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News Headlines for Mon., June 30, 2014


Horrigan announces Shared Services Forum in Mayville July 16...

A Shared Services forum will be held next month in Mayville to see how Chautauqua County... and, it's municipalities... may benefit from Governor Cuomo's proposed tax freeze program.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the tax freeze... which has a certain number of requirements.... was part of the state budget passed last April.  Horrigan says the forum will be held on Wednesday, July 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. in Room B-10 of the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.  Horrigan says -- "I believe there are many questions that need to be answered to understand this initiative.  I would encourage all elected municipal leaders and school officials to join me to become more familiar with the Governor’s proposal... and, to find out what we can do collectively for the benefit of our residents and taxpayers."  He says a portion of the State’s budget proposal provides rebate checks to STAR eligible properties for municipalities that stay within the 2-percent property tax cap in the first year along with other conditions to be met in future years.  Local government and school officials have been invited to attend the forum... as have state officials to help answer any questions.  The forum will not be open to the general public.  For local officials who haven't yet reserved a spot at the forum... you can call Horrigan's office at 753-4211.


Legislature approves emergency funding to repair Bard Road, Horrigan says work will begin shortly...

The county will begin the complete rebuilding of Bard Road between Griswold and Rood Roads in the town of Arkwright shortly now that the legislature has approved funding for the project.  Lawmakers in Mayville last week unanimously approved using $400,000 from the fund balanace to reconstruct a 200 to 300-foot section of Bard Road... which is also County Route 312.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's pleased the panel approved the measure... but, adds he had engaged the legislature early about the need to get that done as soon as possible.  Horrigan says both he, and some lawmakers, looked over the location and he calls that section "unpassable."  He says the county has to get right-of-way approvals to be able to get on the land to get the work started.  He adds the emergency rebuild will be done by the county's Department of Public Facilities... but, adds he's not sure if any utility work will have to be done there.  Horrigan says the road has been "top coated" several times... but, adds -- with the harsh Winter -- the foundation is now unstable.  Horrigan says the roadway failure there was "unplanned... unforseen... and, unbudgeted."


West Nile Virus detected for the first time in NYS this past weekend...

New York state residents are being urged to avoid mosquito bites this summer now that health officials have found the season's first trace of West Nile Virus.  The state's Department of Health says the virus was confirmed in a mosquito sample from Rockland County last week.  Acting state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says residents should cover up when outdoors, use insect repellent and eliminate sources of standing water, where mosquitoes breed.  There have been no reported human cases of the virus so far this year.  Last year there were 33 human cases and no deaths. 


Cuomo announces initiative to end New York's HIV epidemic by 2020...

New York state has a plan to end its three-decade HIV epidemic by the year 2020.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the ambitious initiative on Sunday, the day of New York City's s Gay Pride Parade.  The state aims to bring the disease to below epidemic levels by increasing HIV testing while boosting tracking and treatment for people who have the virus.  The plan includes getting bulk discounts on HIV drugs.  About 3-thousand New York state residents are expected to be diagnosed with HIV this year, down from 14,000 new cases in 1993.  Cuomo's plan aims to reduce new diagnoses to 750 per year by 2020.  If the state is successful... it would be the first time the number of people living with HIV has gone down since the crisis began.


Jamestown's city Arborist announces new tree program during Arbor Day program in city's "Lost Neighborhood..."

Jamestown may soon have a new avenue for obtaining funding to purchase trees... or getting them at a greatly reduced price to enhance the city's "Urban Forest."  Two new Blue Spruce trees were planted late last week on the South Main Street side of the Salvation Army headquarters... during which City Arborist Dan Stone announced efforts to make Jamestown a "Tree-Lining USA" city.  Stone says they chose their annual Arbor Day celebration to annouce the effort underway jointly with the Board of Public Utilities for municipally-owned utilities.  Stone says the "Tree-Lining USA" designation is bestowed by the National Arbor Day Foundation... which has given Jamestown "Tree City USA" status for the past 33 years.  He says there are two other requirements to get the new designation.  One is safety training... and the second is tree maintenance.  Stone says that second one is big one because they want to obtain smaller trees that don't get tangled in overhead power lines.  He says that means less tree maintenance... and, keeping "power on for people."

WJTN News Headlines


Falconer High School's Class of 2014 is a "high-quality" group of kids... and, the statistics prove it.  That from School Superintendent Steve Penhollow as 98 Falconer seniors walked across the stage at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts during last night's Commencement ceremonies.  Penhollow says nearly half of their graduates had already accumulated a significant amount of college credit. Penhollow adds that 16 of their students received Regents Diplomas... as well as career and technical education from BOCES.  He says this year's Valedictorian is Jesse Caprino... while the Salutatorian is Ellie Walters.  Penhollow says both had a solid four-years in academic, and extracurricular activities -- including athletics.  A reception was held afterwards on Tracy Plaza.  Falconer hold's it's graduation a day before most local districts because Southwestern uses the Reg Lenna for it's graduation tonight.

 

A member of the Falconer High School Class of 1984... who's well-known in the Jamestown-area... addressed graduates last night.  Superintendent Steve Penhollow says each graduating class traditionally asks someone who graduated 30 years earlier to speak to them about their "path" in life once they've left high school.  This year... the keynote speech was delivered by Jamestown Community College Athletic Director Keith Martin.  Penhollow says they felt fortunate to get Martin to present his thoughts to the graduates on their big night.  Martin was JCC's highly-successful women's basketball coach before taking over as Athletic Director last year.  Martin and his father were also well-known for their own athletic prowess around the county.  Keith Martin has also been very involved in community activities... including holding a special fund-raiser for the St. Susan's Center last Fall.

 

Chautauqua County's top prosecutor says Wednesday's U-S Supreme Court ruling requiring police to first get a warrant before search the cell phones of the suspects they arrest will not have a major impact on local police.  District Attorney David Foley tells us that he agrees with the 9-to nothing ruling. Foley says in most cases... police agencies in the county have been obtaining warrants before looking into the phones.  Typically... they had been advising police -- even prior to this decision -- to get a search warrant.  In the ruling against law enforcement, Chief Justice John Roberts said "cell phones" could today just as easily be called calendars or diaries.

 

Republicans are on the verge of losing control of the New York state Senate.  That's because a faction of renegade Democratic lawmakers now say they plan to work to form a new coalition with the rest of the body's Democrats after this fall's elections.  The group joined with Republicans two years ago, allowing the GOP to take control of the Senate.

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are up nearly 3-cents a gallon this week... due mainly violence in Iraq keyed by the militant group known as "ISIS."  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says prices this week have gone up to 3-dollars-88 cents a gallon... while some have actually reached the 3--90 level.  Nationally... the Triple-A reports the average price for regular, unleaded gas is 3-dollars-68 cents per gallon.  That's the highest price for early Summer in six years.  The Fuel Gauge says the average price at the pump has increased for 13 consecutive days for a total of 4-cents per gallon.  Today’s average is 2-cents more than one week ago.  The Triple-A says the violence produced by the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" has expanded towards southern Iraq... where much of the country’s oil production is located.

 

More than 960-thousand New York residents have signed up for insurance under the state's new health plan marketplace during its first enrollment period.  The state has issued a report detailing how many people enrolled in coverage through the marketplace... which is part of President Barack Obama's health insurance overhaul.  More than half of the individuals signed up for Medicaid coverage.  Another 274-thousand people and 65-thousand children who weren't eligible for Medicaid received a subsidized plan.  Eighty-one percent of those who enrolled were previously uninsured.  The report also says 31-hundred small businesses signed up for plans during the enrollment period, which began October 1st... and, ended April 15th.  The numbers show New York is on track to meet its enrollment goal of 1.1-million individuals by the end of 2016.

 

More money available in the county's 3-percent bed tax fund has allowed Chautauqua County lawmakers to help preserve a major piece of the Dunkirk-area's history.  The legislature last (Wednesday) night unanimously approved 35-thousand dollars for roof repairs for the 1875 Keepers House and Museum for the Dunkirk Lighthouse.  Fredonia Republican Robert Scudder called this a chance to support one of the county's "historic treasures."  Scudder says the lighthouse drew 44-hundred visitors last year... and, is already ahead of that pace this year. Fellow Republican Lisa Vanstrom represents the Ellicott-area of the south county on the legislature... but, fondly remembers the lighthouse while growing up in the north county. Silver Creek's George Borrello says through the county's Amnesty Program... they now have more registered north county bed tax contributors to the 3-percent bed tax fund.  Borrello adds that the roof project at the Lighthouse is certainly a "worthwhile" project for those funds to be put towards.

 

WJTN News Headlines


The Chautauqua County Legislature is back up to it's full compliment of 19 lawmakers after a long-time resident of Legislature District 12 in Jamestown was confirmed to the panel last night.  Democrat Beth Kresge (Krez-gee) says she's excited to be part of the legislature after being approved 18-to-0 by fellow lawmakers.  Kresge... who has not been involved in politics before this... says she's wants to help out a part of the city where she knows a lot of people... as well as the entire county.  She's been involved with the community on a number of fronts. Kresge left a job last year with Keywell Corporation in Frewsburg to become a "stay at home" mom with her family's now first-grader.  However... by working at Keywell... she's seen the county's problems with lack of good paying jobs... and, she wants to work to make the county an attractive place for young people to stay in.  Kresge replaces Fred Larson... who accepted an appointment to become Jamestown's second, City Court Judge.  She has already indicted she'll run this November to hold onto the seat against Republican Elizabeth Rankin.

 

County lawmakers last night approved a new, five-year contract with one of it's smallest unions... this one representing eight supervisors in the Sheriff's Department.  The legislature voted 16-to-3 in favor of the agreement... which includes no wage increase for 2012... a $1,394 increase in 2013... slight increases above that to $1,477 through 2016.  Sheridan Republican  Terry Niebel feels the contract is a better one than they were looking at previously... but, he voted against it because he wasn't "comfortable with it...." However... Silver Creek Republican George Borrello said the eight-member Sheriff's Supervisor's Association was another union whose contract is subject to arbitration.  He says going to that could wind up costing the county a lot more.. so he was voting for it.  The President of the CCSSA, Tim Kindberg, thanked the legislature for approving the new contract.
Lawmakers say the new contract also includes some concessions by the union regarding health insurance benefits.  In addition to Niebel... fellow Republicans John Runkle and Bob Scudder voted against the contract.

 

The latest "Operaton Impact" detail in the city of Jamestown has turned-up a parolee who was found with Heroin and marijuana in his possession... ready for sale.  City Police were working with State Police on the detail Tuesday night... and, checked some bars and did home visits of persons currently out on parole.  Officers say... shortly after 8 PM... they went to an apartment building at 303 Lafayette Street to check on 58 year-old Louis Rivera.  They found Rivera in possession of the drugs... and, he was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  He was jailed pending arraignment in City Court.

 

A Stockton teenager is jailed on 5-thousand dollars bail for allegedly having sex with a 14 year-old girl earlier this month.  Sheriff's Deputies say the unidentifed 19 year-old male was arrested on a complaint lodged against him in Stockton Town Court.  Officers say their investigation led to the man's arrest for second-degree Rape.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.

 

A number of exotic animals have been seized from a location in the town of Pomfret that has been called an 'illegally operated animal facility.'  The State Department of Environmental Conservation's Lisa King says that the animals were seized Wednesday afternoon from the "All Living Things" facility on Webster Road after a search warrant had been issued.  She adds the animals that were seized from Forster's facility included an American black bear, a cougar, and a serval.  King says a local animal rescue shelter is working with them to secure the animals... and, transport them to a new home in San Diego, California.  It's the second seizure of animals from a wildlife sancturary in the county this year.

 

An overheated fan motor in a dehydrator is the apparent cause of a fire that damaged the bottom floor of a spice-making business in a barn in the town of Busti.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says they, and several other mutual aid companies, were able to make a good stop on the blaze to prevent heavy damage to the entire building.  Firefighters were called to the scene at 43-57 Cowing Road -- near the intersection with Big Tree-Sugar Grove Road -- shortly before 9 PM.  Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood... Panama... Ashville... Kiantone... Frewsburg... Chautauqua... and, Lander and Sugar Grove from Pennsylvania.  He says the firefighting effort "went well."  There were no injuries were reported.  Crews were at the scene until about 1 o'clock Wednesday morning.

 

News Update for Wed., June 25, 2014


Quick work by firefighters confine fire damage to first floor of Busti Spice Barn; cause now determined...

An overheated fan motor in a dehydrator is the apparent cause of a fire that damaged the bottom floor of a spice-making business in a barn in Busti.  Busti Fire Chief Mike Volpe says they, and several other mutual aid companies, were able to make a good stop on the blaze to prevent heavy damage to the entire building.  Firefighters were called to the scene at 4357 Cowing Rd. -- near the intersection with Big Tree-Sugar Grove Rd. -- shortly before 9 p.m.  Volpe says they called in mutual aid from Lakewood... Panama... Ashville... Kiantone... Frewsburg... Chautauqua... and, Lander and Sugar Grove from Pennsylvania.  He says the firefighting effort "went well."  There were no injuries were reported... and, no animal injuries as well.  Crews were at the scene until about 1 this morning.


Teresi pleased that Hamister Group strikes deal with Doubletree by Hilton for new downtown hotel...

A western New York based-development group has officially announced it's signed a franchise agreement with Hilton Doubletree for the re-development of the former Ramada Inn in downtown Jamestown.  In fact... the Hamister Group says they are planning a "comprehensive," $12-million renovation project for the location at West Fourth and Washington Streets.  Senior Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer Daniel Hamister says they "couldn't have asked for a better partnership."  Mayor Sam Teresi says this is "exactly what we have been hoping for, and working towards since day-one."  Teresi says that's a top-level developer and a premier brand like Hilton Doubletree filling a "crying need" for a high-quality, full-service hotel.  Teresi says this is a "major step " towards the complete renovation of the hotel so that it can not only provide excellent accomodations for the traveling public... but, for meetings, receptions... special events... and, business conferences.  Once the renovations have been made...Teresi says they'll have 4,000 square feet of space for such events... along with 146 fully-renovated rooms.  Once final plans have been approved and final financing is in place... the hotel is expected to open in the Summer of 2015.

WJTN News Headlines


The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has voted to impose a one-year labor contract between the BPU and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local-#459.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says Monday's vote comes comes after the union and management failed to reach agreement on a negotiated contract.  Leathers says they did have a tentative agreement by late last October... but, the union -- which represents about 80 employees -- failed to muster the votes needed to ratify the agreement. Leathers says the major sticking point was a "split-wage" scale which would pay newly-hired, future employees less than current employees, in most cases.  He says the idea was to avoid impacting current personnel... but, bringing in future hires at a lower wage.  Leathers says that would provide a "control mechanism" for future expenses... but, Local-#459 had "no interest in a secondary wage scale."  The imposed contract is for a one-year period under the same terms and conditions of the expired agreement... and, is retroactive to this past April 1st.

