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Local News Headlines Archives for 2019-12

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 31, 2019

A portion of Interstate-86 is closed off this morning as first responders assist at the scene of a crashed semi tractor-trailer. 

Chautauqua County dispatchers say the accident occurred shortly before 6 AM in the eastbound lanes and, has now shut down the 7.4-mile stretch between Exit 8 (Lakewood/Mayville) and Exit 11 (Strunk Road).  Dispatch says State Troopers and Sheriff's Deputies responded to the scene alongside Ashville and Bemus Point Fire crews and County EMS. No injuries have been reported, but police are assisting with traffic control at this time. 


Many of the major arguments against Jamestown annexing the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation into the city are the same as they were two years ago.  
That was what the majority of about 150 people felt during last night's public hearing held at Jamestown High School.  Falconer School Superintendent Stephen Penhollow... whose district stands to lose about $153,000 in tax revenues, says the city should abide by an appellate court ruling just over a year ago.

However... Jamestown officials and some residents last night argued that the annexation would save the BPU, and city about $330,000 a year.  Board Chairman Greg Rabb says the BPU did it's "due diligence..." and, they have to look out for their ratepayers.  Rabb adds the BPU has twice voted unanimously to proceed with annexation.  The Jamestown City Council, Falconer Village Board, and the Ellicott Town Board now have 90-days in which to review the material and testimony in the matter... and, vote on whether the proposed annexation is in the "public interest."    


The Jamestown City Council has moved ahead with buying two new pumper trucks and, refurbishing the main ladder truck for the fire department.  

Lawmakers approved two measures... at a total price of about $1.3-million dollars, at last night's year-end meeting.  Finance Committee Chairman Tony Dolce says all three items were part of the major capital investment program adopted this past Fall.

Dolce says city lawmakers were pleased with how the bids came in on all three vehicles.  The city is buying the two pumper trucks from Four Guys Stainless Steel Tank and Equipment in Pennsylvania for just over one-million dollars.  The ladder truck is being refurbished by Churchville Fire Equipment in Churchville, New York... for just under $300,000.


A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly threatening a woman with a metal pipe last Saturday.  

City police responded to a residence on Lakeview Avenue, about 9 PM, on a report of a suspicious person.  On arrival... officers learned 34 year-old John Matteson-junior threatened the victim in her vehicle.  Matteson was taken into custody for second-degree menacing and sent to the city jail pending arraignment. 


Nearly 10 area fire departments battled a blaze that destroyed a building that housed apartments on Route 62 near Conewango Valley.  

The fire was first reported just after 3 AM Monday, with crews from departments in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties responding.  The fire closed a portion of Route 62 for about four hours.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone now says authorities have located the missing two occupants who lived upstairs, and their safety was in question.

Quattrone says two others inside were accounted for at the scene.  The fire caused heavy damage to the building.  Quattrone says county fire investigators were still at the scene late Monday morning trying to determine the cause.  He says they were interviewing witnesses, combing through the rubble, and checking what video may be available.  Quattrone says the structure is so badly damaged that he expects there may have to be emergency demolition.

 
A Dunkirk man has been arrested as part of a Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force investigation of alleged drug trafficking in the East Second Street and Columbus Avenue area.  

Members of the Task Force and Dunkirk Police say they arrested 35 year-old Efrain Aguiar-Rodriguez early last weekend on Chautauqua County Grand Jury warrants at 11 North Gazelle Street.  Task Force agents say Rodriguez is charged with three Felony counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He was arrested without incident and taken to the county jail with bail to be set.  If you have information on possible illegal drug trafficking, contact the task force at 664-2420... or the JPD tips line in Jamestown at 483-8477.


The New York State Farm Bureau has named 77 state legislators, one from Chautauqua County, to it's annual "Circle of Friends" list.  

Farm Bureau President David Fisher says the award is "an indication of the individual lawmaker’s support of New York agriculture and Farm Bureau..." and, is based on each lawmaker's voting record on issues of agricultural importance, and other evidence of legislative support.  Republican State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is one of those on the list.  Fisher adds -- "we appreciate their support of bills and budget items that benefit farm families, and we hope to continue this partnership in the 2020 legislative session.  We aim to work together with all lawmakers to support local food production and address the needs of our rural communities."  Fisher says being named to the "Circle of Friends” is not an endorsement, and this distinction only recognizes the 2019 legislative session.


This year's New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square will spotlight efforts to combat climate change when high school science teachers and students press the button that begins the famous 60-second countdown.  

Organizers announced the plan Saturday.  The two teachers and four students have done a clean-air project and a fundraising walk to raise money for places without clean water.  Young climate activists gained new prominence this year, when Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg sparked school strikes around the world calling for more action to fight global warming.  But, 2019 also was a year of setbacks and disappointment for climate activists.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 30

Firefighters from Ellington, Kennedy and several other departments are fighting a major structure fire in Conewango Valley.  

Chautauqua County Fire Dispatch says crews were summoned around 3:30 AM.  The reported address of the fire is 5521 Route 62.  There's no known personal injury, but Route 62 in that immediate area may be closed for a time as firefighters continue to work the blaze.  Additional detail on the fire is expected later today.  


A Jamestown teenager with a history of running away from home has been reported missing, but, may still be in the area.  

City police say 13 year-old Gianna Coleman was first reported missing last October 21st... but, she has reportedly been in contact with several people via social media.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they have received several tips on Coleman's whereabouts... but, she has not been found, and has not returned home.  Gianna is black, 5"5, and weighs about 150 pounds.  If you have any information on her whereabouts, call JPD at 483-7537... or their tip-line at 483-TIPS.  You can also contact police through their Tips 4-1-1 app.


The Jamestown City Council will hold it's year-end voting session earlier than usual this evening to make way for the rescheduled public hearing on the proposed annexation of land in the village of Falconer.  

Second-Ward Councilman Tony Dolce says the voting session will begin at 6 PM... and, has a number of items to be acted on.  Then... at 7:30 PM... they'll hold the postponed hearing on the annexation of the Dow Street Substation property belonging to the Board of Public Utilities.  He says they want to give everyone a chance to make their views heard.

Dolce says the city council could vote in favor of restarting the legal process within 90-days of the hearing... or could vote not to do so.  He adds that if they take no action, and the measure would die after that 90-day period.  The previous action cost the city and the BPU just over $500,000.  It has cost the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott, and Falconer School District nearly $400,000.  Tonight's hearing begins at 7:30 PM in the Jamestown High School Auditorium.


Committee chairmanship on the Jamestown City Council will be evenly split among Republicans and Democrats in 2020.  

That from incoming Council President Tony Dolce... who was recently elected to the post by the new GOP majority members.  Republicans hold a 5-to-4 edge on the panel next year... but, Dolce has decided to put experience ahead of politics.  He chaired the Finance Committee in recent years -- even with a Democratic majority at that time.  Dolce says another experienced member will replace him on that panel.

Dolce says another Republican will replace Democrat Maria Jones... who was defeated in last November's election.  He says Brent Sheldon will head up the Public Safety Committee.  Dolce says he's chosen Democrats Tom Nelson and Vickye James to remain chairs of the Public Works and Housing Committees, respectively.
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The council's reorganizational meeting will be held this Wednesday -- New Year's Day -- at the Scharmann Theater at Jamestown Community College beginning at 12 Noon. 


Once the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk's historic kiosk program is complete... there will be a total of eight story-board kiosks along the walk-way.  

That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says the six put in by the city can now be found on the riverwalk map on the city of Jamestown's website.  Teresi says the other two are located on the walkway near the Board of Public Utilities.  He credits new City Historian Ashley Senske for the project moving foward.

Teresi says the storyboard project was part of the overall Riverwalk project done in concert with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  He says the department was very happy to hear about the historic nature of the project.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Dec. 28, 2019

Incoming Jamestown City Council President Tony Dolce announces committee chairs for 2020...
With a 5-to-4 majority on the Jamestown City Council next year... it's expected that the longest-serving councilmember will be the panel's president in 2020.  Second-Ward Republican Tony Dolce says, though, leadership under him will be split next year.  Dolce was recently elected unanimously by the incoming majority to be Council President... and, he says he's gratified by his fellow lawmakers trust... and, says he's ready to go for the new year.  He says it's an "honor" to be selected by the caucus, due in large part to his ability to work across the political aisle to get things done.  One of Dolce's first assignments has been to decide on committee chairpersons... and members.  He says he wanted the committees to have experienced people on board, and put the two new council members where their strengths can be utilitzed.  Dolce was part of a council that bickered many years ago... and, he says because of the city's many challenges... they can't have that because "things don't get done."  At-Large Councilwoman Kim Ecklund will replace Dolce as Finance Committee Chairperson... while fellow Republican Brent Sheldon will chair the Public Safety Committee.  Dolce says Democrat Tom Nelson will remain Public Works Chairman... while Democrat Vickye James will remain head of the Housing Committee in 2020.


Long-time Lakewood Village Clerk retiring on New Year's Eve...
One of the longest-serving village clerks in Chautauqua County will be calling it a career at the end of business on New Year's Eve... next Tuesday.  Lakewood's Joe Johnson says he'll miss "the people of the village, and those I've worked with" during his 35 years in the position.  Johnson was appointed Village Clerk in 1984 by late Mayor Tony Caprino.  Prior to that... Johnson was hired by the village in 1978 to be what was called a "storekeeper" for the village's Highway Department.  In that capacity, he keep track of records, and also handled purchase orders.  Johnson will be replaced by current assistant clerk, Mary Currie, who was appointed at the village board's December 9th meeting.


Fire heavily damages apartment in Dunkirk...
Flames extensively damaged an apartment Thursday afternoon at the Porter Manor Apartments on Greco Lane in the city of Dunkirk.  Dunkirk Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews responded to the call around 3 p.m... and, found heavy fire on the second-floor.  Edwards say crews extended hoses, and knocked down the fire, and got remaining residents out of the building.  He says the blaze was contained to the apartment of original, with some water and smoke damage reported to the adjacent apartments. No injuries were reported and the cause is under investigation.


Cold Spring man arrested for menacing...
A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly pointing a firearm, and threatening another person in the town of Randolph.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to a location on Perimeter Road in Cold Spring early last week... and, arrested 37 year-old Jordan John for second-degree menacing.  Deputies say John and the other person had gotten into an argument when John allegedly pulled out the firearm.  No one was hurt.  John was booked in Randolph Town Court and released pending a future court appearance.


Teresi, other leaders unveil new Riverwalk historic kiosks...
People who like to walk along the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk now have the chance to see historic photos of that part of the walkway from years past.  City Mayor Sam Teresi was joined by other officials at the bridge on North Main Street to unveil one of the six new kiosks that are part of the Riverwalk Kiosk Historic Photo Project.  The pictures on that kiosk highlight Brooklyn Square from the 1940s and 50s.  Teresi says the pictures will provide context for what was in that area years ago with what is there now.  The picture in Brooklyn Square is of Main Street, heading south.  He says the riverwalk project actually began in the 1970s, and used leftover money from the Brooklyn Square Urban Renewal project at that time.  However... work on getting the riverwalk into full use began about 15 years ago... and, Teresi says it's now about two-thirds done.  He expressed his appreciation to the city's new Historian, Ashley Senske, for spearheading the kiosk project.  Teresi adds that the pictures that are in the kiosks can also be seen on the city's website at Jamestownny.net... and just go to the riverwalk part of the site.


Washington's Crossing reenactment held on Christmas...
Thousands turned out to watch the annual reenactment of George Washington's daring Christmas Day crossing of the Delaware River in 1776.  It was the first time the crossing was completed in three years.  The event was scrapped because of bad weather the last two years.  The crossing is the highlight of a historical reenactment that draws thousands of people to the banks of the river in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and Titusville, New Jersey.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 27, 2019

The investigation is continuing into a pair of drive-by shootings that took place over Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day in two different parts of the city of Jamestown.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were first called to a northside intersection shortly after 11 PM on Tuesday, Christmas Eve.

Samuelson says they also believe the second shooting incident... near the corner of Newland and Forest Avenues about 4:30 PM Wednesday... was a targeted one.  He says it also appears to be unrelated to the first one.  In the second incident... a Sports Utililty Vehicle was struck by a silver-colored four-door car... and, those inside the car reportedly fired on the SUV.  Samuelson says they've received several helpful tips already... and, they are following up on them.  No one was hurt in either incident.  However... while they appear to be "targeted" incidents... Samuelson says police are taking the threat very seriously.  If you have any information on either incident... call City Police at 483-7537.  You can also call the JPD Tip-line at 483-8477.  Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential.  You can also contact them on their Tips 4-1-1 app.


A man struck by a mini-van on Jamestown's southside early yesterday afternoon has now died of his injuries... and, the vehicle involved has been found.  

City police were called to the scene on Newland Avenue about 1:30 PM on a report of a hit-and-run accident.  Officers say the man was walking his bike when he was struck.  Police say video surveillance video in that area helped identify the suspect vehicle... which was later found on Fairmount Avenue by Lakewood-Busti Police.  Police say the driver of the vehicle was an 82 year-old woman, who may have had a medical emergency prior to the incident.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the woman was transferred to UPMC Chautauqua and later to UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA.  No names have been released... and, the investigation is continuing.


