Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., May 18, 2022

Jamestown school district voters approve no tax increase budget, propositions...
Voters in the Jamestown Public School District have approved a new, just over $93-million budget for next school year.  The unofficial vote count Tuesday was 359-53.  The spending plan includes no tax increase.  Voters also approved establishment of two reserve funds... one for capital improvements, 365-44... and, the other for vehicles, machinery and equipment, 373-35.  A proposition to purchase most of a church parking lot on Chandler Street was also approved by a vote of 348-57.  School board members Patrick Slagle and Joe Pawelski were re-elected unopposed.


Voters in SWCS district approve budget with more than supermajority needed...
A supermajority of voters was needed in the Southwestern Central School District to approve the district's 2022-23 school budget Tuesday.  But... in the end, the $30.8-million spending plan was approved comfortably, 254-69.  The budget included a 2-percent tax levy increase because of a loss of building aid.  The increase exceeded the state's property tax cap, and required at least a 60% majority of yes votes.  Superintendent Maureen Donahue says there was concern... but, was thankful voters understood the situation.  Donahue says residents also approved buying four new buses, 246-76.  She says the district put in a "letter of intent" a while back so they should have the buses in time for the new school year.  Those will cost about $595,000.  School Board incumbant Correy Miller was re-elected... and, will be joined by newcomer, Dr. Elizabeth Laczi on the board.  Miller wound up with 196 votes... while Dr. Laczi had 173 votes.  Brendan Carter was third with 139 votes.


All other reporting school districts say their budgets were also adopted...
Falconer School District voters overwhelmingly approved a just over $27-million budget on Tuesday, 110-to-29.  The spending plan included no tax increase... and, Bob Carpenter and Tom Frederes were re-elected to the school board.  In Frewsburg... both the 2022-23 budget, and a bus proposition were approved... but, no final vote tallies were made available.  Corrie Graham, Polly Hanson, and Randy Wiltsie were each elected to the school board.  Voters in the Bemus Point Central School District approved their budget by a nearly 2-to-1 margin... 125-to-64.  School bus purchases were also approved 133-to-56.  Megan Kent and Lauren Ryan were elected to the school board.  The Panama School District saw it's voters approve a $13.5-million budget by a huge margin, 149-to-18.  Greg Bullaro won a school board seat with 130 votes... while Sophie Horner edged out Jeremy Pearson for the other open seat, 97-to-92.  In Sherman... voters approved an $11.1-million budget to 2022-23 by a vote of 343-to-115.  A separate proposition to purchase two buses, and a van for $351,000 was adopted, 356-to-103.  Kristin Irwin won a three-way race for a board seat with 235 votes.  Voters in the Clymer, Brocton, Wesfield, Ripley and Chautauqua Lake Districts also approved their spending plans.


City man arrested during traffic stop on drug and weapons charges...
A Jamestown man has been arrested during a traffic stop on the city's northside after being found in possession of drugs and a handgun.  City police say a K-9 Unit stopped a vehicle on Kingsbury Street -- near Spring Street Extension -- just after 11 a.m. Monday for traffic violations.  Officers sy they found a front seat passenger, Bart Bartlett, was sought on outstand warrants from City Court.  They also found Barlett in possession of a quantity of Fentanyl, a digital scale, and a Smith and Wesson revolver... and, 22-calibur long-rifle bullets.  Police say the gun was reported stolen out of Fredonia.  Bartlett was arresed for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown Area YMCA proposing new facility near Brooklyn Square area...
The Jamestown-area YMCA is proposing a new, 68,000 square foot facility to replace it's current, 100-year-old facility on the city's eastside.  Officials are planning to erect the new, $31-million structure at the former Watson Industries location on Harrison Street.  One of the people involved in the project, Tom Benson, made a power-point presentation to the city council Monday night about their plans.  Benson says Brownfield credits will be obtained because it's a former industrial site... and, that will help offset the cost.  He says the current building is no longer useful to growing "Y" programs... and, it would also replace the Lakewood and Eastside Y facilities... though the Lakewood facility would still be available on a "rental basis."  He says they have about $5-million lined up from local foundations... but, adds they are requesting $2-million in American Rescue Plan Act funding from the city to help kick-start the project.  Benson says the current facility will become "unsustainable" within the next two years.


Gas price jump nearly 20-cents between last week and now...
The price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown area was up 19 cents to begin this week... and, has jumped again at mid-week.  That from the AAA East Central Gas Price Report, which said Monday the cost was up to slightly more than $4.58 a gallon.  However... that number -- in many cases -- has now gone to $4.75 a gallon.  AAA says the price of crude oil decreased early last week due to market concerns.  However... prices reversed by the end of the week due to growing concerns over Ukrainian and European Union actions against Russian oil and natural gas companies they say could spark retaliation by Russia... and, that would lead to more market disruption and uncertainty.  There's also the now underway switch-over to "summer blend" gasoline.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., May 17, 2022

City Council committees seeking more answers to questions about new, proposed public safety hires...
There are still some questions and concerns that need to be addressed before the Jamestown City Council votes on adding three new police officers, and new four firefighters.  Two council committees took up the proposal... recently presented by Mayor Eddie Sundquist and council leaders.  The positions will be funded with American Rescue Plan Act funding.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says a key one is how long the city will employ the seven new hires... thought they're only slated to be in place until 2027.  Ecklund says some of that may depend on having to fill positions due to retirements.  The four firefighters would primarily be used to staff a second ambulance that would provide EMS service in the city.  Two of the three police officers would be assigned to gun violence enforcement... with the third to deal with more "nuisance" crimes or violations.  Council President Tony Dolce says the personnel costs are expected to be about $800,000 each year, once the ARPA funding is used up.  However... he wants a breakdown on how EMS billing will help lower the cost for the added firefighters. 


Three city men arrested for being in possession of a hand-gun...
Three men from Jamestown have been arrested following an alleged menacing involving a pistol on the city's westside Sunday afternoon.  Jamestown police say they were called to the scene on Grandin St., where the victim told them the suspects had pointed a gun at him, and that they were traveling in a blue Chevy Cruze last seen going north towards the downtown area.  Officers quickly located the vehicle on West Sixth Street -- at Cherry -- and conducted a traffic stop.  The suspects... 24 year-old Alejandro Ayala... 22 year-old Carlos Rivera... and, 20 year-old Abel Figueroa were found with a loaded .38-Special revolver.  Police say the serial number to the weapon had been defaced... and, it will be forensically examined.  All three suspects were taken to the city jail for arraignment on second and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges.  Rivera is also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle... and, Ayala is additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  All three are being held pending arraignment. 


Man killed in fatal farm tractor-pick-up truck accident in Hanover...
A 76 year-old north county man has died from injuries suffered after his farm tractor was struck from behind by a pick-up truck in the town of Hanover.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Alleghany Road just after 3:30 Sunday afternoon... and, found that the pick-up truck was southbound when it struck the tractor from behind -- and the victim was thrown from the tractor.  Deputies say the man was rushed to Brook's Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk... where he later died.  The 75 year-old operator of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries and was released by medical personnel on scene.  The Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team was called into to evaluate the scene.  No charges have been filed... but, deputies say the investigation is still on going.


Budget votes underway today across NYS, and Chautauqua County...including SWCS...
Residents from across Chautauqua County are voting today on local school budgets, propositions and school board members.  Southwestern Central School Superintendent Maureen Donahue says voters could go to the polls this morning... or from 2 to 8 p.m. today.  Donahue says spending is down in the $30.8-million budget by 2.38% due to debt service from a previous project being paid off.  With that... some state aid is going, but, she says general purpose aid is up.  She says total revenues are down from the current year... and, adds that inflation and program costs are driving a number of increases in the new spending plan.  Because of that... the district is looking at a 2% increase in the tax levy... which will require a 60% supermajority vote by the public.  Donahue says there will also be a proposition to buy four new buses for 595-thousand dollars.  Three people are also running for two seats on the school board... incumbant Cory Miller... and, two newcomers -- Brenden Carter and Elizabeth Laczi.  


Voters in Jamestown Public School district to vote on no tax increase budget...
Voters in the Jamestown Public School District will decide today on a more than $93-million budget for the 2022-23 school year that includes no tax increase.  The spending plan includes hiring, and measures to help students with learning loss during the COVID pandemic... and, boosts mental health services.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the roughly 45 additional personnel will help deal mainly with those issues... including reading teachers, academic intervention, and five at the high school.  He says the district is receiving about $4-million more in state aid from Albany, and that will mainly deal with student learning loss.  Today's vote at the "president" schools will run from Noon to 9 p.m.  Two school board members... Patrick Slagle and Joe Pawelski... are running unopposed.


Special Master releases draft, Congressional redistricting maps...
A court-appointed expert has released a draft of new congressional maps for New York that are more favorable to Republicans than the original gerrymandered political maps drawn by Democrats.  The draft maps released Monday would help the GOP by creating five districts that lean Republican... and, at least four other districts where Republicans would be competitive.  Maps drawn up by the Democratically-controlled state Legislature would have given Democrats a strong majority in 22 of 26 congressional districts, starting with this year's election. 

WJTN News Headlines for Monday, May 16, 2022

North county man killed when pick-up truck hits farm tractor from behind...
A 76 year-old north county man has died from injuries suffered after his farm tractor was struck from behind by a pick-up truck in the town of Hanover.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Alleghany Road just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and, found that the pick-up truck was southbound when it struck the tractor from behind -- and the victim was thrown from the tractor.  Deputies say the man was rushed to Brook's Hospital in Dunkirk... where he later died.  The 75 year-old operator of the pickup truck suffered minor injuries and was released by medical personnel on scene.  The Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team was called into to evaluate the scene.  No charges have been filed... but, deputies say the investigation is still on going.


Forestville man arrested for damaging property with a backhoe...
A north county man is accused of driving a backhoe to another person's home on Hanover Street in the north county village... and, damaging property late last month.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 26... on a criminal mischief complaint.  Deputies say their investigation showed that 37 year-old Jason Dolce took the backhoe to the victim's home... and, damaged the property.  Dolce was arrested on a warrant from Hanover Town Court for third-degree criminal mischief... third-degree criminal tampering... and, reckless endangerment of property.  He was taken into custody on the warrant and taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Investigation continues into horrific Buffalo supermarket shooting...
Law enforcement officials tell the Associated Press that federal agents have interviewed the parents of the white, 18-year-old accused of shooting and killing 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket and served multiple search warrants.  Officials who spoke to the A-P on the condition of anonymity said Payton Gendron's parents were cooperating with investigators.  Federal authorities were still working to confirm the authenticity of a 180-page manifesto that was posted online, which detailed the plot and identified Gendron by name as the gunman, the official said.  Authorities say the shooting was motivated by racial hatred.  Gendron was arraigned late Saturday.


Scaled-down JCC Commencement takes place Sunday with a more "personal" touch...
It was the perfect day for an atypical commencement Sunday at Jamestown Community College.  That from JCC Vice-President of Student Affairs, Kirk Young.  For the second year in a row, students walked one at a time across a small outdoor stage and received their degree directly from college president, Dr. Daniel DeMarte.  Dr. Young says it’s much more personal that a ‘mass commencement' because they're with their family the entire time.  Candice Mozes of Cattaraugus got a nursing degree Sunday, her second from JCC.  She got a degree in December 2019 in psychology... but, was very involved on campus, and decided to get the nursing degree later.  Mozes says many of the nursing grads already have jobs.  She’ll be working at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.  The scrapping of the usual JCC commencement was a result of COVID-19.  Dr. Young says they’ll carefully weigh what post-pandemic graduations will be like.


Proposed Falconer school budget includes no tax increase for 2022-23...
Residents of the Falconer Central School District are being asked to approve a budget of just over $27-million Tuesday for the upcoming school year.  School Superintendent, Steve Penhollow, says while spending is up around 7%, taxes won’t be affected.  Penhollow says there is no increase in the tax levy.  Penhollow says much of the increased spending is going to fund a handful of new staff members in the area of ‘social-emotional health.'  He says the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, and in many cases their students.  An injection of state and federal aid has allowed for the additional personnel.  Penhollow says the school board has worked to insure the positions can remain when the extra aid goes away.  A separate proposition to create a ‘capital reserve fund’ is also on the ballot.  And two current school board members... Tom Frederes and Bob Carpenter... are running unopposed.  Voting will be at the Falconer Middle/High School gym foyer from 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.