 

A former Chautauqua County Legislator has been named by Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi to fill a recent vacancy on the Board of Public Utilities.  Teresi put up the names of several people to be confirmed for various board vacancies... and, Chuck Cornell was named to replace Fred Larson on the BPU.  Larson had to step down from both the legislature and BPU when he was confirmed to be Jamestown's second City Court Judge.  Teresi says Cornell fit all five criteria for sitting on the board... the first being someone with "deep roots" in the community.
Teresi adds the fact Cornell is director of Fredonia's Center for Regional Advancement is also a key reason because -- while primarily serving Jamestown -- the BPU has become more regional in scope.  He adds that investing in the city's infrastructure was also critical... and, says Cornell believes in that.  Teresi adds that understanding Customer Service is another component Cornell understands.  He feels Cornell will be "an asset" to the board... and, pointed out that council approved the appointment unanimously.

 

Two city men are in the county jail after they were arrested when the car they were in was found with a quantity of Heroin... and, drug paraphernalia inside.  City officers were in the area of East Second and Kipp Streets about 8:15 yesterday morning when they were spotted trying to sell a mountain bike that was hanging out of the trunk.  Officers took the two men... identified as 43 year-old Jesus Suarez... and, 39 year-old Jose Lopez... into custody for seventh-degree criminal posession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic needle.  Both were arraigned.  Lopez was jailed on 4-thousand dollars bail... while Suarez was being held on one-thousand dollars bail.  Police are looking for the owner of the bike.  If you believe it's your's... call 483-7531.

 

Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the legislative session that wrapped up on Friday was a good one for Chautauqua County.  The Bemus Point Republican says a number of bills cleared the State legislature in the first half of 2014 that should benefit the county. Working with State Senator Cathy Young... Goodell says they were able to get the second, Family Court Judge position for the county.  The deadline for petitions was extended for candidates running for the seat.  And it won't take as many signatures to get on the ballot.

 

While it's a much better bill than it was at the beginning of the just-concluded State Legislative session... there is still some "tweeking" that needs to be done on the just-passed Medical Marijuana legislation.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who was among the majority in the legislature's upper chamber to vote for the bill.  The Olean Republican reiterates that she is strongly opposed to generally legalizing marijuana... but, says for some families... the medical form of the drug is their last hope for children with seizure-issues. One mother from Cuba, New York was in the Senate Chamber with her son, who has serious epileptic seizure issues to observe the vote.  She also believes the 18-month period before the program is fully implemented is needed to ensure there are no abuses of the program.  Otherwise... Young touted her "Homes for Heroes" legislation... which will be administered through the New York Housing Trust Fund Corporation... and, would provide grants to eligible not-for-profits that help veteran's make changes to their homes because of any kind of disability.

 

A Rochester-area teenage girl whose disappearance sparked an Amber Alert has been arrested.  Police in the town of Greece tell the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that 16-year-old Cassidy Geffert was arrested on a charge of fourth-degree grand larceny.  Geffert was found unharmed Monday in the Brockport area... about 15 miles west of her home after an Amber Alert was earlier in the afternoon by State Police.  It said the girl was taken from a Greece residence around 10 AM Monday.  Police did not give any other details surrounding the incident.

 

It's been a year of Anniversary's here at WJTN... and, the Media One Group of stations... and, we celebrated another this morning.  We've been celebrating the station's 90th year of broadcasting... and, Jim Roselle's 60th on the air with us.  This (Monday) morning... we commemorated another milestone for Jim... his 40th year of live broadcasts from his studio at Chautauqua Institution.  Media One General Manager Jeff Storey joined with Chautauqua officials for a special presentation. Jeff Storey says the plaque thanks Jim "for his dedication, friendship, and 40 years of live WJTN Broadcasts from these grounds."  As he typically does... Jim deflected the accolades... and, said -- unlike he usually is -- he had trouble coming up with 10 words to say in reaction, aside from "Wow..." and, "thank-you."  This first week at the institution kicks off Roger Rosenblatt and Friends Week.  (**Retired NBC Nightly News Anchor Tom Brokaw was today's (Monday's) featured lecturer.  He was unable to talk with Jim to save his voice for his amphiteahter appearance at 10:45 due to his treatments for Esophigial Cancer.)

News Update for Mon., June 23, 2014


City police arrest pair for Heroin possession after they were spotted trying to sell a Mountain Bike out the back of their vehicle...

Two Jamestown men have been arrested after the car they were operating was found to have a quantity of Heroin... and, drug paraphernalia inside.  City officers were in the area of East Second and Kipp Street about 8:15 this morning when they were spotted trying to sell a mountain bike that was hanging out of the trunk.  Officers searched the vehicle... and, found the Heroin... and, several needles inside.  The two men... identified as 43 year-old Jesus Suarez... and, 39 year-old Jose Lopez... were arrested for seventh-degree criminal posession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic needle.  Police were unable to determine who owned the mountain bike... so it was taken so it can be returned to it's rightful owner.  The bike is white and purple.  If you own the bike... and, can identify it... city police will return it to you.  Inquires can be made by calling the JPD Investigative Section at 483-7531. 


BPU Imposes one-year contract on IBEW Local-#459 employees...

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has voted to impose a one-year labor contract between the BPU and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 459.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says today's vote comes after the union and management failed to reach agreement on a negotiated contract.  That's after a tentative agreement had been reached at the end of October of last year.  BPU Business Manager Mike Anderson says after the union's failed ratification vote, "we made several attempts to reach agreement with the union, but were unable to do so."  Anderson says the major sticking point is a "split-wage" scale which would pay newly-hired, future employees less than current employees, in most cases.  He says "the split wage would not affect personnel already working at the utility."  The IBEW Local 459 is the BPU's largest union... and, represents about 80 employees in the electric, water, wastewater maintenance and customer service areas of the five-division utility.  The imposed contract is for a one-year period under the same terms and conditions of the expired agreement... and, is retroactive to this past April 1st.


Young feels 18-month waiting period to fully-implement Medical Marijuana needed for "tweeking" of law, and to work on avoiding abuses....

Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the measure allowing a highly-restrictive medical marijuana program.  However... it'll be 18-months before the program is fully-implemented.  That's fine with State Senator Cathy Young... who says -- while she voted for the measure -- it still needs some work.  The Olean Republican reiterates that she strongly opposes the general legalization of marijuana.  But... for some families... Young says the medical form of the drug is their last hope for children with severe seizure-issues.  Young believes the 1 1/2 year's time to full-implimentation would be best used to avoid abuse of the system.  She adds it will probably take about 18 months to set up the program.  One mother from Cuba, New York -- which is part of Young's district -- was in the Senate Chamber with her son, who has serious epileptic seizure issues to observe the vote.

Amber Alert for WNY


 

ROCHESTER -- Police need your help finding a child who was abducted from Rochester.

16-year-old Cassidy Geffert was taken from 79 Talnuck Drive in Rochester just after 10 a.m. Monday.

 

She left a note for her parents indicating she was in danger. The note had blood on it and the victim's cell phone. The home was in disarray when police arrived with a knife on the floor and a .38 caliber handgun taken from the home.

 

Cassidy is a white female with brown hair and blue eyes. She is approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 145 pounds. She was last seen wearing silky pajama shorts.

 

Police are searching for a black 4-door 2006 SAAB with NY license plate number GMM9136. Greece Police believe the car may be headed to Ohio. The car was stolen from the scene.

 

Anyone with information should contact the Greece Town Police Department at (866) NYS-AMBER or call 911 to provide information on a report or sighting

WJTN News Headlines


The Buffalo-area woman critically-wounded when her boyfriend shot her in the head in the town of Westfield before turning the gun on himself... has died in an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital.  The Buffalo News reports 29 year-old Nichole Sheehan of Lancaster died last Friday afternoon at UPMC Hamot -- a day after she was shot.  Sheriff Joe Gerace told the News they believe the boyfriend... 38 year-old Sam Reynolds -- also of Lancaster -- shot her while they were on a trip to Barcelona Harbor to celebrate her birthday.  Gerace says deputies were only able to interview family and friends of the couple... and, don't know why he shot her... then killed himself.  The couple had rented one-side of a duplex on Route 5.  Sheehan was shot about 2:30 AM last Thursday... but, was able to get to a nearby home and ask for help.  Officers later found Reynolds dead near the breakwall after he shot himself.

 

Chautauqua Institution has begun its 141st season.  At the Sunday morning worship service, Chautauqua President, Tom Becker tapped the gavel three times... the traditional act of 'opening the assembly' for the year.  In his remarks, Becker said 2014 is a time in which people have the sense 'we can know what we need to know, by opening an ap.' And yet, coming to Chautauqua offers 'a way to go forward with a renewed understanding of commitment, and humility.'  The Chautauqua season continues until Sunday, August 24th. Tickets remain available for all the major events there. 

 

While the current state budget funds 20 more family court judges statewide, intended to help ease crowded dockets, legislators have approved 25 new judgeships.  Most would take office next year, following upstate elections in November.  One will be in Chautauqua County.  The legislation, if signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, would add nine more judges in New York City, where they are appointed.  Others would be elected this fall in Albany, Broome, Oswego, Schenectady, Ulster and Westchester counties upstate.

 

Don't be afraid to "trumpet" Jamestown as you're hometown if you leave the area for college... or your career. That from last weekend's Commencement Speaker for the Jamestown High School Class of 2014.  Detroit Tigers Performance Coach George Carlo says began his career working in athletics, and as an advisor for colleges and government.  Carlo told the story of becoming an advisor for Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in 1981.  He recalled his first meeting... and, others in the room told where they were from.  Many were from big cities.  When he spoke... Carlo just said he was from Upstate New York near Buffalo.  Carlo says Clinton asked if he was from near Jamestown.  He said he was from Jamestown... and, Clinton explained how he looked up for Robert H. Jackson.
Carlo told the 317 graduates at Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater "there are winners and losers..." and, by graduating... they were all winners.  However... the 1971 JHS Graduate told them that winning is "not a random event."  He says many who succeed in life are already champions because that's how they  at what they're good at. 

 

There was "Pomp and Circumstance..." and, a lot of tradition at last Friday night's JHS Graduation. First-year Superintendent Tim Mains congratulated the Class of 2014 for graduating... and, beginning the next phase of their lives.  Mains talked to them about the meaning of "Raider Pride."  He says you dont want to be viewed as arrogant and conceited... and, adds that "Raider Pride" is "tempered by humility...." Mains did have one challenge for the graduates... some of whom still have one or two Regents tests left this week because JHS Graduation was early this year due to the start of the 2014 Chautauqua season.  He says while their diploma is their "ticket to adulthood..." they should never stop learning.  Mains urged the graduates to especially learn how to unlock their potential... and, use the tools they have to "their advantage."

 

State legislators have ended a six-month session that saw votes to authorize medical marijuana, fight a growing heroin epidemic and invest in pre-kindergarten education around the state.  Lawmakers adjourned Friday without voting on other high-profile initiatives, including a minimum wage increase and a package of proposals to combat sex trafficking and help domestic violence victims.  Along the way... lawmakers also cut taxes for manufacturers, authorized hundreds of speed cameras for New York City and Long Island, and voted to make yogurt the state's official snack.

 

Another rating agency has decided to upgrade the New York's bond rating.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says Fitch Ratings Friday announced that it's raising the rating from Double-A to Double-A-plus to reflect the state's overall economic strength as well as ``sustainable budgeting practices...'' and, budgets that have been approved on time.  Earlier in the week... Moody's Investors Service upped the state's rating to Double-A-1, the highest level since before the financial crisis of the mid-1970s.   Cuomo called the announcement by Fitch ``the cherry on the cake'' and says the upgrade is a positive reflection on New York's economy and government finances.

 

State lawmakers in New York have voted to outlaw the dangerous practice of pointing lasers at airplanes.  The measure would make it a misdemeanor to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft.  If the laser forced a pilot to significantly change course or otherwise disrupted the flight... the crime would be a felony.  The Senate and Assembly passed the legislation this week before adjourning their six-month session.  It's already illegal under federal law to point a laser at a plane.  The lasers are hazardous because they can easily disorient pilots.  Federal authorities report a big increase in the number of incidents, with nearly 100 occuring in the New York City area last year.  Supporters say matching state law with federal law will make it easier to prosecute offenders.

 


 

News Update for Fri., June 20, 2014


Young among majority that votes "yes" for Medical Marijuana in State Senate...

Local State Senator Cathy Young was among the majority in the chamber who voted to legalize medical marijuana to alleviate pain... and, other symptoms for some severely ill patients.  Young joined with 48 other Senators in voting yes for the Compassionate Care Act... while only 10 voted no.  The Olean Republican reiterates that she remains strongly opposed to legalizing recreational use of pot.  However... she was satisified that this measure only allows limited use under the supervision of a doctor... and, that it will be used to help treat serious diseases like Cancer and Multiple Sclororis in a "non-smoking form."  The approval follows the overwhelming approval earlier today by the Assembly for the compromise among legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo.  That will make New York the 23rd state to legalize, but the drug won't be available in New York for at least 18 months while regulations are written... and, five state-approved producers and distributors are chosen.  Many senators say it will help alleviate suffering of children with seizures.


Medical Marijuana measure also approved -- overwhelmingly -- in Assembly; Goodell votes no...

In the state Assembly... medical marijuana was approved 113-13.  The program will be heavily-regulated and Governor Cuomo says he will have the power to pull the plug at any time.  However, Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell was one of 13 Assembly members to vote "no" on the bill.  Goodell says he still has concerns about the program.  One is a requirement to have a Project Labor Agreement which allows only unionized growers could be involved in the process... and, that excludes all farms in Chautauqua County because they aren't unionized.  Goodell also says he has questions about the program including the lack of control over the background of people designated to pick up and deliver the drugs.  However, the Bemus Point Republican says the legislation is a lot better now than when it was first considered a few years ago.  The marijuana involved can’t be smoked... and, the legislation will require doctors to be trained and certified in order to prescribe it.


Rankin will be GOP candidate for Legislature District 12 seat in November... 
There will be an all-woman, special election this coming November for the District 12 seat on the Chautauqua County Legislature.  With her endorsement... Republican Elizabeth Rankin will run off against Democrat Beth Kresge for the Jamestown seat.  Rankin says she's "really honored" to get the GOP's backing... and, says she had been looking to run of public office for a while.  She adds she's worked in constituent services for a "long-time..." and, she would look forward to being a county lawmaker.  Rankin says the issues she's most interested in are taxes... jobs... and, the future for her children here.  Beth Kresge is to be appointed to fill the Legislature 12 seat at next week's Legislature meeting to fill the vacancy when Democrat Fred Larson stepped down.

