Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Fri., May 28, 2021

City man pleads guilty to federal drug and weapons charges...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to federal drug and firearms charges after being arrested for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine from a home more than a year ago.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced Thursday that 36 year-old Richard Kinsey, Jr. entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Prosecutors say in September of 2019, investigators raided a Newland Avenue home Kinsey shared with co-defendent Brandi Whitford.  During the search, three guns were recovered... and, a fourth was thrown from inside the home.  In addition, investigators recovered about 159 grams of methamphetamine... just over $12,000 in cash... ammunition, and drug paraphernalia.  Kinsey was later arrested on federal warrants in February of 2020 as he tried to flee a home on Hedges Avenue.  Investigators recovered a quantity of meth, a digital scale, paraphernalia, brass knuckles, and a loaded handgun.  Kennedy says the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of life.


Sheriff says "Stop-DWI" campaign underway for Memorial Day Weekend...
With the holiday weekend approaching... Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone has announced the "STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign" for Memorial Day and Weekend.  Quattrone says it get's underway Friday and will run through Tuesday, June 1.  He recently spoke about plans about a crackdown on impaired driving... and, says they'll have extra patrols and details out working with other local and state agencies.  AAA expects travel this Memorial Day weekend to be up 60-percent over last year.  Quattrone says it's important for motorists to keep safety in mind... by leaving your cell phone alone, and keep your speeds down.  He's also announced that the STOP-DWI Foundation has created a new mobile app, “Have A Plan” that is available as a free download for smart phones to help find safe rides home no matter where you may be celebrating.


The 40th anniversary 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series officially a go for this August in Jamestown...
It's official:  The 40th anniversary 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series is set for Jamestown's Diethrick Park this coming August 14-21.  Public Relations Division Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says they are "proud" to be able to hold the event after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ecklund says this will be the 18th World Series that has been held in Jamestown since 1980.  At that time... Babe Ruth Baseball held it's first-ever 13 year-old series in Jamestown.  The Babe Ruth Board of Directors are in the process of finalizing all the plans for the event.


County Legislature approved Young Hunters pilot program for 12 and 13 year-olds...
A local law allowing Chautauqua County to take part in a pilot program that allows for a 'youth deer hunting' program for 12 and 13 year-olds has been approved by the legislature.  Lawmakers voted 18-1 Wednesday night in favor of the proposal... which requires the youth to be licensed, and they must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or mentor while hunting.  Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin believes the measure takes safety into full account.  District 14 Republican Dan Pavlock says he likes the law because it promotes family activity, safety and education.  District 16 Republican John Davis... a teacher himself... says he sees the importance of teaching safety -- especially to young hunters.  The new law is within provisions of New York's Enviromental Conservation Law... and, allows the young hunters to use a crossbow... rifle... shotgun or muzzle-loading rifle.  The only 'no' vote was cast by Jamestown Democrat Bob Whitney.


JHS will be able to hold two graduation ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution with up to 500 people attending...
The way has been cleared for Jamestown High School to have two graduation ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution next month.  Jamestown School Superintendent, Kevin Whitaker, says the district got the official word from the New York State Health Department in Albany late Wednesday.  Whitaker says they were approved for up to 500 people in the outdoor venue and they don't have to give their COVID vaccine or test status to attend.  The new rules... which apply to all Chautauqua County schools... also increase the indoor limit to 250 people.  Dr. Whitaker says JHS will actually hold two ceremonies on June 25th.  The district late Thursday said the ceremonies will be at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Up to 150 graduates will take part in each... and, they'll initially be able to invite three people to the ceremony.  Additional details will follow at the JHS graduation webpage... jpsny.org/2021.


Cook named as new Superintendent for Randolph Academy... 
The middle and high school principal for the Panama Central School District has been named as the new superintendent for the Randolph Academy Union Free School district.  The Randolph school board approved the appointment of Danielle Cook during this week's meeting.  School officials say Cook... whose career in education spans over 15 years... will begin her new duties on July 1st.  Cook has been principal at Panama since 2017... and prior to her current role, she served for three years as school psychologist for the Panama and Clymer Central School districts.