Annual "Cents For St. Susan's" fund drive underway...
Rising food prices in recent months are making it more difficult for the poor to buy the groceries they need.  That's part of the urgency that this year's 23rd annual "Cents for St. Susan's" fund drive for the Jamestown-areas largest soup kitchen.  The drive is put on by the Board of Public Utilities... and, Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says St. Susan's dining area at 31 Water St. is again up and operating since COVID-19 is fading.  Robbins says there are a number of ways you can give... including putting loose change into the bright yellow canisters around the city.  She adds that BPU on-line customers can make donations that way... and, their annual hot dog sale to benefit St. Susan's will be held in front of the BPU Customer Service office on June 3.  Robbins adds that the St. Susan's Center is now expecting to help as many people as they were pre-COVID-19.  She says the numbers of people using St. Susan's "drive-thru" window went down during COVID... due at least in part to additional government help with getting food to people. 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., May 12, 2022

COVID-19 cases back on the rise in Chautauqua County, and, UPMC Chautauqua is seeing rise in cases and admissions...
The head of UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown says they are seeing an increase in the number of people treated and hospitalized for COVID-19 in recent days.  The latest numbers from the Chautauqua County Health Department back that up... as officials report 11 people currently hospitalized with the virus.  They add the current seven-day infection rate is 11.7%.  UPMC President Brian Durniok says they've been monitoring the situation daily... but, adds this wave has been "managable" because they haven't been seeing the severe cases from several months ago.  Durniok says most cases resemble a serious cold, or have flu-like symptoms.  He says that's quite different from "4 or 5 months ago..." when the area was hit by a wave of cases due to the omicron varient.  He adds that they are trying to be prepared with theraputics and other treatments once we get to the Fall.  Durniok says once people start staying indoors, the virus has tended to be more prevailent.  If it isn't... he says "we'll be thrilled."  COVID cases have been going up steadily in Western New York in recent weeks... fueled mainly by the more contagious BA.2 variant.  However... the newer variant's symptoms have been less severe.


Gillibrand laments Wednesday Senate vote on abortion rights bill...
The votes weren't there... and, the U.S. Senate failed Wednesday afternoon in a test vote to codify abortion rights under the Roe v. Wade decision into federal law.  New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a conference call with reporters earlier in the day... and, said she was doubtful there will be enough support.  Gillibrand feels it's a right that should not be taken away... because she feels "this is the law of the land."  In holding the vote... Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said it would get most senators on record about the issue.  The measure was defeated in a near party line, 49-51. 


Trio arrested for Illegal Dumping in Jamestown...
Three people have been arrested on local and state charges for illegally dumping trash in a wooded area on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say they had been alerted to an on-going problem of illegal dumping in the area of Pratt Ave.  Complaints were made to police... who had recently placed a surveillance camera in that area... and, others where illegal dumping had been reported.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the Pratt Avenue camera recorded an older model pick-up truck pulling a trailer that stopped along the side of the road on Tuesday.  The people then unloaded a mattress and a television.  The video was put out on the police department's Facebook page and within minutes the vehicles location was given to JPD.  Officers found the vehicle on West Seventh Street... and arrested 28 year-old Tamika Elston... 37 year-old Desimon Elston... and, 47 year-old Lawrence White.  All three were charged with illegal dumping... and DEC Officers also charged the trio with illegal disposal of solid waste.  Tamika Elston was also charged with transporting solid waste uncovered. 


Borrello says there will be a special election in 23rd Congressional District, and he may jump in the race...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul will now have to schedule a special election for the 23rd Congressional District, following Tuesday's resignation by long-time Representative Tom Reed.  That from local State Senator George Borrello.... who says New York state lawmakers recently passed a measure that directs the governor to schedule a special election.  Borrello... who is now expressing interest in running for the vacant seat... says county GOP chairmen will get together and make a selection... based on a weighted vote.  He says that gives more weight to more populated areas.  In addition to Borrello... a former staffer of Congressman Reed -- Joe Sempolinski of Steuben County -- declared his candidacy on Twitter Tuesday.  Adding to the chaos is that the person who is elected in the special contest is only filling out the current term.  The office is still up for grabs in November due to redistricting.  Meanwhile, Borrello, who is facing re-election to the State Senate, is also considering a possible run for Congress... saying he'll first see how the new district maps look.  The Sunset Bay Republican says it would be an "honor" to represent the area in Washington.


Judge in redistricting case says no to throwing out NYS Assembly district maps...
A New York judge has refused to throw out new political maps setting the boundaries of state Assembly districts.  In a ruling late Wednesday... Judge Patrick McAllister said even though the maps were drafted improperly, opponents had waited too long to join the lawsuit challenging them in court.  If upheld, the decision by Judge McAllister, would give Democrats a minor victory in the battle over redistricting in New York.  Previous court rulings struck down the party's favored new maps for state Senate and U.S. House districts as unconstitutional.


Nation's casinos report best month ever in March...
Inflation may be soaring, supply chains are snarled and the coronavirus just won't go away.  But... America's casinos are humming right along, recording the best month in their history in March.  The gambling industry's national trade group reported Wednesday that the country's commercial casinos won more than $5.3-billion from gamblers in March.  That's their best single-month total ever.  The previous record month was July 2021 at $4.92 billion.  The numbers don't include tribal casinos.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., May 11, 2022

Falconer woman identified as person killed in fatal truck-pedestrian accident...
A Falconer woman has now been identified as the person killed when they were struck by a pick-up truck on West Main Street at North Phetteplace Street Tuesday afternoon.  Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene around 2:30 p.m., and, say 66 year-old Louise Chiazzese was pronounced dead at the scene.  Officers say the driver of the truck, 39 year-old Stephen Fiorella of Celoron, was turning west onto West Main when the vehicle struck the woman.  Ellicott Police issued Fiorella an appearance ticket for town court for failure to yield to a pedestrian.


Reed announces sudden resignation from Congress...
It wasn't an easy decision... but, local Congressman Tom Reed has announced his resignation from office... effective immediately.  Media One was able to get hold of Reed late Tuesday afternoon... after saying in a printed release that he'll be joining Charlie Black at the Prime Policy Group in  Washington, D.C.  Prime Policy is a public relations and public policy group that lobbys lawmakers to work on policy in a bi-partisan manner.  Reed says that's where he wanted to be when he was done with Congress in seven months.  However... he says Black offered the opportunity sooner... and, he was eager to go onto his next chapter.  He adds there was little left on Congress' plate, and it was time to move on.  Reed was into his sixth and final term in office last year when he announced that he would not be running for re-election.  The move came shortly after the Corning Republican was accused of sexual misconduct involving a junior lobbyist in 2017.  He acknowledged that at the time... he had a problem with alcohol... but, had been sober since that time.  In his resignation letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi... Reed said he'll miss working for residents of the 23rd District... but, says the time was right to move on.


Reed's vacant seat to trigger likely Special Election...
Tom Reed's sudden resignation adds another layer of confusion to an already choatic situation for New York's congressional districts.  A story in Wednesday's Buffalo News reports that recent state legislation mandates a special election when a House member resigns.  So, voters in the soon to disappear 23rd Congressional District will go to the polls, probably this summer, to elect someone to serve through December.  The news says two Republicans have expressed interest in running.  One is a longtime associate of Tom Reed's.. Joe Sempolinski of Canisteo in Steuben County.  The other Republican is George Borello, State Senator from Sunset Bay.  Max Della Pia, Democrat from Tioga County, would be the presumed candidate from that party.  All of this occurs  as the districts for the November general election are still not known.  Those lines are being drawn by a court appointed special master, and won't be known until later this month.   


Hochul announces $35-million to support women's reproductive rights in NYS...
Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that New York will make $35-million available to help abortion providers boost services and security if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.  The 1972 decision legalized abortion nationwide.  Hochul, a Democrat, says the state has to get ready for a potential influx of out-of-state patients seeking abortions from states that ban the procedure.  She says that's the reason why they're taking quick action.  Hochul said she'll use emergency health and human services funding to provide grants and reimbursements to abortion providers, including $25 million for increasing access to services.  She says that the other $10 million will be used for security upgrades.  She was joined via Zoom with pro-choice advocates from around the state to make the announcement because she's still isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 last weekend.


Damage to historic Frewsburg home in fatal fire may not allow a cause to be determined...
Chautauqua County fire investigators say they have been unable to determine the cause of Monday's major, fatal fire at an historic apartment house in Frewburg... and, may never find one.  In a printed release Tuesday... members of the Fire Investigation Team say finding the exact cause of the blaze at 83 West Main Street may be impossible due to "the amount of damage the building sustained."  They add that because the medical examiner at the Erie County Medical Center is continuing their investigation... the name of the one victim is not being released.  While unable to determine the cause... investigators say their probe has determined that the cause was not suspicious.  The home was originally that of late former New York Gov. Reuben Fenton.


UPMC Chautauqua Hospital receives "A" rating from third-party watchdog group...
A national watchdog group has given UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown an "A" safety rating for protecting patients from preventable harm and error.  Hospital President Brian Durniok announced Tuesday morning that the hospital had received the rating from :The Leapfrog Group..." and, that it was one of just two given out in all of Western New York.  Durniok says their rating just a few years ago was not one they were happy about... and, a concerted effort was made by everyone at the hospital to change outcomes in 30 different areas regarding things like infections and falls.  Durniok adds they also made a couple of key personnel hires... including a full-time pulminologist in their ICU... and, full-time pharmacy technician in the Emergency Department.  UPMC Chautauqua is one of 17 hospitals in the UPMC system that received the "A" rating for the Spring of 2022. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tuesday, May 10, 2022

City officials in Jamestown announce plans to add police and firefighters, and second ambulance...
Jamestown city officials are pledging to spend "millions" of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to boost public safety with additional manpower and equipment.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was joined by City Council President Tony Dolce, Public Safety Committee members and the police and fire chiefs at city hall in making the announcement Monday night.  Sundquist says he and council members have found "common ground" on a way to make investments into public safety, and providing "adequate emergency care."  Sundquist says they have agreed to hire three new police officers... and, four new firefighters so they can add a second ambulance to the fire department.  He says the new officers will mainly deal with gun violence, which has been on the rise over the past year-and-a-half, along with quality of life issues -- including noise.  Police Chief and Public Safety Director Tim Jackson added, though, that most of the shootings have been "targeted" and not random... and, stem mainly from drug trafficking.  Sundquist says the four additional firefighters will also be available for fire calls so that the city is less dependent on surrounding volunteer companies to assist.  The proposals will be taken up by City Council committees at next Monday night's work session.


Chief Jackson also announced new law enforcement collaborations to deal with gun violence...
It will take several weeks to get the new police and firefighters hired and trained so they can begin active duty.  In the meantime... the Jamestown Police Department has been working on different collaborations to help them not only get guns off the streets... but, those who possess and use those guns off the streets.  Chief Jackson says a lot of this stems from the trafficking of illegal drugs... often by people from out of town.  Those include the recent arrest of 20 year-old Victor Nunez of Hartford, Connecticut... who was seen on police video firing multiple shots into a fleeing car during an incident on Broadhead Avenue. 


Investigation continues into fatal house fire in Frewsburg...
The investigation is continuing into Monday morning's fatal fire that claimed the life of one person living in an apartment unit inside a Frewsburg home.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's investigators say Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene at 83 West Main St. about 7:30 a.m., and found fire and smoke coming from the structure.  Mutual aid was called in from Kiantone, Falconer, Busti, Lakewood, and county EMS.  Sheriff's officers and Carroll Town Police were also called in.  Four of the five apartment were occupied... and, one person was found deceased... while everyone else escaped safely.  The victim’s name is not being released at this time.  All other occupants are being helped by the local Red Cross.


Local school districts, including SWCS, to hold budget hearings, and meet candidates programs tonight...
Residents of the Southwestern Central School District will get to voice their feelings about the district's proposed 2022-23 budget during tonight's public hearing.  Superintendent Maureen Donahue says their hearing will be held at 6 p.m. in the high school's multi-purpose room.  Donahue says the $30.8-million spending plan is down from last year by just over 2%... due mainly to the fact they have paid off the debt on one building project.  However... that aid is also no longer on the books... and, she says that is necessitating a slight tax levy increase of 2% because they've lost more than 5% of their revenues because there is no more building aid.  Since the 2% levy increase exceeds the state's 2% property tax cap... the budget will need a 60% supermajority vote by the public to be approved.  In addition... Donahue says there will also be a transporation proposition for four new buses... including one 66-passenger bus... at a combined cost of just under $595,000.  There are also three candidates running for two school board seats.  They include incumbant Cory Miller... and, newcomers Brendan Carter, and Elizabeth Laczi.  The public votes take place on Tuesday, May 17.


James joins with lawmakers to announce "Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program..."
Two members of the New York state legislature has announced a measure to establish a state program that would provide financial resources to abortion providers in New York.  State Attorney General Letitia James held a joint announcement late Monday morning with the sponsors of the bill... which she says affirms a woman's right to chose.  James says every person should have "freedom to control their own body, and health care."  Senator Cordell Cleare, and Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas are sponsoring what's called the 'Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program.' 


Gas prices up again in Jamestown-area, and nation...
The cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area has risen another 7-cents a gallon this past week to nearly $4.40 a gallon.  The AAA's East Central Gas Price Report says the cost was about $4.33 a gallon for the week of May 2nd.  AAA says the national average for a gallon of gas has gone up 20-cents to $4.32 (now $4.37) to start the week... a penny less than the record high set on March 11 and $1.36 cents more than a year ago.  The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which was hovering near $100 a barrel last week... and, is now closing in on $110.  The price last week closed on Friday at $109 a barrel.  Gas prices also trend higher this time of year as refineries make the switch to summer-blend gasoline which is more expensive to make.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., May 9, 2022

Crews remain at scene of fatal fire in Frewsburg...
One person has been confirmed dead in a large house fire in Frewsburg this morning.  Frewsburg firefighters were called to the historic Fenton home at 83 West Main St. about 7:30 a.m. this morning.  They were joined at the scene by Kiantone, Busti, Falconer and Lakewood firefighters... along with State Police and county Emergency Services.  A county coroner was also called to the scene.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirms there was one fatality in the blaze.  More when it becomes available.