 

WJTN News Headlines


There have been two more raids... and, two more arrests as part of the Jamestown Police Department's on-going crack-down on narcotics trafficking in the city.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the raids took place at 6:30 yesterday morning in conjunction with the state Police C-NET Team.  The first search warrant was executed at 11 Park Street... where investigators seized a quantity of Heroin... and, about 3-thousand dollars in cash.  Samuelson adds that officers arrested 49 year-old Olga Santiago... who is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  At 15 Park Street... Samuelson says police found another quantity of Heroin... and, 2-thousand dollars in cash.  He says they arrested the occupant there... 25 year-old Doris Ramos... who was in the house with two small children.  She is also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal using drug paraphernalia.  Ramos is also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Samuelson says the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

An agreement by state leaders on a package of bills designed to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic that is sweeping the state is getting mainly positive reviews by the county's top cop.  While he is still reviewing the details of the legislation... Sheriff Joe Gerace says it seems to address a number of issues including one of the root causes of the growing problem. Gerace is also encouraged that the legislation will allow individuals who have an addiction problem to get the help they need.  He says it's a major problem at the County Jail in Mayville beccause they have inmates who are addicted... and, when they're released... it's hard for them to get treatment because of lack of insurance.  Gerace took part in the drug forum held on the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus Indian Reservation a few weeks ago that was co-hosted by the State Senate and the Nation.  State Senator Cathy Young -- a member of the Senate task force that held meetings on the issue -- says it helped generate major policy initiatives that will address the heroin issue.

 

The investigation is continuing into a blaze early yesterday morning that destroyed a vacant, multi-family home on Jamestown's northside.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme (Suh-Lemmee) says crews were called to the scene at 837 Prendergast Avenue shortly before 4 AM.  Salemme says they found a lot of fire and smoke pouring from the building on arrival. Since the building was uninhabited... Salemme says firefighters went into a defensive posture to put the blaze out.  He says they also put water in two nearby exposures.  One was at 837-and-a-half Prendergast Avenue... while the other was next door at 839 Prendergast.  Salemme says the building was torn down because it's a safety hazard.  He says it was also being razed so some remaining hot-spots can be doused.  Salemme says no one was in the building at the time of the fire... and, no one was hurt.  He says an off-duty shift of 15... including a shift commander... were called in to assist.

 

A 1971 graduate of Jamestown High School who's been the performance coach for a major league baseball team the past 10 years will be JHS's graduation speaker tonight at Chautauqua Institution.  Dr. George Carlo will headline the school's annual commencement exercises... which begin at 7 PM at Chautauqua's Amphitheater.  Principal Mike McElrath says they're excited to have Carlo... whom they found out about when he helped Jamestown Boy's Varsity Basketball Coach Ben Drake prepare his team for the state play-offs earlier this year.
The JHS Team made it to the "Final Four" at Glens Falls in this year's tournament.  McElrath says they went through Drake to contact Carlo... who said he was "very interested" in coming back and being commencement speaker.  In addition to working with the Detroit Tigers... and, other sports teams... he says Carlo has also been a performance and leadership consultant to field personnel in several U-S government agencies... including the Department of Defense.  Carlo has also written four books.  Jamestown High School is holding it's graduation earlier than other county schools because Chautauqua's 2014 Season begins Saturday.

 

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is warning customers about a telephone scam that has been attempted on at least two local restaurants... and, one hotel.  BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says the businesses have received calls from an "866" area code from someone claiming to be from the BPU... and, demanding that they pay their electric bills within 45 minutes... or be shut-off by the BPU.  The caller tells the business to purchase a money order or same day money pack at Walgreens... Rite Aid... CVS... or 7-11 and call back to pay the bill.  Robbins says this is a scam to cheat the person or business called.  Robbins says the BPU only accepts payment at it's Customer Service office, City Clerk’s office, Ellicott Town Clerk’s office, on-line and at official drop boxes. 

 

New York senators are proposing several measures to deal with tick-borne Lyme disease that appears to be spreading across the state.  The task force report cites 462 cases reported through the first week of June in New York and a recent federal estimate of 300-thousand new cases annually with only a fraction actually reported.  The bacterial infection, usually treated with antibiotics, is spread through the bite of infected ticks that are often carried by mice or deer.  The report shows it has spread far north and west from initial outbreaks on Long Island and the Hudson Valley.

News Update for Thurs., June 19, 2014


One person dead, another in critical condition following attempted Murder-Suicide in town of Westfield...

The investigation is continuing into what appears to have been an attempted murder-suicide that took place early Thursday morning on Route 5 in Barcelona.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call about 2:30 a.m. from a home where the victim went to after being shot.  Gerace says the resident reported a woman came to the house looking for help.  He says deputies got there... and, found the victim... who was immediately taken to the hospital.  The woman... 29-year-old Nichole Sheehan of Lancaster... was rushed to Westfield Memorial Hospital and later transferred to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.  At last word... she was in critical condition.  Gerace says the man involved in the incident... later identified as 38-year-old Sam Reynolds, also of Lancaster -- was still in the area.  About two-and-a-half hours later... Gerace says officers heard a gunshot near the breakwall, and found Reynolds had taken his own life.  He says the two victims had arrived in Barcelona from out-of-town to reportedly celebrate Sheehan's birthday.  He described the incident as -- quote -- "a horrific event" that has devastated the families involved.


City fire crews douse blaze in vacant house, tear burned-out structure down...

The investigation is continuing into the cause of a fire that's destroyed a vacant, multi-family home on Jamestown's northside.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 837 Prendergast Avenue shortly before 4 this morning.  Salemme says they found a lot of smoke and fire coming from both floors of the home on arrival.  Since the building was uninhabited... Salemme says firefighters did an exterior attack on the blaze.  He says they also put water in two nearby exposures... one at 837 1/2 Prendergast Ave., and the other at 839 Prendergast.  No one was hurt.


Two more people arrested during two more Heroin busts in Jamestown...

Two Jamestown women are jailed following two drug raids on the city's southside early this morning.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the raids took place at 6:30 a.m. in conjunction with the JPD SWAT Team... and, state Police C-NET Team.  The first raid took place at 11 Park Street... where investigators seized a quantity of Heroin... and, about $3,000 cash.  Samuelson adds that officers arrested 49 year-old Olga Santiago for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  At 15 Park... Samuelson says police found another quantity of Heroin... and, $2,000 in cash.  Police arrested 25 year-old Doris Ramos... who was in the house with two small children.  She is also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal using drug paraphernalia.  Ramos is also charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Samuelson says the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


 

WJTN News Headline


A city woman is jailed for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of Heroin... packaged for sale... just a short distance away from Love Elementary School.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the JPD Drug Enforcement Unit... and, state Police C-NET Team raided an apartment at 614 Spring Street about 12:30 PM Wednesday.  Samuelson says they found the occupant... 28 year-old Leslie Rodriguez... trying to flush some of the Heroin in her possession down a toilet.  He tells our Terry Frank this was part of their ongoing crack-down on Heroin trafficking in the city. In addition to the Heroin... Samuelson says officers found packaging material... and, 6-thousand dollars cash.  The first drug raid near the school was a couple of weeks ago... and, allegedly involved the discovery of a loaded revolver.  Samuelson also says they've been getting a lot of help from citizens on their anonymous tip-line.  He says they're getting an average of "3 or 4 calls" a day.  For repeat callers... he says be patient because they will get back to you -- only if you want them to call.  Their number is 483-8477.  Rodriguez is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal tampering.

 

State lawmakers lawmakers have agreed on legislation designed to help curb the growing heroin epidemic in New York.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says the eight bills approved today (Wednesday) include requiring insurance companies to better cover substance-abuse treatment... creating a statewide public awareness campaign to prevent opioid use... and, harsher penalties to crack down on illegal drug distribution.  The legislation would also require every anti-overdose kit, which contains the drug naloxone -- or Narcan -- to include an information card on how to administer the drug... and, how to recognize the symptoms of a heroin and opioid overdose.  Cuomo, a Democrat, says there were more than 89,000 heroin and prescription opiate treatment cases in New York last year, up from roughly 63,000 in 2004.  Experts say today's heroin is cheaper and more potent than it was in the 1980s.

 

Both the state Senate and Assembly have now approved legislation to provide Chautauqua County with a second, Family Court Judge.  State Senator Cathy Young says the new judge will help address a record number of cases.  Young says -- typically -- Chautauqua County’s family court caseload is around 4-thousand per year... but, last year it grew to about 9-thousand cases.  She says the dramatic increase resulted in a family court judge from Erie County being brought in to help with the caseload two days every week.  Right now... Judge Judith Claire is the only full time Family Court Judge in Chautauqua County.  Young says negotiations between the Senate and Assembly were "arduous" because Assembly members from New York City wanted more judges downstate.  However... Chautauqua County remained on all the lists.  She commended Bemus Point Assemblyman Andy Goodell for his "strong efforts" to protect the county's needs. Chautauqua County’s new judge will be elected in this November’s general election. Given the special circumstances of the creation of these new judgeships... and, the limited time available between now and the election, candidates will be accommodated by a lower than usual requirement for petition signatures. Ballot petitioning for candidates will begin on July 11, 2014, and petitions must be filed with the county Board of Elections between July 21st and July 24th. 

 

Quick thinking by an employee at Jamestown's Bergman Park prevented serious damage to a bathroom near the ballfields after someone set some paper towels on fire.  Fire Battalion Chief Don Woodfield says fire crews were called to the scene on Baker Street Extension about 4:45 PM.  Woodfield says they found a smoldering, plastic paper towel dispenser in the men's room.  He says the caretaker threw some water on the dispenser... and, firefighters used a water can to extinguish the fire.  No one was hurt.  Woodfield says whoever set the fire... apparently just set the paper itself ablaze.  City police and fire officials are investigating.  Contact either department if you have any information on the arson fire.

 

Members of the Jamestown Fire Department... other city officials and residents... paused yesterday afternoon at Fire Station-#5 to remember one of the department's darkest days.  Thursday was the 80th anniversary of the Richfield Oil Company explosion and fire on Fluvanna Avenue.  Four members of the department at Station-#5 died from burns in that fire... while several others... including the Chief... were seriously burned.  Retired firefighter Leo Duliba (Do-Lee-buh) is the department's Historian... and, has chronicalled most of what happened. The four firefighters who were killed were Station-#5 Office in Charge Harold Anderson... Oscar Bloom... Walter Kastenhuber... and, Chief's Aid Raymond Allison.  Two died at the scene... while the other two died the following day.  In addition... Duliba says three boys... ages 12 to 16... died returned to the area to get their bicycles. Duliba says he interviewed five members of the fire department in 1968 who were at the scene of that refinery fire... but, he says it took a while for them to first open up about what happened that day.  A bell tolled four times at 3:20 PM... the time of the first alarm. 

 

News Update for Wed., June 18, 2014


City and State police arrest city woman during Heroin drug bust near Jamestown's Love School...

A Jamestown woman has been arrested following a second drug bust involving Heroin near Love Elementary School on the city's northside.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the JPD Drug Enforcement Unit... and, state Police C-NET Team raided an apartment at 614 Spring St. early Wednesday afternoon.  Samuelson says they found the occupant... 28 year-old Leslie Rodriguez... trying to flush some of the Heroin in her possession down a toilet.  He says it was packaged for sale... and, she was able to flush a small quantity of it down a toilet before being arrested.  In addition to the Heroin... Samuelson says officers found packaging material... and, $6,000 cash.  He says this was not a major bust, "any little bit helps."  He says the major concern was the proximity to the school.  The bust a couple of weeks ago not far down the street led to the discovery of a loaded revolver.  Samuelson also says they've been getting a lot of help from citizens on their anonymous tip-line.  Rodriguez was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal tampering.  She's being held pending arraignment.  If you have any information ion the illegal sales or trafficking of narcotics... call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


State Senate and Assembly approved package legislation to help stem Heroin epidemic...

State lawmakers lawmakers have agreed on legislation designed to help curb the growing heroin epidemic in New York.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says the eight bills approved today Include requiring insurance companies to better cover substance-abuse treatment... creating a statewide public awareness campaign to prevent opioid use... and, harsher penalties to crack down on illegal drug distribution.  The legislation would also require every anti-overdose kit, which contains the drug naloxone -- or Narcan -- to include an information card on how to administer the drug... and, how to recognize the symptoms of a heroin and opioid overdose.  Cuomo, a Democrat, says there were more than 89,000 heroin and prescription opiate treatment cases in New York last year, up from roughly 63,000 in 2004.  Experts say today's heroin is cheaper and more potent than it was in the 1980s.


JCC Board okays 2014-2015 budget...

The Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees has approved a $35.4-million dollar budget for 2014-2015 that includes a $95 in-state tuition increase.  It's the first budget created under the administration of JCC President Dr. Cory Duckworth... who says the spending plan is about 2.4-percent higher than the college's original 2013-2014 spending plan.  JCC's fiscal year begins Sept. 1.  Duckworth expressed his gratitude to the college's administrative team to help him put together "a budget that will serve the college’s students and our communities well."  JCC's Vice-President of Administration John Garfoot says the spending plan includes a state aid amount of $2,497 per Full-Time equivalent student... which is up slightly from last year.  Garfoot adds they are "mindful of the impact of tuition increases on our students."  But... he believes this increase will be offset by financial aid for most of our students, particularly those in greatest need. 

 

WJTN News Headlines


The Sherman Central School District is once again at the top of "overachieving" school systems in all of western New York.  The small, Chautauqua County district -- in fact -- is receiving the designation for the seventh year in a row from Business First of Buffalo.  Sherman School Superintendent Cain Kelly says it's "a real honor" to again get the number-one slot... which he says "validates" all the hard work their teachers... and, staff do there in spite of difficult socio-economic conditions. In fact... Sherman is ranked 35th overall among the 97 districts in the Buffalo Business First circulation area.  The weekly publication ranked Sherman 89th as far as socio-economic climate with a 34.5-percent poverty rate.  Kelly attributes their success to two things.  One is a "very talented and dedicated staff" that goes above and beyond the call of duty.  Kelly says the other part is community support... and, he says parents are "very supportive" of what they do to provide a good education.  Sherman wasn't the only local school district in the top-five list of overachievers.  Randolph was fourth... while Silver Creek was number-five. 

 

Sherman was the only Chautauqua County school to any of Business First's individual catagories among Western New York schools.  In the overall rankings, though, the Bemus Point Central District was again tops in the county.  Business First ranked the small district 7th in this year's final standings.  Williamsville from the Buffalo area was number-one for the 11th straight year.  After Bemus Point... the next highest ranked district was Southwestern at 16th... while Fredonia was 20th.  Jamestown was 89th.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is seeking a federal major disaster declaration for 11 central and western New York counties -- including Chautauqua -- after storms and flooding caused widespread damage.  The storms that began last month... brought rainfall in some areas at rates of 5 to 7 inches in less than three hours.  More than 65-hundred homes and business were without power and more than 130 families sustained significant property damage.

 

Jamestown police are still investigating the disappearance of a city man who was last seen back on May 27th at the Dash Inn on East Second Street.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 43 year-old Joe Anthony was last seen at the local bar about 10:30 PM... and, hasn't been seen since.  Samuelson says they began looking into Anthony's case once they were contacted by Anthony's family.  He tells us today that they're received a lot of information... but, it hasn't led them to where he is. Samuelson says they don't believe foul play is involved... but, adds they don't really have a lot of information to lead them to believe that.  He says Anthony reportedly left all his belongs at his Broadhead Avenue home... including diabetes medication.  Samuelson says the fact he doesn't have his medication "heightens their concern."  He says they are still asking for the public's help in the case.  Joe Anthony is described as a white male whose 5-foot-8 inches tall... and, weighs 280 pounds.  He has short black hair... and, brown eyes.  Anyone with information is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or their Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

The investigation is continuing into the disappearance of a Jamestown man who hasn't been seen since May 14th.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says there have been extensive searches for 25-year-old Tyler Chase in the town of Charlotte... but those efforts have come up empty-handed. But... Gerace says there are no plans for any further ground searches unless new information materializes.  He says if anyone does have information about Tyler Chase's whereabouts, they should call the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.

