the agency, and he loved what TRC did for his daughter. 

 

Professionally, Mike Felice was the manager of radio stations WKSN and WHUG for many years.


The summer festival season was fully underway over the weekend with two major events in the Jamestown area. 

 

At St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, hundreds of people flocked to the 35th annual 'Yassou' Festival.  The church's Parish Council President, Tim Anderson,  says the festival is about more than Greek food, music and dancing it's about community, and showing what the church is all about. 

 

Anderson adds 'Yassou' is a major fundraiser for the church.  Meanwhile, the Fluvanna Community Historical Society held its second annual 'Fluvanna Fest'.  Spokesman Richard Keefer says they are all about a community 'coming together' as well.  More than 80 people ran or walked in the Fluvanna Fest 5K a large increase from last year.

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News Headlines for Sat., June 17, 2017

Neighbor to Sheldon House says he's "very, very pleased" with Appellate Court decision annulling ZBA approval of variance for sale...
A neighbor to the Sheldon House in Jamestown says he's "very, very pleased" with a court verdict annulling the Zoning Board of Appeals' granting of a variance for the property in 2016.  Paul Leone tells Media One Group News that the move is "good for the neighborhood..." because it doesn't allow Lynn Development Group to develop business offices inside the structure at Falconer Street and Lakeview Avenue.  The State Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Department ruled late Friday in favor of Leone and three others who appealed a lower court ruling.  They argued a number of points... but, the Appellate Division specifically stated that the city and Lynn Development did not provide evidence of "an undue hardship" in making it's ruling.  The property would be sold to Lynn Development for $240,000 contingent on the variance being approved.  Leone -- who declined to go on tape -- and the other neighbors say they want the property to remain residential
 
 
Chautauqua announces cancellation of Aretha Franklin Concert on opening night for new Amp; Leno to now appear June 24...
Health concerns have led Artha Franklin to cancel next Saturday night's concert scheduled to open the new Amphitheater at Chautauqua Institution.  The announcement was made in an on-line letter from Chautauqua's President.  Michael Hill also announced that legendary stand-up comedian... and, retired Tonight Show host Jay Leno will replace Franklin on the Amp stage.  Hill says Aretha Franklin's doctor has now ordered her to not travel over the next few weeks per doctor’s orders.  She was to perform in Chicago this weekend... and, had already cancelled that out.  He says -- if you are seeking a refund -- call the Chautauqua Ticket Office at 1-888-688-1960.  Hill adds that the Institution will not sell additional tickets for opening night unless it receives cancellations from current ticket holders.
 
 
House extensively damaged in Westfield-area fire...
Firefighters from more than a half dozen departments battled a blaze that heavily damaged a home in the town of Westfield Thursday afternoon.  Westfield firefighters responded to the blaze at 7578 Martin Wright Rd. around 3:30 p.m., and, got mutual aid from Brocton, Ripley, Portland, Mayville, Dewittville, East Dunkirk, and Sherman.  There are reports that no one was home at the time of the blaze... but, two dogs perished in the fire that caused extensive damage to the one story structure.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene to determine a cause. 
 
 
Prendergast Library Director says decision to sell artwork spurred by funding loss...
The Prendergast Library's board of directors has agreed to move foward on selling some 40 pieces of artwork in it's possession to raise money to keep the Jamestown institution financially viable.  Library Director Tina Scott says it was a "very difficult" decision... but, one that had to be made in light of funding losses in recent years... not the least of which was a $250,000 cut in funding from the city.  Scott says the board has been reviewing the situation for the past two years... and, adds there's even a question whether the library can properly care for the artwork... which she says really has not been done the way it should be for about 30 years.  The maintenance issue was settled for a short time with an offer from Jesse and Cathy Marion of Houston, Texas in December of 2015 for $60,000 if the board would hold off on auctioning off the paintings.  Scott says the art to be sold will be those items bought with funding left in the will of Mary Prendergast... and from the Packard Estate.  Scott says the artwork will be sold by Sotheby's Auction House in New York City in the near future... and, adds the library will receive 100 percent of the proceeds.
 
 
Food Bank of WNY cuts ribbon on new, facility, truck in Chautauqua County...
The Food Bank of Western New York has a new, expanded location... and, vehicle to deliver food to more than 50 food distribution points across Chautauqua County.  Food Bank Communcations Director Christine Schick says they're excited to have cut the ribbon on their new distribution center on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road in Falconer.  Schick says both moves will allow them to "expand their footprint" here in Chautauqua County to meet increased demand for their services.  She says -- until this year -- the Food Bank had been providing about 1.2-million pounds of food annually to families across the county.  However... she says that amount rose to 2-million pounds this past year... and, the growing need required a new facility... and, delivery truck.  Schick says they also unveiled their new, 26-foot long "Partners Fighting Hunger Truck..." which includes a lift-gate.  She says it will allow them to increase the amount of food they can haul each time by 22-hundred pounds.  Schick says the Food Bank appreciates all the support of several local foundations and community sponsors who helped make the purchase possible. 
 
 
Jacobson named UPMC Chautauqua WCA Volunteer of the Year... 
A woman who has been volunteering in UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital's Occupational Therapy Department has been named as the hospital's 2016 Volunteer of the Year.  That from Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth DeRosa... who says Maria Jacobson epitomizes what their volunteer's are all about.  DeRosa says Jacobson was recognized during the hospital's annual "Volunteer Recognition Luncheon" yesterday at the hospital's main campus... after being selected by staff for the award.  DeRosa says Jacobson works hard in putting patient packets together, filing, and helping to clean patient rooms.  She says employees have written that Jacobson is "a joy to have around..." and, has a great relationship with the patients she works with, and she encourages patients to visit with their therapy dog.  DeRosa says they currently have 102 volunteers at UPMC Chautauqua WCA... who put in a variety of hours and days putting in time at the hospital.  If you are interested in volunteering... you can contact Elizabeth DeRosa at 664-8224 for more information.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

Ongoing funding issues especially what comes from the city of Jamestown has led the Prendergast Library's Board of Directors to decide to sell much of the library's artwork. 

 

That from Library Director Tina Scott who says the board made it's unanimous deicision yesterday about two years after the board initially started the process.  Scott says the art to be sold will be mainly what was bought using funding left in Mary Prendergast's will and from the Packard Estate. 

 

She says there are also 10 paintings they've acquired over the years that would also be part of the auctions.  Scott says there are about 40 pieces of artwork that will be sold by Sotheby's Auction House in New York City in the near future. 

 

Scott declined to give details of the sale involving Sotheby's but, says the library should receive between $1.1-million and $1.6-million dollars for the art.  She says the decision was a "very difficult" one from the board. 

 

However she says given a $250,000 cut the past year from the city, and other staff and funding cuts the board had little choice.


Firefighters from more than a half dozen departments battled a blaze that heavily damaged a home in the town of Westfield Thursday afternoon. 

 

Westfield firefighters responded to the blaze at 75-78 Martin Wright Road around 3:30 PM and, got mutual aid from Brocton, Ripley, Portland, Mayville, Dewittville, East Dunkirk, and Sherman. 

 

There are reports that no one was home at the time of the blaze but, two dogs perished in the fire that caused extensive damage to the one story structure.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene to determine a cause.


JPD officials release drowning victim's name.

The city man who died late Wednesday afternoon in what appears to be an accidental drowning in Jamestown's Chadakoin River has now been identified.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says that a woman had called 911 just after 3 PM, saying she was with 47 year-old Dennis Plummer when he went into the water to try and cool off and, slipped under the water a short distance from shore near Winsor and Harrison Streets. 

 

Samuelson says the county's Dive Team was also called in.and, found the man a short distance away in more than 10-feet of water.  Samuelson says it's a tragic way to begin the Summer season adding that they aren't sure if Plummer knew how to swim or not. 

 

While the current can be strong in some parts of the river he says the depth can be an issue, too especially at that location. 

 

Samuelson says it goes from several inches deep to several feet very quickly.


A Jamestown man has been arrested on Felony court warrants during a raid on an upstairs apartment on the city's eastside. 

 

Jamestown Police say members of the city's Metro Drug Task Force executed the warrants at a home at 45 Bush Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  They arrested 28 year-old Roberto Figueredo on the warrants for third-degree assault, and second-degree conspiracy. 

 

Police add they allegedly found Figueredo in possession of a quantity of marijuana and, he was arrested for unlawful possession.  Figueredo was arraigned in city court... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


Chautauqua County Republicans have endorsed a "strong and full slate" of candidates for this Fall's election. 

 

That from County Republican Committee Chairman David Wilfong who says the panel met recently to endorse county-wide and county legislature races.  Wilfong says they are enthusiastically backing Legislator George Borrello for county executive, and Larry Barmore again for County Clerk.  He adds they also endorsed candidates for all but three legislature seats. 

 

Wilfong says they include several Jamestown-area Republicans starting with one in the Lakewood-area.  In District-10, P-J Wendel is running for re-election.  Wilfong himself is running again in District-11. 

 

He says Elizabeth Rankin will run again in District 12.  He says there are changes in District-14, where Dan Pavlock is running in place of Mark Tarbrake, who is moving from the district.  Also John Davis running in District-16, replacing Ron Lemon, who is not running again. 

 

Wilfong says they've had to find new candidates in three legislative districts including District-#6 which will now have Silver Creek's Gary Cerne running in Borrello's place.  Others endorsed include Kevin Muldowney in District-1 Robert Scudder in District-2 and, Terry Neibel in District-5. 

 

Current Legislature Chairman David Himelen of French Creek was endorsed in District-18 along with former Chairman Jay Gould in District-17.

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WJTN Headlines

A 47 year-old man died late yesterday afternoon in was appears to be an accidental drowning in the Chadakoin River on Jamestown's eastside. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says that a woman had called 911 just after 3 PM, saying that the man she was with had gone into the water to try and cool off and, slipped under the water a short distance from shore near Winsor and Harrison Streets. 

 

Samuelson says the county's Dive Team was also called in and, found the man, now identified as Dennis Plummer a short distance away in more than 10-feet of water.  He says police are still notifying relatives because the unidentified man is reportedly from the Buffalo-area. 

 

Samuelson says they're not sure if the man knew how to swim or not.  While the current can be strong in some parts of the river he says the depth can be an issue, too especially at that location.


Two Jamestown residents face obstruction charges in connection with a drug investigation on the city's eastside late Tuesday. 

 

City police say they were called to the scene at 928 East Second Street for a warrant check for 33 year-old Anthony Camarata and 25 year-old Ashley Havle.  Officers say they gained access to the residence and, began searching for the pair. 

 

Police say they found both hiding under some blankets in a closet.  Both were arrested on warrants issued by Chautauqua County Drug Court and, second-degree obstruction of governmental administration.  Both were taken to the city lock-up pending arraignment.


One congressman says he's going to start carrying a gun in public. Others want beefed-up security at town hall meetings.  

 

Wednesday'sshooting of a top Republican while he was practicing for a congressional baseball game has jolted lawmakers.  It also highlights their vulnerability when they are in public.  Only the leaders of Congress get security details.  Rank-and-file members do not. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says "his thoughts and prayers" are with the people who were shot and wounded during a baseball practice in Virginia where House Majority Whip Steven Scalise was wounded.  However, as for security Reed's Communications Director Samantha Cotton would only says "the safety of constituents and our team members is a priority, but as a matter of office policy we do not discuss the specifics of how we secure our district offices or public events." 

 

However another Republican Congressman, Chris Collins of Clarence, says he is going to start carrying a gun in public.  In addition to Scalise two members of the Capitol Police were injured along with a congressional aide and a lobbyist.

 



Local Congressman Tom Reed is part of a group of lawmakers trying to bridge the "skills gap" in the United States that has helped keep 9-million Americans unemployed in recent years. 

 

A day ago Reed was among a bi-partisan group of House members who introduced the federal Leveraging and Energizing America's Apprenticeship Program or LEAP Act.  Reed is a co-sponsor along with California Democrat Linda Sanchez. 

 

Reed says if all the current "skilled labor" jobs were filled 5-million of those people could be employed and, he says they want to show support for the apprenticeship programs across the country.  He says the proposal involves a two-tiered tax credit program that will help encourage people to get into a local apprenticeship program. 

 

He says a $1,000 tax credit is available for apprentices over the age of 25 and, $1,500 for those under 25.  Reed says the idea is to help people who are looking for work to get into an apprenticeship program to learn a skill that will get them employed.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have fallen about 5-cents a gallon this week to slightly over $2.50 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says it follows the trend of most places in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Region where prices fell except for the Washington, D.C. area.  AAA says the price is also lower than it was last year at this time.  The EIA reports gasoline inventory levels above year-ago levels. 

 

Overall compared to a year ago, gas prices are mostly reminiscent of last summer.  With comparable gas prices to last summer, consumers may feel encouraged to drive more ultimately leading to an increase in demand, which could help dip into the supply levels.  Nationally AAA says the price is also cheaper $2.34 cents a gallon than it was a year ago.


A Jamestown man has been honored by a nationally-known weight-loss program for losing just over 85-pounds and, changing his life. 

 

Dennis Bechmann was recently awarded the 2016 King award for Taking Pounds off Sensibly or TOPS during it's annual state conference near Syracuse. 

 

Bechmann says he had finally got tired of "huffing and puffing" and weighing as much as 354 pounds.  He says he learned by "word of mouth" about TOPS local chapter #721 that meets at Holy Trinity Church. 

 

Bechmann says the great part about TOPS is you get a lot of support from fellow members who hold you accountable but, not in any negative way.  He says he needed knee replacement surgery but, the two doctors he worked said he needed to lose weight first for the surgeries to be successful. 

 

It was then that he started looking for the best way to lose weight and keep it off.  Bechmann says the Jamestown chapter of 57 members is one of the largest local TOPS groups in New York state, and they meet every Thursday at Holy Trinity with weigh-ins starting at 8:30 AM

 

For more information about TOPS go on-line to www.tops.org.

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown-area businessman has been indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury for using improper sales procedures, and improperly filing tax returns. 

 

District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the grand jury handed down the 20-count indictment late Mondayagainst owner Kenneth Asel of Ken Asel R-V's in Gerry.  Swanson says the allegations include four counts of third-degree Grand Larceny one count of second-degree forgery two counts of Criminal Tax Fraud and thirteen counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing. 

 

Swanson says the indictment was the result of a lengthy investigation by the D-A’s office it's Crimes Against Revenue Program Investigation Unit, state Police and, others.  He says the allegations surround Asel’s business practices at Ken Asel R-V’s between March of 2012 through August 2015. 

 

He was arrested on a warrant and, arraigned.  Bail was set at $5,000 cash... $10,000 property bond.


The Deputy U-S Attorney General says he will "defend the integrity" of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. elections. 

 

That from Rod Rosenstein to a Senate Committee Tuesday morning in the wake of comments by President Donald Trump that he may fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is now investigating the alleged manipulation of last year's Presidential election. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't believe what the president tweeted about Mueller has "any voracity."  Reed adds that if there is nothing there it's time to "move foward."  He says he wants Mueller to "get to the bottom of what's going on" for the benefit of everyone namely the American people. 

 

U-S Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Rosenstein that she believes it would be "catastrophic" if special counsel Robert Mueller were fired based on the tweet by President Trump.


Legislation has again been introduced in Congress that may help officials get a better handle on the overabundance of nutrients that have led to excessive weed and algae bloom growth in Chautauqua Lake. 

 

That from local Representative Tom Reed who says the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Act uses tax credits to develop technology that boosts the use of biomass and, recover manure resources a problem that is seen on Chautauqua Lake. 

 

Reed says it would allow the tax code to allow for people to develop and invest in that technology.  Reed says the idea is to support current and, new emerging techologies that will eventually "stand on their own" commercially.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


New York state has hosted its first ever demonstration of a driverless vehicle on public roads. 

 

During Tuesday's test drive in Albany two engineers rode in the vehicle for about six miles. State officials say the engineers monitored the ride at all times to ensure safety. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the demonstration as a "major milestone" in the development of a technology that he says is the "next frontier" in transportation. 

 

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also took a test drive in the vehicle.  She said driverless cars offer "tremendous potential" for improving traffic safety.


With little more than a week left in the legislative session, some state lawmakers and community advocates are renewing the push for legalized recreational marijuana in New York state. 

 

State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes are joining with advocates organized by the Drug Policy Alliance Monday afternoon to announce reintroduction of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. 

 

Past efforts have stalled in legislative committees.  The bill would establish a legal market for marijuana in New York and tax and regulate it like alcohol. 

 

The lawmakers say the potential tax revenue stream is considerable since it's estimated that New Yorkers spend 3-billion dollars a year on marijuana. 

 

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo has been dubious about legalizing weed beyond limited medical use of non-smokeable forms.

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WJTN Headlines

A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania man was killed last Sunday night when his motorcycle crashed into a truck that was turning into a parking lot on Route 6 in Brokenstraw Township. 

 

State Police in Warren say the motorcycle operated by 42 year-old Andrw Blauser was westbound about 8:30 p.m. when the eastbound truck crossed it's path.  Troopers say the truck driven by 33 year-old Ashlyn Auflick of Youngsville was turning into a lot for a local business. 

 

Police say Blauser was pronounced dead at the scene while Auflick and her two child passengers sustained minor injuries.  No charges have been filed but, the investigation is continuing.


A Cassadaga man has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a child under the age of 11 in the town of Charlotte earlier this year. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say they concluded an investigation involving 32 year-old Steven Morris, Junior of 7392 Hall Road into an incident back in April of this year.  Deputies say Morris was arrested on a warrant issued out of county court on one count each of first-degree criminal sexual act and, predatory sexual assault against a child. 

 

Officers say Morris was arraigned in county court and, sent to the county jail on $150,000 cash bail $300,000 property bond.


Comments were spirited at times during last night's public hearing on the proposal by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to annex about 4-acres of land used for it's Dow Street Substation from the village of Falconer. 

 

The session was attended by just over 200 people at the Falconer Middle and High School Auditorium.  The first person to speak was School Superintendent Steve Penhollow who says a projected loss of nearly $154,000 in tax revenue would mean cutting three full-time teachers. 

 

He says that's a "significant loss of opporunities in a rural school district" and he urged officials to "really look at that."  One resident of the village, Carmella Catanese opposed the plan which she called a "tax shift" by taking money away from the village, town of Ellicott, and the Falconer School District. 

 

A couple of other people called the city and it's BPU's proposal nothing more than a "money grab."  The proposal would save the BPU about $325,000 in taxes paid to the school district, town, village, and county. 

 

Under the city and BPU's payment in lieu of tax agreement plan city government and the school district would split about $158,000.


Perhaps the most contentious moments of the hearing came during the presentation by Jamestown's special legal counsel Kathy Bennett who outlined the reaon's for annexation. 

 

Bennett discussed the savings the city would see, and said it would lead to lower utility rates.  She also said the Jamestown Fire Department would be able to better provide fire and emergency protection for the electric substation because it's a trained, full-time deparment with a nearby fire hall. 

 

She says the Falconer Fire Station is closer, but, she says Jamestown stations are fully-staffed, "24/7" while Falconer, which has a volunteer department, does not.  That did not sit well with several members of the Falconer Fire Department, who were in the audience and, several village residents.  Department Second-Lieutenant Tyler Stimpson says Jamestown has 55 firefighters but, they have 80-plus more volunteers many of whom are amply qualified as EMTs. 

 

The lawyer for the town and village Petra Zaffrom also argued that the annexation should not go forward because unlike the city contends the BPU property does not adjoin the city line except for a very small piece of it at Tiffany Avenue.


A Jamestown man is jailed for allegedly harassing two people outside the Northwest Arena last Saturday afternoon with a knife. 

 

City police were called to the scene at 319 West Third Street shortly before 4 PM and, talked with the two victims who said 46 year-old Brian Livingston had threatened the pair with a knife.  Officers say they found Livingston later at his home and, arrested him.  He was arraigned on two counts of second-degree Menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, sent to the county jail without bail.


A record-breaking blast of summer-like weather has hit New York and other parts of the Northeast. 

 

The National Weather Service says New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport recorded a sweltering 97 degrees on Monday, breaking its 1973 record of 95 degrees.  New York's LaGuardia Airport reached 95 degrees, topping its 1988 record of 92 degrees. Central Park tied its previous record of 93 degrees, set in 1973.  It was a little cooler on Long Island, where Islip reached 91 degrees, topping its 1988 record by 3 degrees. 

 

Here in the immediate Jamestown-area the temperature topped out at 86 degrees and, an air quailty alert was in place until 10 last night.  Meteorologist Joe Pollina says the heat is being caused by a large high pressure system over Bermuda that's pumping heat and humidity into the area.

 

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A Buffalo-area man is accused of vehicular assault after he allegedly backed his car unsafely, and struck a man walking on Route 20 in the town of Ripley last Saturday night. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene of the car-pedestrian just after 11 PM and, found that the car was operated by 61 year-old Rory Stevenson of Angola, was involved in the accident.  Deputies say Stevenson's car struck 43 year-old Matthew Vogt of Buffalo, seriously injurying the man. 

 

Officers say Vogt was flown by Starflight Helicopter to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for what were described as "life-threatening injuries."  Deputies say Stevenson faces several charges including second-degree vehicular assault backing unsafely uninspected motor vehicle and, several others.  He was arraigned and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.


A town of Arkwright couple has been arrested for allegedly hosting an underage drinking party on their property early last weekend. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they were called to a residence on Miller Road shortly after 12 Midnight last Saturday on a report of the party taking place.  On arrival deputies say they observed several youths under the age of 21 on the property drinking alcohol. 

 

Officers say they spoke with Michael and Diane Rafan, both 53, and, determined they were in charge of the property and the party.  Deputies charged both Michael and Diane Rafan with first-degree unlawfully dealing with a minor. 