  As state lawmakers get ready to return to Albany in January... local State Senator George Borrello is preparing for his first session as a member of the legislature.

  Borrello says one of the biggest issues facing the state is a projected budget deficit of nearly $6.1-billion. He says rising Medicaid cost is a major factor behind the deficit, accounting for nearly $4 billion.  Borrello says New York spends more per capita than any other state in the nation.  The Irving Republican believes much of it is due to fraud and waste, something he feels the state needs to address.


 
A new program to put up permanent wayfairing signs, and "Smart" parking meters in the city of Jamestown will be getting underway early in the new year.  

That from Mayor Sam Teresi... says the city has received approval for a $400,000 Federal Highway Administration grant through the state Department of Transportation.  Teresi says the Parking Task Force made some key recommendations... including making the downtown area easier to navigate, and find parking for those people coming from out-of-town.

Teresi says the task force's recommendations included changing most of the free parking spaces downtown back to paid parking.  However... spaces where the SMART meters are located will be able to take cash, as well as credit cards, or you can pay using a phone app.  The Gebbie Foundation put up the $100,000 match for the federal grant.  Teresi says the recommendations came from a study by Bergmann Associates.  He says just over $400,000 from the matching grant will be used to put up the new wayfairing signs, as well as fund 200 new Smart Meters. 


Chautauqua County police agencies say the conducted 30 vehicle stops, arrests and summonses during last month's New York State STOP-DWI Thanksgiving Enforcement Crackdown.  

Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the crackdown began on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, and continued through Sunday, December 1st.  Quattrone says the event is funded by a 2019-2020 grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, and is part of a national crackdown effort.  In Chautauqua County... he says "removing intoxicated drivers from Chautauqua County roadways is one of our top priorities.  If you choose to drink, don't drive.  Drunk drivers not only put themselves in danger, they threaten everyone who shares the road with them."  The Chautauqua County STOP-DWI Program is funded by drinking and driving fines collected from convicted drunk drivers.

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs. Dec. 26, 2019

City police investigating reported drive-by shooting on Jamestown's southside Christmas Day...
Jamestown police have been investigating a possible drive-by shooting early Christmas Day that occured on Newland Avenue.  City police confirm this morning there was an incident... but, no details have yet been released.  The Post-Journal is reporting a witness told dispatchers that two vehicles, a dark-colored SUV and a silver sedan, may have been involved and that a nearby window had been struck.  However... no injuries were reported.  Another witness later told police the two vehicles may have been chasing the other when four to five shots were heard in an area east of Forest Avenue.


Bear Lake woman arrested for DUI Accident in Warren Co. that downed power lines...
A Warren County, Pennsylvania woman has been arrested for driving drunk when her car crashed in Freehold Township... and, her vehicle caught fire.  State Police in Corry say they were called to the scene on Route 957 about 11:30 p.m. Monday, and found the car on fire with live power lines down around it.  Penelec was called into turn-off power to the lines... and, Wrightville Firefighters put out the blaze.  No one was inside the car... but, the operator was allegedly found at her home in Bear Lake about two-miles away unhurt.  Troopers say the unidentified 33 year-old woman was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of a hit and run accident. 


JHS A Cappella Choir and Marching Band head out today for trip to Disneyworld...
Today, 157 members of the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir and Red Raider Marching Band will leave for Disneyworld in Florida for some high profile performances there.  One of the students is Meridith Rohlin, a JHS Senior and President of the A Cappella Choir.  Rohlin says they're excited about this "once in a lifetime" trip.  The A Cappella will perform in the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center at 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. on Saturday. Choir Director, Norm Lydell, says it's a high honor to be chosen.  The marching band will be in the Magic Kingdom parade at 10:30 a.m. on New Year's Eve, next Tuesday.  Band director, Meghan Murray, says the 'pre-trip' meeting with parents was revealing, because they learned that 75 to 100 of the kids have never been to Disney.  Both directors say the Jamestown community has been very generous in its support of this adventure for their students.  


Gas prices expected to hold steady across the region and U.S. through New Year's...
This day after Christmas will be another big travel day across the U.S. -- and the Jamestown-area -- and gasoline prices should remain stable through the New Year's time period.  That from the AAA's East Central Gas Price report... which says prices locally should remain slightly over $2.86 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  Regional Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says traffic volumes will remain up through New Year's Day... as people head out for other locations for other Christmas celebrations through the weekend.  Carey says the New York state average price for gas is about $2.69 a gallon... while it's a little higher -- $2.75 -- in Pennsylvania.  She says there have also been slight increases in New Jersey and Delaware.  The national average is now $2.54 a gallon.


Fugitive from Justice arrested during I-86 traffic stop...
A Pennsylvania man sought on drug trafficking charges has been arrested in Chautauqua County as a fugitive from justice.  State Police in Jamestown say they arrested 47 year-old Joseph Zimmerman of Adamsville late last weekend after pulling over a car Zimmerman was in on Interstate 86 in Bemus Point.  Troopers say neither Zimmerman nor the other occupant, was wearing a seatbelt.  A background check showed there was an active violation of parole warrant for Zimmerman issued by the Pennsylvania Board of Probation, and Parole for sale of cocaine.  He was placed under arrest and taken to the Chautauqua County Jail, pending arraignment. 


Chautauqua County residents, businesses, urged to support Fredonia for appearance on Small Business Revolution... 
While representatives from the Small Business Revolution have made their initial visit to Fredonia, and received a rousing welcome, there is still more that can be done to help the village make the top five.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says the entire area can help give Fredonia a boost in the TV show that is shown through Hulu and Amazon Prime.  Tranum says making the show will also be big exposure for the county as well.  Tranum is also encouraging everyone to support the village, and it's efforts to make the top five on social media... including Twitter.  He says use the hashtag #MyFredonia, and highlight local businesses, and reasons "why you love Fredonia."  The announcement of the top five is expected to take place on Jan. 14.


Lawmakers pushing for adult Sexual Abuse victims to have the chance to sue...
Some New York state lawmakers want to give victims of sexual abuse an opportunity to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation.  Churches, youth groups and schools were hit by a tsunami of lawsuits this year after the state gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a one-year window to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation.  Now, some lawmakers want to open the same window for people abused as adults. 

 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 24 2019

A Pennsylvania woman was killed... and four others were injured in a multi-vehicle crash in Harborcreek Township yesterday morning.  

Erie News Now reports the accident occurred around 7 AM on Interstate-90 in the Westbound lanes near Exit 35.  The woman was said to be operating a Toyota Corolla in the left lane when it hit the Sports Utility Vehichle traveling in front of her. Erie News says -- according to investigators -- It caused the Corolla to turn sideways, and the vehicle was then hit by a Buick sedan that was unable to stop.  The force of the crash pushed the Toyota into the SUV.  Five people were sent to local hospitals and the 33 year-old female --from Saint Mary's -- was pronounced dead at UPMC Hamot.  Reports indicate she was not wearing a seatbelt... and, two children in her vehicle... a two-year-old girl and a male infant who is not even a year old yet - were flown to Pittsburgh for treatment of their injuries. Both were allegedly buckled in their safety seats. The two other drivers were also taken to Hamot with suspected minor injuries. 

A strong economy is fueling what's going to be a record-number of Americans are planning to travel during this two-week holiday season.  

That season began last Saturday... and, runs through New Year's Day.  However... things will pick up again today -- on Christmas Eve.  Triple-A Western New York Spokeswoman Elizabeth Carey says 115.6-million people are expected to be traveling... with 104-million going by car.  Carey adds the weather will be good for that.

Nationally... Carey says Triple-A is projecting a nearly 4-percent increase over last year in travel during the holiday period from last Saturday, December 21st, through New Year's Day.  She says today will be very busy for travelers because there were still some reasonably-priced flights across the nation.  For those of us traveling by car the next two weeks... Carey says we'll enjoy two bonuses.  The first is we are expecting great weather for traveling... and, the other is relatively stable gas prices.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo has promoted from within the Buffalo Diocese to name a new President and Chief Executive Officer.

  The charity arm of the Diocese announced Monday that Deacon Steve Schumer of South Buffalo will replace Dennis Walczyk next January 6th.  New Bishop Edward Scharfenberger says Walczyk is completing 22 years in leadership roles with the agency after first joining Catholic Charities in 1997.  The Board of Trustees added the title of President in 2018 when the Board re-organized to a single executive from a dual-leadership structure.

A city woman was arrested early Monday morning for allegedly being found in possession of a small quantity of Heroin during a traffic stop on Jamestown's westside.  

City police say a patrol was traveling west on West Third Street just before 3 AM when officers spotted a car making a traffic infraction near Logan Avenue.  Officers say they stopped 38 year-old Sarah Lundsten, and found the heroin in her possession.  She was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and jailed pending arraignment.

Bi-Partisan legislation has been introduced in Congress that would drastically cut the cost of insulin for people suffering from diabetes, and have trouble paying for it.  

Corning Republican Tom Reed... who co-chairs the Diabetes Caucus... says he and Democratic Co-Chair Diana DeGette of Colorado... have introduced the voluntary "Insulin Price Reduction Act."  He says it would cut insulin costs by 75-percent. He says it's an optional program for the three insulin makers, who would then no longer have to go through the rebate negotiations with insurance companies in order to get their product covered.  Reed, whose son is a diabetic, says the rebate programs have actually caused the price of insulin to skyrocket in recent years.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 23


Two people were arrested for allegedly arguing with police and firefighters at the scene of a minor structure fire last Saturday night on Jamestown's southside.  

City firefighters were called to 15 Partridge Street shortly before 8 PM and, say 27 year-old Blake McAffee began screaming in the face of fire personnel, and preventing them from doing their duties.  City police were then called in, and say McAffee was angry that no one asked if he was okay.  However, he was asked seven times by personnel if he needed an ambulance.  A woman, 30 year-old Cynthia Howie, then jumped into the fray and both were arrested.  McAffee faces two counts of second-degree obstruction, and one of resisting arrest.  Howie is charged with third-degree criminal tampering for spitting continuously all over the booking room.  Both are also charged with unnecessary noise, and jailed pending arraignment.  The fire only caused minimal damage.

Federal disaster aid is coming to 18 upstate New York counties -- including Chautauqua -- that endured severe thunderstorms and flooding on Halloween.  

U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, along with local Congressman Tom Reed, announced approval of the state's aid request late last Friday.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide public assistance funding to the western, central and northern New York counties affected by the major disaster declaration.  Damage in Chautauqua County was mainly along the Lake Erie shoreline, including the break-wall in Dunkirk.  The October 31st storms brought at least three inches of rain and winds up to 70 mph.  A Catholic priest died after being swept away in floodwaters in Herkimer County after his car got stuck.


A Portland man has been arrested by members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force following a several month long investigation into illegal narcotics trafficking.  

Task Force agents say the arrest of 34 year-old Michael Borst came during a raid at Borst's home at 6374 Route 5 in Portland.  The Task Force and Sheriff's officers conducted the raid at 9 AM last Friday and, took Borst into custody without incident.  He was charged with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, and sent to the county jail pending arraignment. 

The Salvation Army's Kettle Campaign in Jamestown begins it's last two days facing a major challenge.  

The campaign -- at last word -- was $50,000 behind last year's effort.  That from Major Kim Merchant of the local Salvation Army in Brooklyn Square.  A combination of the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year... and the loss of K-Mart and Sam's Club over the last two years have made it harder to get contributions.  The Major says they don't like the idea, but if they don't make the goal, programs will be dropped.

The kettles will be out only through Christmas Eve.  Checks made out to the Salvation Army, 83 South Main Street, will be accepted for a few days after the holiday.  Major Merchant reminds potential donors the funds do not leave town and, they go towards their low income assistance, and other social service programs.  There are still some open hours for bell ringers to sign up.   Call the Salvation Army of Jamestown for more information at 664-4108. 


The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County's 2019 General Campaign in nearing 75-percent of their goal but, they are slightly behind where they should be.  

That from United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler, who says staff and volunteers are continuing to put on presentations at local work places.  They have now reached 73.7-percent of their $1.33-million  goal.

The campaign will continue through the holidays, and will end in late January when they have their campaign celebration.  Rohler says they aren't the only human service agency experiencing stuggles this year.  The Salvation Army, which is one of their partner agencies, it way behind in it's annual Red Kettle Campaign.  Rohler says they've been able to do presentations at a couple of new workplaces this year and, that broadening the number of people they are reaching with their message.  The campaign not only funds several partner agencies but, the United Way's own programs. 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Dec. 21, 2019

Apthorpe says Bradley will finish out her time in district working in administration...
The outgoing principal at Jamestown High School will finish out her time in the district working with the superintendent and chief economic officer through Jan. 31.  That from Superintendent Bret Apthorpe... who says the decision was made as High School Principal Rosemary Bradley offically handed in her resignation this past Thursday.  In the interim... Assistant JHS Principal Dana Williams will direct operations at the high school.  Williams was appointed interim principal through June 30th of next year.  Apthorpe says being a high school principal is a 'tough job' and works like a marriage.  He says a "lot of energy and passion" is needed to run JHS, and he gave Bradley credit for committing to the job, and area, and appreciated her "forward thinking" ideas.  Dr. Apthorpe thanked Bradley for her service and wished her well in the future.  Former JHS intern and Persell Middle School  Special Education teacher, Allyson Smith, was also appointed as JHS Dean of Students. The Board of Education says it will announce plans for a new principal search in the very near future.