 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has quashed a newly amended bill that would legalize medical marijuana saying that he would not sign the bill into law if it passed both chambers... but, negotiations still remain fluid.  Cuomo says it doesn't address some of his concerns including banning smoking of the drug and requiring the program to be evaluated in five years.  Among the changes Monday was allowing only doctors to prescribe the drug.  A spokesman for bill co-sponsor, state Senator Diane Savino, says negotiations with Cuomo's office are continuing.

 

Several hundred fast-food workers and other low-wage employees from around New York are at the state Capitol to pressure lawmakers to raise the minimum wage from 8-dollars to 10-dollars-10 cents an hour... and, let local cities raise it even higher.  The effort is unlikely to succeed before lawmakers adjourn Thursday.

 

The former secretary of a church in Dunkirk is accused of stealing funds from that parish.  Dunkirk Police say 42-year-old Myra Murphy, who used to be secretary of the Good Hope Baptist Church, was arrested on a secret grand jury indictment warrant charging her with third-degree grand larceny.  Murphy was arrested following a lengthy investigation by police in the north county city.  She's alleged to have stolen an undisclosed amount of money from the church over an unspecified period of time.  Murphy turned herself in, was arraigned in city court, and released under supervision of probation.  The investigation is continuing.

 

The state Assembly has voted to ban hydraulic fracturing -- or fracking -- for natural gas for three years, but that's as far as the bill is likely to go.  Monday's 89-34 vote in favor of the ban on fracking could be largely symbolic, since the Senate isn't expected to consider the legislation before lawmakers adjourn later this week.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's no reason to rush a decision on fracking before its effects on health and the environment are better understood.  New York has had a moratorium on fracking since an environmental review was launched in 2008.  A decision on whether to continue the moratorium is expected from Governor Andrew Cuomo once his health department completes a health impact review that began in 2012.

 

WJTN News Headlines


A city man faces several charges after allegedly leading Jamestown police on a high-speed pursuit through the city early yesterday morning.  Jamestown police say the chase... involvding 24 year-old Joshua Whalen... began on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott -- near the city line -- just before 4:30 AM.  Officers say they followed Whalen's car south on Fairmount -- then east onto West Fifth Street.  At that point... police say Whalen allegedly disobeyed a number of one-way street signs... stop signs... and, made unsafe turns unitl he was trapped on a dead-end street.  Police say Whalen then got out of the car... and, tried to flee from police... but, he was caught and arrested a short distance away.  Whalen faces charges including first-degree reckless endangerment... and, unlawfully fleeing police.

 

The Chautauqua County Landbank has "targeted" up to 26 vacant and blighted buildings in the city of Jamestown for demolition.  City Council Housing committee Chairwoman Marie Carubba says Development Director Vince DeJoy gave them a list of properties that have been tentatively approved for the process.  Carubba says the city expects to get a significant amount of money reimbursed for the cost of taking down the dilapitated homes.  She adds no priority has been given to any particular structures, either. Carubba says the city and the County Landbank have a "pretty aggressive" plan to take down the nearly two-dozen structures.  She says DeJoy estimated it'll cost about 25-thousand dollars -- on average -- to knock down each one.  However... a lot still depends on whether there will have to be asbestos removal... or if there's need for an emergency demolition.
Mayor Sam Teresi says there may be other factors that alter the cost of each demolition... including environmental contaminiation.  The city will pay half the cost of each one.  The initial list was 20... and, DeJoy says six were added after going through the City-County's In-REM forclosure process.

 

New York's attorney general says he's hopeful state lawmakers will pass legislation to combat abandoned properties before adjourning.  A-G Eric Schneiderman has asked the Legislature to support his bill to make banks and other mortgage lenders responsible for maintaining properties that have been abandoned after the start of a foreclosure.  Known as ``zombie'' homes... the properties are often abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure -- even though foreclosures can take years and occupants are entitled to stay until the process is complete.  The homes can fall into disrepair, reducing property values and serving as magnets for crime and vandalism.  Schneiderman's bill would authorize fines for lenders who fail to maintain abandoned homes.  It has the support of several mayors from around the state... including Jamestown's Sam Teresi.

 

President Obama needs to clearly articulate what our national security interests are before there's any kind of military engagement in the deteriorating situation in Iraq.  Those are the feelings of local Congressman Tom Reed... who says he's "frustrated" by the fact there is no consistant policy to support the current government... which is being overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  Tal Afar in northern Iraq has now fallen to the al-Qaida splinter group. Reed says he's opposed to having "boots on the ground" in Iraq.  The Corning Republican also addressed the issue of the leader of the Islamic militants involved was in U-S custody... but, was released in 2009.  Reed says... as in the recent prisoner swap involving U-S Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl... he has serious concerns about letting such militant leaders free. Reed says whether it's military strikes... or aid... the president needs to clearly articulate that.  He says it also again speaks to the need for an "all of the above" energy strategy for the U-S.

 

It shouldn't be long before Governor Andrew Cuomo declares several western and central New York Counties -- including Chautauqua -- as federal disaster areas due to flooding.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who has already toured much of the devastation in Yates County... where the worst of the flooding was last month.  Many parts of Chautauqua County sustained just over one-million dollars in damage from the storms.  Reed was pleased the region did meet the 26.9-million dollar threshold for aid. Reed says he called Governor Cuomo last week to urge him to request the declaration as soon as possible... and, he says Cuomo's office indicated that they're finalizing what has to be done.  Otherwise... he says it's a matter of dealing with the bureaucracy of getting the request to federal officials... and, dealing with the bureacracy involved.  He made his comments during his weekly Media Conference Call.

 

 
The fate of medical marijuana, a higher minimum wage and efforts to combat heroin addiction are set to be decided as New York lawmakers enter their final week of work during this year's regular session.  Legislators will return to Albany on Monday and are expected to consider hundreds of bills before Thursday's planned adjournment.  One high-profile bill would raise the starting wage from 8-dollars an hour to 10-dollars-10 cents and let cities like New York City set a local minimum wage of up to $13.13 an hour.  Supporters of medical marijuana hope to secure a deal with Governor Andrew Cuomo and for top lawmakers to clear the way for passage.  Finally... lawmakers hope to pass legislation to combat opiate addiction, though some say they're wary of proposals to strengthen criminal drug penalties.

 

There were some tense moments late Saturday night at the Dunkirk City Pier when a man jumped into the water to try and rescue his dog.  Dunkirk Firefighters and police sprang into action around 10 PM.  That from Dunkirk Fire Lieutenant Bob Trzaska... who explains how first responders handled the situation.  Trzaska says they put a ladder into the water... and, one firefighter went in to rescue the dog.  Trazka says the dog's owner also made it up the ladder and both are safe and sound.

 

News Update for Mon., June 16, 2014


City man arrested following high-speed vehicle pursuit through city...

A Jamestown man faces a number of charges after a car pursuit from Fairmount Avenue on the city's westside to a dead-end street downtown.  Jamestown police say they began the chase shortly before 4:30 a.m. Monday near the West Ellicott-Jamestown city line.  Officers say they followed the car... allegedly being operated by 24 year-old Joshua Whalen... southbound on Fairmount... and, it took off at a high-rate of speed east on West Fifth Street.  At that point... police say Whalen allegedly disobeyed one-way street signs... stop signs... and, made unsafe turns unitl he was trapped on the dead-end street.  Police say Whalen then got out of the car... and, ran from police.  However... they say he was later caught by officers and arrested.  Whalen faces charges including first-degree reckless endangerment... unlawfully fleeing police... and, obstruction of governmental administration.


Silver Creek woman arrested for allegedly selling "crack" cocaine...

A north county woman has been arrested for allegedly selling "crack" cocaine to undercover police officers the past three-months in the village of Silver Creek.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say 49 year-old Lisa Farner of Lafayette Street turned herself into Silver Creek Village Court after learning a warrant had been issued for her arrest.  Farner is charged with third-degree criminal sale... and, possession of a controlled substance.  However... Task Force members also say she will now be brought before the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on additional sales and possession charges.  She's jailed until that time.  Task Force agents say that if you know of any illegal drug activity... call them at 1-800-344-8702.  They say all calls will be kept confidential.

   

 

WJTN News Headlines


The District 12 Democrat Committee in Jamestown has named a woman to fill the seat that's been vacated by Fred Larson.  County Democrat Committee Chairman Norm Green says the panel has unanimously recommended Beth Kresge of Lakeview Avenue to replace Larson... who recently stepped down from the County Legislature to take a newly-created post as the second Jamestown City Court Judge.  Kresge was named after their first choice... Chuck Cornell... was rejected by the county legislature.  The panel must confirm the appointment. Green says Kresge's resume... and, volunteer work in the community impressed the committee very much.  She has worked as a staffer for two past members of Congress.  She and her husband, Jeff, have one child.  Green says the party's Executive Committee will also be meeting this coming Tuesday in Dunkirk to take up the endorsement of Beth Kresge as the party’s endorsed candidate for November.  The clerk of the Legislature will be receiving the recommendation from the Democrat’s district committee today for the interim appointment of Kresge to the legislature.  The full panel is expected to take that up at it's meeting later this month.

 

New York state officials have nominated 28 sites for addition to the have been nominated to the state and national registers of historic places... including downtown Jamestown.  The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation says the city's "Downtown Historic District" is included on the list.  That includes a collection of 101 buildings in the south county city.  The first area is North Main Street, which evolved as a major commercial corridor with banks and small mercantile buildings.  West of North Main Street is an area that developed as a center for large retail use and hotels.  The area east of North Main Street emerged as a center for entertainment and, specialized office buildings.  The last part is East First Street... which has had a continuous role in the city as an area of industrial activity.

 

State lawmakers have voted to authorize soil and water conservation districts to take steps to prevent and control non-native plants and insects considered invasive species.  The districts were established in counties to help deal with erosion and flooding.  Sponsors say 24 of the 58 districts two-years ago reported being involved in efforts to control invasives... including 62 projects against weeds and treating more than 6,500 acres.  The bill would provide statutory authority to continue programs to identify, prevent, and eradicate foreign plants and animals that threaten to displace natives.  The targets include one found in Chautauqua Lake... Eurasian Milfoil. 

 

It was a great weekend for baseball... and, the fans came out for the first three games of the Jamestown Jammers start to the New York-Penn League baseball season.  While many may consider it just a lower-level, minor league baseball operation... the Jammers have become very important part of the area's Summer economy.  In fact... Mayor Sam Teresi say an Economic Development Impact study shows the Class-A, short-season franchise either directly -- or indirectly -- brings in about 3.5-million dollars to the area.  But... Teresi adds there's more to having the Jammers here. Teresi says Jamestown is one of 150 cities nation-wide fortunate enough to have a professional baseball team... and, there are other city's that try to lure franchise's elsewhere.  Over the past year... it's been rumored that Jamestown... or another small city team in the NY-P League... may be moving.  However... Teresi says there's been no indictation by Rich Baseball... which owns the franchise... that they're going to move. In a recent interview with Media One News... Jammers General Manager Matt Drayer told us the same thing... community support will determine the fate of the franchise.  Mayor Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Stations.

 

A Gerry man is accused of shooting a neighbor's barking dog... killing it... and, burying the animal without telling the neighbor.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to a location on Damon Hill Road in the town of Gerry late last week after a man reported finding his dead dog in a field.  The man said his dog had been missing for several days... and, he had looked in several places, and talked to many of his neighbors.  He found an area of unearthed soil.  The man began digging, and found the dog.  Sheriff's Deputies investigated... and, determined that 46 year-old Robert Rearick had shot and killed the dog.  Rearick was charged with overdriving, torturing, and injuring an animal -- a violation of the Ag and Markets Law.  He will appear in Gerry Town Court at a later date.

 

A lot of work is going on behind the scenes as local and state leaders try to lure a developer to acquire the Carriage House facilities in Dunkirk and Fredonia that will be closing later this year.  Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe says he is glad that ConAgra has agreed to NOT place any restrictions on future development of the plant.  Keefe says there have been weekly conference calls regarding the facilities.  Keefe was also pleased about Governor Cuomo's announcement regarding a 50-thousand dollar Re-Use study.  However... he'd like see Cuomo do more.
Some 425 workers are being impacted by the Carriage House closing later this year.  County Executive Vince Horrigan has indicated that they are taking a "dual-track" approach in developing the facilities... either by attracting a developer or by creating an agri-business park. 

News Update for Sun., June 15, 2014


Kresge to be recommended to fill District 12 County Legislature seat...

The District 12 Democrat Committee in Jamestown has named a woman to fill the seat that's been vacated by Fred Larson... who is now the city's new second City Court Judge.  County Democrat Committee Chairman Norm Green says the panel early last weekend unanimously recommended Beth Kresge of Lakeview Avenue to replace Larson... who recently stepped down from the County Legislature to take a newly-created post as the second Jamestown City Court Judge.  Kresge is currently a stay at home mom who volunteers in the community.  She and her husband, Jeff, have one child.  The District 12 Committee previously recommended that former Legislator Chuck Cornell fill the seat until a special election set for Nov. 4... but, the recommendation was turned down by the full County Legislature at its May meeting.  Green says the party's Executive Committee will also be meeting this coming Tuesday in Dunkirk to take up the endorsement of Beth Kresge as our party’s endorsed candidate for November.  The clerk of the Legislature this Monday will be receiving the recommendation from the Democrat’s district committee for the interim appointment recommendation of Beth Kresge, for anticipated action at the Legislature’s June meeting.

News Update for Fri., June 13, 2014


Schumer calls on federal Office of National Drug Control Policy to designate Chautauqua Co. as a "High Intensity Drug Traffickig Area..."

New York's senior U-S Senator is urging the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy to designate Chautauqua County as a federal "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area."  Democrat Chuck Schumer has written to the director of the ONDCP to give the county that designation due to a "recent and disturbing uptick in heroin use... and, drug-related crime."  Schumer says there's a need to improve coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as providing equipment, technology and additional resources that the County needs to tackle this challenge.  In the city of Jamestown alone... Schumer noted that heroin-related arrests have tripled over the last three years, and in 2013 heroin use was linked to more deaths in the area than any other drug.  He says city police also estimate that 90-percent of crime in the city is drug-related.  Schumer also noted that a major drug trafficking group -- the Angueira Drug Ring -- was busted in 2011, after a three-year investigation.  At the time... it was found to have been moving more than a half a kilogram of heroin per week through Chautauqua County to a number of states in the northeast.

 

Cattaraugus County lifts "unnecessary travel" advisory as flood waters drop...

