WJTN News Headlines

A combination of a rain storm and shifting wind conditions made for another difficult day of searching the northern end of Chautauqua Lake for a man who is missing and presumed drowned.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says his department's Water Emergency Team divers ended Tuesday's search of the water's north of Chautauqua Institution just after mid-afternoon for 48 year-old Ricky Whipple of Conewango Valley.  Gerace says it wasn't as hot for divers today... but, search conditions were worse in other ways. Depending on what kind of head-way is make in the next day or so... Gerace says emergency officials may have to decide whether to discontinue the search.  However... he says they're not at that point yet because it's an important time for Whipple's family, and others who use the lake.  Whipple was thrown from the inner tube he was riding on shortly before 7 last Saturday night... and, has been missing since.  The search will resume at first light this morning.


A federal grand jury has returned a 14-count indictment against three men... one from Jamestown... for allegedly conspiring to distribute illegal drugs in the Buffalo-area.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior announced the indictments against 47 year-old Richard Clarke, a Canadian citizen residing in Buffalo... 32 year-old Barrett Johnson of Jamestown... and, 31 year-old Joshua Castro of Buffalo.  Prosecutors say a complaint was initially filed against Clarke and Johnson in February of 2015, and the investigation began.  Clarke was allegedly found to be supplying MDA and MDMA, also known as ecstasy or "molly," to Johnson over a 10-month period.  This past January... Hochul says surveillance was set up at Clarke’s Nottingham Terrace home, and Johnson’s business... Iconz Barbershop on Hertel Avenue in Buffalo.  Johnson was later arrested during a raid at the barbershop... where he allegedly threw all of the items in his hands to the ground... including a cup which contained a substance similar to "molly."  The defendants were arraigned in U-S District Court... and, given conditional releases on conditions.  The charge against each carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of one-million dollars.


Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly trafficking illegal durgs following a vehicle stop on the city's eastside.  Jamestown police say they pulled over 24 year-old Ryan Baker on Willard Street near -- Winsor -- just after 10 o'clock Monday night.  Officers say they found several items used to package and distribute drugs with inside the vehicle.... as well as a small amount of Heroin.  Police say they also found drug paraphernalia... and, charged both Baker and his passenger, 20 year-old Alyssa Sheldon... with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument... and, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  Sheldon was also charged with tampering with evidence after allegedly trying to hide some heroin and a syringe.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail.  Sheldon is being held without bail... Baker on 45-hundred dollars bail.


An early morning incident on West Fourth Street in the north county city of Dunkirk Tuesday not only led to the arrest of two people on outstanding warrants... but it also resulted in drug possession charges.  Dunkirk Police were called to 34 West Fourth where they located 25-year-old Nicholas Bailey and 35-year-old Jenna Matney.  Police Chief David Ortolano says what officers found inside the apartment led to additional charges. As a result... Ortolano says Bailey and Matney have been charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... a Felony... and, unlawful possession of marijuana, a violation.  Both were being held without bail pending arraignment.


Local Congressman Tom Reed is praising the work of the Select Committee on Benghazi... and, ripping the Obama Administration for "refusing to acknowledge it's responsibility in this tragedy."  Reed says that's -- quote -- "not right.  Those who serve our country must know that we will always stand with them, and will not abandon them in their time of need."  The Corning Republican says he is calling for the administration, and all those involved, to be held accountable.  The committee Tuesday turned over it's more than 800-page report on the September 11th, 2012 terrorist attack on the American Consultate in Libya that left four Americans... including U-S Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens... dead.  The attack also led to the deaths of Sean Smith... Tyrone Woods... and, Glen Doherty,


A prominent American conservative columnist and TV Commentator has decided he can't support presumptive Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.  In addition... George Will says he's also giving up his registration as a Republican.  Will told Fox News Sunday he made the decision "after Trump went after the Mexican judge from northern Indiana... and, then House Speaker Paul Ryan endorsed him."  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he doesn't agree with Will... and, says he should stay and use his position to "influence" how things are addressed. Will said he was inspired by Arizona Senator, and former Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, who founded the conservative movement.  Will's decision mirrors those of members of a long-time conservative publication... the "National Review."  While he's disappointed... Reed says he's not overly concerned.  He came out several weeks ago in favor of Trump after his initial favorite... Jeb Bush... pulled out of the GOP Primary race.


New York state has created a new consumer hotline to help identify vacant properties.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the number -- 1-800-342-3736 -- on Tuesday.  It's part of a larger effort by the state aimed at addressing the large number of vacant and abandoned properties known as 'zombie homes.'  The hotline will allow local residents and officials to report vacant properties.  The state is now compiling a list of all such homes and will require banks and lenders to ensure the property is maintained before foreclosure.  Officials estimate that New York state has more than 6-thousand zombie homes.  Many fall into disrepair when residents move out while the lengthy foreclosure process drags on.  Cuomo says zombie homes can bring down property values and negatively impact entire neighborhoods.