Authorities are searching for a small plane carrying three people that lost contact with air traffic controllers in western New York. Chautauqua County Sheriff James Quattrone says the twin-engine plane was carrying a pilot and two passengers and was near Jamestown, New York, when it was last heard from shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday. The FAA says the Grumman American GA-7 was about a mile from the airport when controllers lost contact. It departed from Burlington Alamance Regional Airport in Burlington, North Carolina. The Jamestown area was experiencing wind gusts of about 25 to 30 mph with light snow Sunday night.
Conditions should improve as the morning goes on... but, much of Chautauqua County is getting it's first real taste of Winter weather today. Fortunately, Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says once we get past Tuesday... we'll see warming, and dryer conditions for the next several days. By Wednesday... Hitchcock says we'll see highs bouncing back up into the upper 50s... and, we will see the low to mid 60s by the end of the week.
There are 28 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County from the past weekend. Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there were 13 more cases announced on Sunday... after 15 were reported on Saturday. Currently... Wendel's office reports there have been 1,088 confirmed cases since the pandemic began last March. More information will be announced this afternoon.
Friendly's Restaurants, an East Coast dining chain known for its sundaes, is filing for bankruptcy protection. All 130 of its locations will remain open while in restructures under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Substantially all of its assets are being sold to the restaurant company, Amici Partners Group. The pandemic has hit the restaurant sector hard, particularly those that rely on people in their dining rooms. At least 10 chains have filed for bankruptcy protection since the pandemic began this year. But Friendly's Restaurant, like most other chains that have stumbled this year, had been struggling. In April 2019... the chain announced the closing of the Jamestown Friendly's location, however, the one in Olean in Cattaraugus County appears to remain open.
Ground has been broken for the new Hospice House facility to be located next to the organization's headquarters on West Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood. Chautauqua Hospice Executive Director Shauna Anderson says they're pleased to be moving forward with the project... which involves the property at 32 West Fairmount Avenue. Anderson says they also revealed it's name... the "Star Hospice House." She says it honors legacy gift donors Stanley and Elizabeth Star, and will house up to five people at a time.
Anderson says they have now raised about $1.8-million dollars for the $2.1-million project to build the Star Hospice House. She says it will use the existing structure on the property, and build onto the house to create a five-bedroom facility for people in end-of-life care. Anderson says donations are still welcome for the project... either by sending a check to Hospice, or going to their website, and paying through Pay Pal.
Seven people from Jamestown have been indicted, and arrested on federal charges for allegedly running a drug trafficking ring in the area. U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that a federal grand jury returned a 34-count indictment charging them for their allegedly roles. Kennedy says the main actor was Rocco Beardsley... and, he and Tyler Tedesco, Miller Hagga, Kylie Reeves, Garland Beardsley, and Austin Gordon, are all charged with narcotics conspiracy. Rocco Beardsley is also faces other counts including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. For nearly the past two years... those six allegedly sold a variety of drugs from several residences in the city. A seventh defendant, Giselle Bennett, is charged with obstruction of justice.