The "no unnecessary travel" advisory posted for a few areas of Cattaraugus County has been lifted.  That from Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officials after three days with rain... and, high water.  Flooding was reported in several parts of northwestern Cattaraugus County.  The Sheriff's Office in Little Valley says while the travel advisory has been lifted... road crews may still be repairing some roads.  They add that some may still have some standing water on them... or are temporarily closed.  Caution should still be exercised in the towns of Conewango, Leon, New Albion and Dayton.

 


Bear sightings in Chautauqua County and all of WNY promotes call for residents to not feed the animals...

It's been an active time for Black Bears in western New York... and, there was a sighting this morning near the Frewsburg Central School.  A resident called in the report around 9 a.m... adding that the bear was there just a short time... and, then ran off towards the TOPS Market.  Sighting a bear in more rural areas of Chautauqua County is not unusual for this time of year... because they're still looking for food after a long, Winter hibernation.  DEC Region 9 Big Game Biologist Tim Spierto says don't leave bird feeders where bears and get them, and make sure garbage is picked up.  Spierto adds that if you come across a bear outdoors... make noise so the bear goes away... but, never turn your back on the animal.

WJTN News Headlines


While Governor Cuomo was in Dunkirk last December to announce an agreement... final approval on NRG's Repowering project in Dunkirk didn't come until yesterday.  The state Public Service Commission approved the repowering project during it's meeting in Albany.  Two votes were held... one regarding the State Environmental Quality Review Act... and, issuing a negative declaration.  The other was approval of a contract with National Grid on the proposed allocation... and, the recovery of the cost for the refueling project.  PSC Chairwoman Audrey Zibelman says there were a lot of positives for the project. Commission member Gregg Sayre attended a hearing on the proposal that was held last summer at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Sayre says he was "moved and impressed" by the nearly 25-hundred people that turned out... and, the outpouring of support for NRG.  The two votes that were taken yesterday by the PSC were unanimous. 

 

In reaction... State Senator Cathy Young and, Congressman Tom Reed are cheering the PSC's approval of the NRG project.   Young is hailed for leading the RePower Western New York effort to save the plant from being mothballed.  She moved to get several bills passed in the Senate to advance repowering, and in the 2012-13 state budget.  Young also successfully inserted language that required the PSC to consider the economic, jobs, environmental and tax base impact of repowering.  She says -- "this outcome is fantastic, one that many said would never happen.  It shows that if a goal is worth achieving, it is worth fighting for."  Reed says the PSC's decision -- "is the right decision for protecting jobs, lowering utility rates for taxpayers and caring for the well-being of the entire community."

 

The state Senate has been busy as the final week of the 2014 regular session gets underway.  Local Senator Cathy Young says she's been working on a number of initiatives... mainly regarding health care... and, policy matters.  The Olean Republican says a lot was acutally accomplished in the final, 2014-2015 budget.  Now... she says there are a lot of matters of regional importance she's working to get completed before the end of next week.
One of the major issues that hasn't emerged from committee in the Senate is approving a limited use of Medical Marijuana.  The measure has been amended three times already... and, remains in committee.  Young would only say she has compassion for those -- especially children -- who need it for extreme pain, and debilitating illnesses.  However... she says they're "not there yet" because there are still people on the Democrat side who want to fully legalize marijuana.  And... Young says she's not in favor of that.  She says negotations are continuing in an effort to move a bill out of committee before the end of the session.

 

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is renewing his push to increase the minimum wage and pass the Dream Act as lawmakers work toward adjournment.  Silver says that those two measures are top priorities before the Legislature adjourns next week.  The minimum wage proposal would raise the wage to 10-dollars-10 cents per hour... and, allow cities like New York City to impose a local minimum wage that's up to 30 percent higher.  The Dream Act would extend financial aid to students who are in the country illegally.

 

The state Senate has approved a measure that would toughen penalties for multiple driving while intoxicated convictions.  Under the measure... a person convicted of three or more DWIs within 15 years would be charged with a Class D felony... punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a 10-thousand dollar fine.  The bill passed Wednesday is named for 82 year-old Vincent Russo of Onondaga County, who was killed in 2011 by someone who had five prior DWI-related convictions. 

 

A Cattaraugus County man has been been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a full case of untaxed cigarettes as he was driving through the town of North Harmony.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say 23 year-old Michael Miller of Salamanca was stopped for speeding on Interstate 86 last Wednesday morning.  Deputies say they found the case of the Seneca-brand cigarettes was observed sitting on the passenger’s side seat of Miller's vehicle.  Officers say their investigation found that he was illegally transporting the cigarettes with no New York State Tax Stamps, or any paperwork.  At the recommendation of the federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency... Miller was arrested for criminal sale of untaxed cigarettes... and, criminal tax fraud.  He was released pending a future court appearance.

 

There's only one kind of gun permit you can get in New York state... as opposed to the two available in nearby Pennsylvania.  However... there are more hoops to jump through in New York to get one.  That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace... who adds the disclaimer that he doesn't write state laws... which have become very controversial with the SAFE Act.  Gerace feels there should be an "open permitting" of pistols with Pennsylvania because we're border areas.  He calls New York's process "very difficult..." but, they expedite it as quickly as possible. With the Jamestown and Warren-areas so close in proxmity... there's a lot of interest among gun owners -- and would-be owners -- in differences in the gun-laws in the two states.  Media One's Ron Smith talked with Sheriff Gerace in Part-Two of his interviews on what's required in New York and Pennsylvania.  Last week... he spoke with Warren County Sheriff Ken Klacamp about what's required in Pennsylvania.

WJTN News Headlines


A Mayville man is jailed on 30-thousand dollars bail for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover drug agents in the nearby Hartfield-area.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they took 32 year-old Justin Eck into custody yesterday morning at his 44-58 Morris Road home on a warrant issued out of Chautauqua Town Court.  Task Force members say Eck was arrested following a three-month investigation into drug sales from the Hartfield location.  He is charged with one count each of third-degree criminal possesion... and, criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned in Chautauqua town court... and, sent to the county lock-up.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo is adding 100 investigators to the state police narcotics unit to combat the rise of heroin use.  The additional 100 members would double the size of the Narcotics Enforcement Team.  Cuomo says that the state will also launch an effort to supply first responders with a heroin and opioid antidote.  The Democrat also announced an awareness campaign in public colleges and universities.  The state Legislature is also considering a series of bills to address the heroin scourge.  The Republican-led Senate passed 23 heroin-related bills earlier this week and delivered them to the Assembly.  Cuomo says there were more than 89-thousand cases of heroin and prescription treatment admissions in New York in 2013... up from 63-thousand in 2004.

 

A call for an armed robbery at the McDonald's Restaurant on Jamestown's eastside early yesterday morning has turned out to be a hoax.  City police say a 25 year-old employee at the restaurant phoned in the report about 2:45 AM while he was working at the drive-thru window.  Officers say the worker told them that he was robbed... at gun-point.  However... officers say as they investigated further... they found that no robbery had actually taken place.  They say the man now faces a possible charge of falsely reporting an incident.

 

A County Legislative District committee in Jamestown will meet later this week to make a decision on whether to appoint someone to fill a vacancy in that district.  Chautauqua County Democrat Committee Chairman Norm Green says the District-12 committee will gather Friday to decide on filling the seat vacated when Fred Larson resigned to fill a new, second City Court Judge's position.  Green was disappointed that the legislature rejected the panel's choice of former lawmaker Chuck Cornell last month.  He says this panel is empowered by the County Charter to fill a vacancy if the seat was held by a Democrat. Following the legislature's 10-to-7 vote last month against confirming Cornell for the seat... he said that he didn't want to go through the process again.  At that point... Green said he would encourage Cornell to circulate petitions for a special election to fill the seat this November.  The committee can opt to appoint someone until a special election is held... or, wait until a special election is held.  Two north county Democrats voted with eight Republicans to not confirm Cornell last month. 

 

Democrat Congressional candidate Martha Robertson will be the keynote speaker at tonight's Chautauqua County Democratic Committee dinner in Dunkirk.  Committee Chairman Norm Green says the program will be held at the historic Dunkirk Lighthouse next to the NRG Power Plant... and, Point Gratiot (Grachet).  Green says festivities begin with a social hour at 5:30 PM.  While she hasn't been highly visable lately in the Jamestown-area... Green says Robertson has had a high-profile in the north county on big issue. Green adds that Robertson has also been involved with local labor in trying to preserve job opportunities in Dunkirk and Fredonia with the pending closures of the two Carriage House plants.  He says the other featured speaker will be Sam Hoyt, who is Western New York director for the Empire State Development Corporation.  The Democrat Dinner will feature a "polish-theme..." and begins at 6 PM.  For more information on the County Democratic Party's annual dinner... go on-line to CHQDem-dot-ORG.      

 

Two key County Legislature committees will consider a request to put up 400-thousand dollars to help rebuild a closed section of Bard Road in the town of Arkwright.  County Executive Vince Horrigan confirms that the unexpected road project will be expensive... but, adds it's needed.  Horrigan says temporary fixes are no longer viable... and, about 500 to 600-feet of the road needs to be replaced... and, it will be expensive.  He says Bard Road from Griswold Road to Rood Road has been closed since late April when the pavement began sliding after temporary repairs were made earlier this year.  Horrigan says if funding is approved... he anticipates reconstruction work can get underway this summer.

 

The New York State Assembly has voted 91-51 to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression.  The measure was approved Tuesday by the Democrat-controlled Assembly for the seventh time.  It hasn't advanced in the Senate controlled by a coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats.  Sponsors say 18 states, the District of Columbia, and 157 cities and counties in the U.S. have adopted measures to extend civil rights protections to transgender people.  They include the cities of Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton and Suffolk and Tompkins counties.  The bill would extend those legal protections statewide in housing, employment, and public accommodations, also classifying crimes against transgender individuals as hate crimes.  Senator Daniel Squadron, a Manhattan Democrat, and 23 co-sponsors have introduced a companion bill.

 

A state lawmaker from western New York says the Buffalo Bills should be allowed to start selling beer at 11 a.m. instead of noon on game days.  Democratic Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Buffalo tells The Buffalo News that opening the concession stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium an hour earlier would provide a more controlled environment for beer consumption.  Ryan says opening the beer taps earlier would also attract tailgaters to the pre-game atmosphere in the newly renovated stadium.  The current state law prohibits beer sales before noon on Sunday.

News Update for Wed., June 11, 2014


Mayville man jailed for allegedly selling Heroin to undercover drug agents...

A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly selling heroin to undercover drug agents from a residence in the Hartfield-area.  Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say they took 32 year-old Justin Eck into custody this morning at his 4458 Morris Rd. home on a warrant issued in Chautauqua Town Court.  Task Force agents say Eck was arrested following a three-month investigation into drug sales from the Hartfield location.  He faces charges of one count each of third-degree criminal possesion... and, criminal sale of a controlled substance.  He was arraigned in Chautauqua town court... and, sent to the county jail on $30,000 cash bail.


McDonald's employee arrested for allegedly giving police false story about robbery...

An employee at a McDonald's Restaurant in Jamestown faces a falsely reporting an incident charge for allegedly saying he was robbed at gun-point -- and the story was later found to be fake.  City police say officers were called to the scene at 1411 East Second St. about 2:45 this morning on a report of an armed robbery.  When they arrived... police say the 25 year-old man told them he was robbed at the drive-thru window.  Officers say further investigation through the day showed that there was no robbery.  Police say charges a pending against the employee.


Green says Leg. District 12 Committee to make another selection to fill legislature seat...

A County Legislative District committee in Jamestown will meet later this week to make a decision on whether to appoint someone to fill a vacancy in that district.  Chautauqua County Democrat Committee Chairman Norm Green says the District-12 committee will gather Friday to decide on filling the seat vacated when Fred Larson resigned to fill a new, second City Court Judge's position.  Green was disappointed that the legislature rejected the panel's choice of former lawmaker Chuck Cornell last month.  He says this panel is empowered by the County Charter to fill a vacancy if the seat was held by a Democrat... so it's an "official" committee.  Following the legislature's 10-to-7 vote last month to not confirm Cornell for the seat... he said that he didn't want to go through the process again.  At that point... Green said he would encourage Cornell to circulate petitions for a special election to fill the seat this November.  The committee can opt to appoint someone until a special election is held... or, wait until a special election is held.  Two north county Democrats voted with eight Republicans to not confirm Cornell last month. 


 

WJTN News Headlines


Two men were arrested following four multi-agency drug raids yesterday morning in Jamestown that led to the seizure of a quantity of Heroin and other drugs.  Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say they... along with members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department SWAT Team... Jamestown police Drug Enforcement Unit... and, State Police C-NET Team... raided three apartments, and a lower area of a house at 6 Winsor Street just after 6:30 AM.  Task Force agents say they arrested two residents... 51 year-old Jose Diaz-Solis... and, 45 year-old Julio Melendez.  Agents say they found the illegal drugs inside... along with scales for processing the drugs... and, a quantity of cash.  Both are awaiting arraignment on two counts each of third-degree criminal sale... and, criminal possession of a controlled substance.  More charges are pending.  Since the charges are Felony counts... they'll be jailed without bail.

 

One Buffalo man is jailed... while another has been returned to the Buffalo-area on a robbery charge following their arrests for allegedly being involved in drug activity in Jamestown.  City police were called to the area of 815 East Second Street about 9 AM Monday... and, checked on four subjects.  Officers say they found 21 year-old Tyshaw Lovines in possession of an illegal switchblade, and a quantity of crack cocaine.  He was arrested on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a weapon.  Officers also arrested 27 year-old Devon Rodgers after a background check showed he was wanted by Cheekowaga Police for Felony second-degree Robbery.  Rodgers was returned to Cheektowaga... while Lovines is in the county jail without bail.

 

A series of 18 public forum's held across the state -- including one in Chautauqua County -- were the key to passage of a package of 23 bills to curb the alarming rise in heroin and opioid drug use.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who says she's pleased the measures were approved.  Young says two of the 25 measures were approved earlier in the session.  The bills were intoduced last month following several of the forums.  Young says that the final session... held on the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus Reservation in Irving... was an important part of the process. Young... who is part of the Senate's "Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction..." did not elaborate on what new measures may be undertaken.  She says a comprehensive approach is needed to attack this "devastaing affliction."  The Olean Republican is hopeful that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will allow the measures to be introduced in the state legislature's other chamber... because it's affecting all areas of the state and needs to be "addressed now."  There's only a week-and-a-half left in the current session.

 

A city woman is jailed without bail for her alleged involvement in an alleged Methamphetime Lab discovered last month in the town of Westfield.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say 40 year-old Christy Stutzman turned herself into the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office late Tuesday morning after learning that a warrant had been issued for her arrest.  Task Force members say Stutzman is accused of producing Meth -- with Christopher Swanson of Lakewood -- at a house on Schultz Road.  They say Stutzman was at the scene last May 26th... but, was not arrested at that time.  Authorities further investigated... and, say they found that the pair was in possession of finshed Methamphetime... precursors for Meth... and, a small amount of marijuana at the time.  Stutzman was arraigned in North Harmony town Court... and, then taken to the county lock-up.  Task Force members say citizen tips helped break this case... and, anyone with information on any kind of drug-related activity is urged to call them at 1-800-344-8702.