 

In addition they say a 17 year-old male youth was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.  All subjects are to appear in Arkwright Town Court at a later date.


A much-anticipated public hearing on the proposed annexation of five-acres of land owned by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in the village of Falconer at the city line is set for tonight. 

 

The session will begin at 7 PM at the Falconer Central School Auditorium, and will be hosted by the Jamestown City Council, Falconer Village Board and Ellicott Town Board.  During this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi said anyone from the three municipalities can speak at the hearing. 

 

The proposal involves shifting the 4 to 5-acres of land the BPU's Dow Street Substation is located on to being in the city where it would not have to have taxes paid on it.  This would mean a loss of tax revenues from that land to the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott and the Falconer School District. 

 

However Teresi says there have been some misconceptions about what's being proposed.  The biggest being that the city is trying to annex the entire village.  Teresi says that's not the case it is a small piece of property at the city line, and will help keep electric rates low.


A bill under consideration in New York's legislature would give banks the ability to temporarily freeze the accounts of older adults when they notice activity uncharacteristic of a person's normal spending habits. 

 

The measure is intended to combat financial abuse and fraud aimed at elders.  New York's Office of Children and Family Services says financial fraud costs the state's seniors an estimated $1.5 billion per year. 

 

It might also help people like Roseann Keiles, of Long Island.  Her 82-year-old mother was tricked into giving thousands of dollars before a local banker alerted the family that something was wrong. 

 

The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate in March, but has faced resistance in the Democratic-led Assembly and hasn't been scheduled for a vote.


The investigation into a fire late last Friday that destroyed a single-family home in the town of Carrol just outside of Frewsburg is continuing. 

 

The Jamestown Post-Journal reports that Frewsburg firefighters were called to the Lightner home just before 5 PM and, found the building and attached garage on fire.  Assistant Fire Chief Dan Sisson tells the paper the home on Wigren Road was "fully engulfed" on arrival and, that it took about an hour to bring the flames under control. 

 

Frewsburg fire crews were joined at the scene by Frewsburg, Busti, Kennedy, Falconer, Kiantone, and Russell, Pennsylvania fire companies. 

 

No one was hurt.  The cause is under investigation but, apparently started in the garage area.


It was a terrific first day for the newly-rebranded "Jamestown Public Market" in downtown Jamestown last Saturday morning and afternoon. 

 

The public market is actually the name for the original farmer's market that was held in Jamestown in 1878.  Market Manager Christina Breen says they had a very good turn-out for their first attempt at a Saturday market after holding the past several year's on Thursdays. 

 

Breen says they went with a Saturday because several people, many of whom live downtown, told them that a weekday even around the lunch-hour did not work as well as a weekend might.  She says they wanted to create more "vibrancy" on the weekends for people in the area. 

 

The market takes place in the 200-block of Cherry Street between West Second and Third Streets.  She says they had about 10 vendors for the first day.  The Jamestown Public Market runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through early Fall. 

 

For more information, call the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation at 664-2477 or go on-line to Jamestownrenaissance.org


There was a giant celebration at the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown Saturday night. 

 

A huge cast performed songs from two dozen musicals to mark the theater's 80th anniversary and Norm and Helen Merrill were honored for 50 years of volunteer work.  Helen Merrill has directed 48 shows at the Little Theater, and she thanked all the actors and actresses who took part in those shows. 

 

Little Theater President, Bob Ostrom, announced a new curtain and fly system, air conditioning and other improvements for the Little Theater... thanks to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and local foundations.

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Nearly three dozen people had to be treated for nausea and difficulty breathing late Thursday morning after a refrigerant spilled in the upper floors of the old Furniture Mart Building on Jamestown's westside. 

 

That from Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey who says they received a call about a woman having trouble breathing at "The Connection" Call Center on West Second Street just after 10:30 a.m.  Harvey says they sent a rescue unit but, soon after found several others getting sick. 

 

He says they transported 11 to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital while three others took themselves.  Harvey says 19 others were treated, then released at the scene.  Harvey says the coolant known as "Propylene Glycol" spilled out as a work crew was off-loading about 200-gallons of the fluid from the Furniture Mart's HVAC Unit. 

 

He says the fluid called "Propylene Glycol" spilled onto a floor.  He says it's similar to anti-freeze.  The county's HazMat Team was called in to help clean-up the material.  Crews are still at the scene this afternoon and, the building remained evacuated until it could be cleaned up.


A city woman is jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking cocaine and marihauna from an apartment on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say they arrested 42 year-old Brandy McBride during a raid at 248 Buffalo Street about 5:45 AM Thursday after getting nuisance complaints from neighbors. 

 

Officers and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force found McBride along with two other women and five young children between the ages of one-month and 10 years inside an apartment.  Police say they also found about 9 grams of powder cocaine 6-and-a-half grams of marihuana and, several pieces of drug paraphernalia, a quanity of cash and a canister of "CS gas" which is illegal to possess. 

 

McBride was arrested on charges including second and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and five counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Anyone who may have information on the illegal drug trafficking in the Jamestown area is asked to contact the JPD Tip line at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477 or the departments Tips 411 app.


The first major event in Chautauqua's new Amphitheater will be two weeks from last night on Thursday, June 22nd, for the Jamestown High School graduation. 

 

That from Chautauqua's Director of Communications, Jordan Steves Wednesday. The Institution wanted to have a 'temporary Certificate of Occupancy' earlier this month but, it's not in hand yet.  In the meantime Steves says programming staff is having to wear hard-hats and work vests inside the Amp. 

 

That Certificate of Occupancy is expected in the next week.  Steves says the biggest 'hiccup' has been a manufacturing delay at the Nebraska company making the new benches.  They won't all be done in time but an area firm,  Fancher Chair in Falconer is saving the day by making several temporary benches for them. 

 

Individual tickets for the first major entertainment event in the new Amp,  Aretha Franklin on June 24th are completely sold out.


The Fancher Chair Company in Falconer that Chautauqua Institution has turned to for help in getting several thousand feet of temporary benching in place was first contacted about the situation a week-and-a-half ago. 

 

Fancher's President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Henry says Chautauqua officials said they had a delay in the order and, worked out the details about design within about three-days.  Henry says they mainly manufacture solid-wood chairs. 

 

However he says they do benches on occasion.  Henry says they had asked to be considered for the initial project but, didn't hear back about it.  However he says they are making many of the chairs that'll be used in the new Amp during the coming season.  He says their 140 employees have "really stepped up" to get the project done in time.


Work is now underway to finalize Chautauqua County's application for the $20-million dollar, Municipal Consolidation and Government Efficiency Grant competition. 

 

A public forum was held Wednesday night at the Carlson Community Center in Mayville.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says about 75 people turned out for the meeting, including a number of local officials many who spoke about their projects including the new wasterwater treatment plant in Dunkirk. 

 

Horrigan says at this point, 13 projects have been identified for the application that is due later this month.  He says the Center for Governmental Research in Rochester is working with the county and local governments to finalize the application. 

 

Horrigan says they got "some additional input on opportunities" Wednesday.  He adds the application is due on June 28th.  Chautauqua County is one of six finalists in the competition.  There's no word on when a final decision will be made.

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It's not Congressional Republicans but, Democratic policies the past 30 years that have made it more difficult to do business and, has driven people from New York state. 

 

That from local Congressman Tom Reed who pushed back Wednesday against criticism from Governor Cuomo and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi about the need to defeat them in 2018.  Reed said Cuomo's comments clearly show that he is eyeing a run for the White House in 2020.  However he says the polices of Cuomo and his late father, Mario, have caused the exodus of businesses and people seen in recent years. 

 

In addition Reed says it's led to a loss of representation in Washington since the 1980s.  At that time New York had 35 members of Congress but, that number has now fallen to 27.  He adds two more may be lost after the next Census. 

 

Cuomo and Pelosi told hundreds of union members at a Manhattan rally Tuesday that New Yorkers can play a key role in returning the House of Representatives to Democratic control.  Reed says he's been pushing "pro-growth" policies to grow jobs and population in the state.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he likes what he's seen so far of President Trump's pick to head up the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

 

House Republicans say they didn't have advance notice of Trump's choice of Christopher Wray.  He's a former Justice Department official who was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's personal lawyer during the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation. 

 

Reed says he doesn't know much more about Wray at this point but says Wray has a lot of experience with the U-S Attorney's Office, and the Justice Department.  Reed says he's very eagar to look more at Wray's resume and, record. 

 

He says he's hopeful that the Senate will move quickly to confirm the appointment.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


A former mayor of Cassadaga has announced she is running for Chautauqua County Clerk this Fall. 

 

LeeAnn Lazarony is currently the resource coordinator for the Dunkirk City drug treatment court and also has in the past worked in that same capacity for the Jamestown drug treatment court.  Lazarony says she believes her experience in the court system and as a mayor for eight years is a major asset. 

 

She says she has worked in the court system for about 15 years.  If elected, Lazarony says among her goals is to provide a "professional, non-political, customer friendly" county clerk's office. 

 

She is seeking the Democratic nomination and would run against incumbent Republican Larry Barmore.


Four people have been arrested and, Jamestown police seized a number of stolen items including a hand-gun and shot-gun during two separate raids in the city Monday. 

 

Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson confirms today that officers executed a search warrant at an apartment about 10:30 AM at 108 Crescent Street after being tipped about stolen property inside.  They reportedly found items including a 12-gauge shotgun, laptop computers and a large machete. 

 

In addition police say they found a quantity of methamphetamine, and arrested two people.  They say 52 year-old Bernard Philbrick, Junior and 25 year-old Kyle Lewis face weapons and drug possession charges.  During the investigation, police learned that the stolen property was taken from a nearby home at 117 Crescent Street and, they arrested 37 year-old Misty Harkins there on an outstanding bench warrant. 

 

A second raid occured several hours later at 1063 East Second Street on a report of a person with a weapon.  They later arrested 27 year-old James Blue, and seized a 40-calibur pistol.


For the seventh week in a row gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are holding steady. 

 

The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says the price is up just 2-tenths of a cent per gallon but, is still just over $2.55  a gallon.  AAA says New York is one of four states across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region where prices remained flat from last week. 

 

Every other state in the region is seeing prices drop as much as three cents.  Nationally gas prices have fallen moderately in most states following a week of all-time high gasoline demand.  The price of a gallon of gasoline increased one cent this week to $2.38 from last week; however, the price at the pump in 30 states has fallen as much as 4-cents. 

 

The moderate decline in gas prices is typical following a long holiday weekend.

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The first of three Erie, Pennsylvania men accused of car-jacking a vehicle, and stealing a truck in the Dunkirk-area about two years ago has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. 

 

Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 21 year-old Michael Gonzalez-Colon was recently convicted of carjacking and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.  He was then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence Vilardo. 

 

Prosecutors say Gonzalez-Colon and the two co-defendants rode stolen ATV's in Erie and, road them to Dunkirk in July of 2015... and, shortly after arriving in Dunkirk, the ATV's were seized by police.  Without transportation they then assaulted two people in the vicinity of Robin and Second Streets and, stole their car at gun-point.  They also stole a pick-up truck.


A city man is jailed without bail and, a teenaged boy is also in custody for allegedly trafficking crystal methamphetime on Jamestown's north and east sides. 

 

City police say they were called to the area of Dearborn Street late Monday morning on a report of 19 year-old Joshua Verrett being spotted walking there.  Verrett was wanted on several oustanding city court warrants and, police say they found the Bishop Street man with a 17 year-old on Dearborn Street. 

 

Officers say they arrested Verrett without incident and, during the arrest, allegedly found a quantity of crystal meth and, two digital scales in his possession.  Police say the 17 year-old was also found in possession of a small amount of crystal meth in his possession. 

 

Verrett was arrraigned on charges including Felony third-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and, the 17 year-old was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession.


The Jamestown School District can now move forward on hiring 10 new staff members four of them teachers for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. 

 

The school board unanimously approved formally adding the posts during last night's meeting.  Interim School Superintendent Silvia Root says she's pleased to be able to move forward on filling these positions.  Root says funding for the positions is included in the new, $80-plus million dollar budget. 

 

Root says she believes this is "the beginning of meeting students needs, and being able to support it.  Root says the positions include two English Language Learner teachers two ESL paraprofessionals two school counselors and two elementary teachers.  There will also be one new music teacher and, one school psychologist. 

 

Root says the district should be set once those people are hired.  However she says the district did leave some financial "room" for the new superintendent to possibly fill two other positions once he or she is hired. 

 

The school board also approved the final canvass of the May 16th budget, and school board vote.  The spending plan was approved 505-to-106.


Governor Andrew Cuomo and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi say New York's eight Republican members of Congress must be defeated in 2018. 

 

Pelosi and the Democratic governor told hundreds of union members at a Manhattan rally Tuesday that New Yorkers can play a key role in returning the House of Representatives to Democratic control.  Cuomo said New York's Republican Congress members don't represent the state's interests. 

 

He called them "political pawns of the ultra-conservative puppet masters in Washington."  While it's not uncommon for Democrats to criticize Republicans, Cuomo's remarks come amid speculation that he may seek the White House in 2020.  Corning Republican Tom Reed is one of those House members being targeted.


A Great Lakes researcher and SUNY College at Fredonia professor is preparing to swim the length of Chautauqua Lake later this month in preparation for a longer swim across Lake Erie. 

 

Sherri Mason has announced that she will attempt the 15.5-mile journey during the week of June 19th.  She says that the idea began as a swim across Lake Erie, but she was encouraged to do a "trial swim" first of at least 10-miles.  Dr. Mason has been in training for the swim for nearly a year. 

 

Initially the focus of the swim was on the problem of plastics pollution, but the message has become a larger one because of the Trump Administration and the push for changes in environmental policy.  Mason says it's a matter of how important fresh, clean water is to us in America, and the entire world. 

 

No specific date for the Chautauqua Lake swim has been set.  It will begin at Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron and conclude at Lakeside Park in Mayville.

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Jamestown city officials and residents of a northside neighborhood are expressing disappointment over a state decision to not fund an approximately 12-to-13-million dollar housing project. 

 

City Council Housing Committee Chairwoman Marie Carruba expressed her feelings after some residents spoke during last night's committee meeting.  Carrubba says she's heard from other people in the area where the Jackson-Spring Housing Development was to be built. 

 

She says the problem with the eight dilapitated and condemned homes there is not going away because the city can't afford to do them all.  They were to be replaced with 36-units developed by a Buffalo-area firm, NRP working locally with Citizens Opportunity for Development and Equality also known as CODE. 

 

CODE and the developer had applied for a second-time for funding through the state Office of Housing and Community Renewal for the funding and, housing credits.


Two Kennedy men have been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of narcotic drugs following a vehicle stop on the city of Jamestown's northside. 

 

City police say a pick-up truck passed a marked JPD Cruiser on West 10th Street shortly before 1 PM last Saturday afternoon and, the operator, 21 year-old Dyllan Ownbey, was pulled over.  Officers say Ownbey was smoking a marijuana cigarette in plain sight, and he was found to be driving the truck with an expired inspection sticker. 

 

Police ordered both Ownbey and his passenger, 23 year-old James Albro from the vehicle.  They say they found 15-grams of marijuana, 5.5-grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms, and point-3 grams of Fentanyl. 

 

Both were charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and one count each of unlawful possession of marijuaua.  Both were jailed with bail to be set.


A Cattaraugus County man is jailed on $25,000 bail for allegedly trafficing narcotic drugs in the Randolph area following a raid on his apartment. 

 

Members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office say they executed a search warrant at 106 Hall Avenue and found 27 year-old Scott Fairbanks with six bags of Heroin packaged for sale.  They say they also found a small amount of marijuana, along with drug paraphernalia and scales. 

 

Fairbanks faces charges including third-degree Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He also faces three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Fairbanks was arraigned and sent to the Little Valley lock-up.


Local Congressman Tom Reed was in the majority of the House of Representatives who voted recently for the Reduction of Regulatory Burdens Act that pulls back on some regulations regarding the dumping of pesticides. 

 

Reed says the act, which amends what's commonly called the Clean Water Act would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency or a state from requiring a permit under the "National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System" for discharging of pesticides through a pipe or tunnel. 

 

The bill establishes exemptions from this prohibition which Reed feels are "reasonable."  Opponents of the move say the move "guts" clean water and clean air rules but, Reed says it's intended to eliminate duplicity, and overly burdensome regulations on businesses and individuals. 

 

Congress earlier this year approved the "Midnight Rules Relief Act" which simply allowed lawmakers to reject multiple rules under the Congressional Review Act. 

 

The Reduction of Regulatory Burdens Act was approved prior to President Trump announcing the U-S was withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.



The county's application for the $20 million-dollar New York State Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition is coming together and among the 10 projects in the application will be two involving the village of Fredonia and the city of Dunkirk. 

 

Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis spoke about the two projects Monday and pointed out that they are involved in talks regarding the wastewater treatment plant in Dunkirk.  Landis says an agency is working with them on that project. 

 

She adds there's also the ongoing effort to find one location for both community's police departments and courts.  Dr. Landis says there may be some complications involving the shared police and courts facility because of a state mandate and, circumstances are more complicated. 

 

She says police cars can currently go outside the area they primarily serve.  Chautauqua County is among six finalists seeking the $20-million dollar grant and there's a June 30the deadline for the applications.

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A Ripley man was killed last weekend when he apparently fell from the tractor he was using, and got pinned underneath it. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Sulpher Springs Road in the town of Mina about 5:20 PM Saturday on a report of the man being pinned under the vehicle.  When they arrived, deputies say they found 57 year old Edward Schwab underneath the tractor.  However, EMS workers were unable to revive him and, Schwab was pronounced dead at the scene.

 


A Cassadaga Man was seriously hurt when his motorcycle struck a deer and he was ejected on the Stockton-Cassadaga Road in the town of Stockton last Saturday night. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the operator, 47 year-old Daniel Gloss, was westbound just after 11 PM when the crash occured.  Deputies say Gloss was unable to avoid the deer and, struck it and was thrown from the bike. 

 

They say Gloss was treated at the scene by Cassadaga and Stockton fire rescue crews and, was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of his injuries.


With the exception of some rain Sunday morning there was great weather last weekend for the return of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament to downtown Jamestown. 

 

That from Tournament Director Michael Bird with the Jamestown Post-Journal.  The local newspaper, along with the Dunkirk Observer and, the Warren Times-Observer headed up the effort to bring the Macker back to Jamestown for the first time in several years. 

 

Bird says they expected some issues Sunday but, none was insurmountable. Bird says they got 200 teams for the tournament which was a good number for the first year back.  He says the response was very good and, overall there was a lot of good sportsmanship. 

 

The Media One Group was a Media Sponsor for the Gus Macker Tournament.  Bird says 20% of the proceeds will go to the Alex Foulk Foundation to support the "Fresh Start" initiative.  He adds that several other groups including the Jamestown Key Club and, Honor Society and, local elementary schools will all benefit from the tournament.


Chautauqua County is finalizing it's application for a 20-million dollar local government consolidation award from New York State. 

 

That from County Executive Vince Horrigan, who high-lighted the work of his Regional Solutions Commission during last Friday's County Executive Breakfast hosted by the Chautuaqua County Chamber of Commerce at Chautauqua Golf Club. The commission chaired by County Legislator George Borrello, had identified 10 projects that would receive money from that award.

 

Horrigan says the application is due by the end of June and, state leaders will then make a decision among the six finalists for the funding.  He says that would help the county realize the 15 focus goals of the county's 2020 Comprehensive Plan. 

 

Horrigan adds that having the county on solid financial footing was one of those when it was first drawn-up.  He says being able to cut the tax rate by 74 cents over the past six years has helped greatly.


New York is pushing a major clean energy job initiative in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from an international pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced $1.5 billion-dollars for renewable energy projects such as wind, solar arrays, hydro and fuel cell to advance a state goal of achieving 50% of electricity from renewables by 2030.  Cuomo says the investment will produce 40,000 clean energy jobs by 2020. 

 

The announcement follows Trump's Thursday decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement to reduce U.S. polluting emissions by 1.6 billion tons by 2025.  Cuomo and Democratic governors in Washington and California denounced the move and pledged to uphold the commitment.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says his state will continue to abide by the Paris climate accord regardless of President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the landmark 190-nation agreement to reduce carbon emissions. 

 

Cuomo says that the Republican president's decision is "reckless" and harmful for the nation and the planet.  He says he will use executive orders to ensure the state does not abandon its efforts to boost renewable energy while reducing emissions tied to climate change. 

 

Cuomo also says he and the governors of California and Washington state will lead a new alliance of states supporting the Paris agreement.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also vowed to use executive orders to ensure his city continues to "honor the goals" of the climate deal.


Republican Governor Phil Scott says Vermont is joining a coalition of states, including New York that have committed to upholding the Paris climate agreement despite President Trump's decision to leave the historic international pact. 

 

The U.S. Climate Alliance was formed by the Democratic governors of California, New York and Washington after Trump's announcement Thursday.  The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island also announced Friday that their states would be joining the alliance. 

 

Scott says Vermont is a leader in environmental policy and natural resource management.  He says the president's decision to withdraw the country from the agreement only strengthens the states' commitment and makes their work more important.


A cold storage facility could still be coming to the city of Dunkirk and, the north county city's elected official says he couldn't be happier. 

 

Mayor Willie Rosas confirms that a meeting involving the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency the city of Dunkirk and, Fieldbrook Foods was held on Thursday and the former Edgewood warehouse on Roberts Road is now being considered as a possible site for the Great Lakes Cold Storage facility. 