Jamestown officials to hold press conference about new, Public Safety "investments..."
City officials in Jamestown will announce later today new investments to combat rising gun violence in the city... and, to address it's EMS crisis.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist announced late last Friday that a press conference will be held n the lobby of City Hall at 6 p.m. tonight.  Sundquist says he'll be joined by City Council President Tony Dolce... members of the Jamestown Public Safety Committee... Police Chief and Public Safety Director Tim Jackson... and, Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon.  


Hochul has COVID-19, but, not experiencing symptoms...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, and will isolate and work remotely this week.  The Democratic governor tweeted that she is not experiencing any symptoms.  She said she's vaccinated and boosted. Hochul's positive test comes amid rising case numbers in New York.  For weeks, much of upstate New York has been in the high-alert orange zone, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designation that reflects serious community spread.  New York City last week crossed the city's threshold for "medium risk," indicating the widening spread of the subvariant knowns as BA.2 that has swept the state's northern reaches. 


Wendel has concerns over Gas Tax Cap as pump prices again spike...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says he has "immense concerns" over the price of gasoline spiking again mid-week last week... and, the gas tax cap taking effect in less than a month.  Wendel says the day after the county legislature approved capping the local tax at $3.00 a gallon on April 27... the price spiked 9-cents a gallon for regular unleaded fuel.  However... by last weekend... it had climbed to $4.40 a gallon.  He says if the price remains the same when the tax holiday comes on June 1, it would provide a savings of about 20-cents... which would put the price where it was just over a week ago.  At this point... Wendel says Chautauqua County is one of 15 counties out of New York's 62 that are also capping the local tax.  He believes the best way to improve the situation is increase production... because prices won't come down until the supply improves.


Man arrested in Jamestown following domestic dispute...
A domestic dispute on Jamestown's southside early yesterday morning led to the arrest of a city man.  Jamestown police were called to the undisclosed scene about 3 a.m., and, when they arrived... they saw a white sports utility vehicle leaving the locaton.  Officers stopped the vehicle a short distance away... and, following a brief investigation... they arrested Tyler Langworthy.  Langworthy was a passenger in the SUV.  He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, taken into custody without incident, pending arraignment.


JCC getting back to "pre-pandemic" routine, but, still has lower enrollment from COVID-19...
As the spring semester comes to a close, life at Jamestown Community College is getting back to a 'pre-pandemic' routine.  But the school's President, Dr. Daniel DeMarte, says there's still a ways to go.  DeMarte says they're getting closer, but, adds there are "still students who have not returned."  He estimates the college lost 15 to 20 percent of enrollment in the disruption of COVID-19.  The drop has NOT led to cutting any current majors... but the president says they are constantly examining whether they have the right number and mix of programs.  Spring commencement at JCC will be Saturday, May 14, Olean, and Sunday, May 15 in Jamestown.  As with last year it'll be a two part affair.  A virtual commencement will be posted on-line... and students will be given the opportunity to cross a small stage and receive their degrees from the president and other officials. 


County Chamber's Spring Membership Drive underway...
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual Spring Membership Drive is underway... and, officials are urging non-members in the county to take a look at what they offer.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says their new member discount concluded yesterday... but, adds they have more specials going on through June 9... including a drawing for a free second-year membership, or two free tickets for their annual banquet at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Again the drive runs through June 9th.  For more information... go on-line to www.chautauquachamber.org... or call 484-1101.


Family DNA Crime Searches halted, at least temporarily...
A New York court is halting the use of a DNA crimefighting tool because state lawmakers never approved the practice.  Familial DNA searching has helped crack cold cases and put murderers behind bars... but, it's also raised concerns about privacy and racial discrimination.  The technique allows law enforcement agencies to search the state's DNA databank for close biological relatives of people who have left traces of genetic material at a crime scene.  A panel of judges on a mid-level appeals court made the ruling Thursday, citing concerns about government separation of powers.  


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., May 5, 2022

One person suffers burns in fire on Jamestown's southside...
One person suffered burns and had to be taken to the hospital after flames broke out in a second-story bedroom on Jamestown's southside this morning.  City fire officials say crews were called to 41 Linwood Ave. at 8 a.m., and, found the bedroom area fully-engulfed in flames.  However... firefighters had the blaze out fairly quickly with the help of an off-shift.  No one else was hurt in the blaze.  There's no word on the fire victim's condition.  A crew remained at the scene early this afternoon.  The cause remains under investigation.


Several firefighters overcome by some kind of toxic fumes in town of Portland house fire...
The investigation continues into the cause of a house fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Portland.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says State Police are heading up the probe of the fire at 6842 Webster Rd., that put some fire fighters at risk.  Quattrone says investigators are not sure what triggered the fumes.  The residents of the home were not injured... but, we now understand several firefighters were overcome by the unknown fumes coming from the house.


JPD investigating shots fired incident on southside Wednesday afternoon...
Jamestown police are investigating an alleged shooting incident late Wednesday afternoon believed to be the result of an argument that escalated.  City police confirm that officers were called to the 100-block of Broadhead Avenue about 5 p.m. on a report of shots fired.  Police say one round went through the trunk of a car... then went through an empty car seat... and lodged in a rear passenger seat.  A child was reportedly in the passenger seat... but, was not hurt.  


Teen involved in shots-fired incident in Jamestown now charged with stealing the AR-15 rifle used...
A 17 year-old boy accused of shooting off a stolen, AR-15 rifle in Brooklyn Square last weekend now faces a Grand Larceny charge in Lakewood.  Lakewood-Busti Police confirm the teenager was charged after Jamestown police arrested the 17 year-old near the intersection of South Main and Harrison Streets about 11:30 p.m. last Saturday.  Lakewood-Busti Police say the teen was arraigned on one count of fourth-degree Grand Larceny -- a Felony.  The teen was originally arrested in Jamestown for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  No one was hurt in the incident.


Another suspect in Jun Martinez drug trafficking conspiracy in Jamestown pleads guilty...
Another city resident involved in a major, drug traffcking operation in Jamestown has pleaded guilty to being involved in that trafficking operation.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Wednesday that 60 year-old Kevin Hughes entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to narcotics conspiracy.  Prosecutors say Hughes assisted co-defendant Jun Martinez in his drug trafficking operation, receiving drug packages in the mail at his home.  He's also accused of often driving Martinez in, and around Jamestown to traffic drugs, help with retrieving money from customers, vacuum sealing the money, and subsequently mailing the money to the source of supply.  In September 2020... during a trip out of state to acquire narcotics from a supplier... an Illinois State Police Trooper stopped Hughes and Martinez... and, a search of the car resulted in the seizure of just over 9,500 grams of methamphetamine, 3,100 grams of fentanyl... over 2,200 grams of cocaine, and marijuana products.  Martinez has been convicted. Hughes faces at least 10 years in prison, and a $10-million fine.


Thompson tells city lawmakers it's too early to tell whether Jamestown's 2022 budget projections were on target...
Some revenue projects are running ahead of projections for the first-quarter of the year in the city of Jamestown... but, it's still too early to tell how 2022 will turn-out.  That from City Comptroller Ryan Thompson... who updated the City Council this week on final, 2021 budget numbers... and, took look at the year to date.  Thompson says Board of Public Utilities Payment-in-lieu-of Tax payments are running ahead of last year... and, if the numbers hold up... they'll see a $100,000 increase.  He adds the city's also received 68% of all last year's revenues from the fire department's EMS service... averaging about 28,000 a month for the first four months of this year.  If the trend continues... Thompson says they'll wind up about $171,000 over budget.  Thompson says upgrading the EMS billing system has had a lot to do with that.  As for concerns... he says one is that parking ramps and lots are not covering operation expenses so far in 2022.  Thompson adds that they are also still awaiting first-quarter sales tax revenues... which will be a big part of the overall picture. 


Judge tells Democrats no to Spring primaries...
A federal judge has refused to order New York to hold its congressional and state Senate primaries this spring using district maps declared unconstitutional by state judges.  The judge said a legal effort by Democrats to revive the maps amounted to a "Hail Mary pass" and would potentially trigger "chaos."  A group of voters filed a lawsuit asking federal judges to intervene in New York's redistricting battle after the state's highest court ruled that district maps crafted by the state Legislature were improperly gerrymandered to favor Democrats.  They argued that redrawing the maps now would cause the state to miss an old, court-ordered deadline to hold its primaries by late June.

 

Happy Cinco De Mayo!
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., May 4, 2022

City man arrested on drug and weapons charges in Tuesday morning raid...
A Jamestown man was arrested during an early morning drug raid on the city's southside Tuesday.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant on the upper apartment at 102 Sampson St. just after 6 a.m.  They were assisted by the JPD SWAT Team... and, arrested 51 year-old Ronald Bartlett at the scene.  Drug agents also found a quantity of heroin... nearly 12 ounces of methamphetamine... scales... packaging materials... and, a cane sword.  Bartlett was charged with second and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... call the anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Man arrested with "Ghost Gun" in town of Carroll...
A town of Carroll man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a 9-millimeter un-serialized "ghost gun."  State Police in Jamestown say their Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested 37 year-old John Peterson at his Scott Road home on a warrant during a raid late Monday.  Troopers say that... after consultation with the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office... Peterson was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a disguised gun... and, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was then sent to the county jail on $5,000 cash bail... $10,000 property bond.


Jamestown comptroller reports city, unofficially, finished 2021 with $1.7-million...
The unaudited review of the city of Jamestown's final 2021 budget is showing a significant cash surplus... which is helping the city get closer to it's recommended fund balance.  Comptroller Ryan Thompson presented his department's findings during Monday night's City Council work session... and, says the unofficial surplus is $1.7-million.  Thompson says that was largely because revenues came in much higher than expected to the tune of about $2.2-million.  Thompson says the big reason for that was much higher than expected sales tax revenues... which is says came in $1.2-million more than was projected.  As for other areas... he says salaries were up -- namely up about $300,000 for public safety due to two new contracts going into effect.  Thompson says 2021 was the first year since they city began receiving an additional one-million dollars in state aid that it did not get that aid.  With last year's surplus... he says their total fund balance is $7.7-million... with $5.7-million undesignated for other costs.  Thompson says the recommendation is to have about two-months worth of expenses... or $6.4-million on hand.


Borrello sounds off on Hochul decision to name Delgado as Lt. Gov...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that she is appointing Eastern New York Congressman Antonio Delgado to serve as her new Lieutenant Governor.  Delgado currently represents New York's 19th Congressional District... which includes the Hudson Valley and Catskills.  State Senator George Borrello says he replaces Brian Benjamin... who recently resigned in the wake of a corruption scandal.  Borrello says it's a good change to have a moderate in the office.  Borrello adds that he was disappointed that the Democratic-led State Legislature passed a bill that changes state election law to relax the rules for a candidate to vacate a party ticket.  Benjamin recently resigned from the position after being charged with corruption. 


City teen arrested for allegedly firing off AR-15 in Brooklyn Square Saturday...
Jamestown police have arrested a teenager who allegedly fired off a stolen AR-15 rifle in the Brooklyn Square area last weekend.  City police were called to the area of South Main and Harrison Streets about 11:30 p.m. last Saturday on a report of a person armed with the rifle.  On arrival... police located the male subject running through the parking lot carrying a rifle.  Investigation showed that the 17 year-old had fired the rifle... which was reported stolen in Lakewood... and, he was arrested for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. 


Jamestown man arrested for threatening firefighter, officer with handgun...                 
A city man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a Jamestown firefighter with a hand-gun during an incident yesterday afternoon near Station-One.  City police say the firefighter flagged down an officer shortly before 2 p.m. near the police station at 201 East Second St.  The firefighter said a man -- later identified as 64 year-old Peter Ludwig -- had just pointed a gun at them... and, that person then went into the police station.  Officers say Ludwig left the police station and approached an officer outside, and again brandished the gun.  He was quickly arrested... and, charged with second-degree menacing, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Local writer, editor Walt Pickut discusses new book...
Jamestown writer Walt Pickut is the co-author of a new book called "The First Counterspy: Larry Haas, Bell Aircraft, and FBI's Attempt to capture a Soviet Mole."  Pickut says it's a true story from the World War-Two era about a secret project Larry Haas led in Buffalo to develop jet propulsion, which Soviet spys were after in that day.  Pickut says Larry Haas lived 'under the radar' and his story's been buried for 80 years.  "The First Counterspy" is available at local bookstores and online stores such as Amazon. 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., May 3, 2022

Jamestown man arrested for allegedly threatening firefighter, police officer with handgun...                  
A city man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a Jamestown firefighter with a hand-gun during an incident yesterday afternoon near Station-One.  City police say the firefighter flagged down an officer shortly before 2 p.m. near the police station at 201 East Second St.  The firefighter said a man -- later identified as 64 year-old Peter Ludwig -- had just pointed a gun at them... and, that person then went into the police station.  Officers say Ludwig left the police station and approached an officer outside, and again brandished the gun.  He was quickly arrested... and, charged with second-degree menacing, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Woman falls or jumps into river from Third St. Bridge...
Jamestown police are continuing to investigate an incident in which a woman either jumped... or fell from the Third Street Bridge into the Chadakoin River.  Jamestown fire officials and county fire dispatchers confirm the incident occured shortly after 1 p.m. Monday... near Steele Street.  The woman was able to get out of the water, and she was taken to the hospital for an evaluation and treatement.  More when it becomes available.


