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Local News Headlines

News Update for Thurs., Aug. 28, 2014


Men accused of murdering Mary Whitaker ordered held without bail; prosecutor outlines more details...

Two men accused of killing a New York concert violinist during a robbery in her home have been ordered held without bail after a prosecutor detailed how the victim was shot and stabbed after opening her door to help them.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr. says 43 year-old Jonathan Conklin... and, 30 year-old Charles Sanford said nothing during a detention hearing this morning in federal court in Buffalo, where they've pleaded not guilty to stealing property and taking it across state lines, and carjacking.  Police say the men killed 61-year-old Mary Whitaker after she agreed to lend them her phone in the Chautauqua County town of Westfield the morning of Aug. 20.  They're then accused of driving her car to Erie, PA, where they were arrested.  A grand jury will consider state murder charges.  Whitaker performed with the Chautauqua Symphony and Westchester Philharmonic.


Two Dunkirk men arrested in north county drug bust...

A traffic stop in the north county city of Dunkirk last night led to the arrest of two Dunkirk men on several illegal drug charges.   Dunkirk Police say a patrol officer stopped the van being operated by 24-year-old Nicholas Bailey after he had allegedly run a stop sign in the 600-block of Main Street.  Police Chief Dave Ortolano says a passenger in the vehicle, 24-year-old Traiquane Nance, began acting suspiciously and that was a tip off to police.  Ortolano says some "good police work" found both had a "good amount" of crack cocaine, and marijuana in their possession.  Nance also struggled with officers at Police Headquarters where he allegedly tried to prevent them from seizing additional amounts of crack cocaine and marijuana.  Orotolano says they found more narcotic drugs in his possession that had hidden in his underwear.  Both Bailey and Nance are facing several charges and they were being held in the City lock up until their arraignment.


No one hurt when car slams into front wall of McDonald's restaurant at Exit 12 Mobil north of Jamestown...

No one was hurt when a car driven by a Jamestown woman crashed through the front of the McDonald's Restaurant at the Exit 12 Mobil north of the city line.  Ellicott Town Police say 33 year-old April Crawford was pulling into the parking lot of the North Main Street business about 1 p.m. Wednesday when her foot slipped off the brake, and hit the accelerator.  Officers say the car lunged forward... and, struck several pane glass windows in the front of the building... and, a table where a man was sitting inside the restaurant.  The investigating officer says the table was near a divider post... so the table and man were just pushed backwards.  He escaped injury.  Police say Crawford was shaken-up by the accident.  The restaurant was closed the rest of the day.  No charges were filed.


County Legislature tables action on Compliance Officer position...

Chautauqua County lawmakers have delayed action on a proposal to create the position of a county compliance officer until they deal with the 2015 budget.  During a brief, 15 minute monthly meeting in Mayville last night... legislators decided to table a local law that would create the position.  Cassadaga Republican John Runkle, who chairs the Legislature's Audit and Control Committee and made the motion to table, says he doesn't support the proposal.

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