Local News Headlines

JPS Superintendent says state has okayed moving ahead with graduation at the Chautauqua Amphitheater with 500 people for two ceremonies...
The way has been cleared for Jamestown High School to have commencement at Chautauqua Institution next month.  Jamestown School Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Whitaker, says the district got the official word from state Health Department in Albany late Wednesday.  Whitaker says those 500 people attending each ceremony would not have to provide proof of vaccination, nor a COVID-19 test.  He says that changes the situation "significantly."  The new rules which apply to all Chautauqua County schools also increase the indoor limit to 250 people.  JHS will have actually do the same graduation twice... on the same day.  He says the times will be announced, but, both will take place on Friday, June 25.  Additional details will follow at the JHS graduation web page... jpsny.org/2021.


Luz Torres approved unanimously by legislature as new Democratic Elections commissioner...
After several months of division within the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee... party members on the county legislature are supporting the committee's choice for elections commissioner.  The full legislature last nigth unanimously approved the appointment of Dunkirk's Luz Torres to the post.  Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro says, while the caucus disagrees with a recent court ruling paving the way for Torres to be approved, they disagree with the process.  Nazzaro adds they feel it's "time to move on because there are other important issues, like beginning work on the 2022 budget, that need attention.  All five members of the Democratic Caucus spoke prior to the vote.  Fellow Jamestown lawmaker Bob Whitney echoed Nazzaro's sentiments.  Former Elections Commissioner Norm Green, who also chairs the county Democratic Committee, had forwarded Torres' name after a "weighted vote" of the committee.  However... several members balked at the process, and pushed for Loren Kent to be named.  The legislature went along with the move earlier this year.  But... a State Supreme Court Judge ruled that they had to approve the person approved by the committee.


Coleman sentenced to 30 Months in federal prison in drug case...
A Jamestown who was on parole is going back to prison after being convicted of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in early 2019.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced Wednesday that 28 year-old Shaquelle Coleman was sentenced in federal court in Buffalo to 30 months in federal prison.  Prosecutors say Coleman was arrested with another parolee, Earl Stone, in January of 2019 for violating terms of their parole.  Both men were found in an upstairs bedroom on West Seventh Street... where police seized $1,400 in cash... a quantity of suspected crack cocaine, a digital scale with white residue, and three cell phones.  Stone has already been sentenced to 32 months in prison.


Post pleads guilty to child pornography, and is indicted on child sexual abuse, and rape...
A man from northern Chautauqua County has been formally indicted by the county Grand Jury on a dozen Felony counts for sexually abusing several young girls.  In addition... federal authorities say 25 year-old Dustin Post has also pleaded guilty to several child pornography charges in connection with the case.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt announced the indictments during a Wednesday morning press conference in Mayville.  Schmidt says seven different children, ages 1 to 12, were allegedly involved.  He says the victims were mainly from the Fredonia and Silver Creek areas.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. of Buffalo was also at the press conference... and, says the investigation began in 2019 after the mother of an 8 year-old victim filed a complaint with State Police.  Kennedy says the child was interviewed... and, later Post was also interviewed and they seized a number of electronic devices.  Post pled guilty to five federal counts of production, and possession of child pornography for video taping several of the incidents, and posting them on the Internet.  When sentenced in October... Kennedy says Post faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison... a maximum of 50... and, a $250,000 fine.  He's currently jailed on $1-million cash bail.


City man arrested for violent domestic incident...
A Jamestown man is accused of holding a woman down on the ground, and choking her during a domestic violence incident on the city's westside Tuesday night.  City police were called to a Baker Street location about 8 p.m., and, learned that 34 year-old Steven Bates  held the unidentified woman on the ground -- by the neck -- making it difficult to breath.  Bates was also found inside the home... and, he was arrested after initially pulling away from officers.  He's charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second degree obstruction, and endangering the welfare of a child.  Bates was jailed pending arraignment.


Borrello applauds Assembly passage of Nourish NY program, urges Cuomo to sign it...
The New York State Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a companion bill to legislation that was approved by the State Senate in March that would establish the food-to-farm bank initiative -- Nourish New York -- as a permanent state program.  Senator George Borrello, who co-sponsored the Senate bill, says Nourish NY has quickly become a lifeline for food insecure New Yorkers, as well as struggling farmers.  Borrello says the program has helped more than 4,000 New York farms and provided New York-produced food to over 1.3-million households in need.  The Sunset Bay Republican added that "it was one of the silver linings of this crisis and the advocacy for its continuation has come from all corners."