Hochul names Eastern NY Congressman Delgado as Lt. Gov....
Eastern New York Congressman Antonio Delgado has been chosed by Governor Kathy Hochul to be the state's next lieutenant governor.  Hochul, a Democrat, made the announcement late this morning.  Delgado will take on the largely ceremonial role previously formerly held by Brian Benjamin, who resigned following his arrest for federal corruption charges he denies.  Hochul touted the fellow Democrat's work in Congress on bills to help veterans, small business and those with student loan debt.  It was unclear immediately when Delgado, who was first elected in 2018 to represent the Hudson Valley and the Catskills, would take office. 


Surdyk explains contract work that would be contracted out with ARPA funding...
Jamestown city lawmakers got more information last night on a proposal to use $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to oversee the funding of economic development projects.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk was on hand during the Council Work Session to explain how contracting with the Jamestown Local Development Corporation, and Urban Renewal Agency would work.  Surdyk says her department is already stretched thin to do it's "day-to-day" work... and, needs the one-and-a-half persons to deal with answering calls, advertising and evaluating grants.  She says they budgeted the work the one and-a-half persons they would hire do over the next four-and-a-half years.  She says they would deal directly with applications for ARPA funding for economic development efforts.  Surdyk says the full-time project manager would cost about $253,000 through the end of 2026... while the part-time manager would be $189,000 during that same time.  Council members rejected the measure during last week's voting session. 


Dunkirk home heavily damaged in Sunday night fire...
Dunkirk city firefighters responded to their second structure within a week, battling a house fire on Lake Shore Drive West Sunday night.  Fire Captain Gary Katta says crews were called out to 363 Lake Shore Drive West about 8 p.m., and says there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the smaller sized house.  Dunkirk crews received assistance from the Battalion One coordinator and Alstar Ambulance at the scene.  East Dunkirk Firefighers were on standby.  Katta says there were no injuries reported.  He says fortunately... none of the residents were home at the time.  The cause of the fire is under investigation, but no believed to be suspicous.


County Chamber kicks off National Small Business Week...
Local elected and business leaders were on hand Monday to recognize the importance of local small businesses during a National Small Business Week kick-off event in Ashville.  The event at the Ashville General Store was put on jointly by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says the importance of small businesses was clearly evident during the COVID Pandemic.  He adds that 67-cents of each dollar spent helps the local community, through employment, and what people invest into their businesses, and sports teams they support.  Small Business Development Center Director Courtney Curatolo says they also work with the county chamber to help new businesses get up and running, through "free and confidencial business guidance" in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties. 


CCCC and SBDC hand out awards...
Two small businesses were recognized during the event at Ashville General Store... including The Hot Spot Cafe in the city of Jamestown.  Courtney Curatolo says Owner Hector Alvario started his business on Valentine's Day of 2020... only one month before the COVID Pandemic shut-down.  He was presented the New York State Minority Entrepreneur of the Year award for putting in take-out service, which helped the business to thrive in a difficult time.  In addition... Curatolo says the Ashville General Store... and, Owner Jackie Francis... were also honored with the state SBDC's "Community Business of the Year."  The business started up in 1991 on Route 474... and, provides a unique shopping and restaurant experience for local residents... and, tourists alike.
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In addition... the Small Business Development Center presented a surprise, state award to County Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, for his and his department's efforts to work with local businesses during the pandemic.  Geise received the SBDC's "Phoenix Award" for outstanding contributions to disaster recovery by a public official.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., May 2, 2022

JPD on look-out for suspect(s) in connection with weekend shooting death...
The search for the person or persons involved in a fatal shooting incident on Jamestown's eastside last weekend continues today.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene on East Sixth Street -- at American Place -- just before 11:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of multiple shots being fired.  Police were also told that a vehicle had arrived at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, with a shooting victim inside.  However... they say 37 year-old Shawn Black of Lockport later died at the hospital.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or the anonymous tipline at 483-Tips... that's 483-8477.  Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential.


Sunday night fire in Dunkirk causes heavy damage to small residence...
Dunkirk city firefighters responded to their second structure within a week, battling a house fire on Lake Shore Drive West Sunday evening.  Fire Captain Gary Katta says crews were called out to 363 Lake Shore Drive West around 8 p.m. where they found heavy fire both inside and outside.  Katta says they were able to get a hand-line inside the home quickly, though.  Dunkirk received assistance from the Battalion One coordinator and Alstar Ambulance at the scene.  East Dunkirk Fire was on standby. Katta says there were no injuries reported.  He says fortunately... none of the residents were home at the time.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  Katta says it’s not believed to be of suspicious nature.


County Chamber, SBDC, kick-off Small Business Week in Ashville...
Several local elected and business leaders crowded into the Ashville General Store this morning to kick-off National Small Business Week in the county.  The event was put on jointly by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and Small Business Development Center at Jamestown Community College.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says the importance of small businesses was never more evident than it was during the COVID Pandemic... because it got new interest going in buying and shopping local.  Small Business Development Center Director Courtney Curatolo says they also work with the county chamber to help new businesses get up and running... through "free and confidential business guidance" in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.  Proclamations for Small Business Week were offered by County Executive P.J. Wendel... and, a representative from State Senator George Borrello's Office.  Nationally... officials say a small business is defined as an "independent" business operation with 500 or fewer employees.  The event also kicked-off the local chamber's Spring Membership Drive.


SBDC Awards go to three during AGS event...
Two small businesses were recognized during the event at Ashville General Store... including The Hot Spot Cafe in the city of Jamestown.  Courtney Curatolo says Owner Hector Alvario started his business on Valentine's Day of 2020... only one month before the COVID Pandemic shut-down.  He was presented the New York State Minority Entrepreneur of the Year award... for his work to keep his business going during that time through a strong take-out business.  In addition... Curatolo says the Ashville General Store... and, Owner Jackie Francis... were also honored with the state SBDC's "Community Business of the Year."  The business started up in 1991 on Route 474... and, provides a unique shopping and restaurant experience for local residents... and, tourists alike.
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In addition... the Small Business Development Center presented a surprise, state award to County Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, for his and his department's efforts to work with local businesses during the pandemic.  Geise received the SBDC's "Phoenix Award" for outstanding contributions to disaster recovery by a public official.


Wendel says some supervisory personnel being moved, but, not services from Dunkirk...
There will still be social and health services provided by Chautauqua County in the city of Dunkirk... but, there are some staffing moves that are taking place.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel about the decision to move staff out of the Graf Building... with some going into the A.J. Sam building there.  Wendel says others are coming to Jamestown.  He says it's part of recommended changes from a 2019 study by the Center for Governmental Research, and includes Adult Protective, and Child Protective Services.  Wendel says the moves were to be made during 2020... but, the moves had to go on the back-burner due to COVID-19.  He says about 10 -- mainly supervisors -- are impacted.  Wendel says some services are being moved -- but, will remain in Dunkirk.  He says the Office of Mental Hygiene will soon be moved to the A.J. Sam building... and, adds that county Probation has already been moved there. 


Mayville man arrested for menacing following fight late last week...
A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly getting into a fight with another person late last week... and, threatening the victim with a "deadly weapon."  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Potter Road just before 3 p.m. last Thursday on a report of a physical altercation.  Deputies found that 27 year-old Alexander Latta had gotten into the fight and threatened the other person before running off on foot.  Officers located Latta a short time later with the help of Sheriff's Office K-9 "Bentley," along with a State Police K-9 unit.  Latta was arrested an charged with second-degree menacing... and, second-degree harassment.  He was also found to have an outstanding warrant for him in Pennsylvania.  The alleged weapon was not identified.  Latta was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 29, 2022

Judge orders NYS Congressional and State Senate Primaries be postponed until Aug. 23...
A New York judge has ordered the state's congressional and state Senate primaries to be delayed until August 23rd to provide enough time to replace maps that were ruled unconstitutional this week.  State Judge Patrick McAllister moved the primaries back Friday from their original date of June 28.  He said special master Jonathan Cervas will finish drawing new maps by May 20.  In the meantime... state and local election officials will prepare to once again hold separate primaries in June and August. 


Western Pa. man identified as victim in one-car fatal crash in Warren Co....
A man from Western Pennsylvania has now been identified as the person killed in a fiery, head-on car crash in southern Warren County.  State Police in Warren say 43 year-old Ryan Nicklin of Greenville, Pa. died at the scene of the April 11 accident on Hearts Content Road in Watson Township.  Troopers say Nicklin was southbound just before 4 p.m. that day... when his car missed a curve... and, traveled more than 100 feet before slamming into a large tree -- head-on.  Police say a passerby tried to pull Nicklin from the vehicle... but, was unable to before the car became fully-engulfed in flames.  Several responding fire rescue crews and the Warren County Coroner responded to the scene.


Jamestown man arrested for violating order of protection, and drug possession...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection... and, later being found with narcotic drugs in his possession.  Jamestown police conducted a warrant check on East Sixth Street just before 2 a.m. Thursday... and, saw 32 year-old Craig Vanhook inside the home.  However... the 30 year-old woman living in the home had a court order of protection for Vanhook to stay away.  He was also wanted on Felony warrants.  Vanhook is accused of ignoring police calls to come out of the house several times.  Once police entered... he tried to escape through a rear window.  But, after a brief struggle, police took Vanhook into custody.  He was found in possession of a quantity of a cocaine/MDMA/Fentanyl compound mix.  Vanhook faces charges including second-degree criminal contempt... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  


Reed applauds Trevor Reed's release...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's very happy to see the release of American citizen Trevor Reed -- no relation -- who had been detained in Russia since 2019.  Congressman Reed made his comments after Trevor Reed -- a former Marine -- was released in a prisoner swap Wednesday.  Trevor Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison in July 2020 for endangering the "life and health" of Russian police officers in an altercation.  His release was ultimately secured through a swap for Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko.  Yaroshenko had been serving a 20 year sentenced on drug-related charges.  Trevor Reed's mother also advocated for the release of Paul Whelan, a U.S. citizen and former Marine who was detained at a Moscow hotel in December 2018... and arrested on espionage charges, which he has consistently and vehemently denied. 


County Court Felony convictions announced...
There have been six convictions on Felony charges -- three from the Jamestown-area -- reported in Chautauqua County Court this past week.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 24 year-old Alvin Martinez-Colon of Jamestown, was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a Weapon -- Loaded Firearm -- a class C felony.  Schmidt says Colon will be sentenced by Judge David Foley on June 22 to 5 years in state prison plus 5 years post-release supervision as part of a plea agreement for a May 2021 incident.
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Schmidt adds that 20 year-old Devon Smith of Falconer was found guilty of third-degree rape... and, first-degree knowingly possessing dangerous contraband in prison.  Schmidt says Smith is to be sentenced on June 1st by Judge David Foley to 1-to-3 years in state prison on the rape charge... and 1 1/3-to 4-years in state prison on the contraband charge as part of his plea agreement.  The sentences are to be served consecutively.  Also... 55 year-old Alfred Kohl of Jamestown was convicted of second-degree burglary... and, will be sentenced in late June by Judge Foley to 4 years in state prison... plus 5 years post release supervision as per the plea agreement.  Schmidt says the incident occurred in Stockton in November 2020.
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D-A Schmidt says 32 year-old Glen Hurrell of Dunkirk was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon--Loaded Firearm... and will be sentenced by Judge Foley on July 7.  He faces 5 years in state prison plus 5 years post release supervision.  A second Dunkirk man... 45 year-old Hiram Rivera... was convicted of first-degree attempted burglary in connection with a June 2021 incident... and, will be sentenced on June 7th.  He's to receive 7 years in state prison plus 5 years post release supervision.  Rivera also pled guilty to charges in Erie County and will receive a sentence of 7 years in state prison to be served consecutively with the Chautauqua County sentence.  A third man from Dunkirk... 32 year-old Erick Threatt has been convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, will be sentenced on July 7 to 7 years in state prison plus 5 years post release supervision.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 28, 2022

Legislature approves capping local gasoline tax at $3 a gallon...
Chautauqua County residents will soon be seeing a little bit of relief at the gas pump.  County lawmakers, by a 12-6 vote, passed a resolution that will temporarily cap the local share of the gas tax at $3 per gallon, beginning June 1.  The resolution was passed following a lengthy discussion during Wednesday's monthly meeting in Mayville.  Dunkirk legislator Robert Bankoski, one of the four Democratic co-sponsors of the measure, says it's not just motorists who are being hampered by high gas prices -- it's also the agricultural community for tractors and other farm vehicles.  However... Republican Lisa Vanstrom of West Ellicott was one of the six legislators who opposed the resolution.  She says reducing or capping the tax will not guarantee in lower costs because retailers set the prices... because retailers have the final choice in where the price winds up.  The temporary tax cap will last for six months, ending Dec. 1.


State Court of Appeals rejects Democrat-drawn congressional maps...
The state's highest court has rejected new congressional maps that had widely been seen as favoring Democrats.   The Court of Appeals agreed Wednesday with a group of Republican voters who say that the district boundaries had been unconstitutionally gerrymandered... and, that lawmakers didn't follow proper procedure in approving the maps.  The shape of the districts will now be in the hands of a 'special master'... Jonathan Cervas... appointed by the judge who first heard the case.  The Buffalo News reported the timetable for new districts:  a hearing on May 6 in Bath, a new proposal by May 16, comments due by May 20, with the final determination by May 24.  Only then can a new date be set for a primary election, probably in August. 


