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WJTN News Headlines

The Jamestown man arrested for last December's double-homicide on the city's eastside has now been formally indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on two counts of first-degree manslaughter.  City Police report the District Attorney's Office just secured the indicment.  They say 53 year-old Allen Witruke (Wih-Truck) was arrested several hours later in Olean for the alleged murders... which occured at this home at 235 Barrows Street last December 8th.  He allegedly killed his wife, 52 year-old Catherine Witruke... and, step-son, 34 year-old Eric Washburn.  Witruke remains jailed on one-million dollars cash bail... 2-million property bond.


A Sinclairville teenager is being treated for non-life threatening injuries at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital following a single-car accident in the town of Gerry.  Sheriff's officers say 19 year-old Rachel McCarthy was southbound on Route 380 shortly after 5 PM yesterday when she lost control of her vehicle... and, it left the road.  Deputies say McCarthy's vehicle then went into a ditch and overturned.  Officers say McCarthy was flown by Starflight Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center for evaluation of her injuries.  No charges have been placed.


A family of three is being helped by the local Red Cross after the trailer they were living in sustained heavy damage in a fire in the town of Busti late Sunday night.  Fire Chief Mike Volpe says Busti fire crews were called to the scene at the Bosco Trailer Court at 611 Busti-Sugar Grove Road shortly before 10 PM.  Volpe says it was initially called in as a dryer fire. Volpe says they called in Panama and, Frewsburg... and, Sugar Grove and Lander from Pennsylvania... to provide water to the scene.  He adds that Celoron was called in to stand-by at the Busti Fire Hall.  Volpe says the three residents inside got out safely... but, another resident of the trailer park suffered a minor injury.  Volpe says they confirmed the blaze started in the laundry room of the trailer.  He says no firefighters were hurt.  He adds that crews were at the scene until about 12 Midnight.


Several fire companies were called in Sunday night to put out a house fire that damaged the basement of a Silver Creek home.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dispatch Center reports that Silver Creek had assistance from Forestville, Hanover Center and Sunset Bay at the fire scene at 22 Lafayette Street about 5:30 PM.  According to the Silver Creek department's Facebook page, Evans Center, East Dunkirk and the heavy rescue unit from Fredonia, also responded.  Crews were able to contain the fire to the basement area.  Crews were at the scene until around 8:45 PM Sunday.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was sent to the scene, but the cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time.


City lawmakers will vote next week on approving a 350-thousand dollar, Jamestown Local Development Corporation loan to the Hamister Group's 14.1-million renovation project at the former Ramada Inn.  The city council's Finance Committee last night approved the loan, at 4.25-percent interest over 10 years.  The loan was recently approved by the JLDC for the project to convert the hotel at 150 West Fourth Street into a Doubletree Inn.  Mayor Sam Teresi says he got more good news while in Niagara Falls earlier in the day on another Hamister project. Teresi says it's been a while coming... but, he adds -- with council approval -- the project in Jamestown will get underway in the 3rd quarter... and, it should be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2017.  The city council must approve the JLDC loan because -- under it's by-laws -- any loan of more than 100-thousand dollars using Urban Development Action Grant monies must be approved by lawmakers.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is coming under fire for what his Democratic opponent calls a "disasterous" record of failing to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists or would-be terrorists.  But... in response... Reed says he remains solidly behind the second-amendment... and, American's rights to own a gun.  The Corning Republican says making the recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida out to be a "gun control" issue is not calling it for what it is... and, the need to combat "Radical Islamic Terrorism...." However... Democrat John Plumb... in a recent press release... says Reed has not been focused on solutions to keep Americans safe.  He says the Republican is trying to cover up his record in which he has "voted 12 times to block legislation that would prevent terrorists from buying guns."  Four bills were to be taken up in the U-S Senate today... but, they were all rejected in mainly party-line votes.  The measures were offered by both Democrats and Republicans in response to recent mass shootings -- including the one in Orlando, Florida.


Officials with the Jamestown Audubon Nature Center say they have made a lot of progress in eliminating the invasive Water Chestnut plant... but, add an additional 30-thousand dollars from the state should help further those efforts.  State Senator Cathy Young helped obtain the funding from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to treat the "Big Pond" area this year.  Audubon Nature Center Director Ruth Lundin says they began treating affected areas with the herbicide Rodeo Monday morning. A contractor from Oswego, New York is applying 'Rodeo' in about 25-acres of the Big Pond area.  Lundin says they've pretty much been able to eliminate Water Chestnut in the smaller, Spatterdock Pond at the Audubon.  Senator Young was on hand to tour the area affected... and says she's pleased to have obtained the money.  She says it's a major problem in all of New York state... but, she says efforts by people like those in the Audubon are helping.  Lundin says the drier than usual conditions have actually helped in ridding Spatterdock of the invasive water plant.


The New York Farm Bureau wants to get in the middle of the lawsuit that would give farm workers the right to organize.  Farm Bureau President, Dean Norton, said Monday, that since New York state is not taking action... the Farm Bureau will go to court. Farm workers have been prohibited from forming unions since the 1930's.  The New York Civil Liberties Union is challenging that rule.  The Farm Bureau says agriculture should be exempt because the planting and harvesting of crops, and the milking of cows can't be disrupted by strikes or similar actions.