 

WCA Hospital is celebrating the six newest graduates of it's School of Radiologic Technology.  The hospital hosted the school's 45th commencement last night.  The school's program director, Christina Slojkowski  says she's excited for the latest group to come out of their program.  Slojkowski says four already have careers... or higher education lined up following graduation.  She says their 22-month program includes rigorous classroom... and, practical experience. Radiology includes mainly imaging work... and, WCA's Manager of Imaging and Instructor, Robert Storms, addressed the graduates.  Slojkowski M-C'd the event... and, says there is high demand for people in this field... and, adds you can call her for more information at 664-8366... or go to check them out at WCA Hospital's website at 'WCAhospital-dot-ORG.  In addition to the certifications... the School of Radiologic Technology also handed out the Murray Marsh... and, J-R CERT Certificate of Excellence Awards.  She adds their school is fully-accredited by J-R CERT... which is a "stamp of excellence" for their program.

 

Fire crews from three north county departments responded to a fire involving a Recreational Vehicle on the state Thruway that forced the closing of the eastbound lanes between Dunkirk and Silver Creek for about an hour.  Firefighters from Silver Creek, Irving and Fredonia were called to the scene near milepost 460.3 in the town of Sheridan shortly after 10 AM Tuesday.  State Police say there were no injuries reported.  There is no word on what had triggered the blaze.

 

Water main repairs on Fifth Street yesterday could cause system-wide discolored water for the next few hours in the city of Jamestown.  Board of Public Utilities Spokewoman Becky Robbins says the repaired main feeds a "good part" of the BPU's water system.

 

News Update for Tues., June 10, 2014


Two men arrested during heroin drug busts in downtown Jamestown this morning...

A multi-agency drug bust in Jamestown this morning has led ot the arrest of two people... and, seizure of a quantity of Heroin... and, other narcotics.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they... along with members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department SWAT Team... Jamestown police Drug Enforcement Unit... and, State Police C-NET Team... raided three apartments, and a lower area of a house at 6 Winsor Street just after 6:30 a.m.  Task Force members say they arrested two men living there, 51 year-old Jose Diaz-Solis... and, 45 year-old Julio Melendez.  Agents say they also found the heroin and other drugs inside... along with scales for processing the drugs... and, a quantity of cash.  Both are awaiting arraignment on two counts each of third-degree criminal sale... and, criminal possession of a controlled substance.  More charges are pending.  Since the charges are Felony counts... they'll be jailed without bail.


Young pleased that task force's 23 Heroin and Opioid drug use bills have passed; she says state-wide public forums were a key reason for passage...

A series of 18 public forum's held across the state -- including one in Chautauqua County -- were the key to passage of a package of 23 bills to curb the alarming rise in heroin and opioid drug use.  That from State Senator Cathy Young... who says she's pleased the measures were approved.  Young says two of the 25 measures were approved earlier in the session.  The bills were intoduced last month following several of the forums.  Young says today that the final session... held on the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus Reservation in Irving... was an important part of the proces.  She says the historic forum with the Seneca's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Task Force reaffirmed some of the information they had already received, and also gave them some new ideas they plan to develop at a later time.  Young... who is part of the Senate's "Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction..." did not elaborate on what new measures may be undertaken.  She says a comprehensive approach is needed to attack this "devastaing affliction."  The Olean Republican is hopeful that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will allow the measures to be introduced in the state legislature's other chamber... because it's affecting all areas of the state and needs to be "addressed now."  There's only a week-and-a-half left in the current session.


Second arrest made in connection with alleged Westfield Meth Lab...

A Jamestown woman has surrendered to police for her alleged involvement in the production of Methamphetime at a "Meth Lab" discovered last month in the town of Westfield.  Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force members say 40 year-old Christy Stutzman turned herself into the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office late this morning after learning about a warrant being issued for her arrest.  Task Force agents say Stutzman is accused of producing Meth -- with Christopher Swanson of Lakewood -- at a house at 8379 Schultz Road.  They say Stutzman was at the scene last May 26, but, was not arrested at that time.  Authorities say they further investigated... and, found that she and Swanson were in possession of finshed Methamphetime... precursors for Meth... and, a small amount of marijuana at the time.  Stutzman was arraigned in North Harmony town Court... and, then taken to the county jail without bail.  Task Force members say citizen tips helped break this case... and, anyone with information on any kind of drug-related activity is asked to contact them at 1-800-344-8702.

 

WJTN News Headlines


The state's Republican-led Senate has passed a series of bills to curb heroin use.  That late Monday night from State Senator Cathy Young.  The majority coalition, a faction of Republicans and breakaway Democrats, approved 23 of the 25 bills introduced last month following a series of forums around the state.  All 18 focused on heroin and opioid use... with the final one held last week on the Seneca Nation of Indians Cattaraugus Reservation.

 


The Sheriff's Department is urging county residents to be aware of a scam that's resurfaced in which the caller says you've won one-million dollars... but, adds you have to pay a large amount to get the winnings.  Deputies say the caller will sound "very convincing" about you winning... but, they ask people not to fall for the scam.  They say a person in the town of Chautauqua received such a call yesterday... and, alerted the Sheriff's Office.  Deputies say the people involved are usually from overseas... and, have been doing these types of scams for many years.  If you receive such a call... you're encouraged to NOT give out any information, and hang up.

 

Dunkirk Police are investigating two cases of suspicious activity Monday where a stranger has approached a young girl in the north county city.  Police Chief David Ortolano says the first incident was in the area East 7th and Columbus Avenue around 9:30 AM. The second incident occurred in the area of Swan and West Third Street where a white or Hispanic male in his late 20's with a close shaven "Chinstrap" beard operating an older model light gold/tan Chevy Sports Utility Vehicle with Pennsylvania plates.  Dunkirk Police are asking that if any incidents of this nature occur, to contact police immediately or call 911. 

 

Bringing up Jamestown Community College's enrollment numbers... and, keeping them steady will be the job of JCC's new Vice-President of Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications.  That from college President Cory Duckworth... who says the JCC Board of Trustees agreed to the new position in the wake of area population losses... and, the fact the current population is aging.  Duckworth says ever since he came to JCC... he's wanted to address those enrollment challenges. Duckworth says he encouraged Utah Valley University administrator Kirk Young... who he got to know very well there... to apply for the position.  However... he says Young had to apply like anyone else during their national search.  Duckworth says Young has a "great wealth of experience" in recrutiment and marketing.  He says Young is also fluent in Spanish... which is an "underserved" population in the area.  Duckworth says Young will begin his new duties in early August.

 

The hiring of Kirk Young means some adjustment to the administrative staff at JCC.  Long-time staffer Nelson Garifi has been the college's director of Marketing and Academic Initiatives.  Duckworth says Garifi will remain involved with Academic Initiatives... but, will no longer deal with the Marketing area.  He says Garifi will continue to work with Vice-President and Dean of Academic Affairs Marilyn Zagora on fine-tuning program offerings at the college.  

 

Last week's special meeting of the Jamestown School Board was the final one for the district's long-time Assistant Superintendent of Administration.  While welcoming a new director of Financial and Business Affairs... board members also honored Dale Weatherlow... who is retiring after 20 years with the district.  Weatherlow first came to the district with retired Superintendent Ray Fashano as Business Director in 1994.  Current Superintendent Tim Mains made the special presentations to Weatherlow at the end of the meeting. Mains also unveiled Weatherlow's portrait, which will be placed in the administrative building... which is adjacent to Jefferson Middle School on Martin Road.  He says Weatherlow's service to the district "steps to that level of recognition."  Weatherlow thanked Mains, and, current and past board members for their support... and, says he's had some good and bad times with the district.  Board President Joe DiMaio presented Weatherlow with a new wrist watch as a "token" of their appreciation.  Weatherlow's last official day with the district will be June 30th.

 

The Jamestown Jammers season opens this Friday night at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park.  Jammer's General Manager Matt Drayer says he doesn't know exactly who Pittsburgh will send to play here this year... but, adds he's anxious to get started. The Jamestown Jammers play in the New York Penn League, and is part of the Short Season 'A' level of professional baseball.  There are 38 home games beginning with a four-game home stand against Mahoning Valley, Ohio.  One of the new promotions this season will be this Saturday beginning at 4:30 PM, and Drayer says, it should be very appealing to children.  He says they've teamed up with the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a "Touch at Truck" event.  They'll be getting a large variety of trucks and vehicles for the program... along with a kids carnival and dunk tank.  Saturday's 'Touch a Truck' event will go right up to game time at 7:05 PM.  Most all Jammers games start at that time... but, Sunday home games will begin at 4:05.  Ticket prices have not increased.  For more information... go on-line to the Jammers website... or, call them at 664-0915. 

 

In a pre-season interview with Media One News... Jammer's G-M Matt Drayer addressed concerns that Jamestown could lose its professional baseball team to another city. Drayer says the Jammers are negotiating with the Pittsburgh Pirates to extend the two-year 'player development' agreement that ends after this season.  But he cautions, it's not up to the Pirates to decide if there's team in Jamestown.  That decision rests with the franchise owner, Rich Baseball of Buffalo... and, Drayer is confident based on the 21 solid years they've had here.  He says the rest is rumors and speculation.  Matt Drayer says the best thing people can do to keep baseball in Jamestown is simply... go to the games.  

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he will sign medical marijuana legislation into law as long as the measure ``makes sense.''  While the Senate considers medical marijuana legislation... the Democrat on Monday says he'll sign the measure if it includes proper regulation of the drug.


 

News Update for Mon., June 9, 2014


Sheriff's Dept. warns of resurfaced scam in Chautauqua County...

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department is urging residents to be aware of a scam that's resurfaced in which the caller says you've won one-million dollars... but, adds you have to pay a large amount to get the winnings.  Deputies say the caller will sound "very convincing" about you winning... but, they ask people not to fall for the scam.  They say a person in the town of Chautauqua received such a call Monday... and, alerted the Sheriff's Office.  Deputies say the people involved are usually from overseas... and, have been doing these types of scams for many years.  If anyone receives these types of calls, officers encourage you to tell them not to call you again, and hang up.  They say it's not a good idea to carry on a conversation with these people... and, never give out your personnel information.  If the person keeps calling make sure you contact your local police and report it.


Jammers set to begin NY-P League baseball season this Friday...

The Jamestown Jammers season opens this Friday night at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park.  Jammer's General Manager Matt Drayer says he doesn't know exactly who Pittsburgh will send to play here this year... but, adds he's anxious to get started.  Drayer says it's been a long Winter... the snow is finally gone... and, the weather is nice and early Summer-like.  He says all they need now is a team on the field, and a packed house.  The Jamestown Jammers play in the NY-P League, and is part of the Short Season 'A' level of professional baseball.  There are 38 home games beginning with a four-game home stand against Mahoning Valley, Ohio.  One of the new promotions this season will be this Saturday beginning at 4:30 p.m., and Drayer says, it should be very appealing to children.  He says they've teamed up with the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a "Touch at Truck" event.  They'll be getting a large variety of trucks and vehicles for the program... along with a kids carnival and dunk tank.  Saturday's 'Touch a Truck' event will go right up to game time at 7:05 p.m.  Most all Jammers games start at that time... but, Sunday home games will begin at 4:05.  Ticket prices have not increased.  For more information... go on-line to the Jammers website... or, call them at 664-0915.  

WJTN News Headlines


A Jamestown man escaped serious injury... but, faces a drunk driving charge... after his Jeep went off a city street and, struck a tree.  City police were called to the scene on Cole Avenue -- across from Fletcher Elementary School -- for a personal injury car crash.  Officers say 57 year-old Mark Larson was eastbound on Cole just after 9 PM Saturday when he lost control of the 2002 Cherokee.  Police say Larson's jeep swerved across the road... and, jumped the curb and slammed nearly head-on into the tree.  While investigating... the accident... officers say they spotted several open containers in the jeep... and, that Larson appeared to be drunk.  He required medical attention... and, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment.  While there... he consented to a blood draw... which showed he was intoxicated.  Once Larson was released from the hospital... he was arrested on charges including Felony driving while intoxicated... failure to keep right... and, speeding.

 

Jamestown police are still asking for the public's help in finding a city man who has been missing for nearly two-weeks.  Police investigators say the family of 43 year-old Joseph Anthony reported that he was last seen in the 700-block of East Second Street about 10:30 PM Tuesday, May 27th.  Officers say family members have checked out a number of locations, and leads on where he might be found.  However... they say they have not found him.  Anthony is described as a white male... about 5-foot-8 inches tall, and 280 pounds.  He has short, black hair and brown eyes.  If you have any information... you're asked to call city police at 483-7537.

 

A broad and comprehensive approach is being developed to help manage the weed, algae and other issues facing Chautauqua Lake.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who attended a meeting late last week to finalize the "Chautauqua Lake Watershed Alliance."  Horrigan adds that Chautauqua County has also hired a new Watershed Coordinator.  He says David McCoy... who is from the region... brings a strong engineering background to the position.  Horrigan says... first off... they'll be looking for state and federal funding to undertake the projects they're planning. Horrigan adds that they have also contracted with a firm to develop a new Sewer Integration Plan... the goal of which is to complete the sewer system around the lake.  He says they're looking at a "Macrophite Strategy" for the lake because there's no one solution for all the issues surrounding the lake.  Horrigan says the preliminary plan divides the lake into boating, fishing, and recreation areas.  He says they want to develop "taylored treatments" for the lake.  Horrigan made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

Another administrator from Utah Valley University is coming to Jamestown to take up a new leadership post at Jamestown Community College.  JCC President Cory Duckworth says he has named Kirk Young as the college's new Vice-President of Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications at Jamestown Community College.  Prior to coming to JCC... Duckworth was the Vice-President of student affairs and strategic planning at Utah Valley University.  He says Young will begin his new duties in early August.  In this new position... he says Young will be responsible for creating strategies that enhance JCC’s competitiveness by strengthening its brand, reputation, and visibility.  Duckworth says he's "very pleased" that Young has agreed to join the JCC team.

 

Though it's been open several years, many people still don't know all that's available at the Gateway Center in Jamestown.  That's why the facility, at the former Chautauqua Hardware on Water Street, had an open house Friday afternoon.  Pastor Amy Rohler, Executive Director of Community Helping Hands, one of nine agencies there, says they all work together to help people take the next steps in their lives.  County Executive Vince Horrigan was one of those people who didn't know all that happened at the Gateway Center. Now that he does, he says it exemplifies the kind of wrap-around services the community needs to improve life for its citizens. The man principally responsible for turning the vacant Chautauqua Hardware building into a center for human services says 'God provided' the building and resources to make it happen.  And Gary Lynn, of Lynn Development Corporation says they are working on plans to build 32 apartments on the upper floors of the Gateway Center, as well as an RC racetrack, batting cages and a 'Main Street' for entrepreneurial businesses inside the structure. 