Reed happy to see NATO standing firm against Russia in wake of oil shut-offs to two countries...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's pleased to see the Western Alliance remain strong against Russia... which has now cut off natural gas to two NATO members.  Russian President Vladimir Putin is also threatening to cut off other countries as he dramatically escalates the stand-off over the war in Ukraine.  Putin says Poland and Bulgaria will be cut-off because they refused to pay for the gas in the Russian Ruble.  Reed met Wednesday morning with the German industry representative... who said they are fully committed to developing oil and gas pipelines from north to south instead of east to west.  Reed says Germany will also indemnify that work to be done.  Unfortunately... the Corning Republican says Putin "still controls the valve on that gas pipeline" that services Europe.  European leaders decried the move as "blackmail." 


Reed believes COVID lock-downs in China are designed to "shut-down" supply chains...
Chautauqua County's congressman says he believes that China is using the recent resurgence of COVID-19 in it's most populated areas to "further strangle supply chains."  Corning Republican Tom Reed says there's especially been an effort to shut-down one major city where workers haven't been allowed to return to work for weeks.  Reed says it proves to him that the Chinese Communist Party wants to control those supply chains.  He says when you see what's being done in Shanghai... it appears more to do with shutting down the shipping industry. 


Frewsburg man arrested for alleged Hit-and-Run accident with Sheriff's Dept. vehicle...         
A Frewsburg man is accused of drunk driving after his car veered off West Main Street in Frewsburg and sideswiped a Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department patrol vehicle.  Officers say 54 year-old Mark Kyler was eastbound just after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, when his car went off the road, and struck the patrol vehicle.  Officers say Kyler drove off without stopping.  But, the deputy was able to pursue Kyler and he was stopped on Ivory Road about a mile from the crash scene.  An investigation found that Kyler was highly-intoxicated and he was arrested for DWI.  He was also charged with leaving the scene of a property damage accident... and failure to maintain lane.  No one was hurt in the crash.


Silver Creek man arrested after discharging gun inside Lafayette St. home...         
A north county man is jailed without bail after allegedly entering another person's home in Silver Creek... displaying and then firing off a handgun inside the residence.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a "suspicious situation" on Lafayette Street about 3:30 p.m. Monday.  Following an investigation... officers found the suspect -- 36 year-old Deron Weaver -- a short time later, and he was arrested without incident.  Weaver was arraigned on charges including first-degree burglary... first-degree reckless endangerment... and, second-degree menacing.  He was taken to the county jail for arraignment.


Dunkirk man pleads guility to cocaine trafficking...
A Dunkirk man has admitted to trafficking significant amounts of cocaine in the north county city back in the Summer of 2020.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 32 year-old Hector Santos-Morales pled guilty in U-S District Court in Buffalo to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of cocaine.  Prosecutors say a U-S Postal Inspector executed a search warrant on a package from Puerto Rico addressed to Santos on Beaver Street.  During the search... the postal Inspector seized about one kilogram of suspected cocaine.  Investigators later replaced the cocaine with “sham” and conducted a controlled delivery of the parcel to the Beaver Street address.  After a device inside the parcel alerted investigators that it had been opened, law enforcement approached the residence and took Santos into custody.  
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Apr. 27, 2022

Two homes damaged by fire that destroyed garage in Dunkirk...
The cause of a fire that destroyed a garage and damaged two nearby homes in the city of Dunkirk remains under investigation.  Firefighters in the north county city responded to a report of a garage fire at 927 Central Ave. around 2:30 a.m.  They found the garage fully involved in flames, and the fire had spread to single family homes at 925 and 927 Central.  The fire destroyed the garage and a car parked inside it.  Damage was extensive to the attic area of 927 Central and there was moderate damage primarily to the exterior of 925 Central.  There were no injuries reported.


Two killed in Mercy Flight helicopter crash in Genesee County...
A medical helicopter pilot and flight instructor have been killed in a crash during a training flight in western New York.  State police said the Mercy Flight helicopter went down at around 1 p.m. Tuesday near the Genesee County town of Elba, located about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester.  Authorities said no patients were on board.  Mercy Flight said the cause of the accident had not been determined, and called it an "unspeakable tragedy."  Buffalo-based Mercy Flight identified the pilot as James Sauer, a retired New York state police pilot.  The identity of the flight instructor who worked for the helicopter manufacturer was not released.


One person killed in motorcycle accident in eastern Warren Co., Pa...
One person was killed in an early afternoon motorcycle crash in eastern Warren County, Pennsylvania Monday.  Police officials say the accident occured just after Noon in Mead Township.  The Warren Times-Observer reports it occured on Kinzua Road... near the Kinzua Point Information Center.  Warren County Coroner Melissa Zydonik was called to the scene... and says the person killed was from outside the area.  


Wendel unsure about GOP support for capping gas tax in county...
Chautauqua County Legislature Democrats are pushing to cap the county's share of the gas tax at $3 per gallon. But... County Executive P.J. Wendel is not sure whether there will be enough support to pass a pre-filed resolution calling for the reduction during tonight's monthly meeting.  Wendel says there needs to be further review... because he understands dropping the tax would help local motorists.  However, he remains concerned over the possibility of a deficit in the budget, and having to impose a property tax increase.  Wendel says there is also concern that there is no guarantee that motorists will see the actual reduction in the local share of the gas tax if its approved by the County Legislature.  That's because wholesalers could still raise their prices.  County lawmakers are also facing a time limit,  since any action would have to be taken this evening in order to have the reduction take effect on June 1.  That's when New York State's reduction of the gas tax by 16 cents per gallon takes effect through Dec. 31.


Gas prices in Jamestown area up about 5-cents a gallon this week...
The price for a gallon of gasoline in the Jamestown-area is up about 5-cents this week... following the national trend.  The AAA's Gas Price Report says the cost has risen from just over $4.14 to about $4.19 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA says... despite several weeks of declining prices, the national average for a gallon of regular gas has risen 4 cents over the past week to $4.12 a gallon.  Concerns that less Russian oil will enter the global market combined with fears of a COVID-induced economic slowdown in China are causing oil prices to hover around $100 a barrel.  This week’s national average is still 12-cents less than a month ago... but, $1.24 more than a year ago.


Wendel says county is monitoring "high" number of COVID cases in neighboring Erie County...
Chautauqua County officials are keeping an eye on the situation in Erie County, which has been listed as a "high" COVID-19 community level by the Centers for Disease Control.  The CDC says the county's Covid-19 community level remains "low."  Executive Wendel says they continue to monitor the numbers, but sees no reason for concern because the numbers aren't where Erie County's are, and the number of hospitalizations remain low.  Wendel says if people are feeling sick, they should stay home and get tested.  He adds that COVID-19 test kits are available everywhere.


Appellate Court hears arguments over NYS redistricting...
Judges on New York's high court peppered attorneys with sharp questions as they considered whether to throw out new congressional district maps that Republicans charge are unconstitutionally gerrymandered.  Court of Appeals judges heard arguments in a lawsuit brought by a group of Republican voters challenging the legality of the new district maps.  The court's decision could play a crucial role in the battle for control of the U.S. House, where Democrats now enjoy a thin majority.  Judges repeatedly asked the Democrats' attorneys about what should happen next if the high court decides to strike down the maps.  But... they also seemed wary about overstepping their authority.


City Council okays "Community Cats" program...
The Jamestown City Council has approved establishing a "Community Cats" Program with the Chautauqua County Humane Society.  Lawmakers Monday night also approved a new ordinace creating a "Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return" -- or TNVR Program.  Council President Tony Dolce says the "Community Cats" Program will provide the Humane Society with $5,000 to have stray or ferel cats taken to a Buffalo-area clinic to have those services performed.  Dolce says the problem has become a major issue in some parts of the city in recent years. 

 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tue., Apr. 26, 2022

City lawmakers approve $5.44-million in ARPA Projects...
The Jamestown City Council has approved several resolutions to get American Rescue Plan Act funding out the door.  However... four of last night's 19 ARPA-related measure were defeated... three by tie votes.  Sixth-Ward Councilman Andrew Faulker voted 'no' on each of those, and some others that did pass.  Faulkner says he was concerned about some duplication... and, wanting to hold back on funding two programs for $1-million.  He urged those to be cut back to $500,000... and they were.  Faulkner says those funds can be replenished later if there's a need.  Those two items included creation of a Building and Property Infrastructure Improvement... and, Equipment and Machinery Upgrades Programs.  Council President Tony Dolce there was also some concern voiced over having the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency, and Local Development Corporation overseeing some of those.  Dolce pointed out there are three council members -- including himself -- on the JLDC Board.  One resolution establishing a Restaurant and Retail Assistance Program had been approved last month... and, was pulled from the agenda.  The measures approved by lawmakers totaled $5.44-million.


County Fair back for 2022, but, will be a Tuesday through Sunday event...
The Chautauqua County Fair will be back this year after a two-year absense due to the COVID-19 pandemic... and, with a couple of changes.  That from Fair Board President Dave Wilson... who confirmed the event will begin on Tues., July 19.  Wilson says they're starting the fair on a Tuesday this year because their amusement contractor is not able to start that Monday.  He says they'll have the same ride company, Powers and Thomas, providing the rides.  Wilson says they weren't sure -- at first -- if they would be coming back.  New York state allowed county fairs to operate again last year in late spring... but, Wilson says there wasn't enough time to get their fair together.  While the dates aren't set in stone at this point... their Grandstand events -- beginning on Wednesday night, July 20 -- are.  He says a band from Puerto Rico will start things off... then the annual Tractor Pull will be Thursday night.  There'll be a demolition derby on Friday... and Saturday will be a horsepulling show.  Another demolition derby will be held on Sunday.


Wendel says consultant hired to investigate Lake District should have results by this time next year...
Chautauqua County officials hope to have more clarity on what a Lake District may look like by this time next year.  The county legislature recently approved hiring the engineering firm Barton & LoGuidice to investigate whether a user fee system... or property tax payers should support the district and it's programs.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says officials with Barton & LoGuidice told the county they could do their evaluation in 12-months.  Wendel says there could be a boat use tax, or there could be a taxing district.  He and county leaders have been criticized over looking into the district because they're just "looking at imposing another tax."  He says that's not the case, but, says they need some dedicated funding for the upkeep of Chautauqua, and possibility other lakes in the county.  Wendel says they want that funding to stay with "lake operations."  The idea of a Lake District has been discussed for several years now... but, this will be the first evaluation done on the concept.  


Fredonia police still investigating one stabbing, and on other injury during violent fight at village night spot...
Two people were hurt during a "violent altercation" at a bar in the village of Fredonia early Sunday morning.  Fredonia Police say officers responded to the incident around 2 a.m. at Sunny's Tavern at 43 Water St. and a crowd had gathered outside on Canadaway Street.  Fredonia Police Chief David Price says that two victims were treated by the Fredonia Fire Department and transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  One of the victim's refused medical attention and was released with minor injuries.  The second victim was treated for stab wounds received in an altercation inside the bar at the dance floor.  The second victim was treated and released from the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Price says the investigation is ongoing... and, anyone with information is asked to call Fredonia Police at 679-1531.


Hochul touts budget, new Bills stadiu in Buffalo appearance...
Governor Kathy Hochul highlighted the recently enacted 2023 New York state budget during a visit to Buffalo Monday.  Among the projects highlighted, the controversial stadium deal for the Buffalo Bills... which she says will keep the Bills in the Buffalo-area for the next 30 years.  Hochul says the $1.4-billion project is about more than keeping the team, and economic boost it provides on Sundays.  She says it'll create about 10,000 new construction jobs.  Also among the highlights in the $221-billion budget, says Hochul, is $41.8-million for rehabing three bridges that carry Interstate 86 across Chautauqua Lake. 


Man from Mayville arrested for DWAI with child in the vehicle...
A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs with a child in the vehicle Sunday night.  Sheriff's officers say 30 year-old Matthew Buck was stopped following a vehicle complaint on West Lake Road in the village about 8:30 p.m.  Buck failed sobriety tests... and, was arrested and charged after being evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert.  He was issued appearance ticket for Aggravated DWI - Child in Vehicle... and, driving while ability impaired by drugs.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 25, 2022

City police say multiple public tips helped track down Kwik Fill robber...
Jamestown police have arrested a city man who allegedly assaulted the clerk and stole the cash register from the Kwik Fill station on Forest Avenue last Friday night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 342 Forest about 11:30 p.m. on a report of a strong-arm robbery.  Samuelson says they were told that the suspect... later identified as 27 year-old Kyle Senear... entered the store and demanded cash from the register.  He says Senear then punched the clerk in the face... and, grabbed the register before running off east towards Superior Street.  The employee was treated at the scene by Jamestown Fire Personnel.  Samuelson says police received multiple tips on the case... including some that identified the person as Senear... who was also on parole.  He faces a charge of that, in addition to second-degree robbery.  Senear is jailed pending arraignment.


Olean man pleads guilty to cyberstalking...
An Olean man has pleaded guilty to cyberstalking a person from Minnesota earlier this year.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross says 29 year-old Luke Wenke recently entered the plea before U.S. District Judge John Sinatra, Junior.  Ross says the charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Prosecutors say that in late January... Wenke threatened to hurt a person identified as "RG..." who is a criminal defense attorney representing an acquaintance of Wenke’s in a criminal matter in Minnesota.  Beginning in September 2020... they say Wenke grew dissatisfied with the representation that 'RG' provided to the acquaintance, and began to harass and threaten R.G.  Between September of 2020, and January of 2022, Wenke sent R.G. more than 76 e-mails, a voicemail, made two phone calls to the person's law firm, and tried to visit the firm in-person on one occasion.  In late January... Wenke sent two extremely threatening e-mails to the defense attorney.  He'll be sentenced on Aug. 18.


