Local News Headlines

City fire crews still looking into cause of fires that destroy two vacant downtown homes...

City fire investigators are still looking into the causes of two early morning fires on Jamestown's northside Wednesday.  City Fire Battalion Chief Chet Harvey says both fires were in vacant homes.  Harvey says the first call came in  shortly before 4 a.m. at 1052 North Main St.  The other was called in around 5:30 a.m. at a condemned building at 866-1/2 Spring St.  Harvey says the structure was fully-engulfed in flames on arrival... and, he says the Department of Development decided a short time later to demolish the structure.  He says the fire was almost out... but, the DOD was called in to have the home torn-down.  Harvey says it took firefighters about two hours to bring the fire at 1052 North Main under control... and, then out.  Most of the fire was found in the back of the structure.  He says it's being evaluated for possible demolition as well.  Harvey says two off-duty shifts were called in -- one to the Spring Street location... the other to North Main Street.  No one was in either building when firefighters arrived... and, no injuries were reported in either blaze.

Chautauqua Inst. Board approves bids for Amphitheater razing, and, reconstruction...

Chautauqua Institution has awarded contracts for construction of a new Amphitheater.  Chautauqua Presidet Tom Becker says the Board of Trustees made the final decision Wednesday to hire L-P Ciminelli of Buffalo to be construction manager for the $41.5-million project.  Chautauqua's Chief Marketing Officer, George Murphy, says some preliminary work will be done before the 2016 season starts, but, adds the "heavy work" will start next September 1st... and, conclude in June of 2017.  The Chautauqua board put a hold on the project in November, when the bids came in high.  Murphy says in the meantime, they went back -- and tightened up all the bids.  He says they substituted materials in some areas, and did "less of a finish in others."  Otherwise, the plans are essentially unchanged from the model on display this past summer.  Tom Becker says some of the controversy concerning preserving the old Amp is 'understandable and credible'.  But, he adds, what's really being preserved is Chautauqua's ability to do its work for the next 100 years. 

Two now in custody, charged in November home invasion-robbery at southside residence...

One person has been indicted on several charges... and, charges against a second are pending... in connection with last month's home invasion robbery on Jamestown's southside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Chautauqua County Grand Jury handed up the indictment this week against 25 year-old Felix Lozada.  Samuelson says Lozada is accused with the other suspect of forcing their way into the home shortly before 1 a.m. last Nov. 22.  He says the suspect faces felony robbery, burglary and menacing charges.  Lozada is being held on $200,000 cash bail.  Samuelson says the pair were able to get the homeowner to answer the door by saying their vehicle had broken down.  He says the other suspect in the home invasion is being held in Warren, Pennsylvania on an unrelated charge.  Samuelson adds that a blue-colored Pacifica allegedly used as a get-away vehicle was later found in Warren, Pennsylvania... but, they are still looking into an alleged woman driver.  If you have any information on the case... you're asked to call the City Police tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

Ambit Energy agrees to nearly $1-million in refunds...

One of the state's largest independent suppliers of electricity and gas for residential customers has agreed to refund nearly $1-million to resolve complaints about its billing practices.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that Texas-based Ambit Energy will issue $950,700 in refunds to 1,566 customers after an investigation by the state.  About half of those customers live in central and eastern New York.  There are also several in the Jamestown-area.  The state investigation began after complaints about Ambit's customer disclosure statements and renewal notices, particularly for customers who were moved from a guaranteed-savings plan into a variable rate plan charging significantly more.  In addition... AARP called on state regulators to investigate unfair energy pricing.  It cited federal data showing that New York's independent energy service companies charged the highest residential electric prices in the nation last year.


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WJTN Headlines for Sat., July 11, 2020

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