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Local News Headlines

News Update for Mon., July 28, 2014


Wells found guilty of Manslaughter in 2010 killing of 81 year-old woman in Fredonia...

The jury hearing the Jason Wells murder trial has found Wells guilty of first-degree manslaughter in the brutal killing of an elderly Fredonia woman.  After a second day of deliberations... the jury of six men and six women found Wells guilty on the manslaughter charge... not second-degree murder... in the death of 81-year-old Ruth Fisk.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says the jury believed that Wells had an extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the crime.  Foley says the jury found he was responsible for... and, intended to take the actions he did in the attack.  That's unlike finding that he did it due to "mental disease or defect."  Wells was accused of fatally beating, stabbing and strangling Fisk inside One Temple Square in Fredonia in February 2010.  Foley says the jury had a difficult time with the case because of Well's alleged mental state.  In fact... he says the jury wanted to hear -- at least three times -- the definition of "extreme emotional disturbance."  County Court Judge John Ward has given the defense attorney two weeks to bring forth any motions before setting a sentencing date.


City man arrested for allegedly being in possession of 400-plus packs of Untaxed Cigarettes...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a few hundred packs of untaxed cigarettes... and, an illegal weapon.  City police say they raided an upper apartment at 275 South Main Street as part of an ongoing investigation into the illegal sale of untaxed cigarettes.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says 33 year-old James Chapman is a repeat offender.  He was allegedly found with a large number of untaxed cigarettes several months ago... and, he's accused of being in possession of more than 400 packs of the smokes... and, an illegal "throwing star" this time around.  Chapman was arrested on a state charge of selling illegal cigarettes... and, a local charge of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county jail where he posted $5,000 bail.

 

WJTN News Headlines


It was meant to be a one-week experiment in 1974... that 40 years later has become 'an institution' at Chautauqua Institution.  It was "Jim Roselle Day" at Chautauqua yesterday with an afternoon of songs... special presentations... and, the unveiling of a new book about Jim's most classic interviews from Chautauqua.  "The Best Times of My Life" was written by Jim with the help of Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pikut.  Pikut says he knew Jim wouldn't like the idea of a biography... but, would go for a book of his most famous interviews. Pikut and Jim both acknowledged loyal WJTN listener Pat Locke for having the idea for a book about Jim and/or his career and interviews.  Jim remembers talking about Chautauqua during his broadcasts prior to 1974.  But... he first approached WJTN management about doing a broadcast the week his former Jamestown High School Class President, and friend, Charlie Goodell, was appearing at the institution.  Jim says he felt residents deserved to hear their former Congressman one more time after he had become a U-S Senator after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.  Pikut says one of the biggest problems they had was deciding which interviews out of the approximately 18-hundred at Chautauqua was left in or out.

 

In addition to the book signing... there were several proclamations... and, even a "roast" of Jim Roselle during yesterday's program at Chautauqua.  He was honored with a plaque from the New York State Broadcasting Hall of Fame... which he joined as a member just a few years ago.  Media One's Dan Warren joked about working at WKSN in the 1980s when it was a strong competitor with WJTN.  Dan recalls management there deciding to do a Chautauqua broadcast... but, it they made it in the afternoon.  But... he says every person that came up to their remote location kept asking the same question... "where's Jim??.  Dan says they had to say he was with a different station.  Morning man Lee John of Sister Station SE-93 FM had the crowd at the Hall of Philosopy in stitches talking about trying to get all the "dirt" on Jim... but, not actually finding any.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell was on hand to honor Jim... and, Jamestown Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley read a letter from Mayor Sam Teresi acknowledging Jim's day.  Teresi said he was sad about missing the occasion... but, did present Jim with the "Key to the City" at last Friday's broadcast from Chautauqua.

 

An elderly Dunkirk woman suffered non-life threatning injuries when she lost control of her car... and, it crashed on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte yesterday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say 84 year-old Lucille Frazita of Eagle Street was northbound about 5:15 PM when the vehicle went off the westside of the road... and, down an embackment... striking a utility pole and shearing it in half.  Depuies say Frazita was taken to Brooks Hospital for treatment.  She's been charged with failure to keep right.

 

Paving work on the rough stretch of Route 60 between Fredonia and Cassadaga is expected to begin sometime in August.  That from Darrell Kaminski with the New York State Department of Transportation.  Kaminski says the DOT recently opened bids on a contract for that paving job.  He says they opened those bids for the paving work a couple of weeks ago... and, he says the contract should be awarded in the next week or so.  Kaminski says the paving on Route 60 should start in mid to late August.  He adds once the project starts, it should take two to three weeks to complete.

