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Local News Headlines Archives for 2014-04

WJTN News Headlines


Two Jamestown residents face Felony drug charges... and, police confiscated a large amount of marijuana during two separate raids in the city early Tuesday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and JPD Swat Team members executed search warrants at 303 Crescent Street... and, 823 Prendergast Avenue about 7 AM.  Samuelson says they were looking for narcotics and marijuana as part of an on-going crack down on drug trafficking in the city. Samuelson says they arrested 26 year-old Randalea Rivera at the 303 Crescent Street location... while they took 23 year-old Raheem Butts into custody at 823 Prendergast.  He says these raids came out of investigations that led to several raids over the past month, or so.  However... he adds they were not directly tied to any of the others.  Samuelson says Butts faces charges Felony charges -- including of third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's being held in the county jail without bail... while Rivera faces a Felony count of second-degree criminal posession of marijuana.  She's being held on 25-hundred dollars bail.

 

A Lakewood man arrested earlier this year for allegedly growing dozens of marijuana plants now faces federal charges in the case.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they assisted Ellicott Police and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in arresting 48 year-old Jeffrey Boardman of Southland Avenue.  Task Force members say Boardman was arrested by Ellicott Town Police on Melvin Avenue in Celoron on a federal warrant Monday without incident.  Officers say a grand jury indicted Boardman for conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 marijuana plants... conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture containing marijuana... and, maintaining a premisis to manufacture... distribute... and, use marijuana.  Task Force agents say Boardman appeared in U-S District Court in buffalo for arraignment... and, was remanded into federal custody without bail.  Investigators accuse Boardman of operating several sophisticated marijuana growing operations.

 

State Senate Democrats have released a report on the rise of heroin and opioid use in New York.  Lawmakers are calling for tougher penalties and increased insurance coverage.  Their six measures include a bill to allow prosecutors to charge dealers with manslaughter if the opioids result in death.

 

The Resource Center has begun the public phase of a major capital campaign called STARS.  Heather Brown, an Assistant Executive Director at TRC, says they need to improve their healthcare buildings.The biggest part of the STARS campaign is 1.8 million dollars to renovate the Cappa Building on East Second Street in Jamestown, and some facilities in Dunkirk.  The rest of the money would go toward a modern data storage system, a centralized call center, and the development of integrated, holistic care.  Executive Director Paul Cesana says The Resouce Center needs broad support to be successful.  Cesana says this campaign is really a "call for action for the entire community."  The overall goal of STARS is to raise 5.1 million dollars.  Around 1.6 million has already been raised for the effort.

 

An investigation into an alleged attack and robbery in downtown Jamestown early this morning has now been determined to be unfounded.  City police are looking for a middle-aged man who allegedly attacked a 22 year-old woman who was jogging on the walkway behind Chautauqua Brick on West Harrison Street about 4:40 AM.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says... though... that as investigators looked further into the incident... the victim's story fell apart. Samuelson says the women reported the incident about 4:40 AM... saying the man hit her from behind... and, stole her i-pod... and, engagement ring.  However... they later determined she had concocted the story.  Samuelson adds that she had apparently been suffering some emotional issues... and, she was sent for a mental health evaluation.  He says it appears that the alleged victim was on the Riverwalk in that area... but, there was no second person involved.  He says the injuries she had were apparently self-inflicted.  No charges will be filed. Even though the attack was fabricated... Samuelson is still warning joggers to be aware of your surroundings.  He says it's probably best not to wearing head-phones so you can hear what's going on around-you.  

 

A construction issue is the apparent cause of a fire inside an interior wall is the apparent cause of a blaze that extensively damaged that wall of a town of Busti home this morning.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says his department was called to the scene at 463 Pine Ridge Road about 7 AM.  Volpe says crews found some smoke on arrival... and, made an interior attack. Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, Celoron... and, Sugar Grove, Russell and Lander from Pennsylvania.  He says getting the fire out in the two story house was "tricky" because they had to reach a confined area.  However... Volpe says they were able to contain damage to that interior wall. Volpe says it took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says a board that had been rubbing up against a pipe triggered the flames.  He says the fire spread through a stud channel to the attic.  Two local Red Cross volunteers are helping the family of three with emergency needs.

 

A north county man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a banned assault rifle.  Sheriff's officers say 36 year-old Dennis Wallace of Dunkirk was arrested late Sunday night... with the help of Fredonia Police at his Van Buren Road home.  Once police concluded their investigation... they found Wallace allegedly had the illegal gun.  Deputies say Wallace is currently in custody for an unrelated charge and will answer the charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the Pomfret Town Court at a later date date.

 

Gun control advocates are urging New York lawmakers to require firearm owners to securely store their weapons.  New Yorkers Against Gun Violence also proposes requiring a device for semi-automatic handguns that stamps a code into a shell casing when the gun is fired, making it easier for authorities to track guns used in shootings.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


Two Jamestown residents face Felony drug charges... and, police confiscated a large amount of marijuana during two separate raids in the city early Tuesday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and JPD Swat Team members executed search warrants at 303 Crescent Street... and, 823 Prendergast Avenue about 7 AM.  Samuelson says they were looking for narcotics and marijuana as part of an on-going crack down on drug trafficking in the city. Samuelson says they arrested 26 year-old Randalea Rivera at the 303 Crescent Street location... while they took 23 year-old Raheem Butts into custody at 823 Prendergast.  He says these raids came out of investigations that led to several raids over the past month, or so.  However... he adds they were not directly tied to any of the others.  Samuelson says Butts faces charges Felony charges -- including of third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's being held in the county jail without bail... while Rivera faces a Felony count of second-degree criminal posession of marijuana.  She's being held on 25-hundred dollars bail.

 

A Lakewood man arrested earlier this year for allegedly growing dozens of marijuana plants now faces federal charges in the case.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they assisted Ellicott Police and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in arresting 48 year-old Jeffrey Boardman of Southland Avenue.  Task Force members say Boardman was arrested by Ellicott Town Police on Melvin Avenue in Celoron on a federal warrant Monday without incident.  Officers say a grand jury indicted Boardman for conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 marijuana plants... conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture containing marijuana... and, maintaining a premisis to manufacture... distribute... and, use marijuana.  Task Force agents say Boardman appeared in U-S District Court in buffalo for arraignment... and, was remanded into federal custody without bail.  Investigators accuse Boardman of operating several sophisticated marijuana growing operations.

 

State Senate Democrats have released a report on the rise of heroin and opioid use in New York.  Lawmakers are calling for tougher penalties and increased insurance coverage.  Their six measures include a bill to allow prosecutors to charge dealers with manslaughter if the opioids result in death.

 

The Resource Center has begun the public phase of a major capital campaign called STARS.  Heather Brown, an Assistant Executive Director at TRC, says they need to improve their healthcare buildings.The biggest part of the STARS campaign is 1.8 million dollars to renovate the Cappa Building on East Second Street in Jamestown, and some facilities in Dunkirk.  The rest of the money would go toward a modern data storage system, a centralized call center, and the development of integrated, holistic care.  Executive Director Paul Cesana says The Resouce Center needs broad support to be successful.  Cesana says this campaign is really a "call for action for the entire community."  The overall goal of STARS is to raise 5.1 million dollars.  Around 1.6 million has already been raised for the effort.

 

An investigation into an alleged attack and robbery in downtown Jamestown early this morning has now been determined to be unfounded.  City police are looking for a middle-aged man who allegedly attacked a 22 year-old woman who was jogging on the walkway behind Chautauqua Brick on West Harrison Street about 4:40 AM.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says... though... that as investigators looked further into the incident... the victim's story fell apart. Samuelson says the women reported the incident about 4:40 AM... saying the man hit her from behind... and, stole her i-pod... and, engagement ring.  However... they later determined she had concocted the story.  Samuelson adds that she had apparently been suffering some emotional issues... and, she was sent for a mental health evaluation.  He says it appears that the alleged victim was on the Riverwalk in that area... but, there was no second person involved.  He says the injuries she had were apparently self-inflicted.  No charges will be filed. Even though the attack was fabricated... Samuelson is still warning joggers to be aware of your surroundings.  He says it's probably best not to wearing head-phones so you can hear what's going on around-you.  

 

A construction issue is the apparent cause of a fire inside an interior wall is the apparent cause of a blaze that extensively damaged that wall of a town of Busti home this morning.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says his department was called to the scene at 463 Pine Ridge Road about 7 AM.  Volpe says crews found some smoke on arrival... and, made an interior attack. Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, Celoron... and, Sugar Grove, Russell and Lander from Pennsylvania.  He says getting the fire out in the two story house was "tricky" because they had to reach a confined area.  However... Volpe says they were able to contain damage to that interior wall. Volpe says it took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says a board that had been rubbing up against a pipe triggered the flames.  He says the fire spread through a stud channel to the attic.  Two local Red Cross volunteers are helping the family of three with emergency needs.

 

A north county man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a banned assault rifle.  Sheriff's officers say 36 year-old Dennis Wallace of Dunkirk was arrested late Sunday night... with the help of Fredonia Police at his Van Buren Road home.  Once police concluded their investigation... they found Wallace allegedly had the illegal gun.  Deputies say Wallace is currently in custody for an unrelated charge and will answer the charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the Pomfret Town Court at a later date date.

 

Gun control advocates are urging New York lawmakers to require firearm owners to securely store their weapons.  New Yorkers Against Gun Violence also proposes requiring a device for semi-automatic handguns that stamps a code into a shell casing when the gun is fired, making it easier for authorities to track guns used in shootings.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


Two Jamestown residents face Felony drug charges... and, police confiscated a large amount of marijuana during two separate raids in the city early Tuesday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and JPD Swat Team members executed search warrants at 303 Crescent Street... and, 823 Prendergast Avenue about 7 AM.  Samuelson says they were looking for narcotics and marijuana as part of an on-going crack down on drug trafficking in the city. Samuelson says they arrested 26 year-old Randalea Rivera at the 303 Crescent Street location... while they took 23 year-old Raheem Butts into custody at 823 Prendergast.  He says these raids came out of investigations that led to several raids over the past month, or so.  However... he adds they were not directly tied to any of the others.  Samuelson says Butts faces charges Felony charges -- including of third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's being held in the county jail without bail... while Rivera faces a Felony count of second-degree criminal posession of marijuana.  She's being held on 25-hundred dollars bail.

 

A Lakewood man arrested earlier this year for allegedly growing dozens of marijuana plants now faces federal charges in the case.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they assisted Ellicott Police and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in arresting 48 year-old Jeffrey Boardman of Southland Avenue.  Task Force members say Boardman was arrested by Ellicott Town Police on Melvin Avenue in Celoron on a federal warrant Monday without incident.  Officers say a grand jury indicted Boardman for conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 marijuana plants... conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture containing marijuana... and, maintaining a premisis to manufacture... distribute... and, use marijuana.  Task Force agents say Boardman appeared in U-S District Court in buffalo for arraignment... and, was remanded into federal custody without bail.  Investigators accuse Boardman of operating several sophisticated marijuana growing operations.

 

State Senate Democrats have released a report on the rise of heroin and opioid use in New York.  Lawmakers are calling for tougher penalties and increased insurance coverage.  Their six measures include a bill to allow prosecutors to charge dealers with manslaughter if the opioids result in death.

 

The Resource Center has begun the public phase of a major capital campaign called STARS.  Heather Brown, an Assistant Executive Director at TRC, says they need to improve their healthcare buildings.The biggest part of the STARS campaign is 1.8 million dollars to renovate the Cappa Building on East Second Street in Jamestown, and some facilities in Dunkirk.  The rest of the money would go toward a modern data storage system, a centralized call center, and the development of integrated, holistic care.  Executive Director Paul Cesana says The Resouce Center needs broad support to be successful.  Cesana says this campaign is really a "call for action for the entire community."  The overall goal of STARS is to raise 5.1 million dollars.  Around 1.6 million has already been raised for the effort.

 

An investigation into an alleged attack and robbery in downtown Jamestown early this morning has now been determined to be unfounded.  City police are looking for a middle-aged man who allegedly attacked a 22 year-old woman who was jogging on the walkway behind Chautauqua Brick on West Harrison Street about 4:40 AM.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says... though... that as investigators looked further into the incident... the victim's story fell apart. Samuelson says the women reported the incident about 4:40 AM... saying the man hit her from behind... and, stole her i-pod... and, engagement ring.  However... they later determined she had concocted the story.  Samuelson adds that she had apparently been suffering some emotional issues... and, she was sent for a mental health evaluation.  He says it appears that the alleged victim was on the Riverwalk in that area... but, there was no second person involved.  He says the injuries she had were apparently self-inflicted.  No charges will be filed. Even though the attack was fabricated... Samuelson is still warning joggers to be aware of your surroundings.  He says it's probably best not to wearing head-phones so you can hear what's going on around-you.  

 

A construction issue is the apparent cause of a fire inside an interior wall is the apparent cause of a blaze that extensively damaged that wall of a town of Busti home this morning.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says his department was called to the scene at 463 Pine Ridge Road about 7 AM.  Volpe says crews found some smoke on arrival... and, made an interior attack. Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, Celoron... and, Sugar Grove, Russell and Lander from Pennsylvania.  He says getting the fire out in the two story house was "tricky" because they had to reach a confined area.  However... Volpe says they were able to contain damage to that interior wall. Volpe says it took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says a board that had been rubbing up against a pipe triggered the flames.  He says the fire spread through a stud channel to the attic.  Two local Red Cross volunteers are helping the family of three with emergency needs.

 

A north county man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a banned assault rifle.  Sheriff's officers say 36 year-old Dennis Wallace of Dunkirk was arrested late Sunday night... with the help of Fredonia Police at his Van Buren Road home.  Once police concluded their investigation... they found Wallace allegedly had the illegal gun.  Deputies say Wallace is currently in custody for an unrelated charge and will answer the charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the Pomfret Town Court at a later date date.

 

Gun control advocates are urging New York lawmakers to require firearm owners to securely store their weapons.  New Yorkers Against Gun Violence also proposes requiring a device for semi-automatic handguns that stamps a code into a shell casing when the gun is fired, making it easier for authorities to track guns used in shootings.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


Two Jamestown residents face Felony drug charges... and, police confiscated a large amount of marijuana during two separate raids in the city early Tuesday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and JPD Swat Team members executed search warrants at 303 Crescent Street... and, 823 Prendergast Avenue about 7 AM.  Samuelson says they were looking for narcotics and marijuana as part of an on-going crack down on drug trafficking in the city. Samuelson says they arrested 26 year-old Randalea Rivera at the 303 Crescent Street location... while they took 23 year-old Raheem Butts into custody at 823 Prendergast.  He says these raids came out of investigations that led to several raids over the past month, or so.  However... he adds they were not directly tied to any of the others.  Samuelson says Butts faces charges Felony charges -- including of third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's being held in the county jail without bail... while Rivera faces a Felony count of second-degree criminal posession of marijuana.  She's being held on 25-hundred dollars bail.

 

A Lakewood man arrested earlier this year for allegedly growing dozens of marijuana plants now faces federal charges in the case.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they assisted Ellicott Police and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in arresting 48 year-old Jeffrey Boardman of Southland Avenue.  Task Force members say Boardman was arrested by Ellicott Town Police on Melvin Avenue in Celoron on a federal warrant Monday without incident.  Officers say a grand jury indicted Boardman for conspiracy to manufacture more than 100 marijuana plants... conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a quantity of a mixture containing marijuana... and, maintaining a premisis to manufacture... distribute... and, use marijuana.  Task Force agents say Boardman appeared in U-S District Court in buffalo for arraignment... and, was remanded into federal custody without bail.  Investigators accuse Boardman of operating several sophisticated marijuana growing operations.

 

State Senate Democrats have released a report on the rise of heroin and opioid use in New York.  Lawmakers are calling for tougher penalties and increased insurance coverage.  Their six measures include a bill to allow prosecutors to charge dealers with manslaughter if the opioids result in death.

 

The Resource Center has begun the public phase of a major capital campaign called STARS.  Heather Brown, an Assistant Executive Director at TRC, says they need to improve their healthcare buildings.The biggest part of the STARS campaign is 1.8 million dollars to renovate the Cappa Building on East Second Street in Jamestown, and some facilities in Dunkirk.  The rest of the money would go toward a modern data storage system, a centralized call center, and the development of integrated, holistic care.  Executive Director Paul Cesana says The Resouce Center needs broad support to be successful.  Cesana says this campaign is really a "call for action for the entire community."  The overall goal of STARS is to raise 5.1 million dollars.  Around 1.6 million has already been raised for the effort.

 

An investigation into an alleged attack and robbery in downtown Jamestown early this morning has now been determined to be unfounded.  City police are looking for a middle-aged man who allegedly attacked a 22 year-old woman who was jogging on the walkway behind Chautauqua Brick on West Harrison Street about 4:40 AM.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says... though... that as investigators looked further into the incident... the victim's story fell apart. Samuelson says the women reported the incident about 4:40 AM... saying the man hit her from behind... and, stole her i-pod... and, engagement ring.  However... they later determined she had concocted the story.  Samuelson adds that she had apparently been suffering some emotional issues... and, she was sent for a mental health evaluation.  He says it appears that the alleged victim was on the Riverwalk in that area... but, there was no second person involved.  He says the injuries she had were apparently self-inflicted.  No charges will be filed. Even though the attack was fabricated... Samuelson is still warning joggers to be aware of your surroundings.  He says it's probably best not to wearing head-phones so you can hear what's going on around-you.  

