Local News Headlines

News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 22, 2013

Local native among those killed in mortar explosion in Nevada during Marine training exercise...

A Jamestown native is among those who were killed earlier this week in a Marine night training exercise in Nevada.  The uncle of Lance Corporal Mason Vanderwark says his nephew was among the seven Marines killed when a mortar shell exploded late Monday night.  Mason... who was 21... and the others were members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.  His uncle -- Dwayne -- is in Hickory, North Carolina with Mason's widow, and his mother, Melissa.  Dwayne Vanderwark says the tragic part is that Mason had been doing this kind of work during two previous tours of duty overseas... including Iraq.  He says Mason  was on the "front lines" and didn't get a scratch.  Dwayne Vanderwark -- whose from Lakewood -- says it's been a difficult time for Mason's 19 year-old wife, Taylor, and his sister.  However... he says the support they're received from family, friends, and fellow Marines has been "overwhelming..." and, it helps.  Mason Vanderwark was born and raised in Jamestown... and, is the only son of Melissa Vanderwark.  His uncle says an autopsy is being performed on all seven Marines... and, the bodies should be released to the families late next week.  With that... funeral arrangments are incomplete.

Nurse at Jamestown V-A Clinic arrested for allegedly forging scripts for Oxycodone... 
A Jamestown woman has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury for conspiring to obtain prescription pain killers illegally... and, selling them.  U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr. says the grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment charging 46 year-old Samilyn Olson with obtaining oxycodone through fraud... forgery and subterfuge... unlawfully distributing oxycodone... and, conspiring to do so.  Hochul says Olson... who was a nurse at the Veteran's Affairs outpatient clinic in Jamestown... is accused of stealing presciption forms from a nurse practitioner there eight different times between May and September of 2010.  She then allegedly forged the nurse practitioner's name... and, wrote prescriptions for oxycodone.  Hochul says the prescriptions were then filled by Olson or others at a local pharmacy in Jamestown.  She was officially charged in Federal Court in Buffalo Thursday afternoon.  The conspiracy and distribution counts each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1-million fine.  The remaining counts each carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a$250,000 fine.

One person hurt in two-car crash in town of Chautauqua...

One person was hurt when his car was struck broadside by another vehicle Thursday night on Plank Road in the town of Chautauqua.  Sheriff's officers say 22 year-old Nicholas Shields of Mayville was pulling out of his driveway about 8 p.m. when his vehicle was struck by the second car.  Deputies say neither Shields... nor the driver of the second car... 25 yearold Michael Cochrane... was able to avoid the accident.  Both cars spun into ditches along the side of the road... and, partially blocked the roadway.  Shields was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries... while Cochrane... and, his wife, Brandy... and their one-year-old daughter, were not hurt.  Shields is charged with failure to yield.  The investigation is continuing... and, more charges are pending.

Second and final Maple Weekend set for this Saturday and Sunday...

The second of this year's Maple Weekends will be this Saturday and Sunday.  Three Chautauqua County maple producers will be open to the public.  At Big Tree Maple at Hunt and Big Tree Roads in Busti... Lloyd Munsee says there's just one thing they won't have... and, that's sap to boil.  However... they'll have Sugar House tours, and explain the process.  Munsee says they've made one-third the amount of syrup they had by this point last year.  But he remains optimistic for later in the month.  Munsee believes there is still time to make more Maple syrup this Spring.  Clear Creek Maple on Morris Road in Mayville and Fairbanks Maple on Putnam Road in Forestville will also be open for Maple Weekend.  The hours at all locations will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  More information is available on-line at www.mapleweekend.com.

Jamestown's Easter Egg Hunt to be held indoors on Sat., March 30th due to expected weather conditions...

The city of Jamestown's 66th annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held at Allen Park a week from this Saturday.  However... it won't be held outside.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi Thursday as he joined Parks and Recreation officials in announcing the traditional Easter event.  Teresi says they'll be using the former ice rink at Allen Park because weather conditions aren't expected to be very "Spring-like" next Saturday, Mar. 30.  Even if there is a warm-up... Teresi says with all the snow we've received in recent days... condition will be wet... and probably muddy.  He says as the parent of young children at one time, and bringing home muddy kids, they felt it was the best option.  However... Teresi says they still have the option of holding it outdoors if there's an unexpected warm-up.   However... whether the egg hunt is held indoors or out... City Recreation Director Julia Ciesla-Hanley says they'll have 3,000 chocolate eggs ready for the kids.... along with 30 prize eggs.  Ciesla-Hanley says things will still kick-off at 10:30 a.m. with the arrival of the Easter Bunny.  Media One station WJTN will also be doing a live broadcast.  The Media One Group is one of several sponsors for the event.  Ciesla-Hanley adds the Jamestown Community College Student Ambassadors Club helped stuff the 3,000 chocolate eggs with candy.  In addition... she says children will be allowed into the Egg Hunt one age group at a time if it is held inside the former ice rink.  Children ages 12 and under are invited to attend.

National Fuel crews track odor issue in Frewsburg to overuse of "odorant..."

There was no public safety hazard... and, no natural gas leak.  But... it sure smelled like one in the Frewsburg area yesterday and last night.  National Fuel Gas Spokeswoman Karen Merkel says they were first alerted about an odor of natural gas yesterday morning.  However... responding crews initially found no leak.  Merkel says they continued looking through the day... into late last night.  Merkel says crews determined that it was an odorant that they add to the gas to give it the "sulphur" smell it has so people know there may be a leak.  She says there was apparently too much of the odorant put in that part of the system.  Crews not only found no leaks... but, no gas readings, either.



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