Borrello says state officials listening to his concerns about closing of TLC/Lakeshore in Irving...
Local State Senator George Borrello is returning from a meeting he had with some of the governor's staff in New York City on Thursday about the January 1st closing of TLC/Lakeshore in Irving.  About 160 workers will be left without jobs along with a number of health services.  Borrello says he gave the staff present at the meeting several talking points on his concerns about the closing.  He's hoping there will be a bi-partisan effort to at least delay the closing.  Borrello participated in a rally held out the hospital on Tuesday that featured elected officials and union employees.  Brooks-TLC Hospital System announced the closing on December 3rd.


Woman from Bemus Point charged with resisting arrest after accident in Jamestown...
A Bemus Point woman was arrested for allegedly resisting arrest following a car crash last Thursday afternoon.  City Police responded to the area of Fairmount and Lovall Avenues for a two-car property accident shortly after 4 p.m., and, determined 62 year-old Sally Lawson was allegedly in violation of an order of protection prior to the accident, by being inside the car with a protected party.  Officers say Lawson refused to leave the vehicle on her own and had to be physically removed.  Following a brief struggle, she was taken into custody and charged with obstruction... resisting arrest... and, second-degree criminal contempt. 


Salvation Army of Jamestown far behind in Red Kettle Campaign...
The Salvation Army's Kettle Campaign in Jamestown is facing a major challenge... just a few days before Christmas... because they're effort is $50,000 behind.  That from Major Kim Merchant of the local Salvation Army in Brooklyn Square.  The short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year... and the loss of K-Mart and Sam's Club over the last two years have made it harder to get contributions.  The Major says they don't like the idea, but if they don't make the goal, programs will be dropped.  The kettles will be out only through Christmas Eve.  Checks made out to the Salvation Army, 83 South Main St., will be accepted for a few days after the holiday.  Major Merchant reminds potential donors the funds do not leave town -- they stay here to support their pantry, domestic violence, and other social service programs.  There are still some open hours for bell ringers to sign up.  For more information... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108. 


Suit filed to block pay increases for NY Gov., and Lt. Gov...
A conservative good government group is suing to block a pay hike that would place Governor Andrew Cuomo among the nation's highest paid governors.  Cuomo's salary is set to jump from $200,000 this year to $225,000 in January... and, $250,000 in 2021.  That's compared to the $179,000 salary the Democratic governor had when he took office in January following his 2018 re-election.  The Government Justice Center is seeking a court order to prevent the pay hike in a lawsuit filed in state court this month against Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.  The nonprofit claims the state's constitution prohibits changing a governor or lieutenant governor's compensation during their term.


First three grants presented from Rosie Billquist Memorial Fund...
A memorial fund set up in the name of a woman from Sherman who was accidently killed in a hunting accident two years ago has awarded it's first-ever grants.  The Rosie Billquist Memorial fund was established at the Chautauqua Regional Community Foundation by her husband, Jamie, through various fund-raising efforts.  Foundation Executive Director Tory Irgang says Jamie selected three organizations that Rosie was especially fond of... Chautauqua County Hospice and Palliative Care, the Chautauqua County Humane Society, and, the Southern Tier Kidney Association.  Irgang says all three organizations will receive funding each year -- into perpetuity.  One of the fund-raisers used by Jamie Billquist to raise money for the fund is "Rosie's Run..." which is put on by him and his friends in Sherman.  He says "this will be a way to remember her... it's a good way to give to others like she would have wanted."  For more information on the Rosie Billquist... or other funds at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... call 661-3390.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 20, 2019

Two men were arrested on Jamestown's northside late Wednesday night after they were found with drugs... and, one with nearly $18,000 cash in his possession... during a traffic stop.  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol officer pulled over a car, driven by 25 year-old Eddie Ortiz, just after 10 PM for failure to keep right on North Main Street at Fluvanna Avenue.  Police then found marijuana, 7.7-grams of cocaine... and, the large amount of money.

Samuelson says officers allegedly found the cocaine and cash in the possession of the passenger... 33 year-old Hector Montanez... who was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.  Samuelson says Ortiz was issued appearance tickets, and released... while Montanez was arraigned, and released by the court.  However... Samuelson says other charges are pending... and, the investigation is continuing.


Two former Starflight pilots have been officially discharged now after admitting to stealing items from the helicopter's hangar in the city of Jamestown.  

Sheriff's officers say they began their investigation into the alleged thefts by 60 year-old Mark Chamberlain of Hamburg... and, 34 year-old Jacob Ventura of Chaffee... last May.  Deputies say they were assisted by Jamestown police in the investigation... and, both men have now pleaded guilty to petty larceny charges.  They say Ventura’s conditional discharge will last 12-months... while Chamberlainss will last six-months.

Chautauqua County has again done very well in getting projects funded during the latest round of awards from the state's Regional Economic Development Council.  

Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise says they received word Thursday that 16 projects are receiving a total of just over $6-million. Geise says the Empire State Development corporation is very familiar with what the county is trying to do... and, that helps.

Geise says the nearly half of the funding awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application process will go to Chris Lacarata... who is working to re-purpose a building in Dunkirk to process hops and barley.  He says Lacarata will receive $2.94-million for the project.  Geise says the second major award is going to the Gebbie Foundation in Jamestown to support it's multi-million dollar redevelopment project for the Furniture Mart building on the city's westside.  He says that effort is receiving $1.34-million. The third largest award is $748,000 for the Main Street Sewer Replacement project in the town of Ripley.


A Silver Creek man was arrested for allegedly getting into a delivery truck with another person... and, eating the snack food items inside.  

Sheriff's Officers say a worker at the Frito-Lay property on Route 60 in Dunkirk... came in to get the truck shortly after 3 AM last Saturday... and, found two men sitting in the cab eating Frito-Lay product they allegedly stole out of the back.  Deputies say 23 year-old Benjamin Catalino and the other suspect ran off when the worker said he was calling 9-1-1.  A Sheriff's patrol found the pair walking down the road... and, they were released pending investigation.  Deputies say arrest warrants were issued for both men, and, Catalino was picked up by State Police for a separate incident.  He was turned over to the Sheriff's Office and arraigned on charges of petty larcency and trespassing. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 19

The Jamestown school board accepted the resignation of High School Principal Rosemary Bradley at a special meeting this morning.

Bradley was appointed at the beginning of the school year to replace Mike McElrath, who became principal of the new Success Academy at the former Rogers School.  However, her short tenure was considered controversial and, a pair of fights at the school recently led to a "no confidence" vote by 86-percent of the teachers and staff at the high school.  The resignation is effective January 31st of next year.  School Superindent Bret Apthorpe says current JHS Assistant Principal, Dana Williams, was appointed interim principal through June 30th of next year.  Former JHS intern and Persell Middle School  Special Education teacher, Allyson Smith, was also appointed as JHS Dean of Students.

In a printed release, The Board of Education says it will announce plans for a new principal search in the very near future.  Apthrope says, "We thank Dr. Bradley for her service at Jamestown High School and wish her well in her professional journey..... Mr. Williams’ leadership experience in our district and at JHS will help guide the school forward during this transition time until a new principal can be appointed."


Chautauqua County Legislature Chairman P.J. Wendel says he will be ready to take over the duties of county executive during the Legislature’s re-organizational meeting on January 2nd.  

Wendel says lawmakers could not vote on his appointment during Wednesday night’s meeting because of obligations to his current employer, Falconer Central School.

The Chautauqua County GOP recommended Wendel’s appointment as county executive earlier this month.  County Attorney Stephen Abdella will continue as Acting County Executive until Wendel’s appointment becomes final. During their final meeting of 2019, county lawmakers presented commendations for outgoing Legislators Kevin O’Connell of District 6, David Wilfong of District 11 and Martin Proctor of District 18.


The House of Representatives concluded a day-long session yesterday -- including hours of passionate debate -- by approving two Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump.  

With the approvals -- mostly along party lines -- Mr. Trump becomes the third president to be impeached by Congress.  Local Congressman Tom Reed remained with the GOP Minority in voting against the measure... and, again questioned whether anything the president did was impeachable.

President Trump was charged with abusing his power and Obstruction of Congress.  As soon as the Impeachment proceedings opened Wednesday morning, Republicans tried to halt the proceedings with a procedural vote.  It was defeated on a party-line vote.  The Articles are expected to be delivered to the Senate soon and, a formal trial is likely there early next year.


The public hearing called by the city of Jamestown and Board of Public Utilities on the proposed annexation of the BPU's Dow Street Substation in Falconer last night was cancelled due to the weather.

 The hearing was one of the three items recently approved by the city council to take place after agreeing to restart the process.  The action has been opposed by the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott and the Falconer School District.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the hearing has been rescheduled for Monday, December 30th.  But, the time and location have yet to be determined.


More than 30 people from local agencies, foundations and government met yesterday to begin the "complete count" effort in the city of Jamestown for the 2020 Census.  

Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley is the city's Complete Count Census Liason... and, says the group's objective is -- as the name suggests -- getting a complete count of everyone living in the city.  Hanley says Wednesday's session was more of a workshop.

Hanley says they want everyone involved to brainstorm, and come up with ideas to make sure that everyone -- including those in underreported populations -- are counted.  He says the committee's work after the 2010 federal Census was critical because the initial numbers weren't looking good.  Predictions at that time was just over 28,000,  which was about a 16-percent drop.  However, the final numbers ended up just over 31,000.  That was about a 1.3 percent undercount.  Hanley says more meetings will be held for the group in 2020.  He says if you would like more information... call the Mayor's Office at 483-7600, or go to the city's website at Jamestownny.net.


An Erie County man faces a charge of Failure to register as required as a Sex Offender in Chautauqua County earlier this year.  

Sheriff's officers in Mayville say 33 year-old William Bergeron was taken into custody in Erie County for failure to provide his new home address within 10 days.  Deputies say the Office of Criminal Investigations received a tip last Thursday that Bergeron was no longer living at his last reported address and did not report the move.  Officers say the investigation also shows he was convicted of failing to register earlier this year, making this charge a Felony.  He was taken into custody Monday... and turned over to Chautuqua County for centralized arraignment. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 18, 2019

Catt. Co-Fatal Bus Axe-#1  5:30 PM                         12/17

A school bus driver from the Buffalo-area was killed Tuesday morning when his bus slammed into a ditch in Cattaraugus County... and, he was thrown from the vehicle.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley aren't identifying the 57 year-old man... whose from Cheektowaga.  Deputies say the First Student bus was northbound on Route 16 in the town of Ishua  just after 9 AM when the driver lost control of the vehicle... which had no students on board.  Officers say the operator was later pronounced dead at Olean General Hospital... while a female bus monitor was treated at Olean General for minor injuries.  The accident remains under investigation.


About 40 people -- many of them employees of the city of Jamestown -- were on hand last night for the last of four public input sessions hosted by incoming Mayor Eddie Sundquist and his transition team.  Some of the employees spoke... and provided input on everything from snow plowing... to a potential fire-based Emergency Medical Service.  Sundquist says his City Operations and Human Resources team sent out flyers to all employees about the session.

That was music to the ears of many employees... among them Jamestown Professional Firefighters Union President Shawn Shilling... who called the new administration "a breath of fresh air" because "they want to hear from us."  Shilling says Sundquist wants to talk with the employees to see how they feel about operations.  He outlined two other areas the firefighters union would like to see addressed by the new administration... one being to "fix" the EMS crisis in the city due to cut-backs by UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... and, ending the animosity between the city and it's unions.  


Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist's Transition Team will now compile and catagorize the feedback they're received over their four meetings and put together a report to the public after the first of January.  Transition Team Chairman Tom Benson told the audience last night that they are following the model used by Pensacola, Florida last year when a new administration took office.  Sundquist says they are closing in on a full slate of people to be department heads, and on boards and commissions in the new year.  He hopes to have that list finalized shortly.  Benson also says that what they come up with from the input sessions will be an "actionable plan."  If you would like to contact the transition team... send them an e-mail to 'transition@eddiesundquist.com'


The city of Jamestown's 75 historic markers now have an on-line presence to allow people to see them all... and, any others that'll be added in the near future.  Mayor Sam Teresi and members of the Historic Markers Committee were on hand Tuesday afternoon for the launch of a new, historic marker section to the city's website.  Teresi says it's a less expensive way to add new markers.