 

The recent announcement that a Florida-based air carrier will provide commercial service from the County Airport near Jamestown beginning in October was deemed "good news" by County Executive Vince Horrigan.  However, two county legislators do not share that view.  Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom says it is wasteful for money to be spent on an airport that sees little commercial activity. Ahlstrom says commercial flights out of Jamestown cost 500-federal tax dollars per flight.  John Runkle adds that both airports in Jamestown and Dunkirk lose a significant amount of money by staying open. Runkle says neither he nor Ahlstrom see reason to have Essential Air Service from the airports... and they intend to vote against it.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo has responded with silence to political foes clamoring for prompt criminal investigation of his administration following a press report that it interfered with a special corruption commission.  Political observers call that a calculated reply... intended to let the criticism quickly pass while he comfortably leads Republican challenger Rob Astorino in polls.  Still unclear is how much New Yorkers have been paying attention... and, whether he'll be dogged by ongoing questions about his influence over the commission he appointed to investigate the Albany's pay-for-play culture, and whether he kept it away from his own supporters.  Administration officials simply point to their 13-page answer to the New York Times report, published online by the newspaper along with the story.  Astorino's campaign said Cuomo has ``gone missing.''


 

News Update for Fri., July 25, 2014


Chautauqua County man arrested for allegedly robbing Amish store in Cattaraugus County at gun-point...

A Cherry Creek man has been arrested for allegedly holding up an Amish store owner in the town of Conewango... tying him up... and, stealing money from a cash register.  Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say the suspect, 22 year-old Michael Dybka, allegedly entered the store on Chapman Road just after 5:30 p.m. Thursday... and, pulled a pistol on the owner... and, demanded cash.  Deputies say Dybka was wearing a bandana over his face... and, he is accused of tying up the owner on the floor before fleeing the scene.  Officers say the owner was able to provide a description of the bandit... and, his car.  Police later arrested Dybka at his home on one count of first-degree robbery.  He was arraigned in Conewango Town Court... and, sent to the Little Valley Jail on $100,000 cash bail.


Reed announces RAMI Act approved by Congressional Committee, next up a vote by the full Congress...

A bill co-sponsored by Chautauqua County's congressman to help boost advanced manufacturing in the United States has cleared it's final hurdle to a final vote in the U-S House of Representatives.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says he's very pleased that the House Committee on Science has approved the "Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation" -- or RAMI Act.  Reed says the bi-partisan bill is "one step closer to crossing the finish line" and becoming law.  He says it's about creating the jobs "of today and tomorrow."  Reed says he's not sure when the measure... which is co-sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy... will go before the full House for a final vote.  However... he says the measure has strong bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate.  Reed says he sees several manufacturers in his 23rd Congressional District -- teaming with area colleges and universities -- having a good shot at RAMI's competitive grants.  He says it's a good opportunity to take products that "aren't there yet" commercially, and, get them there.  Reed says there will be a total of $300-million available for a network of regionally-based hubs to compete for.  They will work on plans to make ideas and concepts a reality... and, begin production.  Reed says Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, and Missouri's Roy Blount are co-sponsoring the bill in the U.S. Senate.  The president has already touted the bill as a job-creators... and, is expected to sign it.


NYS: Report says state has already taking in about 3,300 unaccompanied, immigration children from war torn Latin America...

The New York Immigration Coalition says close to 3,300 unaccompanied immigrant children have arrived in New York since January... and, almost 7,000 more expected to reach the state in coming months.  Coalition Director Camille Mackler says most are fleeing gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.  The coalition's number agrees with statistics released Thursday by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.  There was a report that some would be sent to the Corning-Elmira area of the 23rd Congressional District.  However... Congressman Tom Reed and others spoke out against such a move... and, it was nixed.

 

WJTN News Headlines


The opening events of the 2014 Cody Family Reunion are underway in Jamestown.  It was "busy" during yesterday's reception... and, informal buffet dinner at the Gateway Train Station.  That from Train Station Manager Lee Harkness... who says hundreds are expected to be in the area for the events -- both in Jamestown and Chautauqua Institution -- through this Sunday.  One of the big events in Jamestown will be Saturday morning's Western Parade through the downtown.  Harkness says streets will be closed off at 7 AM... with the the line-up taking place at Prendergast and Foote Avenues.  He adds the procession will step off at 9. Harkness says they want anyone and everyone to take part in the procession... which will include a "Wild West" theme.  He says they especially want kids to take part in the fun.  Harkness says they have teams of horses... and, a stagecoach that'll be part of it... along with the Jamestown High School Marching Band.  He says once the parade is over... there'll be a smaller, scale "Wild West Show" in front of the Train Station.  A major "Honor Dinner" will be held at the Train Station tonight beginning at 6 PM.  For more information.. go on-line to Cody-dash-Family-dot-ORG.

