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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Apr. 12, 2022

New York's Lt. Gov. arrested in federal corruption case...
New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin has been arrested in a federal corruption investigation.  The U.S. Attorney's office said Benjamin was arrested Tuesday on charges of bribery, honest services wire fraud and falsification of records.  Benjamin, formerly a state senator from Harlem, had joined the administration of Governor Kathy Hochul in September, chosen by her to fill her former job a couple of weeks after she stepped into the governorship.  Benjamin was the state's second Black lieutenant governor. 


City woman pleads guilty to charges in connection with huge narcotics trafficking bust...
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to allegedly trafficking large amounts of Fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine just over two years ago.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Monday that 28 year-old Antasia Babcock entered the plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of acetyl fentanyl... 50 grams or more of methamphetamine... 400 grams or more of fentanyl... and, 500 grams or more of cocaine.  Prosecutors say Babcock conspired with others -- including co-defendant Jun Martinez -- to sell the drugs in the Jamestown-area.  Martinez received the drugs through the mail from out of state... but, in September of 2020... he traveled to get more narcotics in-person... and, was pulled over by an Illinois State Trooper.  During a search of the vehicle... officers recovered more than 6,300 grams of methamphetamine, 3,100 grams of fentanyl, 2,200 grams of cocaine, and marijuana products.  While Martinez was detained in Illinois... Babcock continued selling in Jamestown.  She was arrested during a search of the Wescott Street residence that she shared with Martinez.  They recovered items including meth, drug paraphernalia, and just over $62,000 in cash.  Babcock faces at least 10 years in prison and a $10-million fine when she's sentenced in September.


Former County Executive Jack Glenzer passes at age 91...
A former Chautauqua County executive has passed away at the age of 91.  We have learned from current County Executive P.J. Wendel about the death of John Glenzer of Fredonia.  Wendel says he received word from Dr. Glenzer's daughter over the weekend.  He was among the former County Executives who were recognized during an event held last month by the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.  Wendel, who also attended, spoke about Glenzer's participation... which ended up being the last time they were all brought together for an event.  He says he appreciated the advice he received from Dr. Glenzer over the years... and says they both had a lot in common.  Those were being a county legislator first, and coming from an education background.  Glenzer served as County Executive from 1983 to 1990.  In addition to being a former legislator... he was also a Fredonia village trustee. 


North County man arrested for Felony DWI after wild accident last week...
A Silver Creek man faces numerous charges after his car went out of control... struck a tractor-trailer... and went through a fence and into a yard in the north county village.  Sheriff's officers say 48 year-old Shawn Winkelmann's car ran a stop sign at Buffalo and Howard Streets just after 2 p.m. last Monday, Apr. 4, and struck the big rig.  Deputies say the vehicle then continued across Howard... and hit the fence as it went into the yard of a residence off Lake Avenue.  The car went across that yard... and, struck another fence before hitting a small tree and stopping.  Officers say Winkelman wasn't hurt... but, was found to be driving drunk and had a revoked license.  He was charged with Failure to Yield the Right of Way at a Stop Sign, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... Aggravated DWI with Blood Alcohol Content of .18 or higher... and, Felony DWI for a conviction in the past 10 years.  Winkelmann was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court.


Northwest Arena officials discuss proposed "The Zone" children's museum...
City lawmakers in Jamestown learned more about plans to create a new, virtual and interactive experience for children at the Northwest Arena called "The Zone."  Arena officials were on hand for last night's council work session to discuss the arean's overall, $8.5-million dollar project.  That also includes the $4-million plan to develop "The Zone" in about about 5-thousand square feet of the main floor of the arena.  Arena General Manager Keith Martin says the basic, $4.5-million dollar expansion is completed... and was already funded.  Martin says they are still fund-raising for "The Zone" construction project, and have raised almost $2-million so far.  He says some of the additional money for "The Zone" has been provided by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  He says the physical expansion was funded by the Gebbie Foundation and the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. 


Goodell talks child and health care spending in NYS, 2023 budget...
The new, $220-billion budget approved by the New York state legislature for 2023 includes a more than 10-billion dollar, multi-year investment in healthcare.  That also includes more than $4-billion to support wages and bonuses for healthcare workers.  A major part of that will increase health care and home care workers salaries by 3-dollars per hour.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says that part of the bill will cost about $700-million, which will particularily help those working with infants, and young toddlers, which is more "staff intensive" to do.  However... Goodell said -- during last week's State Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce -- that that figure may not be enough.