 

A construction issue is the apparent cause of a fire inside an interior wall is the apparent cause of a blaze that extensively damaged that wall of a town of Busti home this morning.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says his department was called to the scene at 463 Pine Ridge Road about 7 AM.  Volpe says crews found some smoke on arrival... and, made an interior attack. Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, Celoron... and, Sugar Grove, Russell and Lander from Pennsylvania.  He says getting the fire out in the two story house was "tricky" because they had to reach a confined area.  However... Volpe says they were able to contain damage to that interior wall. Volpe says it took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says a board that had been rubbing up against a pipe triggered the flames.  He says the fire spread through a stud channel to the attic.  Two local Red Cross volunteers are helping the family of three with emergency needs.

 

A north county man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a banned assault rifle.  Sheriff's officers say 36 year-old Dennis Wallace of Dunkirk was arrested late Sunday night... with the help of Fredonia Police at his Van Buren Road home.  Once police concluded their investigation... they found Wallace allegedly had the illegal gun.  Deputies say Wallace is currently in custody for an unrelated charge and will answer the charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the Pomfret Town Court at a later date date.

 

Gun control advocates are urging New York lawmakers to require firearm owners to securely store their weapons.  New Yorkers Against Gun Violence also proposes requiring a device for semi-automatic handguns that stamps a code into a shell casing when the gun is fired, making it easier for authorities to track guns used in shootings.

 

 

News Update for Tues., Apr. 29, 2014


Two Jamestown residents arrested during separate drug raids...

A pair of city residents are jailed on Felony drug charges after being arrested during two separate raids in Jamestown early yesterday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers and JPD Swat Team members executed search warrants at 303 Crescent Street... and, 823 Prendergast Avenue about 7 a.m.  Samuelson says they found a large amount of marijuana at the Cresent Street address... and, also arrested 26 year-old Randelea Rivera.  He says they arrested 23 year-old Raheem Butts at the Prendergast Avenue location... where officers found estacy pills, pot, cash... and, packaging materials.  Samuelson says Butts faces two Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance charges... while Rivera faces a Felony criminal possession of marijuana charge.  Samuelson says these two raids resulted from the investigations that led to several raids over the past month, or so.  However... he adds they were not directly tied to any of the others.  Samuelson says Butts is being held in the county jail without bail... while Rivera faces a Felony count of second-degree criminal posession of marijuana.  She's being held on $2,500 bail.


House fire leaves Busti family temporarily homeless...

A construction issue is the apparent cause of a fire that extensively damaged that wall of a town of Busti home early Tuesday morning.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says his department was called to the scene at 463 Pine Ridge Road about 7 a.m.  Volpe says crews found some smoke on arrival... and, made an interior attack.  He says smoke was showing from the eaves, and they found fire in a wall near the chimney that extended to the attic.  Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood, Kiantone, Frewsburg, Celoron... and, Sugar Grove, Russell and Lander from Pennsylvania.  He says getting the fire out in the two story house was "tricky" because they had to reach a confined area.  However... Volpe says they were able to contain damage to that interior wall on the first and second floors.  He says it took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Volpe says a board that had been rubbing up against a pipe triggered the flames.  The local Red Cross is helping the family of three.  Firefighters were at the scene until shortly after 9:30 Tuesday morning.

WJTN News Headlines


Despite pleas from neighbors in the area against abandonment... the Jamestown City Council has agreed to allow the Ben Weitzman Company to take over part of Outlet Avenue.  Lawmakers voted 7-to-2 in favor of the measure... which will allow the "paper street" to be upgraded by the scrap metal firm... which will soon begin a major upgrade of the facility.  However... during an earlier public hearing... Rhonda Swanson of Lafayette Street said she's strongly opposed to Ben Weitzman being given property to expand. City Council President Greg Rabb says lawmakers understand the neighbors concerns... but, he feels Weitzman's owners should meet with the neighbors. Rabb says... if Weitzman does what it says they're going to do... they'll be investing in the city, providing more economic activity, and protect the river and Riverwalk areas.  Third Ward Councilwoman Tamara Dickey, and At-Large Councilman George Spitale voted against abandoning the street.

 

Jamestown's second, full-time City Court Judge is a long-time resident who has served both the legal community... and, in local politics.  Mayor Sam Teresi last night appointed current County Legislator Fred Larson to take over the new, full-time position... left open after Associate Judge George Panebianco turned down the post so he could continue his law practice.  City Council then confirmed the appointment in an 8-to-1 vote.  In announcing his decision... Teresi told the city council that he decided on Larson in "anything but a light and cursory fashion...."
Larson... who is also a former City Councilman... has also been a citizen member of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in recent years.  Teresi says deciding on Larson was "very difficult" because there were several other outstanding city attorneys he considered.  Only Councilman Brent Sheldon voted 'no.'  The state approved Jamestown for a second, full-time judge because of the current caseload in City Court.  Larson will have to give up his seat on the county legislature... and, BPU prior to becoming the city's second judge.

 

A former Stateline Speedway racer... and, area businessman... has made an offer to purchase the one-third mile speedway, and all the land it's on in Busti.  Westfield native Bill Catania, Jr. confirmed for Media One News Monday that he has made a "fair market" offer in Warren County District Court for the Kortwright Road facility.  It's been presented to current operator Jennifer Seamens... and, the children of late owner Fritz Seamens.  Jennifer Seamens' and her attorney are respresenting Seamens' estate.  Catania... who now owns a business and race team in Winston-Salem, North Carolina... says he hopes to announcement later in the week whether the offer has been accepted.

 

New York state lawmakers are proposing measures to help combat the resurgence of heroin, including increasing penalties for selling opioids that result in death, equipping first responders with overdose-reversal drugs, and requiring health insurance providers to cover rehab programs and anti-addiction medication.

 

Congressman Tom Reed held three more town hall meetings this past weekend -- two in the Jamestown-area -- and there was a constant theme to each of them.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday... Reed said he held his first session in the Mayville-area Saturday... and, another one near Randolph.  The Corning Republican says he's now held 137 town hall sessions... and, the overriding sentiment was to curb federal spending. Reed says the Republican Majority in Congress has already been able to cut discretionary spending to pre-Korean War Era levels.  For example... he says the GOP Caucus has reduced Foreign Aid spending from 53-billion to 47-billion dollars a year.... and, he believes they can cut even more.  Reed says it didn't take long after his special election in 2010 to the Southern Tier District that he saw the need for changes.  He had just gone to the floor of the House for a vote on a bill sponsored by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi... however... no information on the measure was available prior to the vote.

 

A Clymer woman known affectionately as "Grandma" around WCA Hospital has been named as it's "Volunteer of the Year" for 2013.  Ann Legters received the award at the 10th annual Volunteer of the Year Luncheon at WCA Monday afternoon.  Legters is a retired employee of the U-S Postal Service... and, was Postmaster her last 12 years in DeWittville.  When she decided to volunteer at WCA 13 years ago... she wanted a position where she could interact with people.  She told the former Volunteer Coordinator Sue Sawyer that she wouldn't take a job filing papers. Legters says she began working at the snack bar... then began transported patients from their rooms for tests.  Current Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth DeRosa says Legters is a "great choice" for Volunteer of the Year.  DeRosa adds they have 107 volunteers right now... and, need more... especially in two areas. DeRosa adds they also need volunteers in Physical Therapy to transport people to and from therapy... and, the Radiation Department also needs volunteers.

News Update! for Mon., Apr. 28, 2014


(Updated)Investigation into fire in village of Brocton still underway...

Chautauqua County fire investigators are still looking for the cause of a blaze that extensively damaged a home in the village of Brocton Sunday night.  Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say crews from Brocton, Portland, Westfield, Stockton and Fredonia responded to the fire at 35 Highland Avenue around 7 p.m.  Fire crews were at the scene for over three hours.  There were no reports of any injuries.  No other details were available today.


Catania makes serious "fair market" value offer for Stateline Speedway...

A former Stateline Speedway racer... and, area businessman... has made an offer to purchase the one-third mile speedway, and all the land it's on in Busti.  Westfield native Bill Catania, Jr. confirms for Media One News that he has made a "fair market" offer in Warren County District Court for the Kortwright Road facility.  It's been presented to current operator Jennifer Seamens... and, the children of late owner Fritz Seamens.  Jennifer Seamens' and her attorney are respresenting Seamens' estate.  Catania... who now owns a business and race team in Winston-Salem, North Carolina... says he hopes to have an announcement by later in the week on whether the offer is accepted.  If it's accepted... Catania says he wants to make some upgrades to the track, and have it open by later in the Summer.  He says other long-term improvements would also be made.  Catania is the son of multiple-time Limited Late Model Champion Bill Catania, Sr.     


Reed says one, overall theme heard voiced at weekend Town Hall meetings...

Congressman Tom Reed held three more town hall meetings this past weekend -- two in the Jamestown-area -- and there was a constant theme to each of them.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media today... Reed said he held his first session in the Mayville-area Saturday... and, another one near Randolph.  The Corning Republican says he's now held 137 town hall sessions... and, the overriding sentiment was to curb federal spending.  Reed says many have told him "let's not spend what we don't have."  He says overregulation is also a concern.  Reed says the Republican Majority in Congress has already been able to cut discretionary spending to pre-Korean War Era levels.  For example... he says the GOP Caucus has reduced Foreign Aid spending from $53-billion to $47-billion a year.... and, he believes they can cut even more.  Reed says it didn't take long after his special election in 2010 to the Southern Tier District that he saw the need for changes.  He had just gone to the floor of the House for a vote on a bill sponsored by then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi... however... no information on the measure was available prior to the vote.


 

WJTN News Headlines


A Jamestown man will spend just over 10 years in federal prison after being convicted of being involved with several others in obtaining a large amount of heroin with the intent to sell.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced late this past week that 35 year-old Boris Aguayo-Matos was given 121 months behind bars by U-S District Court Judge William Skretny.  Hochul says Aguayo-Matos had been found guilty of conspiring to possess... and, distribute one kilogram of heroin in the region.  He was also convicted of one count of possession of a firearm for use in drug trafficking.  Hochul says Aguayo-Matos was arrested as part of a two year-investigation into heroin trafficking in 2011 during a traffic stop on Interstate 86.  Authorities found 60-thousand dollars in alleged drug money inside one of the car's wheels.  The investigation used a number of confidential informants... customers... street-level dealers... and wire-taps.  At the time... it was the largest amount of heroin ever seized in the Jamestown-area.

 

Domestic production of crude oil has picked up in the U-S over the past few years... and, rail is one of the major ways it's being transported to refineries to produce gasoline and other petrolium products.  In recent months... rail safety has become a key concern for many... due to possible derailments.  A number of rail lines go through populated areas of western New York... including the Lake Erie Shoreline.  The concern was raised by County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone during last weekend's first responders forum with local Congressman Tom Reed.  Leone says local responders need some help in dealing with such threats. Reed agrees that local first responders should get the equipment and support they need to deal with such dangerous and potential volatile situations.  He says this is an instance where the federal government shouldn't wait for such an emergency to take place before taking action.  Earlier this year... U-S Senator Charles Schumer says voluntary standards agreed to by federal regulators should be amended to phase out unsafe tanker cars... and, reduce train speed in populated areas.
   


New York lawmakers are putting forward a package of legislation that seeks to fight the resurgence of heroin with tougher penalties for dealers, more funding for overdose-reversal drugs and increased insurance coverage for treatment. The proposals are expected to be detailed later Monday. They follow a series of forums that Senate Democrats held around the state about the sudden spread of the drug from New York City to upstate communities and Long Island suburbs. Experts told lawmakers that a crackdown on prescription drugs has pushed addicts to heroin, which is significantly cheaper and easier to obtain.

 

The former lieutenant governor who helped New York City avoid bankruptcy in the 1970s is warning that cities around the U.S. can expect more fiscal troubles in the years ahead.  Richard Ravitch served as lieutenant governor under former Governor David Paterson and has spent years studying the financial health of governments.  He says cities around the nation will be forced to consider cutting services and investments in education and infrastructure unless they can address their fiscal challenges head on.

 

Public input plays a major role in determining what ends up on the city of Jamestown's yearly Community Development Block Grant... and, HOME Program Action Plans.  That's the main reason why the U-S Department of Housing an Urban Development is now requiring a Citizen Participation Plan from city's that receive those federal dollars.  That from Jamestown Development Director Vince DeJoy... who says the city council will vote tonight on the plan... which tells where people can comment... and, how they do it. DeJoy adds, though, that there will be little -- if any change -- in how the city obtains it's input from the public.  Currently... he says there are still two required public hearings with a number of methods for public notice, outreach, accessibility... and, written surveys... obtaining citizen input.  DeJoy adds there are various ways the public can obtain a copy of this year's action plan. DeJoy says the city will also continue it's extensive, informal public input early in the process to get initial ideas from the public, and various agencies.  The main public hearing on this year's CDBG and HOME Program is set for tonight in City Council Chambers at 6:30 PM.  The council's voting session begins at 7:30 PM. Earlier... there'll be two other public hearings.  One is at 7:20 PM on the proposed abandonment of Outlet Avenue... near the Ben Weitzman Scrap Yard.  The other... at 7:25 PM... is on a plan to de-dedicate Rose Alley between West Second Street... and, the railroad tracks.

 

The New York state comptroller has withdrawn shareholder proposals calling for supply chain accountability at retailers Dollar Tree and Dillard's citing their agreements to have their suppliers report on factory safety.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of New York's 173-billion dollar pension fund, says the agreements help protect the companies and investors from financial and reputational damage should factory suppliers fail to meet recognized safety standards.  Dollar Tree operates nearly 5,000 stores in 48 states.  Dillard's has 300 department stores in 29 states.  The New York fund owns more than 598,000 shares of Dollar Tree worth about $30.7 million and nearly 59,000 shares of Dillard's worth about $5.6 million.

 

With the number of measles cases up nationwide... New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is encouraging residents to make they're vaccinated against the disease.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 129 cases of measles have been reported in 13 states so far this year.  That's the highest number of cases in the first four months of a year since 1996.  Twenty-nine of those cases were in New York state.

News Headlines for Saturday, April 26th 2014


National Drug Take-Back Day

    Law enforcement agencies across the region will again be taking part in the Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day today.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the give-back day has taken on added emphasis with the problem with opiate drug addiction both locally, and nationally.  Gerace says drug abuse, misuse and, accidential poisoning are a "critical problem" and, this is an excellent way to rid the community of potentially dangerous drugs without them getting into the local water supply.

    Gerace encourages people to get their old prescriptions that aren't being used to one of the four drop-off points in the county.  He adds this is the drug take-back day is also free to the public.  He says you can drop off the unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 AM to 2 PM.  The Drug Enforcement Agency is partnering with local agencies to put on the program.  Drop off points are the Chautauqua Mall Parking Lot -- in front of the JC Penny store -- in Lakewood and, the Southside Plaza in Jamestown.  The other two sites are Alstar Ambulance in Dunkirk and, Westfield Family Physicians in Westfield. 

 

Reed Holds Roundtable with First Responders

    Emergency first responders offered a lot of candid and, important input on regulatory and monitary needs they have to their local Congressman yesterday afternoon.  Corning Republican Tom Reed hosted a First Responder's Roundtable Forum in Mayville, mainly to hear what local police and fire chiefs had to say about dealing with the federal government.  Reed says he got "great input" from all those on hand, adding that holding such a meeting ensures that they are filling " the needs of the community."

    Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley says a lot of the military surplus equipment is good but, some of it's "junk."  Chautauqua County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone felt it was a "very good" meeting.  Leone adds he was happy to see that Reed was very receptive to the idea of ranking federal emergency response grants that benefit regional entities higher than those for individual departments.  Another County Fire Coordinator, Dan Imfeld raised the need for some items for Hazardous Materials Teams that often need specialized equipment to deal with spills.

 

Seniors Struggle with Foreclosure

    The county's Office for the Aging is trying to get out in front of a problem that has grown for local seniors and, that's the possible loss of their home due to tax foreclosure.  Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says her office estimates about 1200 seniors are on the list right now and, they're reaching out to them.  If you haven't been contacted, Spanos says contact them about the several programs they have available that can sae you money and, help you keep your home.  One of the biggest is the Basic and Enhanced School Tax Relief -- or STAR -- Program.  This program can save seniors up to $1500 on their school taxes.

    The Enhanced Program is mainly in place for Senior Citizen property owners who meet income eligibility guidelines.  In addition, Spanos says they also can provide free legal advice that may help a Senior get their house back -- even if the foreclosure process has begun.  Spanos says they're working with Southern Tier Legal Services to help such people.  For more information, contact the Office for the Aging or the NY Connects Helpline at 753-4582 or 661-7582 in Jamestown.  You can hear more with Mary Ann Spanos on this weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program.

 

Fiscal Woes Among Cities

    The former lieutenant governor who helped New York City avoid bankruptcy in the 1970s is warning that cities around the U.S. can expect more fiscal troubles in the years ahead.  Richard Ravitch served as lieutenant governor under former Governor David Paterson and has spent years studying the financial health of governments.  He says cities around the nation will be forced to consider cutting services and investments in education and infrastructure unless they can address their fiscal challenges head on.  Ravitch says the problems are the result of mounting debt, increased pension and health care costs and politicians who won't make tough decisions.  The 80-year-old Ravitch was in Albany this week to address students at Albany Law School and discuss his new memoir.