 

The Empire Center for Public Policy reports more than 1,800 local government employees outside of New York City have been paid more than Governor Andrew Cuomo's $179,000 salary in the past year.  The report from the fiscally conservative group for the year ending March 31st shows 47 of the 50 highest-paid municipal employees working for police departments or sheriff's offices and each taking home more than $250,000.

 

Standard & Poor's has raised New York state's general obligation and appropriation-backed bond ratings.  Credit Analyst David Hitchcock says the upgrade is based on improved budget management and spending restraint with relatively modest projected budget gaps for future years.  S&P is raising the rating of the general obligation bonds to Double-A-plus from Double-A.  It is raising the appropriation-backed bonds' rating from AA-minus to AA.  That follows recent ratings upgrades of the state's bonds by Fitch and Moody's Investors Service.

 

County lawmakers have unanimously approved using 50-thousand dollars in bed tax funding for a 438-thousand dollar project to shore up a major contributor of sediment in Chautauqua Lake.  Legislature members are also pleased the county was able to obtain a nearly 300-thousand dollar federal grant from the U-S Department of Agriculture for the project.  Silver Creek Republican George Borrello says stabilizing 38-hundred feet of the creek bank is the right kind of project to deal with the invasive weed problem on the lake. Both Borrello and West Ellicott Republican Lisa Vanstrom acknowledged that other public and private entities have come forward to help fund the other approximately 88-thousand dollars to complete the project.  Vanstrom thanked the Soil and Water Conservation board for working to get the grant... and, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy... and, Sheldon Foundations for the added funding.  Vanstrom adds this addressess the main issues found in the 2012 Chautauqua Lake Watershed Plan... and, Watershed and Stream Assessment Plan for Goose Creek.  She says the condition of the streambank... and, the meandering nature of the creek were cited as the top problems.

 

The American West has great resources... but, climate change is threatening many of those resources.  Those are the feelings of Thursday's speakers at Chautauqua Institution.  Former Arizona Governor, and, U-S Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt... and, former Nevada Governor Robert List were two of the lecturers at the Amphitheater.  Our Jim Roselle asked both if they had pressed the matter with President Obama.  List feels the president hasn't been as responsive as he should be regarding the tremendous drought in much of the region. Babbitt... who served during the Clinton Administration... says he has written to the president on a couple of occasions regarding the need to use his authority to create more national parks, and monuments in the western portion of the U-S. Babbitt and List were joined on the Amphitheater stage by Washington Post White House reporter, Juliet Eilperin.  Silicon Valley Archives Project Historian Leslie Berlin of Stanford University is today's featured lecturer at Chautauqua.

 

The man who admitted to killing a manager at the Hamburg Toys "R" Us in June of last year has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars.  Time-Warner Cable News says Bernard Grucza was also sentenced to five years post-release supervision in the stabbing death of Larry Wells of South Dayton.  Grucza pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with Wells' death inside an office at the McKinley Parkway toy store.  The two were friends and colleagues -- Wells was a manager, and Grucza a regional manager.  Wells' wife made a brief tearful pre-sentencing statement.  She told the court she lost her best friend, and her children lost their father.  Grucza also faces sentencing on federal gun charges.


 

News Update for Thurs., July 24, 2014


Cody Family Reunion underway in Jamestown...

The opening events of the 2014 Cody Family Reunion are underway in Jamestown.  It was "busy" during this afternoon's reception... and, there's an informal buffet dinner tonight at the Gateway Train Station.  That from Tain Station Manager Lee Harkness... who says hundreds are expected to be in the area for the events -- both in Jamestown and Chautauqua Institution through this Sunday.  One of the big events in Jamestown will be Saturday morning's Western Parade through the downtown.  Harkness says streets will be closed off at 7 a.m., with the the line-up taking place at Prendergast and Foote Avenues.  He adds the procession will step off -- appropriately -- "westward" at 9 a.m.  Harkness says it's different thant normal... and, will end at the train station.  He says they want anyone and everyone to take part in the procession... which will include a "Wild West" theme.  He says they especially want kids to take part in the fun.  Harkness says they have teams of horses... and, a stagecoach that'll be part of it... along with the Jamestown High School Marching Band.  He says once the parade is over... there'll be a smaller, scale "Wild West Show" in front of the Train Station.  A major "Honor Dinner" will be held at the Train Station tomorrow night at 6 p.m.  For more information.. go on-line to www.cody-family.org.


Goose Creek streambank project funding approved...

