Local News Headlines 4:54am 4/19/13
A town of Carroll couple has now been officially identifed as the victims of a home invasion Wednesday morning... and, four men have been arrested in connect with their deaths. During a press conference Thursday in Mayville... Sheriff Joe Gerace said that 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner were found dead about 9:30 AM Wednesday in their burning home on Wheeler Hill Road. A somber Gerace described it as - quote - "one of the most disturbing and troubling incidents" he's ever seen. Gerace says all four suspects were were arrested early Thursday morning in Elmira... thanks to quick work by first responders... and, good information from the public. He adds this was NOT a random act of violence. Gerace identified the suspects as 34-year-old David Coggins... who had no known address... and, three Elmira men. They are 21 year-old Joshua McCormick... and, 18-year-olds Ricky Knickerbocker and, StevenTodd. Neither Gerace... nor District Attorney David Foley would say how the couple died... and, the investigation is continuing. While not saying how the Skinner's died... Gerace did say they don't believe a firearm was used. They have also impounded the car allegedly used in the crime and get-away.
Wednesday morning's incident has shocked the town of Carroll... which is one of Chautauqua County's smallest municipalities. Residents have taken to social media to try and sort out what's happened in the town of just over 3-thousand people. There was also praise for the quick work by police to apprehend the alleged suspects in the case. Carroll Police Chief Tim Wright says many people are "extremely scared...." Wright was among the police officials first on the scene at Gordon and Joyce Skinner's Wheeler Hill Road home. He says all that can be done to solve the homicide case is being done. Wright thanked community members for assisting in the search for the four suspects... saying they played a key role in the arrests in Elmira. Sheriff Gerace also thanked the State Police... and, Elmira and Chemung County Police agencies for their help in tracking down the suspects.
We can expect strong winds through-out the area until late this evening in the Jamestown-area. The National Weather Service has extended our Wind Advisory through Midnight TONIGHT. A High Wind Watch was discontinued early last evening. But... Forecaster Dave Thomas says wind speeds may still be a problem through-out the day today. Wind speeds ovenight through this morning could reach 50 miles an hour at times. Thunderstorms are forecast for late this morning as the cold front begins to move in. Thomas says gusts of over 50 MPH are possible locally as the front arrives. Temperatures will also plummet from about 65 to the upper 40s by late this afternoon. We reached 77-degrees in Jamestown yesterday.
Three people are dead and seven others were hurt in a crash on the state Thruway in the town of Brant -- just north of the Chautauqua County line -- Thursday morning. Thruway State Police say an eastbound mini-van struck a Thruway Authority dump truck that was parked in the median. The 27-year-old male driver... and a one-month-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene. Eight others were transported to area hospitals, either by medivac helicopters or ambulance. State Police say a 30-year-old woman later died of her injuries. Captain Douglas Montijo (Mon-TEE-Joe) says the group was returning to the Buffalo area from a trip to Florida. He told YNN there were more children in the vehicle than safety seats. Police investigators are looking into drowsy driving... or a medical condition as factors in the crash. The eastbound section of the Thruway was closed from Exit 58 in Silver Creek to Exit 57A near Angola... for about four hours.
More relief this week for Jamestown-area motorists this week... as gas prices have fallen to 3-dollars-86 cents for a gallon of regular, unleaded. The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge reports the price is down about a penny over last week. Triple-A adds this is the fourth-straight week of declining fuel prices in the area. On the National Front... the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is 3-dollars-52 cents. That's 8 cents lower than last week... and, 17 cents less than one month ago. The Triple-A says retail prices have dropped steadily since the end of February. But... the factors pressuring prices lower have changed during the decline. Prices fell to begin March as many refineries resumed normal operations... and, production concerns eased. This decline came even as crude oil prices moved higher. Weak demand and signs of economic weakness were cited as the recent causes.
A key Democratic state legislator has been formally indicted for plotting to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot as a Republican. State Senator Malcolm Smith and five other politicians are named in the indictment... which echoes a criminal complaint issued April 2nd. It says Smith schemed, with the help of City Councilman Daniel Halloran, to bribe GOP party leaders. It says two party leaders accepted cash bribes in exchange for agreeing to help.