The process began last Summer when long-time City Historian B. Delores Thompson retired... but, said she wanted to see a new publication for all of the current markers.  However... the last marker booklet only had up to number-58.  Mayoral Assistant and City Webmaster Matt Hanley says he then began working to get what they had on-line.  However... it was new Historian Ashley Senske who began work on getting the newer markers on the website.  Hanley says you can easily access the new part of the website by going on-line to Jamestownny.net. and click on the Parks and Recreation tab.  You should then go to the Historical Marker tab. 


Union workers, first responders and elected officials gathered outside TLC/Lakeshore in Irving Tuesday, calling on New York State to delay the closing of the facility that serves portions of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie counties.  Members of 11-99 S-E-I-U were joined by State Senator George Borrello, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Acting County Executive Stephen Abdella, and others.  The union's Peter DeJesus says they represent over 160 workers at the hospital... and, spoke on the impact the closing would have on workers and the community.

Borrello traveled to Albany recently to meet with state officials to discuss the closing, slated for January 1st, but he didn't like the response he got.  He says he asked a lot of questions... but, got no answers.  Borrello says the fight is not about politics.  The Hanover Republican read a statement of support from Senator Tim Kennedy, a Democrat.  Borrello has another meeting with state officials, this one in New York City.  It will involve representatives of Governor Cuomo's Office.


Water Division employees with the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will be restoring use of the Harrison Street water line this evening.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the line has been out of service since July, as part of the Harrison Street Bridge Reconstruction Project.  Robbins says service will be restored at 8:30 this evening.  As part of reactivating the line... she says water flow will change direction, causing water to stir and discolor for 12-to-24 hours.  That'll begin downtown Jamestown and then flow throughout the system.  Customers should be on the look-out for discolored water after that.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 17, 2019

BREAKING.... Arson arrest in Mayville Diner Fire... 

The owner of the Mayville Diner was arrested on felony charges stemming from a fire that destroyed the building last Monday. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says 40 year-old Michael Ellis was taken into custody today following their joint-investigation with Chautauqua County Fire Investigators into the cause and origin of the blaze.  Deputies say Ellis was arraigned on a charge of felony Third-Degree Arson and released due to the new bail reform laws of New York State.  He is to appear in Town of Chautauqua Court at a later date. 


Two people from Pennsylvania were killed in a motor vehicle accident in Warren County after their Sports Utility Vehicle collided with a Semi Truck Sunday afternoon. 

 State Police in Warren say the accident occurred just after 4:30 PM when the westbound SUV went out of control near Mead Boulevard, in snow-covered, slick conditions. Troopers say the vehicle, operated by 39 year-old Charles Rothrauff of Tiona, began to spin, and slid into the path of the tractor-trailer.  The SUV was struck on the driver's side and, continued to spin before coming to rest against a guardrail.  Police say Rothrauff and his front-seat passenger -- 32 year-old Jessica Camp -- also of Tiona -- were pronounced dead at the scene.  A 15 year-old back-seat passenger was ejected from the vehicle.  She was flown to a Pittsburgh Hospital with suspected serious injuries.  The operator of the Semi, 47 year-old Bryan Crabtree, of Oil City, reportedly sufferred minor injuries.  Troopers blame snow-slicked roads for the accident.


It won't be until the beginning of next year that Chautauqua County lawmakers will act on appointing current Legislature Chairman P.J. Wendel as interim County Executive.  

Wendel was recommended for the post by the County's Republican Committee during a meeting earlier this month.  County Legislator Kevin Muldowney says lawmakers will likely wait until their January 2nd re-organizational meeting.

Initially, it was believed that the legislature might act at this Wednesday night's regular monthly meeting.  However, that won't be taking place.  In the meantime, County Attorney Stephen Abdella will continue to serve as Acting County Executive until action is taken on January 2nd.  Wendel will succeed George Borrello who was recently seated in the State Senate.

 
An investigation into the sale and distribution of narcotics in the city of Dunkirk has led to the arrest of a city woman last Friday evening.  

Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says their probe, along with that by the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force, resulted in Chautauqua County Grand Jury indictment warrants being issued for 26-year-old Nathasha Feliciano.

Police located Feliciano on Lake Shore Drive West around 8 PM last Friday and took her into custody without incident.  She was transported to the County Jail pending arraignment on two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

 
The final part of major renovations at the new Veteran's Memorial Park on Jamestown's westside has been completed.  

The ribbon was cut Monday afternoon on the park's new pavillion.  City officials and members of the city's Veterans Committee were on hand for the event, which Mayor Sam Teresi says was mainly funded through a $100,000 grant from retired State Senator Cathy Young a few years ago.

The ribbon was cut by Committee member, and former City Councilman George Spitale, who praised Teresi for keeping his word, and completing the project.  Spitale thanked Teresi for all his efforts to get the memorial, new parking area, and pavillion finished.  Current Jamestown Veteran's Committee Chairman Chuck Telford was also on hand.  Teresi says, aside from some final landscaping that'll be done in the Spring of next year, Veteran's Park is now complete.

A Jamestown native has been appointed to be interim organist at Chautauqua Institution for the 2020 season.  

The institution today says that Joshua Stafford will serve in that capacity for the nine-week Summer Season.  Chautauqua Spokesman Jordan Steves says Stafford, an internationally renowned and award-winning organist, will succeed his mentor and teacher, the late Jared Jacobsen, as the principal performer on the Institution’s historic Massey Memorial Organ.  Vice-President of Religion and Senior Pastor the Reverend V. Gene Robinson says they are "fortunate to have someone of Josh’s talent and stature ready to step into this vital position."


It took some extra effort at the end, but this year's 'Holiday Haul' for the St. Susan's Center collected 4.5-tons of food and supplies, and $13,000.  

Host Keith Martin thanked the community for it's contributions and, for recognizing the services Jamestown's largest soup kitchen provides.  Martin says the money will help St. Susan's purchase for important food items from the Food Bank of Western New York.  Despite the weather, Martin says they had a good turn-out, but he is anticipating the number of donations to grow as the Christmas holiday closes in.  He adds, the seventh-annual Holiday Haul contributions will be able to get Saint Susan's through the first part of 2020, as they're on pace to serve 115,000 meals this year alone.  Martin, who is the Executive Director of Northwest Arena, spent three days in front of the Jamestown Cycle Shop, collecting non-perishable items and cash for St. Susan's.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 16, 2019

Three people from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly being in possession of methamphetamine and, nearly six-pounds of marijuana-laced cookies and brownies.  

City police say officers stopped a car in the Rite Aid parking lot at 50 South Main Street for a number of traffic violations late last week.  Police arrested Austin Wetherby, and Nathan Owen for allegedly possessing the meth.  They also arrested Janie Blakey for littering in the parking lot.  They then found 5.11lbs of the pot laced brownies and cookies.  Officers say all three are charged with second-degree criminal possession of marijuana and, Owen and Wetherby are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.  All three were jailed pending arraignment.


Two Pennsylvania residents were killed in a motor vehicle accident after their SUV collided with a Semi Truck yesterday afternoon.  

State Police in Warren say the accident occurred just after 4:30 PM when a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer was traveling westbound on Route 6 near Mead Boulevard, in snow-covered, slick conditions. Troopers say 39 year-old Charles Rothrauff, of Tiona, reportedly lost control of the vehicle and began to spin clockwise, sliding into the path of 2020 Freightliner Tractor-Trailer.  The SUV was struck on the driver's side and, continued to spin before coming to rest engaged with the guardrail on the southside of the roadway.  Police say Rothrauff and his front-seat passenger -- 32 year-old Jessica Camp, of Tiona -- were pronounced deceased at the scene and, a 15 year-old back-seat passenger was ejected from the vehicle.  She was air-lifted to a Pittsburgh Hospital with suspected serious injuries.  The operator of the Semi, 47 year-old Bryan Crabtree, of Oil City, reportedly sufferred minor injuries.  Troopers say environmental, slippery snow-covered roadways were the cause of the crash. 


A Tennessee man has now been identified as the victim in last Thursday morning's fatal hunting accident in Warren County's Sugar Grove Township.  

Pennsylvania Game Commission officials tell the Warren Times-Observer the man is 37 year-old Christopher Oakley of Franklin, Tennessee.  The commission said the death occured when Oakley was "climbing down from his tree stand with a loaded rifle.  He attempted to hand the rifle off to a partner.  The gun fell and discharged.”  They say one round struck Oakley in the neck... killing him.  Game Commission officials urge hunter's to “always unload your gun when going up or down tree stands.”


The next step in re-starting the proposed annexation of about four-aces of land in Falconer to the city of Jamestown will take place this Wednesday night.  

Mayor Sam Teresi says both the Board of Public Utilities, and the city council decided to renew the effort to bring the property, most of which belongs to the BPU, into the city limits.  A state appeals court dismissed the city's court action last August on a technicality... but, did not rule on it's merits.  Teresi says lawmakers wanted to get the action restarted to allow the new administration of Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist to make a decision.

Back in August, a state court dismissed the city's case because the original filing in early 2017 was too late.  Teresi says -- if okayed -- the action will save both the city and the BPU a significant amount of money.  In late November, some city residents and several officials from the village of Falconer, town of Ellicott, and Falconer School District told city lawmakers they oppose the move.  This Wednesday night's hearing begins at 7 PM in the Scharman Theater at Jamestown Community College.


Over a thousand people attended the Jamestown High School A Cappella choir's second Vespers Service of the season, Sunday at First Lutheran Church.

Director Norm Lydell told our Dennis Webster that around 250 alumni came back to sing with the choir... to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Lydell adds the choir has several performances in the city schools this week and will be performing at Epcot Center in Florida 
between Christmas and New Year's.  The JHS Red Raider Marching Band will join the choir on that trip.


The Salvation Army in Jamestown held its first ever 24-hour, continuous kettle at Walmart over the weekend.  

As it came to an end Saturday evening, Major Kim Merchant said they collected $600 overnight.

The total contributed was $1550, which will be doubled, thanks to several donors who'd put up a match.  Major Merchant thanked everyone from the Salvation Army, and elsewhere who 'joined the party.'  The goal for the Kettle Campaign in Jamestown this year is $117,000.  The narrow window between Thanksgiving and Christmas has intensified the effort.  Anyone who would like to help should call 664-4108 in Jamestown.  


State Senator George Borrello says he looking at ways to delay the closing of the Lake Shore Health Center Campus in Irving.  

Borrello says he attended a meeting about the matter late last week in Buffalo.  The Irving-area Republican says he's been talking to a number of officials involved in the process, including the hospital itself.

Borrello couldn't say much about what was discussed but, adds there are some options they're looking at to make sure the services needed are continued in that area and, are better delivered.  He also questions where the losses are occurring and, there needs to be a closer look at the hospitals losses, and where they are taking place.  He says, right now, that's "not very clear."  Just over a week ago... Brooks-TLC Hospital System announced that Lake Shore would be closing by January 1st.

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WJTN News Bulletin for Sat., Dec. 14, 2019

**(Alert!) National Weather Service now issues Winter Storm Warning for Chautauqua County from until 7 a.m. Sunday...
Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Buffalo have now issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of Western New York, including Chautauqua County, now through 7 a.m. Sunday.  Forecasters say we're getting a quick shot of lake effect and general snowfall now... and, some places may see 6 to 12 inches on the ground bertween now and tommorrow morning.  In addition... the weather service says travel could be very difficult with deep, slushy snow-cover on roads and poor visibility.  The combination of wet snow and gusty winds may result in some downed tree limbs and scattered power outages.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is urging extreme driving caution through the warning period, adding there have been numerous reports of cars off the road... especially on Interstate 86 west of the Chautauqua Lake Bridge.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Dec. 14, 2019

**Quick snow flurry slicks up roads around Chautauqua County...

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is urging extreme driving caution this afternoon as the area receives some lake effect snow.  Dispatchers say roads are slick, and there's diminished visability in a number of places... especially on Interstate 86 west of the Chautauqua Lake Bridge.  The National Weather Service says there may be a mix of rain and show a short time this afternoon, but, it will be all snow after 3 p.m.  Forecasters say there could be 1 to 3 inches of snow in the more persistant lake snow areas by tonight.

 

City woman arrested for allegedly living in deplorable conditions with her four children...
A Jamestown woman faces child endangerment charges after one of her young children was found wandering on the city's eastside early Friday morning.  City police were called to the area of Winsor and East Second Streets about 4:30 a.m., and found a 4-year-old boy wandering in the street.  Officers say the child was unable to tell them much... but, he did walk them to his house.  They initially found no one inside... but, found the inside covered with dog feces, urine and garbage.  Police also the kitchen had little to no food, and the house did not have a working bathroom.  Further investigation led to the arrest of 30 year-old Rickie Ecker, who was found next door with her three other children.  All the children were turned over to a responsible party... and, Ecker was charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.