County lawmakers have unanimously approved using $50,000 in bed tax funding for a $438,000 project to shore up a major contributor of sediment in Chautauqua Lake.  Legislature members are also pleased the county was able to obtain a nearly $300,000 federal grant from the U-S Department of Agriculture for the project.  Silver Creek Republican George Borrello says stabilizing 3,800 feet of the creek bank is the right kind of project to deal with the invasive weed problem on the lake.  Borrello says "we are now treating the 'disease...' not the 'symptoms'."  Both Both Borrello and West Ellicott Republican Lisa Vanstrom acknowledged that other public and private entities have come forward to help fund the other approximately 88-thousand dollars to complete the project.  Vanstrom thanked the Soil and Water Conservation board for working to get the grant... and, the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy... and, Sheldon Foundation for the added funding.


S & P Bond Ratings get upgrade...

Standard & Poor's has raised its ratings of New York's general obligation and appropriation-backed bonds.  Credit Analyst David Hitchcock says the upgrade is based on improved budget management and spending restraint with relatively modest projected budget gaps for future years.  S&P is raising the rating of the general obligation bonds to AA+ from AA.  It is raising the appropriation-backed bonds' rating from AA- to AA.  That follows recent ratings upgrades of the state's bonds by Fitch and Moody's Investors Service.

WJTN News Headlines


Chautauqua County lawmakers have agreed to make an Inter-Governmental Transfer of 2.6-million dollars from fund balance to the County Home.  That'll be matched by another 2.6-million dollars in state and federal funding for operations at the Dunkirk facility.  Cassadaga-area Republican John Runkle says approval of the move last night will provide the home with 5.2-million dollars that should make it's way back to the county -- after the home is sold.  Runkle says the deal with VestraCare should be completed by the end of 2014. Runkle says the 2-for-1 match will go to the County Home to help fund the operation through the end of this year.  Once the sale is completed... Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro says the county will have to use some of the proceeds to pay off about 9-million dollars in debt.  However... he says some of that money... along with IGT money... will come back to the county to help offset taxes.  He says lawmakers... over time... want to use the money that comes back to "stablize" the county's tax rate over the next five years.  Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel went along with the proposal... but, expressed concern that this would just be a "one-shot" deal that will only help reduce taxes next year.  He wants to see more of a plan to cut taxes long-term. 

 

County lawmakers also approved receiving a 300-thousand dollar grant for projects on Goose Creek to reduce the amount of sediment that flows into Chautauqua Lake.  Legislators George Borrello and Keith Ahlstrom say the grant for the project would help address the "root problems" in the lake that have caused exceesive weed growth.  In the past... both say the county has been basically been treating the symptoms... but, not the real problems causing the excessive sediment to pile up.

 

The Chautauqua County Legislature is getting involved early in the county budget process in an effort to keep local costs to a minimum for next year.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he began the budget process sooner than normal so legislators could have time to review the budget across the board. Horrigan says it is important for the legislature to be fully-informed in order to keep the local tax levy as low as possible.  He says that all revolves around the local share.  Horrigan says he is committed to an on-time budget... and, will soon be meeting with department heads, his budget director, and finance director.  The budget is due out by September 25th.

 

Our warmer temperatures have led to the first Blue-Green algae blooms to be spotted on the lakes in Chautauqua County.  The county's Health and Human Services Department is urging all users of the lake to be cautious... especially when algae is present.  The department's Deputy Director of Enviromental Health... Mark Stow... says Blue-Green Algae is a type of cyanobacteria that can form thick "mats" on the water surface... resembling paint.  Stow says there have been two blooms spotted in Chautauqua Lake so far this Summer. However... Stow again says the beach area has not been affected.  He says Blue-green Algae blooms can be a problem because they can release a toxin... and, at high levels... it's harmful to human and animal health if ingested.  Stow says the biggest concern is for pets that get it on their fur... then try to clean it off... and, swallow it.  He says that can "kill a pet."  The blooms have been also been seen in the past on Findley Lake... and, Lake Erie.  For more information... go on-line to CO-dot-Chautauqua-dot-ny-dot-us/243/Environmental-Health.

 

The Grand Reopening of The Pub in downtown Jamestown has been an overwhelming success!  That from Manager Sam Liscandro. Liscandro and his crew reopened the popular eatery and night spot yesterday afternoon after last January 5th's fire heavily-damaged the business.  He says it seemed like it took a long time to get the renovation project underway... but, he says once Spring arrived... it went quickly. Liscandro thanked the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... and, the city's Department of Development for helping to secure funding for the 350-thousand dollar project.  He says the main "footprint" of the old bar is intact... with a few changes to the workspace.  Liscandro especially thanked city police and fire crews for their quick response that saved the structure.  Liscandro adds they're again open from 11:30 AM to 2 AM Mondays through Saturdays.

 

State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino want a criminal probe into the Cuomo administration after a New York Times report that says Cuomo's office thwarted attempts by his own special corruption commission to investigate groups with ties to him.  Cuomo's office says it would be ``a pure conflict of interest'' for a commission appointed by the governor to investigate the governor.

