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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 21, 2022

Man arrested for allegedly setting devastating house fires in Kennedy...
A Randolph man has been arrested by State Police in Jamestown for allegedly setting fire to the first house destroyed in Wednesday morning's huge blaze in Kennedy.  Troopers say their Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene sometime after the initial call for Kennedy firefighters just after 10 a.m., and, they arrested 28 year-old Aubrey Baize on one count of third-degree arson.  Police say they worked with the county's Fire Investigation Team... and, learned through interviews that Baize was seen entering the home just prior to the fire.  Further investigation led to the arrest.  Baize was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.  The District Attorney's Office is also assisting in the case.


Two houses consumed in massive Kennedy fire Wednesday...
The massive fire that broke out late Wednesday morning destroyed two homes in the hamlet of Kennedy.  Kennedy Fire Chief Keith Bean says his crews were called to the scene at 72 Second St. just after 10 a.m., and, found the one home fully-engulfed in heavy fire... and they issued a second-alarm.  Bean says they called in several tanker trucks, and EMTs due to the blistering hot weather conditions.  Bean says they had water trucked to the scene using 10 mutual aid tankers.  As they were fighting the first fire... he says the two-family home next door caught fire, and they had to deal with both for a time.  Bean says the first house is completedly gone... and, they needed an excavator brought in to open up the second structure to get to the first inside.  Fire officials put in an immediate call for mutual aid... and, nine more companies responded, including: Frewsburg... Falconer... Gerry... Ellington... Sinclairville... Randolph... Ellery Center and Fluvanna.  Chautauqua County EMS was also called in... but, there were no injuries.  The cause is under investigation.  A significant amount of water was trucked in from Falconer... and, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says that may cause unsettled water in their system in both Falconer and the northside of Jamestown through mid-day today.


Five arrested in drug bust on Allen St. in Jamestown...
Five people face drug trafficking charges following a raid on a home on Jamestown's eastside about a week ago.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant at 328 Allen Street shortly after 4 PM on Tuesday, July 12th... and, were assisted by the JPD SWAT Team.  Inside... police say they found nearly 26-grams of methamphetamine... scales... packaging materials and ammunition for a 45-calibur gun.  Four people... 36 year-old Warkim Keys, 47 year-old Larry White, 46 year-old Belinda Walker, and 35 year-old Jamie Morse... were arrested at the scene on one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police say the fifth suspect... 51 year-old Christopher Freeney... later turned himself in to police.


Hochul says state distributing millions of COVID testing kits to use before start of school in Fall...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says the state ramping up for the return of school this fall and is developing a strategy to deal with COVID-19.  At a briefing in New York City Wednesday... Hochul said she does not anticipate the use of masks at this time.  However... she's reserving the right to do it if circumstances change.  She adds that the state is distributing more than 3-million test kits to schools now.  The Governor also gave an update on the spread of Monkeypox.  Health officials report 679 cases, with 639 of the cases in New York City. 


Teen burglar arrested in Jamestown...
A Jamestown teenager has been arrested for allegeldy stealing a number of items from a home on the city's eastside last weekend.  Jamestown police were called to the undisclosed address just after 7 p.m. last Saturday.  They spoke with the homeowners, who said when they returned home, they saw a male subject inside the house.  Police say the 16 year-old suspect fled with the items... and, one of the homeowners ran off after him.  Officers later found the teen... but, when they tried to stop him... he ran off again.  This time... he ran several blocks... jumped into the Chadakoin River, and came out the other side.  However... they; finally caught the teen in a parking lot.  The 16 year-old was taken to the JPD Juvenile Bureau where he was turned over to his parents under the Raise the Age Law.  He's charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, abd petty larceny.


World Series of Wheels, Italian Festival on tap for Saturday...
A major fund-raiser for the local Babe Ruth World Series Committee is returning this Saturday in Jamestown.  The annual "World Series of Wheels" will take place... beginning at 8 a.m.  One of the events organizers, Keith Ecklund, says they're excited to be back with more classic, vintage and modified cars, trucks... and motorcycles.  Ecklund says the cost will be $3 each for adults... but, children 12 and under are free.  Ecklund says activites in the park actually begin an hour earlier with breakfast by the local Meals on Wheels.  For more information... call contact Stephanie Ricketts at 450-6198. 
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In addition... the Italian Festival at St. James Church in Jamestown is set for this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., under a brand new tent at the corner of Allen and Institute Streets in Jamestown.  After two years off for the pandemic, St. James Deacon, Mike Lennon, is grateful the festival can return... and it will include the usual games, and Italian food.