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Local News Headlines Archives for 2014-07

WJTN News Headlines


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

News Update for Fri., July 25, 2014


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

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


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

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


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

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

 

WJTN News Headlines


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

News Update for Thurs., July 24, 2014


Cody Family Reunion underway in Jamestown...

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


Goose Creek streambank project funding approved...

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


S & P Bond Ratings get upgrade...

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

WJTN News Headlines


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


 

News Update for Wed., July 23, 2014


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

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


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

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

WJTN News Headlines


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

News Update for Tues., July 22, 2014


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

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


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

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

WJTN News Headlines


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

WJTN News Headlines


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

News Update for Fri., July 18, 2014


Horrigan pleased with outcome of Shared Services Forum in Mayville...

Chautauqua County officials will submit an overall plan next year for making local government more cost-efficient to qualify for the state's two-year, Tax Freeze program.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says they had a standing-room only crowd of 90 people for this week's Shared Services Forum in Mayville.  Horrigan says the combined plan -- right now -- would save about one-million dollars.  From that perspective... he calls it a "very successful" forum.  Horrigan says a final plan will have to be submitted by June of 2015... and, they're optimistic they can have a plan ready by then.  Horrigan says local government and school officials heard from State Association of Counties representative Dave Lucas on the proposal.  In 2015... those governments and school districts have to keep their taxes under the 2-percent property tax cap.  Horrigan says Lucas indicated that localities... including counties... need to show the state Department of Taxation and Finance that they are "making progress" towards cutting costs, or sharing services.


Gas prices in Jamestown-area unchanged this week...

There's been no change in gasoline prices this week in the Jamestown area... as the average price remains about $3.89 a gallon.  Most service stations have a rounded price of $3.90 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge Report says... nationally... the average price for regular, unleaded is $3.61 per gallon... which is about 4-cents a gallon less than one week ago.  AAA says Wednesday was the 18th consecutive day the national average has decreased.  As predicted by AAA... the retail price at the pump continued to tick lower following the Independence Day holiday due primarily to lower crude oil costs as the situation stabilizes in Iraq.  The national average may continue to slide or remain flat, barring any geopolitical concerns, major hurricane or refinery disruptions.  Although the situation in Iraq remains unresolved, the possibility of disruptions to supply is increasingly viewed as unlikely.


Annual Scandinavian Folk Festival underway...

Several events and activities are underway... and, are taking place this weekend at the annual Scandinavian Folk Festival at the Gerry Rodeo Grounds on Route 60.  One of the organizers... Scott Axelson... says activities continue today throught 10 p.m.  Music will be one area that's squarely in the spotlight for the weekend... starting with the tribute band "ABBA Girls" -- which is the biggest act they've ever brought in.  They perform tonight at 7:30... and, at 8 p.m. Saturday.  Tickets are still available at a number of locations for each day... or the entire weekend.  He adds the culture of Scandinavia will also be a prime focus this weekend with a number of lectures and demonstrations.  He says one will be on the history of Swedish markets in Jamestown.  Axelson says if you plan on spending much of the weekend at the Scandinavian Folk Festival... a weekend pass will cost you $15.  For more information...go on-line to www.scandinavianjamestown.org.

WJTN News Headlines


There's been considerable interest in the "StartUp-NY" program in Chautauqua County... but, the county's Industrial Development Agency wants to increase it even further.  County Executive Vince Horrigan announced this week that the County has created an informational portal on the County IDA website.  Deputy Director Mark Geise with the county's Department of Planning and Economic Development says they want to get word out about the program that is affilated with both SUNY Fredonia and Jamestown Community College. The Start Up-New York link on the CCIDA webpage both as a flash screen at the top of the home page and as a static link near the top of the homepage.  Geise says this should make it easier for people to learn more about the opportunities in Chautauqua County because it has "anything you want to know about this program."  He adds it's too early to tell how active the website has been... since the link has only been in place for a few days.  You can view link on the County IDA's website at ccida-dot-com.

 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says changes to federal tax rules could prevent companies from sending jobs overseas -- and potentially prompt some businesses to bring jobs back to New York state.  The Democrat says that's why he's supporting legislation that would provide a 20-percent tax credit to businesses that bring outsourced jobs back to the U-S.  The bill would also eliminate incentives for companies to move jobs out of the country.

 

A Celoron man has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for allegedly trafficking, and possessing one-kilogram or more of Heroin.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Jr. has announced that the sentence was handed down in U-S District Court in Buffalo to 31 year-old Victor Anguiera.  Hochul says Anguiera was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin... and, possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking activities.  Hochul says Anguiera was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin... and, possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking activities.  He says the defendant was also ordered to forfeit 100-thousand dollars in proceeds from his drug-dealing activities.

 

City police are still looking for the man who allegedly stabbed another man during an altercation on Jamestown's northside.  However... City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the injuries suffered by the victim are not life-threatening.  Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Avenue just after 3 AM on a report of an argument... and, a person possibly being stabbed during an argument inside the residence.  Samuelson says the male victim was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of his injuries... while police have a warrant for the suspect's arrest.  He says the suspect... who police also aren't identifying... fled the scene before officers arrived.  Again... he remains at-large at this time.  He says the victim suffered stab wounds to the upper chest and shoulder area.  The suspect faces a charge of Felony second-degree assault.

 

Organizers for the annual Cents for St. Susan's Campaign were hoping to break the 14-thousand dollar mark again this year.  But... in the 15th year of the effort... they didn't just break that old record -- they shattered it!  The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Thursday morning officially wrapped up the annual fund-raiser... and, announced they had raised 17-thousand-260 dollars for the city's biggest soup kitchen.  BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins thanked the community for it's support. Robbins says they are pleased that residents have responded so well to the need at St. Susan's... first by donating food... and, money.  But... now strictly money because the soup kitchen can leverage seven-dollars of food from each dollar they use with the Food Bank of Western New York.  St. Susan's Director Sue Colwell says they served 10-thousand meals last month... a 17-percent increase... so the money is much needed.  Robbins says they were helped by more sponsors this year... with 18 giving at least 500-dollars each.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo's re-election campaign and prominent Democrats have created a new Women's Equality ballot line for the fall election.  Cuomo's running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul, announced the third-party ballot line today in New York City.  New York election law allows major party candidates to also run on third-party ballot lines.

 

Local businessman Miles Lasser is being remembered as a man who had a passion for his hometown of Jamestown... and, had as much passion for giving back to the community.  Lasser died this past Tuesday at the age of 92.  Lasser followed his father's footsteps... and, became an accountant at BDO Seidman his entire career.  He not only loved his community... but, supported it's education.  Lasser served for over a decade on the Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees... and, JCC Spokesman Nelson Garifi says the college benefitted from Lasser's long-time service. Garifi says it wasn't long before Lasser's talents were spotted by the State University of New York... and, he was tapped to serve for many years on the SUNY Board of Trustees.  He's the only Jamestown resident to ever serve on that panel.  In addition to education... Lasser also served on the Jamestown City Council... and, several civic boards and panels.  A memorial celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

News Update for Thurs., July 17, 2014


Search underway for suspect in reported stabbing on Prendergast Ave. in Jamestown...

City police are still looking for the man who allegedly stabbed another man during an altercation on Jamestown's northside.  However... City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the injuries suffered by the victim are not life-threatening.  Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 823 Prendergast Ave. just after 3 a.m. on a report of an argument... and, a person possibly being stabbed during an argument inside the residence.  He says the victim is being treated at WCA Hospital in Jamestown, and they know who the suspect is... they just need to find him.  Samuelson wouldn't identify the suspect... who allegedly fled the scene before officers arrived.  Again... he remains at-large at this time.  Samuelson says the victim suffered stab wounds to the upper chest and shoulder area.  The suspect faces a charge of Felony second-degree assault.


Anguiera sentenced to 15 years in federal prison on Heroin trafficking conviction...

A Jamestown-area man has been sentenced to 180 months -- or 15 years -- in federal prison for allegedly trafficking, and possessing one-kilogram or more of Heroin.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr. has announced that the sentence was handed down in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to 31 year-old Victor Anguiera of Celeron.  Hochul says Anguiera was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin... and, possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking activities.  He says the defendant was also ordered to forfeit $100,000 in proceeds from his drug-dealing activities.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Duszkiewicz handled the case against Anguiera... and, says he was arrested in Celoron, based on information obtained through a wiretap investigation.  Anguiera was found in 2011 by Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers with about half-a-kilogram of heroin... and, two firearms in his possession.  Further investigation of several other locations led to the seizure of additional quantities of heroin, cocaine, firearms, vehicles and about $300,000 in U.S. currency.  Anguiera and seven others were arrested in this heroin trafficking investigation.  All defendants have been convicted.