 

And... a quick note of a change in the start time for "Jim Roselle Day" at Chautauqua Institution this Sunday.  We have partnered with the Institution for the program... which will now start at 1:30... as we honor Jim on his 40 years live on the air from Chautauqua.  The event runs until about 3 P... and, is free to the public at The Hall of Philosophy. It will include speakers and music... as well as a book signing after the event.  For more information you can visit WJTN-dot-COM.


 

News Update for Wed., July 23, 2014


County Legislature has two, main items on agenda for Wednesday night meeting...

Two major items are on the agenda for tonight's Chautauqua County Legislature meeting in Mayville.  One is a budget change.  Cassadaga-area Legislator John Runkle says that item's a resolution to increase the county's fund balance by $2.6-million.  Runkle says they'll be looking to get more IGT monies -- a 2-for-1 deal -- to yield $5.2-million.  The resolution comes as the sale of the County Home in Dunkirk is expected to be completed by the end of this year.  The other big item is a $300,000 grant for projects on Goose Creek in order to reduce the amount of sediment that flows into Chautauqua Lake.  Legislator Keith Ahlstrom says the grant for the project would help address the root problems of the lake.  Ahlstrom says... in the past... they've basically been dealing with the symptoms... but, this will hopefully be a long-term fix.  The Dunkirk Democrat says the project will "straighten out" the meandering creek... and, reduce "thousands of tons of sediment" that flows into Chautauqua Lake.


First Blue-Green Algae blooms spotted in county on Chautauqua Lake...

Our warmer temperatures have led to the first Blue-Green algae blooms to be spotted on the lakes in Chautauqua County.  The county's Health and Human Services Department is urging all users of the lake to be cautious... especially when algae is present.  The department's Deputy Director of Enviromental Health... Mark Stow... says Blue-Green Algae is a type of cyanobacteria that can form thick "mats" on the water surface... resembling paint.  Stow says there have been two blooms spotted in Chautauqua Lake so far this Summer.  One is at The Casino dock area, but, the nearby beach has not been affected.  The other is near Long Point State Park.  However... Stow again says the beach area has not been affected.  He says Blue-green Algae blooms can be a problem because they can release a toxin... and, at high levels... it's harmful to human and animal health if ingested.  Stow says the biggest concern is for pets that walk along the shoreline... because the algae clings to their fur... and, they may ingest some of the algae -- which could kill them.  Stow says humans also need to avoid injesting the toxin... but, adds the bigger problem is skin irritation from being around it.  The blooms have been also been a problem on Lake Erie.

WJTN News Headlines


Chautauqua County will have a new airline... and, return to a popular, past destination point beginning next October 1st.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says the U-S Department of Transporation has selected Sun Air to provide Essential Air Service out of the County Airport near Jamestown.  Horrigan calls it "great news..." and, adds that the county had been working hard with U-S Senator Charles Schumer to find a new carrier after Silver Airways announced early this year that they would stop providing regional service by mid-year.
Horrigan says having air service is important to most of Chautauqua County's businesses... and, local tourism.  He says they're excited about what a Sun Air official recently told them about using Pittsburgh as a 'hub' again... and, low cost fares.  Horrigan also thanked Senator Schumer for helping the county keep it's EAS Status... and, find a new carrier.  He says Schumer was "instrumental" in this positive outcome for the county.  In the beginning... Horrigan says Sun Air will offer four flights each weekday... and, two each on Saturdays and Sundays. 

 

A Jamestown police official says he's "very pleased" they have been able to get two more indictments in connection with the home invasion-robbery... and, police-involved shooting earlier this month.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the Chautauqua County Grand Jury has handed down 22-count indictments against both 26 year-old Levelle Jones... and, 26 year-old Jacon Hicks -- each of Buffalo.  Samuelson says indictments are pending against three more persons in connection with the July 1st incident.  He says they've been able to piece together much of what happened that early morning at 188 Falconer Street. Samuelson says the person in Buffalo is still at-large... but, they're hopeful he'll be found soon.  They're continued to ask for any help the public may have... but, he adds they really haven't needed a lot of assistance since the violent incident occured.  Samuelson says they were able to talk to several witnesses at the scene... and, that's been a big help.  However... if you have any information that may help police... call 483-7537... or the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

A Celoron teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing two trucks... and, later crashing them... early Tuesday morning in the town of Ellicott.  Town police were called to the scene of the first accident on Town Line Road -- near Moon Road -- about 3:15 AM.  Officers say they found the Chevrolet dump truck in a ditch... and, that the driver had left the scene.  However... as they were investigating... they received another call from a Town Line Road resident who said a prowler was going through a vehicle.  Officers then found a pick-up truck in the ditch a half-mile down the road.  The Sheriff's Department K-9 Drago was brought in... and, police found 18 year-old Gregory Messere, Junior a short distance away.  He was arrested... and, taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  He's charged with Grand Larceny... unauthorized use of a motor vehicle... and, driving while intoxicated.

