Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Oct. 29, 2021

Man escapes minivan after it's goes into creek in Falconer...
No one was hurt this morning when a minivan drove into Cassadaga Creek off Water Street in the village of Falconer.  Ellicott Town Police say they were called to the scene about 7:30 a.m., and, soon after called in the Chautauqua County Dive Team after the vehicle became submerged in the water.  The lone occupant was able to get out and was not hurt.  Town Police were also joined by the Falconer Fire Department at the scene.  Full details are expected later today.


Erie County, Pa fugitive found in town of Chautauqua...
A man from Erie County, Pa. man has now been found... and, arrested... for allegedly burglarizing a hunting camp in the town of Westfield Wednesday.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say they located 39 year-old James Gnacinski of Girard about 3:20 p.m. Thursday in the town of Chautauqua.  Gnacinski was accused of breaking into the camp on Route 394 location just before 2:15 p.m. Wednesday... but, fled before police arrived.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the suspect stole a shotgun from the home before running into a wooded area.  Quattrone says prior to getting to the wooded area... the suspect dropped the gun, and it was recovered by the owner.  He adds that Gnacinski is wanted in Erie County, Pa. on other felony charges.  However... he will face burglary charges locally.  Gnacinski was arrested... without incident... during a search with multiple K-9 units involved.  Police say he'll be held until he's extradicted to Pennsylvania to face charges there.


Portland man arrested for sex abuse of a minor...
A town of Portland man has been arrested for allegedly exposing a juvenile victim to sexual abuse on multiple occasions.  Sheriff's officers say they arrested 37 year-old Charles Fitch on a Portland Town Court warrant after an investigation.  Deputies say Fitch faces three counts of third-degree sexual abuse... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was arrested on Wednesday... and, taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Borrello sounds off on propositions on ballot Nov. 2nd...
Politicians and good government groups are urging residents to take a closer look at the five state-wide propositions that are on the ballot this Fall.  State Senator George Borrello recent spoke out about all five... including the first one... which is receiving some bi-partisan criticism.  That measure makes changes to the redistricting process... which Borrello says diminishes the role of the Independent Redistricting Commission... which was formed seven years ago.  He says this would take the redistricting process behind closed doors, and not in the open the way "the people of New York wanted."  Borrello feels it's also a "power grab" on the part of Democrats... who currently lead the legislature and the governor's office.  He says the second proposition creates a "state constitutional right" to clean air and water... as well as a "healthful environment."  Borrello says it gives the right to a person to sue an entity for interfering with that right.  He adds it would be a boom for trial lawyers.  The other three measures include two regarding voter registration and "no-excuse" absentee voting.  The Sunset Bay Republican opposes the first four measures... However... he does back a fifth which increases the New York City Civil Court's jurisdiction from civil cases involving $25,000 $50,000.


Criminal complaint filed against Cuomo for sexual harassment...
A criminal complaint filed by a police investigator with a court in Albany has accused former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of committing a misdemeanor sex crime.  However... there are reports that the document might have been submitted in error.  The brief complaint accused Cuomo of putting his hand under a woman's shirt on Dec. 7, 2020.  The document didn't name the woman but Cuomo had been publicly accused of groping aide Brittany Commisso at the executive mansion in Albany last year.  The Albany County district attorney's office and Albany County Sheriff did not immediately return messages. 


County lawmakers approve "constitutional county" motion...
Chautauqua County legislators passed a motion during Wednesday night's meeting that calls for local, state and federal officials to follow the constitution.  The motion does not go as far as a measure the measure approved by the Cattaraugus County Legislature last August declaring the county a "Constitutional Sanctuary."  Frewsburg Republican John Davis and Sinclairville Republican Dan Pavlock prepared the motion with assistance from County Executive P.J. Wendel.  Davis says it’s a reminder about the oath they have taken.  He says it's his opinion that there are some state and federal officials who have used the pandemic to achieve their own policy objectives.  The vote was 13-6.  County lawmakers also approved a motion calling on state elected officials to consider alternatives to vaccination mandates for health care workers.  The motion passed, 17-2.


South county man sentenced to up to 3 years in prison for burglary... 
A Jamestown-area man has been sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison after pleading guilty to two counts of third-degree burglary.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says the sentence was handed down to 27 year-old James Rairden late Wednesday by Judge David Foley.  Schmidt says Fairden pled guilty last September 7th to an incident that occurred in July of this year. 


Jamestown native returns to city to head up WCA Foundation...
A Jamestown native whose family was very involved with the former WCA Hospital has returned to the city to become the new executive director of the WCA Foundation.  A reception was held at the Northwest Arena last night for Kristen Melville, who took over the position on Oct. 11.  Melville has about 25 years of experience leading philanthropy and fundraising efforts for a several entities in the state of Maine.  However, she says it was time for her and her husband to return to the area... because they have three grandchildren and other family members in the area. 


 


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