WJTN News Headlines


The local Red Cross chapter is looking for people who would like to become Disaster Action Team members.  Southwestern New York Chapter of the American Red Cross Director Bill Tucker says that classes will begin in September... and, trained volunteers help the Red Cross to respond to disasters locally... as well as on the regional or national scene. Tucker says the next training cycle for disaster volunteers will be in September with the classes being held at the Jamestown office.  He says anyone who might want to be a volunteer can call them at 664-5115... and, they can give you all the information you need about becoming one.  Local volunteers have responded 98 times to assist 565 people across the area served by the Southwestern New York chapter that includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.  Several volunteers have been called out to national disasters including Hurricane Sandy which hit the downstate area two years ago. 

 

Three people -- two from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of items... several times... from the 7-11 Store on North Main Street in the city.  Jamestown Police add they are still looking for a fourth suspect.  Officers say the JPD bike patrol arrested 31 year-old Amy Robbins... and, a 17 year-old -- both of Jamestown --  and, 45 year-old Michael Pacheco of Salamanca... about 11:30 PM Tuesday.  Officers say the trio was acting suspiciously or committing other offenses when they were stopped on North Main.  A black male between the age of 17 and 20... wearing an off-white shirt... was able to flee the scene.  If you have any information on the suspect... call city police at 483-7531... or their Confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS.  That's 483-8477.

 

A Gowanda man has become the second member of Local 17 of the International Union of Operating Engineers to be convicted of extortion for allegedly trying to intimidate a contractor involved in a Buffalo Waterfront project.  The U-S Attorney's office says 45 year-old Michael Eddy was sentenced Tuesday in U-S District Court to eight months in prison, four months home confinement, and two years of supervised release.  Assistant U-S Attorney Anthony Bruce says Eddy was also ordered to pay 2-thousand dollars in restitution to the victim -- Earth Tech of Latham, New York.  Bruce says Eddy was part of campaign designed to force Earth Tech to sign a collective bargaining agreement with Local 17 regarding a 2005 project.

 

The newly-renovated Lillian Dickson Park on Jamestown's eastside has been officially dedicated... and, being used by neighborhood families and children.  The ribbon was cut on the updated facility yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon by the Friends of Lillian Dickson Park... city officials... and, members of the Chautauqua County Health Network... and, others.  Mayor Sam Teresi was among those on hand... and, he says they not only celebrated the park's re-opening... but, the way the "community-based" project came together. Teresi says the project was also reflective of similar ones in the past... where there was a joint public-private effort.  He says the city provided 50-thousand dollars for the project through Community Develpment Block Grant funding.  Teresi adds there were about 13-thousand dollars in charitable contributions made... along with 11-thousand more from the Health Network.  He says the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation was also a player in the effort.  Teresi adds the city provided a lot of "in-kind" services with members of the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. 

 

CSX Transportation says it hauls an average of 20 to 35 trains a week loaded with crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region across 17 upstate New York counties en route to coastal refineries.  Canadian Pacific says it hauls an average of five to nine crude oil trains a week through five counties from the Canadian border to Schoharie County.  The information was released to The Associated Press Tuesday by the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in response to a Freedom of Information Law request.  The U.S. Department of Transportation in May ordered railroads to give state officials specifics on oil train routes so emergency responders can better prepare for accidents.  New York officials declined requests from CSX and Canadian Pacific to avoid public disclosure of the information.

 

Two Chautauqua County residents who are in the Philippines for a United Methodist Church youth conference are okay... but, had some scary moments when a typhoon hit the island nation.  Local Youth Leader... and, former interim Cassadaga Valley Central School Superintendent Tom Schmidt... is among the regional delegation to the Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly in Manila.  Schmidt says about 200 to 300 of the attendees were in a retreat center when the full-force of the storm hit Tuesday. Bemus Point United Methodist Youth member Emily Allen is also there.  Schmidt says everyone is okay... though there was extensive damage to the first building they were in.  Speaking with our Dennis Webster this morning... he says they weathered the storm as well as can be expected... and, were being moved to another location closer to downtown Manila. Schmidt says the roofs were torn off a few of the buildings in the complex... along with a number of windows.  Early reports were that the typhoon had resulted in 12 deaths.  Manila did not take a direct hit... and, is possibly heading towards northern Vietnam or China's Hainan Island.

 

News update for Wed., July 16, 2014


Three people arrested for allegedly stealing items from Seven-Eleven store in Jamestown multiple times...

Three people -- two from Jamestown -- have been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of items... multiple times... from the 7-11 Store on North Main Street in the city.  Jamestown Police say their bike patrol arrested 31 year-old Amy Robbins... and, a 17 year-old from the city... and, 45 year-old Michael Pacheco of Salamanca... about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Officers say the trio was acting suspiciously or committing other offenses when they were stopped on North Main.  Police say further investigation showed the suspects were in possession of stolen property, or items recently stolen from the store.  The trio faces charges including criminal possession of stolen property... petty larceny... and, disorderly conduct.  A fourth suspect led police on a foot chase... and, remains at large.  He is described as a black male who is 17 to 20 years of age who was last seen wearing a long-sleeve off-white colored shirt with red shorts and an unknown type of ball cap.  If you have any information on the suspect... call city police at 483-7531... or their Confidential Tip-line at 483-TIPS.  That's 483-8477.


Two local UMC delegates to international convocation and assembly in Philippines arrive as typhoon hits...

Two Chautauqua County residents attending an international religious conference in the Philippines had some scary moments... but, are okay after being caught in the middle of an Asian typhoon.  Local Youth Leader... and, former interim Cassadaga Valley Central School Superintendent Tom Schmidt... is among the regional delegation to the Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly in Manila.  Schmidt says about 200 to 300 of the attendees were in a retreat center when the storm hit full-force on Tuesday.  He says there was extensive damage to the compound of buildings where they were initially.  Schmidt says two out of four buildings that had roofs torn off... while the dining hall was devastated, with all of it's windows taken out.  Bemus Point United Methodist Youth member Emily Allen is also there... and, Schmidt says she's okay, as well.  Speaking with our Dennis Webster Wednesday morning... he says they weathered the storm as well as can be expected... and, were being moved to another location closer to downtown Manila.  Schmidt praised the organizers of the gathering for getting them new accomodations.

WJTN News Headlines


Two Buffalo-area men are jailed on one-million dollars cash bail each for their major involvement in the home invasion-robbery earlier this month at 188 Falconer Street that led to an exchange of gunfire with police.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a Chautauqua County Grand Jury recently handed down the 22-count indictments against twin brothers Jaquan and Maqwan Martin... both 23 years of age.  Samuelson says the charges include six counts of first-degree robbery... and, four counts of first-degree burglary.  Both were arrested at the scene during the early morning hours of July 1st.  Several others are under arrest in Buffalo or Chautauqua County on parole violations... and, also face charges in this case.  More arrests are expected.

 

Jamestown police are still looking for two men who allegedly stabbed another man during a home invasion-robbery early Tuesday morning on the city's eastside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 100 Hedges Street just after 1 AM for a reported stabbing.  On arrival... officers were told that two men entered the home... and, stabbed one of the occupants in the chest before robbing them of cash and other property.  Samuelson says drugs were apparently involved. Samuelson says the suspects wore clothing to cover their faces... but, one is reportedly a black male with darker skin... and, the other man had lighter skin.  He says the suspects fled before police arrived.  However... Samuelson says the victim and location were apparently targeted by the suspects.  The male victim is in stable condition at WCA Hospital.  If you have any information on the incident... call JPD at 483-7537... or their confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  

 

Two more public forums on the on-going problem with Heroin and other opiate drug use and abuse in Chautauqua County will be held early next month.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan and Mental Hygiene Services Director Patricia Brinkman... who says the forums will be held in Dunkirk and Jamestown on Monday, August 4th.  Horrigan says the morning session will be held from 9 AM to Noon at Jamestown Community College's city campus... while the second one will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 PM at JCC's North County Training Center in Dunkirk.  More than 200 people attended an initial forum in Mayville last March despite blizzard-like conditions. Horrigan says that's why he's made developing a comprehensive plan to deal with all aspects of the problem a priority.  He says the initial forum produced a Steering Committee that developed five smaller "Action Teams" to deal with all aspects... from prevention to law enforcement and the courts.  For more information on those teams... or the upcoming forums... call the county's Department of Mental Hygiene at 753-4104.

 

The trial for a man who is accused of killing a Fredonia woman four years ago got underway late yesterday morning.  Opening statements were given in the murder trial of Jason Wells.  He is accused of beating and stabbing 81-year-old Ruth Fisk inside her apartment at One Temple Square in February of 2010.  Wells has been charged with second-degree murder.  If convicted... Wells could get up to 25 years to life in prison.

 

A Falconer teen is accused of being in possession of an illegal weapon last weekend after he was found acting suspiciously on a village street.  Ellicott Town Police say the 18 year-old... who is not being identified... was stopped Sunday on Homestead Street... and, interviewed by officers.  Further investigation uncovered the weapon... which was confiscated by police.  The teen was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court.