 

Nursing Home Arrests

    Eight nurses and nine nurse's aides are charged with endangering the welfare of a nursing home patient in Buffalo.  New York's attorney general says a hidden camera revealed they didn't give the man medicine and check on him at times their paperwork said they did. All but one of the employees of the Highpointe on Michigan Health Care Facility appeared in City Court Friday and, pleaded not guilty.  The other was out of state. 

 

Syracuse Drug Bust

    Police say they've seized hundreds of bags of heroin and other drugs during a raid at a home in Syracuse.  The police department says detectives executing a search warrant at a residence on Bellevue Avenue recovered 513 bags of heroin, 35 bags of cocaine and 14 grams of marijuana.  Authorities say a 32-year-old man living there has been charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of marijuana.  He's scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Syracuse City Court.  Police say the raid was the result of an ongoing narcotics investigation and the Syracuse Police Department's effort to combat a recent spike in heroin sales and use in central New York.

WJTN News Headlines


Chautauqua County's employment picture brightened last month to end the first quarter.  The jobless rate in March fell to it's lowest point since March of 2008.... but, outdoor activities are still running behind last year due to our harsh Winter.  That from state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says the county's unemployment rate fell from 8.3-percent in February to 7.7-percent last month.  Slenker says the county gained about 400 jobs over the month... mainly in three areas. Slenker says the county lost 100 jobs in manufacturing... and, had other losses in professional and business services... education... and, leisure and hospitality.  He says the figures might have been better if there was better weather sooner in March... as construction kind of lagged.  However... Slenker says it's not a major concern because last Winter -- especially the end -- was mild.  It allowed construction season to get underway early.  Slenker says he expects construction to pick up a lot in April... and, going forward because so many roads, privates drives, and parking lots need work.  He says the 7.7-percent jobless rate for last month was a big improvement over the 8.5-percent in March of 2013.

 

The jobless rate in Cattaraugus County also went down significantly last month.  Labor Department Analyst John Slenker says the unemployment rate fell from 8.3-percent in February to 7.8-percent in March.  Slenker says "normal seasonal trends" were again at play.  But... he says the number of jobs fell by 200.  He says that was mainly in the area of Leisure and Hospitality... as the ski season at the Holiday Valley Resort began winding down.  Slenker adds, though, the industry is still up 200 jobs over the year.  Slenker says manufacturing in Cattaraugus County held steady in the month of March... while construction was down.  He says the unemployment rate was way down from the 9-percent from March of 2013.  This year... Slenker says the number of jobs are up 100 from that point last year.

 

In an effort to help stem the local drug abuse problem... Jamestown City Police have installed a new prescription drug collection drop-box.  Officials say the secured box is located in the departments reception area... and, is accessible 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  They say members of the community can now dispose of unwanted medications there anonymously.  An officer will also be available to answer any questions people may have.  City police say they will accept prescription medications... controlled substances... along with liquid medication in leak-proof containers.  They will not accept items such as needles... syringes... or, medical waste.

 

Two city men who were spotted early this (Thursday) morning carrying flashlights and looking into parked cars on Jamestown's westside were arrested after they ran from police.  City officers say they spotted the pair -- 22 year-old Richard Raynor-the-second... and, 21 year-old Brandon Doud -- about 2:30 AM in the area of Fairmount Avenue and Catlin Avenue.  Police say they attempted to do a street check on the two men... but, they ran off.  However... both Raynor and Doud were caught after a brief foot chase.  Both men were arrested on one count each of obstructing governmental administration... and, were jailed pending arraignment.

 

The closing of the Carriage House plant in Fredonia in 2015 is already having an impact on the north county village's new budget.  Mayor Steve Keefe says the 9.55-millon dollar, 2014-2015 spending plan will feature significant cuts just about everywhere to keep the village under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  But... he says they will keep the village's most essential services.  The village board adopted the budget during a special session Thursday afernoon.  Keefe says the spending plan will also include an increase in the minimum sewer rate. The minimum sewer rate increase will be 25-dollars per quarter, or 100-dollars per year, while the water rate increase will be 10-cents per thousand gallons.  Keefe says the village is also closing a projected 1.5-million dollar spending gap by cutting several positions.  He would not say which positions are being cut... but, seven full-time positions are reportedly being cut... while another full-time position will be cut to part-time.  Other moves include the elimination of all seasonal employees in the Public Works Department.  Overall spending in the budget is down by about 5.8-percent... but, increases the tax rate by 71-cents per thousand.

 

Fredonia village trustees have approved a local law that's aimed at eliminating any unsafe activities on roof tops in the village.  The proposed legislation did spark some opposition from the public.  Village property owner Mary Jane Starks was among those who spoke out against the local law during a public hearing this week. Trustee Joe Cerrie (Sear-ee), who voted in support of the local law, says the local law is designed to protect those who may be in harm's way on those roofs.  Cerrie says the police will also have discretion in determining whether any arrests are made.  Roof top gatherings at last year's Fred Fest at the SUNY College at Fredonia led to the legislation that was approved by village lawmakers unanimously.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area gas prices are up about 4-cents a gallon this week to 3-dollars-77 cents for regular, unleaded.  However... as the week ends... at least one station is charging 3--82 a gallon.  On the National Front... Triple-A's Fuel Gauge reports the average price at the pump is 3-dollars-67 cents per gallon.  That's 2-cents more than last week... and, 14 cents more than one month ago.   The Fuel Gauge says refineries are required to start producing summer-blend gasoline by May 1st... and, in anticipation of this date... they often go off-line for scheduled maintenance now.  This decrease in supply can cause prices in certain areas to rise, but fluctuations have been minimal thus far this season.

 

News Update for Thurs., Apr. 24, 2014


Chautauqua Co. Jobless Rate falls in March...

Chautauqua County's jobless rate last month was at it's lowest point since March of 2008.... but, outdoor activities are still running behind last year due to our harsh Winter.  That from state Labor Department Analyst John Slenker... who says the county's unemployment rate fell from 8.3-percent in February to 7.7-percent last month.  Slenker says the county gained about 400 jobs over the month... mainly in three areas.... service providing industries -- leisure and hospitality, government, and trade.  He says the county lost 100 jobs in manufacturing... and, had other losses in professional and business services... education... and, leisure and hospitality.  He says the figures might have been better if there was better weather sooner in March... as construction kind of lagged.  However... Slenker says it's not a major concern because last Winter -- especially the end -- was mild.  It allowed construction season to get underway early.  Slenker says he expects construction to pick up a lot in April... and, going forward because so many roads, privates drives, and parking lots need work.  He says the 7.7-percent jobless rate for last month was a big improvement over March of 2013... when it was 8.5-percent.


Slenker adds Cattaraugus County Jobless numbers also down in March...

The jobless rate in Cattaraugus County also went down significantly last month.  Labor Department Analyst John Slenker says the unemployment rate fell from 8.3-percent in February to 7.8-percent in March.  Slenker says "normal seasonal trends" were again at play.  But... he says the number of jobs fell by 200.  He says that was mainly in the area of Leisure and Hospitality... as the ski season at the Holiday Valley Resort began winding down.  Slenker adds, though, the industry is still up 200 jobs over the year.  Slenker says manufacturing in Cattaraugus County held steady in the month of March... while construction was down.  He says the unemployment rate was way down from the 9-percent from March of 2013.  This year... Slenker says the number of jobs are up 100 from that point last year.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Chautauqua County lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a revised resolution that gives the financially-troubled village of Forestville a one-time, 150-thousand dollar loan.  However the municipality will not be receiving an 87-thousand dollar reimbursement on tipping fees from the county landfill for an emergency demolition in 2009.  The measure which also includes two stipulations that the village look into dissolving itself was approved 18-to-1.  Silver Creek Republican George Borrello who represents Forestville as part of his district says this will greatly help the village and, not expose the county to too much risk. Jamestown Democrat Chuck Nazzaro opposed the original resolution mainly reimbursing the tipping fees but, he also felt making it a five-year loan at 3-percent was "more realistic."  Borello was at the village board's meeting Tuesday night where it accepted the new terms and, says the people there "understood and appreciated" what the county was doing.  Frewsburg Republican Ron Lemon was among those lawmakers who changed their minds just before last night's vote.  The only lawmaker voting "no" last night was West Ellicott's Lisa Vanstrom.

 

Forestville's mayor and other village officials say they are "grateful and relieved" that county lawmakers have approved giving them some financial help.  Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke before and after last night's vote emphasizing the need for the loan to pay off a water-line project.  Johnson also said the village board accepted the county's conditions at it's Tuesday meeting.  He called last night's action "a start...." Johnson says the village has also made some other moves to begin paying off it's loans... which total 400-thousand dollars.  With the county's loan... he says the tax increase has been lowered to 100-percent... or about 10-dollars per thousand assessed value.  The village's current leadership received some kudos for what they've done so far by Lakewood Republican Paul Wendel... who equated their situation with taking "command of the Titantic after it struck the iceberg."  The village's current tax rate is about 5-dollars-13 cents per thousand assessed value.  Johnson says they'll definately look at dissolution... but, he adds it won't be a quick and easy process.

 

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office... and, other local police agencies... will again be taking part in the Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this weekend.  This year... Sheriff Joe Gerace says the give-back day has taken on added emphasis with the problem both locally and nationally with opiate drug addiction.  Gerace says drug abuse, misuse... and, accidential poisoning are a "critical problem..." and, this is an excellent way to rid the community of potential dangerous drugs with no adverse impact on the environment. Gerace says the service will be provided at four locations in the county... and, is free to the public.  He says you can drop off the unused and unwanted prescription drugs this Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM.  The federal Drug Enforcement Agency is partnering with local agencies to put on the program.  Drop off points are the Chautauqua Mall Parking Lot -- in front of the JC Penny store... and, the Southside Plaza in Jamestown.  The other two sites are Alstar Ambulance on Monroe Street in Dunkirk... and, Westfield Family Physicians on Main Street in Westfield. 

 

A town of Ashford man is the second, fatal motorcycle accident victim in Cattaraugus County this week.  State Police in Machias say 52 year-old Roy Beverlin, Junior of Bolton Road was riding on that road Tuesday when his bike missed a curve... and, struck a fence and trees off the west shoulder of the road.  No one saw the accident... so troopers had to reconstruct the crash scene.  A passing motorist found Beverlin unresponsive... and, called 9-1-1.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Some two-dozen fire departments across Chautauqua County will be holding open houses this weekend as part of the ongoing effort to find new recruits.  Recruit-New York is an annual effort to open up local departments to their communities to let people see their operations.  County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says it's put on by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York.  Leone adds FASNY (Fass-Nee) has put on the program for a few years now. Leone says they're not just looking for firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians.  But... he says they also need people who work in accounting... and, other "life skills" areas that are needed to keep such operations going.  If you want to be a firefighter or EMT... Leone says free training is available.  He says local departments recruited just over 60 new members last year to become part of the fire service.  He says they want to improve on those numbers.  Most open houses begin at 10 AM Saturday.  Lakewood will hold one on both Saturday and Sunday.  For more information... call the Department of Emergency Services at 753-4341.

 

Texas Governor Rick Perry is challenging New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to a debate over economic policy as he ventures onto Cuomo's turf.  Perry is visiting New York to coax employers to move to Texas.  A Cuomo spokesman has offered no comment.

WJTN News Headlines


One of four men accused in of murdering a town of Carroll couple in April of last year has accepted a plea deal in exchange for testifying against the other defendants.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 19 year-old Steven Todd of Elmira has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter and, will cooperate with the prosecution.  Foley says Todd was not the only defendent offered a plea deal but, he was the first to accept. Todd was initially charged along with 35 year-old Davide CogginS 22 year-old Joshua McCormick and 19 year-old Rickey Knickerbocker with two counts each of second-degree murder.  However the key defendant is Coggins who has some ties to the area.  He, along with the others, were arrested in Elmira a day after they allegedly murdered 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his 59 year-old wife, Joyce.  Even with the plea deal Foley says Todd still faces some major prision time.  The four men are accused of invading the house the morning of April 17th, 2013 and, killing the Skinners before setting their house on fire to cover up the crime.

 

A no-tax increase budget will go before Jamestown school district voters next May 20th.  That after the school board approved a slightly revised, 75.7-million dollar budget for the 2014-2015 school year last night.  The vote was 6-to-1 following a detailed presentation by Superintendent Tim Mains, and Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow at last night's meeting.  Mains says the presentation was based on discussions at a board work session Monday night where members said they didn't want a tax increase in the budget.  He says they achieved that by making two non-instructional positions half-time another was elimination of the Advanced Learning Program. Mains says the spending plan does increase the budget for staff development by 300-thousand dollars.  He says teaching a small number of teachers about such areas as the Common Core and, hoping that filters through the ranks hasn't worked.  Mains says the teachers need to learn "more specifics."   A public hearing on the spending plan will be held on Tuesday, May 13th at Persell Middle School while the vote is May 20th.  Board member Patrick Slagle cast the lone "no" vote on the budget.

 

New York's comptroller says the state is in a favorable financial position, but relies heavily on borrowing and temporary resources.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report Monday showing the fiscal year-end general fund balance of 2.2-billion dollars was 432-million dollars more than projected in February and the state put money in a ``rainy day fund'' for the first time since 2008.  DiNapoli says the new budget relies on 4.9-billion dollars in temporary state resources and, 2.7-billion dollars in federal aid related to Superstorm Sandy and the Affordable Care Act.  The nearly 140-billion dollar budget authorizes $7.6 billion in new debt through public authorities and an increase of 5.4 percent, or $1.1 billion in school aid. 

 

A required public hearing on the city of Jamestown's annual Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding will be held prior to next Monday night's regular council voting session.  That from city Development Director Vince DeJoy who says Mayor Sam Teresi will hold the hearing at 6:30 PM in Council Chambers.  DeJoy says his department is finalizing the 2014 Action Plan which will later be submitted to the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development. DeJoy says the amount of money available for the city in both the CDBG and HOME Programs is again about one-million dollars after seeing drastic cuts in recent years by the federal government.  He says the allocation is only about 200-dollars lower overall.  DeJoy says while funding remains down they're going to try and continue the programming they have started mainly for low to moderate income housing rehabilitation and demolition projects.  DeJoy says HUD still requires 70-percent of the CDBG funding go towards low to moderate-income programs which in recent years have included Americans with Disabilities Act projects.

 

Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders are suing the team, claiming they weren't paid for their time at football games or mandatory public appearances they say left them open to groping and sexual comments.  Tuesday's lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by its cheerleaders.  The Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals also have pending wage battles.  At a news conference with their attorney, Frank Dolce two members of the Buffalo ``Jills'' squad said they were wrongly classified as independent contractors by Stejon Productions, which failed to pay them for hundreds of hours of work.  A Bills spokesman says the team doesn't comment on pending litigation.  Stejon Productions didn't immediately respond to a request for a response.

 

A new poll of New York voters shows Governor Andrew Cuomo maintaining a double-digit lead over his Republican challenger.  The Siena College poll released yesterday shows the Democrat leading Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino 58-percent to 28-percent.  It was 61-to-26-percent in Siena's poll last month.

 


 

News Update for Tues., Apr. 22, 2014


One of four defendants in Carroll double-homicide accepts plea deal in return for testimony against the others...

One of four men accused in the Carroll double-homicide in April of last year has accepted a plea deal in exchange for testifying against the others.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 19 year-old Steven Todd of Elmira has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter... and, will cooperate with the prosecution.  Todd was initially charged... along with 35 year-old Davide Coggins... 22 year-old Joshua McCormick and 19 year-old Rickey Knickerbocker... with two counts of second-degree murder.  Foley says Todd was not the only one offered a plea.  He says they offered the manslaughter pleas to others... mainly to testify against the prime suspect... believed to be Coggins.  Coggins has some ties to the area.  He... along with the others... were arrested in Elmira a day after they allegedly murdered 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his 59 year-old wife, Joyce.  The four are accused of committing home invasion... and, killing the Skinners berfore setting fire to their Wheeler Hill Road home during the morning hours of April 17, 2013.  After killing the couple the four are accused of setting the home on fire.  Foley says Todd will still face major prison time... even with the plea deal.


Cattaraugus County man killed in motorcycle accident in East Otto...

An elderly man from southern Erie County, New York man has been killed in a motorcycle crash in the Cattaraugus County Town of East Otto.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 79 year-old Paul Maddox of Colden was traveling southwest on Connoisarally Road about 5:30 p.m. Monday when the bike went off the right shoulder of the road.  Deputies say the motorcycle went into a ditch and overturned.  Officers say Maddox was found in the ditch, unresponsive and not breathing.  He was given CPR at the scene... and rushed to Bertrand-Chaffee Hospital in Springsville... where he was later pronounced dead.

WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown police are investigating a shooting incident early last evening at Chadakoin Park in which one person suffered non-life threatening wounds.  However... City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they have no suspect in custody... largely because neither the victim... nor witnesses... are cooperating with police.  Snellings says officers were called to the scene near the basketball courts about 6 PM.... but, he says the victim had already been taken to the hospital. Snellings says the victim suffered several, minor wounds, and was treated and later released.  He says the victim was a black male... which he had no age for.  Snellings says -- the suspect -- who had run off before police arrived -- was apparently hispanic.  However... there was no other description of the man.  Fortunately... no one else was hurt.  He says police don't have a motive for the shooting.  If anyone has any information on the case... they're asked to call city police at 483-7537... or their Tip-Line at 483-8477.