Freshwater Future announces grants available for people behind on water bills through LIHWAP program...
There is funding available for low-income residents in the Jamestown-area who have fallen behind on their water bills... or have received shut-off notices.  The organization, Freshwater Future, says Congress has allocated new funding to help people through the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.  Freshwater's Executive Director, Jill Ryan, says the Michigan-based organization says they saw a lot of need during... and, coming out of the COVID pandemic.  Ryan says it was important during the pandemic for people to wash their hands, and some needed help to afford that water.  Ryan says the help is also available to low-income residents who have gone into arrears on their wastewater bills.  She says grants are up to $2,500 for water... and, another $2,500 for wastewater on a combined bill.  Ryan says they work with about 2,000 communities in the region to provide the help, along with technical expertise, and also help develop policy initiatives.  Ryan says to find out more... go to the Board of Public Utilities website... or otda.ny.gov/LIHWAP.  You can also call Freshwater Future at (231)-348-8200 and talk with 'Crystal' for help in navigating the forms and documentation needed.


"Grow Jamestown" Garden Fair returns Saturday -- outdoors...
After a two-year break due to the pandemic... the Grow Jamestown Garden Fair returned to downtown Jamestown Saturday.  For the first time ever, the fair was held mostly outdoors.  Organizer Linnea Carlson was pleased with the weather and the outcome... especially the way the community came out on a beautiful day.  The fair was held along Third Street between Main and Cherry.  Going forward Carlson... says she hopes to see the fair ‘grow’ even more with more vendors.  Linnea Carlson is the also Director of the Jamestown Public Market which will open along Third Street in June.  The Resource Center and Brigiotta’s were the presenting sponsors of Saturday’s garden fair.


Rapp announces $3.7-Million in funding being provided for WGH ER expansion...
More than 3-and-a-half million dollars is coming to Warren General Hospital in Warren, Pennsylvania for the modernization and expansion of it's emergency room.  That from State House Health Committee Chairwoman Kathy Rapp and State Senator Scott Hutchinson... who say the 3.7-million dollar grant will come from Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.  Rapp says she "was honored to offer my support for this extremely necessary ER expansion project that will significantly increase access to the already top-notch patient care that Warren General Hospital continues to deliver to the rural communities I represent."  Specifically... the Warren Republican says the project will improve patient care by renovating and moving the MedSurg unit closer to the ER.  The ER will also be expanded to include larger treatment spaces that are equipped to accommodate behavioral health patients and patients with airborne infectious disease.


Two Rochester men plead guilty to discharing chemical spray during attempted insurrection on Jan. 6...
Two New York men have pleaded guilty to discharging chemical spray at police officers inside the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 attempted insurrection.  Cody Mattice and James Mault entered their pleas before a federal judge in Washington, D.C., last Friday.  Each faces between three and four years in prison after pleading guilty to the felony charges.  Sentencing is scheduled for July 15.  Mattice and Mault are both from the Rochester area and were indicted in October.  Mault was arrested in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he had been stationed with the U.S. Army.  Mattice was arrested at his home in Hilton, New York.

WJTN News Headline Update

JPD on look-out for suspect involved in strong-arm robbery at Kwik Fill station...
Jamestown police are on the look-out for the person who allegedly assaulted the clerk and stole the cash register from the Kwik Fill station on Forest Avenue late Friday night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 342 Forest about 11:30 p.m. on a report of a strong-arm robbery.  Samuelson says they were told that the suspect... believed to be a male... entered the store and demanded cash from the register.  He says the suspect then punched the clerk in the face... and, took the register from the store and ran off east towards Superior Street.  The employee was treated at the scene by Jamestown Fire Personnel.  The suspect was wearing a dark-colored Philadelphia Eagles hooded sweatshirt.  A surveillance photo can be seen on the Jamestown Police Dept. Facebook page.  Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to call JPD at (716) 483 7537... of the anonymous Tipline 483-Tips (8477).  Police say all calls and tips are kept confidential.


Sheriff's Office confirms 51 year-old man dies in fall at Chautauqua Institution...
A 51 year-old man doing construction work on a fifth-story roof of the St. Elmo Hotel at Chautauqua Institution was killed Friday morning when he fell.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 8 a.m. to assist EMS crews.  Deputies say the unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene due to his injuries.  They add the incident remains under investigation.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 22, 2022

Person falls five-stories to death from hotel at Chautauqua Institution...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating an incident where a person died after falling from the roof of a building at Chautauqua Institution this morning.  County dispatchers says the victim fell five stories from the St. Elmo Hotel shortly before 8 a.m.  No further information is available at this time.


U.S. Marshalls catch West Virginia woman in Stockton who allegedly fled with infant daughter in custody case...
A missing now one-year-old West Virginia child and her fugitive mother have been found in the town of Stockton in Chautauqua County after a more than one-month long manhunt.  The U.S. Marshalls Mountain State Fugitive Task Force located Adrienne Marean and her daughter, Iris Chidester, living at a residence.  Marean was arrested without incident, and the child was found unharmed.  Marshall's say an arrest warrant was issued in Bridgeport, West Virginia for Marean after she reportedly fled the state following a decision in a court custody case.  That triggered a search of multiple states... as police followed numerous leads in the case.  U-S Marshalls thanked the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police for their assistance in the case.


City, and consultant release findings of Municipal Broadband Study...
Jamestown has take the next step in the process of determining whether or not to move fowards with creating a low-cost, but high-reliability municipal broadband program for residents and businesses.  A consultant from Salt Lake City, Utah presented the findings of a feasibility study during a presentation at the Prendergast Library last night.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says shortly after he was elected, he began looking into the matter.  However... he found that residents were having problems with access and reliability during the pandemic.  Sundquist determined it was time to look at the possibilities... to determine whether it's feasible, what the costs will be, and what steps need to be taken.  The consultant... Jeff Christenson with Entrypoint Networks... says the city has indicated they would pursue "open access" giving any Internet service provider access.  As for cost... Christenson says their first option would be just over $54.  That option would have residents, homeowners and businesses opting into the program for the base rate. 
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Mayor Sundquist later issued a press release... announcing that the city is looking for residents to sign up for the recently announced Broadband Commission.  Sundquist says the citizen panel will lead "the way to help solve the digital divide, foster economic development, and give children, seniors, and families the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century."  For more information and an application... go on-line to jamestownfiber.com.


County legislature committee decides on no action -- yet -- on suspending local gas tax...
The Chautauqua County Legislature's main financial committee held a lengthy discussion about whether to reduce the local share of the gas tax to provide relief to local motorists.  However... no decision was reached by the Audit and Control Committee during the Thursday meeting.  Panel members questioned both County Attorney Steve Abdella and county Finance Director Kitty Crow about the issue.  County Executive P-J Wendel, who also attended the meeting, says the committee, says there's a lot to consider.  Wendel says if they capped it at $2... and the price increases to $5 or higher, the county would lose out on much more revenue.  He says county officials will be seeking more input from towns and villages in the county about potential impacts on their budgets going forward.  The committee also learned that the four Democratic members of the legislature may prefile a resolution by today's deadline proposing a reduction in the county's share of the tax.  Lawmakers would have to take action at next week's monthly meeting if the change is to take effect by June 1 to be done in conjunction with New York state.


JPS board approves 2022-23 budget to be voted on May 17...
The Jamestown School Board has approved a more than $93-million budget for the 2022-23 school year that includes no tax increase.  The spending plan includes hiring and measures to help students with learning loss during the COVID pandemic... and, boosts mental health services.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the roughly 45 additional personnel will help deal mainly with those issues.  Whitaker says they're bringing in reading and academic intervention teachers and professionals.  He adds five teachers have been added for the high school.  Dr. Whitaker says the district is receiving about $4-million more in state aid from Albany, and that will mainly deal with learning loss issue from the past two years of the pandemic.  Whitaker says some positions will remain over that 5 to 10 year period... but, he adds some will be dropped as funding goes away.  The school board adopted the budget Tuesday night.  A public hearing on the spending plan will be held at the high school on Tuesday, May 10 at 6 p.m.  The vote will be the following week, on Tuesday, May 17.


Grow Jamestown event set for Saturday...
The 'Grow Jamestown' Garden Fair returns to downtown Jamestown on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  For the first time ever the fair is being coordinated by the Jamestown Public Market.  Director Linnea Carlson says what they have planned for this year is a hybrid indoor-outdoor event.  Beginning at 10:30 Saturday morning... Carlson says there will be a series of workshops at St. Lukes Church.  The first will be about reducing plastic waste... another will focus on composting... and, 'honey bee awareness' will be the third.  All events are free and will be held rain or shine.

WJTN News headlines for Thurs., Apr. 21, 2022

Wendel says county lawmakers looking at ways to suspend all, or a large part of motor fuel tax...
Chautauqua County lawmakers are looking at ways to lower the cost of gasoline at the pump that will help motorists... but, not at the expense of local taxpayers.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who made the comments at the beginning of Tuesday night's "Farewell Town Hall" hosted by local Congressman Tom Reed in Kiantone.  There's been much discussion about whether the county should eliminate the local share of the fuel tax.  However... Wendel says the law only allows it to be "capped."  He says they are investigating the matter... but, he adds they only may be able to "cap" the tax at a certain dollar level.  Wendel says the wholesale price for regular, unleaded was about a dollar lower than the retail cost when the local price at the pump hit $4.40 a gallon a few weeks ago.  He says the other issue is what kind of hole might be blown in the 2022 budget by such a move.  Wendel asks, if counties are looking at a $2-million to $4-million deficit in their budget, where are you going to make up that money?  New York state lawmakers recently approved suspension of the state's portion of the gas tax from June 1 through the end of the year. 


Gas prices in Jamestown-area fall 11-cents over past week...
Gasoline prices have fallen again this week in the Jamestown-area... even as crude oil prices rise again.  AAA's East Central Gas Report says this week's average price locally is down about 11-cents a gallon for regular, unleaded.  It's now about $4.14 a gallon.  It was about $4.25 last week.  While gas prices have decreased again this week... AAA says market concerns remain about the return of seasonal gas demands and higher global oil prices.  To start the week... the price for a barrel of oil was up to about $107.  The national average cost for a gallon of gas has fallen to $4.08.  However... AAA says demand is beginning to tick up again.


Hochul says NYS continuing to monitor COVID-19 case, and hospitalization numbers...
Governor Kathy Hochul says the state is watching the COVID-19 numbers closely, but she says those numbers are likely to fall as warmer weather arrives.  Hochul gave an update during a briefing held in Syracuse Wednesday.  She says cases are up, but far from January's peak, when cases spiked at 461 a day per 100,000 people.  She says that's much lower now, even with the increases of recent weeks.  Hochul says those numbers are flattening a bit.  She adds that they are watching the hospitalization numbers very closely.  Hochul says there were about 1,400 people hospitalized in the state Tuesday.  By contrast... she says there about 12,000 hospitalized on Jan. 12.  Hochul is urging people to get vaccinated... and, if they are already vaccinated, to get boosted. 


Hochul says state will keep mask requirement for public transportation in place...
New York will continue to require masks on buses, trains and subways in the state.  That from Governor Hochul during her COVID-19 briefing in Syracuse.  Hochul adds "let's just be smart about it..." and, she believes people feel more protected with the masks on in those settings.  She adds that the requirement for face masks in nursing homes, correctional facilities... and health care settings.  The Buffalo-area Democrat adds that she expects to continue the requirement for the short-term.


SUNY JCC resumes annual Earthfest program...
It was too brisk to be outdoors... but, the Earth Awareness Club at Jamestown Community College brought back Earthfest on Wednesday.  This was the first Earthfest since the pandemic began.  The program offers vendors and exhibitors whose goal is to get the campus and community focused on the environment, the chance to do that.  This year's theme was 'Protect our Pollinators.'  Earth Awareness Club President, Charlie Milliman says choosing the right things to plant is key.  Milliman says they're urging residents to plant native flowers, and trees because the invasive species can cause harm, and even destroy native species.  JCC will also offer a special program on planting native species next Monday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Carnahan Theater on the campus.  The speaker will be Dr. John Titus of SUNY Fredonia.  The public is welcome at no charge.  


Spring snow storm earlier in week leaves 14 inches of snow at some higher elevation locations...
A late-season storm dumped six inches or more of heavy, wet snow on parts of Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northern New England.  New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the storm snapped tree limbs and interrupted power to more than 350,000 utility customers in her state alone.  Some higher-elevation areas in New York had 14 inches of snow by mid-morning, although accumulations were less for lower areas.  Work crews had reduced the number of outages by the early evening. 


Panel of judges hears arguments in NYS gerrymandering lawsuit...
A panel of appellate judges in New York are hearing arguments about whether the Democratic-led Legislature unconstitutionally passed new congressional maps.  A group of Republican voters say the maps are indeed gerrymandered.  They've filed a lawsuit asking to have the maps tossed out.  They also want to delay the June congressional primaries until late August, to give the state time to draw new maps. Democrats' attorneys say the maps are more than fair to Republicans. 