Barmore joins 26 other County Clerks to call for delay in start of Green Light Law...
Unless it's held up by the courts, New York's Green Light Law will take effect on Monday for all Department of Motor Vehicle offices across the state.  Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore is among a group of county clerks that continues to voice concerns about the new law.  Barmore believes it may open the door to voter fraud, and raises other issues, including the verification of foreign documents.  He says New York state now says if the document says it's a "certified translation" of the document they're supposed to take it.  The elected official says the state has provided new machines at DMV offices to help with authenticating documents in card form, but Barmore questions their effectiveness.  He says he put his enhanced driver's license in the machine, and it could not identify it as an "authentic document."  Barmore also points out that the state has provided updated instructions about the law, but the update didn't come out until late last week.  Those who support the Green Light Law believe the measure will make roads safer across New York and will help the agriculture industry which depends on migrant workers.


Barmore releases actual letter from the 27 clerks asking for delay...
County Clerk Larry Barmore is one of 27 clerks in New York State with DMV responsibilities that are now calling on Governor Cuomo and State DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder to halt implementation of the Driver License Access-and-Privacy Act immediately.  Barmore says they're doing this "for the safety and security of all New Yorkers..." and add that after two hastily delivered webinars and a conference call, County Clerks agree that the state DMV failed to provide regulations that would ensure the integrity of the identification process for Standard Driver License applicants.  Due to the lax regulations... they say "implementation of the State law at this time would create unacceptable security risks as the loopholes allow for nefarious people to obtain a New York State Standard Driver Licenses and use it to commit bank fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, human trafficking, and other criminal activities."


Two Western New York men arrested for allegedly stealing items, and damaging Silver Creek Nativity Scene...
Two Western New York men were arrested for allegedly damaging and stealing part of a Nativity Scene in the Town of Hanover early Wednesday morning.  Sheriff's Officers responded to the report shortly after 1 a.m., and, deputies on patrol in Fredonia found the suspect's vehicle.  Officers identified the two occupants as 25 year-old Matthew Valliere -- of Irving -- and 27 year-old Brian Ward -- of Buffalo.  Further investigation found the pair in possession of stolen parts of the Nativity Scene.... however, Valliere allegedly tried to flee on foot.  Deputies say he was taken into custody a short distance away.  He and Ward are both charged with petty larceny... and, criminal possession of stolen property.  Both also face other indivdual charges.


"Green Light Law" weathers second court challenge...
The law that will allow New Yorkers to get driver's licenses without having to prove they are in the country legally has weathered a second court challenge.  A federal district court judge ruled Friday against Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola, saying he lacked the legal capacity to bring the lawsuit.  Starting Monday, license applicants without a valid Social Security number will be able to submit multiple alternative forms of ID that include valid passports and driver's licenses issued in other countries


DiNapoli says New York needs larger "Rainy Day" fund...
New York's top financial officer is calling for the state to set more money aside in case of a financial downturn.  Democratic Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says in a report being released today that New York should fully fund its rainy day reserves within five years.  He says elected officials should also allow the state to set aside up to 10% of general fund revenues - up from 7% currently.  The comptroller is also pressing New York to require the state to regularly deposit money in rainy day funds.  The economy is booming, but the comptroller says New York must be better prepared for an economic downturn.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 13, 2019

An unidentified man has been accidently shot and killed by his own rifle in a hunting accident in Warren County's Sugar Grove Township.  

The Pennsylvania Game Commission tells the Warren Times-Observer the man is not from Warren County... and, they are working to contact the victim's family.  The commission says Thursday afternoon's death involved “a man climbing down from his tree stand with a loaded rifle.  He attempted to hand the rifle off to a partner.  The gun fell and discharged.”  They say the cause of death was a “single wound to the neck."  Game Commission officials say you should “always unload your gun when going up or down tree stands.”


A Jamestown man is accused of ripping down a sign at a downtown church and, harassing an employee there.  

City police were called to the scene at St. James Church just after 1 PM Wednesday... and, were told about what happened, and that an employee followed 48 year-old Daniel O'Neil from the scene.  O'Neil was later found on Water Street -- near the Gateway Center.  Officers say he allegedly spit towards a different church employee, then grabbed the man in a violent manner, and then went outside, and pulled down the sign.  O'Neil was arrested on charges including second-degree harassment and criminal mischief.


An Ellington teenager face felony charges for allegedly causing hundreds of dollars in damage to a vehicle last Sunday.  

State Police in Jamestown responded to a residence in the Town for a reported broken window.  Investigation revealed that when removing his vehicle from the property, 19 year-old Austin Bratton threw several items through the rear window of the victim's vehicle.  Troopers say Bratton was arrested and released with an appearance ticket to appear in Ellington Town Court for third-degree criminal mischief. 
 

The likelyhood of Articles of Impeachment reaching the U-S Senate could determine how soon the chamber takes up the just recently approved U-S, Mexico, Canada trade agreement.  

That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who says a House vote on the articles against President Trump will probably take place around the middle of next week.  Reed says the USMCA will benefit everyone from grape farmers to automobile plant workers.

However... Reed also cautions that once Impeachment is voted out of the House of Representatives, it is then taken up in the Senate.  Once that happens... he says all other work stops until the Senate acts on Impeachment.  The Corning Republican says the full House vote on Impeachment will likely happen before Congress leaves for it's end-of-year Holiday recess.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.

The ribbon has been cut on a project to replace a defunct boiler -- and provide handicapped accessiblity to Jamestown's Fenton History Center....


Officials with the center joined Mayor Sam Teresi and other city leaders at the new entrance on the southside of the former Fenton Mansion for the occasion.  Teresi praised everyone involved -- namely former Development Director Vince DeJoy and Public Works Director Jeff Lehman -- for coming up with a way to get $68,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding for the dual effort.

Teresi also praised the Fenton History Center's board for their good stewardship of the city-owned property.  Fenton Director Noah Goodling says they had a diaster in the moment when the old boiler stopped working in June of 2018... but, adds the way the city stepped up to help provided "light in the darkness."  City Council President Marie Carrubba... who works for Southern Tier Environments for Living... says they always support making properties handicapped accessible... and, she says this is another example of Jamestown leading the way in that area. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 12, 2019

A former Clymer Central School teacher recently convicted of child pornography involving a young child has been sentenced to 4-and-a-half years in federal prison.  

U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced that 61 year-old Scott Aiken received 54 months in prison and, five-years supervised release from U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Wolford.  Prosecutors say in June of 2018, Homeland Security Investigations in Buffalo received infromation that a Internet user, later identified as Aiken, was active on a Thailand-based child pornography website.  The agency along with State Police then raided Aiken's home on Route 474 and, interviewed Aiken, who admitted that he viewed child porn, and that it would be found on his computer. Investigators seized the computer and other electronic devices, and, found 683 videos and 22 images of child pornography.


A Conewango man has pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree rape, and criminal sex act for two incidents in Jamestown in July of last year.  

Acting District Attorney John Zuroski says 35 year-old Dennis Park pled to two of the three counts in the original indictment in County Court Tuesday and, he faces 18 years in state prison when he's sentenced next March.  The guilty pleas were entered shortly before Park was to go on trial for a second time after a mistrial was declared last August.  Zuroski says the office is "very satisfied" with the pleas for sexual assault charges, which stemmed from two incidents in 2018.  In both cases, a woman said Park assaulted them while brandishing a knife.  The first one occured behind a factory near Chandler Street on July 11th and the second occured at southside laundromat on July 17th.  Park is also facing 25 years of post-release supervision. 


State and local law enforcement across New York will be stepping up patrols to crack down on impaired driving during the busy holiday travel season.  

The crackdown got underway Wednesday, and continues through January 1st and, Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says local law enforcement will be taking part.  It's part of the national "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative, a crackdown designed to reduce alcohol and drug related traffic crashes.

 
A Buffalo man faces multiple charges including four counts of felony Leandra's Law violations following a traffic stop in the Town of Hanover early last Sunday morning.

  Sheriff's Officers pulled over a vehicle at the intersection of Routes 5 and 20 shortly after 2 AM and, through investigation, determined the driver was allegedly intoxicated, with multiple children under the age of 15 inside the car.  Identified as 39 year-old Eliezer Morales, he was taken into custody on additional charges of driving while intoxicated, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child and, speeding amongst others.  Morales is being held in the County Jail for arraignment.  


A Jamestown woman faces third-degree assault charges for allegedly injuring a man during a domestic dispute Tuesday night.  

City Police say the incident occurred at a Bowen Street residence at 11 PM.  On arrival, officers learned 33 year-old Patresha Borkowski struck a 48 year-old male victim in the face, causing pain and a bloody nose.  Borkowski was sent to the Jamestown City Jail without further incident and is being held pending arraignment. 


The Salvation Army of Jamestown will be manning one of their main locations for the annual Red Kettle Campaign for a 24-hour period this Friday and Saturday.  

Major Kim Merchant says they are taking part in a "24-Hour Challenge" this week to help them reach their fund-raising goal of $117,000 for the Christmas Season.  Merchant says, due in part to this year's late start, they are $7,000 behind last year at this time.  However, she says they could make up a lot of that by matching just over $4,000 put up by two donors.

Merchant says the 24-Hour Challenge will take place at the Lakewood Wal-Mart Superstore from 6 PM Friday to 6 PM Saturday.  She adds they already have a couple of people set to man the kettle from Midnight Friday to 6 AM Saturday but, people can stop by and say hi if they would like.  Merchant says the Salvation Army relies on donations from the campaign to support their several social service programs they have year-round.  For more information on the Red Kettle Campaign, call 664-4108.  


The city of Jamestown has signed a new, four-year lease extension with the Frewsburg Soccer Club to continue using the former Allen Park Ice Rink for their soccer programs.  

Mayor Sam Teresi says, in the short time the club has leased the space, they have "done a great job" in how they've used, and maintained the facility.

Teresi says the previous lease included a "right of first refusal" on any contract extension and, lawmakers agreed they should be given a lease extension.  The city council recently approved amending the current lease, as well as another four-year extension if the Frewsburg Soccer Club wants it.  The new lease signing took place Wednesday afternoon at the Allen Park rink.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 11, 2019

Just over 100 people were on hand to talk mainly about housing and landlord-tenant issues during Jamestown Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist's second community public input session.  

Sundquist and his Housing and Public Safety Transition Team hosted the two-hour long event at Washington Middle School on the city's southside.  He says not everyone agreed with everything that was said but, he feels there was progress.

Several landlords, and tenants spoke during the program and, each talked about the other having more "skin" in the game so there is more responsibility.  One landlord said it was "too easy" to move from one apartment situation to another, and leaving the previous dwelling in a shambles.  Incoming City Councilman, Jeff Russell, feels the city should get back to having more police officers going out on inspections with housing inspectors... especially on enforcement actions.  Sundquist's third public input meeting will be held tonight at Persell Middle School and, will deal with city finances, and fiscal condition.  Like the others, it will run from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.


The co-chairmen of the Congressional Problem Solver's Caucus say they are "applauding" the bi-partisan deal that's been reached on the U-S, Mexico, Canada trade deal.  

Local Representative Tom Reed, a Repubican from Corning, and New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer say they are now looking forward to "its swift passage.  This is a big boost for jobs across the United States.  We commend the bipartisan efforts in Congress and the White House on this important agreement that will bring our trade relationship with Mexico and Canada into the modern era."  Both says they're proud that labor groups, American workers, businesses and U-S Farmers have been heard and their interests addressed.
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IN addition, New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher says they're "encouraged" by the agreement and, are calling for it's "swift passage" in Congress.  Fisher says, "the reassurance it will provide New York farmers, knowing that markets will remain open with two of our most vital trading partners, is welcome news to end what has a been a challenging year."  Just last week,  he says the Farm Bureau passed a resolution reinforcing the need to get this trade agreement to "the finish line" during it's annual meeting.


The head of economic development in Chautauqua County says he's disappointed to see Castelli America close it's plant in Ashville after the company was purchased by a French-based cooperative.  

However,Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says he's very optimistic that another company will be found to occupy that space on Fairbanks Road in the town of Harmony.

However, Geise says they have to wait at this point to see what Castelli's new owner -- Lactalis -- will do.  He says it's not even known yet if the Ashville facility is part of Lactalis's purchase of Castelli, which is based in Italy.  Right now, Geise say the county's Workforce Investment Board is working with at least 50 employees who have lost their jobs.  He says they have been in touch with Castelli to begin finding new work for those employees.  Geise says Lactalis is one of the world's largest dairy product cooperatives.  He says the county's Industrial Development Agency provided Castelli a $500,000 Al Tech Trust Fund loan, while Empire State Development provided a $5.5-million loan just over three-years ago to get the new cheese plant up and running.


A retail chain specializing in counter-culture-related clothing and accessories has announced it is closing it's store in the Chautuaqua Mall in Lakewood early next year.

Hot Topic, which has had a location in the Fairmount Avenue location for many years, says on Facebook that it's last day of business will be Saturday, January 25th.  They did thank friends and family for all of their business, and "standing with us all these years."


There may be some discolored water in the Lakewood-area through mid-day due to a water main break.