 

Dunkirk Police are continuing their investigation into a shooting that occurred early Easter Sunday morning on East Fourth Street.  However... there have been few new developments in the case so far.  Police Chief David Ortolano tells us that officers responded to a report of a male gunshot victim in Brook's Memorial Hospital's Emergency Room shortly after 3 AM.  Orotolano says they have conducted some interviews. The victim's identity has not been released.  Ortolano is encouraging anyone with information about the shooting to call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266... or the department's confidential tip line at 363-0313.

 

A Binghampton, New York man was seriously hurt when his large truck... which was hauling asphalt... overturned and crashed on Route 59 in Warren County, Pennsylvania.  State Police in Warren say 59 year-old Dennis Korell was eastbound just after 7:30 AM Monday when his rig went off the east shoulder in the S-curves... and, traveled on the soft shoulder until it struck a large rock and guard-rail.  Troopers say the truck then went into a ditch... and, struck an embankment.  Police say the carb then overturned on the driver's side.  The trailer was torn open... spilling it's contents into the nearby creek and Allegheny River.  Troopers say Korell was trapped inside the cab... and, had to be extracated.  He was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for emergency treatment.  Route 59 in that area was closed until about 6:30 last night.

 

Our bitterly cold Winter both helped... and, hurt the city of Jamestown's bottom line in the first quarter of 2014.  That from Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who presented the city's first-quarter financial report at last night's work session.  Bellitto says Jamestown is in "decent shape" on the revenue side... thanks in large part to tax equivalent payments from the Board of Public Utilities.  He says that's especially the case in the electric division where usage was up.  However... Bellitto says the state Comptroller says sales tax revenues may be iffy.
Bellitto says overtime costs are up 31-percent for the first three-months of the year... due mainly to the cold Winter.  But... he says that's down from the 43-percent OT costs were up in the first-quarter of 2013.  Bellitto adds they only have two-month figures on fuel costs from the BPU... but, adds the numbers they do have show a 25-percent increase over last year.  If that keeps up... he says "we could be in trouble."  Bellitto told city lawmakers his other area of concern is in health care costs... which he says are up about 8.5-percent due to some "considerable claims" filed over the past few months.

 

Congress remains on it's Easter Break... but, it's will still be a busy week for local Representative Tom Reed... who has a number of meeting and town hall sessions scheduled across the 23rd District.  Reed says his town hall meetings will be held this coming Saturday... with one in Chautauqua County.  The Corning Republican also says he'll be meeting with business and industry leaders to update them on his bi-partsian Revitalizing American Manufacturing Innovation... or RAMI Act.  Reed says that bill just cleared a Senate Committee. Reed says the need to boost manufacturing in the sprawling 23rd Congressional District is also important to the people he's heard from at Town Hall meetings he's hosted across the district.  He says he's also heard a lot about emphasizing agri-business in the Southern Tier District... and, adds there are a number of exciting opportunities there for dairy products... along with grapes and wine... and, microbreweries.  As for the town hall meetings on Saturday... he says the first will be held at the Chautauqua Town Municipal Building in Mayville at 10:30 AM.

 

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening another man several times with a kitchen knife at a downtown apartment house.  City police were called to the Noeplace Apartments at 207 Spring Street about 11:30 PM Sunday... and they spoke with the victim.  Officers say the man told them that 57 year-old Charles Hough threatened him with the knife.  Hough was taken into custody without incident... and, was arraigned on one count of second-degree menacing before being sent for a mental health evaluation.

News Update! for Monday, Apr. 21, 2014


(Alert)Jamestown police investigating shooting incident at Chadakoin Park...

Jamestown police are investigating a shooting incident early this evening at Chadakoin Park in which one person suffered several minor wounds.  However... City Police Chief Harry Snellings says they have no suspect in custody... largely because neither the victim... nor witnesses... are cooperating with police.  Snellings says officers were called to the scene near the basketball courts about 6 p.m., but, he says the victim had already been taken to the hospital.  He says they spoke with the man... a black male... who refused to cooperate.  Snellings says the victims that would cooperate would only say there were "3 to 4 shots" fired... and, "everybody dispersed from the scene."  Snellings says the victim treated and later released.  He says the victim was a black male... but, he had no age for him.  Snellings says -- the suspect -- who had run off before police arrived -- was reportedly hispanic.  However... there was no other description of the man.  Fortunately... no one else was hurt.  He says police don't have a motive for the shooting.  If anyone has any information on the case... they're asked to call city police at 483-7537... or their Tip-Line at 483-8477.

 

News Update for Mon., Apr. 21, 2014


Central New York man seriously hurt in large truck accident that closes Route 59 in Warren County...

A Binghampton, New York man was seriously hurt when his large truck... which was hauling asphalt... overturned and crashed on Route 59 in Warren County, PA.  State Police in Warren say 59 year-old Dennis Korell was eastbound just after 7:30 this morning when his rig went off the east shoulder in the S-curves... and, traveled on the soft shoulder until it struck a large rock and guard-rail.  Troopers say the truck then went into a ditch... and, struck an embankment.  Police say the carb then overturned on the driver's side.  The trailer was torn open... spilling it's contents into the nearby creek and Allegheny River.  Troopers say Korell was trapped inside the cab... and, had to be extracated.  He was flown to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania for emergency treatment.  Route 59 in that area was closed most of the day.  Several local fire departments... and, state agencies assisted at the scene.


City man arrested for allegedly threatening another with a knife at apartment house....

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening another man several times with a kitchen knife at a downtown apartment house.  City police were called to the Noeplace Apartments at 207 Spring St. about 11:30 last night... and they spoke with the victim.  Officers say the man told them that 57 year-old Charles Hough threatened him with the knife.  Hough was taken into custody without incident.  He was arraigned on one count of second-degree menacing... and, jailed pending a mental health evaluation.


One-car crash in Sheridan sends Sinclairville man to Brook's Hospital...

A one vehicle crash on Route 20 in the town of Sheridan sent a Sinclairville man to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.  State Police in Fredonia say that a car... driven by 85-year-old Henry Stritzki went off the highway... striking a utility pole and rolled over.  Troopers say debris from the vehicle struck a parked vehicle in a nearby driveway, breaking a window.  Sheridan firefighters had to free Stritzki from the vehicle.  Police say he was then taken to Brook's in Dunkirk.  Stritzki was ticketed for moving from lane unsafely.

WJTN News Headlines


A Jamestown man faces a number of charges for allegedly fleeing the scene of a hit-and-run car crash on the city's westside last weekend.  City Police were called to a report of property damage accident at West Eighth and Washington Streets just before 9:30 Saturday morning.  When officers arrived... they were told one of the cars drove off on West Eighth.  Police say that vehicle was later found on Strong Street and Prendergast Avenue where several witnesses saw the driver get out and walk away.  That alleged driver... Gary Woodmansee... was later found by police on Falconer Street.  Following an investigation... Woodmansee was charged with several counts... including driving with a suspended license... driving while intoxicated... and, leaving the scene of property damage accident.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

A major drug bust in Cattaraugus County has taken dozens of bags of heroin off the streets... and, led to the arrest of three people.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they... along with the Olean Police Street Crimes Unit... raided a home at 440 North First Street early last weekend.  Task Force members say they found 60 bags of package heroin... along with a large amount of cash... scales and drug paraphernalia.  Police and Task Force members arrested two Olean residents... 24 year-old Bryant Battle and 20 year-old Ian Mason... and, John Carter-the-third of the Bronx.  All three were charged with Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, jailed pending arraignment.

 

A Brocton man has been arrested on a warrant for allegedly engaging in a criminal sex act in the town of Portland.  Sheriff's officers say 40 year-old Byron Lawton of Webster Road was tracked down by officers... with the assistance of K-9 Drago... late last Saturday night.  Deputies say Lawton was taken into custody without incident... and, arraigned on the warrant for second-degree criminal sex act.  He was sent to the County Jail without bail.

 

Local Congressman Tom Reed says a recently reported effort by several Republicans to possibly replace House Speaker John Boehner after the mid-term elections is nothing but a "bunch of talk."  Reed says he remains behind Boehner... and, his efforts to "change the culture" of Washington, D-C.  The report had a group of "40 to 50" more conservative Republican members looking to replace Boehner.  The Corning Repubican says... under Boehner's leadership... two siginficant changes have come in the way the House of Representatives operates. The report earlier this week said the disgruntled group of Republicans were looking to oust Boehner because they don't feel he's been a strong enough leader for the GOP.  Reed says he's fine with Boehner... and, emphasized that he is NOT part of that effort.  He won a special election to the old Southern Tier District a few years ago with TEA party support.  TEA Party Republicans are reportedly the one's who have been disappointed with Boehner's leadership.

 

The elderly town of Ellicott man who died of apparent smoke inhalation from a fire that destroyed his house in the town of Ellicott has been identified.  93 year-old Arthur Carlson died of smoke inhalation during the blaze... which was called in about 10:40 PM last Thursday.  Chautauqua County Fire investigators say Fluvanna Fire crews found the structure at 31-61 Moon Road fully-engulfed in flames on arrival.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Fluvanna was assisted at the scene by 10 departments.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says, during the firefighting operations... Carlson... was found dead inside the home.

 

It was cool... but, sunny and comfortable for the city of Jamestown's 67th annual Easter Egg Hunt at Allen Park last Saturday morning.  Jamestown Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says they couldn't have ordered better weather for the annual Spring-time ritual... and, thousands of children and their parents were on hand for the event.  Speaking with our Jim Roselle and Russ Diethrick... Ciesla-Hanley thanked the several local organizations and volunteer that allow the event to happen... including the Sertoma Club. Ciesla-Hanley also thanked Roberta Hess... the widow of Mark Hess... for continuing their business's sponsorship of the prizes for the kids who find the two Gold... and, two Silver Eggs.  There were also 30 other prize eggs... and, 13-hundred other eggs.  The city also put out 5-thousand wrapped candies for the egg hunt.   She says residents look forward to the egg hunt each year -- so much so -- that's it's become a generational kind of event.

 

Motorists who repeatedly speed through New York state toll booths without a working E-ZPass would see their vehicle registrations suspended under legislation being considered by lawmakers.  State Senator David Carlucci says that his proposal would allow toll officials to suspend the registration of anyone who racks up five toll violations within 18 months.  Under current law... toll evaders are contacted by a collection agency and only face the loss of their registration if they've committed multiple violations within the same locality.  Carlucci says he hopes lawmakers approve his proposal when they return to Albany later this month.  Governor Andrew Cuomo supports the idea.  Scofflaws ran up 35-million dollars in unpaid tolls and fines on the New York Thruway between 2007 and 2011.

 

A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly committing an assault in the town of Chautauqua.  Sheriff's officers say they arrested 34 year-old David Douglas of Valley Street late last Thursday night on a warrant for second-degree Assault.  Deputies say Douglas was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court... and, sent to the County Jail on 3-thousand dollars cash bail.

News Update for Fri., Apr. 18, 2014


City police release name of child beaten to death in Jamestown Wednesday night...

Jamestown police have now released the name of the 16-month old girl who was 'beaten to death' Wednesday night on the city's southside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says the death has been ruled a homicide... adds the girl's name is Nayla Hodnett.  Samuelson says the child was brought from a home at 218 1/2 Newland Avenue to WCA Hospital's Emergency Room Wednesday night by the girl's mother.  He says the child was later transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... where she later died.  Samuelson says an autopsy was then performed at the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office... and, they ruled the child died of "blunt force trauma."  Samuelson says the medical examiner's office then contacted police at 8 a.m. Thursday... and, they began probing into the death.  He says a warrant was obtained... but, won't say if police found anything.  He says the child's mother and her boyfriend are considered "persons of interest" at this point... and, they are continuing to investigate, and interview relatives and neighbors.  If you have any information on the case... you're asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or their confidential tip-line at 483-8477.

 

 

Fire that destroys Ellicott home north of Jamestown now a fatality...

An unidentified man has died of smoke inhalation from a fire that destroyed his house in the town of Ellicott... just north of Jamestown.  Chautauqua County Fire investigators says Fluvanna Fire crews were called to the scene at 3161 Moon Road about 10:40 p.m. last night... and found the structure fully-engulfed in flames.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Fluvanna was assisted at the scene by Bemus Point... Busti... Ellery Center... Ellington... Falconer... Frewsburg... Gerry... Kennedy... Kiantone... and, Sinclairville Fire Departments.  Investigators say, during the firefighting operations, a male subject was found dead inside the home. County Coroner John Sixbey was called to the scene... and, pronounced the subject dead at the scene.  The home was a total loss.  Investigation into the fire determined that an electrical wire had been compromised in a crawl space under the kitchen of the residence.  The wire shorted out, causing the floor joist to ignite, and the spread to the rest of the house.  No other injuries were reported.  The fire and death are being ruled accidental.

WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown police say a 16-month old girl was killed Wednesday night on the city's southside... and, police says the death was a homicide.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the child was brought from a home at 218-and-a-half Newland Avenue to WCA Hospital's Emergency Room Wednesday night by the girl's mother.  Samuelson says the child was later transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... where she later died of her injuries.  An autopsy at the Erie County Medical Center determined the cause of death was homicide.  Samuelson says police are not releasing the infant's name... but, adds they do have several leads they're tracking down.  He says they are still conducting interviews... and, are asking anyone with information to contact JPD at 483-7537... or their confidential tip-line at 483-8477.

 

Fire Crews were busy fighting a fire overnight in the town of Ellicott. Chautauqua County Dispatch reports that crews were called out to 3161 Moon Road just after 10:30 Thursday night.  Fluvanna was assisted by Busti, Ellery Center, Sinclaireville, Gerry, Bemus Point and Dewitville.  There is no word on whether anyone was home at the time of the fire or of any injuries.  Crews are still on the scene investigating the cause of the blaze.  We'll have more details when they become available.

 

A Chautauqua County Legislature committee has agreed to a loan... and, refund to Forestville to help the village avoid a potential 445-percent property tax increase.  Audit and Control Committee Chairman John Runkle says Thursday morning's vote was a close, 3-to-2.  Runkle says the panel agreed to a 150-thousand dollar loan to the village from the county's Capital Reserve Fund.... and, would be paid back at 2.5-percent interest.  He adds the other key part is agreeing to pay back Forestville just over 87-thousand dollars in landfill tipping fees for an emergency demolition in the village in 2009. Combined... Runkle says that will help the village pay off just over 237-thousand dollars of a total of 400-thousand dollars that's due from the village government to pay off a couple of Bond Anticipation Notes.  He says there are three other parts to the resolution... including having Forestville start to obtain grant monies for a study into dissolving the village.  He says the village board will vote on that item next Tuesday.  Runkle says he's most concerned about the residents ability to keep their homes because a significant, one-time, property tax increase will still be needed to balance the village budget.  Runkle and fellow Republican George Borrello... along with Democrat Shawn Heenan voted for the measure.  Democrats Chuck Nazzaro and Pierre Chagnon (Shag-nun) voted against it.

 

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a phone scam in which the caller says they're a member of the department... and, are calling people regarding a debt on a recent purchase.  The Sheriff's Department says a man received the call from the number 938-9191... which is the department's number.  However... they say the scammer was apparently able to disguise the actual number using a computer program.  In this case... the caller said a company called ACE claimed the money was owed for a tool purchase... and, that if the money wasn't paid... the victim would be arrested.  Officers say the man gave out his credit card information.  Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb says his office does not call people to collect unpaid bills... and, if you receive such a call, do NOT give out any personal bank or credit card information unless you know the organization is legitimate.

 

The Randolph Central School bus driver accused of having inappropriate relations with a 6 year-old boy in March of last year has agreed to a plea deal in the case.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 67 year-old John Hitchcock pled guilty in county court to endangering the welfare of a child to satisfy an indictment against him.  However... Foley says seven counts of first-degree Sexual Abuse against Hitchcock were dropped after lengthy discussions with the child's family.

 

This week's report by the Tax Foundation that recent changes in New York law would raise the state's national corporate tax climate ranking by 21 places is a -- "very positive step forward."  That from Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Tranum... who says the Washington-based organization's findings is a reflection of the hard work they, and other groups have put in on the issue.  The Tax Foundation reports that if ALL the cuts took effect this year, the state's corporate tax rank would go from 25th in the nation to fourth.  Tranum also thanked state lawmakers for moving forward reducing New York's tax burden. Tranum says the steps taken this year are important to not only bringing new business to New York... but, keeping others here and allowing them to expand.  However... he says the Tax Foundation -- a non-profit research group -- also indicated that, overall, the state would only move from 50th to 48th in the U-S... and, more needs to be done to bring down property, and other taxes.  Tranum adds the unemployment insurance tax is another area that needs to be addressed.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have gone up a little over a penny this Easter Week to 3-dollars-74 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  However... some prices as we close out the week have increased to 3-dollars-75 cents to 3--79 a gallon.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge... which reports the current national average price at the pump is 3-dollars-64 cents per gallon.  That's 6-cents more expensive than one week ago.  For the first-time since mid-January... the national average price registered higher than the same date the year prior last Wednesday.  The Triple-A says motorists in the majority of states are now paying a 'year-over-year' premium.  Triple-A ties the increase to refineries drawing down their supplies of gasoline at this time of year so as not to be left with winter-blend fuel that they can no longer sell after May 1st.

