Local News Headlines

Sinclairville man pleads guilty to federal drug conspiracy charges...
A Sinclairville man has pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to traffic amounts of acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced Friday that 38 year-old Tracy Griffin entered the pleas before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine.  Kennedy says prosecutors found that Griffin and co-defendent Brandon Blackshear conspired to sell the drugs to undercover agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force on two occasions in January of 2019.  He says charges are pending against Blackshear.  Kennedy says the charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a one-million dollar fine.  Sentencing will be held in October.

City woman rescued from gorge after getting lost while hiking...
A Jamestown woman reported lost while hiking in the Hannum Road Gorge area of the county was found and is safe after being treated for minor injuries.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 9:30 p.m. Thursday... and, the K-9 unit deployed K-9 Bentley to look for 27 year-old Kathleen Johnston.  Deputies say she was found in the creek bed of the gorge... but, she was unable to walk out on her own.  Erie County Sheriff's Office Air-One was requested and attempted to land to extricate Johnston.. but, was unable to.  The Chautauqua County Tech Rescue Team arrived on scene and was able to get her out of the gorge.  Johnston was treated at the scene for minor injuries.  State Forest Rangers, Mayville Fire Dept and Chautauqua Fire dept assisted on scene with the rescue.

Two more COVID-19 cases confirmed in Chautauqua County on Friday...
Two more cases of the coronavirus have been reported today by Chautauqua County officials... while one other has been transferred to the appropriate county.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the two new cases are a woman in her 30s... and, a man in his 60s.  The transferred case is a man in his 20s.  Wendel says there have now been 218 confirmed cases... while the number of active cases has fallen to 16.  One person is hospitalized.  He says 194 people have now recovered... while 210 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  Wendel says 778 people under the "domestic traveler quarantine" for having  in the county a state listed on the New York travel advisory... and, there have now been 21,528 negative test results.

While there may be a lot of "sound and fury" in coming week, Reed says there will be a fourth stimulus bill...
It appears that lawmakers -- right now -- are far apart on a fourth COVID-19 Stimulus bill and what should be in it.  The House Democratic Majority is touting it's $3-trillion package... while the GOP-led Senate is looking more at a $1-trillion package that helps local governments, and extends some unemployment benefits.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says he still believes a bill will be approved before lawmakers have their August break... according to discussions he's been part of.  As for direct local aid... Reed says that would not pass through states... but, go directly to local communities of less than half-a-million people to help cover their COVID-related expenses.  The Corning Republican says he also wants child care issues addressed before school resumes in person or on-line in the Fall.  While some lawmakers want to continue with $600 a week unemployment benefits... others want the amount cut because for many workers, there's little incentive to go back to work.  Reed says he would rather see a sliding scale of unemployment based on the workers actual pay.  He made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.

Cuomo calls for probe into NYS ban from Trusted Traveler programs...
Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for federal probes into New York's ejection from trusted traveler security programs.  The Democratic governor's call comes a day after Republican President Donald Trump's administration reversed itself and told a court it had misrepresented the facts in a lawsuit over the programs that allow vetted travelers to avoid long security lines at airports.  On Friday... Cuomo called it an illegal act of political abuse by Trump administration officials.  Cuomo called for investigations by Attorney General William Barr and congressional Democrats.

State Legislature wraps up legislative session with flurry of bill approvals...
State lawmakers have wrapped up work on bills ranging from automatic voter registration to two new public holidays celebrating Juneteenth and Abolition Commemoration Day.  The state Senate and Assembly worked into the evening Thursday on bills addressing calls for a reckoning on the nation's history of slavery and racism, a law shielding nursing homes from lawsuits amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to make it easier to vote in the November election.  Several bills, including a moratorium on facial recognition programs at schools, will eventually head to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who then faces a 10-day deadline to act.

Man arrested for burglary in Mayville...         
A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly burglarizing a home in the village earlier this month.  Sheriff's officers say they investigated the break-in at an undisclosed location on July 8... and, it led to the arrest of 30 year-old Eric Courtier.  Courtier was issued appearance tickets for third-degree burglary, fourth-degree Grand Larceny, criminal possession of Stolen Property... and, third-degree criminal mischief in Chautauqua Town Court at a later time.

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WJTN Headlines for Fri. August 14, 2020

City man to spend 6 1/2 years in federal prison on drug trafficking charges... A Jamestown man has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in federal prison for conspiring to traffic significant amoun...

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