 

Over 100 maple producers from across New York spent a final day in Chautauqua County Tuesday... touring maple syrup operations here.  David Munsee of Big Tree Maple in Lakewood was one of the local organizers of the New York State Maple Tour that began last Sunday.  Munsee says producers are always anxious to learn what others are doing. Steve Childs, the New York State Extension Maple Specialist was here for the event.  He says there is more to the tour than just technology. Childs adds, that despite the cold spring, New York had its third largest syrup crop this year, at 546,000 gallons. 

 

Data security breaches reported over the past 8 years have exposed the private records of nearly 23 million New Yorkers.  That's according to a new report from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  Schneiderman's office also says deliberate hacking was behind 40 percent of the incidents... with 900 breaches involving 7.3 million records last year alone.

News Update for Tues., July 15, 2014


Two Buffalo-area men jailed on $1-million bail for allegedly being major players in July 1 home invasion-robbery, and police-involved shooting...

Two Buffalo-area men have been arrested on nearly two-dozen charges each in connection with the home invasion-robbery at 188 Falconer Street back on July 1 that led to an exchange of gunfire with police.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a Chautauqua County Grand Jury recently handed down the 22-count indictments against 23 year-olds Jaquan and Maqwan Martin.  Samuelson says the charges include six counts of first-degree robbery... four counts of first-degree burglary... and, two counts of criminal use of a firearm.  He says they also have several others in custody on parole violations that have charge pending in this case.  Both Martins are each being held in the Chautauqua County Jail on $1-million cash bail.  More arrests are expected.  If you have any information on the case... you can call Jamestown Police at 483-7531... or their Tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Two men sought for allegedly stabbing on Jamestown's eastside early this morning...

Jamestown police are searching for two men who allegedly stabbed another man during a home invasion-robbery early this morning on the city's eastside.  City Police were called to the scene at 100 Hedges Street just after 1 AM for a reported stabbing.  On arrival... officers were told that two men entered the home... and, stabbed one of the occupants in the chest before robbing them of cash and other property.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the suspects wore clothing to cover their faces... but, one is reportedly a black male with darker skin... and, the other man had lighter skin.  He says the suspects fled before police arrived.  However... they say the victim and location were apparently targeted by the suspects.  The male victim is being treated at WCA Hospital... where he's in stable condition.  If you have any information on the incident... call JPD at 483-7537... or their confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.    


Two more Heroin, opiate drug forums scheduled for August 4 in Chautauqua County...

Two more public forums on the on-going problem with Heroin and other opiate drug use and abuse in Chautauqua County will be held early next month.  That from County Executive Vince Horrigan and Mental Hygiene Services Director Patricia Brinkman... who says the forums will be held in Dunkirk and Jamestown on Monday, Aug. 4.  Horrigan says the morning session will be held from 9 a.m. to Noon at Jamestown Community College's city campus... while the second one will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at JCC's North County Training Center in Dunkirk.  More than 200 people attended an initial forum in Mayville last March despite blizzard-like conditions.... which points to how big an issue this is.  Horrigan says that's why he's made developing a comprehensive plan to deal with all aspects of the problem a priority.  He says the initial forum produced a Steering Committee that developed five smaller "Action Teams" to deal with all aspects... from prevention to law enforcement and the courts.  For more information on those teams... or the upcoming forums... call the county's Department of Mental Hygiene at 753-4104.

 

WJTN News Headlines


City lawmakers will vote in two weeks on subscribing to an on-line service that helps local governments better track housing issues, complaints and enforcement.  The City Council last night heard details about the Department of Development contracting with "MyGov" to create a database that includes the history of individual properties in Jamestown.  Development Director Vince DeJoy says he began the search shortly after he was appointed to find better system than they have now.  DeJoy says Mayor Sam Teresi wanted to find a new user-friendly and portable -- yet secure system to get "real-time" updates. DeJoy says if he was asked for an updated list of condemned houses in Jamestown... he would have to pull out a spread-sheet.  But... with this system... he could create an immediate list that updates whether that property is in the court system... or has a different status.  In addition to interviewing various companies... DeJoy says they also talked to similar communities that use "MyGov."  DeJoy says officials in Strongville, Ohio -- near Cleveland -- has a similar population... and, they love how it works.
Prior to DeJoy's presentation... Teresi outlined actions he and lawmakers have taken over the past year to better enforce the city's housing and building codes... including court actions.  He emphasized that there are just "a few" homeowners, landlords, and tenants that have let properties go... and, have not just created eyesores... but, breeding grounds for crime.

 

Jamestown Police are investigating an overnight stabbing.  They got the call right around 1am of a 20 year old male that was stabbed at 100 Hedges Street.  The victim was treated at WCA Hospital and released.  The officer says the stabbing was not a random incident.

 

A six-month-old baby boy from Jamestown is now in critical... but, stable condition now after he was allegedly assaulted by his father late last week.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the boy's father... 20 year-old Steven Spencer... is accused of assaulting... then striking the child with an object late last Thursday afternoon.  Samuelson says the boy was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo late that night.  Following an investigation... he says Spencer turned himself into police last Friday afternoon. Samuelson would not say if Spencer gave police a formal statement of any kind.  Spencer was charged with second-degree Assault... and, Reckless Assault of a Child.  Samuelson says unfortunately... he's seen this kind of crime before... but, it doesn't make it any less horrific. Spencer was arraigned in city court early last weekend on the two charges... and, sent to the County Jail without bail because of the Felony assault charge.  However... Samuelson says the charges may change depending on whether or not the baby recovers.  He adds there was also and 18-month old child in the house at 15 Hedges Street when the incident occured.

 

A Facebook tip is being credited for helping to lead State Police in Cattaraugus County to arrest the woman driving a dark blue mini-van that struck an Amish horse and buggy earlier this month.  Troopers say the driver of the van then fled the scene after the July 7th incident.  The buggy's operator and two sons escaped serious injury.  State Police in Olean say they utilitized social media, seeking the public's help.  They say they received an anonymous call... with a person saying he saw the vehicle allegedly involved just after the accident occured traveling north on Route 16... and, he was able to identify the driver.  With that... troopers have arrested 31 year-old Tiffany Armstrong of Cuba on several vehicle and traffic violations.  They include leaving the scene of a personal injury accident... and, leaving the scene of an accident involving an animal.  Armstrong's accused of driving up behind the horse and buggy in the town of Ishua, and hitting the vehicle, pushing it into a ditch.  The driver did not stop.  The horse survived it's injuries.

 

An Erie, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for two violations of Leandra's Law after he was pulled over for allegedly driving drunk in the town of Portland last weekend.  Sheriff's officers accuse 31 year-old Alex Aviles-Sanchez of drinking and driving after he made several lane changes on Route 5 late Saturday night.  Deputies say they pulled Aviles-Sanchez over... and, initially charged him with DWI... and, then found that two of his passengers were under the age of 16.  That makes the charge a Felony under Leandra's Law.  Aviles-Sanchez was arraigned in Portland Town Court... and, was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.

 

Forecasters with the National Weather Service have confirmed that a tornado touched down in the Finger Lakes during violent storms over the weekend.  The weather service in Binghamton confirmed Monday that the tornado touched down around 4:40 PM Sunday in the Schuyler County town of Reading, just outside the village of Watkins Glen.  Meteorologists say the tornado was rated EF-1, with wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph.  Several homes were damaged and trees toppled, but the sheriff's office says no injuries have been reported.

 

12 singers took to the Floating Stage for the premier of SE93's 11th summer of Chautauqua Lake Voices in Bemus Point to perform songs from Disney films and in the end Kristina Ruth and Andrew Panebianco were eliminated from the six week long competition.  Victoria McIllvain's performance of "Colors of the Wind" and Ashley Reefers performance of "True To Your Heart" tied in the SlickText.com audience voting for coolest performer of the night.  Next the Top 10 singers will prepare for GLEE night next Monday at 6:30pm.  For details on this year's show visit ChautauquaLakeVoices.com.

News Update for Mon., July 14, 2014


Allegany Co. woman arrested for alleged driving van involved in accident with Amish buggy in Cattaraugus County...

A Facebook tip is being credited for helping to lead State Police in Cattaraugus County to arrest the woman driving a dark blue mini-van that struck an Amish horse and buggy earlier this month.  Troopers say the driver of the van then fled the scene after the July 7 incident.  The buggy's operator and two sons escaped serious injury.  State Police in Olean say they utilitized social media, seeking the public's help.  They say they received an anonymous call... with a person saying he saw the vehicle allegedly involved just after the accident occured traveling north on Route 16... and, he was able to identify the driver.  With that... troopers have arrested 31 year-old Tiffany Armstrong of Cuba on several vehicle and traffic violations.  They include leaving the scene of a personal injury accident... and, leaving the scene of an accident involving an animal.  Armstrong's accused of driving up behind the horse and buggy in the town of Ishua, and hitting the vehicle, pushing it into a ditch.  The driver did not stop.  The horse survived it's injuries.


