WJTN News Headlines

The alleged ringleader of the four men accused of torturing... then killing a town of Carroll couple in April of last year has been found guilty of Felony murder.  District Attorney David Foley says he's "very pleased" that 35 year-old Davide Coggins was found guilty on eight of the 11 counts against him.  The 12-member jury took about four-hours to comeback with guilty verdicts on countys including two of Felony second-degree murder.  Foley says he knew that finding Coggins guilty of two counts of first-degree murder... and, intentional murder would be difficult to get. Foley says the problem in getting the first-degree murder convictions was a lack of evidence of what happened while the alleged robbery-murders took place.  Coggins was the accused mastermind in the scheme in which a relative... 66 year-old Gordon Skinner, and his wife, Joyce... were killed.  Foley says each second-degree charge carries a 25 year to life term.  If combined to run consecutively... he says that could make the sentence 50 years to life in prison.  Foley says no date has been set for sentencing yet.


A brief shot of lake effect snow made for a slippery ride home for commuters in the Jamestown-area yesterday afternoon.  The snow... which began just after 3 PM... sent a number of cars off the road... and, into ditches.  There was a minor accident on Hunt Road in West Ellicott -- near Southwestern Middle School -- about 3:30 PM.  A car and a truck were involved.  No details have been released.  More snow is predicted for today... but, only about 2 more inches in the more persistant lake snow areas.  Another round of lake effect snow could hit during the weekend... although it will likely be in the Buffalo-area.  Hibbert says another blast of colder air could hit set up more snow over ski country by early next week... once the winds start coming out of the northwest again.  The first shot of lake effect snow this season caused several cars to go off the road... or be involved in accidents... in the North County-area Thursday morning. 


A Wattsburg, Pennsylvania man suffered serious, but, non-life threatening injuries yesterday afternoon when his car crashed on a snow-slicked road in the town of French Creek.  Sheriff's Deputies say 41 year-old Mark Hall was westbound on Marks Corners Road about 3:30 PM when he lost control of his vehicle due to speed... and, the wintry conditions.  Officers say Hall's vehicle went off the road... down an embankment... side-swiped a tree... and, then struck another tree head on.  Hall was taken to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment his injuries.  No charges were filed.


The Integrated Sewer Management Plan for Chautauqua Lake has now been completed... and, identified a strategy to stem the flow of excess phosphorus into the lake.  Phosphorus has been directly linked to the growth of invasive weeds in the lake.  Deputy Director Mark Geise (Guyss) with the county's Planning and Economic Development Department says the plan looks at the "most technically feasible, and cost effective" approach to use.  Geise says they received input from sewer districts serving the areas surrounding the lake... and, other stakeholders under one basic premiss. Geise says extending sewer service from the South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District... and, Northern Chautauqua Lake Sewer District.  He says they know the cost will be in the "tens of millions of dollars..." but, adds the project can be phased-in.  Geise says the next phase of the project is to have the firm O'Brien and Gere do the preliminary engineering that will nail down the cost now that there's agreement on which direction they want to go.  He says the primary stakeholders will next meet with county officials... including Executive Vince Horrigan.


The investigation is continuing into Tuesday night's fatal crash on Chautauqua Road in the town of Pomfret that took the life of a Fredonia man.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says they are looking for three males who were on motorcycles at the scene of the rollover crash that killed 57-year-old Richard Caldwell.  Gerace says it's too early to tell whether any foul play was involved. The three men reportedly took off heading south on Chautauqua Road when another vehicle approached.  Gerace says anyone with information is asked to call the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, or they can call their We Tip line at 1-800-782-7463 to be eligible for a reward.


An initial 300-thousand dollars in seed money has grown to 82-million dollars in assets for the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  The foundation was started 36 years ago in Jamestown by the late John Hamilton... who was director of the Gebbie Foundation at the time... and, a small group of others.  An outside consultant believed the idea wouldn't work unless they could raise one-million dollars.  However... it did take hold... and, has flourished.  Current Director Randy Sweeney thanked those who have donated money, and one of their key board committees. Sweeney says they're looking at their assets growing even larger next year.  In addition... he says the Community Foundation has provided grants totaling 50-million dollars during it's existance.  He says there are 14 new scholarships in their portfolio... and, a new "Fund for the Needs" of the community.  Sweeney says that will be for "big ticket" items... such as economic development, and issues surrounding Chautauqua Lake.  He spoke with our Jim Roselle during our broadcast yesterday as part of "National Community Foundation Week."