 

Rosas says that while no final decision has been made, he is pleased that a city based site is in the running. Earlier this year Dunkirk's Zoning Board of Appeals had approved a location for the project between Central Avenue, Fairview Avenue and Main Street Extension, but local residents in the area of site had threatened a lawsuit.  That had led the company and Fieldbrook Foods to consider a site at the Chadwick Bay Industrial Park in the town of Sheridan.   

 

Rosas says no decision has been made yet because they haven't gotten a commitment yet from the developer.


Pennsylvania's state Senate is unveiling legislation to overhaul retirement benefits for future state government and public school employees in hopes of getting it to Governor Tom Wolf's desk this week. 

 

 A first committee vote was scheduled for last night... just hours after the legislation became public.  Pennsylvania's two big pension systems face a roughly a $60-billion dollar projected debt.  Senate Republicans have tried unsuccessfully for four years to end or reduce the traditional pension benefit for future state and school employees in favor of a 401(k)-style benefit. 

 

This bill would create a hybrid plan, and make the second pension overhaul in eight years.  Actuaries say it wouldn't reduce near-term pension obligations for the state and school districts.

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News Headlines for Sat., June 3, 2017

Horrigan updates State of County, talks about accomplishments during county Chamber appearance...
He still has seven months left in office... but, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan tell county business leaders that indicators show "all the arrows are pointed in the right direction" for the county.  Horrigan addressed the county's Chamber of Commerce at the Chautauqua Golf Club for the final time as executive yesterday morning.  Horrigan presented an updated version of his State of the County Address... then fielded a series of questions.  He was asked what he felt was his biggest accomplishment.  Horrigan says it was forming "consensus" on a number of issues facing the county... adding we're not arguing about "silly things..." and are getting things done.  Horrigan says "everyone has good ideas..." and, the key was to listen... compromise and move forward.  As for his biggest challenge... the Bemus Point Republican pointed quickly to the local Heroin and Opioid Drug Crisis.  He says strides have been made in law enforcement and the judicial system... but, adds the addiction part has been difficult.  Horrigan did point to the fact that UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital has been able to get the funding in place to start long-term treatment in the Jamestown-area... and, improvements have also been made in the north county.
 
 
Horrigan says former Chautauqua County Home is doing well...
Perhaps the most controversial issue faced during County Executive Vince Horrigan's lone-term as executive was the February 2014 sale of the Chautauqua County Home in Dunkirk.  After several months of discussion and debate... the county legislature voted to sell the Dunkirk facility to VestraCare for $16-million by a 13-to-5 vote.  Horrigan says it was a "very difficult" process... especially having to face the fears of residents, and their families.  He says care for the elderly is  "deeply personnal..." but, he says it's "doing well," and their rates have not increased.  Horrigan... adds though... that owning a nursing home was not a primary function of government... and, says the home was a drag on the county's finances.  He says the combination of the sale... and, boosting the county's sales tax an extra half-a-percent to 8-percent has helped the county bring the tax rate to 41-cents per $1,000 below the average in Western New York.  
 
 
Dunkirk man arrested as part of major bust in late April...
A Dunkirk man wanted in connection with a major drug bust in the city back in April has been located and arrested by police in the north county.  Dunkirk Police arrested 27-year-old Christian Maestre at 172 King Street around 7 p.m. last Thursday.  Officers say Maestre was wanted on a warrant charging him with one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminal sale.  The charges stem from an investigation by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Dunkirk Police that led to a raid at 51 East 2nd Street on April 28th.  Task Force members seized a large quantity of cocaine and more than $171-thousand dollars in cash from alleged drug sales.  Maestre was arraigned in City Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.
 
 
Lakewood mayor explosing possible community chamber in village...
An effort is underway to create a new "community" chamber of commerce in southern Chautauqua County.  Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri has been discussing the possibility of a new chamber specifically for merchants in the village.  Birritierri recently discussed the idea with Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum and other chamber leaders.  She says she first thought about creating a local Merchants group because retail is such a big part of the village's economy... including the only mall in the Jamestown-area.  Birritierri says it made sense because there are about 50 members of the county Chamber of Commerce from Lakewood.  However... she says there is a slight obstacle in that Lakewood does not currently have it's own community chamber.  She says Tranum and other Chamber officials met with Birritierri during the recent ribbon cutting for the new Lakewood Diner on Chautauqua Avenue. 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown-area man has been indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on 20-counts for allegedly being in possession of child pornography.  

 

Ellicott Town Police say they arrested 51 year-old George Ciancio of 107 Westminster Drive in West Ellicott on a County Court warrant last February following a several month-long, joint investigation with the FBI.  

 

Officers say Ciancio faces 10 counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child and, 10 counts of possessing a sexual performance by a child.  Ciancio is free on bail.

 

 

A Jamestown woman was arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly selling illegal drugs during a raid at a home on the city's northside.  
 
Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were joined by members of the state Police C-NET Team in executing a search warrant at 11 West 10th Street shortly after 5 AM.  Samuelson said yesterday that agents arrested 48 year-old Searcy Fields as part of their ongoing investigation into the sales and trafficking of illegal narcotics in the city.
 
Samuelson says task force members also found quanitites of heroin and "crack" cocaine inside the residence and, also seized a small amount of cash and scales.  He says Fields was taken into custody without incident and, adds she is charged with third-and seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  
 
She was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.  If you have any information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown contact the Task Force confidentially at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  Or contact them via their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
 
A north county woman is being treated for serious injuries after her car went off Route 5 in the town of Sheridan yesterday afternoon and, slammed into a tree.  
 
Sheriff's officers were called to the scene, near the junction with Newell Road just after 12:30 PM.  Deputies say a nearby neighbor and another motorist pulled the woman Chun Pandak of Irving, from the wreckage.  
 
Officers say that prevented more serious injuries.  Officers say Pandak was taken by Alstar Ambulance to a landing area and, she was then flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.
 
 
A fatal accident involving an Amish horse and buggy late last year in Clymer has led four local fire departments to donate a miniature Amish buggy to the Chautauqua Children's Safety Education Village in Ashville.  
 
Safety Village Director Terri Kindberg says she happened to come across the scene of that accident and, says it left an impression she'll never forget.  Kindberg says the buggy will now be part of the safety courses they teach at the village regarding traffic that moves slowly.
 
Kindberg says she and Safety Village Board President Sheriff Joe Gerace serve on the county's Traffic Safety Board and, she says the idea of adding an Amish buggy to their curriculum has been discussed for a while now.  
 
She says Panama Fire Chief Vern Sheldon, Junior knew the man killed in the Clymer accident and, called her about the idea to get the ball rolling.  The chiefs of all four communities Panama, Sherman, Clymer and Ashville have large Amish populations.  Each was represented during the unveiling of the miniature buggy Wednesday night at the Hewes Education Center BOCES in Ashville. 

 

 

 

An investigation into a stabbing that occurred Saturday afternoon in the area of East 4th Street and Park Avenue in Dunkirk has resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old man.  

 

Dunkirk Police have charged Christopher Cancel-Vazquez of South Zebra Street with first-degree assault after allegedly stabbing a 33-year-old male from Dunkirk in the lower abdomen during an argument.  Cancel-Vazquez fled the scene, but was picked up Tuesday on an arrest warrant.  

 

The victim was treated at Brooks Memorial Hospital... and, was later flown by helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.  Cancel-Vazquez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail on 50-thousand dollars cash bail.

 

 

Chautauqua County's two airports picked up nearly $1.2-million dollars in federal funding.  
 
That from U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand who announced late Wednesday that both airports would share in 17-million dollars being provided to 36 airports in New York state.  County Executive Vince Horrigan, who was pleased to get the news, says the County Airport near Jamestown will receive just over 816,000 of those dollars.
 
Horrigan says Jamestown actually received two grants with a smaller one to remove an obstruction and refurbish the taxiway.  In addition Horrigan says the Dunkirk Airport will receive $437,000 in funding.  
 
He says that'll be used to repair runway and taxiway surfaces and, study removal of any obstructions to air traffic.  
Senator's Schumer and Gillibrand announced that more than $17 million in funding would go to the upstate area. The largest award 2.4-million dollars will go for projects at the Greater Rochester International Airport in Rochester.
 
 
A Jamestown man involved with private sector management and finance for three decades has been named the new Vice-President for Finance and Administration at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  
 
Fredonia President Virginia Horvath says Michael Metzger will assume his new duties at Fredonia on July 3rd.  Metzger is currently Vice President and Strategic Advisor for Blackstone Advanced Technologies in Jamestown... a position he has held since 2014.  
 
In previous positions Horvath said Metzger was president of Blackstone Business Enterprises from 2010 to 2013 the Chief Financial Officer for Acu-Rite Companies from 1985 to 2010 and, he worked at Bausch & Lomb from 1976 to 1984.  
 
Horvath says Metzger quote  "brings a range of experiences in operations management, including in the not-for-profit and government sectors."  Metzger says he's "honored to accept the position" adding that, "it's been a dream of mine to be part of the rich tradition of this exceptional educational institution."
 
 
Legislation newly introduced in Albany aims to stamp out school lunch shaming.  
 
The proposal announced Wednesday by state Sen. Liz Krueger and Jo Anne Simon would require schools to ensure all eligible students are signed up for free and reduced-cost school meals.  The bill would also prohibit schools from singling out students whose families fall into school lunch debt by assigning them extra chores or giving them alternative meals.  
 
The sponsors of the bill say there's no statewide policy for students who can't buy their lunch. They say that too often students are stigmatized and shamed if their families fall behind on school lunch payments.

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WJTN News Headlines

A Buffalo man living in Jamestown and accused of trafficking large quantities of crack and powder cocaine now faces federal charges in the case following his arrest locally.  

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has formally announced that 38 year-old Odessin McBride was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute, and distribution of, cocaine.  Kennedy says the charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $2,000,000 fine.  

 

Federal prosecutors accuse McBride of distributing both cocaine and crack cocaine in the Jamestown area.  Police and local Drug agents surveilled McBride allegedly selling cocaine and, they obtained a search warrant for McBride’s Sampson Street home.  

 

Special agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, working with officers from the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, raided McBride's home on May 19th and, found him and his wife, and their 4 year-old child inside.  

 

Police also recovered cash, four digital scales, and a shrink-wrapping machine in the kitchen.  They also allegedly found scales, baggies, a razor blade, and a quantity of cocaine sealed in shrink-wrapped plastic bags buried in the ground outside the home.  A detention hearing was held in Buffalo Wednesday afternoon. 

 

 

Western New York and Chautauqua County are both winding up an unusually wet month of May and, it's looking like a rainy start to June as well.  
 
That from National Weather Service Forecaster Dan Kelly in Buffalo. who says they have a weather observer in Jamestown. who reports higher than usual rainfall for May.  Kelly says that follows a rainier than usual April.
 
Kelly says, in Buffalo they has received 6.35-inches for the month of May as of Midnight Tuesday night which is the seventh-highest amount for the city since records have been kept.  As for the immediate future he says we'll remain somewhat rainy through the coming weekend.  
 
Kelly says another round of thunderstorms moved through the area late yesterday more are expected towards the end of the week on Friday.  Kelly says there's a 50-50 chance of rain through early next week with temperatures slightly below normal.  Our complete forecast is coming up.
 
 
Memorial Day weekend serves as the unofficial kick-off to Summer but, Chautauqua County's top-elected official used it to kick off his first-ever "100 Days of Summer Safety" campaign.  
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan discussed the program at the end of last week's County Legislature meeting talking about how great the Summer season is here.  However he says it seems like every year there is at least one tragedy that occurs. Horrigan, who also headed up the local chapter of the American Red Cross for about 12 years says he wants to try and prevent that.
 
To that end Horrigan says he's working with the county Department of Health and Human Services on a program that includes boating, and motor vehicle and bicycle safety and so on.  He says it can only take a moment for tragedy to strike.  
 
Horrigan says he's tentatively scheduled a press event for next week with a focus on water safety.  Horrigan says one focus there will be on making sure that children have life jackets on when boating. 

 

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain steady as the Summer driving season demand kicks in.  

 

That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report, which ways the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel remains just over $2.55 this week.  Triple-A says the price is down about 2-tenths of a cent for the week.  

 

The Fuel Gauge reports that New York state's average price is now $2.51 a gallon.  Elsewhere across the Northeast the growing demand for gasoline has pressured pump prices.  

 

Nationally the average is now $2.37 cents, one-cent more than a week ago, two cents more than a month ago and five cents more than a year ago.  The latest Energy Information Administration's report says rising gasoline demand has resulted in dropping gasoline inventories across the country.  

 

Last week U.S. demand for gasoline jumped to the highest level this year, while inventories dropped by 800,000 barrels. 

 

 

When Congress resumes it's 115th session next Tuesday there will be less than two months to go before the current session ends for lawmakers in August.  
 
That means action needs to be taken on a number of big ticket items that need to be addressed before then. Local Congressman Tom Reed says the big item currently is in the Senate which is working on a new Health Care bill.  
 
The House acted on the American Health Care Act earlier this Spring but, the Senate has yet to.  After that, Reed says there's the president's 4.1-trillion dollar budget proposal.
 
However there is some Republican opposition to the president's proposal which would add defense spending but, cut or eliminate several domestic social programs.  
 
Reed says there's also the issue of the nation's accumulated, 20-Trillion deficit and, President Trump's administration has already indicated the need for Congress to raise the debt ceiling before they leave for Summer recess.  
 
He says the bi-partisan "Problem Solver's" caucus he belongs to is already looking at common ways to deal with that issue.
 
 
A Buffalo-area woman who died of her injuries suffered in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident last weekend in Cattaraugus County has now been identified.  
 
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley now say that 33 year-old Dawn Krol died after her ATV crashed on Eastland Road in Yorkshire, just after 7 PM last Sunday.  Officers say Krol was unconscious and not breathing when they arrived.  
But, she was already receiving CPR and, was rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville.  She was then taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo where she later died from her injuries.  
 
Krol was a high school math teacher in the Pembroke School District in Genesee County.
 
 
Two north county men are in the Chautauqua County Jail for allegedly committing an armed robbery Tuesday morning in the village of Fredonia.  
 
Fredonia Police were called to a location on Cushing Street at about 2 AM where the victims were able to provide a description of the suspects.  Police say they were later seen in a vehicle, fleeing the neighboorhood at a high rate of speed.  
 
Further investigation led to the arrest of 31-year-old Steven Glenn of Fredonia and 18-year-old Norman Geddis, Jr. of Dunkirk.  A search of the vehicle led to the recovery of two loaded handguns and, several items of stolen property.  
 
Glenn and Geddis were arraigned and jailed on two counts each of first-degree robbery and, three counts of criminal possession of stolen property.  They also face one count each of criminal use of a firearm, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  
 
Geddis is being held on $150,000 cash bail, while Glenn is being held without bail. 
 
 
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly throwing her cane into the front window of a downtown bar and eatery late yesterday morning.  
 
City police were called to The Pub about 10:45 AM on a report of the woman hitting, and damaging the window at the 209 North Main Street location.  Officers say 53 year-old Tammy Stevenson of West Eighth Street apparently left before police arrived.  
 
However they say she was found near Prendergast Avenue and, was arrested.  City police say the window which was found with several cracks on it will cost more than $1,500 to replace.  
 
Officers say Stevenson is charged with second-degree criminal contempt a Felony.

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WJTN News Headlines

It's an announcement that could be historic in the effort to revitalize downtown Jamestown.
 
Those are the feelings of Mayor Sam Teresi as he introduced Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul late Tuesday morning to announce the 10 projects approved for about 10-million dollars in funding through the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  
 
She says one-million dollars will be going to a major project to redevelop the former Key Bank Building at East Second and North Main Streets.
 
Hochul adds that the biggest award, 2.4-million dollars is going to the major project to renovate the former Ramada Inn on West Fourth Street into a Hilton Doubletree Hotel.  In addition, Hochul says the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts which hosted the event, will receive 1.5-million dollars of the funding for upgrades.  
 
The Robert H. Jackson Center on East Fourth Street will also be getting 1.5-million dollars.  The Jamestown Brewing Company project on West Third Street will receive $830,000.  
 
Five other, smaller projects are receiving between $265,000 to $670,000.
 
Elected officials from Chautauqua County and the state were on hand for the final DRI announcement and, call the funding awards for the 10 projects "great news."
 
State Senator Cathy Young congratulated Jamestown adding that downtowns have taken major hits in recent years with changes in retailing and other sectors.  However Young says cities that are able to "reinvent" themselves have been able to survive and thrive.  She says the DRI can make a big difference.
 
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the idea of making Jamestown a destination is very much a part of what's taking place.  Goodell says it begins with the proposed National Comedy Center which is scheduled to open next year on West Second and Washington Streets.  He credited Director Journey Gunderson and Board President Tom Benson with leading the effort to turn a concept into a reality.  
 
Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan thanked Hochul and other state leaders for helping Chautauqua County so much after the closing of the Con-Agra plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia a few years ago resulting in 600 jobs being lost.

 

 

A Buffalo-area woman has died of her injuries suffered in an All-Terrain Vehicle accident last weekend in the Cattaraugus County Town of Yorkshire.

 

Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley are not identifying the 33 year-old Clarence woman.  However officers say she was riding the ATV on Eastland Road just after 7 PM Sunday when the crash occured.  

 

Deputies say the victim was unconscious and not breathing when they arrived.  But, she was already receiving CPR and, was rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springville then the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo where she later died from her injuries.

 

 

A Pittsfield, Pennsylvania man is being treated for a possibly serious head injury after his All-Terrain Vehicle crashed at a Pittsfield Township intersection late Monday afternoon.

 

State Police in Warren say the unidentified 66 year-old man was riding the ATV near the intersection of State Route 27 and Hamilton Road about 5:30 PM when he lost control and, was thrown from the vehicle.  

 

Troopers say the man landed on the roadway and, was taken by ambulance to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Police are investigating whether alcohol may have been involved in the accident.

 

 

The Jamestown Jammers begin their third-season in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this week and, final preparations for the season opener are being made.
 
Opening night is Thursday at Russell E. Diethrick Park and, Team and Business Manager Anthony Barone says players started coming into town this past weekend to begin preparations.  Barone says it's a short time to get his players introduced to each other and, start practicing.
 
Barone says they've been working for the first two years to get the product in place and, to get the team to be a focal point in the community.  He says they see that coming together now and, adds they're seeing an increase in ticket and sponsorship sales.  
 
Barone says the Jammers 2017 roster is shaping up nicely especially with returning veterans.  He says they include Catcher Chris Connelly Outfielder Skylar Valentine and, infielder Ben Brookover.  Barone says Connelly will be Team Captain this year.
 
 
U-S Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer says President Donald Trump is coming up short on security for states and cities by proposing to cut hundreds of millions of dollars for anti-terrorism efforts.
 
The New York Democrat said Monday "it makes absolutely no sense" to reduce the money when terrorism remains a looming threat.  The White House has said over $1.9 million-dollars budgeted since 2013 hasn't gotten spent.  
 
Schumer's office says it can take time for cities and states to actually get and spend the money, but that doesn't mean they haven't allocated or don't need it.  
 
Trump is seeking new spending on border security but cuts in some other security efforts, including two counterterror programs for cities and states.  Schumer says they'd shrink by 25%, to $800-million.

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WJTN Headlines

The investigation is continuing into an early morning fire Monday that destroyed a vacant house on the city of Jamestown's southside. 

 

City fire crews were called to the scene at 274 Prospect Street shortly before 5 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says they found heavy fire coming from the structure on arrival. Sigular says it took some time to bring the flames under control because the building was unstable. 

 

He says the roof eventually collapsed and, the Department of Development was called in.  Sigular says there was one neighboring structure that sustained some minor damage mainly paint blistering.  Sigular says the structure was unstable. and, crews remained on hand to douse hot spots. 

 

He ways officials decided to tear-down the building by late morning and, an emergency demolition was ordered.  No one was inside the building when crews arrived and, no services were on inside. 

 

No firefighters were hurt.  An off-duty shift of 10 firefighters and a shift commander were called in to assist.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with in possession of a quantity of powder cocaine during a traffic stop on the city's eastside last weekend. 

 

City police say a patrol pulled over the vehicle operated by 38 year-old Anthony Cunningham, Junior shortly before 10 PM last Saturday near 105 East Fifth Street for a violation.  Officers say they found that Cunningham was driving with his driver's license suspended. 

 

During further investigation they allegedly found the cocaine.  Cunninghman allegedly resisted arrest, and fled from the scene.  However police found him a short time later and, he was arrested. 

 

They say Cunningham faces several charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance aggravated unlicensed operation and resisting arrest.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


There was a threat of rain at the beginning of the day Monday but, the weather cleared enough to allow several Memorial Day Parades and commemorations to take place locally Monday. 

 

The first parade of the day in the immediate Jamestown-area was in the town of Busti where the Southwestern Middle School Band performed.
 

The Middle School Band was also joined by the Southwestern High School Marching Band for the parade along with several area fire departments, and civic organizations.  Local Pastor Lee O'Brien was keynote speaker in Busti and he recognized the nation's fallen heroes. 

 

He says they came from all walks of life but, shared several qualities including courage and self-lessness.  He says including the Revolutionary War millions have died overseas and here at home.  However O'Brien says people continue to step forward and say "I'll serve." 

 

O'Brien noted that Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day" and began following the Civil War in the mid 1860s.  He says familes began decorating the graves of those who were lost in the war.


While millions of Americans celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, some veterans and loved ones of fallen military members wish the holiday would command more respect. 

 

Veterans groups say a growing military-civilian disconnect contributes to a feeling that Memorial Day has been overshadowed.  More than 12% of the U.S. population served in the armed forces during World War-Two. 

 

That's down to less than one-half of a percent today, guaranteeing more Americans aren't personally acquainted with a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. 

 

Allison Jaslow is a former Army captain and Iraq War veteran.  She says the country's "lost sight of what the day's supposed to mean."