 

The Republican candidate for governor of New York says he intends to begin reversing New York's course in his first 100-days in office... if he's elected.  Rob Astorino says he's had a track record of adding 30-thousand jobs in Westchester County during his more than 5-years in office.  Astorino says cutting taxes and spending was a big part of that... adding that New York has lost 400-thousand people during Governor Cuomo's 3-and-a-half years in office.  When you add it up... he says Cuomo's track record has not been good. Cuomo has proposed some economic programs... but, Astorino says his latest one - "StartUp-New York" is "a joke."  In fact... the GOP challenger says he's not the only one sharing that view.  He says the Chief Financial Officer in Florida says they should sue New York state for "false advertising."  Astorino says it's too narrow in scope... and, has so many conditions it won't have that much impact.  Astorino also says he supports "reasonable, and responsible" hydro-fracking.

 

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino says he believes New Jersey Chris Christie won't support him because of the 'Bridgegate' scandal.  Astorino said Tuesday that he thinks his opponent, Democrat incumbant Andrew Cuomo, ``has something'' on Christie.  However... he did not say what it was.  Christie is the head of the Republican Governors Association -- which normally backs GOP candidates.  He said he would not support Astorino because the race was ``a lost cause.''

 

The newest, citizen member of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities attended his first meeting Monday.  Former Chautauqua County Legislator Chuck Cornell was unanimously confirmed to the panel last month by the City Council.  Cornell is the director of the Center for Regional Advancement at the SUNY College at Fredonia... and, he fills the unexpired term left vacant by Fred Larson's resignation to become Jamestown's second City Court Judge.  Cornell served two terms in the Chautauqua County Legislature representing the northside of the city.

 

Minnesota Wild left wing Thomas Vanek says he's cooperating with federal authorities conducting an investigation in Rochester.  Local media report that Vanek was at the federal courthouse in Rochester to speak with officials.  In statement released by his agent... Vanek says they have asked for his cooperation in an investigation.  He says he's cooperating and isn't a target of the probe or prosecution.

News Update for Tues., July 22, 2014


County has new air carrier to replace Silver on Oct. 1...

Chautauqua County will have a new airline... and, return to a popular, past destination point beginning next Oct. 1.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says the U.S. Department of Transporation has selected Sun Air to provide Essential Air Service out of the County Airport near Jamestown.  Horrigan calls it "great news..." and, adds that the county had been working hard with U-S Senator Charles Schumer to find a new carrier after Silver Airways announced early this year that they would stop providing regional service by mid-year.  However... Horrigan says Silver will continue providing service through Sept. 30, and Sun Air will use Pittsburgh as it's hub.  He says having air service is important to most of Chautauqua County's businesses... and, local tourism.  He says they're excited about what a Sun Air official recently told them about using Pittsburgh as a 'hub' again... and, low cost fares.  Horrigan also thanked Senator Schumer for helping the county keep it's EAS Status... and, find a new carrier.  He says Schumer was "instrumental" in this positive outcome for the county.  In the beginning... Horrigan says Sun Air will offer four flights each weekday... and, two each on Saturdays and Sundays.


Samuelson pleased with latest indictments in Falconer St. home invasion-robbery, and police-involved shooting...

A Jamestown police official says he's "very pleased" they have been able to get two more indictments in connection with the home invasion-robbery... and, police-involved shooting earlier this month.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the Chautauqua County Grand Jury has handed down 22-count indictments against both 26 year-old Levelle Jones... and, 26 year-old Jacon Hicks -- each of Buffalo.  Samuelson says indictments are pending against three more persons in connection with the July 1st incident.  He says they've been able to piece together much of what happened that early morning at 188 Falconer Street.  Samuelson says that, combined with the information they're received so far, have led to the four current indictments... and, they believe it will lead to charges against two more.  Samuelson says one more person in Buffalo is still at-large... but, they're hopeful he'll be found soon.  They're continuing to ask for any help the public may have... but, adds they were able to talk to several witnesses at the scene... and, that's been a big help.  However... if you have any information that may help police... call 483-7537... or the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
 

WJTN News Headlines


Two more Buffalo men have been indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury in connection with the home invasion-robbery on Jamestown's eastside earlier this month.  That home invasion ended with a police-involved shooting at 188 Falconer Street.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson late Monday announced the 22-count indictments against 26 year-old Levelle Jones... and, 26 year-old Jacon Hicks.  Samuelson says both were in custody previously for parole violations.  He says both face charges including four counts of first-degree burglary... six counts of first-degree robbery... and, one count of first-degree criminal sex act.  Samuelson says both were arraigned in City Court... and, sent to the county jail on one-million dollars cash bail each.  More arrests are expected... and, if you have any information on the July 1st incident... you're asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their anonymous tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

