Local News Headlines

Local News Headlines 4:45am 4/18/13


Two people are dead in the town of Carroll... and, police investigators say they're deaths are "suspicious."  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says deputies were called to the scene near the scene on Wheeler Hill Road about 9:30 yesterday morning after Frewsburg and Kiantone firefighters were initially called to the scene for a fire.  Gerace says fire crews made the grizzly discovery fairly quickly... and, called Carroll Town Police... and, his office.
While confirming that two people were found dead... Gerace would say little else.  Sources have told us it is a man and a woman... but, the sheriff refused comment... saying they were still in the very early stages of the investigation.  Gerace says his department's Forensic Investigation Team is looking around the house right now.District Attorney David Foley was also at the scene... and, confirmed a search warrant had been obtained so officials could investigate the scene. The Sheriff's Department has not said why... but, Frewsburg school officials did confirm the Junior-Senior High School... and, the Robert H. Jackson Elementary School were locked-down this afternoon.  The move... which meant no one could get into the school... was a precaution.  Students were taken home at dismissal... or released to their parents.


It was a harrowing experience... but, the news is all good for local runners -- and relatives of runners -- who were at the Boston Marathon Monday when two bombs exploded near the finish line.  Dave Freeman is the husband of local native Diane Pannis.  She is the sister of Maple Grove High School Athletic Director Pete Pannis.  Freeman says she was at the finish line waiting for him in an area reserved for family members as he was less than half-a-mile from the finish line.  He says they both heard the first explosion -- and everyone froze.  Then the second bomb went off. Freeman says he was stopped about 4-tenths of a mile from the finish line.  He was able to contact her with his cell phone... and, after finding out the other was okay... they both immediately left separately... and met up at their hotel near Logan Airport.  In combat... Freeman says you don't go to a bomb site.  He says you let the professionals deal with it.  Both Dave and Diane Freeman are in the U-S Army.


Gun rights advocates have asked a federal judge to block New York authorities from enforcing new bullet limits for magazines... and, the new definition of assault weapons that can no longer be legally bought or sold.  The New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association, sportsmen's groups, firearms businesses and individual gun owners say the new statute is unconstitutional, prohibiting citizens from keeping commonly used firearms for home defense and other lawful purposes.  Attorney Brian Stapleton says Tuesday they hope Judge William Skretny will issue a preliminary injunction and hold a hearing within the next three weeks.  Defending the state... Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Ahlstrom says the claims have no merit.  He notes the motion was filed three months after the law passed, undercutting any argument of ``perceived imminent harm.''


A local non-profit organization that works with and advocates for local victims of child sexual abuse will be hosting it's biggest fund-raiser of the year this Saturday night.  The Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County will hold it's "Diamond Dinner Auction" at the Chautauqua Golf Club at 7 PM.  CAP Executive Director Jana McDermott says the program was created several years ago by a joint effort involving the District Attorney's office, local law enforcement, and child advocates.  McDermott says it was modeled after the national Child Advocacy Centers. McDermott says CAP works with between 300 to 400 children a year... and, it costs about 14-thousand dollars to help just one of them... so the dinner is important to them.  They'll have a cocktail hour beginning at 6 PM... and, the 7 o'clock dinner is being catered by Andriaccio's Restaurant.  McDermott says the "big item" will be given away that night.  That's a Diamond Ring... and, will be given to one lucky ticket holder. There'll also be an auction... and, CAP will hand out it's annual "Champion of Children" award during the event.  For more information... call 338-9844... or go on-line to Capjustice-dot-ORG.


U-S Senator Charles Schumer says farmers, especially in the dairy industry, will find it easier to secure a reliable labor force under sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws proposed in an 844-page bipartisan bill.  Schumer says the bill, filed early Wednesday morning, creates a new visa program that will allow farmers to hire year-round workers and end reliance on illegal laborers.


Wholesale natural gas prices are rising, and that's bringing sighs of relief from drilling companies, states that get revenue based on prices and even the coal industry -- because gas no longer has a huge price advantage.  Federal energy statistics show natural gas prices have more than doubled in the past year.