Lawmakers in lots of states get paid extra if they hold leadership posts or oversee important committees. 

 

But few state legislatures have a bonus system as extensive as the one in New York's state senate.  Nearly all 63 state senators take home stipends nicknamed "lulus" that add between $9,000 and $34,000 to their wages. 

 

That stipend system has now drawn new scrutiny following an investigation revealing that eight senators were getting bonuses reserved for committee chairmen, even though they held no such positions.


In New York state government news, lawmakers will break for a week and the state's highest court takes up assisted suicide. 

 

The Legislature returns June 5th for the final three weeks of the session.  One item on the to-do list is a bill that raises the minimum age of marriage to 17.  Currently, New York allows children as young as 14 to marry with judicial and parental consent.  

 

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case filed by three New Yorkers with terminal illnesses who want the right to request life-ending medication from a physician. 

 

Meanwhile Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign legislation allowing Uber and Lyft to begin picking up passengers upstate in late June, just in time for the July 4 holiday.


Pennsylvania State education officials have given the green light for an educational institution to provide low-cost instruction for nine northwestern including Warren lacking a community college. 

 

The Pennsylvania Department of Education last week approved plans by the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania to enroll students in the fall in a partnership with Gannon University in Erie.  The college has been offering limited courses during the summer. 

 

The college is neither an online nor a brick-and-mortar institution but aims to curb costs with video conferencing technology linking faculty to students at places such as libraries or community education centers. 

 

Officials call it the first "community college-like" institution north of Interstate 80 providing "affordable and accessible education opportunities" for Warren, Cameron, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Potter and, Venango counties.

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News Headlines for Sat., May 27, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend underway, with biggest holiday travel weekend expected since 2005...
Today will be a major travel day for many Western New Yorkers as they hit the highways or the airports.  Regional AAA Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says more Americans will be traveling this year than 2016... and, adds that AAA projects that it will be the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005.  Carey says they expect about 39.3-million Americans to travel at least 50 miles this weekend, about one-million more than last year.  With many people hitting the highway this weekend, Carey says its a good idea to get your vehicle checked out before heading out... even with todah's high-tech cars.  She says most of their roadside calls are for dead batteries... flat tires, and keys locked in the car.  Carey says it's also important to carry an emergency kit.  While many of us do it during the winter, it's still a good idea during the summer months.  Last summer in New York State, AAA answered nearly 300,000 roadside calls.
 
 
Road construction suspended on state highways over Memorial Day Weekend...
Repair crews on New York state highways are taking a break over the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Road and bridge construction projects on state highways will be suspended now through 6 a.m. Tuesday.  State officials say some work may continue behind concrete barriers or for emergency repairs.  Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year.  
 
 
Chautauqua Co. Office for Aging Director sounds concern over Senior Program funding levels in federal budget proposal...
The 2018 federal budget plan proposed by President Trump will have a negative impact on senior citizens across the U-S -- and, Chautauqua County.  That from County Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos... who says "direct funding" for programs in the Older Americans Act have not been touched.  However... Spanos says there are other programs that help seniors in the area that are either being cut dramatically... or completely.  She says one is the Senior Employment Program which helps them be retrained... a program they depend on to suppliment what little Social Security they receive.  Spanos says many just like to keep active... or lost a job and need to be retrained.  She says the program is run through the Department of Labor for a total of 20 hours a week for each person.  Another service on the chopping block... says Spanos... is Medicare Insurance Counseling.  She says it's one of the very few places seniors can go to get an unbiased look at the best plan for them.  She says while some brokers say they are impartial... they get a commission from one of the companies.  Spanos made her comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
 
 
Co. Legislature approves application for CDBG funding for proposed expansion at Castelli Cheese...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved an application for state funding to support the expansion of a new cheese-producer that's been up an operating in Blockville since last September.  Lawmakers in Mayville unanimously okayed the application for Castelli America to receive up to 750-thousand dollars in Community Development Block Grant funding from the state Office of Community Renewal.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says this is great news for a "well-established" company.  Horrigan says Castelli was first interested in the plant because of it's potential for growth and capacity.  The former AFA Foods location was owned by Empire Specialty Cheese... but, the company -- which moved to Blockville from Cattaraugus County -- was unable to make a go of it.  Horrigan is still looking into the final numbers... but, adds Castelli is looking to add about 50 jobs with the expansion.  Horrigan says Castelli is a strong employer that has been around since 1892.  If the CDBG funding is approved... the Chautauqua Regional Economic Development Corporation will create a "deferred loan" fund for the expansion project.
 
 
Fredonia man arrested for alleged sexual abuse of a child...
A Fredonia man is jailed without bail for allegedly sexually abusing a child in the village of Fredonia.  Sheriff's deputies joined with Fredonia Police to arrest 58 year-old Carmello Hernandez at his Temple Street home late yesterday morning.  Officers say Hernandez is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse... and, second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child.  After Hernandez was located and arrested... police say he was found to be in possession of a controlled substance.  He was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possesion of a controlled substance.  Hernandez was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
 
 
 
 

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WJTN News Headlines

President Trump has proposed an "aggressive budget" for 2018 but, the review of the 4.1-Trillion dollar spending plan is just getting underway.  
 
Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee the chamber's main financial committee.  The Corning Republican says the president's priorities "make sense."  
 
However, the budget is already facing strong head-winds from Democrats and some Republicans.  There are deep cuts to several anti-poverty programs including an 800-billion dollar cut to Medicaid over the next 10 years.  
 
Reed says lawmakers need to help the poor, but do it in a more efficient manner.
 
There is also a larger-than-expected cut of 192-billion dollars in the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance program also known as SNAP which provides food stamps to the poor and elderly.  There are also cuts to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP.  
 
Reed acknowledges that there are some "high-poverty" areas of his district that would be affected.  But, he wants to see if Congress can find better ways to help people out of "generational" poverty.  Reed made his comments during his weekly media telephone conference call.
 
 
The Central New York teacher and coach who has announced he's seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional seat currently held by Corning's Tom Reed is one of several potential challengers for that post.  
 
That from Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green who says Rick Gallant is one of "5 or 6" people looking to run in November of 2018.  
 
Green says the Democratic National Committee is urging those who are interested in running to announce as soon as possible.
 
Green says that Tom Reed's ties to President Trump, and the Republican Party, may have sparked the interest in contesting Reed.  He says there are some who feel there's "an opportunity here."  
 
Gallant has been a teacher and coach for the past 17 years in the Corning-Painted Post School District.  There's no word on whether Lakewood Democrat John Plumb is interested in pursuing a rematch.  
 
Plumb lost to Reed last November with the incumbant receiving about 58 percent of the vote.

 

 

Waterfront property owners along Lake Ontario's New York shoreline have been braced for more flooding as high winds returned to the region yesterday.  

 

The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning until early this morning for a 90-mile stretch of shoreline from where the Niagara River flows into the lake to the Rochester area.  Forecasters say winds gusting to 30 mph Thursday afternoon and evening produced high waves that could cause flooding in some areas.  

 

A sand-bag levy in Olcott in northern Niagara County reportedly failed early last evening.  Lakeside residents and business owners have been dealing with high water levels and flooding for several weeks, placing tens of thousands of sandbags around homes and buildings.

 

 

Two years of work has produced a newly-revamped website for the city of Jamestown and, it's more "user" and "constituent" friendly.  
 
That from Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley who is also the city's webmaster.  Hanley says the idea was to clean-up the site's design and, make it easier to navigate.  
 
Hanley says it's easier for the city to keep updated and, now includes a fully-functional "search" feature.
 
Hanley says the new site is set-up to cut searches to just "one or two clicks."  He adds that also makes the city's new site "mobile friendly, and easier to use on all devices.  
 
Hanley adds there's also a new location that lists "vital" information that's easy to find and use.  He says the new site was initially in response to a report by the public service agency "SeeThrough - New York" which was critical of the old site.  
 
While it's newer he says there is no change in the website address.  It's still http://jamestownny.net/ 
 
 
A north county woman with an extensive background in human resource work in the private sector is now officially Chautauqua County's new Human Resources Director.  
 
Fredonia's Jessica Wisniewski was unanimously confirmed at Wednesday night's County Legislature meeting after two lawmakers who were part of the search committee spoke glowingly about her credentials.  
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan introduced her to the legislature and, says she's currently Human Resources Manager at Precision Abrasives.
 
Horrigan says Wisniewski will replace the retiring Joe Porpiglia on June 30th because Precision needs a little more time to find a new H-R manager.  Wisniewski thanked lawmakers for their vote of confidence and, is excited about her new post, and, says she's really felt "welcomed."  
 
She has been with Precision Abrasives since 2013.  Search committee members Ron Lemon of Frewsburg, and Paul Whitford of Jamestown praised Wisniewski's credentials which stood out among the seven candidates they interviewed for the position.  Horrigan says her impressive background in the private sector will be a "great asset to the county."

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Several fire companies remained at the scene of a structure fire late last night at a well-known restaurant in the village of Bemus Point.  

 

Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say crews were called to the Hare 'n Hounds Inn at 64 Lakeside Drive shortly after 9 last night.  Smoke and fire were reported in the area.  

 

Maple Springs crews were initially called in for mutual aid and, later Ellery Center, DeWittville, Ashville, and Lakewood were called in.  No injuries have been reported.  The extent of damage was still being assessed.

 

An overnight fire now blamed on arson has destroyed a vacant house, and damaged another home, and two vehicles on Jamestown's southside.  
 
Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says crews were called to the scene at 213 Barrett Avenue shortly after 2 AM Wednesday and, found heavy fire and smoke coming from the structure.
 
Harvey says it took about an hour to bring the fires under control.  He says fire damage was heavy to the house at 213 Barrett, while it appears 209 Barrett is salvageable.  He says three families with a total of 14 people are being helped by the local Red Cross because 209 Barrett is not habitable right now.  
 
He says 10 off-duty firefirefighters were also called in and, he says they all did a very good job with a challenging situation for 10 firefighters initially responding.  
 
Harvey says fire crews were at the scene until about 6 AM and, investigators were called to the scene.  No one was hurt.
 
A measure that would help local governments consolidate with the municipal neighbors has been approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature by a wide margin.  
 
Lawmakers in Mayville approved the legislation to assist government dissolutions, 17-to-1.  Hanover Republican George Borrello who chairs a county task force on dissoluton and consolidation praised the measure offered by Sheridan's Terry Neibel.  Borrello says, due to the county's efforts, three of four recent dissolutions have been approved. 
 
Niebel says the legislation that would offer up to $50,000 in help with unanticipated costs for towns and villages that decide to dissolve, or consolidate services.  He emphasized that this measure was not intended to "encourage" municipal dissolutions after CSEA-Local-#807 President Bonnie Peters took the idea that dissolutions save money to task.  
 
She cited that was not the case when the village of Seneca Falls dissolved a few years ago into the town of Seneca Falls.  Earlier Dunkirk Democrat Robert Bankowski earlier said he was a supporter of the initiative but, last night, after Peters spoke, said he would oppose the measure.  It still passed overwhelmingly.
 
A city man is jailed for allegedly robbing another Jamestown man at knife-point Tuesday afternoon and, taking cash and property from the victim.  
 
City officers were called to scene in the area of East Sixth and Spring Streets about 2:45 PM and, were told by the victim that he had been robbed.  Police say the suspect in the robbery, 46 year-old Daryl Coleman, and another man fled the scene before they arrived.  
 
However, officers located both men a short time later on Prendergast Avenue and, allegedly found Coleman in possession of one of the items reported stolen.  He was arrested for first-degree robbery and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  
 
He was also accused of violating his parole.  Coleman is being held in the city jail pending arraignment. 
 
A drug raid on the city of Jamestown's northside has led to the arrest of a city man and, seizure of a quantity of crack cocaine.  
 
City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested 30 year-old Warkim Keys during the raid conducted at 2 PM Tuesday at 1002 North Main Street.  Task Force members were assisted by the Jamestown Police SWAT Team and, found Keys in a neighboring front yard.  
 
The crack cocaine was found in Keys' apartment.  Keys was arraigned on charges including third-degree criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance and, was sent to the county lock-up without bail.
 
 Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown is asked to contact the task force at 483-TIPS that's 483-8477.  You can also send a tip to their Tips 4-1-1 app.
 
The United Veterans Council of Jamestown is putting out an appeal for help in placing flags at Lakeview and nearby cemeteries.  
 
This year's Cemetery Chairman, Joe Paladino, says volunteers can meet at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery at 6 PM Thursday.  There'll be a brief ceremony, and then small flags will be passed out.
 
Paladino says they had the largest group of volunteers ever last year, and they hope for more this year.  Hugh Golden, the Business Manager at Lakeview, says veterans' graves have been pre-marked to make finding them easier.  
 
He adds, when the work is done, the display is something to behold with 1,200 flags at Soldier's Circle alone.  No pre-registration is required, just go to Soldier's Circle at Lakeview Cemetery Thursday at 6 PM.
 
A teacher and coach in the Corning, New York-area has announced that he is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 23rd Congressional District seat in 2018.  
 
Painted Post resident Rick Gallant says he has "devoted his life to educating young people and serving our communities.  I look forward to taking that work ethic and focus to Congress to ensure our children have a bright future, and to bring good jobs to our district."  
 
Gallant has been a teacher and basketball coach in the Corning-Painted Post School District the past 17 years.  He says incumbant Republican Tom Reed is voting "in lock-step" with President Donald Trump and his party.  
 
Too often he says Reed has said one thing here at home and voted another way once he's in Washington.  He says it's time for a representative who will deliver more than "lip service" to the district.
 
The first-ever NCAA Division-Two Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament at Diethrick Park in Jamestown was a huge success, and featured some outstanding baseball.  
 
That from Jamestown Jammers Manager Anthony Barone who was involved with the event which was hosted by top-seeded Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Mercyhurst Coach Joe Spano wanted to hold the tournament here because the park was available, and a top-notch facility.  Barone says they "hit a home run" with the five-day event.
 
West Chester University from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area won the tournament over Winston-Salem State from North Carolina in Monday's title game.  Barone says while the Atlantic Region tends to be "pitching heavy" there were 27 home runs hit in the tournament.
 
 He says there was a lot of talent for the nearly one-dozen pro scouts on hand in Jamestown to see.  Barone says Mercyhurst and, most of the other schools involved brought plenty of fans, too.  He says aside from some rain on Sunday there were no problems.  
 
With the win, West Chester University advances to the Division-Two College World Series in Grand Prairie, Texas.
 
Dunkirk Police have located a 16-year-old runaway from Auburn who may have traveled with another runaway who died last Saturday at Brooks Memorial Hospital.  
Police Chief David Ortolano says a patrol located the teen, identified by Auburn Police as Morgan Eppinger, around 7 AM Wednesday.  She had disappeared from the Cayuga Center May 15th, around the same time as 17-year-old Destani Williams.  
 
Williams was brought into the hospital in Dunkirk where she later died from an apparent drug overdose. The medical examiner is still awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine a cause of death.  
 
Ortolano says Eppinger has been turned over to the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.  

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's directed state law enforcement officials to step up security and patrols at high-profile locations across the state after an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England.  

 

The Democratic governor says the state is increasing security at airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.  At least 22 people were killed and dozens of others were injured late Monday in the blast at the Manchester Arena.  

 

In a statement Cuomo called the explosion "an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings." 

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WJTN Headlines

State Police in Cattauraugus County says authorities have found a Franklinville area girl safe and sound, after she was allegedly abducted early yesterday morning near Shady Lane in the town of Lyndon.

 

Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the child 12 year-old McKenzie Wilson and the two teenaged suspects who allegedly took her were found shortly before 5 PM Tuesday in the town of Farmersville. 

 

Troopers say McKenzie was allegedly abducted about 5 AM and, an AMBER Alert was issued.  State Police say the primary suspect was identified as 18 year-old Joshua Monette and, the other was 16 year-old John Harvey.  Troopers say given the circumstances they believed the girl's well-being was in jeopardy. 

 

The three were reportedly in a stolen, red Chevy Silverado truck that had reportedly left the Lyndon area.  But, again McKenzie Wilson has been found safe, and sound.  State Police will only say the investigation is continuing.



A Jamestown man faces several felony charges after allegedly breaking into a northside home early yesterday morning and, threatening the victim with a hand-gun. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Prendergast Avenue about 2 AM and learned that 41 year-old Miguel Angel Ramos-Flores had burglarized the home and, then threatened the women there with a gun before fleeing.  Officers say the woman had an order of protection against Ramos-Flores. 

 

Police found him near Spring Street and, he tried to run off before being captured.  Officers say he gave them a false name while being arrested. 

 

Ramos-Flores was arraigned on two counts of second-degree burglary, and one count each of first-degree aggravated criminal contempt, and second-degree menacing.  He was sent to the county jail without bail.


A number of minors were arrested late last week after state Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers found 30 to 40 people partying at a large bonfire in the Chautauqua Gorge. 

 

DEC officials say rangers were patrolling the area about 11 PM last Friday when they spotted about 30 parked cars along the State Forest area.  The rangers hiked into the woods and, spotted the people near a large bonfire, with alcohol and garbage scattered about the area. 

 

They contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department for assistance and determined that most of the partygoers were under the age of 21.  Rangers say the alcohol at the scene was collected and disposed of.  They also allegedly seized one-pound of marijuana.  Several summonses were issued and, the pot was turned over to Sheriff’s deputies, who arrested one person.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is expressing his condolences to the people of England following the suicide terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande show in Manchester. 

 

Reed opened his weekly telephone conference call by saying the attack now being claimed to have been carried out by the Islamic State group was a "horrific" act that defies description. Security has been beefed up at many locations in the United States and, while that's a good move Reed says we need to maintain our American ideals where people can be secure yet free to live as they want. 

 

The Manchester attack left 22 people dead and sent young concertgoers fleeing, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.  Teenage screams filled the Manchester Arena just after the explosion Monday night, and members of the audience tumbled over guardrails and each other to escape.


New York farmworkers are hoping a legal challenge might tip the scales in their favor after years of protesting a state law that prevents them from unionizing. 

 

Nearly 100 advocates and migrant workers rallied at the Capitol Tuesday against a loophole in state law that prevents them from organizing for better working conditions and overtime pay.  Longtime opponent New York Farm Bureau has blocked efforts to change the law, arguing small farms cannot afford the higher labor costs and strikes that might ensue. 

 

The New York Civil Liberties Union last year filed a lawsuit challenging the law as unconstitutional.  Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, both Democrats, have said they would not seek to defend the law.  The Farm Bureau has filed a motion for the lawsuit's dismissal.


There have been some basic inaccuracies in assertions made during the early stages of the annexation process Jamestown is undertaking to bring four-acres of land owned by the Board of Public Utilities from Falconer into the city. 

 

That from both Mayor Sam Teresi and City Councilman Tony Dolce following Monday night's meeting.  Several Falconer residents attended, and a couple spoke at the beginning of the session. The petition was approved by the BPU back in January and, Dolce says that was the first-step of a 10 step process. 

 

He says one inaccuracy was over a comment that the city talked with Falconer officials in 2004 about a possible deal to use facilities in Falconer, or Celoron to help coverage issues if a fire station had to be closed.  Dolce was on the panel at that time, and says he was not aware of any such discussions. 

 

Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve Vanstrom said such discussions never went anywhere.  Teresi says taking that small piece of property that "it owns..." and, give it access to city services will "relieve some pressure on electric rates."


A Jamestown man sought on five arrest warrants has been arrested after police spotted him mowing a yard in the downtown area of the city. 

 

Jamestown police say they spotted 27 year-old Robert Yates mowing the grass in front of 128 Water Street just before 11 AM Monday and, patrol officers went to arrest him.  However they say Yates saw them and ran off. 

 

Police say they saw in run into his home, and they set up a perimeter.  They were allowed inside by a woman who lives with Yates, and he was find hiding in the attic under a blanket.  Yates allegedly resisted arrest but, was taken into custody and, is being held pending arraignment.

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**AMBER ALERT**

State Police in Cattauraugus County have issued an AMBER Alert for a girl who has allegedly been abducted near Shady Lane in the town of Lyndon.  Troopers say the child... 12 year-old McKenzie Wilson, is a white female, about 5-foot-6 inches tall and weighing 100 pounds.  Police say she has blond hair and blue eyes.  Troopers say there are two suspects, who they believe are both armed and dangerous.  Police say the first is 18 year-old Joshua Monette, a white male who is about 6-foot-2 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.  He was late seen wearing a camouflage jacket, blue jeans, boots and black shirt.  He has short black hair and brown eyes.  The other suspect is identified as 16 year-old John Harvey... another white male.  They were reportedly in a stolen, red Chevy Silverado pick-up truck with the New York license plate number CXA5836.  They were last seen traveling southeast on road possibly heading for Allegany Mountains.  If you have any information on the abduction, call state Police in Machias as 1-866-NYSAmber or dial 9-1-1.


WJTN Headlines

There have been opportunities for the city of Jamestown to take advantage of it's "neighborly" relationship with the village of Falconer to save money and, not have to go through the annexation of land. 

 

Those were the feelings of one of several residents on hand during last night's City Council voting session about a plan to take the land used for the Board of Public Utilities's Dow Street Substation.  Falconer Fire Advisory Board Chairman Steve VanStrom told lawmakers that when the city was looking at closing fire stations there was an offer to use Falconer and Celoron facilities.

 

However VanStrom says the plan never moved forward to a vote.  City resident Doug Champ feels city lawmakers have already made up their minds because Jamestown is desperate for revenue. 

 

Champ argued that council has already made up it's minds, and last night was "nothing more than a rant session."  Ellicott town resident Tom Koss told lawmakers that the annexation process was simply a "money-grab."


