Local News Headlines

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department "K-9" Unit is being credited with helping to find a Falconer teenager who went missing for several hours early Sunday in the town of Chautauqua.  Sheriff's officers say they received a report that 19 year-old Nathan Nowicki walked away from a group of friends on Beujean Road shortly after 2 AM.  Deputies say he went into a heavily-wooded area... and, the group tried to find him -- without luck -- a short time later.  Officers say the friends tried to call Nowicki's cellphone...but, were unable to reach him.  Deputies were called in... and, upon arrival found Nowicki's vehicle.  Officers say Erie County Air-1 then conducted a search of the wooded area... but, were unable to find him due to heavy foliage.  However... GPS coordinates from Nowicki's cell phone showed that it was in the wooded-area... and, a ground search began.  Deputies say "K-9" Drago lead the effort... and, after a short time he found Nowicki's backpack... which also contained his cell phone.  The K-9 then lead search teams into the Chautauqua Gorge where they were able to track Nowicki's foot prints... and, found him about 8:45 AM.  He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of hypothermia and minor injuries.


A Jamestown teenager has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk while a 14 year-old juvenile was in the car with her.  City police say they stopped 18 year-old Jastic (Jaz-Stick) Anzalone on Hallock Street about 2 AM last Saturday for driving without her headlights on... and, running a red light.  Officers say Anzalone submitted to a breath test... and, it showed she had twice the legal limit of alcohol in her system.  Police say she's accused of violating Leandra's Law... making her driving while intoxicated charge a Felony.  Anzalone was also charged with operating without a license... and, passing a red light.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


One Lakewood area man remains jailed... while another has been freed on bail... following a drug raid last Friday that uncovered both Heroin and cocaine being sold.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force led a multi-agency effort to take down an alleged drug house at 29-15 Third Avenue in Busti.  Task Force Commander David Bentley says police found 40 grams of processed or packaged cocaine... and, 20 doses of Heroin.  They also arrested 40 year-old Blake Smith... and, 38 year-old Willow Taft... at the location -- just west of Lakewood.  Bentley called the pair "mid-level" drug dealers.  He says authorities also found a quantity of marijuana... cutting agents... electronic scales... and a large quantity of cash.  He says the task force was assisted by Lakewood-Busti and State Police... the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, state Police C-NET Team.  Smith... who was also arrested on warrants from the city of Jamestown... remains jailed without bail.  Taft was freed on bail.  Anyone with information on illegal narcotics trafficking around the county is asked to contact the Southern Tier Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.


Chautauqua County's top-law enforcement official is urging motorists to drive cautiously over the next three months.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says that's because the number of Car-Deer accidents typically spikes between October and December in the county.  Last year... Gerace says the county had well over 100 car-deer crashes in both October and November because the animals tend to migrate during that time... and, it's also their mating season.  He adds November is the peak month for these accidents. Gerace adds that deer tend to be most active between 6 and 9 PM in the evening.  However... he adds there are instances where a driver cannot avoid a collision.  Gerace urges motorists not to swerve out of your driving lane because that can cause an even more serious accident.  He says it's best in that case just to hit the deer.  In that case... Gerace says you should brake firmly... stay in your lane... and, hold onto the steering wheel and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.  At that point... he says you should then pull off the road to access your situation. 


The New York Senate's former longtime majority leader says he's giving 1.4-million dollars left in campaign funds to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee... and, 100-thousand dollars to a scholarship fund.  Joseph Bruno says he's also closing his legal defense fund and spreading about $70,000 left among several nonprofits.  He retired from the Senate in 2008 after 13 years as the Republican leader, initially spending leftover campaign money for defense lawyers at political corruption trials in 2009 and 2012.  The state comptroller this year approved $1.8 million reimbursements for his legal defense fees, while rejecting another $606,000 sought by Bruno after he was acquitted at his second trial.  Bruno says keeping a Republican Senate majority as a balance to Democrats controlling other parts of the state government is more important than ever.


A Fredonia woman has been arrested for allegedly receiving more than 18-hundred dollars worth of food stamps and public assistance she was not entitled to.  Sheriff's officers along with members of the county's Department of Health and Human Services' Integrity Unit took 43 year-old Keilly Rose into custody late last week.  Deputies say Rose was getting food stamp benefits... and, not properly reporting her income to social services.  She is also accused of putting false information on her application with social services... and, receiving one-thousand-842 dollars worth of benefits she should not have received.  Rose faces charges including Grand Larceny... welfare fraud... and, Offering a False Instrument for Filing.  She was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.  Instances of suspected welfare fraud can be reported by calling the the county's hotline at 1-800-388-5365 or We-Tip 1800-782-7463.


Dunkirk City School District officials are asking for strong community support at a rally that will be held a week from Saturday for NRG's Repowering Dunkirk project.  School Superintendent Gary Cerne (Sir-nee) says the re-powering project is critical to the District, as NRG contributes 10-percent of the District's revenue under the Payment in Lieu of Taxes -- or PILOT Agreement.  Cerne calls it their "last chance" to show the community and county is united in keeping the plant open.  Nearly two years ago... Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to Dunkirk to announce the project that would convert the plant from a coal fired plant to cleaner natural gas.  A lawsuit filed by Entergy Corporation has since put the project on hold.  The Rally will be held Saturday, October 17th starting at 10:30 am on the city pier.


State regulators have approved Buffalo-based M&T Bank Corporation's application to acquire Hudson City Bancorp Inc.  The Department of Financial Services says it received the application in 2012 from M&T... noting it has strengthened its risk management and anti-money laundering compliance programs.  M&T, a financial holding company, says the transaction has already been approved by the Federal Reserve and shareholders of both companies... and, should be completed by about November 1st.


The U.S. Military Academy will honor the man who portrayed ``Lieutenant Dan'' when it gives actor Gary Sinise its annual Thayer Award.  Sinise, known for his roles in ``Forrest Gump'' and the TV show ``CSI: New York,'' will receive the award at West Point on October 22nd.  The award is named for a former West Point superintendent and is given to citizens who serve the national interest.  West Point cited Sinise's decades of advocacy for service members, including his work for the Disabled American Veterans organization.  Sinise also performs for troops as part of the "Lt. Dan Band," named for the hard-nosed officer who befriends Forrest Gump.  Past recipients of the Thayer Award include Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Bob Hope, Neil Armstrong, Tom Brokaw and Colin Powell.