  The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities reports Water Division employees worked yesterday afternoon to repair the break, which occured on Baker Street between Winch and Shadyside Roads.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says water was turned off for repairs on Baker Street west of Shadyside to Big Tree Road; and on Winch between Hunt and Baker.  She says there may be discolored water south of Hunt Road toward Busti between Big Tree and Orchard Roads.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 10, 2019

Firefighters from multiple departments were hard at work after a structure fire was reported at the Mayville Diner last night. 

Chautauqua County Dispatchers say the blaze was called in by a passing police patrol just before 10:30 PM and, crews remained on-scene at West Chautauqua Street for about six hours.  Photographs posted to the Chautauqua Fire Department Facebook page showed the building almost completely engulfed by flames and heavy smoke coming from the roof. The Sheriff's Office dispatch confirmed firefighters from Mayville, Chautauqua and Westfield initially responded to the scene and, received additional man-power from Hartfield, Dewittville and Sherman departments along with volunteer EMS.  No injuries were reported, however, the cause of the fire remains under investigation. 


An Italian-based cheese plant that's been open since September of 2016 has announced it has closed it's facility, leaving 50 employees out of work.  

Chautauqua County officials received the news that Castelli America closed it's Fairbanks Road plant at the end of business last Friday and, it was being sold to Lactalis from France.  Lactalis is one of the world's largest dairy products cooperatives.  Chautauqua County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says "despite the County, County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, State and Federal assistance in the form of low-interest loans, grants, and technical assistance, we were informed that Castelli America has been experiencing challenges related to production and sales."  Geise says that apparently let to the closure... but, adds that this is "a state-of-the-art facility with a ready source of milk producers, and the CCIDA is hopeful that the facility will be attractive to potential new operators.”  

A traffic stop in the town of Busti last Saturday led to the arrest of a North County man after several drugs -- including psychedelics -- were found.  

State Police in Jamestown pulled over the vehicle on West Lake Road and identified a passenger as 22 year-old Brandon Tate.  Troopers say Tate was allegedly found in possession of 7.5-grams of cocaine, 4 THC-vape cartridges, 6.9-grams of MDA, 4.5-grams of MDMA, 5.1-grams of concentrated cannabis, one MDMA tablet and various drug paraphernalia.  Tate was taken into custody on Felony charges including three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. 


The second public input meeting to be held by Jamestown Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist will be held tonight. and will focus on public safety and housing.  

Sundquist says he hopes to build on last week's first meeting at Jefferson Middle School that dealt with economic and business development.  He says it'll be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Washington Middle School.

Sundquist says they want to hear from both residents and housing organizations, along with fire and police department members.  Otherwise, he says his transition team is going through some changes as they get more input on issues the new administration will tackle beginning January 1st.  Sundquist says the transition team has been talking about adding more people to bring more viewpoints to the panel.  Sundquist's transition team will hold it's next hearing the following night, beginning at 6:30 PM... on Wednesday the 11th.  That'll be held at Persell Middle School and, focus on the city's financial situation.  Even with a slight tax rate decrease in the 2020 budget, Jamestown is right up against it's constitutional taxing limit.

Current city Mayor Sam Teresi held a public hearing Monday morning on the first local law of 2019 regarding a department change taking effect on January 1st.  

Teresi says the proposed law, changes the position of City Clerk/Director of Administrative Services back to what was formerly known as City Clerk/Treasurer.  He says this local law allows for the title change but, adds another public hearing will be held near later this month on any language changes needed in the city charter.

Teresi says the change back to City Clerk/Treasurer will allow the new administration to fill that position at about a $25,000 savings.  The city council will vote on the title change during a special meeting next Monday night at 7:15 PM.

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WJTN New Headlines for Dec. 9, 2019

A North Carolina man was arrested last Friday night for illegal possession of a hand-gun after police caught him driving around barricades for the annual Christmas Parade.  

State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 21 year-old Tim Batchelor of Zebulon, North Carolina on Fourth Street.  Troopers say they saw a Smith & Wesson handgun inside the vehicle in plain sight and Batchelor was arrested after they confirmed that he didn’t have a New York State pistol permit.  Batchelor was processed, and later arraigned, and sent to the County Jail without bail.


A Jamestown woman was arrested twice in the city within an hour last Friday for driving while intoxicated... and, driving without a license in the city.  

City police say they pulled over the car, driven by 28 year-old Rachel Farnham, about 2:40 AM near the intersection of Ahrens Avenue and Hebner Street... and, found she was driving while drunk.  They also found Farnham had a revoked license, and had been pulled over earlier that morning, and was told not to drive.  During that stop... she was issued two traffic tickets, and officers called her a cab to take her home.  However... Farnham drove again... and, now faces charges including first and second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... and, driving while intoxicated.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


The area's new State Senator says he has put his name in for consideration for several committee assignments once the state legislature begins it's new session in early January. 

 Irving Republican George Borrello says he has told the Senate Leadership that he will be on as many committees as they will allow him.  He says two would directly replace retired state Senator Cathy Young... and, those are Finance, and Agriculture.  In addition... Borrello says he has also put in for the lead Economic Development committee, and another involved in tourism.

Borrello says he would also like to put his experiences to good use... and with that he's asked to be on Transporation, and Local Goverment.  He says he feels many of the lawmakers in Albany have no experience on the local level, and how difficult it can be dealing with Albany's rules and regulations.  He says he's also put in for a new committee, called Domestic Animal Welfare.


A fire at the Chautauqua County's Methane-to-Energy plant last weekend shut the plant down... but, officials hope to have it back on line soon.  T

hat from Acting County Executive Stephen Abdella, who says the blaze broke out last Saturday night in the engine room at the County Landfill’s plant... and, it temporarily disabled the plant’s operations.  However... he says one engine was restarted Sunday morning.  Two more engines are to be restarted by today.  Abdella says no staff were on site when the fire broke out, and no one was hurt.  He adds the cause and the extent of the damage "is being investigated and assessed."  He also says that when the plant shuts down there is a likley increase in nuisance landfill gas odor in the area.  Once the second and third enginers are restarted... he says the potential for nuisance orders should be contained.


It sounded beautiful last night  at First Covenant Church, as the final Living Christmas Tree performance came to a conclusion.

The standing-room only crowd was on its feet seconds after the final note... ending the 35 year run of the holiday program.  Kaye Young, who has been involved in 'the tree' since the beginning... and its chairperson in recent years... said it was a very emotional performance and they went out on a high note, as they wanted.  Citing 'no one single reason'  organizers announced earlier this fall that this year would be the final one.


New York is moving ahead with a law that will raise the minimum wage statewide on New Year's Eve. 

The $15-dollar wage will expand to city businesses with 10 or fewer employees starting December 31st.  Meanwhile, the minimum wage will increase from $12 to $13 in Long Island and Westchester.  The rest of the Empire State, mainly Upstate New York, will see their minimum wage increase from $11.10 to $11.80 at the end of the month.  Governor Cuomo's budget director says several studies show the state's gradual increase in the minimum wage hasn't directly caused a loss in jobs. 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says city officials continue to await word from the federal government regarding emergency funding for damage caused by the Halloween storm.  Rosas says they are working closely with the area's federal lawmakers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo requested nearly $33-million in federal assistance.  Rosas was not sure how much the city could pick up.  The storm battered the city's waterfront area with high waves and flooding, with the seawall along Lakefront Boulevard sustaining the most damage.  Preliminary estimates have total damage costs at upwards of $750,000.

 The bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus in Congress has formally endorsed a bill that establishes a "post-secondary student data system."  

That's something the co-chairman of the caucus... local Congressman Tom Reed... says will require the U-S Department of Education to provide information to students and their families so they can make "responsible choices" about their higher-education.  Reed says the College Transparency Act will also provide new access to data on enrollment, completion, and post-graduation success across colleges and majors.  He and Democratic Co-Chair, New Jersey's Josh Gottheimer, say the measure will provide for "a user-friendly data that is transparent, informative, and accessible for students, parents, policymakers, and employers." 


New York officials have declared that the flu is "prevalent" in the state.  

This declaration initiates a state regulation that will require healthcare professionals who are not vaccinated for influenza to wear masks in areas where patients are present.  The state Department of Health reports that as of November 30th there have been 3,158 laboratory-confirmed cases, 691 hospitalizations and one child death.  Heath officials say anyone older than 6 months old should be vaccinated, particularly the elderly and children younger than 2 years old.  The Albany Times Union reports that vaccines change each year based on predictions on what strains of the virus will be prevalent.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat., Dec. 7, 2019

Thousands line streets of Jamestown to see annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration...
Thousands of people lined West and East Third Street in downtown Jamestown last night for the annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration.  It included the lighting of the city's, 50-foot tall Christmas tree -- adorned with more than 3,000 lights.  Mayor Sam Teresi led the count-down... and pulled the switch with the help of several people -- mainly children.  The annual parade was again put on by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, the JRC's Kristy Kathman welcomed the crowd.  Kathman says they get "very excited" about the annual event, and thanked their several sponsors, and city departments that help put on a safe, fun and exciting event.  The Resource Center was again the main sponsor for the parade... and, accepted donations for their annual drive to collect toys for the Toys for Tots campaign.  The local agency organizes the annual drive in Chautauqua County.  About 90 units took part in this year's parade.


One person reportedly suffers minor injuries in two car crash in town of Busti...
One person reportedly suffered minor injuries in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Southwestern Drive and Baker Street Extension in the town of Busti Friday afternoon.  County Dispatchers say Lakewood-Busti Police and fire rescue crews were called to the scene about 3:15 p.m.  No other injuries were reported.  Efforts to reach Lakewood-Busti Police late this afternoon were unsuccessful.


Wendel says he's honored and humbled by GOP Committee's nomination to become county's new executive...
The Chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature is the County Republican Committee's choice to be the next County Executive.  Paul "P-J" Wendel of Lakewood gave this reaction to the committee's decision to back him the post held previously by now-State Senator George Borrello.  He says he's humbled and privledged to receive the nod.  Wendel says it will now be up to the full legislature to vote on the committee's recommendation... but, he says the GOP Caucus will make the final determination on whether to vote at the panel's Dec. 18 meeting.  Once he is seated... A replacement will have to be found for Wendel's District 10 legislature seat.  That will be decided when the Busti and Jamestown GOP committees met.


Gunderson thanks Chautauqua County Chamber for support of Comedy Center, reports much momentum heading into second-year of existance...
The National Comedy Center is still in it's infancy... but, has a lot of momentum built over the course of a very successful 2019.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson was today's featured speaker at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting at the Doubletree Hotel in Jamestown.  Gunderson says more than 95-thousand people visited both the comedy center, and the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museam and Center through last October.  However... she says they have now added in figures from this year's Comedy Festival.  Those numbers include four sold-out comedy shows with John Mulany, and Sebastian Maniscalco.  Gunderson spoke about the impact on both hotel occupancy and sales tax revenues.  While there is a lot of good news from the Comedy Center's first 15 months of operation... she says "none of this is a guarantee..."  and, asked chamber members for their ongoing support.  But, she says they need Center members, donors, "ambassadors," and volunteers to help carry out their vision.  Just recently... Gunderson says the National Comedy Center received probably it's biggest accolade yet by being named to TIME Magazine's list of the World's 100 Greatest Places." 


Betsy Wright receives Chamber's Pam Lydic Award...
During today's annual Chamber meeting... the business organization handed out it's annual Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award.  It's named after the county Chamber's first President, Pam Lydic, who worked to bring all the smaller Chambers of Commerce in the county together to improve the area.  This year's recipient is retired UPMC Chautauqua Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer, Betsy Wright, who was credited for ushering the former WCA Hospital through it's integration with UPMC.  However... Wright thanked her team of health care executives, doctors and others who helped carry out that process.  Wright was presented a $500 check to go to a non-profit of her choice.  She decided on the WCA Foundation... which supports the local hospital.  About 120 people attended the chamber's annual meeting at the Doubletree.


State officials say flu is "prevalent" in NYS...
New York officials have declared that the flu is "prevalent" in the state.  This declaration initiates a state regulation that will require healthcare professionals who are not vaccinated for influenza to wear masks in areas where patients are present.  The state Department of Health reports that as of Nov. 30 there have been 3,158 laboratory-confirmed cases, 691 hospitalizations and one child death.  Heath officials say anyone older than 6 months old should be vaccinated, particularly the elderly and children younger than 2 years old.  The Albany Times Union reports that vaccines change each year based on predictions on what strains of the virus will be prevalent.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 6 2019

About 75 people were on hand last night for the first of four public meetings hosted by Jamestown Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist to get input on how to deal with challenges facing the city.....  

The nearly two-hour long session was held at Jefferson Middle School and focused on economic and business development issues.  Sundquist was pleased with the turn-out... and, the input residents offered.

Sundquist says the big take-aways from the forum were bringing more "technology companies" into the city... and, the need to work more with the Hispanic community -- especially from a business stand-point.  Another big issue raised was the need to move to a more up-to-date "forms-based" city code... which allows businesses that conform to other buildings in that part of the city to be located there.  Sundquist says the second of four public input meetings will be held next Tuesday night at Washington Middle School at 6:30 PM... and, will deal with Housing and Public Safety.  He also says people with ideas can e-mail them to Transition@eddiesundquist.com.
 