There were some inaccuracies and misconceptions voiced during last night's meeting but, it's understood that emotions would run high on the annexation issue. 

 

That from Acting City Council President Tony Dolce who has been chosen by city, town and village officials to chair a public hearing on the matter on June 12th.  Dolce says the three boards would later vote individually on the proposal.  He says one inaccuracy was over the fire station matter which occured in 2004.

 

Both Dolce and Mayor Sam Teresi say they certainly want to maintain "good neighbors" to the town of Ellicott, and village of Falconer.  Teresi says "no final decision" has been made on the annexation plan. 

 

Teresi also says there has been inaccuracies about what is to be annexed.  He says people have told him they understand it is residential property or, industrial property or the business district.  He says no it's property the BPU owns on the Falconer-Jamestown City Line.  More later today.


There were no injuries but, traffic on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott was down to one-lane for nearly two-hours Monday morning on Airport Hill when fire broke out in a tractor-trailer rig. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Gerry and Fluvanna fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 7:30 AM.  Fire crews reportedly had the blaze in the empty trailer out fairly quickly. 

 

A tow vehicle was called in and, the scene was cleared just after 9:30 Monday morning.



State Police will be teaming up with local law enforcement to carry out the annual "Buckle Up New York, Click it or Ticket" campaign that is now underway in Chautauqua County. 

 

Sheriff Joe Gerace says his office will be part of the enforcement campaign that strongly encourages the use of seat belt and child safety seats.  While it's a small percentage, Gerace says there is still a group of motorists who refuse to buckle up.

 

New York was also among 24 states participating in a Border to Border enforcement campaign, during which law enforcement will set up safety belt checkpoints along highways connecting neighboring states. 

 

That enforcement detail ran Mondayafternoon and evening.  Buckle Up New York continues until June 4th.


A Brocton man is facing weapons-related charges following a large fight at a Dunkirk bar last weekend. 

 

Dunkirk Police, with assistance from other law enforcement agencies, broke up the large brawl outside the Halas Hotel Bar on East Second Street early last Sunday morning.  Police Chief David Ortolano says an investigation led to the arrest of a 29-year-old man.

 

Ortolano says Camacho is charged with second-degree criminal possesion of a weapon and, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third-degree.  He was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail. 

 

Ortolano says the investigation is continuing and there's the possibility that further arrests will be made.


Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was to be in Jamestown yesterday morning for an announcement regarding the projects to be funded in the city's portion of the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 

 

However Governor Cuomo's office says she's been called to the southern shore area of Lake Ontario due to the state of Emergency that's been declared due to the flooding in that region.  The governor Monday announced 10-million dollars in state funding is available to assist eligible local municipalities that have been impacted by the recent flooding along the Lake Ontario coastline. 

 

The new investment program will support flood recovery efforts, including repairs to flood walls, roads, sidewalks, and culverts.


Ellicott Town Police Chief Bill Ohnmeiss says the problem with drug trafficking is now bigger than the town itself can handle and that's why they need to get an officer back on the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 

 

Ohnmeiss made his comments during a recent press conference about a recent, major drug bust in the village of Falconer.  Ohnmeiss said they were seeing a "definate" increase in drug trafficking, and use, in the village and surrounding town.

 

Ohnmeiss says they started assigning an officer to the task force two days a week until they realized that person needed to be full-time.  Even then, he says that officer said the situation was getting "too big" to handle. 

 

Ohnmeiss says it would cost another $40,000 to bring on a full-time, probationary officer so one could be dedicated to the task force.  He urged residents to speak up if they're going to get town officials to fund the position. 

 

Ohnmeiss and, Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings both agreed that you can "manage" the drug trafficking problem but, you'll never eliminate it.


Ellicott town lawmakers did not make the final decision to pull an officer off the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force. 

 

Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says it was a couple of situations stemming from a decision in June of last year when the town board moved to keep their new budget under the state's property tax cap.  McLaughin says an officer with the police department retired and, the decision was made to not fill that position.

 

McLaughlin says a recent news story said the town had "taken away funding" for the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  However he says they never "funded" the task force.  They provided an officer to assist the task force especially with the fact some drug traffickers were moving out of Jamestown, and into the nearby town, and it's villages. 

 

He says the police force makes up 66.3% of the town budget and, adds that grant funding for such staffing is minmal.

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WJTN Headlines

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' plan to annex the property the BPU's Dow Street Substation is located on into the city will be the subject of a public hearing in Falconer next month. 

 

Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says they have received word that the hearing will be held at Falconer Central Middle and High School on Monday, June 12th at 7 PM.  McLaughlin says he and members of his town board will be on hand for that hearing. Dolce was reportedly agreed to by all panelists to moderate and chair the meeting where members of the public can come and voice their feelings and concerns about the move. 

 

McLaughlin says the town stands to lose $32,000 in revenue if the property is awarded to the city.  He says the biggest loss will be to the Falconer School District especially in town's that won't have a voice in the process.  McLaughlin says those include Ellington, Ellery, Poland and the town of Carroll that have areas that are part of the Falconer district. 

 

He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Group Stations.


Two Panama residents had to be treated for non-life threatening injuries after the motorcycle they were riding crashed on Route 474 in the town of North Harmony last Saturday afternoon. 

 

Sheriff's officers say the bike, operated by 35 year-old Leroy Boutelle, was traveling just after 3 PM with a passenger when he lost control on a curve, and it left the roadway.  Deputies say the two-wheeler went into a grassy area, and went down. 

 

They say Boutelle and his passenger, 27 year-old Emma Boutelle, were both taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, for non life-threatening injuries.  Leroy Boutelle faces a charge of operating out of class.


A Jamestown man is in the city jail after leading police on a foot chase Saturday afternoon. 

 

Police received a call about a shoplifting complaint from the North Main Street 7-11 just before 1 PM.  The suspect 20 year-old Tyler Manelick was located by a New York State Police Patrol Vehicle and was told to stop walking. 

 

Manelick ran off and, the officer pursued him.  Manelick was caught by officers on the corner of West 5th and Lafayette Streets.   Manelick was arrested on charges including Petty Larceny and 2nd Degree obstructing governmental administration and taken to the city lock-up.  While in the jail Manelick provided a false name and was additionaly charged with False Personation.


Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan has announced the next  County Director of Human Resources. 

 

Horrigan has selected Jessica Wisniewski for the post.  Wisniewski has served as the Human Resources Manager at Precision Abrasives since 2013. She has also held management and senior-level positions at Cott Beverages and GEICO. 

 

Horrigan says "her impressive background in the private sector will be a great asset to the county and I am excited to welcome her to our team."  Wisniewski’s appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Chautauqua County Legislature. 

 

If approved at the legislature meeting on May 24, Wisniewski will begin her position on June 30, 2017.  She will replace current director Joseph Porpiglia, who will be retiring at the end of June.



Vice President Mike Pence urged graduating students at a Pennsylvania college to become leaders and cited President Donald Trump's leadership as an example.

 

Pence told hundreds of graduates and their families Saturday at the Grove City College commencement that they also need courage, because "leadership brings both honor and opposition."  Grove City is a private, Christian liberal arts college about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh. 

 

Pence cited Trump as an example of perseverance to applause from the crowd.  Pence told graduates to inspire those around them, since people follow those they respect and aspire to service rather than selfish ambition.  After his address, Pence stood on the platform and shook hands as each graduate passed after being handed their diplomas.

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WJTN News Headlines

An Olean man has been arrested for allegedly selling Heroin and Fentanyl in the Cattaraugus County city in recent weeks.  

 

Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Olean Police say they arrested Curtis Frink earlier this week following an on-going investigation.  Task Force members say Frink is specifically accused of selling fentanyl to another person in the town of Randolph last November.  

 

Authorites say he is charged with one count each of third-degree criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance and, he was arraigned in Conewango Town Court.  

 

Frink was then sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.

 

All but a handful of school budgets put before voters in New York state have passed, including several that exceed the state's cap on property taxes.  
 
That from the state School Boards Association... which reports that voters defeated just five of the 676 budgets proposed by school boards around the state on Tuesday.  That's a 99.3% approval rate.
 
School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer says even districts that exceeded the spending cap did fairly well in their votes.
 
Of the five districts that rejected their 2017-18 budget proposals one was in Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County. Kreamer says they tried to exceed the state's tax cap but, were unsuccessful.  
 
Kreamer adds that residents in the Pittsford District, near Rochester also rejected their budget plan.  They and Hinsdale were the only two in Western New York.  Kreamer says the results in one district are too close to call.  
 
The new budgets include an average tax levy increase of about 1.5%.  Boards can put failed budgets before voters again June 20th or adopt a contingency budget that doesn't raise taxes.
 
The trapeze-artist wife of daredevil Nik Wallenda is planning her own stunt high above Niagara Falls.  
 
Five years after Nik Wallenda walked over the falls on a high wire, aerialist Erendira Vasquez Wallenda plans to dangle by her teeth from a helicopter as it flies over Niagara Falls.  The Niagara County Legislature late Tuesday approved a resolution setting aside $35,000 for the act.  
 
It's planned for June 15th, the fifth anniversary of Nik Wallenda's televised 1,800-foot tightrope walk from the New York side of the falls into Canada.  
 
Five members of the famed Wallenda circus troupe fell from a high-wire in Sarasota, Florida, in February while practicing an eight-person pyramid.  Nik Wallenda avoided falling by grabbing a wire.  Everyone survived.
 
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services and the Village of Brocton announced Thursday that the boil water order in effect since this past Monday for all customers served by the Village of Brocton water supply is now lifted.
 
The affected area included the Village of Brocton, all Town of Portland Water Districts and that area of Pomfret west of Shorewood Country Club. Water samples collected on May 16 and 17 from the affected areas show that the water is safe to drink and use for all other purposes.
 
The Village had a major water main leak on May 15 that was repaired the same day but due to a loss of pressure in the system, a boil water advisory was placed into effect as a precaution.
 
For more information, please contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Local Authorities would like anyone in the area dealing with the issue of unauthorized use of a credit card to contact their local police agency.  
 
Lakewood-Busti Police found a credit card skimmer placed inside a gas pump at the Mobil Gas Station located on the corner of East Fairmount Avenue and Southwestern Drive this past Monday.  
 
Anyone that paid at the pump with a credit card is advised to check your bank acccount for any fraudulent use. The operators of the station say the skimmer fundamentally disabled the pump, and they are not sure anyone was scammed.  The pump involved has been fully repaired. 

 

Six people have been arrested in the town of Hanover on drug related charges.  

 

Just before 2pm Wednesday members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Swat Team executed a search warrant at 12211 Alleghany Road.  

 

Upon entry officers say they found 21 grams of uncut Fentanyl, cocaine, concentrated cannabis, suboxone, scales, a large amount of currency, one rifle, and packaging materials.  

 

22 year old Adam Mox, 23 year old James Hurley, 21 year old Nicholas Shambo, 21 year old Amber Roush, 22 year old Joy Sprague and 22 year old Mikayla Miller all face third and fourth degree Criminal Possession of a controlled substance charges.  Other charges are expected at a later date.    

 

This investigation is a portion of a larger investigation into several overdoses, two of which were fatal in northern Chautauqua County.   All six were arraigned and sent to the county jail.  

 

Authorities ask anyone in the community to call and report suspicious or narcotics related activity in their neighborhoods to 363-0313.

 

A Jamestown man is awaiting arraignment after police had to fish him out of the Chadakoin River early yesterday morning.  

 

Jamestown Police report that 41 year old James Houser of Falconer allegedly stole a 30 pack of beer from the Rite Aid Pharmacy in Brooklyn Square just before 3:30am.  Officers were alerted and able to locate Houser at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Institute Street with the case of beer.  

 

Officers say Houser then threw the case of beer into the Chadakoin and Jumped in after it.  Officers were able to retrieve both Houser and the beer from the river.  Houser faces a number of charges including Petit larceny and Tempering with physical evidence.

 

Two upstate New York breweries have been declared the winners of the Taste NY Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge.
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday evening that Brewery Ommegang outside Cooperstown and the Roscoe Beer Co. in Sullivan County tied for first place after a blind taste test held in Manhattan.
 
More than 70 breweries signed up to participate in the contest, and more than 42,000 votes were cast online. Ommegang and Roscoe were among the five finalists.
 
The others were the Genesee  Brewing Co. in Rochester, Prison City Pub and Brewery in Auburn, and Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood in western New York.
 
The panel for Wednesday's taste test included Cuomo, chef Mario Batali and other noted food critics, chefs and restaurant owners.
 
Authorities say a man has been charged with driving drunk in the parking lot of the New York State Police Academy.
 
State police say an off-duty trooper reported a suspicious person Wednesday afternoon in the parking lot at the academy located at state police headquarters in Albany. Troopers say they watched a man exit his vehicle and lay down in a grassy area behind the academy.
 
Troopers conducted a field sobriety test on the man and then took him to the trooper station at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany, where a breath test revealed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.28 percent.
 
The legal limit for driving in New York is 0.08 percent. The 49-year-old man was ticketed for aggravated driving while intoxicated.
 
A Sinclairville man is in the county jail on drug related charges.  
 
At 10:20pm Wednesday the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office Swat team entered 6221 Route 60 in the town of Charlotte with search and arrest warrants for 55 year old Timothy Harrison.  
 
Authorities allegedly seized 49 grams of Cocaine and Crack Cocaine, and 172 grams of Marijuana, scales and a large amount of U.S. Currency.   Harrison is charged with one count of 3rd degree Criminal sale of a controlled substance.
 
He was arraigned and taken to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail pending further court action. It’s expected Harrison will face additional felony charges once the investigation has concluded.

 

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WJTN News Headlines

It was a near-record warm day across upstate New York and Chautauqua County Wednesday but, no records were set in the region.  
 
That from Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service who says a breeze off Lake Erie prevented any record in Buffalo yesterday.  However Hamilton said late in the day that there was a new record for the day set in Watertown with an 83-degree reading.
 
Buffalo got to 81-degrees yesterday but, the breeze prevented any further movement.  Here at our Media One Group studios in West Ellicott we reached 85-degrees late yesterday afternoon.  
 
Hamilton says we'll see some more unseasonably warm weather through this afternoon until a cold front comes through the region.  He says we'll likely see some showers and thunderstorms by late this afternoon and, that will help keep temperatures from getting above 80.  
 
By tonight we'll be into the mid-50s for an overnight low.  We may reach the mid-60s on Friday.
 
Some of the best players in NCAA Division-Two baseball will be at Russell E. Diethrick Park in Jamestown for the next five days.  
 
That from Jamestown Jammers Manager Anthony Barone who says Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania was awarded host school for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Touirnament which begins this morning.  Barone says he was contacted earlier this year by Mercyhurst Coach Joe Spano about hosting the seven-team tournament.
 
Barone says the first game of the day begins at 11 AM and, that features Seton Hill against Sheppard College from West Virginia.  However he says Millersville and Shippensburg will play in the 7 PM game and, Millersville brings "a ton of people" with them.  
 
Barone says Mercyhurst has hosted the tournament before at UPMC Park in Erie.  However that's more difficult to do now because the Erie Seawolves at now a Class-AA Team whose season is already underway.  
 
Again games begin at 11 this morning. Tickets will be available at the ball park it's $10  for a day-pass and, $30 for the entire tournament.
 
Two Dunkirk residents now face federal charges in connection with a major cocaine and "crack" cocaine trafficking case in the north county.  
 
With that Dunkirk's top cop says he's pleased to see that federal prosecutors have taken over the case involving the pair who were charged after a drug raid in the city last month.  Acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced late Tuesday that 49-year-old Minerva Maestre and, 23-year-old Hector Mercado-Torres of Dunkirk were arrested after a raid at 51 East Second Street on April 28th.  
 
Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the Drug Enforcement Agency took over the case because of the amounts of drugs and money involved.
 
Ortolano says several family members were involved in the case which led to the seizure of nearly $172,000 in cash proceeds from alleged drug sales.  Kennedy says Maestre and Mercado-Torres have been charged by complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine; and maintaining a drug involved premises. 
 
A new audit from New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo's economic development agency for failing to meet more than half of the reporting requirements for its highly touted tax credit and job creation programs.  
 
The scathing report released Wednesday criticized Cuomo's Empire State Development Corporation for sidestepping accountability and transparency.  Auditors found 27 of 57 outcome reports weren't finished and 93 of 152 program reports were never completed.  
 
The latest annual report on START-UP NY was issued 91 days late and 12 programs totaling over $500 million in state funds weren't reported on at all.  
 
DiNapoli says in most cases the agency didn't explain why reports were missing.  The agency disputes the findings and says it has worked to comply with reporting requirements.

 

The annual Chautauqua County Music Teachers' Spring Festival is this Saturday, at 7:30 PM at the State University College at Fredonia.  Frewsburg Central School Band Director, Alicia Laska, the Festival and Site Coordinator, says Chautauqua Institution is not available this year.
 
The festival involves some 800 young musicians from around the county, and will have the same format as in past years and, that's why they went with Fredonia's field house as the venue.  'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' will be the finale again this year.  
 
Members of the public are invited to go to the festival.  Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for students and senior citizens and can be purchased through the CCMTA  or SUNY Fredonia websites, or at the door.  
 
Parking will be available in nearby college lots.  In order to make use of the Fredonia Fieldhouse, the festival was moved up a couple of weeks this year.
 
 

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WJTN Headlines

With no tax increase and, some positions and programming being added back into the final budget a 2017-18 spending plan for the Jamestown school district was easily passed Tuesday in a light turn-out. 

 

District residents approved the 84.9-million dollar budget, 509-to-106.  Interim School superintendent Silvia Root says she appreciates the support the people who came out gave the spending plan. The proposition to lease-purchase six buses at a cost of up to $780,000 we also approved overwhelmingly, 498-to-109. 

 

Root says it's "unfortunate" that such elections and budget votes get "overlooked" but, she's pleased with the large margin of support.


Voters in the Southwestern Central School District easily approved a 27.3-million dollar budget Tuesday. 

 

District officals say the new spending plan which includes a 0.5% tax increase was adopted 242-to-59.  School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says there are mainly spending increases in the technology, and instructional areas of the budget.

 

Donahue says the district is also retaining all teaching and staff positions.  An up to $372,000 transporation proposition to purchase two full-sized buses and, one 42-passenger wheelchair bus was approved 256-to-59.  Three people Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden ran unopposed for three school board seats.


In Falconer... residents approved a no-tax increase, 22.6-million dollar, 2017-2018 budget plan handily yesterday, 261-to-69.  School Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the budget holds the line on spending and, retains current staffing and teaching levels. 

 

Penhollow thanked local state legislators for working to get them more state aid, helping keep taxes down. In addition to the budget... Penhollow says voters also approved a 22.9-million dollar capital project, 251-to-78 to make safety and maintenance upgrades. 

 

They also include an all-weather field, and track and fire alarm service upgrades.  Newcomer Jennifer Olson was leading vote getter in the school board vote with 221 tallies.  Board incumbant Tom Frederes was second with 211 votes while incumbant Cathy Kimball was third with 208 votes.  That means final results won't be known until the vote canvas is taken.

In other school district votes last night a 15-million dollar budget was approved in the Bemus Point School District, 149-to-46... while a $200,000 bus proposition was also approved.  Board incumbants Tina Hall and Bethany Seastrum were both re-elected, running unopposed.

In Frewsburg... the 2017-18 Budget was approved with 142 yes votes...while 83 residents voted against the proposition.  A bus purchase was also approved, 151-to-75.  Larry Lodestro was voted onto the school board with 201 votes while Jason Ruhlman was second with 194 and, Thomas Fenton was third with 189 votes.

A nearly 10-million dollar budget was adopted in the Sherman Central School District, 113-to-41.  A second proposition to purchase two school buses for up to 267-thousand dollars was adopted, 116-to-38.  Colleen Meeder was re-elected to the school board with 127 votes.


Two alleged drug traffickers are under arrest after an apartment in the village of Falconer was raided by members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Monday afternoon. 

 

City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they received information during a recent "Targeted Enforcement" Detail in the Prendergast Avenue corridor about the operation at 19 South Work Street in Falconer.  Snellings says they were assisted by other agencies in seizing a large quantity of cocaine cash and, a stolen pistol that was loaded.

 

Snellings say they arrested 38 year-old Demario Chatmon and 39 year-old Damien Thomas during the raid.  He says the amount of cocaine seized totaled about three-quarters of a pound.  Snellings adds that they also found just over $21,000 in cash and, a loaded 9-millimeter pistol allegedly stolen in Erie, Pennsylvania. 

 

Ellicott Police Chief Bill Ohnmeis says drugs are an increasing problem in the town and villages of Falconer and Celoron.  Ohnmeiss expressed his disappointment over having to pull out of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force due to town budget constraints. 

 

Chatmon faces a Felony charge of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, both he and Thomas are charged with third-degree criminal possession.


A weekend spike in overdose deaths has led to new warnings from western New York health officials. 

 

The AP reports that Erie County saw eight suspected fatal overdoses over the weekend while Chautauqua County also is reporting deaths in recent days.  Erie County's health commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, says the deaths appear to have resulted from various drug combinations of fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.

 

She says the fentanyl being seen in the county is increasing in potency.  During last weekend's "Fresh Start" Fund "Rockin' for Recovery" event in Jamestown Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz says this has become a major concern.

 

Here in Chautauqua County authorities say the recent overdoses have been concentrated in the northern part of the county, including in the city of Dunkirk and village of Fredonia.  At least two people have died and other victims were revived.


Former Dunkirk Mayor Richard Frey has been sentenced to home confinement, and to pay 54-thousand dollars in restitution for stealing campaign contributions for his personal benefit. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says the 85 year-old Frey was recently convicted of wire fraud involving a scheme to defraud his mayoral campaign and his supporters by stealing campaign contributions.  Kennedy says he was sentenced to six-months home confinement by U-S District Judge Richard Arcara and, was ordered to pay the restitution. 