WJTN News Headlines

Late night fire Tuesday damages home in Kiantone...
A home in the town of Kiantone was damaged by a fire Tuesday night.  Kiantone firefighters were called to 1758 High St. just after 9:30 p.m.  Chautauqua County Fire Disptachers say Kiantone was assisted at the scene by Jamestown, Busti, Frewsburg and Lakewood.  The fire apparently started in a refrigerator and spread to the kitchen.  No injuries were reported.  The local Red Cross is assisting residents. 


Lakewood man arrested on drug, child endangerment charges...
A Lakewood man has been arrested after being found in possession of drugs and stolen property from a location in the city of Jamestown.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they assisted State Parole officials in performing a home check on 34 year-old Pablo Figueroa at an undislosed address in the village.  Police say he was found with methamphetamine, scales and packaging materials.  Officers say they also found several hypodermic needles spread all over the residence, which also housed several children.  Police also found the stolen items... and, another person was found at the residence who was in possession of Fentanyl.  Charges are pending in that matter.  Figueroa was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminal possession of stolen property... and, endangering the welfare of a child.


A.G. James reports money being received in first traunch of Opioid Settlement funding...
New York state's Attorney General has announced that New York's 62 counties and five major cities will soon receive their first payment from the settlements reached with major opioid manufacturers.  James says western New York's share will be more than $12.8-million.  She says there will be "more money to come..." and it's part of the state's overall payment of $1.5-billion.  James did not give figures for Chautauqua County... but, did say that Erie County will receive just over $8.3-million... while the city of Buffalo will receive $582,000.  She says the funding will be used for treatment, prevention and education efforts. 


City of Jamestown, BPU, to hold public meeting at library to present findings of muni broadband study...
The results of a feasibility study into establishing a municipal broadband program in Jamestown will be discussed during a public meeting at the Prendergast Library this Thursday night.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the city, and the Board of Public Utilities, will present the findings during the meeting... which begins at 7 p.m. in the library's Fireplace Room.  Sundquist says the presentation will go over the findings of the broadband study... as well as a discussion on the next steps going forward.  In a statement... Sundquist said he's excited to show the public their findings... adding "the potential for municipally-owned broadband infrastructure is critical to address the digital divide and attract investment.  This study charts a bold path forward and makes affordable, high-speed internet for all Jamestown residents much closer to reality.”


Reed begins "Farewell Town Hall" sessions at Kiantone Fire Hall...
Local Congressman Tom Reed kicked off his series of "Farewell Town Hall" meetings last night before about two-dozen people at the Kiantone Fire Hall.  The six-term Republican from Corning announced last year that he would not seek another term in the U-S House of Representatives.  County Executive P.J. Wendel spoke at the beginning about how Reed brought $143-million in federal funding over 10 years to the county.  Wendel says "Tom's efforts in keeping us at the forefront in getting us the funding we need from the federal government is critical."  While Reed appreciated the comments... he says the biggest difference was everyone working together.  He says more often than not... that doesn't happen in Washington.  Reed says the lines of communication were always open to local leaders.  He discussed a number of topics during the more than hour-long session in Kiantone... including the rift between the 'left' and 'right' in the U-S.  He says he heard concern about that from foreign leaders during his trip to Eastern Europe last week.  Reed says he's most concerned about the United States' loss of stature in the world.


World still being impacted by climate change as "Race to Zero" by 2050 continues...
Despite efforts to mitigate the toll of climate change... New Yorkers and billions of others around the world still are impacted by its consequences and remain at risk for future widespread disruptions.  That from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reports that even as world governments continue their 'Race To Zero' for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, more "urgent action" is needed to avoid irreversible impact.  Ulster County Executive Patrick Ryan says, while his area is ahead of schedule for short-term 2030 goals, human-induced climate anomalies continue to cause serious problems.  Ryan says his county has been battered in the past decade by severe storms, and flooding that are happening multiple times a year now that are only supposed to be happening every 100 years.  


Spring snowstrom brings foot of snow to parts of Upstate NY, and power outages...
About 100,000 electric customers were without power Tuesday morning in upstate New York as a late-season storm dumped a foot or more of heavy, wet snow on some high-elevation areas.  In Binghamton... Broome County Executive Jason Garnar declared a state of emergency and issued a travel ban for nonessential workers.  Some higher-elevation areas of the Southern Tier had up to 14 inches of snow, though accumulations were less for lower elevations.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Apr. 19, 2022

City woman arrested for allegedly threatening to slash car tires during incident on Jamestown's northside...
A Jamestown woman was arrested late Monday afternoon for allegedly threatening another person was a knife... in the view of two young children.  City police were called to a northside residence shortly after 5 p.m. on a report that 30 year-old Deshawna Sparks had grabbed a large kitchen knife, and began waiving it around.  Officers say Sparks threatened to damage the tires on the victim's car... and, the incident scared and upset the children.  After a brief struggle... police arrested Sparks on two counts of endangering the welfare of a child... and, resisting arrest.  She was held pending arraignment.


Reed returns from Eastern European visit, along with stop at Ukraine border...
Local Congressman Tom Reed has returned from a whirlwind tour of Eastern Europe... including a stop at the Poland-Ukraine border... and says he see's "major storms on the horizon."  The nearly month-and-a-half long Russian-Invasion of Ukraine has already exacted a major toll on Ukraine and it's people.  Reed says his trip re-enforced his perception that you "can't rely on the unreliable."  The Corning Republican says, unfortunately, much of Europe is dependant in one way or other on Russia.  He says there's been "a turning away from America by our NATO allies... " and, they've more and more trying to extend their relationship with Russia -- especially for oil and gas."  Reed was part of a Congressional delegation that met with officials in Germany, Denmark and Poland... where they went to the Ukraine border.  Long-term... he says as the conflict drags on... it will have a world-wide impact on gas, oil and food markets because Ukraine is considered the "breadbasket of Europe."  Reed says Ukrainian farmers will be very challenged in getting crops into the ground, then getting them to market -- if at all.  He and the bi-partisan delegation... led by Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer... got to see -- first-hand -- the refugee issue at the border with Poland. 


Reed begins "Farewell Town Halls" tonight in Kiantone...
Congressman Reed will begin a series of "Farewell" Town Hall meetings across the 23rd District... beginning Tuesday night in Kiantone.  The Corning Republican says the hour-long session will be held at the Kiantone Fire Hall on the Stillwater-Frewsburg Road.  Reed says it will begin at 5:30 p.m., and, he invites the public to join him for a time of "thoughtful discussion and reflection on the last 12 years."   He says many of the ideas he's received from his more than 200 town all meetings across the sprawling 23rd District have helped him during his six-terms in Congress in crafting legislation that aids the region.  He was first elected to Congress in 2010... but, did not represent Chautauqua County until 2012 -- after redistricting put the county back in the 23rd District.  


Cold, snow and wind -- isn't this supposed to be April?  
We saw about two inches of snow fall in the immediate Jamestown-area since early Monday afternoon... and, that was mainly in the higher elevations.  There's also more to come today... though it's won't be a big problem here.  That from National Weather Service Forecaster Bob Hamilton in Buffalo... who says the higher elevations could receive six inches of snow... or more.  However... Hamilton said Monday it won't be too worrisome here, with most of the snow sticking to grassy areas, cars, and picnic tables.  The region will be caught between two storms... one to the northwest, the other to the east.  That one to the east will put down significant snow.  He says such places as Utica... Albany... and others into New England will see most of the snow.  Hamilton says the Mohawk Valley west of Albany could see a foot of snow.


Man arrested last weekend for alleged assault in Falconer...
A 42 year-old man was arrested last weekend in Falconer for allegedly striking another person in the mouth... and causing injuries that required stitches.  Ellicott Town Police say they were called to the emergency room at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital last Saturday to investigate an alleged assault.  Officers say the victim was treated at the hospital... and, their investigation led to the arrest of Ramsey Huddleston.  Police say Huddleston was arrested without incident for third-degree assault.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Head of county's Chamber of Commerce says 2022-23 state budget a "mixed bag" for businesses...
The new state budget for New York is a "mixed bag" when it comes to businesses.  That from President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater with the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Heitzenrater says there are some positives to the $221-billion spending plan... including tax cuts, and COVID relief for many -- especially small businesses.  Among the biggest concerns, according to Heitzenrater, is the State's energy policy as it addresses climate change and how it will impact businesses in the county.


SCOTUS won't hear teacher's vaccine dispute...
The U.S. Supreme Court is declining to wade into a lawsuit filed by four New York City public school employees over a policy that they be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Lower courts had previously allowed the policy to go into effect while litigation continued, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor had also rejected an emergency request that the policy be put on hold.  The justices said Monday they wouldn't get involved in the dispute.  As is typical... the justices did not say anything in rejecting the case.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Apr. 18, 2022

Pair of Jamestown residents arrested for alleged burglary on city's southside early last weekend...
Two city residents face burglary charges after allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's southside late last week.  City police were called to the undisclosed location shortly after 6 p.m. Friday... and, found a door to the home had been damaged.  While investigating... officers say they saw 41 year-old Brandon Guillory looking to jump out of a window on the second-story to elude police.  However... he went back inside after seeing police had spotted him.  Both Guillory and 45 year-old Kimberly Brandow were found inside the home... and, neither had permission to be there.  Guillory was also found to have allegedly stolen mail that belonged to the person living there.  He's charged with second-degree burglary and petty larceny.  Brandow was arrested for second-degree criminal trespass.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


Man from Mayville arrested following fight on Route 394...
A Mayville man is accused of choking another person during a physical altercation early last weekend at a home in the village.  Sheriff's officers were called to a location on Route 394 about Midnight Saturday... and, they interviewed the parties involved.  Deputies say they then arrested 45 year-old Bruce Kaus for criminal obstruction of breathing, second-degree aggravate harassment, and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Kaus was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Up to half-a-foot of snow predicted from tonight through Tuesday night for parts of the region...
It's not what most people are looking for in the weather right now, but snow is forecast to accumulate across Chautauqua County through Tuesday.  Higher elevations could get up to six inches or more... but, Meteorologist Bob Hamilton at the Weather Service in Buffalo says it won't be too worrisome here.  Hamiton says the majority of the snow will stick on untreated and colder surfaces, and grassy areas... but, not much elsewhere.  A Winter Weather Advisory has now been issued for Warren County, Pennsylvania.  The region will be caught between two storms... one to the northwest, the other to the east.  That one to the east will put down significant snow in Ithaca, Albany... and, into New England.  The Mohawk Valley west of Albany could see a foot of snow.


Four people arrested in Lakewood on drug and weapons charges...
Two men and two teenaged boys have been arrested on drug and weapons charges after police received a complaint Wednesday about numerous subjects staying at an Airbnb illegally in Lakewood.  When they arrived... Lakewood-Busti Police say they saw a vehicle leaving the Airbnb... and, stopped the car.  Officers say they found a 16 year-old boy from Jamestown in possession of a loaded, stolen 40-calibur pistol... nearly 60 grams of methamphetamine, and 7-grams of cocaine.  Police then got a search warrant for the Airbnb... and, found Jayquan Minns of Buffalo, Oshon Goodlow of Jamestown, and a 16 year-old from Rochester inside without the owner's permission.  Officers say they found 26 more grams of meth... along with 5-grams of cocaine inside... along with another loaded, and stolen pistol with the serial numbers removed.  All four face multiple charges, and more are pending.


Jamestown's Easter Egg hunts go off indoors, and outdoors...
Foul weather led Jamestown officials to move the city’s 74th annual Easter Egg Hunt inside to the Allen Park Ice Rink on Saturday.  Parks Manager Dan Stone had no trouble cranking up the big crowd of hunters... asking if everyone was ready to get some candy, and, they cheered loudly.  Children had to remove their shoes, and wait their turn to hunt, as the youngest groups were allowed in first.  
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At the end of Woodlawn Avenue... a smaller group gathered for the 64th annual East Side Fellowship Easter Egg hunt... which was held outdoors.  10-year-old Francesca told our Dennis Webster that she had found five eggs -- three with chocolate bunnies inside.  Prior to the pandemic, the East Side Fellowship had held its event at College Park, the former Hundred Acre Lot.


NYS approves 52 pot growing licenses...
New York approved 52 licenses that will allow hemp farmers to get a head start on growing marijuana for the state's upcoming adult market.  The state Cannabis Control Board approved the licenses under a new law that allows hemp cultivators to grow marijuana for the legal recreational market for two years.  One of those licenses went to "The Releaf Market, LLC" in Chautauqua County.  The only others granted in the region went to two farms in Erie County -- near Buffalo.  Hemp is a type of cannabis plant with lower levels of THC... marijuana's active ingredient.  The granting of the licenses now means farmers will be able to take advantage of this year's growing season.


Carrubba discusses Ward neighborhood meetings on CDBG, help for tenants and landlords...
The city of Jamestown will be holding more ward meetings regarding the Department of Development's Action Plan for federal Community Development Block Grant funds.  That from City Councilwoman Marie Carrubba... who chairs the Housing Committee... during a recent council work session.  Carrubba says one meeting was held last week... and, another will take place this coming Thursday night in the Fourth-Ward at Lincoln Elementary School.  She says the Second-Ward meeting has been rescheduled for May 7 at 10 a.m. at Fletcher School.  Carrubba says the final session will be held on Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m. in Willard Park in Ward-Six.  She also announced that the city, and the area's housing agencies are moving ahead with a plan to have a "clearinghouse" type website for people looking for help from the city, CODE, COI, and CHRIC. 


