A woman is dead following a train accident in the town of Portland. WGRZ news reports that According to State Police, Phyllis Poloncarz, 68, was hit by an oncoming train just after 5pm on Tuesday. The accident happened Tuesday near Onthank Road in the Town of Portland. Authorities are continuing to investigate the accident.
Jamestown police say the man accused of robbing the CVS Store in Brooklyn Square... and, has been charged in two others... was apparently stealing money to feed a drug habit. That from City Police Captain Bob Samuelson... who says they charged 31 year-old Angel Vargas-Mendoza with the robberies at the 7-11 stores on East Second and Allen Streets last August. Vargas-Mendoza was pulled from the Chadakoin River late last Sunday night after allegedly holding up the CVS Store by pulling a knife on the cashier. Police were able to make quick work of arresting Vargas-Mendoza after being called to the scene about 10:30 PM. Officers met a citizen witness and the Store Manager at the scene. Officers were told Vargas-Mendoza had run off towards the Chadakoin River after fleeing the store with a small amount of cash. Samuelson says... while cant' devuldge what Mendoza has said to them... there is enough evidence to charge him with all three robberies. A knife was also brandished in the 7-11 robberies... but, no one was hurt in any of the three incidents. Vargas-Mendoza now faces three counts of first-degree robbery.
The problem of drug-related crime... and, the need for coordinating law enforcement efforts between local, state and federal agencies was the focus of a forum in Olean. Local Congressman Tom Reed co-hosted the roundtable with Indiana representative Susan Brooks Monday. Reed says local health care professionals... and, law enforcement, and, elected officials... took part in the roundtable discussion. The Corning Republican says they had a "candid conversation" about the on-going Heroin epidemic here... and, across the region. Reed says last month's federal designation of Chautauqua County as a "High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area" is critical to providing the county with the resources it needs to combat high-level Heroin trafficking... and, coordinate efforts to reduce the demand for drugs. He says holding the roundtable in Olean was key because the drug trade knows no boundaries. Reed says the drug epidemic is part of the reason he has co-sponsored an effort to reinstrate the School Resource Officer program in local schools. He believes getting the federal program back up and running will help deter school students from trying drugs.
A decision by the most recent head coaches for Track and Field at Jamestown High School to step down has left a popular, long-time assistant without a team... and, several student-athletes upset. It has also upset a number of parents... who say Ron Graham should be allowed to continue coaching in some capacity as he has for about three decades in the area. School officials say -- by contract -- the coaching positions must be filled first by a teacher who is qualified. At last night's school board meeting... parent Raven Mason said at least some of the coaches told them they were fired over the issue of uniforms. However... School Superintendent Tim Mains says that's not the case. Mains says he received a petition signed by a number of students calling for Graham to be hired as head coach. But... he says if a qualified member of the Jamestown Teacher's Association applies for a coaching position... they must be considered first. Graham is not a teacher. Mains says a woman with 13 years experience coaching track and field in Randolph... but, teaches in Jamestown... applied for the head coaching position -- and, got it. In his conversations with Graham... Mains says he got the impression that he was not interested in an assistant's position again.
It'll be an early start to the fourth-day of the Davide Coggins double-murder trial in Chautauqua County Court today. District Attorney David Foley says court will resume at 9 AM instead of the usual 9:30. Foley says there are no witnesses on the stand at this time. Late last week... Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Vincent Gerace spent over a day on the stand before his testimony concluded. Coggins and three other men from the Elmira-area are accused in the torture-murders of 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his 59 year-old wife, Joyce.
Union officials will reportedly meet with management at RHI Monofrax today to address contract issues that led workers to strike at the plant two weeks ago. The Post-Journal reports a member of the National Conference of Firemen and Oiler's Local-#266 said the major focus will be on skyrocketing insurance premiums for employees. Congressman Tom Reed has helped Monofrax obtain two U-S Department of Energy contracts... and, says he remains "very optimistic" the two sides will work out their differences. The employee says there is concern that Monofrax won't be able to full-fill orders due to the strike... which began at Midnight, September 29th. About 200 workers are involved. Wages and benefits have also been an issue during contract negotiations.
Three male teens have been arrested in Dunkirk following two armed robberies that occurred early this past Monday morning. Officers in the north county city say the two 16-year-olds... and, one 17-year-old were allegedly involved in the hold ups, one on Sixth Street near Central Avenue followed by a second one on Leming Street -- near Pine. Police say the teens approached their victims in a car... then exiting the vehicle and displaying knives and a baseball bat. Police later spotted the vehicle that was allegedly involved and stopped the car. The teens, whose names are not being released, are facing multiple counts of first-degree robbery... criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal possession of stolen property.