Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 28, 2021

Three swimmers rescued from cliffs off Lake Erie near Ripley Beach...
Three people had to be rescued from Lake Erie yesterday afternoon after they were caught by a strong current near Ripley Beach.  Sheriff's officers say the county's Water Emergency Team was called to the scene in the town of Ripley about 1:15 p.m. to assist the Ripley Fire Department with a rescue.  Deputies say the trio... who were not identified... were swimming when one of them got pulled away by the current.  Officers say the person began to have difficulties swimming.  The other two subjects assisted in getting that person to the cliff face... but, were unable to make it back to the beach do to the current.  The county's WET Team, assisted by The Fuller Hose Water Rescue Team from North East, Pennsylvania, were able to pull two of the subjects from the cliff face and secure them in a boat.  The third subject was able to climb up the cliff to safety on his own.  All three were evaluated at the scene and released.


Investigation underway into County Jail inmate's death...
Chautauqua County Corrections officials are investigating the death of a county jail inmate early this past Monday morning.  The Sheriff's Office reports an unidentified, 65 year-old man began having chest pains and difficulty breathing.  Correction's officers took appropriate action, and contacted Emergency Medical Services, who responded to the Jail.  They say the man was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment.  But... on arrival at the emergency room... he became unresponsive and medical staff were unable to revive him.  Due to new state law... the Attorney Generals Office was notified, and sent a Detective to the jail to further investigate.  The state Commission of Corrections has also been notified and will also conduct an investigation.


City man arrested for alleged burglary after falling from second-story roof...
A Jamestown man accused of trying to burglarize an eastside home was arrested after leading police on a foot chase in which he jumped from the second-story of another house to avoid capture.  City police were called to 12 Jeffords St. shortly after 9 p.m. Monday... and, got a description of the man involved... who had just fled the scene.  The department's K-9 Unit was called in... and, they later found the suspect -- Marcos Reyes -- getting out of a neighbor's vehicle.  Officers tried to stop Reyes... but, he led them on a foot chase before he ran into a home on East Second Street.  Officers say he went to the second-floor roof... but, then fell as he tried to jump down to the ground.  Reyes was then arrested for petty larceny, and second-degree obstruction.  Reyes was jailed on the new charges, and an outstanding county court warrant.


Sundquist announces remaining funds have been acquired for Jamestown Skatepark project...
The city of Jamestown will be able to construct the new Skatepark on the westside all at once... thanks to left over Urban Development Action Grant funds.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who made the announcement with Public Works officials and others Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.  Sundquist says $480,000 in UDAG funds will be used for the project through the efforts of "several people."  He says a number of entities... including a national foundation... were involved in get the funding raised for the first phase of the skatepark project.  He says the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and Ralph C. Wilson Foundation will among those involved in that effort.  Sundquist says the city's Public Works Department is on target to begin preliminary work on the skatepark next month... and, he says should be completed in time of next year's skateboard season.


Cuomo's use of some campaign funds under scrutiny...
Some state legislators want to change New York's campaign finance rules after Governor Andrew Cuomo used $285,000 in political donations to pay lawyers representing him in sexual harassment and misconduct investigations.  That kind of campaign spending is allowed under certain conditions... but, many still find it distasteful.  New York politicians have used millions of dollars in campaign funds in recent years to pay lawyers to defend them against allegations of wrongdoing.  Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi defended the use of campaign cash for legal bills.  He says "using campaign funds instead of taxpayer dollars for this purpose has been well established for decades."


IDA Board approves three incentive program for new "Hideaway Bay Resort..."
Chautauqua County's Industrial Development Agency board has approved three incentive programs for the new "Hideaway Bay Resort" high-end "glamping" and recreational resort.  The new resort will be situated on the 3.6-acre former Hideaway Bay Restaurant site on Lake Erie and Walnut Creek in the village of Silver Creek.  Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the County IDA, Mark Geise, says it's a local project, headed up by local man, Kevin Cullen.  Geise says there will be about a dozen "high end glamping units" at the new facility.  At one point... Geise says the property was going through the foreclosure process... but, the county legislature several years ago took the property out of the property auction.  He says the IDA board approved providing 'up front' tax abatements for the $1.4-million development, including a 10-year payment in lieu of tax agreement.  He says there will also be a sales tax exemption on purchase of building materials.  Subject to remaining project approvals, Geise says construction is expected to begin this fall with the resort becoming operational in the spring of 2022