The city of Jamestown's annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration is set for Friday night... and the weather is promising to be "Christmasy."  

The line-up for the parade will begin at 5 PM on the east side of the Third Street Bridge... and, the procession begins at 6:30 PM.  It's being put on again this year... by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, Spokesman Zach Agett says they're ready to go.

Mayor Sam Teresi will again be on hand to make some remarks... and, help light the 50-foot tall tree for the holiday season.  Since he leaves office at the end of the year... this will be his last parade as mayor.  Teresi admits it's going to be a bit bittersweet... but, he says it'll be mainly "sweet" because it's a great celebration.  At last word... Agett said they have at least 85 units that will take part in the annual parade... and, they'll continue accepting others that would like to join up to parade time.  


For the 15th year, The Resource Center is sponsoring tonight's parade in Jamestown, and is encouraging parade goers to take new, unwrapped toys with them, to donate for Toys for Tots.....  

The agency organizes the annual drive in Chautauqua County.  One of the coordinators, Terri Johnson, says the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas means this is 'crunch time'. She estimates they'll need around 6,000 toys for the program this year... all collected by Friday, December 13th.  In addition to taking toys to the parade, there are Toys for Tots barrels at many locations around the county.  


A man from Falconer has been accused of damaging another resident's person's property, and brandishing a dangerous instrument at that person....  

Ellicott Town Police say they were called to the undisclosed scene late Wednesday, and arrested Anthony Triscari on charges including second-degree menacing, and second-degree harassment.  Officers say Triscari struck the person with a television in front a of a child... causing injury.  For that... he was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Sixty-Seven percent of School Superintendents across New York say the mental health of their students is a top-priority that needs to be addressed and funded by the state.... 

Speaking recently with our Noel Blackhall... Jamestown District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says the results are part of a recent survey conducted by the state Council of School Superintendents.

Apthorpe's comments come less than 12-hours after a board meeting where over 100 people attended to address their concerns surrounding student behavior.  At this time, the Superintendent says 40 students in grades 9th and 10th, have been identified as chronically absent or have run-ins with discipline, for placement at the Tech Academy. They will receive personlized learning programs including life-skills and socio-emotional skills. Apthorpe says the board is committed to helping students that are struggling in a school environment get the help and support they need. 


Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says he doubts the state will delay criminal justice reforms that are set to go into effect on January 1st....  

Quattrone says he expects the reforms to be implemented despite an effort to have them delayed for a year by several state lawmakers, including new State Senator George Borrello.

Quattrone says law enforcement officials have held several meetings with County District Attorney Patrick Swanson to discuss the changes... with Swanson's key concern being the new, 15-day discovery law.  He says getting all the documentation on alleged crimes to the D-A's office will be critical there.  Prosecutors adds the discovery law reforms will even include traffic tickets. 


A nationally-known auto glass repair and replacement service officially opened it's doors for the first time yesterday in the Greater Jamestown Area....  

Safelite AutoGlass now has a repair shop at 345 Livington Avenue in Celoron -- near the city line -- next to Brigotta's Greenhouse.  Shop Manager -- and former City Development Director -- Vince DeJoy... says he's pleased with the location... and, says they'll be open everyday except Sunday.

DeJoy says they have two-bays to do in-shop repairs... and, says their six technicians also go out into the field to replace windshields and car windows that need to be replaced or repaired.  In fact... he says he needed some auto glass work on his car last May, and his insurance company got hold of one of Safelite's regional offices.  DeJoy says their customer service was great... and, he decided once he left city government employment... he wanted to open up a local shop.  DeJoy says they are on-line, and on Facebook.  Safelite's phone number is 483-0009.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 5th, 2019

Some back roads and side streets in the Jamestown-area may still be very slick this morning after the area received a few inches of snow overnight....  

Snow started falling more steadily early last night and continued through late evening.  Most roads were snowcovered and very slippery but, just a few minor accidents and cars off the road were reported.  The Jamestown-area remains under a Winter Weather Advisory through 10 this morning.


Cold temperatures and frigid wind chills projected through today has prompted the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services to issue a Code Blue Warning for the entire county....  

Officials say the warning is triggered when temperatures reach 32 degrees or lower and requires shelter access to anyone in need of assistance.  During normal business hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday,people seeking emergency shelter should report to the Department of Health and Human Services offices in Dunkirk or Jamestown where sheltering will be arranged.  After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, persons needing emergency shelter should call local police, or 9-1-1.  In addition, several Chautauqua County library warming centers may be open during this time period.


With some 10,000 people expected in downtown Jamestown for this Friday night's annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration, city police will have a new "eye in the sky."  

Police Chief Harry Snellings and Mayor Sam Teresi helped to unveil JPD's new surveillance trailer, that has a pair of cameras on top of it to survey the crowd in multiple directions for any suspicious or criminal activities.

Snellings says they have done a couple of "test runs" with the surveillance cameras in the city's parks and elsewhere.  The city obtained the equipment back in September.  Teresi and Snellings noted it will be located at the intersection of Third and Spring Streets Friday night.  Snellings says the trailer has two side-by-side cameras and, they can be raised on it's telescopic arm to 20-feet high.  He says the suveillance camera cost $27,000 total, with $22,000 from the city's contingency account, and the remaining $5,000 coming from asset forefeiture monies.  Friday night's parade along Third Street begins at 6:30 PM.

 
A bill authorizing $75-million a year for the West Valley Demonstration Project through 2026 to clean-up and remove nuclear waste from the site has now passed the Senate....  

Local Congressman Tom Reed, who sheparded the bill through the House of Representatives, says it's now headed to President Trump for his signature.  Reed says it's the first time in more than 35 years that lawmakers have actually approved a West Valley bill.

Reed says he pushed for fair funding for the complete and total cleanup of this nuclear site.  He also thanked fellow Western New York lawmaker -- and former Chautauqua County Congressional Representative Brian Higgins -- for his support.  Reed's initial funding bill was approved by the House back in March and, he says the Senate's approval now gives the project full credibility.  The Corning Republican also thanked the House Energy and Commerce Committee for it's work, along with U-S Senator's John Thune, and Lisa Murkowski.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with area media.


The decision by Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone to resign in the wake of how he handled allegations of clergy sexual misconduct will hopefully allow the diocese to move forward......  

Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed,a Catholic himself, after the Vatican accepted Malone's resignation two years before he reached the manditory retirement age of 75.  The Vatican didn't say why Malone was resigning but, Reed hopes some good will come from this.

The Vatican conducted a recent investigation into the western New York diocese and Malone's handling of abuse cases.  Pope Francis accepted Bishop Malone's resignation and named the bishop of Albany, New York, to run the Buffalo diocese temporarily until a permanent replacement is found.


The Dunkirk Common Council has approved the north county city's 2020 budget that totals just over $24.6-million. 

During Tuesday's Council meeting, panel members passed Mayor Willie Rosas' proposed spending plan by a 4-1 vote, with 3rd Ward Councilman Shaun Heenan casting the only "no" vote.  Councilman at-Large Andy Woloszyn says there were no changes made to the spending plan after several budget review meetings.  He says their biggest concern regards the city's low contingency account.

Dunkirk's property tax rate in 2020 will remain unchanged at $17.25 per thousand.  Councilman Heenan later issued a formal statement about his "no" vote on the 2020 budget, saying he can't vote for it because "it does not address the long-term, structural, impending budget challenges this city is facing.  The city is again just kicking the can down the road.  I campaigned on this issue not because it was politically a good thing, but because it is the right thing and I believe it to vote for this budget would be disingenuous on my part. "


The Jamestown High School A'Cappella Choir will present the first of its 95th Vespers Services on Sunday at 4 PM, at First Lutheran Church in Jamestown.....


The 88 member choir had a preview prerformance at First Lutheran on Monday for the Noon Rotary Club.  Conductor, Norm Lydell, says the group is working hard to learn over 30 pieces of music, not just for Vespers.  The choir, and the JHS band will be performing in Disneyworld between Christmas and New Year's.  Lydell says the choir is up to the challenge, with tremendous character and good leadership.  The second of this year's Vespers Services will be Sunday, December 15th at First Lutheran.  As it is the 95th year, over 150 choir alumni will join the A'Cappella to sing parts of that program.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 4 2019

Jamestown School Board Meeting Recap.... 

A group of more than 100 people attended a regular school meeting of the Jamestown School District Tuesday night, to express their concerns and criticisms surrounding the early November altercation at Jamestown High School, which led to a lockout and charges against students involved.  During his Superintendent Report, Dr. Bret Apthorpe says this is not something the board is taking "lightly" and announced goals he hopes to implement in the near future and the actions the district has started taking. Results are expected to be detailed at the March 10th board meeting.  

As several attendees took to their turn at the microphone during the nearly 1.5-hour long Open Session -- Brandon Maggio, a retired Jamestown Police Officer, and father of three -- said he believes "children with problem homes and mental health issues, need to be separated and handled with more structure and one-on-one attention, to help them reacclimate to normal surroundings".  


The Brooks-TLC Hospital System today announced the decision to close the TLC/Lakeshore Health Center Campus in Irving.....

Area State Senator George Borrello says he's disappointed by the announcement, adding that the closing of the facility will affect a host of services, not only for Northeast Chautauqua County, but nearby Erie and Cattaraugus counties.

Borrello says he is reaching out to hospital officials to see if there is any way to postpone the closing until the state and local government can see what can be done to keep Lakeshore open.  The move will affect nearly 141 full-time and 60 part-time employees at the TLC campus.

 
New York's junior U-S Senator has begun a push to extend, increase, and reauthorize funding for Community Health Centers across the state and the country....  

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says two of them are in Chautauqua County, including the newly-opened Chautauqua Center in Jamestown.  Gillibrand says CHCs provide high-quality, comprehensive, and low-cost care to millions of New Yorkers, and provide services to patients regardless of income and insurance coverage.  However, she's hoping there won't be another repeat of two-years ago. 

Gillibrand says, unless Congress approves funding for Community Health Centers by December 20th, they could lose more than 70 percent of their federal grant funding, causing health centers to cut or scale back on services.  In addition... she says she's also pushing for 10-percent more in funding for those centers, along with more capital project funding.  She has made her requests to House and Senate Leadersip, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  In addition to the Chautauqua Center, there is also a Community Health Center in the Dunkirk area. 


There's a new holiday event tomorrow in Busti...

The Historical Society is having its first ever Christmas Open House from 6 to 7:30 PM.  The society's Judy Schultz says the Miller House will be decorated as it would have been in the early to mid 1800's and the grist mill will be open for tours.  In addition, the society is planning refreshments, crafts and caroling in their museum building.  Visitors are asked to park their cars at the Busti Federated Church or the fire department and take a horse-drawn carriage to the Historical Society grounds.  There's no charge for the event, but donations will be accepted for the carriage rides... and to benefit the society.  Two gift baskets, one for adults, one for children, will be given away.


A new restaurant has opened on Jamestown's westside, a close walk from the National Comedy Center and Northwest Arena....

 The ribbon was cut Tuesday on Skinner's Kitchen at 120 Foundry Alley -- between West Second and Third Streets.  It's located on the first floor of the Pearl City Arts Building... and, is owned and operated by Jason Skinner and his wife, Erica.  Jason Skinner says he has two other neighbors in the building.

Skinner says they have a full offering of breakfast and lunch specialties,  including reubens, fresh made pizzas, and omlets and pancakes.  He says they're open from 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM.  Incoming Mayor Eddie Sundquist was on hand for the grand opening, along with Chautauqua County Executive Assistant Dan Heitzenriter, who presented a proclamation from Acting Executive Steve Abdella.  Skinner's Kitchen can be found on Facebook, and the e-mail is Skinnerskitchen35@gmail-dot-COM.  Their phone number is 294-9127.

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 3, 2019

The longest serving member of the Jamestown City Council has been elected by the incoming Republican majority to be the next president of the council.  

City GOP Committee Chairman, and Ward-One Councilman, Brent Sheldon, announced last night that Second-Ward Representative Tony Dolce will head up the panel next January 1st.  Sheldon says the five GOP members met recently for the vote... something Dolce expected to take place shortly after the Election results were finalized.

Sheldon says Dolce is the longest serving Councilman in Jamestown's history.... adding that "Tony has by far the most experience of any Council person and has acted as acting Council President many times when the Council President was unable to be at a meeting."  Dolce's nomination, as well as any others, would be made at the January 1st reorganizational meeting at Jamestown Community College.  The four standing committee chairmen and members will also be named.  New Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist will also be sworn-in during that meeting.


Another member of the Chautauqua County Legislature has announced his decision to seek the nomination for county executive.  Republican Legislator Mark Odell from District 7 has officially announced his candidacy for the post held by new State Senator George Borrello for nearly two years.