 


 

News Alert for Thurs., Apr. 17, 2014


City police investigating death of toddler as a homicide...

Jamestown police say a 16-month old girl was killed Wednesday night on the city's southside... and, police say the death was a homicide.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the child was brought from a home at 218 1/2 Newland Avenue to WCA Hospital's Emergency Room Wednesday night by the girl's mother.  Samuelson says the child was later transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... where she later died of her injuries.  An autopsy at the Erie County Medical Center determined the cause of death was homicide.  Samuelson says police are not releasing the infant's name... but, adds they do have several leads they're tracking down.  He says they are still conducting interviews... and, are asking anyone with information to contact JPD at 483-7537... or their confidential tip-line at 483-8477.

News Update for Thurs., Apr. 17, 2014


Legislature committee approves loan, tax credits for Forestville to help deal with projected 445-percent property tax increase...

The county legislature's Audit and Control Committee has approved a loan... and, tax credits for Forestville so the village doesn't default on two bonds.  Audit and Control Committee Chairman John Runkle says the resolution includes a $150,000 loan from the county's Capital Reserve Fund.... and, would be paid back at 2.5-percent interest before the end of the year.  He says the second big part of the resolution, which was approved, 3-2, is returning $87,000 to the village it had paid in tipping fees for a demolition project in 2009.  Runkle also says a third key area the having Forestville start to obtain grant monies for a study into dissolving the village.  He says the village board will vote on that item next Tuesday.  Runkle says he's most concerned about the residents ability to keep their homes because a significant, one-time, property tax increase will still be needed to balance the village budget.  Runkle and fellow Republican George Borrello... along with Democrat Shawn Heenan voted for the measure.  Democrats Chuck Nazzaro and Pierre Chagnon voted against it.


Hitchcock pleas to endangerment charge in connection with incident with 6 year-old boy in March of 2013...

The Randolph Central School bus driver accused of inappropriate relations with a 6 year-old boy early last year has agreed to a plea deal in the case.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 67 year-old John Hitchcock pled guilty in county court to endangering the welfare of a child to satisfy and indictment against him.  However... Foley says seven counts of first-degree Sexual Abuse against Hitchcock were dropped after lengthy discussions with the family involved.  He says the plea covered the other charges in the original indictment relating to the student.  Foley says his -- "assistant District Attorneys worked closely with the victim's family throughout the investigation of this difficult case and the ultimate resolution."  He says the plea insures that the "very young victim" will be spared the trauma of testifying in court... and held the defendant accountable.  Foley says they met with the family several times... and, we all agreed that this plea was in the best interest of the child.  Cases with such young victims can be quite difficult, not only to prove, but also the impact they can have on these children.  Sentencing is scheduled for next July 14.


Nearly 1-million New Yorker's enroll in insurance coverage in state exchange...

The state Health Exchange says more than 960,000 New Yorkers have enrolled for insurance coverage by the final Tuesday deadline.  The Health Department said Wednesday enrollment for individual and family coverage since October includes more than 435,000 New Yorkers in the exchange's 16 private insurers and more than 525,000 in government-funded Medicaid.  The department says about 360,000 people completed applications, but did not finish the process.  The state says more than 70 percent were uninsured.  Open enrollment ended in March for 2014 coverage at state-approved rates, but the deadline was extended until Tuesday for people who started applying but didn't complete the process.  Individual enrollments will continue for people with special circumstances. Enrollments for Medicaid and for businesses with up to 50 employees will continue.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines


A former corrections officer at the Chautauqua County Jail for more than 20 years faces criminal charges for allegedly having sexual contact with a female inmate.  Sheriff Joe Gerace tells us a grand jury indicted 56 year-old Jeffrey Swan last week.  Gerace says Swan was arrested... and, arraigned on a Felony charge of Criminal Sexual Act.  He says the accusations were brought to his attention several weeks ago... and, his office investigated along with the District Attorney’s Office. Gerace could not comment on whether or not the alleged sex was consensual... but, adds it's never legal.  New York State law says it is impossible for prisoners to voluntarily consent to sexual advances from staff members who exert complete control over their lives, and sometimes their release from prison.  Gerace says Swan is free on bail... pending further court action.

 

A Jamestown man has turned himself in for allegedly being in possession of narcotics at a residence that was recently raided by city police during a drug sweep.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 36 year-old Cesar Soto surrendered to police this (Tuesday) morning after two warrants had been issued for his arrest.  Soto was not at the 20 Willis Street residence when the raid occured on April 2nd.  Police found a quantity of heroin... packaging material... an,d prescription drugs at the location.  Soto is jailed pending arraignment.

 

A spring warm-up didn't last long across much of New York.  A cold front that swept across the region Tuesday left behind several inches of snow and sent temperatures plummeting.  However... in the immediate Jamestown area... we saw less than an inch of snow -- mainly on grassy surfaces.  In addition, some areas along the Black and Moose rivers are under continuing flood warnings.  The Black River in Watertown is 2 1/2 feet above flood stage this morning and not expected to crest until tomorrow evening.

 

The intensely cold Winter... and, a deeper than usual ice cover on Chautauqua Lake is apparently what's triggered a major fish kill along the lake's shoreline.  Hundreds of Silver Bass and Gizzard Shad.... and, other mainly "surface fish..." had been pushed onto land by high winds last weekend.  Chautauqua County's Director of Environmental Health Services, Mark Stow, took a look at an area in Bemus Point Monday... where one-thousand fish washed up. Stow says officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation say such fish die-off is quite natural because the thick ice... cold temperatures and decaying vegetation likely robbed oxygen from the water.  He says the situation is not a health hazard... but, adds there is no agency mechanism in place to dispose of the fish.  With that... he says you have to let nature take it's course.  Stow adds Lake Erie has had a similar die-off.  In an article today in the Jamestown Post-Journal... the DEC is telling lake side residents looking to get rid of the dead carcuses to to dispose of the fish at the county landfill.

 

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino says Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino would make a ``great governor.''  However, in an email to the state GOP chairman, Paladino says Astorino will only win if he appeals to the party's conservative base.  Paladino also told state Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox that he's dropping his efforts to recruit celebrity businessman Donald Trump.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's tax return shows he made just over 188-thousand dollars last year on an advance for his book that's due out in August.  Cuomo's office allowed reporters to examine Cuomo's returns Tuesday, the deadline for filing.  In addition to the book advance... Cuomo reported $175,277 in state compensation.  The return also indicates that Cuomo gave a charitable donation of $16,000 to the HELP USA charity he founded for the homeless before he became governor.  Cuomo paid a total of $102,480 in federal income taxes... and, is due a refund of just over 61-hundred dollars.  The Democrat governor will receive additional installments on his book advance.  Publisher HarperCollins and a Cuomo spokesman declined to provide the total amount of the advance.  The book is entitled ``All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life.''

 

Pre-sale ticket sales are off to a "great start" for the main headliner at this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown.  That from Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center of Comedy Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says they're "very pleased" with pre-sales to Center members so far for the August 9th appearance by Jay Leno.  Gunderson is quick to remind people, though, that Leno will be appearing at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena... which can seat 22-hundred people for such events.  However... she says they're looking forward to having the "public pre-sale" begin this Friday. Gunderson says they were able to work out the logistics to hosting Leno at the arena with arena officials... and, the Gebbie Foundation.   She says they've been "flooded with calls and e-mails..." so, it appears interest will be high for this show.  Gunderson says getting Leno was no small task because Jamestown has to compete with larger markets... and, venues.  Gunderson says the public pre-sale will also be for other events during the August 6th through 10th festival.  For more information... go on-line to LucyComedyFest-dot-COM... or call 484-0800.

 

News Update for Wed., Apr. 16, 2014


Sheriff's Dept. Correction's Officer resigns for allegedly having sex with female inmate at county jail...

A former corrections officer at the Chautauqua County Jail for more than 20 years faces criminal charges for allegedly having sexual contact with a female inmate.  Sheriff Joe Gerace confirms a grand jury indicted Jeffrey Swan last week.  Gerace says Swan was arrested, arraigned... and, resigned from his job.  Gerace says the accusations were brought to his attention several weeks ago... and, his office investigated along with the District Attorney’s Office.  He adds that Swan has been charged with felony third-degree Criminal Sexual Act.  Gerace would not comment on whether or not the alleged sex was consensual... but, says it's never legal.  Under state law.... he says it is impossible for prisoners to voluntarily consent to sexual advances from staff members who exert complete control over their lives, and sometimes their release from prison.


Tenth defendant arrested for narcotics possession in connection with April 2 drug sweep in Jamestown...

A Jamestown man has turned himself in for allegedly being in possession of narcotics at a residence that was recently raided by city police during a drug sweep.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 36 year-old Cesar Soto surrendered to police Tuesday morning after two warrants had been issued for his arrest.  Soto was not at the 20 Willis Street residence when the raid occured on April 2.  A total of nine people were arrested in four separate raids.  Police found a quantity of heroin... packaging material... an,d prescription drugs at the location.  Soto is jailed pending arraignment.


Cody Family Reunion set for July 24-27 in Jamestown, Chaut. Institution...

It's going to be a family reunion like no other late this July in Jamestown... and, at Chautauqua Institution.  The family of "Buffalo Bill" Cody will be here for the International Cody Family Association Reunion.  The head of the Association, Suzanna Cody, says they hold the event every other year... and, had hoped to hold it here two years ago... but, it didn't work out.  She says there was another event that year that took precidence.  Cody first came to Jamestown after the "Buffalo Bill" poster was found behind a brick wall in downtown Jamestown.  She says the Buffalo Bill Museum was re-installation in Cody, Wyoming that family members felt they should support.  The International Cody Family Association Reunion will be held here July 24 through 27... with activities getting fully underway on Friday, July 25.  That will include tours... and, an Honors Dinner at the Gateway Train Station.  On Saturday... the 26th... Suzanna Cody says there will be a lecture at Chautauqua by the new curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum, Jeremy Johnston.  That night... the Cody Family Association will also attend the Chautauqua Symphony Concert at the Amphitheater that night.  For more information on the Cody Family Reunion... go on-line to www.cody-family.org, or call (408) 221-8625.

 

News Headlines for Tues., Apr. 15, 2014


Dramatic weather changes bring sleet, snow today after 74-degree day in Jamestown-area...

The weather changes haven't been quite as dramatic as first believed... but, a cold front from the west has brought mixed precipitation... and, now snow to the Jamestown area.  Forecaster Jason Franklin with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it's still a much different day than yesterday.  Franklin says the big change will arriving later this morning... when we began getting all snow.  The good news -- he says -- is the the morning commute has not been as difficult as was first predicted.  Franklin says the wet snow has made roads a little slick in spots... but, roads are mainly wet this morning.  Temperatures fell about 20-degrees between last night and 5:30 this morning.  It's now hovering around the freezing mark.  Franklin says... depending on where you are... you could see as much as 2 -- maybe 3 -- inches of snow.  Franklin says since the weekend warmed things up quite a bit... the air has not gotten as cold as was initially expected.  That means paved surfaces should be mainly wet... while there may be some snow accumulation on grassy surfaces.  After temperatures drop to about 15 early Wednesday morning... Franklin says we'll begin to see a bit of a warm-up Thursday.


New SAFE Act registration of guns deadline is today...

New gun control rules are kicking in across New York state today... with a deadline for owners to register assault weapons.  The law already has banned new sales of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines.  Critics say hardly anyone has signed up and expectations are that many current gun owners will ignore the registration requirement.  The rules are part of New York's SAFE Act... which was passed by the state legislature in early 2013.


Second-wave of flu hit's New York state...

Health officials say a second wave of influenza has struck this spring and is putting more New Yorkers in the hospital now than in January.  The Albany Times Union reports that a different strain of flu is circulating than the one in midwinter, and people who already had the flu can get it again -- especially if they didn't get the vaccine.  The state Health Department says 648 New Yorkers were hospitalized with influenza during the first week of April.  There were more than 2,500 confirmed cases of flu statewide that week.  Most flu cases earlier this season were H1N1, a type of influenza A.  The latest cases are influenza B.  The Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend that people get flu shots if they haven't this year.


Reed touts tax reform on this Tax Deadline Day, 2014...

The clock is ticking for people who are still finishing up their state and federal tax returns with tonight's Midnight deadline looming.  However... local Congressman Tom Reed is among those on Capitol Hill who want to reform the 70,000 page federal tax code to make it less of a headache for filers.  Reed is reiterating his support of comprehensive tax reform being taken up by the House Ways and Means Committee he belongs to.  With bi-partisan support growing... the Corning Republican says he's hopeful it may come next year.  He says it would mean major savings of an average of $600 to his constituents in the 23rd Congressional District.  Reed says the federal government had determined that the average taxpayer spends about 13-hours a year collecting information... and, filing out tax returns.  He says a draft proposal has been formulated by the Ways and Means... and, Taxation Committees.  Reed contends that their proposed changes would make filing much easier for about 95-percent of the nation's tax filers.  He made his comments during his weekly Media Conference Call.


CleanSweepNY to be held for pesticide disposal in WNY later this month...

The Department of Environmental Conservation is planning its 16th CleanSweepNY program in western New York.  The program gives an opportunity for businesses, farms and schools to properly dispose of unwanted or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.  Empty, triple-rinsed plastic pesticide containers will be accepted for recycling.  The event the week of April 28 includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties.  It's designed for professional pesticide applicators, schools, golf courses, cemeteries and marinas.  The services are not available to homeowners.  Last fall... DEC collected a record-breaking 138,000 pounds of chemicals from 11 counties in the Western Finger Lakes region.  Pre-registration is required by April 25th on-line at www.cleansweepny.org.

 

 

 

 

News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 14, 2014


City homeowner arriving back at residence Sunday afternoon helps prevent major fire on Cutting Street...

A Jamestown man returned to his home shortly after a fire started in his basement Sunday afternoon... and, likely saving the house from extensive damage.  That from Jamestown Fire officials... who say crews were called to the scene at 24 Cutting Street shortly before 2 p.m.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says the owner had come home to find his house full of smoke.  Salemme says most of the fire was out when they arrived... but, some of the fire had traveled up the walls to the attic.  He says they had to pull some parts of the ceiling to reach the fire and fully extinguish it.  Salemme says the area where the blaze started was extensively damage... but, structurally... the home is intact and repairable.  He says fire investigators were able to determine that spontaneous combustion triggered the flames.  Salemme says the homeowner had apparently been working in the basement... and, had thrown some oily rags in a pile... and, overtime they heated up, and started the fire.  He says the home owner was fortunate to return when he did.  No one was hurt.  He says an off-duty shift of nine firefighters was called in to assist... and, fire crews were at the scene until about 4:30 p.m.


Frewsburg woman arrested for Felony DWI Hit and Run accident...

A Frewsburg woman is accused of driving with three-time the legal limit of blood alcohol in her system when her car was involved in a crash in the Jamestown-area hamlet.  Sheriff's deputies say 46 year-old Amy Schultz had already run off from the scene before they arrived at the corner of Ivory and Falconer Streets about 1:30 PM Saturday.  Officers say they got help from witnesses in locating Schultz at her residence... and, she was initially arrested for Driving While Intoxicated... and, leaving the scene.  However... a license check later showed that Schultz had a prior DWI conviction in 2007... making this arrest a Felony.  In addition, the suspect's blood alcohol content was .24%... and, she was also charged with Aggravated DWI.  Officers say, fortunately, no one was hurt in the accident.


Young updates local chamber on state PSC process for allowing NRG Repowering Project to begin...

New York state, NRG and the National Grid Company are getting closer to finalizing the agreement that will allow NRG to move forward with a $150-million plan to upgrade and expand the NRG Plant in Dunkirk.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who helped lead the charge to save the plant from being mothballed late last year.  During the county Chamber of Commerce's annual Legislative Breakfast... Young updated members on the status of the project to convert the plant from coal to natural gas.  She says the most recent comment period just ended on Apr. 5... and, the comments are now being evaluated.  Young says the next big date is May 8... when the Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing on a final determination to allow a final contract to be negotiated between NRG and National Grid.  Young also took time to thank chamber members... who worked hard to make sure the county's voice was heard regarding the need to keep the NRG plant open, and converting it to a natural gas-fired facility.  Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled through snow storm last Dec. 15 to announce in Dunkirk that a final agreement plan to repower and expand the Dunkirk Power Plant.


New, high tech control center ready to go on-line...

New York's electrical grid is getting a new high-tech control center.  The New York Independent System Operator will officially unveil its new, $38-million control center near Albany on Tuesday.  Grid operators say the new control center will increase reliability and security.  The control center is part of ``smart grid'' initiative that will match electricity production with consumer demand.  The independent operator oversees the market as well as operating the state's electrical grid.


Jamestown to receive $80,000 more in CHIPS funding for pothole and street repairs...