  

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Apr. 15, 2022

Schumer in Dunkirk to announce $10-mill. in federal funding for water infrastructure projects...
More than $10-million in federal funding has been announced for some major water infrastructure projects in Chautauqua County.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Dunkirk Thursday to announce that he's secured that funding... which will include more than $8-million for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to do harbor projects in Dunkirk, Barcelona and Cattaraugus Creek.  However... he says the largest allotment will go to Dunkirk for it's two-part project to dredge silt from Dunkirk Harbor, and make repairs to the breakwater walls.  The fourth project... which uses about $2-million... will be to replace a contaminated water well in the village of Mayville.  Schumer says that will allow residents to have access to safe, clean water.  The senator said that these projects are long overdue, and will benefit not only residents -- but, also protect the local tourism industry... jobs and the economy of Chautauqua County and the surrounding region.  Schumer said he used his clout as Majority Leader to help ensure the projects were included in the final infrastructure legislation.


Reed among House members sanctioned by Russia for vote on sanctions against communist nation...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he and a number of other House members have been officially "sanctioned" by Russia for their actions to sanction Russia and it's president.  In a printed statement... the Corning Republican says he's proud "to be on the list of House Members to be officially sanctioned by Russia.  Being put on this permanent ‘stop list’ by a dictator like Putin can only be seen as a badge of honor.  Watching the atrocities that Putin is committing on a daily basis against the people of Ukraine is heartbreaking, and it must stop."  He concluded that "American leadership must project to Russia that we will achieve peace through strength." 


Jamestown man arrested on on drug charges following traffic stop...
A city man faces a number of drug-related charges following a traffic stop Thursday morning in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square area.  City police say they spotted 36 year-old Tyler Elsesser's car commit the infaction just after 8 a.m. in the area of Rite Aid at 50 South Main St.  Officers say Elsesser pulled into a parking lot, and got out of the car as police pulled in.  Police say they found him in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine out in plain view.  They then searched the car... and officers found another 1.25-ounces of meth... along with a quantity of Fentanyl, suboxone films and digital scales.  Elsesser faces numerous charges... including four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of drugs.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Four people arrested during drug bust in Brocton...
Four people from Brocton face a number of drug-related charges following a raid at a home in the north county village just before Noon Wednesday.  Sheriff's deputies say members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force were assisted by the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team in executing a search warrant at 14 John St.  Just prior to the raid... one of the suspects -- 43 year-old Shawn Conway -- left the home and was stopped by officers for driving with a suspended license.  He was also found in possession of crack cocaine and fentanyl.  During the raid... officers arrested three others... including 22 year-old Savannah Dorsey-Carter and 48 year-old Donald Tolbert... who were both wanted on warrants.  Investigators say they found drugs... including just over 8 ounces of cocaine... and, nearly 5-ounces of fentanyl... along with more than $447 cash inside the home.  The fourth person...57 year-old Steven Andrews... was charged with criminal nuisance for maintaining a residence for persons to gather for the purpose of engaging in unlawful conduct.  All four were taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Sundquist says final State budget includes no increase in AIM, but significant increase in CHIPS, other highway funding...
There is some good... and, some bad news for the city of Jamestown in New York state's recently approved, $221-billion budget for 2023.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says the bad news is they won't be receiving any additional Aid and Incentives to Municipalities funding.  Sundquist says that was taken out in final negotiatons with Gov. Kathy Hochul after both the State Assembly and Senate had included increases.  He says the additional funding is in addition to increases the city saw in Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding... as well as Pave-New York funds.  He says the Public Works Department will soon be releasing another "aggressive" road and streets repair program for this construction season.  He says most of the work will by done by DPW crews... but, he says they do contract out some of the work, and there are fewer of them now.  That also means there are fewer able to handle state construction requirements. 


NYS still sees uptick in Homeschooling as COVID pandemic lessens...
The coronavirus pandemic ushered in what may be the most rapid rise in homeschooling the U.S. has ever seen.  Now, even with schools back open and vaccines available, many homeschooling families are sticking with it.  Data obtained by The Associated Press found homeschooling numbers this year dipped from last year's all-time high, but are still significantly above pre-pandemic levels.  Families may have turned to homeschooling as an alternative to hastily assembled remote learning plans.  But... they say they're staying with it for many reasons, including continuing COVID health concerns.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 14, 2022

Borrello says Benjamin did right thing stepping down, and comments on passing of Glenzer...
A local New York state lawmaker feels Brian Benjamin did the right think in resigning from the Lieutenant Governor's post.  We heard Wednesday from Republican State Senator George Borrello... who says that Benjamin had no choice but to leave the state's second highest office.  Borrello says Benjamin, by virtue of his office, was the president of the Senate... and, would have to preside over the chamber during the remainder of the session.  However, he says that would have been difficult at best... adding that the allegations of federal election corruption are "very serious."  Borrello says Governor Kathy Hochul may find it difficult to fill the position... given the fact it's already an election year.  Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is serving as lieutenant governor in an acting capacity. 
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On another matter... the Sunset Bay Republican commented about the passing of former County Executive John Glenzer.  Borrello considered Glenzer to be a mentor and a friend since he was a young man... adding that he worked on Glenzer's first campaign for executive while Borrello was in high school.  Dr. Glenzer died last Sunday at the age of 91.  


Reed announces first "Farewell" Town Halls next week, starting in Kiantone...
Chautauqua County's Congressman for the past decade has announced he will be hold a series of "Farewell" Town Hall meetings across the 23rd District.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says his first town hall will be held next Tuesday, Apr. 19 at the Kiantone Fire Hall on the Stillwater-Frewsburg Road.  The hour-long session will run from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and, Reed invites the public to join him for a time of "thoughtful discussion and reflection on the last 12 years."  Reed was first elected to Congress in 2010... but, did not represent the county until 2012.  During his time in Congress... Reed has held more than 200 town hall meeting across the huge, Southern Tier district.  Two other Farewell Town Halls will be held later next week in Geneva and Corning.


Jamestown city lawmakers to vote on creating "Community Cats Program" at April voting session...
The city of Jamestown is teamming up with the Chautauqua County Humane Society to begin a Community Cats Program to hold down the cat population... and, keep them healthy.  Humane Society Executive Director Kellie Roberts explained the program to the City Council this week... noting that the cats that dont's have an owner... and, can be either ferel, or tame.  Roberts says lawmakers will act on a resolution to create the program later this month.  She says it will set the rules for the program, which has taken time to get in place because -- until now, the organization had lacked the veterinary services that are needed.  However... Roberts says they've made contact with "Operation Pets" in Clarence -- near Buffalo -- that will spay, neuter and vaccinate cats picked up, or turned over to the Humane Society.  She says this will be for cats found in the city only.  Cats from outside the city will continue to get veterinary services at the Humane Society itself.  Roberts says the Humane Society will take the cats up to Operation Pets twice a month to have those service provided. 


Pomfret man arrested for alleged altercation in the north county town...
A north county man has been arrested on multiple charges after allegedly getting into an altercation with two other people at a town of Pomfret home Monday night.  Sheriff's officers and State Police troopers responded to a call of a disorderly person at a Berry Road residence just after 10 p.m.  Deputies say they learned that 25 year-old Cody Rodman of Pomfret had gotten into a fight with the two people.  Rodman was taken into custody and taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for an evaluation.  He was released from the hospitali a short time later... and, taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment on charges of second-degree strangulation... second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, second-degree aggravated harassment.  He was issued appearance tickets for Pomfret Town Court at a later date.


Forestville woman sentenced to jail time, probation and restitution in elder scam...
A Forestville woman has been sentenced to jail time for scamming elderly customers in Erie County.  Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says 37-year-old Breanna Rohauer was sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Paul Wojtaszek to 30 days in jail followed by 5 years probation.  Rohauer, while employed at a local bank in the town of Hamburg, admitted to making numerous unauthorized withdrawals from the bank accounts of several elderly customers.  She was accused of stealing more than $124,000 in fraudulent transactions between mid-November of 2017 and early February of 2019. 


City to resume annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday...
Jamestown's 74th Easter Egg Hunt will be this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Allen Park.  The traditional style hunt hasn't been possible the last couple of years because of COVID-19. City Parks Manager Dan Stone says bringing it back is 'awesome' and they really want the kids to come, and hunt for the eggs -- especially the prize ones.  Stone recommends using East Virginia Boulevard or Springdale Avenue to get into the park, as West Virginia Boulevard will be shut down.  Each of the three age groups will hunt in separate areas with the youngest kids (1-4 yoa) by the pavillion kitchen area... and, the older ones 5 through 12 years of age... will be across the street near the baseball field and basketball courts.  In case of rain, Stone says the hunt will be moved to dry ground. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Apr. 13, 2022

Sheridan man falls to death from cliff into Lake Erie...
A town of Sheridan man has died from injuries suffered after falling about 50-feet over a cliff into Lake Erie late Tuesday morning.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on State Route 5 in the north county town to assist local fire and EMS crews just before 10 a.m.  Rescuers were able to reach 66 year-old Gregory Meadows, and pull him from the lake.  However... he later died at a local hospital due to the injuries he suffered.  


In a stunning day, Lt. Gov. Benjamin resigns after being arrested as part of federal corruption case...
New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin has now resigned in the wake of his arrest in a federal corruption investigation... creating a political crisis for Governor Kathy Hochul seven months after she selected Benjamin as a partner to make a fresh start in an office already rocked by scandal.  Hochul says Benjamin resigned Tuesday afternoon.  He was accused in an indictment of taking part in a scheme to obtain campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for Benjamin's agreement to use his influence as a state senator to get a $50,000 grant of state funds for a nonprofit organization the developer controlled.  Benjamin pleaded not guilty Tuesday.  State lawmakers from the region called the allegations "troubling..." and State Senator George Borrello was among those earlier calling for Benjamin to resign prior to the announcement.  Benjamin was a former State Senator from Harlem.


Wendel says county considering suspension of gasoline tax in coordination with NYS, while legislature Democrats announce proposal...
Now that New York state has taken action to suspend its portion of the gas tax starting on June 1... there's a push underway to take similar action to suspend Chautauqua County's share of the tax.  The County Legislature's Democratic minority has announced such a proposal.  It follows passage of the new State budget that suspends the state's motor fuel tax and sales tax through the end of the year.  County Executive P.J. Wendel tells us that Republicans are also looking to suspend the local portion of the tax... though it's not a huge amount.  But, he says it will help.  The county’s four Democratic Legislators... Susan Parker, and Robert Bankoski from the Dunkirk-Fredonia area, and Paul Whitford, and Billy Torres of Jamestown, are proposing the tax relief in keeping with Governor Kathy Hochul’s recently approved budget.


CRCF, infinity announce formation of the "Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund..."
The Infinity Visual and Performing Arts in Jamestown has created a new memorial fund in the name of a long-time member who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident last New Year's Eve.  Infinity and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation have announced formation of the "Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund" to help Infinity, and the young people who are in it's programs.  Foundation Executive Director Tory Irgang says the fund came about from the collaboration of Infinity and Lexy's friends and classmates.  Irgang says Infinity's Executive Director Shane Hawkins, and members of the class contacted the Community Foundation... and, Irgang says they're more than happy to administer the fund.  She says the fund will provide grants to Infinity for them to use to support programs that were near and dear to Lexy.  Donations to the Lexy Hughan Memorial Fund can be made through the Community Foundation at 418 Spring St. in Jamestown.  For more information... call 661-3390... or go on-line to crcfonline.org.


Jamestown man arrested for alleged laundromat burglary on westside...
A city man is jailed after allegedly breaking into a laundromat on Jamestown's westside Tuesday morning... and, trying to steal money from a change machine.  City police were called to the Center Ice Laundromat at 406 West Third St. just before 8 a.m., and, on arrival... officers found someone had forced entry through a locked door inside the building.  Police found that the suspect, later identified as 50 year-old Clarence Kelwaski, Junior, was unable to break into the change machine.  Kelwaski then allegedly broke into the office, and took a security system and ran off.  Police say they found the system a short distance away... and, later found Kelwaski... who was identified through the laundromat's security video.  He was arrested for third-degree burglary... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, petty larceny.  Kelwaski was jailed pending arraignment in city court. 


East Side Fellowship to hold annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday...
The East Side Fellowship is bringing back its annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday at 10 a.m. Club Spokesman Duane Anderson says they are holding the event at their own location this year at the Eastside Fellowship Hall on Woodlawn Ave.  Anderson says the smaller kids will have the hunt out "in the open."  He adds there'll be plenty of parking close by, and adequate space for all three age groups: 1 to 4... 5 to 7... and 8 to 12 years of age.  COVID-19 prevented the club from having the hunt for the past two Easter seasons.  This is the 61st year for the East Side Fellowship Easter Egg Hunt.


Trump intervenes in Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial primary...
Former President Donald Trump is wading into Pennsylvania's Republican gubernatorial primary.  Trump slammed GOP candidate Bill McSwain, who had been seeking Trump's endorsement.  Trump complained Tuesday that the former federal prosecutor did "absolutely nothing" to investigate Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud in Pennsylvania after the 2020 presidential electio

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