 

Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers responded to a fight in the Town of Ripley early last weekend involving a metal pipe.  Deputies say they were called to North State Street around 9:45 PM Friday... and, on arrival they found  a male victim who had been struck several times by the pipe during the altercation.  Further investigation led officers to arrest 57 year-old George Bazzle for allegedly using the pipe during the fight.  Bazzle was arrested... and, given appearance tickets for a later date on charges of second-degree menacing... and, harrassment.

 

Congratulations to five Chautauqua County high school senior who made the Business First of Buffalo's first and second All-Western New York Academic Teams.  Two local seniors made the first team.  They include Christina Walter of Maple Grove... and, Emily Wan of Fredonia.  Business First also included three students from Chautauqua County on the second-team.  They are Rishi Gupta of Jamestown... Caroline Benson of Maple Grove... and, Emilie Christie of Chautauqua Lake Central.  The 25 first... and, 25 second-team members were announced Friday by the business publication.

 

A man and woman from Sherman are accused of intentionally setting a vehicle on fire last February so the woman -- who owned the car -- could collect money from her insurance company.  Sheriff's officers say the the car... which belonged to 46 year-old Terri Seekings... caught fire at her home on Route 76 on February 21st.  The vehicle sustained interior damage.  However... about a week later... Deputies say they were advised that the fire had been set intentionally.  They say further investigation showed that Seekings another person living at her home... 27 year-old Kenneth Brightman... start the blaze.  Brightman was arraigned on Felony arson... and, conpiracy charges... and, sent to the county jail on 25-hundred dollars bail.  Seekings was arraigned on the same charges... but, was released pending further court action.

News Update for Fri., June 6, 2014


City police helping family with search for missing Jamestown man...

Jamestown police are asking for the public's help in finding a city man who has been missing since late this past May.  Police investigators say the family of 43 year-old Joseph Anthony reported that he was last seen in the 700-block of East Second Street about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 27.  Officers say family members have checked out a number of locations, and leads on where he might be found.  However... they say they have not found him.  Anthony is described as a white male... about 5-foot-8 and 280 pounds.  He has short, black hair and brown eyes.  If you have any information... you're asked to call city police at 483-7537.


Horrigan pleased with SEIU-ConAgra agreement...

The agreement reached between the union representing over 400 Carriage House workers and ConAgra is good news for the workers who'll be losing their jobs with the plant closing.  However... it will also help in marketing the site for future development.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who spoke at this (Friday) morning's County Executive Breakfast held by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Horrigan is pleased there will be no restrictions on the future use of the facilities.  He says previously -- with Petri -- there was a non-compete clause in the closing agreement.  Horrigan says this is good news for local food processors that may be interested in the Carriage House facilities.  He says the County's efforts to land a developer or develop an agribusiness park can now move ahead with the help of a $50,000 reuse study.  He says they're looking at "one-on-one" business... and, about six total.  He says they're also going to be looking at the possibility of an agri-business, or a business park with several, smaller businesses inside.  Horrigan thanked the union leaders for their work in reaching the agreement.  ConAgra is expected to close down the Carriage House facilities by the end of this year.


Street JAM set to hit the streets of Jamestown...

The 18th year of 3-on-3 basketball for the Resouce Center and 'Filling the Gap' begins tomorrow morning in area around the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.  "Street JAM" Tournament Director Vicky Bardo says they'll kick off with the National Anthem... and, official welcomes by TRC Directors.  Bardo, who says they have about 240 teams for this year's tournament.  There'll be about 600 basketball games will be played during the day Saturday and Sunday.  One of the new features this year is two new brackets for the youngest players... 8 and under... and, 9 to 10 years of age.  All proceeds from 'Street Jam' benefit consumers at the Resouce Center. 

 

WJTN News Headlines


A native Western New Yorker has been hired by the Jamestown School District to be it's new Director of Finance and Business Affairs.  The school board last night approved Kevin Ziemba (Zee-Em-Ba)... who comes from the Cheektowaga-Sloan District in the Buffalo-area.  He will replace the retiring Dale Weatherlow.  School Superintendent Tim Mains made the appointment... saying Ziemba stood out in two ways... mainly the experience of being a school administrator for 24 years.  Mains adds Ziemba was also a "shared" adminstrator for three years with the  Cleveland Hill district through the Erie-1 BOCES. Mains says the other way Ziemba stood out was he has two certifications... one in Advanced Studies in School Business Administration... and, another as a School district Administator and School Business Administrator.  He adds that Ziemba did his homework on Jamestown... and, that came out in the interview process.  Ziemba also received the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Association of School Business Officials' 2013 Outstanding Service Award.  Dale Weatherlow has been Assistant Superintendent for Administration the past several years... and, will officially step down June 30th.

 

The union representing some 425 employees at the Carriage House plants in Dunkirk and Fredonia say they have negotated a "fair" severance package with officials from parent company ConAgra.  SEIU Local-#266 President Tom Dickerson adds that ConAgra has also agreed to selling the two plants with NO restrictions.  Dickerson adds he's glad -- quote -- "to report that we have achieved two of the three goals of our campaign for dignity and justice."  Dickerson says Local-#266 reached agreement with ConAgra Wednesday night after two days of bargaining over the impact of the scheduled closing of the Carriage House facilities in Fredonia by the end of this year.  Union officials credited the outpouring of support from local business, civic, labor, religious and political leaders in recent months with making the difference.  They also thanked local, state and federal leaders who fought to keep the plants open... or at least lift the restriction on who could buy the facilities.  Among those officials Dickerson credited were County Executive Vince Horrigan... and, Congressman Tom Reed.  Reed issued a statement... saying he was "extremely pleased" to hear about the two developments.

 

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is preparing for the annual County Executive Breakfast that will be held tomorrow morning in downtown Fredonia.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says this will be the first event for County Executive Vince Horrigan who took over the office in January.  Tranum says there are a number of issues that will come up. Tranum outlines the format for the forum that will be held at the White Inn.  He says Horrigan will give about a 10 minute presentation... then they'll have an "arm chair" discussion with questions the chamber... and, individuals have.  Tranum says registration for the Breakfast begins at 8 this morning... with the breakfast getting underway at 8:30 AM.

 

A conflict with the opening of the season at Chautauqua Institution means Jamestown High School's graduation ceremonies will be held at the institution a week sooner than everyone else.  That from Superintendent Tim Mains... who says the annual commencement will be held at the Amphitheater Friday night, June 20th at 7 PM.  On this morning's Dennis Webster Show on WJTN... Mains said -- aside from a few instances several years ago -- having graduation at Chautauqua has become a significant tradition for everyone. Mains says the one issue with an earlier graduation is the fact many students have state Regents exams the week following graduation.  He says students don't receive their actual diploma at graduation... it's mailed to them.  But... he says most either have already met graduation requirements... or only need to take one test.  He says, though, they want everyone eligible to cross the stage because they'll presume that they will have passed their test.  Chautauqua will open it's season on Saturday, June 21st. 

 

Since Jamestown is the largest district in the area... school officials are looking at adding a couple of extra graduation ceremonies to the annual calendar.  That from Superintendent Tim Mains... who says it's not unusual for larger districts to hold additional ceremonies for the smaller group of students who don't complete their gradutation requirements until after the summer, or Fall semesters. Mains says he's discussed the idea with most school board members... and, talked with two last night that he had not had the chance to before prior to the special board meeting.  He got the okay to add one extra commencement ceremony after the Summer session in August.  That will be voted on at next week's board meeting.

 

A dozen companies so far have taken the state's offer of tax-free zones under the Start-Up New York program.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the first set of businesses in the program during a visit to Buffalo.  The companies and employees will see 10 years of tax-free living for locating on or near college campuses.

News Update for Thurs., June 5, 2014


SEIU-ConAgra agree on severance package, Carriage House sale conditions...

Members of the union representing more than 400 employees at Carriage House in Dunkirk and Fredonia say they have negotated a "fair" severance package with officials from parent company ConAgra.  SEIU Local-#266 President Tom Dickerson adds that ConAgra has also agreed to selling the two plants with no restrictions.  Dickerson adds he's glad -- quote -- "to report that we have achieved two of the three goals of our campaign for dignity and justice."  Dickerson says Local-#266 reached agreement with ConAgra last (Wednesday) night after two days of bargaining over the impact of the scheduled closing of the Carriage House facilities in Fredonia by the end of this year.  Union officials credited the outpouring of support from local business, civic, labor, religious and political leaders in recent months with making the difference.


JPS names new Director of Finance & Business Affairs...

A Buffalo-area native who's familiar with Jamestown has been approved as the Jamestown Public School's new Director of Finance and Business Affairs.  The school board last night okayed the appointment of Kevin Ziemba... who comes from the Cheektowaga-Sloan District near Buffalo.  He will replace the retiring Dale Weatherlow.  School Superintendent Tim Mains made the appointment... saying Ziemba's experience of 24 years in school business management stood out.  In fact... Mains says Ziemba's done most of what he'll be doing in Jamestown in pervious years.  Weatherlow is retiring at the end of the current school year on June 30.

WJTN News Headlines


Jamestown police seized a loaded revolver... a quantity of Heroin... and, cash during a drug raid on the city's northside late yesterday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they also arrested 26 year-old Steven Mojica-Medina of 628 Spring Street as part of their on-going investigation into the sale and trafficking of Heroin.  Jamestown police... along with JPD SWAT Team members and the state Police C-NET Team... raided the lower apartment shortly before 5 PM.   Samuelson says they found a quantity of packaged cocaine -- and, some not yet packaged -- with a street value estimated at 3-thousand dollars.  He says investigators also found the loaded 357-calibur pistol in the apartment... and, found three small children were also living there.  Samuelson says Mojica-Media was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... one count of criminal possession of a firearm... and, three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  The three children were turned over to a relative... and, Child Protective Services is investigating.  Mojica-Media is jailed pending arraignment.  Anyone with information on narcotics trafficking in Jamestown can call the JPD Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

The state and the Seneca Nation are joining forces to come up with solutions to the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic that's sweeping New York State.  The Seneca Nation's "Drug and Alcohol Abuse Task Force..." and State Senator Cathy Young of the Senate's "Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction," hosted a roundtable forum on the growing problem yesterday in Irving.  Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder, Sr. says it’s a problem for everyone. Senator Young calls Wednesday's roundtable discussion an historic event because it's the first time that the Seneca's have joined forces with state government on such a collaborative effort.  State Senator Phil Boyle... who chairs the Senate task force... says Wednesday's forum was one of 18 held across the state.  The group has been developing legislation and recommendations... and will issue a final report.  It recently proposed 25 bills to deal with addiction... prevention... and, detering the trafficking of heroin... and, other opioids.

 

Legislation allowing 20 more Family Court judges across the state has cleared the State Assembly... and, if approved... would allow a second Family Court justice to be seated in Chautauqua County.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell says bills have now cleared both legislative chambers. Goodell says both the Senate and the Assembly will negotiate over the final allocation of judges.  The Bemus Point Republican says he's hopeful an agreement can be reached before the session ends on June 19th.  Goodell also points out that there is another crucial deadline…for candidate petitions.  They are due by July 10th, if the new judgeship is finalized.  

 

The mayors of Buffalo, Jamestown and 14 other New York cities have written state lawmakers, urging them to approve a measure requiring mortgage lenders to maintain so-called ``zombie properties.''  The measure crafted by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would make banks and other lenders responsible for homes that have been abandoned after the start of a foreclosure.  "Zombie" homes are properties that have been abandoned after their owners receive a notice of foreclosure -- Even though foreclosures can take years and occupants are entitled to stay until the process is completed.  The homes often fall into disrepair, reducing property values and putting a drain on local governments.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says both he and the City Council fully support the proposal... which includes a registry of vacant and abandoned homes that will -- "give our code enforcement, and public safety officers an important tool for our continued neighborhood revitalization efforts."  Schneiderman's bill would authorize fines for lenders who fail to maintain abandoned homes.

 

Gas prices in Chautauqua County are up slightly this week -- 3-tenths of a cent -- per gallon.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge reports the average price for regular, unleaded went up from 3-dollars-84.5 cents a gallon to just under 3--85 to begin the week.  Nationally... the Triple-A says drivers will experience little relief at the pump... and, prices are likely to remain between 3-dollars-55 cents... to 3--70 per gallon.  The Fuel Gauge says that's similar to last summer’s range.  One week into the summer driving season, the average price nationally is 3-dollars-66 cents per gallon.  This is about 5-cents more than on the same date last year.  Triple-A says continuing geo-political concerns -- mainly involving Russia and Ukraine... major refinery disruptions... or a severe hurricane season that started on June 1st, could send the national average higher than anticipated.  However... the lack of such factors could allow prices to fall below the range.

 

With the Jamestown and Warren-areas so close in proxmity... there's a lot of interest among gun owners -- and would-be owners -- about differences in the gun-laws between New York and Pennsylvania.  In fact... a "concealed carry" seminar in Warren on June 14th is now completely full.  Media One's Ron Smith talked with Warren County Sheriff Ken Klacamp (Clay-camp) about what's required in Pennsylvania.  Klacamp says you can get two kinds of gun permits in Pennsylvania.  One is the 'license to carry....' Klacamp says the other is a Hunting and Fishing permit that's issued by the county Treasurer's Office.  One concern for someone living in Bradford... who's buying a gun in Erie... is what to do if they get pulled over in New York if they're traveling on Interstate 86.  Klacamp says make sure to keep the weapon in it's original package... and, keep the gun and ammunition separate.  He adds that while a New York state resident can get a license to carry in Pennsylvania... a Pennsylvania resident cannot obtain a license to carry in New York.  For more information on Pennsylvania gun permits... check the Warren County website.


 

WJTN News Headlines


A Cattaraugus County man has been sentenced to at least 2-and-a-third years in state prison for possessing Child Pornography on his computer in the town of Villanova.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 31 year-old Christopher Travis of 43 1/2 Jefferson Street in Cattaraugus received the sentence in county court.  Foley says it satisfies a plea deal in which Travis pled to one of several charges he was facing in the case.  That was a Felony count of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child Less than 17 years of age. Foley says he's pleased that Acting County Court Judge Stephen Cass handed down the maximum sentence for the Felony Count.  He adds that both the plea and sentence send a clear message that his office is committed to prosecuting child sexual cases to the fullest extent of the law. Foley also commended the New York State Police and Investigator Steven Dibble for their "dedication to investigating this incident and their continued efforts in aiding my office in preparation of the case."  He adds that he was pleased they were able to avoid the necessity and trauma of a trial.

 

An unattended cooking fire is the apparent cause of a blaze that caused "substantial" damage to a house on Jamestown's westside last Monday afternoon.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 52 McDaniel Avenue just before 3:30 PM.  Salemme says firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to vent the flames... which were brought under control within half-an-hour.  However... there was major fire damage to the back of the structure.  Salemme says no injuries were reported.  The local Red Cross is helping three family members living there.  An off-duty shift was called in to assist.