The city of Jamestown will be getting another $80,000 in state funding to help with pothole and street repair following the harshest Winter season in recent memory.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says the city just learned it'll be receiving the additional funds from the $40-million allocated by the state legislature to help with the repairs.  The frigid cold... along with brief thaws... wrecked havoc on street and highways across the region.  Teresi thanked lawmakers... especially in the state Senate... where the funding originated.  He says the funding was absolutely necessary.  Teresi says the money will come from the state's Consolidated Highway Improvement Program -- or CHIPS funding.  He says the city's allocation in the final, 2014-2015 budget will be nearly $800,000.  Teresi says it's welcomed news because the city's Public Works crews have been out patching up the bigger trouble spots around the city.  He adds they won't have quite as long a list of street repair and replacement projects because more "minor road repairs" have to be made first.  Teresi made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.


 

News Update for Fri., Apr. 11, 2014


City, state police raid two locations, arrest four in connection with illegal drug trafficking...

Four people have been arrested in two separate drug raids in Jamestown early this morning that targeted the sales and trafficking of heroin and cocaine.  City Police Captain Robert Samuelson says the first raid took place about 6:15 a.m. at 14 West Ninth St., where three warrants were served on three apartments.  Samuelson says officers arrested 31 year-old Wilfredo Hernandez, Junior... 21 year-old Carl Tufino... and, 20 year-old Ashlyann Lopez.  He says JPD Swat Team and State Police C-NET Team members also seized a quantity of heroin... crack cocaine... marijuana... drug paraphernalia and cash.  Samuelson says the fourth search warrant was served at 616 Lafayette Street... where they arrested 22 year-old Bryan Willis of Dunkirk.  There... they found a loaded, 32-calibur semi-automatic pistol.  Willis... a parolee... was charged with Felony second-degree degree criminal possession of a weapon.  All four suspects have been jailed pending arraignment... and, additional charges are pending.  Anyone with information on illegal sales of narcotics in Jamestown area urged to call city police at 483-7531... or the Tip-line at 483-TIPS.

WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown police and school district officials are continuing to investigate a situation where a "number of students" were allegedly found in possession of... or having knowledge of marijuana at Washington Middle School.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says the incident was reported late Wednesday afternoon by the school principal.  Mains says they took "swift and decisive action..." and, called Jamestown police to assist in the investigation.  City Police Chief Harry Snellings says their officers, and K-9 unit were involved, but, declined further comment.

 

An incident where a man apparently tried to lure a teenaged girl into his car near Silver Creek Central School late Wednesday afternoon is getting a lot of attention.  And, Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the 13-year-old girl did the right thing.  The teen was walking on Bennett State Road shortly before 4 PM when she was asked by the driver of a dark green SUV/Jeep style vehicle if she would like a ride. The youth did not get into the vehicle... and, continued to walk away from it.  Gerace says they don't know the driver's intent, but you can't take any chances. Sheriff's Department patrol units were sent to the scene... but, were unable to locate the vehicle.  Police described the driver as 50 to 60 years-old, wearing glasses with white hair with a mustache... and, having an average build.  Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff's office.

 

New York’s teachers union elected a new president this week, in a sign that union members, teachers and professionals in the state’s public schools want a stronger stance on a number of issues.  Karen Magee is a 30-year veteran teacher... and, union leader from Harrison in Westchester County who replaces nine-year incumbent Dick Iannuzzi.  Magee says she has a firm mandate from New York State United Teachers members.
Magee looks to press aggressively on issues such as teacher evaluations using Common Core testing... while healing what she called a "fractured" relationship between the union and Governor Andrew Cuomo.  She says her new presidency offers a chance to "reset" relationships between the governor and State Education Commissioner John King, Junior... who was the target of an NYSUT vote of "no confidence" this past weekend.

 

Federal prosecutors in New York City say they're taking the remaining files from the state anti-corruption commission now shutting down and plan to complete its investigations.  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara requested the Moreland commission's ``important and unfinished work'' investigating New York political corruption.  He tells the commissioners in a letter that the closing was ``premature.''

 

A water system that serves the entire north county was the focus of the second meeting of the Chautauqua County Water Agency last night in Silver Creek.  County officials... including Executive Vince Horrigan... were on hand to provide the figures for all of the options concerning a regional water project to panel members.  Horrigan said he was looking to come to "a conclusion on the best configuration, and method to go foward...."  However... there is some disagreement among the ranks.  Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe earlier said he backs a proposal by Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce that would allow Dunkirk, Fredonia and Brocton to continue to be water providers.  He calls the plan supported by the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation "convoluted" since it would not include Fredonia's gravity-fed system.

 

A total of 16 third through 12th graders have been honored as winners in the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council's 13th annual Poster Contest.  CASAC Executive Director Pat Munson says first through third-places and two honorable mentions were awarded for each of three age groups during the program at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown.  Munson says this year's theme was "What Keeps Me Above the Influence..." and, she adds more than 300 students took part county-wide.  She says determining the finalists was tough. Munson says the Grand Prize winner of 100-dollars was sophomore Ellysa Maze of Cassadaga Valley Central School.  She adds the first place winner in the third-through fifth-grade catagory was Kristen DeBicki of Sinclairville Elementary School.  The winner in the 6th through 8th-grade age group was Jefferson Middle School's Sarah Marucci... and, Pine Valley's Meagan Tyler was first in the 9th through 12th grade group.  Each of those winners received 50-dollar prizes.  The program was supported by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and, Cummins Engine Company.

 

Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins is kicking off his campaign for New York governor, vowing to build on his third-place finish four years ago. Hawkins announced his campaign today. He says that if elected he would support raising the minimum wage, more investments in renewable energy and public transportation, a ban on hydraulic fracturing and higher taxes on wealthy earners.

News Update for Thurs., Apr. 10, 2014


JPS Superintendent issues statement on situation involving marijuana possession at Washington Middle School Wednesday afternoon...

Jamestown police and school district officials are continuing to investigate a situation where a "number of students" were allegedly found in possession of... or having knowledge of marijuana at Washington Middle School.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says the incident was reported late yesterday afternoon by the school principal.  Mains says they took "swift and decisive action..." and, called Jamestown police to assist in the investigation.  Officials say the school was in lock-down for a short period of time.  Mains says "all students involved in the situation are being dealt with according to district disciplinary guidelines."  Mains says no identifies are being released.  He adds that -- "I take this situation seriously, and I ask for your help in addressing the important issue of drugs in the schools.  Mains says if any person in the community has knowledge of drugs in any Jamestown school... he asks you to contact the principal... or his office immediately.  He says the district -- "has a zero tolerance policy for drugs in our schools and will take swift and appropriate action against anyone violating that policy."  Mains is out of town and not available for comment today.  City Police Chief Harry Snellings says their officers, and K-9 unit were involved, but, declined further comment.


Sheriff's officers investigating possible abduction attempt; praise teen for walking away...

Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers are on the look-out for a middle-aged, white male who allegedly tried a lure a female youth into his SUV near Silver Creek Central School late yesterday.  Deputies were called to the scene on Bennett State Road just before 4 p.m. Wednesday on the report of a man... who's described as between 50 and 60 years-old... asking the girl -- who was reportedly in her early teens -- if she needed a ride.  Officers say the girl did not get in the SUV... and, walked away from the car.  The suspect is further described as having an average build... and, was wearing glasses... with white hair... and, a mustache. Deputies say they wanted to alert the public to the situation... and, ask anyone with information on the situation to contact the Sheriff's Office... or your local police agency.

WJTN News Headlines


Legendary comedian and retired "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno will be the main headliner at this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Jamestown.  That announcement was made early this (Wednesday) afternoon during a press conference at the Gateway Train Station.  Lucy-Desi Center of Comedy Director Journey Gunderson says they're "very excited" to have the 63 year-old Leno perform.  Gunderson adds the "timing is fantastic" with the center vying to be home to the National Comedy Center. Gunderson says while Leno retired after just over two-decades of hosting "The Tonight Show..." he never expressed a desire to retire from doing stand-up comedy.  In fact... she says the demand for Leno and his stand-up show has "skyrocketed."  With that... his 8 PM Show on Saturday, August 9th... will be held at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.  She says that's because the Rink "A" area can seat 22-hundred people.  The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts seats 12-hundred-70.  Gunderson adds that Lucie Arnaz... the daughter of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz... will do a musical performance prior to Leno's appearance.  Pre-sale tickets for the festival go on sale for center members, sponsors and supporters this Friday... and, public pre-sale begins at Noon on Friday, April 18th. 

 

Almost lost in the excitement of the announcement Jay Leno will headline the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival this August is who the other headliner will be... and, he's no stranger to TV audiences, either.  Comedian Tom Cotter will be performing at the Reg Lenna Civic Center for the Arts on Friday, August 8th -- the night before Leno's appearance.  Cotter was runner-up after reaching the finals of "America's Got Talent."  Prior to that... Lucy-Desi Center Director Journey Gunderson says Cotter won major comedy competition's in Seattle... Boston... and, Las Vegas. Gunderson adds that one positive about Leno and Cotter is they're both considered "clean comedians..." meaning their material is suitable for most ages.  On Thursday night... she says the festival will host it's annual "Comics to Watch" stand-up showcase at the Reg Lenna.  It will feature Comedian Caroline (Caro-Line) Rhea... who starred in the TV show "Sabrina the Teenage Witch..." and, was former host of "The Biggest Loser."  The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will feature several other events and personalities... and, runs from August 6th through 10th.  For more information... go on-line to lucycomedyfest-dot-COM... or call 484-0800.

 

Chautauqua County Fire Investigators say someone intentionally set fire to a large apartment house in the village of Westfield early Wednesday morning.  Westfield firefighters were called to the scene at 41-43 Clinton Street shortly before 2 AM.  Westfield had help from Portland, Brocton, Fredonia, Ripley, Sherman and Northeast, Pennsylvania at the scene.  Sheriff's Department Fire investigators say the blaze started in the rear portion of the house.  They later determined that trash placed against the building was intentionally set on fire,...igniting the wooden exterior of the building.  We have learned that the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire.  There were no reports of any injuries.

 

The village of Forestville is continuing to work on ways to reduce a proposed, 445-percent hike in the property tax rate.  If left unchanged... it could give Forestville the dubious distinction of having the highest tax rate in the state.  That worse case scenario drew a large crowd for Wednesday night's budget hearing.  We reached Mayor Kevin Johnson Wednesday.  Johnson says much of the increase is due to two bank notes that have come due.  The small village owes a massive total of 400-thousand dollars. The village is looking at a plan to pay off one of the notes... which totals 150-thousand dollars.  That would help reduce the tax hike to a 250-percent increase.  But... Johnson says using "cash on hand" puts other items they were going to pay on in jeopardy.  The village is still hoping to get assistance from the state... but, so far Johnson says State Senator Cathy Young hasn't been able to find any help.  Johnson, who just became mayor on Monday, admits there has been a lot of mismanagement in the past.  But... instead of blaming previous leaders, Johnson says it's more important for everyone to work together to resolve the current crisis.  The village has until April 30th to adopt a final budget.

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area remain relatively stable as we end the week.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas rose just a fraction of a penny this week to 3-dollars-72 cents.  On the National scene... Triple-A says the average, national retail price at the pump is 3-dollars-59 cents per gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says this is 3-cents more than one week ago... but, is still almost a penny per gallon less expensive than the same date last year.  Motorists have enjoyed a year-over-year savings at the pump for 81 consecutive days.  Gasoline prices in 36 states and Washington D.C. have moved higher over the last week.  News that Libyan rebels have agreed to reopen two of four closed oil ports in that country added downward pressure to oil prices Monday.  Following an eight-month closure, the two ports will return a combined 180-thousand barrels per day of crude oil supply to the global market.

 

A New York state contractor hired to handle paper tax returns cost the state millions in overtime and made mistakes in nearly one quarter of the returns it processed last year.  The criticisms are outlined in an audit released Wednesday by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.  The audit estimates that the contractor introduced errors into 22 percent of the 2-million returns it handled.  The contractor was also late in processing 90 percent of the returns.  The three-year, $16 million contract is held by New York State Industries for the Disabled, who partnered with a business called SourceHOV to process the returns.  The state's tax department racked up $6 million in overtime to correct the problems.  The department says it improved its oversight of the contractor to prevent similar problems this year.

News Alert! for Wed., Apr. 9, 2014


(*Alert)Jay Leno to be main headliner for Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown Aug. 9...

Officials with the Lucille Ball Center of Comedy have pulled off a "coup" in landing legendary comedian and retired "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno to be the main headliner at this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.  The annoucement was made Wednesday afternoon at Jamestown Gateway Train Station by Center Director Journey Gunderson.  Gunderson says they're "very excited" about getting the 63 year-old Leno... who'll appear Saturday night, Aug. 9.  She adds it took a lot of "persistance and patience" to land the still very-popular entertainer.  Gunderson adds that landing Leno... just two months after he retired from "The Tonight Show..." is "fantastic."  Since they were able to book him... center officials have worked with the Gebbie Foundation and the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena to allow him a bigger venue.  They'll host the performance in Rink "A" of the arena... which... with floor seating... can hold 2,200 people.  Gunderson says Leno still enjoys doing stand-up... and, interacting with the audience.  Before Leno takes the stage... she says Lucie Arnaz... the daughter of the late Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz... will do a short, musical performance.  Pre-sale tickets for the festival go on sale for center members, sponsors and supporters this coming Friday... and, the Public pre-sale begins at Noon on Friday, April 18. 


Apartment house fire in Westfield ruled arson...

County Fire Investigators now say arson is the cause of an early morning fire Wednesday that that caused significant damage to a large apartment house in the village of Westfield.  Westfield fire crews were called to the scene at 41-43 Clinton Street shortly before 2 a.m.  Investigators say the blaze began in the back part of the structure... which was unoccupied at the time.  The Fire Investigation Team has determined that trash placed against the building was intentionally set on fire,...igniting the wooden exterior of the building.  Westfield had help from Portland, Brocton, Fredonia, Ripley, Sherman and Northeast, Pennsylvania at the scene.  No injuries were reported in the blaze.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Two Brocton men have been arrested for allegedly burglarizing the St. Stephen's Hotel in the village early yesterday morning.  Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene at 2 West Main Street overnight... and, their investigation led to the arrests of 20 year-old Ricky Grant and 24 year-old Adam Neubauer... both of 7 West Main Street.  Officers say they also recovered several items from the St. Stephens.  Both Grant and Neubauer were arraigned on charges of third-degree burglary... criminal mischief... and, petty larceny.... and, sent to the County Jail on 15-thousand dollars bail each.  Deputies applied for a warrant on Ricky Grant... and, the warrant was filed as a detainer against Grant... who was already in the County Jail on unrelated charges.

 

It was Pay Equity Day across the United States Tuesday.  It's to commemorate the number of additional days women in the United States need to work to make what their male counterparts did through the end of 2013.  That from the president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women... Maggie Irwin... who says -- on average -- women make about 77-cents for every dollar men earn. Irwin says they're encouraged by the status of legislation before Congress -- and, action taken during the Obama Administration to bring more pay equity.  The White House has been criticized because the ratio there is 88-cents for every dollar.  In New York... Irwin says women make 84-cents for every dollar a man makes.  Locally... Irwin says they're commemorating the day with a 20-percent off special for ladies at 5 local restaurants.  Cibo's (Chee-bos), Shawbucks Press Room, the Babaloo Cafe, and Labrynth Press were offering lunch specials... while dinner was avalable at that 20-percent off figure at the Landmark Restaurant.

 

The state Health Exchange says 1.26-million New Yorkers have completed applications for insurance while more than 900-thousand have enrolled for specific coverage.  The Department of Health says enrollment for individual and family coverage since October includes nearly 422-thousand New Yorkers in the 16 commercial and nonprofit insurers in the exchange... and, nearly 487-thousnad in government-funded Medicaid.  More than 70 percent were uninsured.

 

Sexual assault and domestic violence have permiated all segments of society... and, Chautauqua County's Congressman is standing up with fellow lawmakers to bring awareness to a new campaign to end it.  Corning Republican Tom Reed recently spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in favor of legislation to encourage prevention... and, support of victims.  Reed's family knows all too well about that.  His niece was the victim of a rape just over a year ago. Reed says he's proud of his niece... and, the way she handled the adversity.  He says the national "No More" campaign says one-in-three women and one-and-four men will experience violence from their partners in their life-time.  Reed says he's joined with a Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore to co-sponsor the measure to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  He adds it's important in trying to "eradicate" sexual violence from our society that people "speak out" about it openly.  Reed made his comments during his weekly Conference Call with Southern Tier Media.

 

The city of Jamestown's 67th annual Easter Egg Hunt is set for a week from this Saturday... April 19th... at Allen Park.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the free event will take place in the Upper Level of the park where the playgrounds are located.  Ciesla-Hanley says they're excited about this year's event because with Easter being later this year... the weather should be better for an outdoor hunt.  Last year... she says it has to be moved into the old Allen Park Ice Rink. Ciesla-Hanley adds, though, that it's nice to have the old ice rink ready at a moment's notice if the weather becomes a problem.  She says there will be over 13-hundred eggs hidden in the Hunt area... along with more than 5-thousand pieces of wrapped candy.  Ciesla-Hanley says two Gold and two Silver Eggs will hidden in the park... and, the children finding those will receive first and second-prizes in the hunt in memoriam of Mark Hess of Hess Enterprises.  There will also be 30 other prize eggs... and, Ciesla Hanley says the Easter Bunny will arrive to help kick off the event at 10:30 AM.  Children ages 12 and under are invited to take part.