 

Frey was Dunkirk mayor from 2003 through June of 2012... and, was accused of devising and executing a scheme to defraud the co-owners of a Dunkirk hotel, and the owner of a food production company in Dunkirk by inducing them to make contributions to his mayoral and other political campaigns. 

 

After receiving checks from these people Frey simply spent them for himself, rather than depositing the funds into a campaign or official account.  Those totalled $54,361 dollars.  He also refused to disclose those contributions.

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WJTN Headlines

Local authorities are warning anyone that may be using heroin to not use heroin obtained from the northern part of Chautauqua County. 

 

The Post Journal reports that a number of heroin related overdoses in the county have police on alert for possible tainted mixes of the drug.  The Southern Tier Drug Task Force along with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deparment and Fredonia and Dunkirk police are investigating multiple overdoses that occured in the northern part of the county this past week. 

 

Two people died while other victims were revived with Narcan.  Police have not determined if substances like fentanyl were mixed with the Heroin.  Authorities are waiting on analysis. 

 

Police remind residents that any drug that is being purchased on the street, whether the dealer is known or not, may be contaminated with substances that cause the heroin to be much more potent.  Authorities are asking members of the community that may have knowledge of anyone that may be involved in distributing heroin or any other narcotics to contact them at either 800-344-8702 or 363-0313.


Five people  two of them incumbants are running for three, full-time seats on the Jamestown School Board in today's board election and budget vote. 

 

One of the incumbants is seeking their second, full term on the panel.  Shelly Leathers was first appointed to the board to fill a vacancy in 2013, and won her first election in 2014.  Leathers says she and her entire family are Jamestown graduates and, she feels the schools are the "center of the community" and, can be a draw to the area.
 

The other board incumbant is third-term member Paul Abbott who is currently board president.  There is a former board member who is running again this year after being off the panel for a few years.  Christine Schnars spent 25 years on the board, and, she says things have gotten better the past couple of years, and she wants to be part of the effort to improve the distirct. 

 

One of the newcomers running for the Jamestown school board is Frank Galeazzo who is originally from Peekskill, New York.  Galeazzo says he worked in education before being hired at the Board of Public Utilities nine years ago. The other newcomer is local Baptist minister Fannel Leeper who grew up in the area and, is a 1967 JHS graduate. 

 

Leeper says she's concerned over the drop-off in the number of African-American students who graduate from Jamestown.  Jamestown school district residents are also voting on an 84.9-million dollar budget that includes no increase in the tax levy and, adds about 10 positions back after the district received a one-million dollar hike in state aid for 2017-18. 

 

Today's board vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.

All school districts locally will be holding budget votes and, school board elections.  In the immediate Jamestown-area the Southwestern School District will have the earliest vote start today.  Residents will decided on a 27.36-million dollar spending plan beginning at 7 AM

 

Voting this morning continues until 9 AM then will resume between 2 and 9 PM tonight.  There are three people running for three board seats.  They are Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman, and Cynthia McFadden.


A state of Emergency has been issued for the village of Brocton, the town of Portland and a portion of the town of Pomfret that receives village of Brocton village water. 

 

Brocton Mayor Richard Frost says a water main break occurred early Monday morning on Central Avenue near Smith Street, prompting the action.  A boil water advisory has been issued. 

 

Bill Boria of Chautauqua County's Department of Health and Human Services says boiling the water kills bacteria and other organisms that could be present. It's anticipated the boil water advisory will be lifted by the end of the week.


A New York state lawmaker wants harsher penalties for causing harm to police animals. 

 

Republican Senator Cathy Young of Olean held a news conference in Albany Monday to promote legislation that would create a new felony offense for intentionally causing serious physical injury to a police work dog or police work horse.  Her measure also would increase the offense of killing a police work dog or police work horse to a class D felony. 

 

The bill is named Mitchell's Law for a Jamestown Police Department German Shepherd that suffered life-threatening injuries while apprehending a murder suspect last November.  The bill has passed through a Senate committee and has been added to the upcoming floor calendar.


Despite new US economic sanctions against North Korea the communist nation test launched another missile early Sunday that's being called a "serious challenge" to international peace and security. 

 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in strongly condemned the north's test-launch as a "clear" violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.  Local Congressman Tom Reed has expressed his growing concern over North Korea and hopes over the long-run, the sanctions approved by Congress will work.

 

Reed says we are now "at a critical point" where the north's nuclear ambitions are "coming to a head."  He's hopeful that China will be able to wield more influence in the matter.  The Corning Republican says he would like to see a "regime change" in North Korea but, not by use of outside forces. 

 

The North Korean missile test launch reportedly had the missile travel about 430 miles before landing in the western waters of the Sea of Japan.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Among the nation's financial elite who have helped shape the school-choice movement in recent years, Michael Bloomberg tops the list of New York's political contributors. 

 

The former three-term New York City mayor appears in an Associated Press analysis of the contributions of people who have given at least 100-thousand dollars to school-choice statewide ballot campaigns around the country. 

 

Bloomberg, who championed charter schools as mayor, has over the past decade donated $1.8 million to ballot measures and political action committees that focused primarily on school choice.  That included $490,000 in support of a failed 2016 effort to expand charter schools in his home state of Massachusetts. 

 

Bloomberg declined to comment on his support of the Massachusetts ballot initiative, or whether he favors vouchers or other choice programs beyond charter schools.


If you are looking for work or a career change the 2nd Annual Warren County Job Fair is this Wednesday from Noon to 7pm. 

 

The Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry have teamed up with Quickstaff Contigent Workforce Solutions for the event.  John Papalia with the Chamber says there will be 15 businesses on hand and participants should come ready to interveiw. 

 

Papalia says Chautauqua County residents are also urged to come down and participate in the fair. The 2nd Annual Warren County Job Fair is this Wednesday from Noon to 7pm at the Warren Days Inn, 210 Ludlow Street. Find out more information at WCCBI.ORG.

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WJTN Headlines

A Warren, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs and, he and his passenger are accused of being in possession of three kinds of illegal drugs during a traffic stop in Jamestown. 

 

City Police say a car, driven by 55 year-old Dennis Denardi, pulled from the curb directly in front of a patrol car on West Seventh Street at Lafayette Street just after 2 PM Saturday.  Officers say Denardi appeared to be under the influence of drugs and, later admitted to smoking marihuana, and using crack cocaine. 

 

His passenger, 27 year-old Johnee Thompson, was asked to get out of the vehicle and, a State Police K-9 sniffed out drugs in the center console area and, found 4.3-grams of cocaine, 5.2-grams of "crack" cocaine, and, 9.5 loose oxycodone pills inside. 

 

Denardi faces charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance while Thompson is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession.  Both were being held pending arraignment on Sunday.


Jamestown Police seized quantities of Methamphetamine, Heroin and prescription pills during the latest "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" detail on the city's northside early last weekend. 

 

Officers say they and state Police conducted a vehicle stop early last Friday evening at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street and, arrested two city residents.  Police say the vehicle allegedly had inadequate tail lights. 

 

They say the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 55 year-old Chris Byrne and 28 year-old Heather Caylor.  Both are charged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession and, Unlawful Possession of marihuana. 

 

Byrne was also charged with operating a vehicle with inadequate tail lamps.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.


Drug Awareness and Prevention Week in Chautauqua County kicked off last Saturday afternoon with a special speaker and concert in Jamestown. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan welcomed an indoor and outdoor crowd for the program highlighted by a special performance by local pop star "Brielle" at Shawbuck's restaurant.  Horrigan said the local drug crisis has been a "terrible epidemic" that's brought people together from across the region. 

 

He says what's become the county's major drug forum will be held this Tuesday at Chautauqua Inns and Suites in Mayville. The featured speaker for Saturday's event was Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz who is also the only New York member of a national task force of executives and mayors dealing with the issue. 

 

Polencarz says the numbers nationwide, and in Erie County peaked in 2014-15.  In the US he says just over 54,000 people died nationally in 2015, more than died in car crashes that year. 

 

However Polencarz says a multi-faceted approach in Erie County helped slowing the number of overdose dealths last year.  He and Horrigan spoke prior to the Brielle "Rockin' for Recovery" event.


A Bemus Point man faces menacing and sexual abuse charges after allegedly pointing a pistol at several people during an altercation at a location in Greenhurst early last Saturday morning. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 30-41 Route 430 about 1:30 AM for a report of a man with a weapon.  Deputies say they found the suspect 46 year-old Blake Davis of Dutch Hollow Road, had fled the scene following the altercation. 

 

Officers say they later found Davis at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital being treated for minor injuries.  He was arrested on three counts of second-degree menacing, third-degree sexual abuse and, harassment.  David was arraigned in Ellery Town Court, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicott Town Police.


It's shaping up as a "huge week" of comedy in Chautauqua County and the Jamestown-area during the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival and, Week-6 at Chautauqua Institution. 

 

That from National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson who says there are now three headliners for this year's Comedy Festival with the addition's of stars Kevin James and Robert Klein.  They'll be appearing during the August 3rd through 6th event. 

 

Gunderson adds that's not likely the end of big announcements. The week-long program on Comedy at Chautauqua begins on July 30th and, will feature an appearance of Lewis Black, among others.  Gunderson says tickets for the Kevin James and Robert Klein shows in Jamestown go on saleTuesday on line at Lucycomendyfest.com  or call 484-0800. 

 

Kevin James will appear the second night of the festival, Friday, August 4th, at the Northwest Arena, while Robert Klein, a comedy legend will appear on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night, August 5th.  Comedic star Jim Gaffigan appears to open the festival on Thursday, August 3rd.


Former President Bill Clinton told graduating students at their commencement that they must decide whether ``our common humanity is more important or our differences matter more.'' 

 

Clinton spoke Sunday at the ceremony for Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, about 40 miles west of Syracuse.  Clinton, who received an honorary degree, focused his remarks around diversity, saying it was a strength but that the differences between people were vastly outweighed by what all people share as human beings. 

 

He told students they didn't need an America that focused more on ``us and them'' instead of trying to expand the definition of who fell in the category of ``us.''  Clinton told the graduates there were no permanent victories or permanent defeats, only lives of ``permanent possibilities.''


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will be the commencement speaker at West Point's graduation this month. 

 

The U.S. Military Academy said Tuesday that Mattis will speak at the ceremony for the Class of 2017 on Saturday, May 27.  The retired four-star Marine general became the 26th defense secretary on Jan. 20, hours after President Donald Trump was sworn in.

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News Headlines for Sun., May 14, 2017

Two arrested during "Targeted Enforcement" program vehicle stop in Jamestown...
Jamestown Police seized quantities of Methamphetime, Heroin and prescription pills during the latest "Targeted Enforcement Patrol" detail on the city's northside early last weekend.  Officers say they and state Police conducted a vehicle stop early last Friday evening at the corner of Prendergast Avenue and Crossman Street... and, arrested two city residents.  Police say the vehicle allegedly had inadequate tail lights.  They say the subsequent investigation led to the arrest of 55 year-old Chris Byrne and 28 year-old Heather Caylor.  Both are ahcarged with one count each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession... and, Unlawful Possession of marihuana.  Byrne was also charged with operating a vehicle with inadequate tail lamps.  Both are jailed pending arraignment.
 
 
Another "Targeted" action results in three drug-related arrests...
Three city men are jailed following another "Targeted Enforcement" patrol in the Prendergast Avenue area of Jamestown for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetime.  City Police say a patrol vehicle pulled over the car at the intersection of Strong and Fulton Streets -- in the general area of Prendergast -- about 8 p.m. last Thursday.  Officers say they saw the vehicle had committed a traffic infraction.  Once they pulled over the vehicle... they found the alleged Meth, and a hypodermic needle, inside.  The three men... identified as 24 year-old Robert Wappat, 30-year-old Martin Wenzell, and 28 year-old Casey Saeger... were arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  All three are being held pending arraignment.
 
 
"Rockin' for Recovery" draws good crowd, pushing drug awareness in Jamestown...
Drug Awareness and Prevention Week in Chautauqua County kicked off last Saturday afternoon... with a special speaker and concert in Jamestown.  County Executive Vince Horrigan welcomed an indoor and outdoor crowd for the program... highlighted by a special performance by local pop star "Brielle" at Shawbuck's restaurant.  Horrigan the local drug crisis has been a "terrible epidemic" that's brought people together from across the region.  He says what's become the county's major drug forum will be held this Tuesday at Chautauqua Inns and Suites in Mayville, beginning at 9 a.m. to see how they can work to get their "arms around this terrible problem."  The featured speaker for Saturday's event was Erie County Executive Mark Polencarz... who is also the only New York member of a national task force of executives and mayors dealing with the issue.  Polencarz says the numbers nationwide, and in Erie County peaked in 2014-15.  In the U-S... he says just over 54,000 people died nationally in 2015 -- more than died in car crashes that year.  However... Polencarz says a multi-faceted approach in Erie County helped slowing the number of overdose dealths last year.  He and Horrigan spoke prior to the Brielle "Rockin' for Recovery" event.
 
 
Man with a gun arrested in Greenhurst...
A Bemus Point man faces menacing and sexual abuse charges after allegedly pointing a pistol at several people during an altercation at a location in Greenhurst early this morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 3041 Route 430 about 1:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of a man with a weapon.  Deputies say they found the suspect... 46 year-old Blake Davis of Dutch Hollow Road... had fled the scene following the altercation.  Officers say they later found Davis at UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital being treated for minor injuries.  He was arrested on three counts of second-degree menacing, third-degree sexual abuse... and, harassment.  David was arraigned in Ellery Town Court, and sent to the county jail with bail to be set.  Sheriff's officers were assisted by Ellicott Town Police.
 
 
National Comedy Center announces James and Klein to appear for Lucy Comedy Festival...
There will be three headliners for this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown... with two more well-know comedians... one a legend... being added to the August festival's line-up.  That from National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson... who announced this morning that Kevin James and Robert Klein will appear during the August 3rd through 6th event.  Klein is a legend that many comedians have patterned themselves after.  Gunderson says one of those was Jay Leno... who appeared in Jamestown a couple of years ago.  Klein has been doing stand-up comedy for more than four decades... and, will appear on stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts on Saturday night, Aug. 5, while James will appear the night before at the Northwest Arena.  Tickets for both shows go on sale next Tuesday, May 16.
 

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WJTN News Headlines

The effects of toxic substances on veterans will be the subject of a town hall meeting in Frewsburg on Saturday.  Bob Lewis, President of the local Vietnam Veterans chapter, says one of the critical issues is the long term effect of the Agent Orange, a defoliant used in Vietnam.
 
The problems caused by burn pits for current veterans will also be discussed, as well as benefits availalble to those who've been affected by toxic substances. Two nationally recognized experts will be in attendance.  
 
The town hall meeting will be at the Frewsburg American Legion from 2 to 4:30 Saturday.  Veterans, their family members, and the public are all welcome to attend. 
 
A Fredonia-area man has come forward to announce that he is running as a Democrat for Chautauqua County Executive.  
 
However Mike Ferguson is well-known in the county in both the sports management and radio broadcast industries.  Surrounded by family and friends in front of the county Courthouse Ferguson said that he wants to further develop the industrial parks that got a jump-start by former Executive Mark Thomas when he supported the construction of "spec" buildings in the parks.  
 
He also talked about dealing with quality of life issues such as the Heroin and Opioid Epidemic.  He called the drug problem a "three-headed monster."
 
Ferguson also talked about the need for Clean Water in the county and, the need to protect resources such as Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake.  As for new initiatives he says he wants to work to make Chautauqua County a "hub" for organic farming as a way to reinvigorate that industry while complimenting the local grape and wine industries.  
 
Ferguson will face Town of Hanover Republican, George Borrello this November unless there are primaries.

 

A group of 20 attorneys general, all Democrats, is calling for the appointment of an independent special counsel to continue the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.  

 

The group led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called Republican President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey during the ongoing investigation a "violation of public trust."  

 

The group, which also includes New York's Eric Schneiderman said in a Thursday letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that only the appointment of an independent special counsel "with full powers and resources" can begin to restore public confidence.  

 

Those signing the letter also include the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, and Pennsylvania.

 

Jamestown fire investigators are still looking into the cause of small fire that left a lot of smoke and water damage inside a vacant home on the city's southside yesterday morning.  
 
Jamestown firefighers were called to the scene at 70 Hazeltine Avenue about 10:15 AM and, Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says crews found a lot of smoke coming from the house on arrival.  Finson says a crew went inside, and found the fire, and got it out quickly.
 
Finson says there wasn't much fire damage and that was mainly to the living room-dining room area of the house.  He says the building had reportedly been vacant for some time.  
 
No injuries were reported and an off-shift was called in.  The Board of Public Utilities is still warning of discolored water in that part of the city this morning because fire hydrants had to be opened.
 
A two-vehicle accident involving a car and tractor-trailer in the town of Gerry forced the closing of Route 60 just north of Kimball Stand to Sinclair Drive early Thursday morning.  
 
Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the accident was called in about 5:40 AM after the big rig was struck by the car and, went off the road, and took down some guard rails when it tipped over.  
 
Dispatchers say the tractor-trailer spilled it's load, and clean-up was completed about 10:15 yesterday morning. The unidentified truck driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital with minor injuries.  
 
We have no word on the driver of the car.
 
The investigation is continuing into a robbery that took place late Tuesday night at a Dunkirk convenience store.  
 
Dunkirk Police indicate that officers responded to the incident at the ROBO Mart at the corner of Central Avenue and 5th Street.  
 
A store clerk told police that a male with a slender build entered the store and displayed what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money.  The clerk complied, and the suspect then left the store.  
 
Anyone with any information on the incident is being asked to call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266 or their confidential tip line at 363-0313.
 
New York car manufacturers can now apply to test driverless cars on public highways.  
 
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced the state will begin accepting applications from companies looking to test or demonstrate autonomous vehicle technology as part of a year-long pilot program authorized by lawmakers this year.  
 
The vehicles will have to comply with state and federal safety standards and have a $5 million insurance policy in place.  During testing on public highways, a person holding a valid driver's license must be in the driver's seat.  
 
The companies will submit reports on the tests to the commissioner of motor vehicles before March 1st of 2018. Democrat Cuomo says the program is a step toward making New York "the epicenter of cutting-edge technology and innovation."

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News Update for Thur., May 11, 2017

Ferguson announces run for Chautauqua County Executive on Democratic line...
A Democratic candidate from the Fredonia area has now come forward to announce that he is running for Chautauqua County Executive.  However... Mike Ferguson is well-known in the county on both the sports management and radio broadcast industries.  Surrounded by family and friends in front of the county Courthouse... Ferguson said that he is a Democrat that's much in the mold of the last Democratic County Executive -- Mark Thomas -- who was another Fredonia-area resident.  Ferguson says he wants to further develop the industrial parks that got a jump-start by Thomas when he supported the construction of "spec" buildings in the parks.  Ferguson also wants to make Chautauqua County a "hub" for organic farming as a way to reinvigorate that industry.  
 
 
Vacant home on Hazeltine Avenue damaged by fire...
Fire caused a smokey mess inside a vacant home on Jamestown's southside this morning.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 70 Hazeltine Ave. about 10:15 a.m., and, Fire Battalion Chief Andrew Finson says firefighters found a lot of smoke coming from the house on arrival... and, the windows were blackened.  He says there was no fire visable from the outside.  Finson says crews were able to get inside... and, found a small blaze in the back of the house.  He says they had the flames put out quickly.  However... he says there was smoke and water damage through-out the house... which had reportedly been vacant for some time.  No injuries were reported and an off-shift was called in.  Finson says the cause of the fire is under investigation. 
 
 
Route 60 closed several hours this morning after accident...
A two-vehicle accident involving a car and tractor-trailer in the town of Gerry forced the closing of Route 60 just north of Kimball Stand to Sinclair Drive this morning.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the accident was called in about 5:40 a.m. after the big rig went off the road, and took down some guard rails when it tipped over.  A car was also reportedly involved.  Dispatchers say the tractor-trailer spilled it's load, and clean-up was completed about 10:15 this morning.  The unidentified truck driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital with minor injuries.

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WJTN News Headlines

Route 60 has just been shut down as of 5:40 AM by the Chautauqua County Sheriff due to an accident between Sinclair drive, and Kimblestand. We will have further information as it becomes available.

 

A Silver Creek-area man is jailed without bail for allegedly selling cocaine to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  

 

Agents with the Task Force say they arrested 36 year-old Franklin Kettle of Irving at his home just after 3 PM Wednesday on an outstanding Chautauqua County Court warrant.  Police officials say Kettle allegedly sold quantities of powder cocaine to an agent and, is charged with third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  

 

He was arraigned in county court and, sent to the jail in Mayville.  

 

Anyone with information on illegal drug trafficking is asked to contact the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.

 

New York's Court of Appeals has upheld a state law that allows for permanent suspension of drivers licenses for repeat drunk drivers.

 

A unanimous opinion from five of the state's highest court judges Tuesday affirmed that the Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner has the authority to refuse to relicense drivers who have had their licenses revoked due to drunk driving.  

 

Three individuals challenged the laws when they were denied new licenses after the mandatory waiting periods to reapply. The ruling by Judge Michael Garcia noted that the individuals are not "entitled to relicensing" after the time period and relicensing is under the commissioner's discretion.  

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo applauded the decision, saying his administration has "zero tolerance" for chronic drunk drivers whose reckless actions put themselves and others at risk.

 

The 84.9-million dollar, 2017-18 budget plan is one of two propositions on the ballot in the Jamestown School District next Tuesday.  
 