Erie man arrested for violating Leandra's Law in town of Portland...

An Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly violating Leandra's Law after he was pulled over for allegedly driving drunk in the town of Portland last Saturday night.  Sheriff's Deputies say 31 year-old Alex Aviles-Sanchez of Erie had allegedly been drinking... then driving when he made several lane changes on Route 5.  Officers say they pulled Aviles-Sanchez over... and, initially charged him with driving while intoxicated... and, then found that two of his passengers were under the age of 16.  That makes the charge a Felony under Leandra's Law.  Aviles-Sanchez was arraigned in Portland Town Court... and, was sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.


Baby allegedly assaulted by father last week now in critical, but stable condition...

A six-month-old baby boy remains in critical... but, stable condition now after he was allegedly assaulted by his father in Jamestown late last week.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the boy's father... 20 year-old Steven Spencer... is accused of assaulting... then striking the child with an object late last Thursday afternoon.  Samuelson says the boy was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo late that night.  Following an investigation... he says Spencer turned himself into police last Friday afternoon.  He would only say they were interviewing Spencer when he was arrested by officers.  Samuelson would not say if Spencer gave police a formal statement of any kind.  Spencer was charged with second-degree Assault... and, Reckless Assault of a Child.  Samuelson says unfortunately... he's seen this kind of crime before... but, it doesn't make it any less horrific.  Spencer was arraigned in city court early last weekend on the two charges... and, sent to the County Jail without bail.

WJTN News Headlines


The four men accused of taking part in the contract killing of a Jamestown man have been acquitted in their federal trial.  The Buffalo News reported last weekend that Jose "Noelle" Martinez... Angel Luis Marcial... Felix "Lolo" Vasquez... and, Carlos Jorge "Nito" Canales... all faced life in prison if convicted of the May 2008 murder of Quincy Turner.  However... a federal jury in Buffalo found all four not guilty in the case.  The News reports that prosecutors believe Martinez was providing cocaine that Turner was allegedly selling in the area.  However... they say Turner -- who was a well-known local stock car racer -- had become an informant... and, Martinez found out.  He was then accused of putting out a 20-thousand dollar contract on Turner.  He was found shot to death just outside his race shop near the County Airport north of Jamestown.

 

A Jamestown man is now jailed without bail for allegedly shaking and assaulting his 6-month-old baby last Thursday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says police were called to the scene at 15 Hedges Street to investigate the case... while the baby was rushed to the hospital.  Samuelson says the father, 20 year-old Steven Spencer, was babysitting the child when he allegedly shook the child... then hit the infant with an object.  The child was later transferred to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo... where the toddler's in critical condition.  Spencer was arraigned on charges of second-degree assault... and, Reckless Assault of a Child Charges.  He's being held in the county lock-up.

 

Three Jamestown residents were hurt -- two of them seriously -- in a single-car accident early yesterday morning on Route 430 in the town of Sherman.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene -- near Armenian Road -- just after 2 AM.  Deputies say their investigation shows that 20 year-old Mark Maio was eastbound when he passed another vehicle at a high rate of speed... and, lost control of his vehicle.  Maio's car went off the southside of the road... and, struck several trees.  Officers say Maio was taken by ambulance to Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.  His front seat passenger, 18 year-old Kayla Clark, had to be freed from the wreckage, and was flown by Starflight Helicopter to Hamot.  A rear seat passenger, 18 year-old Todd Clark, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of less serious injuries.  Maio faces charges of Speeding, Unsafe passing, and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation.  Additional charges are pending.

 

Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe says local, county and state officials continue to have conference calls on a weekly basis concerning Carriage House.  Keefe says even ConAgra has provided some ideas to the group as efforts continue to find a future developer for the Fredonia facility. Keefe says the "Start Up-New York" program has stimulated some interest in the Carriage House plants, but he says the big challenge will be finding a company or companies that are interested in staying in the area for the long term.  The Carriage House facilities in Frednia and Dunkirk are expected to end production by the end of the year.

 

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says dozens of highway projects in New York state would be delayed if Congress can't reach an agreement on federal highway funding.  The Democrat said last week that the state would be forced to either put off projects or pay for them without federal assistance if lawmakers don't replenish the federal highway trust fund.  The trust fund provides money for highway and bridge projects around the country.  New York receives about 1.6-billion dollars from the fund every year.

 

There hasn't been a lot of public discussion lately about a proposed North County Water Project... but that doesn't mean there isn't any activity going on behind the scenes.  Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce confirms that he met this past week with County Executive Vince Horrigan... and, Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe about the project.  Dolce says the focus of the private meeting was on the role of the two municipalities as water suppliers. Dolce would not give any specifics... but, he says the dialogue continues between the three leaders as they try to work out an acceptable plan.  The mayor gives Horrigan credit for keeping the talks going. Horrigan says he does not want to comment about the discussions at this time... but continues to feel progress is being made.  Efforts continue on the Consolidated Fund Application process according to Dolce. 

 

The National Weather Service has now confirmed that five tornados touched down in upstate New York during severe storms that killed four people.  The worst devastation last Tuesday was in the town of Smithfield, between Utica and Syracuse.  Four people were killed and several homes were destroyed or damaged. 

 

Rest easy, New Yorkers, the state is staying off your lawn and away from your mowers.  A hoax spreading online this past week has some residents thinking they'll be forced to register their mowers... and, haul them in for annual inspections just like a car.  It's not true.  That from Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore... who is one of several upstate New York officials trying to set the record straight with angry residents.  They say mow as you please.  There's no registration requirement, as the hoax indicated, no 10-dollar fee and no mandate that mowers must wear OSHA-approved safety glasses, hearing protection, and steel-toe shoes.  Barmore says he could see how oft-taxed New Yorkers could fall for the hoax... and, says he hopes it ``didn't give anyone any ideas.''

News Update for Friday, July 11, 2014


City man arrested for allegedly assaulting his 6 month-old child...

A Jamestown man faces Felony charges after allegedly shaking and assaulting his 6-month-old baby Thursday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the infant is in critical condition at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  Samuelson says 20 year-old Steven Spencer was arrested this afternoon at police headquarters.  Samuelson would not disclose where the assault occured.  Spencer is jailed on second-degree assault... and, reckless Assault of a Child Charges.


Buffalo delivery truck driver accused of making false report that he was robbed behind Jamestown liquor store...

A delivery driver from Buffalo has been arrested for allegedly saying he was robbed outside a Jamestown liquor store while he was making a delivery to the store.  City police were called to Bardo's Liquor at 1370 East Second Street about 12:40 p.m. Friday on a report of an armed hold-up behind the store.  Officers from several local agencies quickly set up a perimeter around the area... and, brought in a K-9 to search for a white male suspect.  However... further investigation revealed that the delivery man -- 30 year-old Eric Legos -- had made a false report... and, that no robbery had occured.  He's been charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident... and, jailed pending arraignment.  State Police... Ellicott Town Police... and, Lakewood Busti Police assisted in the investigation.


City woman arrested for assaulting boyfriend, and endangering their child...

A Jamestown woman is accused of assaulting her boyfriend... destroying property in their apartment... and, using their 2 year-old child to shield her from police.  City officers were called to the scene at 70 Sturges Street shortly after 1 this morning... and, found the male victim... who said 19 year-old Navorria Green had attacked him in front of their young son.  He said Green had left on foot with the child.  But, just before 3 a.m., police were told Green was back in the apartment with the child... and, another woman.  Officers say they found both Green... and, 29 year-old Amber Conrad hiding in closets.  Both initially refused to come out... and, Green hid behind the child to avoid K-9 "Mitchell."  Officers intervened, and secured the child before arresting the pair.  Green faces several charges... including two counts of endangering the welfare of a child... and, menacing.  Conrad faces one count each of child endangerment... and obstruction.


 

 

WJTN News Headlines


The search is continuing for a black man and a white woman who attempted to car-jack a man early Thursday morning in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph.  Troopers were called to the scene on Cold Spring Road about 6 AM.  State Police Sergeant Greg Worrell say an unidentified man came upon the scene of what appeared to be a disabled mini-van.  Worrell says the victim got out... and, the black male with the mini-van pulled a knife on him.  The suspect demanded the man's wallet and keys.  But... the Good Samaritan fought back... and, got away.  Worrell says the two suspects then drove off from the scene.  The black male has a thin build, and is in his mid-30s.  Troopers say he was wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt, dark jeans, and a New York Yankees baseball cap.  The woman is also in her mid-30s... and, is heavyset with long, brown hair.  She ws also wearing a purple colored shirt.  The black van is described as being a fairly new, Dodge model with a red "Peace" sign on the back... and, Pennsylvania licence plates.  The victim got away with a couple of minor abrasions.  If you have any information... contact State Police at 665-3114.