 

No one was hurt in a fire that destroyed a home just south of Clarendon, Pennsylvania last Sunday morning.  The Warren Times-Observer says Clarendon fire crews were called to the scene at 10379 Route 6 in Weldbank about 4 AM... and, found the house heavily engulfed in flames.  First Assistant Fire Chief Andy Jones says no one was home at the time of the blaze.  Jones adds two vehicles parked next to the home were also destroyed.  He says there was some heat damage to a neighboring home.  Clarendon was joined at the scene by Sheffield... Cherry Grove... Glade and Pleasant fire companies.  Firefighters returned to the scene to douse hot spots about 10:30 Sunday morning.

 

Pennsylvania transportation officials say the number of highway deaths in the state dropped to 12-hundred-8 last year.  PennDOT said Tuesday that represents the lowest figure since highway fatality records began to be collected in 1928.  Officials say there were declines over the previous year in the number of people who died not wearing seatbelts, the number of speed-related fatalities and the number of single-vehicle crashes in which the operator drove off the roadway.  Highway deaths in which a driver had been drinking fell from 377 in 2012 to 342 in 2013.  Deaths involving drivers over age 75, distracted drivers and head-on or opposite direction side swipe crashes all experienced increases last year.


 

WJTN News Headlines


The second Jamestown man wanted as a "Person of Interest" in connection with the March 26th armed robbery at the CVS Store in Brooklyn Square is jailed on 50-thousand dollars bail.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 29 year-old Dennis Harmon was taken into custody during a routine traffic stop in the city last Saturday night.  Samuelson says Harmon was a passenger in the car... and, was arrested for violating conditions for City Drug Court. Samuelson says Harmon is currently jailed on a charge of Violation of Drug Court... and, a new charge of Felony Drug Possession just leveled Monday morning.  He's says it's not clear yet how soon Harmon will be charged in connection with the actually robbery at CVS. Samuelson says Harmon was arrested without incident... and, is being held on the drug possession and violation charges... pending arraignment in city court.  The primary suspect... 23 year-old Thomas Lawson of Jamestown... was arrested last Thursday afternoon.  Samuelson says several citizen tips assisted in locating Lawson... who had been leasing out Van's Texas Hots on North Main Street.  After obtaining a search warrant... police say they found several items allegedly taken in the CVS robbery.  Lawson is also accused of holding up the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street on March 24th.

 

Jamestown school officials have used a combination of added state aid... budget and program adjustments... and, elimination of eight positions to produce a 2014-15 budget that slightly increases taxes.  That from Superintendent Tim Mains... who outlined the 76-million dollar spending plan with Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow at last night's school board meeting.  Mains feels, though, that the 1.31-percent tax increase is "reasonable, realistic, and responsible."  He says district officials decided to restore 400-thousand dollars to the district's fund balance... or "rainy day fund..." because it had become so depleted the past five years. While eight positions are being cut to save 408-thousand dollars... but, Mains says only one of those positions will be an actual lay-off.  That's for an assistant for the Out-of-School Suspension program.  The other staff reductions are mainly through retirements.  Mains says the big reason actual spending is only up point-67 percent is due to an additional 1.9-million dollars in state aid the district is receiving.  Under the state's 2-percent property tax cap formula...the district could increase the levy by up to 1.46-percent and not need a "supermajority" public vote on May 20th.  If adopted, the proposed budget would increase the levy by just over 192-thousand dollars.

 

The head of the Jamestown School Board is pleased that the additional state aid has made the district's budget process more "manageable."  Board members got their first look at the proposed budget with final aid during last night's meeting.  Board President Joe DiMaio says he was pleased the district received another 1.9-million dollars -- mainly in one area -- to help avoid major lay-offs and a big tax increase.  DiMaio also thanked many in the large gathering on hand for last night's meeting for writting their state lawmakers. Under Governor Cuomo's proposal... the Jamestown district's budget gap was 2.55-million dollars.  DiMaio says he had hoped the state would go further, and completely eliminate the "Gap Elimination Adjustment..." but, he said the changes were a good start.  The district received 1.4-million dollar more in Foundation Aid... and, 476-thousand dollars in additional GEA funding.  DiMaio says they'll now further crunch... and, review the numbers before adopting the budget at the board's next meeting on Tuesday, April 22nd.  

 

Many gun owners expect the deadline for registering assault weapons under New York's strict new law to be largely ignored.  The state law passed soon after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in neighboring Connecticut immediately banned New York sales of semi-automatic weapons with detachable magazines and one military-style feature.  For an estimated one-million older guns already owned by New Yorkers the law requires registration by April 15th.  Critics say hardly anyone is signing up.  A few thousand people gathered in Albany last week to protest the law and registration.

 

Some of the grapes no longer taken by Carriage House are going to Welch's.  Regional Manager Jim Joy is with the National Grape Cooperative... which owns Welch's.  Joy says they were looking to add grapes at the same time many vineyard owners were getting cancellation notices from ConAgra -- which owns Carriage House.
Joy says despite the many challenges in the juice business... Welch's continues to grow.  This week... he says the company is putting out a brand new product at stores throughout the country.  It's called "Farmer's Pick..." which is a new, unfiltered, natural product.  Their prime flavor is Concord Grape... which is grown locally.  Joy made his comments during the Farm Bureau's Pride of Chautauqua, where the new 'Farmer's Pick' products were being sampled by the public.  Joy said the response was 'terrific'. 

 

Incumbent New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is rejecting public campaign financing for his fall re-election bid, although any opponents can still use it. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature last week authorized testing public financing in one statewide election this year -- the race for comptroller.

News Update! for Mon., Apr. 7, 2014


(**Update!)City man sought as "Person of Interest" in CVS store robbery arrested...

The second Jamestown man wanted in connection with the March 26th armed robbery at the CVS Store in Brooklyn Square has been arrested on a violation of probation warrant.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 29 year-old Dennis Harmon was taken into custody during a routine traffic stop in city last Saturday night.  Samuelson says Harmon was a passenger in the car... and, was arrested for violating conditions for City Drug Court.  Up to this point... Harmon had been a "person of interest" in the case... but, Samuelson says he was also found in possession of a quantity of prescription drugs -- believed taken from the store.  The arrest took place about 7 p.m. last Saturday.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Excess lint in a dryer vent pipe is the apparent cause of a fire that's signficantly damaged a Falconer apartment house... leaving the one tenant there temporarily homeless.  Chautauqua County Fire Investigators say Falconer fire crews were called to the scene at 174 South Work Street just before 10:30 last Saturday night.  Officials say the first floor apartment was vacant... and, one person lived in the upstairs dwelling.  Fire officials say the tenant got out safely.  Investigators determined the blaze was accidental in nature.  No other inuries were reported.  Falconer was assisted at the scene by Gerry, Jamestown, Kennedy, and Kiantone fire crews.  The unidentified resident is being assisted by the Red Cross.

 

Last month's "Community Drug Forum" put on by Chautauqua County was a "great first step" in raising awareness of the optiate drug addition problem facing the area.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who organized the day-long session in Mayville back on March 12th.  Horrigan says they're beginning to take the next steps in putting together three action teams to develop strategies to deal with the problem -- especially the skyrocketing use of Heroin as a replacement for pain killers. Horrigan says the three teams will each deal with one main area of illegal drug use.  One is advocacy and education... the second is prevention... and, the third is treatment for people who are addicted.  Despite the weather on the day of the "Community Drug Forum..." Horrigan says he was very pleased to see over 200 people take part in the program.  He says it's brought a new "awareness" of the problem here... and, emphasizing that -- while it's a nationwide issue -- it's also "our problem."

 

A legislative task force in New York is taking a look at ways to address the rise in heroin and opioid abuse.  Beginning tomorrow... the State Senate task force is holding 12 forums around the state to gather information about the increase in opiate use.  The bipartisan task force was created to recommend better treatment and prevention programs.  Tuesday's forum is scheduled for 10 AM at the Suffolk County Community College's Brentwood Campus.  The task force is chaired by Republican Senator Phil Boyle, who leads the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

 

New York state's new budget allots 400-thousand dollars for a pilot program to train police officers in dealing with the mentally ill.  Mental health advocates proposed the training to help officers assess and de-escalate confrontations when called to incidents involving psychologically troubled people.  The so-called Crisis Intervention Team model is already used in some form by 2,700 jurisdictions nationwide.  It teams police officers with mental health professionals.  The program includes guidance for 911 dispatchers on gathering information on mental health and addiction issues.  It also includes 40 hours of training for patrol officers on topics like maintaining a safety zone while assessing the situation... and, avoiding the temptation to immediately answer a crisis with force.

 

An influential rating agency is giving a positive review to the state budget just approved by New York lawmakers.  Moody's Investors Service says Friday the nearly 140-billion dollar budget signed Tuesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo is a ``credit positive.''  Moody's analysis singles out investments in education and praises state leaders for reaching a deal before the end of the fiscal year.  The 138-billion dollar spending plan expands pre-kindergarten education and provides tax relief to homeowners and corporations.  It comes with an additional $5 billion in one-time federal aid for Superstorm Sandy rebuilding and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act for uninsured New Yorkers.

 

Dunkirk Mayor A-J Dolce has come out with his take on a regional water project... and, he doesn't back a plan that would create a North County Water District.  Speaking Friday morning in Dunkirk... Dolce says a regional approach could be taking using the current water providers, including the city of the Dunkirk and the villages of Fredonia and Brocton. Based on figures developed by city officials, Dolce believes a North County Water District would be more costly for each municipality involved... and, he believes his proposal would be less complex.  He says lines would have to be upgraded, and you would need inter-municipal agreements so one system wouldn't "take another's customers."  While he did not comment directly on the mayor's response... County Executive Vince Horrigan says he welcomes the discussion during the County Water Agency's next meeting. Even though he doesn’t support a North County Water District... Dolce says he is also willing to listen.  The County Water Agency will be meeting next Thursday in Silver Creek.

 

New York state's major teachers union has elected its first female president.  Karen Magee, an elementary and special education teacher, is the new head of the 600,000-member New York State United Teachers.  She was elected Saturday by a majority of about 3-thousand union delegates.  Magee succeeds Richard Iannuzzi for a three-year term.  The 54-year-old Magee is a lifelong resident of West Harrison, in Westchester County.  She started her career there as an elementary school teacher and has been president of the Harrison Association of Teachers for 11 years.  She says she will defend public education while criss-crossing the state in the coming weeks.


 

Bemus Point Easter Egg Hunt Cancelled


The Bemus Point Easter Egg Hunt scheduled for today at 10am has been cancelled due to windy weather conditions.  It has been rescheduled for tomorrow, April 5th at 12 PM

News Headlines for April 5, 2014


Traffic Stop Turned Cocaine Arrest

   A Jamestown man is jailed on $1500 bail for allegedly being found in possession of a small amount of cocaine and, a hypodermic needle during a routine traffic stop on the Eastside early Friday morning.  Jamestown police say they pulled over a 2005 Ford Escape just before 3 AM at the corner of Buffalo Street and Pratt Avenue for making an improper turn and, having darkened windows. 
   Officers say they learned that 39 year old Miguel Soto was driving with a suspended license and, further investigation found he was in possession of the drugs and drug paraphernalia.  Police say he was arrested and, charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument, and a number of traffic infractions including failure to comply with an emergency vehicle.  He was arraigned and, sent to the county lock-up.

 

Teresi on State Budget

    Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says it's "significant" that the state has a fourth-straight, on-time budget for fiscal year 2014-2015.  Lawmakers approved the $138-billion spending plan earlier this week.  Teresi says it's a "positive" to have another on-time budget.  However, he does have some concerns about the spending plan.  One of them is how the new, two-year property tax freeze is going to work.  In the first year, muncipalities need to keep their tax increase within 2% and, the following year, include a plan for consolidating services or other savings.  Teresi says he wants what Jamestown has done over the past 14 years considered and, he told state lawmakers just that.
    Teresi says his second concern is the fact there is no mandate relief in this budget plan after there were a few in the first 3 budgets under the Cuomo administration.  He says that's the quickest way to lower the property tax burden.  However... Teresi says one of the big pluses in this budget is about $40-million set aside for pothole, and road repair due to the harsh Winter we've endured.

 

St. Susan's Basket Fair Set for TODAY   

    Officials with the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen are hoping a new venue will make their 11th annual Basket Fair the biggest, and best one yet.  The St. Susan's Center's yearly event is set for today and, is one of their biggest fundraisers each year.  This year it's being held at Jamestown Community College's Physical Education Complex.  St. Susan's Director Sue Colwell says the fair begins at 11 AM and, continues until 3 PM.  Colwell says they have three major gift baskets worth 500-dollars each to be auctioned off.  Prizes in these baskets include an Apple iPad, Nikon camera, Amazon gift card, and Kindle.
    Colwell says they have about 100 other baskets they'll be selling off as well.  She and the others putting on the program are "very excited" about this year's fund-raiser.  But, she adds it's all a "very important" one as they strive to be as "self-sustaining" as possible.  Colwell says they've especially been helped by local foundations to keep the soup kitchen operating in the wake of increased demand for their services.  She says bidding on the prize baskets begins after lunch -- which begins at Noon.

 

Protection Against Surprise Medical Bills

    New York has decided that starting next year, patients will be protected against surprise out-of-network medical bills that have pushed some toward personal bankruptcy.  The measure, signed into law this week, is scheduled to take effect next April 1st.  Meanwhile, insurance officials will write regulations on coverage, disclosures to patients and establish an arbitration process intended to settle related billing disputes between doctors and insurers, leaving patients out of them.  Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky says his department receives thousands of complaints annually from insured patients stuck with huge bills.  The measure, proposed by the Cuomo administration and approved by the Legislature, will require doctors and hospitals to more clearly notify patients about who's in their insurance networks and who's not.

News Alert! for Fri., Apr. 4, 2014


Second "person of interest" in connection with 7-Eleven, and CVS robberies identified...

Jamestown police have identified a second "person of interest" in connection with the March 26 robbery at the CVS store in Brooklyn Square.  City Police Captain Robert Samuelson says they're asking for the public's help in finding 29 year-old Dennis Harmon... and, they're urging anyone who knows of his whereabouts to call 483-7531... of their anonymous tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Samuelson says there is an outstanding warrant for Harmon's arrest for violating conditions of Drug Treatment Court.


City police arrest first of the two suspects in 7-Eleven, and CVS robberies...

Citizen tips are being credited with helping Jamestown police track down... and, arrest one of the two suspects involved in the recent robberies at the 7-Eleven... and, CVS stores.  Captain Samuelson says an initial tip early on in the investigation eventually left them to 23 year-old Thomas Lawson late yesterday.  Samuelson says he was located at the business he leases on North Main Street... Van's Texas Hots.  Samuelson declined to say if the knife allegedly used was found.  However... some of the proceeds from the CVS robbery were found.  Samuelson adds the money, and prescription drugs were taken to help "feed a drug habit."

WJTN News Headlines


A number of citizen tips are being credited in helping to find one of the two men who allegedly held up the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street... and, the CVS store in Brooklyn Square in Jamestown.  City police say they obtained a search warrant... and, found some proceeds from the CVS Robbery in the basement of Van's Texas Hots at 29 North Main Street.  Officers say that discovery and other information led them to arrested an employee of Van's -- 23 year-old Thomas Lawson.  Police also say they have several leads... and, are currently looking for a "person of interest" in the CVS hold-up.  Lawson is accused of pulling a knife in each of those cases... and, is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery.  The black male involved in a third robbery at the 7-Eleven Store on East Second Street on April 1st is still at large.  Anyone with information on that case... or the other two robberies... is asked to call City Police at 483-7531.  You can also call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

An Iraq War veteran from Cattaraugus County is among the 16 people wounded during a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says in a statement Thursday that 32-year-old Major Patrick Miller was injured during Wednesday's attack.  Three other people were killed before the gunman committed suicide.  Miller, who currently lives with his wife outside Austin, Texas, is a native of the town of Allegany.  Information on his condition hasn't been released, but a doctor at a Texas hospital treating some of the wounded says he doesn't expect any more deaths resulting from the shooting.  Miller graduated from his hometown college -- St. Bonaventure University in 2003 -- then joined the Army.  He earned masters' degrees in business and public administration from Syracuse University in 2009.

 

Efforts are fully-underway to begin the search for a new Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Administrative Director... and, Chief Executive Officer.  Current Director Bill Daly will be retiring at the end of May.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is nearly ready to fill out the search committee and a member of the County Legislature will chair it. Horrigan says economic development is very much on minds of his administration, especially with the pending closings of the Carriage House plants in the North County.  In his State of the County address last week... the Bemus Point Republican spoke about reaching out to business owners -- even if they are headquartered outside Chautauqua County. Horrigan says he will announce the full committee shortly.  He intends to conduct a regional search for a successor to Daly... who is also director of the county's Department of Planning and Economic Development. 

 

While the Bemus Point School District is the only one in Chautauqua County showing an overall loss of state aid... it did get a boost in the two critical areas that may help hold down taxes.  That from School Superinendent Mike Mansfield... who confirms school runs from State Senator Cathy Young's office that the district is looking at an 11-percent decrease.  But... Mansfield says that's because they are losing building aid due to completion of a couple of capital projects in the late 1990s.  Otherwise... he says they're seeing a significant boost in their "Gap Eliminiation Adjustment" -- or GEA -- and Foundation Aid.  He says that makes their budget gap more managable.
Mansfield says that 132-thousand dollars will likely be used to offset mandated costs... and, to bring their approximately 13-million dollar budget to within their 2.01-percent property tax cap.  He also thanked State Senator Cathy Young... and, Assemblyman Andy Goodell for their efforts to get money added for all local districts.  The school board held a budget workshop last night.