 

New York's highest court is considering whether municipalities can use local zoning laws to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing to drill for natural gas.  However... The Court of Appeals held off on a decision yesterday after hearing arguments in two cases where a mid-level court concluded last year that state mining and drilling law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use.  A decision in this case is expected by July 4th.  The challenges have been closely watched by an industry hoping to drill in New York's piece of the Marcellus Shale formation... and, by environmentalists who fear drilling could threaten water supplies and public health. 

 

WCA Hospital was a busy place in 2013... with a significant number of in-patient and out-patient procedures performed.  That from Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright... following this (Tuesday) morning's annual "Meeting of the Corporations" for WCA Corporation.  Wright says they took time to look back on the past year... and, ahead through 2014.  As for surgeries... she says WCA performed a number of surgeries in it's new Robotic Surgery Department. Wright says that's out of seven levels... and, that places WCA in the top-12 percent of all hospitals for electronic records management.   She says they had about 75-hundred in-patients... and, provided over 260-thousand  out-patient procedures in 2013.  On the downside... he says WCA Hospital lost about 5-million dollars in reimbursements due to the on-going phase-in of the federal Affordable Care Act.  Overall... Wright reports the hospital ended 2013 with about a 2.2-million dollar shortfall.

 

With the loss of more than 5-million dollars in reimbursement for services rendered... WCA Hospital finished 2013 in the red.  However... close management by it's volunteer Board of Directors helped the primary care facility finish just over a 2.2-million dollar shortfall.  WCA President and C-E-O Betsy Wright adds it's mainly due to the federal Affordable Care Act... which takes full effect this year.  Wright says they are projected to lose another 38-million dollars over the next nine years.  She says the "goals" of the ACA are laudible. The hospital had seen losses in recent years... due mainly to cuts in Medicare reimbursments.  Wright says right now... they're seeing a move from a "fee for service" model to one that is mainly "value-based reimbursement."  In fact... she says they are seeing monthly changes in that area... which is making it tough for ALL hospitals.  WCA's "Portraits of Caring..." it's annual report to the community... shows the hospital bringing in just over 104-million dollars in revenues in 2013.  However... expenses totalled nearly 106.3-million dollars. 

 

A proposal to require labels on food products containing ingredients from genetically modified crops is inching closer to a vote in the New York State Legislature.  The labeling legislation was endorsed Tuesday by the Assembly's Committee on Codes, a key panel that often signs off on bills before they proceed to a vote of the full House.  Proponents say labels would inform consumers.  Many agricultural and food companies disagree, noting that there's no evidence to suggest genetically engineered food is harmful.  The bill would apply to genetically modified fruits and vegetables and products containing ingredients like oil or sugar that are derived from genetically engineered crops.  Vermont has already adopted a labeling law.  Maine and Connecticut have too, but their requirements won't take effect until other states follow suit.


 

News Update for Tues., June 3, 2014


Cause released on McDaniel Ave. Fire in Jamestown...

An unattended cooking fire is the apparent cause of a blaze that caused "substantial" damage to a house on Jamestown's westside Monday afternoon.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says crews were called to the scene at 52 McDaniel Ave. just before 3:30 p.m.  Salemme says firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to vent the flames... which were brought under control within half-an-hour.  However... there was major fire damage to the back of the structure.  Salemme says no injuries were reported.  The local Red Cross is helping three family members living there.  An off-duty shift was called in to assist.


Catt. Co. man gets maximum sentenced in Chautauqua Co. Court Sentencing...

A Cattaraugus County man will spend the next 2 1/3 to 7 years in state prison for possessing Child Pornography on his computer in the town of Villanova.  Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley says 31 year-old Christopher Travis of Jefferson Street, Cattaraugus received the sentence in county court this week.  Foley says it satisfies a plea deal in which Travis agreed to plea to a Felony count of Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child Less than 17 years of age.  Foley says the offer always included that charge... which was at the top of the indictment.  He says 2 1/3 to 7 is the maximum for that charge.  Foley adds that both the plea and sentence send a clear message that his office is committed to prosecuting child sexual cases to the fullest extent of the law... and, adds people also need to be held responsible for exploiting children.  Foley also commended the State Police... and, Investigator Steven Dibble for their "dedication to investigating this incident..." as well as their ongoing aid to his office in preparaing the case.

WJTN News Headlines


Flames caused "Substantial damage" to a home on Jamestown's westside Monday afternoon after flames broke out in the back of the building.  Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says firefighters were called to the scene at 52 McDaniel Avenue just before 3:30 PM.  Salemme says firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to help vent the flames, and get the fire out quicker.  There was a considerable amount of fire damage to the back of the structure.  Salemme says no injuries were reported.  The local Red Cross is helping some members of the family living there.  The cause remains under investigation.  Salemme says an off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The last crew left the scene about 7:30 PM.

 

The Jamestown City Council has unanimously approved several grant applications for various projects... including the demolition of at least 40 vacant properties... and, for a National Comedy Center.  Lawmakers held a brief, Special Meeting before last night's work session to approve the items... including the city's 2014 Community Development Block Grant... and, HOME Program plans.  Councilwoman Kim Ecklund says another grant... from the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation... will provide 500-thousand dollars to tear down 40 vacant, abandoned properties in the city. In addition... Ecklund says there are more homes that will taken down with the one-million dollars in CDBG funding.  She says the other big item in that grant will fund on-going projects to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Ecklund adds council also approved a resolution supporting efforts to obtain 6-million dollars for a National Comedy Center... and, Hall of Fame... through the state's Consolidated Funding Application program.  The council also approved applying for a 1.6-million dollar federal grant for two pedestrian-bicycle bridges as part of the city's "Intermodal Transporation Connector" project.

 

Site preparation work is underway for a new location for a federal credit union on the Lakewood village line with the town of Ellicott.  Work on the new Affinity One site at the north end of Sessions Avenue began earlier this Spring with the demolition of existing buildings on the location... which includes a pair of lots.  Mayor David Wordelmann says Affinity One is locating a new, 15-hundred square foot office building, with drive-thru... just behind Lakewood Mobil Mart. Wordelmann adds that business has been good as of late in the village.  There's another new store that has opened up in the Lakewood Village Center off Fairmount Avenue.  Wordelmann says the Men's Warehouse has been a "great addition" to that location.  He says it's a little "more upscale men's store" that adds to the mix of retail shopping available.  Wordelmann adds that Panera Bread should be bringing it's final plans to the Planning Board soon for it's new location on Mall Boulevard.  That's slated to open late this year.

 

Jamestown police have received several tips... but, officials say the investigation is continuing into last Friday night's incident in which an apartment house was fired on at least a dozen times.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene just after 11:30 PM in response to several calls of gun-shots being fired in the area of West Seventh Street.  Samuelson says the house... which was in the 100-block of West Seventh... was apparently targeted by whoever shot 12 "large calibur" bullets into it. Police say five people were inside the house at the time... but, fortunately... no one was hit during the shooting incident.  Samuelson says they're looking into the circumstances surrounding one person that had just gotten back to the building before the shots rang out.  He had walked there from another location.  However... Samuelson says police don't have a specific motive yet.  If you have any information on the shooting... you're asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537.  If you want to anonymously... call the JPD's Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Samuelson says you do not need to leave your name.

 

Chautauqua County officials have put together the numbers... and, will now submit the preliminary damage estimates from the flash floods that hit portions of the county last month.  County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says the county has been working with the State Emergency Management Office and has a tallied up a damage total of around one-million dollars. Leone says state officials will add up the damage figures from about eight counties that hit by the severe weather.  If those numbers top the state's threshold... Governor Andrew Cuomo will be able to issue a disaster declaration and, seek federal funding.  In the meantime... Leone is encouraging any property owner with uninsured damage to contact their local government offices... or, the County Emergency Services Office.  He says they're also trying to get a Small Business Assistance Declaration.  He adds their office number is 753-4341.

 

A drug "drop box" has now been installed in the lobby of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in Mayville.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says the box was acquired at no cost to the taxpayers through a national drug prevention grant.  Gerace says the drop box is available to the public 24 hours a day... and, it's use is anonymous and free of charge.  He says the proper disposal of prescription drugs will help prevent these drugs from falling into the wrong hands... and, is also much safer for the environment.  Both prescription drugs and illegal drugs will be accepted at the drop box.

News Update for Mon., June 2, 2014


Jamestown police looking into arrival of tenant just before last Friday night's shooting on West Seventh St. in the city...

City police are looking into circumstances surrounding one person that had just returned to the westside apartment house shot up by someone late last Friday night.  That from Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they have received a number of tips... but, nothing leading to an arrest yet.  Samuelson says officers were called to the scene just after 11:30 p.m. in response to several calls of gun-shots being fired in the area of West Seventh Street.  Samuelson says the house... which was in the 100-block of West Seventh... was apparently targeted by whoever fired the shots.  No one was hurt... and, Samuelson says if you have information, but, don't want to give your name... you can.  He says call their tip-line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  Fortunately... no one was hurt in the incident.  Samuelson says whoever did the shooting hit the house with 12 "large calibur" shots.  He adds they found several shell casings at the scene.  Again... if you have any information on the shooting... you're asked to call Jamestown Police on their confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. 


Gerace announces Sheriff's Dept. Drug Drop Box now installed in Mayville...

A drug "drop box" has now been installed in the lobby of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in Mayville.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who says the box was acquired at no cost to the taxpayers through a grant provided by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators office.  Gerace says the drop box is available to the public 24 hours a day... and, it's use is anonymous and free of charge.  He says the proper disposal of prescription drugs will help prevent these drugs from falling into the wrong hands... and, is also much safer for the environment than to have the drugs flushed down a toilet.  Both prescription drugs and illegal drugs will be accepted at the drop box.  No needles or other "sharps" will be accepted.


Leone says county passes threshold for state disaster funding from recent flash flood damage...

Chautauqua County officials says they've put all the numbers, so far, together... and, will now submit preliminary damage estimates from the flash floods that hit different parts of the county last month.  County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says the county has been working with the State Emergency Management Office and has a tallied up a damage total of about $1-million.  Leone says they finished up the preliminary numbers last Wednesday... and, they meet the state threshold.  He says the now the focus is on having the region and state meet the federal numbers.  Leone says it's going to be another two to three-weeks to see if the region qualifies for a federal declaration.  He says state officials will add up the damage figures from about eight counties that were hit by the severe weather.  In the meantime... Leone is encouraging any property owner with uninsured damage to contact their local government offices... or, the County Emergency Services Office.  He says they're also trying to get a Small Business Assistance Declaration.  He adds their office number is 753-4341.

 

   

WJTN News Headlines


The investigation is continuing into a shooting incident early last weekend in which a dozen "large calibur" gun-shots were fired into a home on Jamestown's westside.  City police responded to the 100-block of West Seventh Street about 11:36 PM Friday after receiving several calls of gun-shots being fired in that area.  On arrival... they found that 12 rounds had been fired into the home.  Officers say five people were inside the house at the time... but, fortunately... they say no one was hurt in the incident.  Police say they also recovered shell casings and other evidence they believe is related to the incident.  Anyone who may have information on the shooting is asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537... or JPD's anonymous tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

 

The shooting incident in Jamestown wasn't the only one in the region last weekend.  State Police in Warren say someone fire several rounds from what is believed to be a rifle towards the Chapman Dam beach area in Clarendon, Pennsylvania.  Troopers say the gun-shots came from north of the beach area between 1:30 and 2 PM Saturday.  They say one round struck a female victim who was watching her grandchildren swim.  Police add that numerous people were on the beach at the time.  They add the woman was struck in the left shoulder... and, was flown to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment.  State Police are asking anyone who has may have information on the incident to call them at (814)-728-3600... or Warren County Crimestoppers.  State Police were assisted by several agencies... including the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

 

Seizing about 30 grams of heroin during last Friday morning's drug bust in the city of Jamestown has happened before.  But, seldom has it been pure heroin.  That from City Police Chief Harry Snellings... who says they State Police C-NET Team members raided the home at 113 Willard Street... where they found most of the illegal Narcotic.  Snellings says they also allegedly found a small quantity of the drug in the possession of 20 year-old Carmen Lopez... who was in one of two vehicles police also checked out on Barrows Street, based on the investigation that led up to the raid.  What's "unique" about the seizure... he says... is that the drug had "not even been processed for sale yet."  In addition to the unprocessed marijuana... police also seized packaging material... scales... and, other paraphernalia -- and, some cash.  Police says the just over 29 grams of uncut heroin is the equivalent of about 600 doses of the drug. 

 

In addition to the 20 exotic animals seized at a Chautauqua County wildlife sanctuary last week... there were several domestic animals found at JNK's "Call of the Wild" last week.  With that.. the state Department of Environmental Conservation called the Chautauqua County Humane Society to the scene later in the week.  Humane Society Community Relations Director Edwin Rodriguez says DEC officials called their Cruelty Investigator... who obtained a court warrant to get the 19 animals. Early last weekend... Rodriguez said he did not know what kind of condition the animals were in... though the exotic animals were malnourished... and, showed signs of neglect.  He says they already have 30 dogs in the shelter... with 10 more coming from foster homes... so they need to adopt out some.  With that... they're running a special through next Saturday on ALL dogs over six-months of age to make room for any new arrivals.  For more information... contact the Humane Society at 665-2209.  Rodriguez made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" Program.

 

A Stockton man recently featured on the county's Wanted List on several felony warrants has been arrested after being spotted on the Stockton-Cassadaga Road early last weekend.  Sheriff's officers say 55 year-old Timothy Banach was inside a vehicle on the Stockton-Cassadaga Road last Friday night when he was seen.  Deputies say they knew Banach was wanted on those outstanding warrants.  Officers tried to stop Banach... and, the man driving the car.  They drove off... but, into a yard off Stockton-Cassadaga Road where Banach got out and tried to run away.  Deputies brought in K-9 Drago... and, after a brief standoff... Banach surrendered to the K-9.  He was arraigned... and, is being held in the county jail without bail... and, further charges may be pending.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer is proposing a new federal database where youth organizations could check the criminal backgrounds of adults seeking to volunteer or work with children.  The proposed legislation follows recent child pornography charges against 71 people in the New York City area, including a Boy Scout leader, a Little League coach and individuals who taught at a Jewish girls' seminary and classes at a Catholic church.

 

Incumbant New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has survived a challenge from the left to win the nomination of the liberal Working Families Party.  Cuomo... a Democrat... received the endorsement at the party's convention Saturday in Albany following a floor fight from liberals unhappy with Cuomo's support for business-friendly tax cuts and charter schools.  Cuomo defeated a bid for the nomination from Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout.  Before the vote... New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urged delegates to support Cuomo.  And, the governor addressed delegates by phone, promising to push liberal priorities and to work to return the state Senate to Democratic control.  Cuomo faces Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in the fall election.

 

State police say a hiker has died after falling 150 feet down a ravine in western New York.  Troopers say 25-year-old Stephen Wagner of the Wyoming County town of Sheldon was walking with a friend in his hometown shortly before 6 PM Saturday when he lost his footing and fell down the ravine... landing in water.  State police, the Wyoming County Sheriff's Office, and the county rescue team responded to the scene.

 

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