 

The Randolph woman arrested by Lakewood-Busti Police this week is one of three former management employees at the Lakewood Wal-Mart Super Center accused of stealing money from the store.  That from Police Chief John Bentley... who says the trio stole about 95-thousand dollars from the Fairmount Avenue retailer.  Bentley says 57 year-old Cheryl Vaninetti is accused of stealing the most -- just over 56-thousand dollars -- in 2010 and 2011.  He says the other two workers stole 30-thousand, and 9-thousand dollars respectively.  Bentley says they used their knowledge of the system to cash checks they wrote for themselves. Bentley says Wal-Mart's home office in Arkansas was later able to pin-down the discrepancies... and, alerted police.  He says... because the amount stolen in this case was over 50-thousand dollars... the crime rises to the level of a Felony.  He says Vaninetti wrote checks from two different bank accounts... and put them into Wal-Mart's bank deposit system.  She would then remove cash for the check value.  Once the checks were deposited... they would bounce.

 

A Pennsylvania family's vacation in the Barcelona Harbor-area ended in tragedy when a mother trying to help her son and a friend who went inner-tubing on the Lake Erie waters lost her life.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says that 37-year-old Christen (Kristen) Stefan of Bethel Park tried to help her 9-year-old son Tyler along with his friend 8-year-old Benjamin Bignell of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania when the drowning occurred.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says Lake Erie can be dangerous at times. The lake's currents sent the three drifting into a cove in the rocky cliff shoreline.  After reaching the cliffs... Sheriff's Deputies say Benjamin was able to climb to safety, but Tyler fell back in.  Christen tried to help Tyler, but vanished under the water.  Gerace says the cliffs made it difficult for rescuers to access the area where the woman and two boys were.  Christen Stefan was pronounced dead in the Emergency Room at Westfield Memorial Hospital.  Tyler Stefan was treated for hypothermia.  The other boy was okay.

 

The National Weather Service has confirmed that three tornadoes hit upstate New York during severe storms on Tuesday.  The worst devastation was in the town of Smithfield, a rural area between Utica and Syracuse where four people were killed.  National Weather Service meteorologist Barbara Watson says Thursday the storms that hit both Deerfield, south of Utica, and Lowville, about 55 miles north of Utica, also spawned tornados.  No one was injured in either place.  The Deerfield tornado was rated EF-1, with wind speeds of 65 to 110 mph and was 60 yards wide.  The Lowville tornado traveled 10 miles and also was an EF-1, with wind speeds of 95 to 100 mph and 300 yards at its widest.  Investigators are still working to determine the strength of the Smithfield twister.

News Update for Thurs., July 10, 2014


State Police looking for black man and white woman allegedly involved in attempted car-jacking in the town of Randolph...

The search is continuing for a black man and a white woman who attempted to car-jack a man early this morning in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph.  Troopers were called to the scene on Cold Spring Road about 6 a.m.  State Police Sergeant Greg Worrell say an unidentified man came upon the scene of what appeared to be a disabled mini-van.  Worrell says the victim got out... and, the black male with the mini-van pulled a knife on him.  The suspect demanded the man's wallet and keys.  But... the Good Samaritan fought back... and, got away.  Worrell says the two suspects then drove off from the scene.  The black male has a thin build, and is in his mid-30s.  Troopers say he was wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt, dark jeans, and a New York Yankees baseball cap.  The woman is also in her mid-30s... and, is heavyset with long, brown hair.  She ws also wearing a purple colored shirt.  The black van is described as being a fairly new, Dodge model with a red "Peace" sign on the back... and, Pennsylvania licence plates.  The victim got away with a couple of minor abrasions.  If you have any information... contact State Police at 665-3114.


Barmore urges local motorists to beware of email E-ZPass scam...

Chautauqua County Clerk Larry Barmore is alerting local motorists about a scam that appears to convince unsuspecting E-Zpass users that they owe unpaid tolls.  Barmore says he just got word of the "phishing" scheme from the New York State Thruway Authority.  Barmore says they're sending the e-mails, and saying that the person has an unpaid bill, and, they should download the invoice and pay the bill.  However... he says E-ZPass doesn't send out email invoices for payment.  They only send the bills through the U.S. Postal Service.  The County Clerk says if you get such an email, don't open or respond...rather delete it.  Anyone with questions about the validity of any message received from E-ZPass... is asked to contact the E-ZPass New York Customer Service Center at 1-(800)-333-8655.


Weakened tree limb blamed for downed power lines, causing outage in West Ellicott, Lakewood areas...

About 1,500 National Grid power customers were without power early this morning after a weakened tree limb came down on some power lines in the Lakewood-area.  National Grid Spokesman Steve Brady says the outage occured about 4:15 a.m. when the limb... which was likely weakened by a storm earlier in the week... fell on some lines near the Baker Street substation.  The Lakewood-area... and, parts of West Ellicott... were affected... including our Media One Group stations.  Power was restored between 7:30 and 8 a.m.


 

WJTN News Headlines


A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-area woman died after drowning in Lake Erie near Westfield while trying to save her young son, and a friend after they drifted into deeper water while swimming.  Sheriff's Deputies say 37 year-old Christen Stefan of Bethel Park went into the water about 2:30 PM after a combination of wind and waves pushed her 9 year-old son, Tyler... and, another boy away from Shore Have Beach.  The boys were playing with an floating inner tube when they were pushed into a cove with rocky cliffs.  The other boy... 8 year-old Benjamin Bignell... was able to get out.  However... Tyler Stefan fell back into the water.  Mrs. Stefan tried to help her son... but, vanished under the water.  A nearby resident was able to bring Tyler back to shore.  His mother later died at Westfield Memorial Hospital.  He was treated for hypothermia.  The investigation is continuing.

 

State Police are on the look-out for a black man and a white woman who attempted to car-jack a man early this morning in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph.  Troopers were called to the scene on Cold Spring Road about 6 this morning.  State Police Sergeant Greg Worell say an unidentified man came upon the scene of what appeared to be a disabled mini-van.  Worell says the victim got out... and, the black male with the black mini-van pulled a knife on him.  He says the two fought... and, the victim got away.  The black male and a white woman driving the van then fled the scene.  Worell says the black male was wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt... and a New York Yankees baseball cap.  He says the woman was wearing a purple colored shirt.  Both were described as being in their 30s.  The black van had a red "Peace" sign on the back... and, Pennsylvania licence plates.  The victim got away with a couple of minor abrasions.  If you have any information... contact State Police at 665-3113.

 

The power is back on after downed electric lines on Baker Street Extension caused just over 15-hundred National Grid customers to lose power early this morning.  The National Grid Website is reporting that the power went out at 4:15 AM.  Chautauqua County Dispatchers reported the downed lines... but, not what caused the downed lines.  The outage... and, possible brown-out...  was centered in the the Lakewood-area.  National Grid Crews were able to get the power back on around 7:30 this morning.

 

A Randolph woman is accused of stealing just over 56-thousand dollars while she was working at the Lakewood Wal-Mart Super Center over a two-year period.  Lakewood-Busti Police say 57 year-old Cheryl Vaninetti (Van-ih-Netti) allegedly wrote several checks to Wal-Mart from two bank accounts in 2010 and 2011.  Investigators say she would place the checks in the retailer's bank deposit system... and, take cash for the check's value.  Police accuse her of doing it in a way that by-passed Walmart's electronic financial security system.  Once the checks were deposited into Wal-Mart's account... the checks would be returned to Wal-Mart for insufficient funds.  Vaninetti was arrested on a warrant for Felony second-degree Grand Larceny... and, was awaiting arraignment in Busti Town Court.

 

Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have held steady this week following the Fourth of July weekend.  In fact... the average price remains about 3-dollars-89 cents a gallon.  One location in the Lakewood-area is charging 3-dollar-85 cents.  Nationally... the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report says the average price of regular, unleaded has fallen for 10 straight days... and, for the first time since June 11th... the national average price is reflecting a month-over-month discount.  The current average is now 3-dollars-65 cents per gallon.  That's 2-cents less than one week ago.

News Update for Wed., July 9, 2014


Fredonia man revived with "Heroin Antidote" drug after car crashes in town of Ellicott...

A police agency for the first time in Chautauqua County has indicated use of the "Heroin antidote" drug to revive a Fredonia man after he lost consciousness... and, his car crashed into a ditch in the town of Ellicott last night.  State Police in Jamestown say 30 year-old Zachary Ellis was traveling on Route 60 at Tompkins Road just before 6:30 p.m. when his vehicle went off the road.  Troopers say they found the car in a ditch... and, Ellis was unresponsive.  An A-E-D was used before officers found a hypodermic needle containing heroin inside the vehicle.  They then gave Ellis a shot of Naloxone, or "Narcan."  He regained consciousness... and, was taken to WCA Hospital for further evaluation and released.  Ellis was arrested and faces a number of charges including Driving while Ability impaired by drugs.  He was issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.


