WJTN News Headlines

Five people have been arrested -- and two face Felony charges -- after police broke up a Methaphetime trafficking and sales operation in the village of Falconer.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were joined by State Police C-NET Team members in raiding two locations in a mobile home park in Falconer early Wednesday afternoon.  Samuelson says they were assisted by the JPD SWAT Team. Samuelson says they arrested the two primary actors in the operation at Lot-#8... identified as 34 year-old Christopher John... and, 28 year-old Jacob Meier of Falconer.  He says they also found 19 year-old Savanna Myers in the trailer at Lot-#17.  A short time earlier... Samuelson says police arrested two other women... 27 year-old Angela Wicks and 20 year-old Samantha Myers... during a vehicle stop.  He says both had several hypodermic needles... and, three pipes in their possession.  Samuelson says both John and Meier face third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... while the others face basic possession charges.  If you have any information on illegal narcotics trafficking... call the Metro Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Medical examiners are working to positively identify the skeletal remains found by hunters Wednesday of a man on state Forest land in eastern Chautauqua County.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says they believe they know who the person is... but, he adds they are awaiting confirmation first.  Gerace says the hunters located the remains late yesterday morning off Boutwell Hill Road -- on the border of the towns of Charlotte and Cherry Creek.  He says the remains have been turned over to the Erie County Medical Examiners Office. Gerace says officers reported the grizzly discovery was made by hunters around 10:40 AM Wednesday.  He says deputies were assisted at the scene by the Chautauqua County Forensic Team... Lakewood-Busti Police... and, the county's Emergency Services Department.  Support was also provided by state Forest Rangers, the state Department of Environmental Conservation... and, the Mercyhurst Forensic Anthropology Team.


Quick work by firefighters from several departments saved much of a pallet maker's operation in the town of Sherman Wednesday afternoon.  Sherman... Clymer... Findley Lake... Panama... and Ashville fire crews were called to the scene at Troyer Incorporated at 2010 Clymer Hill Road a little after 3:30 PM.  County fire investigators say the blaze was found to have originated in a utility wash room where a freezer was plugged in.  They say a pump switch had apparently broken down, triggering the blaze behind the freezer.  No injuries were reported... and, the flames were confined to the area around that freezer.  Crews were at the scene until shortly after 7 PM.


Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says he is "pro-second amendment..." and has worked hard to ensure that a large majority of permit holders in the county get "unrestricted permits."  With that... Gerace says he has no problem with experienced firearms owners carrying their guns.  However... he says he's not going to encourage someone to carry just because they have a permit.  The issue has come to the forefront due to recent statements made by the sheriff's in Ulster and Sullivan Counties. Gerace adds, though, that carrying a firearm is a "very serious" decision, and is the carrier has a responsibility not only themself... but, to those around them.  He adds that if you have a permit to carry... know your firearm well through training.  He adds that also means being knowledgeable of the law regarding 'use of force.'  Gerace says that's in Article 35 of the New York State Penal law that details where such force can be used.  He says you must have "the mindset" to use your firearm lawfully if needed.  He adds that while he urges all of his deputies to carry when they're off-duty... he won't mandate it.


New York state announced the winners of Governor Andrew Cuomo's regional economic development contest on Thursday.  The winning three regions in what some have called Cuomos' "Hunger Games" will each receive 500-million dollars over five years -- on top of regular economic development funds -- to spur the local economy.  The Western New York Region received 83.9-million dollars... and several projects were here in the western Southern Tier.  The Mohawk Valley led the way, receiving 100.3-million dollars.  Long Island was second with 98.3-million.

Chautauqua County has received several monitary awards during the latest round of funding from Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council program.  Among those is just over 2-million dollars for the National Comedy Center.  Comedy Center Board Chairman Tom Benson says the additional money follows last year's 1.5-million dollar award from Empire State Development.  Benson says "the additional 20-million- 25-thousand dollars in grant funding that we received today is a clear indication of the state’s belief in and support for the National Comedy Center, and that the partnership that we established last year is strong and long lasting."  Center Director Journey Gunderson adds that "these funds are part of the critical capstone for this 50-million dollar project.  This is a true public-private partnership, and comedy will now have the world-class celebration of artists and art form that is long overdue." IN addition to the National Comedy Center... State Senator Cathy Young's office says 1.9-million dollars has been awarded for the proposed Chautauqua Harbor Destination Hotel in Celoron.. and 980-thousand dollars has been awarded to the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College.  Another 500-thousand dollars will go towards the renovation of the former W-T Grant Department Store building in downtown Jamestown.  A restaurant and micro-brewery is being eye for that location.


Work has begun in demolishing a long-abandoned building in the village of Westfield.  After a recent meeting of several agencies including the village of Westfield... and, the Chautauqua County Land Bank Corporation, a decision was made to take down the Portage Inn.  Executive Director Mark Geise with the county's Land Bank says it has become an emergency situation. Geise says funding from the county's landbank will help cover the costs of the demolition... as well as covering it up until remains can taken to the county landfill.  The village of Westfield will provide in-kind services and will use landfill credits provided by the County to cover the tipping fees associated with the building's demolition.  The Portage Inn has been closed since 1999.


The owner of the Frewsburg Rest Home is giving 11-thousand dollars to the Meyers Memorial Library to close a budget gap in 2016.  Nick Ferreri... who also owns Tanglewood Manor in West Ellicott... presented the check at a ceremony at the library in Frewsburg Thursday morning. Meyers Library Board President, Mel Feather, says the 11-thousand dollar figure is a big part of their over 70-thousand dollar budget.  Feather says an anonymous donor had proviced that money.  Nick Ferreri's 'Tanglewood Group' acquired the Frewsburg Rest Home in March of 2014.  In recent years Ferreri has also made contributions to the Frewsburg Fire Company, The Relief Zone, and WCA Hospital. 


A New York City man who ran for governor on the claim that ``the rent is too damn high'' is stepping away from politics.  The New York Times reports that 69-year-old Jimmy McMillan has announced his retirement from politics, citing a lack of support for his agenda.  McMillan says in a news release dated Tuesday that voters were ``totally brainwashed'' and criticized elected officials for not securing rent reduction for city residents.  McMillan won about 41,000 votes out of more than four million cast in the 2010 gubernatorial race.  He also ran for mayor.  He says the Rent Is Too Damn High Party is for sale, ``trademark and all.''  His attorney, Vincent Imbesi, says his client hopes to gain financially from stepping away from his one-man political party.