The Brocton resident believes he has the necessary experience... because he assumed some of Borrello's previous responsibilities when Borrello became County Executive.  Odell says those include becoming chairman of the Planning and Economic Development Committee... and, serving as a legislature member of the Industrial Development Agency.  Legislature Chairman Paul "P-J" Wendel recently announced his candidacy.  County Attorney Steve Abdella is serving as Acting County Executive until a new county executive is confirmed by the County Legislature.  That has to be done within 45-days of Borrello's resignation.


This week at First Covenant Church in Jamestown... the final rehearsals for the final 'Living Christmas Tree' are taking place.

The 35th Living Christmas Tree will be performed four times this weekend.  Chairperson Kaye Young says there wasn't one single factor that led to decision to stop what is a major undertaking after 35 years, but they always wanted to go out on a high note... not to have it dwindle away.  Brian Bogey is conductor for this year's contata 'The Sounds of His Love'... the same one performed at the first tree 35 years ago.  Performances will be at 8 PM Friday, 5 and 8 PM Sautrday and 6 PM on Sunday.  Tickets are $7 and are selling quickly... at the church and a number of other locations.  First Covenant Pastor, Adam Rohler, knows there will be mixed emotions when the final performance concludes, "understanding the profundity of what's happened over the past 35 years.


A man from Ripley man is jailed after allegedly burglarizing a home in the western Chautauqua County town Sunday night... and, assaulting two people.  

Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on West Main Street in Ripley just before 6 PM... and, found that 34 year-old Edwin Munson had entered a home illegally.  Officers say Munson allegedly damaged property, violated an order of protection, injured another person... and, choked a third person.  Deputies say this all happened in the presence of multiple children under the age of 17.  Officers were assisted by State Police... who located Munson a short distance away from the home.  He was arrested on charges including second-degree burglary... third-degree assault... criminal contempt... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.  Munson was taken to the county lock-up pending arraignment. 


Jamestown Police are still investigating last weekend's shooting at an eastside bar that's left one person in serious -- but, stable condition -- at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital.  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the Bullfrog Hotel on East Second Street -- at the city line -- just before 1:30 AM Saturday.  Samuelson says a fight between two people led to two shots being fired... and, the victim was stuck by both rounds.  That person was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment, then transferred to UPMC Hamot.  Samuelson says the person who shot the other man legally owned the gun, and is cooperating with police.  He says no charges have been filed because the shooting may have been in self-defense.  No names are being released.  Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537... through the anonymous tip line at 483-8477... or via their Tips 4-1-1 app.


Nine more members -- covering a wide range of sports  -- will be inducted next February to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.  

That from Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson... who says the living members of the Class of 2020 are Bob Goold,  Chris Carlson-Jenkins, Justin Johnson, Tim Nobles, Elly Norton, Mark Orlando and Mike Tramuta.  The deceased honorees are George Bataitis and Bob Bender.  Anderson says they hope to have another sell-out for the event in Lakewood.

Anderson says the inductees come from all across the county... including Dunkirk-Fredonia... Pine Valley in South Dayton... and Jamestown.  He says Nobles is in "a class by himself..." having coached seven state Class D Girls Basketball champions at Pine Valley.  The 39th annual banquet will be held Monday, February 17th at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  The new honorees will bring the total number of hall of fame members to 209.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 3, 2019

The longest serving member of the Jamestown City Council has been elected by the incoming Republican majority to be the next president of the council.  

City GOP Committee Chairman, and Ward-One Councilman, Brent Sheldon, announced last night that Second-Ward Representative Tony Dolce will head up the panel next January 1st.  Sheldon says the five GOP members met recently for the vote... something Dolce expected to take place shortly after the Election results were finalized.

Sheldon says Dolce is the longest serving Councilman in Jamestown's history.... adding that "Tony has by far the most experience of any Council person and has acted as acting Council President many times when the Council President was unable to be at a meeting."  Dolce's nomination, as well as any others, would be made at the January 1st reorganizational meeting at Jamestown Community College.  The four standing committee chairmen and members will also be named.  New Mayor-elect Eddie Sundquist will also be sworn-in during that meeting.


Another member of the Chautauqua County Legislature has announced his decision to seek the nomination for county executive.  Republican Legislator Mark Odell from District 7 has officially announced his candidacy for the post held by new State Senator George Borrello for nearly two years.

The Brocton resident believes he has the necessary experience... because he assumed some of Borrello's previous responsibilities when Borrello became County Executive.  Odell says those include becoming chairman of the Planning and Economic Development Committee... and, serving as a legislature member of the Industrial Development Agency.  Legislature Chairman Paul "P-J" Wendel recently announced his candidacy.  County Attorney Steve Abdella is serving as Acting County Executive until a new county executive is confirmed by the County Legislature.  That has to be done within 45-days of Borrello's resignation.


This week at First Covenant Church in Jamestown... the final rehearsals for the final 'Living Christmas Tree' are taking place.

The 35th Living Christmas Tree will be performed four times this weekend.  Chairperson Kaye Young says there wasn't one single factor that led to decision to stop what is a major undertaking after 35 years, but they always wanted to go out on a high note... not to have it dwindle away.  Brian Bogey is conductor for this year's contata 'The Sounds of His Love'... the same one performed at the first tree 35 years ago.  Performances will be at 8 PM Friday, 5 and 8 PM Sautrday and 6 PM on Sunday.  Tickets are $7 and are selling quickly... at the church and a number of other locations.  First Covenant Pastor, Adam Rohler, knows there will be mixed emotions when the final performance concludes, "understanding the profundity of what's happened over the past 35 years.


A man from Ripley man is jailed after allegedly burglarizing a home in the western Chautauqua County town Sunday night... and, assaulting two people.  

Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on West Main Street in Ripley just before 6 PM... and, found that 34 year-old Edwin Munson had entered a home illegally.  Officers say Munson allegedly damaged property, violated an order of protection, injured another person... and, choked a third person.  Deputies say this all happened in the presence of multiple children under the age of 17.  Officers were assisted by State Police... who located Munson a short distance away from the home.  He was arrested on charges including second-degree burglary... third-degree assault... criminal contempt... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.  Munson was taken to the county lock-up pending arraignment. 


Jamestown Police are still investigating last weekend's shooting at an eastside bar that's left one person in serious -- but, stable condition -- at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital.  

City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the Bullfrog Hotel on East Second Street -- at the city line -- just before 1:30 AM Saturday.  Samuelson says a fight between two people led to two shots being fired... and, the victim was stuck by both rounds.  That person was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment, then transferred to UPMC Hamot.  Samuelson says the person who shot the other man legally owned the gun, and is cooperating with police.  He says no charges have been filed because the shooting may have been in self-defense.  No names are being released.  Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537... through the anonymous tip line at 483-8477... or via their Tips 4-1-1 app.


Nine more members -- covering a wide range of sports  -- will be inducted next February to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.  

That from Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson... who says the living members of the Class of 2020 are Bob Goold,  Chris Carlson-Jenkins, Justin Johnson, Tim Nobles, Elly Norton, Mark Orlando and Mike Tramuta.  The deceased honorees are George Bataitis and Bob Bender.  Anderson says they hope to have another sell-out for the event in Lakewood.

Anderson says the inductees come from all across the county... including Dunkirk-Fredonia... Pine Valley in South Dayton... and Jamestown.  He says Nobles is in "a class by himself..." having coached seven state Class D Girls Basketball champions at Pine Valley.  The 39th annual banquet will be held Monday, February 17th at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  The new honorees will bring the total number of hall of fame members to 209.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 2, 2019

A man is in serious but stable condition at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital following a shooting at a bar on Jamestown's eastside early Saturday morning....  

City Police were called to the Bullfrog Hotel on East Second Street -- at the city line -- just before 1:30 AM,  where the bartender at the scene had secured the weapon.  Police say an altercation between two people led to two shots being fired.  The victim was reportedly struck by both shots and, taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  He was later transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie.  Anyone who may have witnessed the incident is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537, through the anonymous tip line at 483-8477 or via their Tips 4-1-1 app.


A missing hunter was found safe and sound late last week after getting lost in a wooded area off Hall Road in the town of Arkwright....  

Sheriff's officers were called to the area last Friday night to search for 54 year-old Richard Snyder, Junior of Lakeview.  Deputies say their K-9 unit and State Forest Rangers found Snyder half-a-mile into the woods and, was able to get out of the woods without any injuries.


There will be no vetoes of any of the changes made by the Jamestown City Council to the 2020 budget recently approved by lawmakers....  

That from Mayor Sam Teresi, who had about a week to sign -- or veto parts of the $36.6-million pending plan.  Teresi said late late week that he had no problems with how council decided to use $150,000 in savings on the city's self-insured prescription drug plan next year.  Until the savings on prescription drugs was found by City Comptroller Joe Bellitto, lawmakers were looking at a very tight budget that included a slight tax levy increase and, no increase in the tax rate.  However, the council and Mayor Teresi agreed on a $150,000 in savings, $110,000 of which will lower the rate by 16-cents per thousand.  The other 40-thousand dollars is being put back into the Prendergast Library's line item, bringing that total to $100,000 in 2020.


The current chairman of the Chautauqua County Legislature says he's "all in" in seeking the Republican nod to become the next county executive....  

In a printed release, Lakewood Republican Paul "PJ" Wendel announced his candidacy for the recently vacated position held by now-State Senator George Borrello.  Wendel says "after a great deal of thought and consideration with my wife and family, and with overwhelming support from residents throughout the County, I want to serve as our next Chautauqua County Executive."  Wendel was first elected to the County Legislature in 2012 and, has been chairman the past two years.  Wendel got his start in politics as a village trustee in Lakewood in 2007.  An interim county executive needs to be selected by County Republicans, and confirmed by the legislature, within 45-days.


Nine individuals across a wide variety of athletics will comprise the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020and, are set to be inducted this coming February.... 


The Board of Directos announced the living inductees as long-time coordinator for the local Special Olympics Bob Goold;  Female Athlete of Year in 1987 Chris (Carlson) Jenkins, she played basketball, softball and volleyball at Panama. Justin Johnson is a 1994 Jamestown High and 1998 U.S. Military Academy graduate.  Johnson's Jersey #54 was retired at JHS, scoring 1,670 points, 857 rebounds.  Tim Nobles has a Career record of 537-146 in 31 years as Pine Valley Girls' Basketball head coach; Air Force Veteran Elly Norton was a 4-sport athlete at Bemus Point and previously pitched in minor league baseball with the Newark Yankees.   Westfield native Mark Orlando played Division 1 football at Florida State and currently serves as the Offensive Cordinator at Grambling State and, Mike Tramuta Played football, baseball, basketball and track-and-field at Dunkirk High and at Cardinal Mindszenty... was All-Catholic in cross-country and basketball. The deceased honorees include "Father of JCC Athletics" George Bataitis serving as the Athletic Director for 32 years and, former Little League and Babe Ruth League Coach Bob Bender. Bender was a heavy hitting left-fielder, multiple-time MUNY All-star, both are World War Two veterans. The group will be honored at the 39th annual awards banquet on February 17th and, will bring the total number of inductees to 209.

A Mayville woman has been arrested for allegedly getting into a fight early last weekend in the village....  

Sheriff's officers say they were called to the undisclosed scene about 10:30 PM last Friday and, spoke with 37 year-old Margie Curry.  Further investigation led to Curry's arrested for fourth-degree criminal mischief, and endangering the welfare of a child.  She was taken to the county jail in Mayville pending arraignment.  


A bi-partisan group of House members has come to a consensus on the need to find a better way to run the federal government by on-going Continuing Resolutions....  

That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who co-chairs the Problem Solver's Caucus,which recently adopted a measure to better deal with funding departments and agencies outside of defense.  The just-approved CR runs through December 20th.  Reed says the White House supports their measure and, he's hopeful it will soon be taken up by Congress.

Reed says the large majority of the Problem Solver's group agreed that the various federal departments need those full-year numbers to run effectively.  He says there is about $1.3-trillion in non-defense spending that should be spelled out clearly for the next 12 months.  The Corning Republican made his comments during his recent conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Adobe Analytics says that online spending hit new records on Thanksgiving Day, reaching $4.2-billion...  

The company says that's a 14.5-percent increase from a year ago.  Adobe also says that Black Friday was on track to hit $7.4 billion dollars.  By 9 AM Friday,$600 million has already been spent online shopping, a 19.2-percent increase from the year-ago period.  But, as online sales surge, some retailers were grappling with outages, according to technology company Catchpoint, which monitors retailers' online performance.  Costco.com experienced "intermittent slow load and transaction times" starting late evening on Wednesday, according to Catchpoint.  The site was unavailable for a brief time early on Thanksgiving.  Costco is currently flagging "longer than normal response time" on its website.  H&M was down for under 5 minutes on Thanksgiving, according to Catchpoint.

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WJTN News Headlines for July 14, 2020

It appears there are a number of issues that have to be addressed before the Jamestown City Council is ready to approve a proposed pilot program that would allow food trucks and carts in the downtow...

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