Local News Headlines

Jamestown Firefighters made quick work of a structure fire at 132 Barrows Street last night. According to their Facebook page... crews were called to the scene about 11:30 PM to the vacant home. No cause has been announced. More details are expected to be released later today. 

A city man has now been identified as the boater reported missing on Chautauqua Lake... who was found dead from an apparent drowing just before Noon Monday.  The Chautauqua County Water Emergency Team was assisted by the State Police Underwater Recovery Team in finding the victim, 46 year-old Brian Twardeski, using sonar in the area where he went missing about 2:30 PM Sunday in the town of North Harmony.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says Twardeski's family had been swimming off the boat when a storm came up.

Quattrone says the Sheriff's Department Navigation Team was called to the scene... but, the weather and water conditions forced them to call off the search about 5 PM Sunday.  A woman and three children were able to get back to the boat safely.  In addition to the police rescue teams... the Bemus Point, Ashville and Lakewood Fire Department water rescue teams assisted at the scene.

A bank customer helped turn-back a would be robber late Monday morning at the Community Bank branch on East Main Street in Falconer.  Ellicott Town Police were called to the scene at 1982 East Main shortly before 12 Noon on a report of a man trying to hold-up the bank.  Officers say the suspect... 38 year-old Jason Maisonet... reportedly told bank employees to open the safe several times... but, the unidentified customer in the lobby intervened, and told Maisonet to leave.  He refused... and, the customer then took control of Maisonet, and took him out the front door.  He was arrested by officers once they arrived.  Maisonet was charged with third-degree robbery, and was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for an evaluation.

A Fredonia man lost his life in a motorcycle crash on Fredonia-Stockton Road in the town of Pomfret Saturday afternoon. According to the Observer, an investigation by the State Police indicated that 31-year-old Timothy Vogt was following three friends on motorcycles when he apparently lost control of the motorcycle he was riding, crossed the center line and struck a trailer that was being towed by a pick-up truck. The newspaper says State Troopers indicated the motorcycle was traveling around 40 mph at the time of the crash and that no alcohol was involved.

Two new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Chautauqua County over the past day... bringing the local total to 202.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says they are a woman in her 30s... and, a woman in her 60s.  He says there are now 19 active cases... with two hospitalized.  Wendel says 175 cases have now recovered... while 738 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders and are being monitored.  He says there have now been 20,120 negative test results to date.

A new executive order from Governor Cuomo directing that all restaurants and bars across the state can only serve alcohol to people who are ordering and eating food is already having an impact on some local businesses.  Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek says the directive is apparently effecting some of the establishments that serve alcohol in the village. Essek did not indicate any specific businesses... but, he says some afraid of being shut-down again.  The mayor also reiterated the importance of following social distancing guidelines. 

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been sentenced to 6.5- years in prison.  The sentencing Monday by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni came after she insisted that the 76-year-old Democrat come to court rather than appear remotely.  In a handwritten letter to the judge... Silver had asked that he be spared a prison term that would cause him to die in prison.  Prosecutors had urged that he go to prison for seven years for his bribery and extortion conviction.  A 2015 conviction was overturned on appeal.. but, Silver was convicted again in 2018.

The first-ever 'virtual' Four-H meat animal sale in Chautauqua County turned out pretty well for most of the young people involved.  The 24-hour event wrapped up at 6 PM last Friday.  Cornell Cooperative Extension Four-H and Youth Educator, Kate Ewer, says some species did better than others.

The sale went on-line after the Chautauqua County Fair was cancelled because of COVID-19.  That reduced the number of animals up for bid as well.  One highlight, according to Kate Ewer, was the hog raised by Levi Overend, a second year member from the Levant Livewires club.  It sold for more than $2,000 after getting numerous bids.  Levi had put together a slick video to help market his animal.  Ewer says they may find a way to include videos and some on-line bidding for future sales.  But, otherwise, they look forward to having a live auction next year, if circumstances will allow.

A Portville man has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping a child from a home in the Cattaraugus County village last week.  State Police in Olean say they arrested 18 year-old Devonte Connor for allegedly taking the child to a home in Salamanca without the permission or knowledge of the child's parent.  Troopers charged Connor with second-degree kidnapping... and, second-degree burglary in the case.  He was arraigned in Portville Village Court... then sent to the county jail without bail.