He has no problem being the underdog in a political race... in fact... he almost seems to relish it.  Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino brought his underfunded... yet, energetic campaign to Chautauqua County Monday... and, addressed fellow Republicans last night at the County GOP's Annual Dinner in Lakewood.  Astorino trails in the latest Siena College Poll by 37-percentage points.  The Westchester County Executive was a big underdog five-years ago in a battle against incumbant Democrat Andrew Spano... and, wound up winning. That's what Astorino is banking on this time as he faces his biggest political test yet.  Incumbant Democrat Andrew Cuomo has outspent Astorino so far... and, has a better than 15-to-1 advantage in campaign cash available.   However... if you look further than the polls... the opportunity is there.  Astorino contends few are happy with Cuomo... and, he adds he got a great reception at Sunday's Pulaski Day Parade in the Buffalo suburb of Cheektowaga.  Astorino adds, though, that the onus is on him to get out his message of cutting taxes... and New York state government bureaucracy and red tape.

 

That new poll of likely New York voters discussed with Astorino shows Democrat Andrew Cuomo continuing his lead over the Republican challenger.  The Siena College poll finds 60 percent would vote now for Cuomo and 23 percent for Astorino.  The poll shows 61 percent have a favorable view of Cuomo, while 61 percent have no opinion of Astorino, down from 69 percent a month ago.  The telephone poll last week of 774 likely New York registered voters has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

 

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was joined during his visits to Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties by Congressman Tom Reed -- among others.  Reed is in his own battle with Tompkins County Legislator Martha Robertson.  The Corning Republican says he likes Astorino's message of empowering people... and, providing them with the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.  Reed says when you "carry and believe" in that message... it's easy to do.  His 23rd Congressional District race is considered as one of the "top 20" to keep an eye on in 2014.  However... he says the differences between he and Robertson couldn't be more clear.  Reed says the Ithaca Democrat comes from a portion of the district that's "all in" when it comes to bigger government.  In addition to Reed and Astorino... State Senator Cathy Young... Assembly Andy Goodell... and County Sheriff candidate Russ Payne were on hand for last night's dinner.

 

With a perfect, blue sky as a backdrop... the 134th edition of the Chautauqua County Fair opened Monday morning at the fairgounds on Central Avenue (in Dunkirk), with the traditional firing of a civil war era canon. Moments before... County Executive Vince Horrigan caught the spirit of the day, he as spoke about what the fair represents.
First Vice President of the Fair Board of Directors... Jim Tytka (TIGHT-Kuh), Junior... says agriculture is first and foremost at the fair.  Tytka says they look forward to seeing what the farmers have to bring... along with the 4-H kids... each year.  He adds it wouldn't be the fair without demolition derbies.  The first one will be at the grandstand TONIGHT at 7 PM... and, another's scheduled Sunday at 4 PM.  The pay one price admission to the county fair is $10 for adults.

 

The Chautauqua County Fair Board is not only concerned about this year's Fair... they are looking at the future of the Fair.  Fair Board of Directors member Dan King says a major capital campaign is being organized.  King says they hope to raise enough money through individuals and businesses in the area.  Fair Director Dave Wilson says there are some major projects that will be tackled -- if enough funds are raised.  One of them is a major, approximately 350-thousand dollar upgrade of the drainage system. Wilson says the Fair Board is also looking to upgrade the Fairground's electrical system.  The current system is having more difficulty handling the more modern motor homes.  The public will be able to get more information about the capital campaign when they attend the 132st annual Chautauqua County Fair in Dunkirk.

 

New York ranks among the top five states for children's health, according to the 25th edition of the Kids Count Data Book released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The report released Tuesday looks at data from 1990 that show the major trends in child well-being, and recent trends that compare data from 2005 to 2012. New York showed improvement in all eight categories of health and education for children. The number of children who didn't graduate from high school in four years decreased from 33 percent in 1990 to 22 percent in 2012. The number of teen births decreased, and the number of children in high-poverty areas remained stable at 17 percent. The number of children in single parent families increased by 24 percent from 1990 to 2012.