Voters will also decide on an up to $780,000 proposition to buy six new buses as part of a five-year lease-deal.  Director of Business and Financial Services, Vern Connors, says this allows them to maximize state transporation aid, up to 95% 
 
Connors says the proposition is part of the Jamestown district's seven-year plan to replace buses in the district.  He says this is the second-year of propositions to do so.  Connors says it's not so much mechanical problems with the buses they have, but "body fatigue" that causes buses to fail state inspection.  
 
He says that's due to the region's harsh Winters, and the use of road salt.  Connors says the school board agreed that the seven-year program was needed to provide the fleet needed to transport students.  
 
Next Tuesday's vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.
 
A two-story home in the town of Gerry was destroyed by flames Tuesday that also damaged an adjacent garage.  
 
Gerry Fire Chief James Miller tells the Jamestown Post Journal that his department was called to the scene at 20-92 28 Creek Road about 12:30 PM.  On arrival Miller says they found the home fully-engulfed in flames.  
 
He says he immediately called for mutual aid companies and, shortly after arrival the roof of the building collapsed.  Chautauqua County fire investigators were called to the scene to help determine the cause and, found a fire in a coal stove had spread to the chimney and later the residence.  
 
Gerry was assisted at the scene by crews from Fluvanna, Ellington, Sinclairville, Kennedy and Ellery.  The local Red Cross assisted the lone occupant, who managed to escape the fire.
 
Jamestown city officials and community leaders Wednesday afternoon gathered in front of Diethrick Park to celebrate the city again being named a "Tree City-USA" for Arbor Day.  
 
Officials accepted a special banner that will be hung on Tracy Plaza from the Arbor Day Foundation and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  This year City Arborist Dan Stone says they honored two men who have been big supporters of that effort.  
 
Stone says he's worked on several projects with retired city Parks and Recreation Director Russ Diethrick, and Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Director Randy Sweeney.
 
Stone and Mayor Sam Teresi praised both men adding that Sweeney was instrumental in obtaining $65,000 the past several years to help plant dozens of trees in different parts of the city.  Teresi also commended the Park's Department's 15 full-time employees who work to maintain the 550-acres of parkland and 13,000 trees in the city.  
 
Two "Purple Prince" Crabapple Trees were planted during the ceremony, in honor of each man.  Stone adds the city also received it's seventh consecutive Tree City USA Growth Award for progress made by its community forestry program. 

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County remain steady this week but, nationally prices have been declining for the past eight days.  

 

That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report which says the local price is holding at $2.55 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.  Like most parts of the country, AAA says drivers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast are seeing regional gasoline supplies surpass demand.  

 

New York held it's place on the list of the country’s top 10 most expensive markets at $2.53 a gallon.  Other states saw prices remain stable or experienced small fluctuation.  

 

Nationally The Fuel Gauge says prices have been falling steadily, with the current average price falling 4 cents from last week to $2.35  a gallon.  Last week, 46 states saw prices drop, some by at least 9 cents with prices remaining steady in other parts of the country.  

 

The trending decline is due to an unseasonable glut of gasoline in the U.S. market, record high refinery production rates, moderate demand, and a recent drop in crude oil prices.

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WJTN Headlines

A man and a woman from Jamestown are jailed without bail following a domestic incident on the city's southside allegedly involving a gun and, where police allegedly found several kinds of illegal drugs. 

 

Jamestown police were called to the scene at 248 Forest Avenue just before 9 PM Sunday on a report of woman being threatened by a man with a shot-gun earlier in the day.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says one of the suspects 32 year-old Todd Dalton came outside to meet officers.

 

Samuelson says in addition to the shot-gun and air gun police also found a digital scale with powder residue on it, and plastic baggies to package drugs for sale.  Officers then allegedly found a small quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine, 43 grams of marijuana, and several prescription pills. 

 

Both Dalton and 32 year-old Jacqueline Delo were arrested on several charges including eight counts each of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 

 

Samuelson says the shot-gun had apparently been stolen from another city home Saturday.  Both Dalton and Delo were arraigned and sent to the county lock-up.


No one spoke during last night's public hearing on the Jamestown School District's 84.9-million dollar, 2017-18 budget proposal that's up for vote next week. 

 

The spending plan includes no tax increase thanks in large part to major cuts and belt-tightening in the district the past several years.  However with one-million additional dollars in state aid the district is able to do some hiring, and set aside some additional reserves. 

 

Director of Business and Financial Services Vern Connors adds they also want to do some important projects. Connors says the new budget also includes about 10 new hires namely some teaching positions that had to be cut in previous budgets.  A couple of school counselors are also going to be hired. 

 

With no dissenting voices last night, Connors says he feels pretty good about the new spending plan and, adds that the district has only had to raise taxes one year over the past 12 years.  Next Tuesday's budget vote runs from Noon to 9 PM at Washington and Jefferson Middle Schools and, Lincoln Elementary School.


In the wake of three local town halls in his Congressional District Corning Republican Tom Reed is trying to clear-up what he says is "misinformation" about the recently approved American Health Care Act. 

 

Reed said Tuesday that the biggest misconception about the new law is that people with "pre-existing" conditions will be kicked-off their current health care or be priced out of the market.  He says that will not be the case adding that he's in that situation with a son who has Type-One Diabetes.

 

Reed says there's also misinformation about what's going to happen to New Yorkers, and others who are part of the "Essential Health Plan."  That's available to low-income earners who aren't eligible for Medicaid. 

 

Reed says that program, which covers 400,000 state residents remains in place.  However he says funding could be an issue and, he understands there may be some issues with that. 

 

But he says the state should have the ability to prioritize funding for that.  Reed also says there will be no changes to Medicare under the American Health Care Act.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with local media.


The unemployment rate in Chautauqua County held steady for the second straight month to close out the first quarter of the year but, March's jobless numbers are much better than a year ago. 

 

That from State Labor Department Analyst John Slenker who says the rate remained at 6.1-percent in March the same as it was in February.  The jobelss rate was 7.1% in March of last year. 

 

Slenker says the available workforce in the county was 55,500 which was up slightly from February and, there were more people working. Slenker says job gains were seen in leisure and hospitality which gained 100 over the month and start of the year. 

 

He says a number of factors are playing into the leisure and hospitality increases as you see seasonal businesses starting to get ready for Summer by hiring workers.  Slenker says professional and business services were also up for the month while manufacturing held steady from month to month. 

 

However, he says those are down 300 for the year due mainly to some losses in the north county area.


Unemployment numbers in Cattaraugus County showed some significant improvement in March falling from 7.2% in February to 6.3% in March. 

 

The labor Department's John Slenker says it was 6.5-percent in March of 2016.  Slenker says the job count was down by 100 to 31,500. 

 

However, he says that number is steady from the start of the year. Slenker says there was some upward activity in financial activities and, professional and business services which were both up by 100. 

 

However he says leisure and hospitality was down 200 as the ski season wound down.


Legislation that would authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician is again before state lawmakers in Albany. 

 

Supporters of the bill include several New Yorkers who lost loved ones to painful terminal illness.  They plan to meet with lawmakers Tuesday at the state Capitol.  The bill would require two physicians to certify the patient's illness is terminal. 

 

Physicians could refuse to agree to the request for any reason.  The measure has been introduced before but hasn't received a vote. 

 

Supporters say the bill gives suffering patients the freedom to end their lives with dignity but has proper safeguards.  Opponents worry the measure would be abused. 

 

Colorado, Washington, Vermont, California and Oregon already have current laws allowing people to request life-ending medication from a physician.



Fredonia village board members have hired a new village attorney and he will be working on a part-time basis.  

 

Monday night, the Village Board approved the appointment of Todd Thomas of Jamestown by a 4-to-0 vote.  Thomas succeeds Sam Drayo who announced his retirement late last year after serving the village for 48 years. 

 

Mayor Athanasia Landis says she is very pleased to have Thomas on board. Thomas says he is looking forward to beginning his new role and, working on the challenges the position brings. 

 

Thomas, who begins his new duties immediately, will be paid an annual salary of 40-thousand dollars.


Too much water on Lake Ontario from recent flooding has put many charter fishing businesses on hiatus, while recreational boating is on hold until conditions improve. 

 

Run-off from weeks of rainy weather has pushed the lake to near-record levels, and lakeshore erosion caused by high winds has deposited trees, large logs, docks, tires and lawn furniture in the water along the lake's southern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River. 

 

Jerry Felluca, who runs charters out of Hamlin, west of Rochester, likens the conditions to a minefield.  The Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester reports  that many charter captains have had to cancel or reschedule trips because marina docks and parking lots are still under water. 

 

Most motor boat and sailing enthusiasts have been prevented from launching their vessels because of hazardous conditions.

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WJTN Headlines

Two people have been arrested during a raid onJamestown's eastside Monday afternoon for allegedly trafficking several kinds of narcotics. 

 

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided Apartment-#37 at 305 East Fifth Street about 1:45 PM.  Samuelson says they were joined by the state Police C-NET Team in the raid which yielded quantities of crystal Methamphetime, cocaine, marihuana, and, cash. 

 

He says investigators also arrested 32 year-old Mark Maio and 18 year-old Mariah Snyder on several drug related charges.  Samuelson says both are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, fifth-degree criminal possession.  Both are also charged with criminal possession of marihuana.  Maio faces other charges as well. 

 

With it's proximity to the Prendergast Avenue area he says this was also another "targeted" action in that area of the city.  Both are being held pending arraignment.  If you have information on illegal drug trafficking in Jamestown call the JPD Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.

Temperatures dropped to the freezing early yesterday and this morning. 

 

The National Weather Service in Buffalo is continuing a Freeze Warning until 9 this morning in Chautauqua County.  Forecaster Dave Zaff of the Weather Service's Buffalo office said Monday that an upper level low pressure system has brought unseasonably cool air to the area and, was around another night. 

 

Zaff says temperatures away from Lake Erie were expected to drop to around 30, and maybe the upper 20s in some areas.  Zaff says once things warm up today temperatures will begin warming up slightly.  Early morning temperatures Monday reached 32 at the County Airport in Jamestown and 35 at the Dunkirk Airport.


Governor Andrew Cuomo is now launching his county-wide Shared Services Initiative and, it requires each county across the state to have its Chief Executive Officer create and chair a Shared Services Panel. 

 

County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's ready to comply with the requirement that's part of the state budget and the local panel will be holding its first meeting today in Mayville.

 

Horrigan says they will discuss the initiative and create a plan for the county using a $50,000 grant that the county received to do the work.  He says he will likely include initiatives that were included in the county's application for the state's Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Competition. 

 

Chautauqua County is one of six local governments that's competing for the $20-million dollar prize.  The county's Shared Services plan must be submitted to the County Legislature no later than August 1st.


How the new American Health Care Act deals with Planned Parenthood and pre-natal care led to some heated exchanges durling last Saturday's town hall meeting in Busti hosted by Congressman Tom Reed. 

 

Reed left no doubts about where he stood saying he does not support the organization.  One of the sharpest exchanges involved a woman who supports Planned Parenthood and, says the organization is needed because it provides pre-natal care, and other important services.
 

Reed says that the bill only addresses health insurance.  He says there needs to be a conversation further down the road about health care, and how that's delivered in the United States. 

 

Back to the health care bill Reed says he wanted to wait until the revised score on the final, amended proposal came out from the Congressional Budget Office.  However he says leadership wanted to go forward at that moment. 

 

The American Health Care Act was approved last Thursday by the Republican-controlled House, 217-to-213. 

 

Reed says that he did read the final bill unlike a few of his fellow members of Congress admitted.

New York state is accepting public comment on new learning standards that replace the Common Core. 

 

The revised standards will be presented to the policy-making Board of Regents Tuesday and public comments are being accepted until June 2nd.  State education officials released the standards last week following a two-year process that included gathering input from the public, educators and experts. 

 

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says the revised standards include substantive changes while maintaining the rigor of the Common Core, which outlines what a student should be able to do in each grade. 

 

New York and most other states adopted the Common Core standards to improve college readiness, but they became part of broader backlash against testing and teacher evaluations.  The Regents are expected to adopt the new standards in June.

A 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish caught in Lake Ontario this spring sets a new state record for that species. 

 

State environmental officials say Eric Scordo of Watertown caught the 38-inch catfish on Lake Ontario in Jefferson County on April 29. He used just a nightcrawler as bait.  The catch breaks the 2002 record by nearly 2 1/2 pounds. 

 

The previous record channel catfish was caught in Brant Lake in Warren County.  Scordo submitted details of the catch as part of the Department of Environmental Conservation's Angler Achievement Awards program.

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WJTN Headlines

While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week, local Congressman Tom Reed says he did.

 

Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti last Saturday morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people. 

 

Reed favored the original bill which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it. The majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first. 

 

One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  With the House vote Reed says he hopes the U-S Senate will hold a vote on the bill sooner "rather than later."

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York." 

 

State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage and, cut up to $6.9-billion dollars in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo says Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business. 

 

New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

 

Cuomo says that could force state taxpayers to pick up the cost, but supporters say it will lead to reduced taxes at the county level.


The Republican health care overhaul remains a work in progress and, many states are planning for big changes that could swell the ranks of the uninsured and hit them with higher costs. 

 

The changes contained in a bill that passed the U.S. House last week are welcome in some states that want more autonomy but are causing alarm in others that embraced former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.  During his Town Hall meeting in Busti Congressman Tom Reed says he favors phasing in a "per capita" program versus the current "static" one.

 

The angst is especially true for states that expanded Medicaid and face the potential loss of billions in federal dollars such as New York.  The current GOP plan would undo the mostly federally funded Medicaid expansion. It provided coverage to about 11 million newly eligible low-income Americans. 

 

The plan also would allow insurance companies to charge far higher premiums on older Americans and some people with pre-existing conditions.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says local governments should share resources to ease tax burdens that could increase under federal tax proposals. 

 

Late this week Cuomo ceremonially signed a bill allowing for counties to create plans to reduce property taxes by consolidating government programs or sharing equipment in Long Island.  The plan requires the top county executive to bring together local elected leaders and come up with a plan that would require public approval. 

 

Democrat Cuomo argues that many villages, cities, towns and counties could save money by pooling their purchases or cooperating to make duplicative services more efficient. 

 

Cuomo says the plan is "more critical than ever" to ease property taxes in light of President Trump's tax proposal that could end the federal deduction for state and local taxes.


Jamestown is one of eight upstate New York communities chosen to take part in the new, 5-million dollar Graduate-to-Homeownership Program to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the pilot program late last week which he says it being made available to eight of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative communities.  City Development director Vince DeJoy says the program provides mortgage and loan assistance.

 

DeJoy says he's not sure of the timetable to start the program yet.  He does say the program will be part of an overall incentive effort to intice young people to become first-time home buyers in Jamestown and elsewhere upstate.  DeJoy says they are also working with State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Andy Goodell to provide a property tax abatement for grads who come back and fix-up a formerly condemned home. 

 

Governor Cuomo's office says the program is being launched in Geneva to compliment it's "Finger Lakes Forward" program to boost the economy.  In addition to Jamestown and Geneva  the cities of Elmira and Oswego in Central New York are also part of the Graduate-to-Home ownership Program.


A north county man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a woman early Saturday morning in the village of Silver Creek. 

 

Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at an address in the village for a physical altercation just after 12 Midnight.  Deputies were joined by local Emergency Management crews who transported the woman to Lakeshore Hospital in Irving for treatment of her injuries. 

 

Officers say they arrested 22 year-old Jerrod KIrtley on one count of second-degree assault.  Kirtley was arraigned and sent to the county jail on 5-thousand dollars cash bail.


A crackdown on underage drinking and illegal alcohol sales in New York has led to more than 100 arrests and the seizure of more than 125 fake IDs.  Over five weeks this spring, law enforcement officers directed undercover, underage decoys to visit more than 640 liquor stores, convenience stores and bars to test illegal alcohol sales. 

 

More than 180 of the businesses made illegal sales.  In addition state Department of Motor Vehicle officers cracked down on minors attempting to buy alcohol, making 112 arrests.  The numbers were released late last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

 

The governor says underage drinking can have lifelong consequences and that his administration will take action against young people who seek to obtain alcohol as well as businesses willing to sell it to them.


New Yorkers can raise a glass to their favorite craft brewery in a statewide competition this week. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo urges people to cast their votes online at taste.ny.gov.  The five breweries with the most votes will be invited to the Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge event in New York City on May 17th

 

A panel of judges will decide the winner.  Seventy breweries are participating in the competition, which is being held during American Craft Beer Week starting May 15th.  New York's craft brewing industry has been expanded through a series of legislative and economic incentives including the creation of the Farm Brewery License in 2012. 

 

There are now 321 craft breweries in New York, up from 50 in 2011.

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News Update for Sat., May 6, 2017

Nearly 200 pack Busti Fire Hall for Reed Town Hall; health care bill dominates discussion and debate...
While some Republican members of Congress say they didn't read the entire health care bill they voted on this past week... local Congressman Tom Reed says he did. Reed talked about the American Health Care Act in detail during a town Hall meeting in Busti late this morning.  The health care debate dominated the just over one-hour session, which was attended by nearly 200 people.  Reed favored the original bill... which he reviewed extensively as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.  However... the Corning Republican says he was uncertain about the new, amended proposal, until he had the chance to read it.  Reed says he didn't take a position until the final text came out.  It appeared the majority of those attending the town hall oppose the new health care plan... while several Republicans and supporters of President Trump want to see where the measure goes first.  One person at the session said there was still plenty of concern and opposition to the new health care act in the Senate.  Reed says... with the House vote... it's time for the Senate to do it's work.  At several points in the town hall... Democrats and Liberals dominated the debate.  At one point... a Trump supporter, and an opponent exchanged words, and Reed stepped in to calm the situation before it went any further.  Reed began the day at a town Hall in Dunkirk... and, finished up with one in Hinsdale.
 
Cuomo criticizes GOP Health Overhaul...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Republican health care bill is an "assault on New York."  State numbers indicate the legislation passed by the U.S. House on Thursday would deprive 2.7 million New Yorkers of health coverage... and, cut up to $6.9-billion in Medicaid funding for New York.  Cuomo late Friday said Congressional Republicans want to "gut" Medicaid and could put some New York hospitals out of business.  New York's Republican House members said the bill will address big problems in the Affordable Care Act.  One provision would stop counties outside of New York City from having to contribute toward the state's Medicaid program. 

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WJTN News Headlines

Local Congressman Tom Reed was among the slim majority of House members who voted for the American Health Care Act yesterday afternoon and, is calling it a "great victory" for the American people.  

 

Reed says "we are finally on the path to fixing our broke and broken health care system."  The Corning Republican says the new Health Care plan "upholds protections for pre-existing conditions and, the expansion of Medicaid which help our most vulnerable populations."  He says the bill will also provide much needed property tax relief for New Yorkers who are unfairly forced to foot the bill for Medicaid.  

 

Reed adds, "we care about giving people the freedom and flexibility to make their own health decisions while providing promised tax relief for middle-income families and small business owners."

 

A plea agreement has allowed the Jamestown man to avoid trial for beating and stabbing his wife and step-son to death in early December of 2015.  
 
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says some "back-and-forth" involving the judge... prosecution and defense lawyers led 53 year-old Allen Witruke to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in the deaths of Catherine Witruke and Eric Washburn.  
 
Swanson says the manslaughter charges stem from each side's psychiatric experts determining that Witruke had an "extreme emotional disturbance" when the homicides occured.
 
Swanson says Witruke was facing the start of jury selection for his trial next Tuesday.  With the plea Witruke faces 10 to 20 years in state prison on each count of first-degree manslaughter.  
 
He's to be sentenced on August 22nd.  Swanson says members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Civil Division were executing an eviction order at Witruke's home at 235 Barrows Street on December 8th of 2015, when they discovered Catherine Witruke, and Eric Washburn's bodies.  Allen Witruke was arrested in Olean later that same day.
 
The Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force says it has put two major cocaine drug traffickers in jail following a two-month long investigation in the Dunkirk area.  
 
Task Force members say they arrested 26 year-old Michael Pacheco and, 29 year-old Fred Santiago early Tuesday evening.  
 
Agents say they arrested Pacheco at a location on Vineyard Drive in the town of Dunkirk and found him with 4.5-ounces of cocaine in his possession.  A short time later Task Force members raided the residence at 80 Lincoln Avenue in the city of Dunkirk.  
 
They arrested Santiago during the raid and, seized about 28.5-ounces of cocaine  with a street value of about $50,000.  They also seized $46,000 in cash, postal money orders, scales, and other materials.  
 
Both men are charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Pacheco is in the county jail on $150,000 cash bail while Santiago is being held with no bail.  
 
Additional State and Federal charges are pending, and more arrests are expected.  Dunkirk Police assisted along with other departments.  
 
Anyone with information about the sale of narcotics should contact the the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.
 
New York's second-in-command helped to kick-off the first meeting of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council as it gears up for Round 7 of Governor Andrew Cuomo's chief economic development program.  
 
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul addressed members during the meeting held at the State University of New York College at Fredonia Thursday.  Hochul says it's not "a given" that the funding would be included in the new state budget that was approved by state lawmakers last month.
 
County Executive Vince Horrigan, one of the REDC members, says the process has helped a number of projects in Chautauqua County over the years, but there is still a critical need for funding, with projects such as moving ahead with the North County Water District, and providing sewer around Chautauqua Lake.  
 
Yesterday's meeting was the first one for University President Dr. Virginia Horvath as the Council's co-chair. Besides Horrigan, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi is also a member of the Western New York REDC.  
 
A total of 10 regional councils are competing for a share of the $800-million dollar pot. 
 
 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is touting a big jump in public education spending.  
 
The Democratic governor traveled to a school in Queens on Wednesday to celebrate a $1.1 billion dollar increase in school funding.  Overall the state will spend a record $25.8 billion on public education under the budget approved by Cuomo and lawmakers last month.
 
