Local News Headlines

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The Jamestown man who admitted to killing his wife and step-son in early December of 2015 has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison on two counts of first-degree manslaughter. 


That from Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson who says 53 year-old Allen Witruke received the concurrent sentences from Acting County Court Judge James Bargnesi Tuesday morning. 


Swanson says Witruke pled guilty to both counts back on May 4th.  Swanson says "today, with the family of Eric Washburn and Catherine Witruke present, closure in the matter came in the form of concurrent 20 year sentences." 


In addition Swanson says the judge also sentenced Witruke to five-years of supervised released.  He also praised the police and investigators involved in the case. 


Swanson says Sheriff's Department deputies went to 235 Barrows St. in Jamestown the morning of Dec. 8, 2015 to perform an eviction and discovered the bodies of Catherine Witruke and her son. 


Allen Witruke had beaten and stabbed Eric Washburn to death and stabbed Catherine to death.  He then fled to Olean where other family members lived before being located by Olean Police.



Local Congressman Tom Reed is among those applauding President Donald Trump's speech Monday night focusing on needs and conditions instead of an arbitrary timeline in Afghanistan. 


Reed is reacting to the president's address in which he reassured the government in Afghanistan of U-S support in dealing with terrorism and the Taliban. 


The war and conflict in the Middle Eastern nation has been going on for 16 years now and, Reed says it's refreshing to see the president listening to his military advisors.  He says "we need to respect the advice of our generals and advisors" and, it's important to get us out of the "quagmire of the last 16 years." 


Reed says he knew what the president was going to say before Monday night's prime-time speech because the Corning Republican received a call from the White House telling him what the president was doing to address.  He believes that's important to keeping lawmakers unified on this policy.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.



Prosecutors in western New York say they're investigating allegations that representatives of the Indian tribe that runs three casinos in the region eavesdropped on employees of the state Gaming Commission. 


The Erie County District Attorney's Office in Buffalo confirms Tuesday that it's investigating allegations by commission workers who say they were eavesdropped by the Seneca Gaming Authority. 


The Senecas operate casinos in downtown Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Salamanca. 


Spectrum News in Buffalo first reported Monday that a listening device was found last year by commission officials in an office the agency leases from the Senecas at the tribe's Buffalo casino. 


Seneca officials say the investigation involves a Seneca employee but provided no details. 


The allegations come amid testy relations between the Cuomo administration and the Senecas over the tribe's halting of payments of millions of dollars in casino revenue to the state.



City officials in Jamestown are still awaiting word from the state Department of Environmental Conservation on whether it will name the city as lead agency for the process of annexing about four-acres of land in the village of Falconer. 


The City Council was updated on the process of trying to obtain the property the Board of Public Utilities' Dow Street Substation is located on by Mayor Sam Teresi during Monday night's work session. 


Teresi says the Falconer Village and, Ellicott Town Boards have objected to the city being lead agency but, adds all three parties could hear back from the DEC "any day now."  He says the DEC's decision needs to be rendered shortly because all three boards have to vote on the proposed annexation within 90-days of the June 12 public hearing held at Falconer Middle-High School.  He says the city is already preparing for the second phase of an environmental assessment which he says should be fairly "straight-forward." 


The city began looking into the annexation after the BPU requested it back in January.  City officials say the move would save about $325,000 in taxes paid out. But the village, town and Falconer School District will lose significant tax payments.



Interim Jamestown School Superintendent Sylvia Root says she's enjoyed her work and, the people in the district but, it's time to turn the reigns over to the new, permanent superintendent. 


Root attended her final school board meeting last night at Washington Middle School and is wraping up a six-month stay in the district. 


New superintendent Bret Apthorpe begins work in the district a week from Friday, Sept. 1.  Root expressed her appreciation to the board and administrators for their help in doing what she needed to during her short tenure.  She did admit to one surprise during her time as interim superintendent that being the incredible support the district gets from the community at-large and, various organizations such as the Chautauqua Striders.  She says there are also individuals that provide a lot of help and support. 


Root says she has been working closely with Apthorpe to make sure he's up to date on what's happening in the district.  She says classes start in the Jamestown district on Wednesday, Sept. 6.



Authorities say a 4-year-old boy who plunged off a cliff into a western New York gorge with his parents has internal injuries, multiple fractures and a head injury. 


Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard said Monday that Alexander Green is listed in guarded condition in the intensive care unit at Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. 


That's an improvement from the day before, when he was listed in critical condition.  His parents, William and Amanda Green, of Buffalo, were found dead Sunday in the Zoar Valley Gorge.


Alexander was found with them.  Rescuers discovered a discarded sneaker that was too big for the 4-year-old. 


A couple of hours later, they found the couple's 7-year-old Jacob wandering around.  The sheriff says Jacob has a broken right arm and ankle and is in good condition.