 

The conditions in Bemus were perfect for "Glee Night" at SE93 Chautauqua Lake Voices on Monday Night.  The Top 10 contestants of the show, now in it's 11th summer, performed songs that appeared on the Popular TV show - and they didn't disappoint those in attendance.  Ashley Reefer's performance of "Don't Rain On My Parade" was the fan favorite in the SlickText.com "Coolest Performer" audience voting contest.  In the end Karina Simmons and Kristina Bullock were eliminated by the panel of judges.  The final 8 are back at the Floating Stage next Monday where they will perform Phil Collins or Genesis songs.  For more information you can find SE93 Chautauqua Lake Voices on Facebook or visit ChautauquaLakeVoices.com

WJTN News Headlines


A Cassadaga woman was killed... and, her passenger was seriously hurt when the car they were riding in went out of control and crashed on Cassadaga Road in the town of Charlotte.  Sheriff's Deputies say they were called to the scene about 7 AM yesterday... and, determined that 31 year-old Kelly Daniels was eastbound when she lost control of her vehicle... and, it struck a tree.  Officers say Daniels was pronounced dead at the scene.  They add that Starflight Helicopter was called into to fly the passenger... 36 year-old Michael Priest of Cherry Creek... to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment of head injuries.  His condition was not known.  Deputies say the investigation is continuing.

 

A Jamestown man is in stable condition after his car apparently left the road on Foote Avenue Extension in Kiantone early last Saturday morning... and, struck a dirt embankment.  Sheriff's officers say a patrol stopped the vehicle... operated by 31 year-old Larry Babcock... about 2:20 AM.  Deputies say they noticed the car was riding on the rim of a blown-out front tire... and, what appeared to be fresh front end damage and mud.  They say the vehicle was also leaking anti-freeze... and, the airbags had deployed.  Officers say they found Babcock was hurt... and, they called in Starflight Helicopter to take him to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment.  His injuries are non-life threatening.  Deputies interviewed Babcock, and checked out the crash scene... and, charged him with driving while intoxicated.  He also faces several traffic infractions.. including operating on an unsafe tire.  He was issued appearance tickets for Kiantone Town Court.

 

The Scandinavian Folk Festival finished up under sunny skies Sunday at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds.  And they had one of their best Fridays ever.  But, Saturday was a different story, with rain all day.  Festival organizer Don Sandy said there was a 'regular, steady' group despite the dismal conditions Saturday.  He attributed it to the 'nordic-ness' of the people and recalled the Swedish saying, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."  In addition to the popular Abba Girlz stage show, Sandy said books about Scandinavia were very popular at the festival this year, as many people are 'making connections' with their grandparents and their heritage. 

 

Subscribing to a new database software company is one of a number of steps Jamestown lawmakers are looking at to improve the city's old housing stock.  That from City Council President Greg Rabb... who says voting to bring on MyGov-dot-US is one way to track what's being done... or needs to be done with buildings that are in code violation.  Rabb says that... and, bringing on a second 'property maintenance crew..." are moves that are in-line with the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan that was adopted by lawmakers a few years ago. Rabb feels that bringing in the second maintenance team... along with increasing the fine when the maintenance team -- which primarily cuts grass -- has to be brought in... will get property owners to better maintain their properties.  Rabb says the fine was so low that it was cheaper for property owners to let the city do it... and, pay the fine or the lien on the property.  Rabb made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

Final preparations have been made for the 131st annual Chautauqua County Fair, which gets underway this morning in Dunkirk.  Fair Director Dave Wilson says there's been a lot of activity in recent days to get everything ready.  Wilson says Bates Amusements has been putting it's rides up the past few days... and, the animals were being moved into the barns through late yesterday.  He adds there is plenty to see... and, do in the grandstand this year... including plenty of motorsports events.  Wilson says an auto thrill show will be held on Wednesday night... and, the new Empire State Truck and Tractor Pull will be held Thursday.  This morning's kick-off will feature the firing of a civil war era cannon.  The rides on the Midway will open at 1 PM today once the manditory state inspection takes place.  For more information... go on-line to Chautauquacountyfair-dot-ORG.

 

Final preparations are being made by the Chautauqua County 4-H program for this week's County Fair in Dunkirk.  The 4-H Meat Animal Sale is one of the high-points of the week... and, this year it will be even moreso.  That's because it's the 50th anniversary of the event.  The 4-H's Emily Kidd-Reynolds says they've been doing a lot of preparation work over the past week to get ready. In addition... Reynolds says the number of non-animal exhibits will be up considerably from last year's fair.  She says they have about 800 to 900 MORE entries than they had last year.  Kidd says those items include recycling-type entries... along with ceramics and woodworking.  The annual Chautauqua County Fair runs from July 21st through the 27th.

 

A new ethics ruling says four New York advocacy groups won't have to publicly disclose their financial backers because revealing the information could put those supporters at risk.  Family Planning Advocates and the New York Women's Equality Coalition had sought an exemption from regulations requiring lobbying groups to disclose their financial supporters.  The Joint Commission on Public Ethics said no... and, also rejected similar requests from New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

 

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