Local News Headlines
A preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday for the four men accused of murdering a town of Carroll couple last week was cancelled. But... District Attorney David Foley says a new court date has been set for this morning in the case. Contacted late Thursday... Foley would not comment on the nature of the court appearance... but, he does say the four did NOT waive their preliminary hearing. Today's appearance will be in county court at 9:30 AM. 66 year-old Gordon... and, 59 year-old Joyce Skinner were found dead in their Wheeler Hill Road home back on April 17th. Sheriff Joe Gerace says the four suspects were arrested early the next morning in Elmira. They have been identified as 34-year-old David Coggins... 21 year-old Joshua McCormick... and, 18-year-olds Ricky Knickerbocker, and, Steven Todd. All four have been preliminarily charged with two counts each of second-degree murder.
A group of concerned residents -- and, friends of a missing Scoutmaster -- will take part in a land and water search for Dan Wolboldt this Sunday in Warren County. The 67 year-old Wolboldt was burning some paper just behind his home... along Conewango Creek... last March 30th when he went missing. Friend and fellow Boy Scout leader "Buster" Godden (Gah-DIN) says they already have 30 people signed up. The Land phase begins at 9 AM at the Dining Pavillion at Camp Olmstead near Scandia... while the water phase begins -- same time -- at the Conewango Creek in North Warren. Godden says the water search will be done in three sections. The first is the area from North Warren to Point Park. Godden says they'll use motorboats in that area. He says they'd like to get 30 more people for the search... and, to take part... you must be 18 years of age. Godden adds if you're part of the water search... you must have a PFD... and, a whistle. For more information... he says contact the Boy Scout Council in Warren.
Chautauqua County lawmakers began the process Wednesday night of renewing the county's added half-a-percent sales tax. The legislature approved a home rule request to the state to keep the overall tax at 7.5-percent, 22-to-3. Majority Leader Larry Barmore supported the measure... saying it's critical to retain the extra point-5 percent to maintain county operations. Barmore generally opposes increased taxes... but, adds that if the half-a-percent was NOT renewed for another two years... it would result in a huge property tax increase. Barmore says counties can automatically charge a 7-percent tax... with four-percent going to the state... and, three-percent to the counties. Half of that goes to local cities, towns and villages. Barmore adds that 30-percent of the added half-a-percent goes to local municipalities. Jamestown Democrat Lori Cornell cast one of the "no" votes. She says she's consistantly voted against that... and, other tax increases. Barmore says the city of Jamestown gets an additional 530-thousand dollars a year from the added half-a-percent... and, would likely have to increase property taxes if that wasn't available. Cornell argues the cost of government needs to be cut... and, made more efficient... and, more needs to be done to stimulate the economy.
A state-funded nonprofit addiction treatment group has been accused of paying for excessive executive perks in a report that also says an employee bought Walmart gift cards for alcohol and cigarettes. The report released Wednesday by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office says Phoenix Houses of New York provided 223-thousand dollars worth of inappropriate perks, including bonuses and cars for executives, while under contract with the state. During the period examined, the organization received 8.5-million dollars from the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services to provide gambling and substance abuse services. Investigators say one employee made 4-thousand dollars in inappropriate purchases of Walmart gift cards to buy alcohol, cigarettes and other items and then attempted to conceal the purchases by submitting invalid receipts. A Phoenix House spokeswoman declined comment until she could review the report.
Two Jamestown-area men are this year's "Co-Volunteers of the Year" at WCA Hospital. Retirees Robert Scott and Robert Gray were honored... along with other volunteers... during the hospital's annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards Luncheon yesterday. Scott and Gray often volunteer together for work... and, both accumulated the most hours in 2012. Scott says they've both been at it about 11 years... and, peform their volunteer work in many parts of the hospital. Gray ended up with the most hours volunteered in 2012 with 882.... while Scott was second with 780. Scott says they help move patients for testing or surgery... or back to their rooms. He says they like to joke with them to help ease their situation for them. Scott says both he and Gray volunteer mostly three... or sometimes four days a week at WCA. Scott is retired from Phillips Lighting and Warren County Government... while Grey worked 43 years at MRC Bearings.