WJTN Headlines

The accident involving a ride at the Ohio State Fair that killed one person has raised concerns about ride-safety at fairs across the nation. 


Chautauqua County Fair officials say they too are concerned about safety, but indicate that a rigorous inspection of the rides was conducted before the mid-way opened this part Monday.  The Fair Board's Dave Wilson says they "feel" for the people in Ohio who are involved with the fair and, says the people in Dunkirk look over everything very carefully.   


Wilson says New York state inspectors check everything and know "all the wear points" on rides.  Wilson says they also like the safety record that the midway rides vendor, Bates Brothers, has.  He says they are "at the mercy of the inspectors," and everyone does the best job they can." 


Meanwhile Wilson says he's pleased with the way the 2017 edition of Chautauqua County Fair has been going.  This year's fair continues through Sunday in Dunkirk.

A convicted Felon from Ohio is accused of being in possession of a firearm after Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers pulled him over for driving erratically on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony this past Friday night. 


Deputies say they pulled over 32 year-old James Schmidt of Orrville, Ohio after receiving information that he was driving erratically.  Upon being pulled over Schmidt fled the scene on foot, but was apprehended a short distance away from his vehicle.  Schmidt was in possession of a 45-caliber pistol despite having prior felony convictions in the state of Ohio. 


He was arraigned in North Harmony Town Court on charges of criminal possession of a Firearm third-degree criminal possession of a Weapon, and having an illegal windshield.  Schmidt was sent to the county jail on $10,000 cash bail.

More care should have been taken to protect fish and other habitats when two herbicides were sprayed weeds on a limited area of Bemus Bay on Chautauqua Lake last month. 


Those are the feelings of a few people who spoke prior to Wednesday night's vote by the County Legislature on allocating $100,000 to the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance for weed management, and maintenance. 


A member of the Alliance's Scientific and Advisory Committee, Becky Nystrom, says spraying guidelines say one of those herbicides 2-4-D should not be used in those fish habitats. 


Current Jamestown Community College Biology Professor Janice Bowman says she believes that last month's limited weed spraying in Chautauqua Lake's Bemus Bay was not needed to get rid of the Curly Pond Leaf and, Eurasian Milfoil that's been a problem in different parts of the lake for the past few decades. 


Bowman says she and some of her students were on the lake the day before spraying began and found the Milfoil had already been "dying back" and the pond leaf was in decline.

A problem with drinking water in a small part of the village of Celoron will be addressed in part with a $75,000 state grant obtained through the efforts of State Senator Cathy Young. 


The grant will be used to help install a new water main in a portion of the village where 10 families have well-water that they are no longer able to use for drinking, cooking or bathing any more. 


Young says "this grant will resolve a fundamental human need and quality of life issue, while taking pressure off the rest of village water users so they don’t have to shoulder a heavy financial burden."  Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost thanked Young for obtaining the grant so residents can be hooked up to a public water system.

A local woman has been announced as the new exexutive director for the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation in Jamestown. 


The Board of Directors says current United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Director Tory Irgang will succeed Randy Sweeney, who is set to retire from the foundation December 31st after 20 years as director. 


Community Foundation Board President Don Butler says they are "thrilled" to welcome Irgang and Sweeney says she's been "actively involved" in the local community meaning the transitition for her should be relatively easy and seemless. 


Irgang has served as executive director for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County since February of 2011 and prior to that spent seven years in the government and not-for-profit sectors.  She held positions with the Chautauqua County Department of Health and the Chautauqua County Health Network.

Four men who have devoted most of their lives to be part of the Sherman Fire Department and other organizations have been honored with the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation's annual Axel W. Carlson Award. 


Foundation Executive Director Randy Sweeney says they present the 32nd annual award honoring the area's "unsung heroes" during a program last night at the Stanley Hose Company.  Sweeney says the four include Bob Crane, Joel Fischer, Douglas Neal, and, Matt Oehlbeck who have been actively involved with the Sherman Fire Department. 


He tells our Dennis Webster that the foundation has been recognizing more and more people across the region as opposed to just in the immediate Jamestown-area... and, they selected the Sherman-area this year.  He says while all four have served for many years with the Stanley Hose Company in Sherman they've also been involved in other community activities from coaching to helping at the Yorker Museum. 


The award is named after Axel Carlson, a Swedish immigrant to Jamestown who volunteered in a number of capacities.