Local News Headlines

The rising number of heroin overdoses are being felt in the north county area... and, Dunkirk-Fredonia area police officials say it's becoming a drain on their resources.  Fredonia Village Police Chief Brad Meyers says they have had three cases within the past week, including one outside a local business.  He says it could have had a tragic ending.Police and fire units were able to use Narcan to revive the unidentified person who was then transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says it's just an example of the growing problem that is sweeping the state... and, much of the nation.  He says it's a "drain" on their departments... but, adds it's also a "drain on society" because young people are often the victims.  Local Congressman Tom Reed is one of eight congressional members asking the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy to hold a forum in the upstate area on ways to combat the problem.


A Cattaraugus County man has pleaded guilty in federal court to illegally buying and selling elephant tusks.. and, trafficking other prohibited wildlife.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior has announced that 77 year-old Ferdinand Krizan of Franklinville pled guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Geraci, Junior to trafficking in prohibited wildlife.  Hochul says the charge carries a maximum penalty of 5-years in prison and a fine of 250-thousand dollars.  U-S Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Chief of Law Enforement, Edward Grace, says "elephants are being slaughtered daily by poachers for their ivory.  Each tusk represents one step closer to their extinction."  In November of 2013... Prosecutors say Krizan, who owned Fred’s Antiques in Franklinville, purchased two elephant tusks from an auction house in Montreal, Quebec for 4-thousand-320 Canadian dollars.  They say the defendant then had the tusks shipped to an address in Niagara Falls, Ontario... and, later tried to bring them across the Rainbow Bridge... violating the Endangered Species Act.   He sold the tusks in May of 2014... which he knew was illegal.  Hochul says the total value of the wildlife trafficked by the defendant is just under 142-thousand dollars.  Sentencing for Krizan is set for May 19th.


A partnership involving the region's Congressman, the Seneca Nation, and four area school districts, has resulted in federal funding to help lessen the property tax burden on local residents in districts with large areas of tax exempt property.  Corning Republican Tom Reed late Wednesday announced more than 5-million dollars in Impact Funding for the districts that include portions of the Seneca Nation.  They include Silver Creek, Lake Shore, Gowanda  and the Salamanca City Schools.  Reed made the announcement in Silver Creek... saying there were several key players involved. Seneca Nation President Maurice John says it's not a case of entitlement money... but, likened it to the loss of tax base if there's a military base in that community.  The Salamanca district will pick up the largest share of funding... 4.3-million dollars... followed by Gowanda... with 884-thousand dollars... Lake Shore with 483-thousand... and, Silver Creek with 201-thousand dollars.  The districts will receive the funding for their 2015-16 school year budgets.


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office is seeing another surge in the number of IRS Phone Scams taking place in the county... and, one person in the Findley Lake-area was recently a victim.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says the scam involves a person... often in a foreign country... calling you and claiming to be with the IRS.  Gerace says they also demand payment of some outstanding tax bill... or try to obtain personal information.  He says hang-up on them. Gerace says two things bad can happen with these calls... one is you pay a toll fee by calling back.  He says many of these IRS Scams originate from Pakistan.  Secondly... he says you end up sending a money order, credit card or Western Union to scam artists.  Gerace again emphasizes that the IRS will not originate any tax inquiry by phone.  He says they will initiate any inquiry via the mail.  Gerace says another indication that the call is a scam is that the caller will require you to use a "specific payment" method to take care of your taxes -- such as a pre-paid debit card.


The county's top-law enforcement official say his department has initiated a new program to help locate adults or children who wander away due to Alzheimer's Disease... Autism... or other cognitive conditions.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says they have started Project LIFESAVER... in which clients are fitted with a bracelet that emits a specific frequency that his department can track... using a special tracking antenna. Gerace says he has two certified deputies who are trained in locating... and, equiping clients with the special braclets.  He says they can do the search using their helicopter... but, most of the time... that's not necessary.  Gerace says there is a fee for the service... but, adds there is funding available to defray the cost for low-income residents.  He says part of the cost is replacing the batteries.  Gerace says there are currently 5-million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer's Disease... which is the fastest growing developmental disability.. as well as Autism.  For more information on Project LIFESAVER... call the Sheriff's Office... or go on-line to Sheriff-dot-US.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk when his car was involved in an accident in the town of Poland late Tuesday night.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road just after 11 PM.  Deputies say... when they arrived... the driver -- 26 year-old Dane Sobocinski  -- was allegedly intoxicated and he was taken into custody.  Once he was processed... officers say Sobocinski was released with traffic tickets from Poland Town Court.  He will appear later on charges of DWI... DWI per se... failure to stop at a stop sign... and, for having a suspended registration.


Governors from 17 states are committing to work together to seek cleaner energy and transportation, and to build a better electrical grid.  The bipartisan group announced on Tuesday what it's calling the Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future.  The governors intend to work together on energy planning and policies. The accord says the goal is to expand participating states' economies while protecting citizens' health and the environment.  The governors are from New York... California... Connecticut... Delaware... Hawaii... Iowa... Massachusetts... Michigan... Minnesota... New Hampshire... Nevada... Oregon... Pennsylvania... Rhode Island... Vermont... Virginia... and Washington.  The states include nearly 40 percent of the nation's population.