Randolph woman accused of stealing $56,000 from Lakewood Wal-Mart...

A Randolph woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing just over $56,060 dollars from the Lakewood Wal-Mart Super Center over a two-year period.  Lakewood-Busti Police say 57 year-old Cheryl Vaninetti wrote several checks to Wal-Mart from two bank accounts in 2010 and 2011.  Investigators say Vaninetti allegedly would place the checks in the retailer's bank deposit system... and, take cash for the check's value.  Police say she did it in a way that by-passed Walmart's electronic financial security system.  Once the checks were deposited into Wal-Mart's account... the checks would be returned to Wal-Mart for insufficient funds.  Vaninetti was arrested on a warrant for Felony second-degree Grand Larceny.


Leone says county Emergency Officials still assessing damage from Tuesday afternoon's storms...

Chautauqua County officials will be taking the state's cue on assessing the damage following the severe storms that brought localized flash flooding and damaging winds to portions of the county yesterday.  County Emergency Services Director Julius Leone says crews had to deal with the Water Street bridge in Fredonia... and, high waters that closed a portion of Route 60 in the town of Pomfret -- near Spoden Road.  Leone adds there was high water in Stockton... and, power outages in the Lakewood area.  Leone says they may make an assessment of storm damage... but, how much help they get will depend on the state.  He says they're talking with town highway superintendents... and, try to get an indication of how much damage there was overall.  While there wasn't a lot of widespread damage... Leone says yesterday's severe weather was a reminder about how quickly it can hit... and, why we must be prepared for it.


Abramson talks about Edward Snowden case, ethics at Chautauqua...

The former executive editor of the New York Times says the man at the center of the National Security Agency scandal is in a "tricky" position right now.  That's why Jill Abramson believes Edward Snowden has requested an extension of his exile in Russia after allegedly leaking sensative information about the United States... and, it's intelligence gathering.  Speaking with our Jim Roselle at Chautauqua Institution... Abramson said Snowden will likely face prosecution if he returns to the U-S... but, adds that staying in Russia doesn't help his case in being viewed as a whistleblower.  Abramson spoke as part of "The Ethics of Privacy" Week at Chautauqua.

 


 

 


 

WJTN News Headlines


A line of thunderstorms that primarily moved through western and northern Chautauqua County affected the Jamestown-area as well.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say the storms produced some scattered power outages... and, high water or flooding issues.  Part of Route 60 was flooded for a time near Spoden Road in the town of Pomfret.  Here in the Jamestown-area... a tree limb came down on a power line near Emeritus of Lakewood about 4 PM... knocking out power to the area.  That area including our Media One Group studios.  Power was restored about 5:30... but, National Grid crews were at the scene through early evening.  Power at our studios didn't fully come back on line until about 6 PM.

 

There are reports of fatalities in the wake of a line of storms that moved through western and central New York, bringing heavy rain and strong winds that knocked down trees, power lines and several buildings. Joanne LaBounty, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Binghamton, says they have reports from local emergency officials of three deaths in collapsed buildings in the Madison County community of Smithfield. She says investigators will be in the area on Wednesday to determine if a tornado hit the area. In eastern New York, a weather service spokesman says there were reports of damage from strong thunderstorms, but no injuries or deaths.

 

Nearly a dozen upstate New York counties... including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus... have been given major, federal disaster declarations due to late May's severe flooding.  That from Congressman Tom Reed... who says President Obama issued the declarations yesterday afternoon.  Reed... who says the flooding took place in this part of the state between May 13th and 22nd... calls it "welcome news."  However... County Executive Vince Horrigan calls it "great news."  Horrigan says Chautauqua County sustained about one-million dollars in infrastructure damage.  However... he says Federal Emergency Management Administration officials will have to confirm the totals first. However... Horrigan says they don't anticipate getting any coverage for residential or business damage.  Still... he is urging residents and business owners who sustained a lot of damage to contact the county's Office of Emergency Services.  Horrigan praised Congressman Reed... Governor Cuomo... and, the President for backing the declaration... which totaled about 27-million dollars for all the counties involved.

 

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino says critics of New York's new educational standards should be able to voice their concerns by voting on a new ballot line called ``Stop Common Core.''  Astorino said Tuesday that petitions are circulating to add the line to the fall ballot.  He says the line would let voters know which candidates oppose the standards, which have been criticized by teachers and parents.  If approved... the line would appear along with the major parties... and, lesser ones like the Green Party and the Working Families Party.

 

A Westfield man who has been practicing law nearly 30 years... and, has been a town and village justice there for most of those years... has received the Democratic nomination to run for the county's new Family Court Judgeship.  James Spann, Junior was selected during a meeting of the county's Democrat Committee Monday night.  Spann believes he has the experience and "depth and breadth of experience" to be the county's second Family Court Judge. Spann... who has been a lawyer for 29 years... has a private law practice in Dunkirk.  He's been a town and village justice for 27 of those years.  Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chairman Norm Green says Spann was the choice over Sally Jaroszynski from the Jamestown area. 

 

The new owner of a scrap yard on Jamestown's westside has begun a 2.5-million dollar renovation project to improve it's look... eliminate dust... and, reduce traffic and noise.  Ben Weitzman of Jamestown took over operation of the former Weinstein recycling facility in the Summer of 2010... but, neighbors living around the 610 West Eighth Street location have complained about dust and noise over the past several months.  Owner Adam Weitzman says the "complete renovation" of the facility got underway back on June 28th... and, will include new structures... and, paved surfaces. Weitzman says the paving and new landscaping should take care of dust issues at the scrap yard.  As for truck traffic... which he says is a product of getting several new customers... he says they plan to have a way for vehicles to get in, and out of the yard as quickly as possible. Weitzman says Weinstein didn't have many customers when they purchased the business... so with the added customers has come the added traffic.  He says there will also be a detention pond on site to deal with water run-off during heavy rains.  Weitzman says the project should take about a month to complete.  He adds "we want to be a good neighbor."

 

News Update for Mon., July 7, 2014


Piazza announces run for Family Court Judge...

A local attorney from Kiantone whose represented everyone from children... to families... wants to bring his experience in Family Court to the new, second Chautauqua County Family Court Judge's position.  Jeffrey Piazza has practiced law in the Jamestown-area for the past 20 years... and, announced his candidacy yesterday afternoon.  Piazza says he's represented people involved in custody, visitation, neglect, abuse and juvenile deliquency in family court... but, he says the most rewarding part of his practice has been being involved in the Attorney for the Child Program.  He says he'll be seeking the Republican... Conservative... and, Independence Party lines for this Fall's Election.  Piazza is a member of the Jamestown... and, state Bar Associations... and is on the board of directors for WCA Hospital.  He is currently serving his fifth-term at Kiantone Town Supervisor.


Cuomo signs Medical Marijuana legislation into law...

New York has officially become the 23rd state in the country to authorize marijuana as a medical treatment... though the state will have one of the more restrictive programs in the U.S.  Under legislation signed into law last weekend by Governor Andrew Cuomo... patients with one of 10 different diseases including AIDS, cancer and epilepsy will be able to obtain non-smokeable versions of the drug.  The drug must be ingested or administered through a vaporizer or oil base.  It doesn't take effect for another 18-months.  Cuomo signed the bill again during a ceremony Monday afternoon.  The Democrat opposed allowing medical pot in plant form, saying the drug could have ended up in the wrong hands.  The compromise was one of the final measures passed by lawmakers before they adjourned last month.

News Headlines for Mon., July 7, 2014


Schumer in Western New York today to unveil WNY Veteran's Cemetery location...

U-S Senator Charles Schumer will be at the western New York site that has been chosen for the state's next national veterans' cemetery.  The New York Democrat will join local veteran leaders late this morning at the property in Pembroke in Genesee County that will be the first national veterans' cemetery in the Buffalo-Rochester area.  Schumer will discuss the importance of the site and talk about the next step for creating the cemetery. He announced last month that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had chosen a 132-acre site in Pembroke... which is about 25 miles east of Buffalo.  The region's only other national veterans' cemetery is in Bath in Steuben County... nearly 90 miles from Buffalo and 60 miles from Rochester.


Frewsburg teen hurt after falling asleep at the wheel of car in Saturday crash...

Falling asleep at the wheel is being blamed for a one-car crash in which a Frewsburg teenager suffered serious injuries early last Saturday morning in the town of Kiantone.  Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Alexander Dimphl was southbound on Foote Avenue Extension about 5:30 a.m. when he apparently fell asleep... and, the vehicle went off the eastside of the road... and, struck a stop sign.  Deputies say Dimphl's car continued on... hitting several small trees, and a retaining wall.  He was initially taken to WCA Hospital for treatment... but, was later transported to UPMC Hamot in Erie, PA for a "higher-level" of care for his injuries.  No charges were filed.