 

U-S Attorney General Eric Holder says the government needs to deal differently with the heroin epidemic than it did with the crack cocaine crisis a few decades ago.  Holder told a Senate committee today (Thursday) that a ``balanced approach'' involving treatment, education and enforcement is needed to confront the country's heroin crisis and avoid mistakes made during the widespread use of crack.  Police at that time focused on large-scale arrests and imprisonment.  That was seen in Jamestown yesterday (Wednesday) with seven raids leading to nine arrests in the city.  Chautauqua County also recently held a community forum regarding the local Heroin problem.  Holder says the government has a small window to prevent the heroin problem from getting ``even more out of control than it already is.''  He says specialized drug courts within the criminal justice system are a good way to reduce the prison population.  In a recent video message, the attorney general called the heroin epidemic an ``urgent and growing public health crisis.''

 

A Cattaraugus County man accused of being in possession of over 600 pictures and videos of Child Pornography has pleaded guility in federal court in Buffalo.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior says 46 year-old Willie Reid of Olean entered his plea before U-S District Court Judge Richard Arcara.  Hochul says the charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of 250-thousand dollars... and, a term of supervised release of at least five years to life.  Assistant U-S Attorney Marie Grisanti, who is handling the case, says that Reid was found in possession of the 600 items on his computer at his residence on May 2nd of 2013.  Sentencing is set for August 4th of this year.

News update for Thurs., Apr. 3, 2014


(**News Update)One of two robbery suspects in March 7-Eleven and CVS stores arrested...

Numerous tips have helped Jamestown police nab one of the two alleged suspects involved in the recent robberies at the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street... and, the CVS store in Brooklyn Square.  City police say they obtained a search warrant... and, found some proceeds from the CVS Robbery in the basement of Van's Texas Hots at 29 North Main Street.  The discovery and other information led them to arrested a worker at Van's -- 23 year-old Thomas Lawson -- on two counts of first-degree robbery.  Police also say they have several leads... and, are currently trying to find a "person of interest" in the CVS hold-up.  Lawson is accused of pulling a knife in each of those cases.  The black male involved in a third robbery at the 7-Eleven Store on East Second Street on April 1st is still at large.  Anyone with information on that case... or the other two robberies... is asked to call City Police at 483-7531.  You can also call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

   

News Update for Thurs., Apr. 4, 2014


Cattaraugus Co. man among those people wounded in Foot Hood shootings...

An Iraq War veteran from Cattaraugus County is among the 16 people wounded during a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says in a statement Thursday that 32-year-old Major Patrick Miller was injured during Wednesday's attack.  Three other people were killed before the gunman committed suicide.  Miller, who currently lives with his wife outside Austin, Texas, is a native of the town of Allegany.  Information on his condition hasn't been released, but a doctor at a Texas hospital treating some of the wounded says he doesn't expect any more deaths resulting from the shooting.


Horrigan finalizing search committee for new IDA, and Planning and Economic Development Director...

The effort to find a new Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Administrative Director... and, Chief Executive Officer... are fully underway.  County Executive Vince Horrigan late last month announced that current IDA Director Bill Daly will be retiring at the end of May.  Horrigan says he is nearly ready to fill out the search committee... and a member of the County Legislature will chair it.  That panel member is Silver Creek's George Borrello.  Horrigan says they'll conduct a regional search for a replacement through professional organizations to advertise the post.  In addition to Borrello... Democratic legislator Fred Larson is also a member of the search committee.  Horrigan adds some business leaders... and, IDA board President Mike Metzger will also be on the panel.  He adds that economic development is very much on minds of his administration, especially with the pending closings of the Carriage House plants in the North County.  In his State of the County address last week... the Bemus Point Republican spoke about reaching out to business owners -- even if they are headquartered outside Chautauqua County.


Bemus Point School District receiving 11-percent less aid than last year, but, due mainly to funding for building projects coming off the books...

The lone Chautauqua County School district that is losing overall state aid is still getting more state aid in two critical areas that will help their bottom line in their final budget.  According to school runs from State Senator Cathy Young... the Bemus Point District is looking at an 11-percent decrease in aid.  But... Superintendent Mike Mansfield says that's because they are losing building aid due to completion of a couple of capital projects in the late 1990s.  Otherwise... he says they're seeing a significant boost in their "Gap Eliminiation Adjustment" funding.  Mansfield says they got $106,000 increase in GEA funding... and, another $26,000 from Foundation Aid.  Mansfield says that $132,000 will likely be used to offset mandated costs... and, to bring their approximately $13-million budget to within their 2.01-percent property tax cap.  He says they'll reduce the tax levy by $166,000 to honor that tax cap.

WJTN News Headlines


Nine people have been arrested following a major drug sweep in downtown Jamestown yesterday targeting locations where heroin and cocaine have been sold from over the past several months.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the raids began early Wednesday... and involved the serving of seven search warrants.  Samuelson says the raids took place at 228 East Second Street... 108 East Eighth Street... 3 Forest Park... 614 Spring Street... 129 Fairview Avenue... and, 20 Willis Street. Samuelson says they are continuing to follow up on leads they got during today's drug busts.  He says six of the seven locations they raided along with state and federal authorities... were strictly regarding Heroin.  Samuelson says the seven were "street" to mid-level dealers... but, he called it a "good start" in dealing with the city's Heroin epidemic. Samuelson says the charges range from criminal sale and possession of a controlled substance... to probation violation... criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  Only one person had been sent to the county jail by last night.  27 year-old Leslie Rodriguez was being held without bail.  Samuelson several growing marijuana plants were found in one raid.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in the city is asked to call JPD at 483-7531... or the confidential tip-line at 483-TIPS... or 483-8477.

 

Jamestown police say the raid at 711 Cherry street wound up being a bonus because arresting agents discovered the active growing marijiuna operation there.  Captain Samuelson says a quantity of cocaine was found before they found the hidden cannibus plants. At that residence... Samuelson says they arrested 56 year-old Robin... and, 35 year-old Wesley Riley... along with 20 year-old Brooke Weinert.  He says they are charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... prohibited growing of marijuana... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  Samuelson says they also face criminal possession of a weapon charges.

 

It's tax season... and, New York officials are warning about tax collection scams.  State tax and consumer protection officials say scammers are calling people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service or the state Tax Department and demanding immediate payments.  Tax officials say New Yorkers should be careful about providing personal information or making payments in response to telephone calls.  The agencies also are warning of an email ``phishing'' scam in which taxpayers receive emails with the IRS logo claiming to be from the ``Taxpayer Advocate Service.''  The email asks taxpayers to resolve an issue with their 2013 filing by clicking a link in the email.  The webpage then asks for personal information.

 

Upon further review... one Chautauqua County school district now reports it's getting about twice as much new state aid in New York's new budget than first believed.  When the new numbers came through... Interim Cassadaga Valley Central School Superintendet Tom Schmidt believed they were only looking at a 57-thousand dollar increase.  However... Schmidt says they worked the numbers again... and, found they'll actually get about 110-thousand more. School runs from State Senator Cathy Young's office shows Cassadaga Valley receiving about 318-thousand dollars in total aid above what Governor Cuomo has in his initial budget plan.  That's about a 4.4-percent increase.  Schmidt says that will help restore an Agriculture Program... and, make a part-time music teacher position full-time. The school runs show Cassadaga Valley receiving about 108-thousand dollars more in Foundation Aid... and, another 190-thousand dollars to cover the "Gap Eliminiation Adjustment" where schools have seen taken taken away the past few years because the state was running deficits.

 

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area remain unchanged this week.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge reports the price of regular, unleaded remains 3-dollars-71 cents a gallon.  Some stations are charging 3-dollars-69 cents... while others have topped out at 3--74 a gallon.  Nationally... the average retail price is 3-dollars-56 cents per gallon.  This is 3-cents more expensive than one week ago... but, it's still 8-cents less than the same date last year.  The national average is continuing to creep higher into the range that the Triple-A expects prices to peak: between 3--55 and 3--75 per gallon.

 

Thousands of New York parents are refusing to have their children take the statewide English assessments being given this week.  They're protesting state education policy that they say puts so much emphasis on testing that it interferes with learning.  Results of the three-day assessments don't count toward student averages, but they do factor into teacher and school evaluations.  In New York City... they help determine whether students pass or fail.  Groups compiling numbers from around the state estimate that more than 25,000 of the more than one-million third- through eighth-graders in the testing pool are skipping this week's tests.  Long Island is seeing the highest opt-out numbers.  Depending on the district... students are either quietly reading during the daily 70- to 80-minute sessions or at their desks doing nothing.

 

WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown police are investigating another armed robbery... but, involving a different suspect from the previous two recently in the city.  Police Lieutenant Paul Abbott says a tall, black male entered the 7-Eleven store at 11-01 East Second Street just before 2 AM yesterday... and, walked directly towards the two employees at the counter.
Abbott says it does NOT appear the lone bandit got into any kind of vehicle... but, he remains at large.  He says this robbery appears totally unrelated to the one's involving a white suspect wearing a "Tail Gate Party" sweatshirt.  Abbott says the two employees were rattled... but, followed store procedures... and, he adds they gave police some good information. Again... police describe the robber as a black male, 6-foot-2... with a dark complexion and wide nose.  He was wearing a black-ooded sweatshirt... black pants and black boots.  If you have any information on this case... call City Police at 483-7531... or their confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

State leaders are generally upbeat about the new, 2014-2015 budget that cleared the State Legislature last night.  During a news conference Tuesday morning... Governor Andrew Cuomo says its the fourth straight year the state has had an on-time spending plan. The budget includes the Governor's proposed two-year tax freeze on local property taxes.  Cuomo believes local government costs are driving people out of the state. But... not everyone is pleased with the final spending plan... including Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino who is seeking the Republican nomination for Governor.  He says, quote -- "a state budget that raised spending by a nickel is a failed opportunity." 

 

There was good news for most school districts in Chautauqua County in the final, 2014-2015 budget approved by the state legislature late Monday night.  The news was especially good for Jamestown... which was facing a projected 2.55-million dollar shortfall in it's 2014-15 spending plan.  Superintendent Tim Mains says he's very encouraged by the district receiving another 1.9-million dollars in state aid... which he says will leave about a 600 to 700-thousand dollar spending gap.  Mains says he and Assistant Superintendent for Administration Dale Weatherlow will now develop a number of options for the school board to consider next week to close that gap.
Mains says the state budget will provide another 1.4-million dollars in Foundation Aid... and, 476-thousand in GEA funding.  That's some of the money that's been taken away over the past five years when the state has been running a deficit.  Mains says the district would have to receive a one-million dollar GEA to eliminate the gap.  The total state aid for Jamestown will go up 6.4-percent to 56.7-million dollars.

 

Thousands of gun rights supporters have rallied at the state Capitol against gun control measures championed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Celebrity businessman Donald Trump and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino both addressed Tuesday's event at Empire State Plaza.  The rally was in support of repealing a 2013 law that prohibited the sale of some popular guns like the AR-15.  Trump, who said last month that he would not challenge Cuomo, says the law demonstrates the erosion of Second Amendment rights.  Astorino, the Westchester County executive, says that if elected he'd work to rescind the law.  Cuomo and gun control advocates pushed the legislation following the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut school massacre.

 

The charitable foundation created by western New York supermarket founder Robert Wegman is giving 17-million dollars to the University of Rochester.  The university says Tuesday that it will receive 10-million dollars for the Institute for Data Science... and, 7-million dollars toward construction of the new Golisano Children's Hospital.  The gifts from the Rochester-based supermarket chain bring to 20-million dollars the amount of recent contributions by the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation.  The University of Rochester has made the emerging field of data science the focus of its five-year strategic plan and plans to construct a 25-million dollars, 50,000-square-foot facility.  Data science involves making sense and use of vast quantities of information and data.  The new 145-million dollar hospital already is under construction and is expected to open next year.

 

Monthly alternative parking has taken effect in Jamestown as of Tuesday.  City police say vehicles are to be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street during odd-numbered months... and, only on the even-numbered side of the street during even numbered months.  Police say vehicles should be moved at 10 AM on the first-day of each month... and, there is no grace period.

News Alert!! for Tues., Apr. 1, 2014


(**News Alert)Another armed robbery in Jamestown, but, this one involves black male carrying a hand-gun...

Jamestown police are investigating another armed robbery... but, involving a different suspect from the previous two in the city using a different kind of weapon.  JPD Lieut. Paul Abbott says a black male entered the 7-Eleven store at 1101 East Second St. just before 2 this morning... and, pulled a gun on the two employees.  He ordered them behind the service counter... where he ordered them to the floor.  Police say he then grabbed an unknown amount of cash before fleeing.  The man is described as being a black male, 6'2"... with a dark complexion and wide nose.  He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt... black pants and black boots.  If you have any information on this case... call city police at 483-7531... or their confidential tips line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.

WJTN News Headlines


The New York Legislature has passed a $140 billion election-year budget that expands pre-kindergarten statewide and provides tax relief to homeowners and corporations. The Senate passed the budget around 10:30 p.m. Monday and the Assembly approved it 45 minutes later for a fourth consecutive on-time state budget. The new fiscal year begins today. Cuomo and legislative leaders reached an agreement on the spending plan early in the weekend, but the governor had to waive the required three-day review period on the education and health bills that weren't printed until early Saturday. The budget contains almost $138 billion for the coming year with an additional $5 billion in one-time federal aid for Superstorm Sandy rebuilding and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act for uninsured New Yorkers.

 

Chautauqua County's top-elected official is pleased that the state will at least have a nearly on-time state budget... and, he's expecially happy with at least one item added to the spending plan.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the state Senate successfully added 40-million dollars in what's being called "Extreme Weather Assistance" to deal with pothole and road repairs in local counties and municipalities.  Local Senator Cathy Young told Horrigan that the added funding will be distributed under the same formula at the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program -- or CHIPS -- dollars are. Horrigan is among the local leaders who earlier expressed skepicism over Governor Cuomo's proposed two-year tax freeze on local property taxes.  That program... which involves rebate checks to property owners... has conditions attached to it.  Namely... local governments have to keep their taxes under the two-percent state property tax cap.  Horrigan still feels there are better way to go to provide tax relief. Horrigan says he would prefer simplifying tax relief by letting people "keep their money."  He also would like to see some state money used to not only fix... but, upgrade Route 60 to eventually a four-lane highway that would help local economic development efforts.

 

There will be a new, second full-time judge in Jamestown by the end of the month.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who says part-time Judge George Panebianco... who was first in line to get the position... has turned it down.  After last night's City Council voting session... Teresi said Panebianco had given the position a lot of consideration... but, decided not to take it.  The mayor says Panebianco would have been required to give up his current law practice... and, he didn't want to do that.  With that... Teresi says a handful of very good candidates have come forward... and, he's asked a couple of others to be considered. If he had accepted... Panebianco would have been appointed by Teresi... and, started hearing cases today.  However... Teresi says he now has to find another person to name.  He says there are two main requirements for a full-time judge.  The first is they must be a resident of the city... and, second... they must be a licensed attorney who has practiced locally for at least five years.  The person confirmed will serve a 10-year term on the local bench.

 

A city man is jailed for allegedly running and trying to hide from Jamestown Police who were trying to arrest him on a warrant.  City officers add they also found 25 year-old Matthew Goodlow in possession of marijuana.  Police were responding to a call about 2 PM yesterday when they spotted Goodlow... who was wanted on a city court bench warrant.  Officers say he failed to respond to their orders... and, continued to run away.  Goodlow was finally caught on West Eighth Street at Cherry... hiding under a discarded mattress.  Goodlow is being held pending arraignment on charges including unlawful possession of marijuana... and, obstruction.

 


New York state health officials say more than 812-thousand people have enrolled for health insurance statewide under President Obama's health care overhaul.  Monday marked the deadline for open enrollment through the state's health plan marketplace... called NY State of Health.   Residents can choose from various health plans from 16 insurers and 10 dental insurers.  The state health department says more than 70 percent of those who have enrolled since October 1st had been uninsured.  Authorities say New York is on pace to meet its enrollment goal of 1.1-million people by the end of 2016.  Nationally... the Obama administration says more than 6-million Americans have signed up for insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

 

Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed was in Jamestown Monday hosting a Senior Citizen Roundtable to get their input on issues affecting them in Washington.  Reed was at Christ First United Methodist Church on Buffalo Street for a two-hour gathering to talk about what's happening in the nation's Capitol... and, allow local seniors to offer input.  Reed expected a proposed, 300-million dollar cut to the Medicare Advantage program under the Affordable Care Act to be one of the topics.  He says it's come up at other constituent meetings he's held. Reed was among the lawmakers who recently called on the White House to "back off" on additional cuts proposed to Medicare Advantage.  Since corresponding with the White House on the matter... he says there hasn't been any further talk.  Reed says 1.1-million New Yorkers rely on Medicare Advantage... and, he says if the cut goes through... there would be a double-digit cut in the program over the past 24 months.

 

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