Local News Headlines

County Jail inmate arrested this week takes his own life...

A Chautauqua County Jail inmate has allegedly taken his own life while in custody.  Sheriff Joe Gerace, who oversees the jail operations, confirmed today that the inmate committed suicide late Thursday evening.  We have also learned that the inmate was 53 year-old Robert Gee of Dunkirk.  Gee was arrested earlier this week on a second-degree assault charge stemming from an on-going investigation into illegal drugs in the city.  Gerace says the state Department of Corrections... has been contacted and will be conducting a thorough investigation into the incident. 

Hochul talks tourism with panel while in Chautauqua County...

Tourism numbers are up in Chautauqua County... and, state officials believe that tying the area into tourism in the Buffalo-area has contributed to that.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul hosted a "Summer Tourism Roundtable" yesterday in Mayville to discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo's "I Love New York" initiative.  Hochul also wanted to hear what's been successful here.  She says local tourism was up 5-percent last year... which was the biggest jump outside of New York City.  Hochul says she's familiar with some of the local attractions... including Chautauqua Institution... Chautauqua Lake... and, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

Hochul talks about Lake Erie shoreline flooding with Horrigan...

New York state officials are fully on-board with flood relief efforts along the northern Lake Erie shoreline in Chautauqua County.  County Executive Vince Horrigan met in Mayville yesterday with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul to provide details on the flooding... which she will report back to Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Most of the flood damage was seen in the Brocton and Westfield areas.  Hochul confirms that a federal declaration is not likely... but, she says some state, and Small Business Administration help should be available for the 250 residents and business owners affected.  Silver Creek was also impacted by flooding... although the village was not hit as badly as Brocton and the town of Portland.  Horrigan says he appreciates the governor's interest... and, says the county is trying to get all the help it can for those people affected.

Co. Court Judge Ward says 40 years enough, he's retiring at the end of July...

Chautauqua County Court Judge John Ward will be retiring after more than 40 years in criminal justice work at the end of the month.  Judge Ward today says he's ready to "let somebody else do the job."  The 67 year-old Ward has been County Court Judge for 23 years.  He has seven years left in his term, but says the time is right.  Ward's presided over a number of major, high-profile cases in the past couple of years... and, he admits it's taken a a bit of a toll.  He says he decided it was "time to turn the gavel over to someone else."  Ward still has seven years left on his current, 10-year term.  State law requires judges retire at the age of 70.  Besides spending 23 years as a judge,... Ward also served many years as an Assistant District Attorney... and, as District Attorney.  His last day will be July 30.

County Elections Commissioner Abram talks about process to replace Ward...

Voters in Chautauqua County will get to chose Judge John Ward's successor in this November's general election.  There will be no primaries due to the fact there is no time to circulate petitions... which were due earlier this month.  That from county Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says they are past the time that petitions could be circulated for primaries.  With that... Abram says the local political parties will meet after Primary Day on Sept. 10 to select their candidates... and, will have to submit them by Sept. 17.  Since Judge Ward is expected to leave the bench at the end of month, we have learned that visiting judges from Erie County will be assigned cases for the rest of the year.

Ashville man arrested for allegedly imprisoning another man at his home...

An Ashville man is now free on bail after being accused of holding another person -- against their will -- in his home.  Sheriff's deputies say 22 year-old Nathan Kelwaski of Route 474 was arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly hitting another man in the face... and, then holding the male victim against his will.  Kelwaski was arrested... and, charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, harassment.  A warrant was obtained from North Harmony Town Court... and, Kelwaski was arrested without incident.  He was freed on $1,000 bail, pending a future court appearance.

New 4-H Educator introduced...

Just in time for next week's Chautauqua County Fair... Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County has announced a new 4-H educator.  Her name is Kate Ewer.  Kate grew up in the county as an active member of the goat program and says 4-H did a lot for her in developing a sense of responsibility, and public speaking and marketing skills and techniques.  Ewer received her bachelor's degree in Ag Business Management this past Spring from SUNY Cobleskill.  She's excited to meet all the 4-H-ers currently involved in the organization at the fair next week.  the annual 4-H Market Animal sale is set for Noon, Friday, July 31.


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WJTN News Headlines for Nov 23, 2020

Two people had to be taken to the hospital after a car struck a scooter from behind in the town of Clymer last Saturday night.  Sheriff's officers say they, along with Clymer and Sherman fi...

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