Clarendon, PA man jailed on $100,000 bail for alleged assault...

A Warren County man is jailed on $100,000 bail for allegedly assaulting another man late last Saturday night in Mead Township.  State Police in Warren say they were called to the scene of a reported fight on Wilderness Drive... and, found that an argument between 32 year-old David Lobdell of Clarenden and an unidentified 37 year-old Clarendon man... had turned into a physical altercation.  Troopers arrested Lobdell on several charges... including aggravated assault... intimidation of a witnes or victim... reckless endangement... and, unlawful restraint.  He was arraigned in Warren District Court... and, sent to the Warren County lock-up.


Horrigan says first six-months in office have been busier than expected, says a lot has been done, but, more challenges await...

First-term Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's generally pleased with the progress made by his administration during his first six-months on the job.  However... the Bemus Point Republican admits life has been a bit busier than he first expected.  Horrigan says, though, he still felt "energized" by the work he sees being done on several fronts in the county.  One of the first was getting the County Legislature to approve the final sale of the County Home in Dunkirk.  While their was strong opposition right up to the final vote... Horrigan says many opponents have changed their view.  He says selling to VestraCare it was absolutely the "right move" at the right time.  Horrigan says the new, private group is bringing in Parkinson's, Cardiac, and other professional health care services is definately new investment in what had been provided there.  He says VestraCare is on target for completely taking over operations by the end of this year.  He adds there are a number of other issues his administration has been dealing with.  One is moving ahead with a North County Water District... and, a Chautauqua Lake Sewer System.  As for economic development... Horrigan says there are a number of positives... but, still several challenges... including finding someone to fill the two Carriage House facilities in the north county once they close.


No appeals filed regarding challenge of limited release of 1971 Attica Riot report...

No court appeals have been filed challenging limited release of an investigative report about the 1971 Attica prison riot.  Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought disclosure of remaining Meyer Commission documents examining the nation's bloodiest prison rebellion and an alleged cover-up of police crimes in retaking it.  Altogether... 11 staff members and 32 inmates died -- all but four shot by state police and corrections officers.  The report's published volume found no intentional cover-up by prosecutors but poor evidence gathering by troopers investigating their colleagues.  Scheiderman's office says it will carefully comply with Justice Patrick NeMoyer's order to leave out grand jury testimony from remaining volumes with investigative details.

Fireworks Displays for Fri., July 4, 2014


FIREWORKS displays--LONG - 7/4--7/5....

There are plenty of professional fireworks displays taking place this weekend... both today and, Saturday....

 - In Lakewood... the annual Fourth of July Summerfest got underway with the Firecracker 10K road race at Hartley Park this morning.  There will also be a 2-mile run... and, 2-mile walk.  There will be street sales and live music downtown on Chautauqua Avenue.  "Smokehouse" will perform from 7 to 10 PM at the park... with Fireworks at 10 PM.

 - Mayville will hold it's annual Chautauqua County July 4th celebration at Lakeside Park.  Events begin with the annual Parade at 10 AM.  Parade registration begins at 8.  Festivities at the park begin at Noon... with three local groups performing in the Gazebo.  The fireworks begin at 10 PM.

 - There will also be fireworks at Midway State Park near Maple Springs at 10:05 PM.  That's after the park closes at 10. 

 - In Dunkirk... the annual fireworks display on the Dunkirk Pier begins at dusk.  

 - In Bemus Point... the Bemus Bay Pops 4th of July program begins at 9:30 PM tomorrow... with fireworks to follow.

 - Warren's 67th annual Fourth of July Parade begins at 11 AM... and, a number of activities begin at Betts park at 3 PM.  Warren's fireworks will be held Saturday night at Betts Park beginning at 10 PM...

 - Finally... there will be fireworks Saturday at Stateline Speedway as part of the race track's Grand Re-opening.  Racing begins at 7 PM...

 

News Update for Thurs., July 3, 2014


Two more arrested in connection with Home Invasion-Robbery, and JPD Officer-involved shooting...

Two more of the seven suspects allegedly involved in last Tuesday morning's home invasion robbery that led to a brief shoot-out with Jamestown police have been found.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they were assisted by the state Division of Parole in locating the pair in Buffalo.  They are not being identified.  Samuelson says that leaves one suspect still at-large.  That suspect happens to be the heavy-set, black male who was reportedly seen wearing a baggy, red shirt.  Police say that man may have been wounded in the brief, officer-involved shooting.  Samuelson says one of the two taken into custody today is being held in Erie County on a Parole violation.  He says the other is being interviewed by Jamestown Police in Buffalo.  No charges have yet been placed.  Anyone with information on the suspect still at-large is asked to call City Police at 483-7537... or 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.

 

News Headlines for Thurs., July 3, 2014


Four now in custody in connection with Home Invasion-Robbery, and shoot-out incident on Jamestown's eastside...

Jamestown police now say as many as seven people may have been involved in Tuesday's home invasion and robbery on the city's eastside in which three of them were confronted by police.  One of the suspects at 188 Falconer St. then exhanged gunfire with officers.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says four people have now been arrested so far.  Samuelson says two "persons of interest" in the case were taken into custody near Burtis Bay... between Lakewood and Celoron late Tuesday afternoon after two were arrested earlier at the scene.  He says they are still looking for the three men who fled the scene about 3 a.m. Tuesday when police arrived.  The two men arrested near Burtis Bay are being held on Parole violations... while the pair arrested at 188 Falconer are charged with first-degree robbery.  No names have been released.  The incident is believed to be drug-related.  Anyone with information is asked to call city police at 483-7531... their Tip-line at 483-TIPS -- that's 483-8477 -- or call 9-1-1.


Cattaraugus Co. man seriously hurt when his car hit's back of one truck, then strikes another head-on...

A Randolph man was seriously hurt when his car ran into the back of a pick-up truck on a Cattaraugus County Road... then struck another pick-up head-on.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 52 year-old Scott Brown of Phillips Brook Rd. was southbound on Route 353 just after 7 a.m. Wednesday when his vehicle struck the back of the Ford Truck... driven by 18 year-old Brock Doberstein of Little Valley.  Deputies say Brown's vehicle then went into the northbound lane... and, struck a Chevrolet Truck, driven by William Andrews of Salamanca.  Brown was flown to the Erie County Medical Center with serious head and chest injuries.  Officers say he was not wearing a seat belt.  The other two drivers were treated at the scene for minor injuries.  The investigation is continuing... and, charges are pending.


State Police announce Holiday Patrols for three-day, Independence Day Holiday...

New York State Police are stepping up their patrols to catch drunk and distracted drivers over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said late Wednesday that the effort will run Thursday through Sunday.  He says 500 electronic message boards will be placed alongside state roadways warning motorists against driving while intoxicated.  In addition to increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints... state police say they'll devote more resources to stopping underage drinking.  The Fourth of July holiday is typically one of the state's busiest travel periods.  Last year... the state police issued more than 10,000 traffic tickets during the Fourth of July weekend.


Incumbant County Sheriff Joe Gerace formally announces run for sixth-term with three ballot lines...

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace will have three lines as he runs for a sixth-term as the county's top cop this November.  As he finishes his 20th year in the elected post... Gerace says he hasn't lost his passion to keep the county safe... and, he's ready to make another run for sheriff.   He adds that he and his professional team have "risen" to every challenge presented to the office at the least possible cost to the taxpayers... and, believes that's the reason for the endorsements by the Democrat, Conservative and Independence Parties.  Gerace says he's "honored" by those endorsements, and says he wants to continue working for the people of Chautauqua County into the future.  He says his office has been successful in working with other agencies to make key arrests in several major cases in recent years... including last year's double-homicide in the town of Carroll.  He says he's also initiated several innovative programs that have improved public safety at little or no added cost to local residents... including enhanced 9-1-1 services.  Gerace is being challenged this year by Republican Russ Payne... who earlier announced he's running for Sheriff.


Titan-X management, and IAM sign HPWO Agreement...

A new type of labor-management agreement has been reached at a global-maker of engine cooling systems in Jamestown that both sides believe will keep the company competitive for years to come.  The national leader of the International Association of Machinists was in town to sign a 'High Performance Work Organization' agreement with Titan-X.  IAM President Thomas Buffenbarger says they began looking at the program locally... with management... late last year.  Work on specifics began at the start of 2014... and, culminated with Wednesday's signing.  Buffenbarger says it's "a signal of respect for each other's position..." and, what they do in the corporation -- no matter what they do.  He says there are other corporations... such as John Deere... that has HPWO's in place.  Union officials say such agreements basically "change the culture" to eliminate the adversarial positions labor and management have at times.  Titan-X Human Resources Director Andy Johnson says the key benefit of the agreement is it makes the company better in New York's "tough" business climate.  The IAM represents about 200 of Titan-X's approximately 300 workers.  Titan's Group Vice-President of Operations Thomas Andersson was also on hand to sign the agreement.