Cuomo says the investment recognizes the importance of public education, which he says creates economic opportunities and allows New Yorkers of all backgrounds to pursue the American dream.  Cuomo also announced a new round of awards for top teachers.
 
Sixty teachers from around the state will each receive stipends of $5,000 for professional development.  Applications and nominations are due later this month.

 

The most visable fund-raiser for Jamestown's larges soup kitchen is underway and, the need for the serves of the St. Susan's Center have been never greater.  
 
That from Executive Director Jeff Smith, as the 19th annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign kicked-off yesterday morning at the Board of Public Utilities.  Most of the campaign's sponsors gathered to rally support for the effort which raised just over $18,000 last year.  
 
Smith says, without the support of the community they wouldn't have been able to provide just over 467,000 meals the needy the past four years.
 
Smith says they've provided meals for well over 30,000 individuals during that time.  He says they appreciate the support of the BPU in running the "Cents for St. Susan's" program each year.  
 
Smith says there's been no slow-down in the need this year thanks in part to a record-setting January.  The major sponsor this year is KeyBank which is joined by National Fuel Gas and, Northwest Savings Bank as sponsors.  
 
The Media One Group is again a media sponor.  The bright yellow canisters for people's change will be out at local stores, banks and restaurants through July 4th.
 
'Help Portrait Chautauqua' will be held at the Resource Center on Dunham Avenue near Celoron this Sunday.
 
The event is organized by the Southwestern Central School Photography Club and local professional photographers. Mark Kirsch, who teaches photography at Southwestern, says it's an opportunity for ANYONE to get a professional portrait taken for FREE.
 
The hours will be 11 AM to 2 PM Sunday, at the Conference Room at the rear of the Resource Center's building.  Kirsch says help with hair will be available at the site, and the framed pictures will be ready the same day.  There is no cost, and no obligation.  

 

 

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WJTN News Headlines

Three people on Jamestown's westside were arrested during a raid later Wednesday morning for allegedly trafficking Crystal Methamphetime in the presence of young children.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and, members of the state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant at 510 West Sixth Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  
 
Inside, Samuelson says they found drugsm, three adults and two children, ages 3 and 10.
 
Samuelson says task force members arrested 27 year-old James Blue, 31 year-old Lakeia Boyd, and, 23 year-old Sheldon Harper.  Police say all three are charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  
 
They add that Boyd was also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child as she is the mother of the two children found inside.  Anyone who may have information on the illegal trafficking of drugs can contact the Task Force's  Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips, that's 483-8477.  
 
The two small children are safe and are staying with a relative. 
 
A Jamestown man has been arrested after police found a large amount of marihuana and cash inside an attic apartment on the city's northside in the neighborhood of another recent pot bust.  
 
City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says agents with the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and, state Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant in the apartment at 839 Prendergast Avenue shortly after 5 Wednesday morning.  Samuelson says they were able to enter the apartment with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.
 
Samuelson says they also arrested the man inside the apartment identified as 19 year-old Armando Jenks.  He says Jenks was taken to the city jail where he currently is awaiting arraignment.  Investigators were also assisted by K-9 Units from Jamestown Police, state Police, and Lakewood-Busti Police.  
 
Another major marihauna bust recently took place at 853 Prendergast Avenue where another man was shot and killed earlier this year.  
 
Anyone who may have information on the illegal sales and trafficking of drugs can call the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips that's 483-8477.  You can also leave a tip on the JPD Tips 411 App.
 
New York state lawmakers are gaining momentum in a measure to expand medical marijuana coverage to those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.  
 
Currently medical marijuana in New York can only be used to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease.  The New York Daily News reports  the Democrat-controlled Assembly approved a measure that adds PTSD to the list of state-approved ailments that doctors can prescribe medical marijuana as treatment.  
 
The bill will now move to the Republican-controlled Senate.  The bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan, says there's evidence that medical marijuana is effective in treating PTSD.  New York launched its medicinal marijuana program last year. 
 
Local non-profit leaders, professionals, and people who deal with poverty every day met last night to brainstorm ideas on how to deal with poverty in the city of Jamestown.  
 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County was selected to administer the Empire State Poverty Reducation Initiative a state program that Jamestown and 15 other communities are taking part in.  One of the people heading up the local effort is United Way Community Impact Coordinator Krista Cammerata.
 
Cammerata was the leader of a group dealing with Jobs and Job Training.  Other groups dealt with Public Assistance, Early Education and, Transportation.  Cammerata says better connecting young with potential or actual job opportunities is key adding she heard a lot about the need for more internship opportunities.  
 
She says another key is getting people trained for the right job that might be or will be available is also important.  The Center for Regional Governance in Rochester is helping to develop a program that will be implimented using one-million dollars from the state.  Cammerata says CRG will help produce a report on last night's session.
 
 
New York public school students are sitting this week for the second round of Common Core tests.  
 
Students in grades three through eight across the state's 700 school districts began the first of three days of math testing on Tuesday. The students took English language arts assessments in March.  For the past two years, at least 20% of eligible students have opted out in protest of the annual assessments that are required by the federal government but, opposed by many parents and teachers as unfair and unnecessary.  
 
State education leaders have responded by including fewer questions and giving students more time to complete them.  About 39% of students who took the math assessments last year scored in the proficient range.  About 38% scored proficient in English.

 

Congress is "very close" to having the votes needed to pass new health care legislation, and there could be a vote today.  
 
That from House Republican leaders last night.  Local Congressman Tom Reed said Tuesday that the GOP was one or two votes shy of the 218 needed to pass the measure.  However the GOP lost an influencial moderate Tuesday when Michigan's Fred Upton announced he was opposed to the way the new proposal deals with pre-existing conditions.  
 
In New York, though, Reed says the pre-existing issues are not as much in play as elsewhere. Reed says, if the votes are there, the new American Health Care Act will be voted on.  Upton worked with with the Congressional Republican Leadership on an amendment that would provide 8-billion dollars over five years to help people with those conditions pay premiums.  
 
With that now settled he is on board.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
 
Local Congressman Tom Reed will be holding three town hall meetings this Saturday, May 6th and, two of them will be held in Chautauqua County.  
 
Reed's Communications Director Samantha Cotten says the first will be held at 9 AM the West Dunkirk Fire Department in Dunkirk.  The fire hall is located on Willow Road.  
 
Cotten says the second wil be held at the Busti Fire Department located on Mill Street at the five-corners beginning at 11:30 AM.  
 
Congressman Reed's final town hall meeting will be held at the Hinsdale Fire Department in Hinsdale in Cattaraugus County beginning at 2 PM.  
 
All town halls are open to the public and, were heavily-attended earlier this year.  Reed says "we choose to hold town halls because we believe in responsive and accessible government.  I look forward to a respectful conversation and finding common ground so that we implement fair changes to benefit all of those in our region."
 

 

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WJTN Headlines

The Trump Administration and Congressional Democrats are verbally sparring over who won in the 2017 budget battle. 

 

However the western Southern Tier faired pretty well in the new spending plan which runs through September. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says a number of programs and projects under threat in the 2018 spending plan are included in this year's budget deal including the Great Lakes Initiative. President Trump has proposed cutting funding for the Great Lakes Initiative by 97% in the 2018 budget blueprint. 

 

However Reed believes this appropriations bill will help prioritize what will be funded in the 2018 bill.  He says that should "bode well" for the 23rd Congressional District.  He adds that funding for the Appalachin Regional Commission was at least continued at 2016 levels 

 

But he says the ARC was given an additional 20-million dollars for the year.  President Trump touted the budget deal declaring: "This is what winning looks like."  Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says they did find 347-million dollars to begin work on the border wall.


A New York program that allows court-ordered therapy for thousands of seriously mentally ill people will expire next month if the Legislature doesn't renew it.   

 

Advocates say research supports making the 18-year-old policy permanent, but opponents say involuntary psychiatric treatment violates rights and stigmatizes the mentally ill.  More than 4-thousand New Yorkers are treated annually under Kendra's Law, which passed in 1999 after Kendra Webdale was pushed in front of a subway train by a man with untreated schizophrenia. 

The Fredonia native died in the attack. 

 

The measure  proposed by State Senator Cathy Young has been temporarily reauthorized twice, but New York lawmakers have balked at making the law permanent.  The Republican-led Senate this week passed a bill to make the law permanent, and it is now up for consideration in the Assembly.



Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency to free up resources to help communities hit by flooding along the Lake Ontario's southern shore in western New York. 

 

The Democratic governor says Tuesday a state response team has been created.  It consists of the National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Conservation, State Police and Monroe County Sheriff's Office. 

 

Cuomo says equipment including generators and pumps will be made available to suburban Rochester towns where wind-driven floodwaters have been affecting hundreds of homes.  The National Weather Service has issued flood watches and warnings for Lake Ontario's southern and eastern shoreline from the Niagara River to the St. Lawrence River.


The numbers are in and arrests from the non-Fred Fest celebration in the village of Fredonia were down from last year's event and, that pleases Fredonia Police Chief Brad Meyers. 

 

The village's top police official says they have compiled the figures from the three-day event that wrapped up late Saturday night and there were signs of improvement. Fredonia Police announced changes in the way they were handling the event last week.  Among the changes, police used body cameras for the first time and they promised that the arrests would be posted on the department's Facebook page. 

 

Meyers believes the changes helped to make a difference and he is hopeful the weekend event will eventually fade away though he says that wasn't the case this year. 

 

For those who are wondering, Meyers says they will be posting the names of all 67 people were arrested on Facebook.


New York lawmakers are questioning the cost and motives of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to bail out three aging upstate nuclear reactors. 

 

Members of the Assembly used a legislative hearing on the subsidies Monday to question state energy officials about the need for the state subsidies, which will cost ratepayers up to $7.6-million dollars over 12 years.  Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money will ensure the plants continue to operate and prevent greater reliance on fossil fuels as the state shifts to renewable energy. 

 

At Monday's hearing state officials said that while $7.6 billion is the top estimate, the subsidies are likely to cost energy consumers far less as the plan proceeds.  Projections now indicate the average electricity consumer will pay about $2 more per month.


The new Lakewood Diner on Chautauqua Avenue in the village held it's official grand opening this morning. 

 

The diner has actually been open for a few months now but, the downtown eatery held it's official opening today with village officials, and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce on hand.  Morgan Hetrick and his wife, Sara, bought the former Mindy's Place as one of seven buildings he recently purchased. 

 

Morgan Hetrick says they decided to fill the void when the previous owner decided to close.  He says they have a lot of good, hearty dishes but, have several healthful ones as well. Hetrick says they still specialize in different kinds of pancakes and, other breakfast specials. 

 

Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri says she was sad to see Mindy's close but, adds the Hetrick's have created a terrific, new restaurant to get great coffee, and a variety of breakfasts and lunches.  Morgan Hetrick says they are open seven days a week from 7 AM to 2 PM and, he says business is picking up after a lull over the Winter months.


An effort to ban the declawing of cats in New York is back before lawmakers. 

 

Legislation to prohibit the procedure for aesthetic purposes has been introduced in the Senate and Assembly.  Supporters include animal welfare advocates and many veterinarians who say declawing a cat is inhumane since it involves the amputation of a cat's toes back to the first knuckle. 

 

The state's largest veterinary association opposes a ban, however, arguing that the procedure should remain a last resort for felines who won't stop scratching furniture or humans.  The bill failed to get a vote last year. 

 

 On Tuesday supporters including the Humane Society and several veterinarians who oppose the procedure plan to lobby lawmakers at the state Capitol.

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Fire has destroyed the Trillium Lodge in Cherry Creek. 

 

The Jamestown Post Journal reports that around 100 firefighters from 14 companies battled the blaze Monday afternoon. The initial call was sent out at 5:45pm for the report of "smoke with flames showing".   

 

Firefighters faced some unique challenges including the possibility of electric lines coming down across Main Street in Cherry Creek and nearby propane and gasoline tanks at Noco Energy.  The Trillium Lodge was closed on Mondays.


No major problems have been reported due to yesterday's severe thunderstorms that passed through the Jamestown-area. 

 

However there were some downed trees and power lines.  At one point late Monday afternoon National Grid reported about 700 customers in Chautauqua County were without power. 

 

Forecaster Jim Mitchell with the National Weather Service says it was a fast-moving storm with gusty winds. With a cold front having passed through the region Mitchell says cooler air from Canada is moving in and, we'll be cold and damp for the next several days. 

 

After a wetter than normal March and April Mitchell says that trend is continuing into the month of May.  So far he says we've seen the rainfall deficits from last year "completely erased." 

 

Mitchell says it appears that Thursday and Friday will be the days where the rainstorms will be more likely and, we won't see much in the way of drier weather until the middle of next week.


Two Jamestown brothers have been indicted on federal drug charges for allegedly trying to traffic a large amount of Methamphetime and, maintaining a "drug-involved" premises. 

 

Acting U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late Monday that a federal grand jury had returned a three-count indictment against 32 year-old Beau Jones and, his 30 year-old brother, Matthew.  Kennedy says both are charged with one count each of narcotics conspiracy possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of Meth, and maintaining a drug-involved premises. 

 

Assistant U-S Attorney Laura Higgins, who is handling the case, says both men were arrested last December 1st after a shipment of more than 360 grams of methamphetamine was mailed to Beau Jones’ home at 70 Colfax Street.  Shortly after the delivery Higgins says Beau Jones was arrested during a vehicle stop and, the parcel containing the meth was discovered in the backseat of his vehicle. 

 

She says Matthew Jones was arrested later that day during a separate car stop.  A safe was found in the trunk of his car containing another approximately 80 grams of Meth.  Higgins says the charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of 10-million dollars.  Both men were arraigned Monday and are being held without bail.


A Westfield man is being treated for serious injuries after his motorcycle crashed about mid-evening Sunday on Route 20 in the town of Ripley. 

 

State Police in Fredonia say a trooper's marked patrol car was passed by the motorcycle which was traveling at a high rate of speed just after 9 PM on a double-solid line.  Trooper's say the 45 year-old operator then failed to negotiate a slight curve in the road and ,struck a guiderail. 

 

The unidentified man was then ejected from his motorcycle and came to rest in a field adjacent to the roadway.  He was flown to a Youngstown, Ohio hospital where he is listed in critical condition.  The State Police investigation into this accident is continuing.


Five people including two incumbants are running for three seats on the Jamestown School Board in the May 16th school board elections. 

 

The district has announced the candidates, who received at least 100 valid signatures on petitions they've circulated.  The incumbants include current Board President Paul Abbott, and Shelly Leathers. 

 

Current Board member Thomas Pope has decided not to run for re-election.  Abbott says he "enjoys the opportunity to be involved in decision-making" that has a positive impact on the district, and it's students.

 

In addition to Abbott and Leathers a former board member and president Christine Schnars is running for the board again.  Schnars served on the panel for 25 years until she ran unsuccessfully for re-election a few years ago. 

 

There are also two newcomers running for the school board May 16th.  They are Fannell Leeper who along with her daughters are JHS alumni.  She is retired from The Resource Center.  The fifth candidate is Frank Galeazzo who is currently Information Services Manager at the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  He is also a member of the Jamestown City Council P-T-S-A.


The Excelsior Scholarship, New York's new, free tuition program could be a real boon for students at Jamestown Community College. 

 

JCC's Vice-President for Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, Kirk Young, says a significant number of current students fall under the $100,000 income cap.  Young is quick to add that JCC's popular USA scholarship will still be needed. 

 

The USA program offers free tuition to the top 20% of area high school graduates who choose JCC. Given a choice between USA and Excelsior, Kirk Young says some students might take the USA scholarhip, which, unlike Excelsior has no residency requirement. 

 

This is the time that many high school seniors are making college decisions, but he says full detail on the new state scholarship won't be available until sometime later in the month.  The Higher Education Services Corporation is handling the new Excelsior Scholarship.  Links to their website are available at SunyJCC.edu.


Increased recycling, greater reliance on renewable energy and less use of copy paper have saved New York state government nearly 20-million over five years. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office released a list of savings Friday that it says are the result of efforts to reduce the state's environmental impact.  Since 2011 the state has reduced its use of copy paper by 35%. 

 

It's also increased the recycling of debris from transportation projects, invested in greater renewable energy and expanded its use of recycled products.  Cuomo says the state is "leading the nation" by reducing state government waste and saving tax dollars while it protects the environment.


A hunting accident early yesterday morning in the town of Cherry Creek sent a teenager to the hospital for treatment of a birdshot wound. 

 

State Police in Jamestown say they wre called to the scene on Pickup Hill Road about 6:30 AM.  Troopers say two parties were turkey hunting in the vicinity of each other on private property at which time one party allegedly fired at a turkey.  Police say part of the discharged round struck a member of the other hunting party in the torso. 

 

Troopers say the 17 year-old victim was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.  The shooter has been identified and the investigation is ongoing.


New York is giving more than one-million dollars to a group of farms in an effort to boost the state's Grown & Certified program. 

 

The money is available through the Environmental Protection Fund and will be split among 29 farms.  The state program assures consumers the food they're buying is local and produced by farms enrolled in an environmental management program. 

 

Orleans County in the Finger Lakes region is getting the lion's share of the funding. Ten farms will split nearly $415,000, while six farms in Saratoga County will divvy up $223,000. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Friday to coincide with Earth Week. The hope is to help more farmers adopt green practices.

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WJTN Headlines

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly theatening a woman, who had an order of protection against him, with a paintball gun last weekend. 

 

City police were called to the scene on Chandler Street shortly before 9 PM last Saturday and, learned that 40 year-old Grant Monroe, Junior had gone to the residence and threatened her.  Officers say their investigation led them to another house on the southside where they found and arrested Monroe. 

 

Police found that he had been convicted of a domestic violence charge within the preceeding five-years.  He was arrested for Aggravated Family Offense,  a Felony and, three counts of first-degree criminal contempt, another Felony.

 

Monroe was also charged with second-degree menacing and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

A Sinclairville man faces burglary and other charges after he allegedly entered a building in the village and, removed property that didn't belong to him. 

 

Sheriff's officers say they arrested 26 year-old Peter McTaggart following an investigation into the incident late last week.  Deputies arrested McTaggert without incident and, charged him with third-degree burglary, petty larceny, and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 

 

McTaggart was arraigned in Charlotte Town Court and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $30,000 cash bail.


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is moving it's Spring Water Main Flushing program to mornings and afternoons beginning a week from today. 

 

BPU General Manager Dave Leathers say officials with the Water Division worked for the past 8 to 10 months to come up with a plan that's less disruptive and, works better for the utility and it's customers.  Leathers says one of the main considerations for the change was the safety of their workers.

 

Leathers says they initially looked at doing the flushing in two shifts from 7 AM to 9 PM each weekday.  However, he says they finally decided on an 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM time period.  Leathers says the only difference will be when they start the flushing next weekend in the village of Falconer. 

 

He says that will remain an overnight flushing program starting this Friday, April 28th with some pre-flushing work.  Leathers says that runs through next Sunday afternoon. 

 

The new schedule will begin on Monday morning, May 1st on Jamestown's eastside.  Leathers made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.


The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs. 

 

A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter Friday to federal officials saying the government "cannot abandon this commitment to our communities."  It's the latest of several actions from Democratic attorneys general objecting to Trump policies. 

 

In this case it's a pre-emptive argument that comes as Trump says Republican lawmakers are closing in on an agreement on how to replace former President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul. 

 

It's not clear what any new plan would mean for drug treatment, which has become a major issue amid an epidemic of addiction to opioid drugs.


U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York says he has spoken with President Trump about a U.S.-Canada trade dispute involving dairy products. 

 

Schumer said Sunday that he is working with the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other stakeholders to develop a plan to tackle the issue that has left dairy farmers in Wisconsin and New York without a market for their product. 

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says there are some ways right now that lawmakers can address the issue. Canada recently changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products including "ultra-filtered" milk that compete with the U.S. product. 

 

Reed says, long-term the North American Free Trade Agreement needs to deal with dairy and, with the wine industry.  He says both need to be involved in any discussion of NAFTA. 

 

Reed made his comments during a recent conference call with Southern Tier Media.  Schumer says the new policy "violates our agreements and hurts our farmers."


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says an investigation by his office found hundreds of vehicles had been sold to consumers without disclosing serious safety issues. 

 

Schneiderman says he has reached settlements with 104 car dealerships around the state that sold vehicles without telling customers about recalls for defects such as unintended acceleration and steering or brake loss.  Under the settlements, dealers are required to follow a set of guidelines to alert consumers that their vehicles may have unrepaired recalls. 

 

Each dealer will also pay a $1,000 fine to the state.  The attorney general's office says consumers can check the recall status of any vehicle by entering its Vehicle Identification Number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website .


New York state is investing 112-million dollars in federal funding into several dozen projects intended to enhance bicycle and pedestrian transportation. 

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office announced the projects late this past week.  They include new and improved sidewalks, trails and bike paths, crosswalks, safety upgrades at traffic intersections and expanded public transportation services around the state.  The money will pay for up to 80 percent of the work. 

 

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the money is "critical" to expanding transportation options that are healthier for people and better for the environment.


Facing huge deficits, Pennsylvania could become the first state to allow both its casinos and lottery to take its games online. 

 

It's a quest for money from new and younger players.  The Republican-controlled Legislature is considering allowing Pennsylvania's licensed casinos to control new online gambling sites.  It's legal in just three states, including New Jersey. 

 

Meanwhile Democratic Governor Tom Wolf wants to expand the lottery's reach to cyberspace.  Just four states allow that.

 

 

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LOCAL NEWS

WJTN Headlines

The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance will be receiving $100,000 to help cover expenses for weed management and shoreline maintenance this year.    However, the C...

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