Local News Headlines

"Despondent" student removed from Washington Middle School...
No one was hurt during a "despondent student" situation at Jamestown's Washington Middle School this morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson confirms that officers were called to the scene on Buffalo Street just after 9 a.m., and, located the troubled student.  Samuelson says no one was hurt... and, officers were able to secure the student safely.  Jamestown School officials say the situation was under control by shortly before 10 a.m.  Samuelson says the student was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for a mental health evaluation.  He says the school district notified parents and staff about the incident.


Jamestown teen arrested for allegedly setting fires at city restaurant, behind JHS...
A city teen has been arrested for allegedly starting fires inside a northside restaurant... and, behind Jamestown High School last weekend.  City police and fire investigators were called to Fifties Grill and Dairy at 1514 Washington St. this past Sunday night for a fire that started in a bathroom, and partially burned a wall.  Investigators found an incindiary device, and reviewed surveillance video, and identified the suspect as 19 year-old Xavier Guadarrma.  Investigators are also probing a separate incident where a similar device was found on the lawn behind the high school.  Police believe it was left there between last Friday and Monday morning.  That fire caused minor damage to the outside of the building, and a grassy area behind the school.  Guadarrma was also captured on surveillance video during that incident.  He was arrested Tuesday afternoon for first, third and fifth degree arson.  More charges are pending.


Uncle of Jamestown drug trafficking kingpin pleads guilty to helping nephew...
A relative of a known Jamestown drug-trafficking ring-leader has pled guilty to charges for helping his nephew sell large amounts of methamphetamine, and other drugs, in the area.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Wednesday announced that 53 year-old Garland, also known as "Charlie" Beardsley, entered the plea to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in Federal Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Charlie Beardsley is the uncle of Rocco Beardsley... and the older Beardsley was an "associate" of his nephew in trafficking meth, heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, cocaine, and hydrocodone in the Jamestown area from 2018 through last October.  They add that Rocco Beardsley stored, distributed, and made meth... as well as dealing heroin-and-fentanyl, and other controlled substances at the defendant’s Newland Avenue home.  Earlier this year... a person working with federal investigators bought crystal meth from Rocco Beardsley at the defendant’s residence.  Charges are pending against Rocco Beardsley. 


City officials discuss NYS Recreational Marijuana program, legislation...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will have to decide by the end of the year whether to opt out of New York state's new Cannibus Distribution legislation.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist discussed the new law approved as part of the state's recent budget agreement.  Sundquist says... if the city decides to allow for dispenseries and on-site consumption establishments... they wouldn't have to do anything.  He says if lawmakers decide to opt-out, they would then have to hold a public, permissive referendum before the end of the year as well.  Sundquist says he's already received multiple inquiries about the city opting in or out of the recreational marijuana program.  However... Councilwoman Marie Carrubba warns that setting up dispensaries is not a small proposition.  Police Chief Timothy Jackson says their big concern is people driving while high on marijuana.  Jackson says JPD currently has one officer who is a trained "Drug Recognition Expert..." and they plan on training another person soon.  Under the legislation... Sundquist says marijuana sales would be taxed at 13-percent... with 9-percent going to the state.  He says the municipality involved would receive 3-percent, and the county, one-percent.


NYSUT weighs in on state's new guidance on 6 to 3-feet social distancing...
New York state's largest teachers union is now weighing in on new social distancing guidelines approved for use by the state Health Department.  In March, the Centers for Disease Control revised its federal pandemic guidelines... and, now New York’s Department of Health has clarified how those guidelines should be applied in the state.  While the C-D-C recommends reducing social distancing requirements from 6 feet to 3 feet in classrooms, the new state guidance specifies circumstances when six feet of distance should be used.  New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta adds the new state guidance goes a step further... in mandating the wearing of masks.  Pallotta says, before, it was only a guideline.  While NYSUT is supportive of the new guidance... Pallotta believes the state should do more to help control outbreaks and identify students and staff who may be infected but asymptomatic.  He believes the best way to do that is with a stringent testing requirement, which is not being done right now.  Pallotta says only 57 of the 700 districts in the state are doing any kind of COVID testing program.  He emphasizes teachers and school staff agree with parents that the best place for students to learn is in the classroom.