Gas prices up about a penny a gallon this week in Jamestown-area...

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have increased about a penny this week to $3.89 a gallon as we enter the Fourth of July holiday weekend.  That's according to the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says there was little change in prices last month.  The price locally has risen to $3.90 to $3.94 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  The average price nationally has stopped increasing as we approach the Independence Day holiday.  However... prices remain at a six-year high for this time of year.  Today’s national average is $3.67 per gallon.  The price has remained relatively stable over the past seven days, and the current price is about the same as a month ago.  The AAA says the situation in Iraq continues to put pressure on global oil prices.

News Headlines for Wed., July 2, 2014


Two more people arrested as "persons of interest" in home invasion-robbery at 188 Falconer St...

Two more "persons of interest" have been taken into custody by Jamestown police in connection with yesterday morning's home invasion robbery that led to a shooting incident on the city's eastside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the two suspects were located near Celoron with the help of other agencies for allegedly violating their parole.  The pair was arrested after trying to flee police near Burtis Bay.  Earlier... Samuelson says two other men were arrested inside the house at 188 Falconer St. Those two men -- who also have not been identified -- are charged with first-degree robbery.  Samuelson adds that the three involved in the brief gun-fight at 188 Falconer... ran off towards East Second Street.  However... the gun believed to be used in the crime was recovered at the scene.  He adds as many as seven people may have been involved in the home invasion.  Police Chief Harry Snellings adds they believe drugs were apparently involved.  Snellings says they were called to the scene about 3 a.m.  He says once they arrived... they began investigating... and, one suspect shot at officers as they tried to leave... and, the officer returned fire.  Snellings says that man may have been struck by a bullet... but, they're not sure.  He's described as a "heavy-set" black male with dread-locks... and, was wearing a baggy, red shirt.  Snellings adds this was not a random incident... but, a drug-related one... and, the home was targeted.   No one else was hurt.  Several other agencies were involved.  Anyone with information is asked to call city police at 483-7531... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS.  That's 483-8477.


City man arrested for alleged "physical" domestic incident...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly damaging a woman's property... including breaking a cell phone and table... during a physical, domestic incident yesterday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene at 1101 Prendergast Avenue about 3:40 p.m., and, say the spoke with both 19 year-old Eliel Rodriguez... and, the female victim involved.  Both allegedly had an argument... which led to Rodriguez damaging the property.  He's also accused of slapping the cell phone away from the woman as she called for help.  Rodriguez was arrested without incident for third and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was sent to the city jail pending arraignment.


Rowell Park Cancer Center receives national designation that helps bring in federal funding...

A cancer center in Buffalo has retained its national designation as a comprehensive cancer center, a status that brings significant federal funding.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that the Roswell Park Cancer Institute has won re-accreditation from the National Cancer Institute.  The prestigious designation comes with a $19-million, five-year grant for research and patient care.  Cuomo calls Roswell Park a ``beacon of hope'' for patients and families and notes that only 41 cancer centers around the country have the designation.  Roswell Park receives some $100-million in state funding each year.


McMillan, Toensing talk about working poor, food stamps, and hunger...

On any given day... there are about 49-million Americans who are dealing with what researchers call "food insecurity."  However... you may be alarmed by the number of people who are your neighbors... and, are working... are part of that group.  That's what Tuesday's featured lecturer's at Chautauqua Institution talked about.  The acclaimed writer of the book, "The American Way of Eating," Tracy McMillan, was one of the lecturers.  She focused on access and affordability of food.  McMillian discussed following three low-income families... one family had to get creative to be nutritious.  She says they used food stamps to get fresh fruits and vegetables, and the local food pantry for other staples.  McMillian interviewed a number of families... and, did some undercover work as well for the book.  National Geographic photographer, Amy Toensing joined her on the Amphitheater stage.  Toensing says she photographed families for the magazine at the grass-roots level... and focused on three of them in Iowa.  She says the percentage of people who work at lower income wages, and, depend on food stamps is "pretty alarming."  McMillan says... on average... Americans spend about 14 to 15-percent of heir income on food, staples.  She and Toensing spoke as part of "Feeding a Hungry Planet" week at Chautauqua.


Some 17 proposals made to state for new casinos...

New York state officials are sorting through 17 competing casino proposals, the start of a long evaluation process expected to last until the fall.  Development teams are vying for up to four upstate casino licenses. A decision on the winning sites is expected this fall.  The state's Gaming Facility Location Board will evaluate the applications based their economic impact, potential revenues to the state and local communities and the quality of the proposal.  Contenders include local investors and international gambling companies.  The casinos will be divided among three regions: the Albany-Saratoga area, the Southern Tier-Finger Lakes region and the Catskills and mid-Hudson River Valley.  A decision on the winning bids is expected this fall.  The final awarding of the casino licenses will be done by the state's Gaming Commission.


 

News Headlines for Tues., July 1, 2014


City police reportedly wound one man during gun battle early this morning following fight on Jamestown's eastside, allegedly linked to drugs...

Jamestown Police are searching for three men after exchanging gun-fire with at least one of the men as officers were breaking up a fight on the city's eastside early this morning.  Police Chief Harry Snellings says they were called to the scene at 188 Falconer Street about 3 a.m.  Jamestown Police are being assisted by their K-9 Unit... Ellicott Town Police... Lakewood-Busti Police... State Police, and, Air-One from the Erie County Sheriff's office in trying to find the trio.  Snellings says one suspect was reportedly struck.  He's described as a "heavy-set" black male with dread-locks... and, was wearing a red shirt.  Snellings says police had gone to break up the fight when they were fired upon.  The incident was allegedly drug related.  No officers were hurt.  However... the men ran off.  Anyone with information is asked to call city police at 483-7537... or their Tip-line at 483-TIPS.  That's 483-8477.


Western PA man killed when tree falls on his tractor-trailer in Warren County Monday afternoon...

An Oil City, PA man was killed yesterday afternoon when a tree fell onto the cab of his tractor-trailer on Route 27 in Warren County's Pittsfield Township.  State Police in Warren say 57 year-old Lanny Ross was westbound when the incident occured just before 3 p.m.  Troopers say Ross lost control of the big rig... which was hauling lumber.  Police say the vehicle came to rest in the eastbound lane... about 250 feet from the point of impact.  Warren County Coroner Jerry Borden pronounced Ross dead at the scene.


Sullivan first to announce he's running for Chautauqua County's second Family Court Judgeship...

A north county attorney who has 25 years of experience representing children,  parents, and others in Chautauqua County Family Court says he's running for a second Family Court Judge position.  Fredonia Republican Michael Sullivan announced late Monday that he's seeking the new post... which was just recently approved by the state legislature... and, signed into law by Governor Cuomo.  In making the announcement... Sullivan says "the reality we face as a society is that almost everyone will at some time during their life, find themselves entering the Family Court system."  He adds that... "in addition to the work representing people in Family Court, I have worked diligently to improve the experience of those appearing in the Family Court."  Sullivan has been the Chautauqua County Liaison to the Appellate Court’s Attorney for the Child Program for nearly 20 years.  He says "some of the most difficult, but also most rewarding work in Family Court is representing the children."  He has practiced law in New York since February 1985.


Reed supports Boehner's lawsuit against Obama on overreach of Executive Orders...

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he supports House Speaker John Boehner's plan to sue President Obama over abusing the use of executive orders in his administration.  Reed adds that he's also heard a "lot of frustration" from residents in his 23rd Congressional District about the president's use... and, abuse of those orders.  During his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media... the Corning Republican rattled off a number of examples... most of which have stirred controversy.   Reed rattled off a number of examples... including changes to the Affordable Care Act... and, the adminstration's handling of immigration policy.  However... he says last week's decision by the U-S Supreme Court regarding recess appointments was big because it was a 9-to-0 decision.  Reed believes the GOP's contention that President Obama has overstepped his constitutional authority on a number of occasions was upheld by that decision.  Supporters of the president say Obama has issued far fewer executive orders than previous presidents.  However... Reed says it's the "substance" of those orders that are most troubling... and, show "disregard" of the legislation involved.  He says there still needs to be "checks and balances" between the executive... legislative... and, judicial branches of government.


State's top court says local bans of "fracking" are within their bounds...

New York's top court has ruled that local officials can approve zoning laws to ban hydraulic fracturing within their borders.  The state Court of Appeals this morning affirmed a lower court ruling that state oil and gas law doesn't trump the authority of local governments to control land use.  The two ``fracking'' cases have been closely watched by drillers hoping to tap into New York's piece of the Marcellus Shale formation and by environmentalists.  Drilling opponents say more than 170 towns have passed bans or moratoriums.  A statewide moratorium on fracking has been in effect for nearly six years.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he won't decide whether to lift the ban until a health impact review begun in 2012 is completed.  There's no timetable for the review.


 

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