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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Aug. 25, 2022

Initial charges placed against suspects in "targeted" fatal shooting on Prendergast Ave...
The two city men taken into custody in connection with last Friday's fatal "targeted" shooting incident on Prendergast Avenue in Jamestown now each face a pair of charges.  However... they do not deal directly with the shooting death of 35 year-old Jesus Batista Perez... nor the wounding of another man on Prendergast last Friday.  The Post-Journal reports that 32 year-old Joseph Fontanez-Walker is charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, tampering with evidence.  The other man... 22 year-old Kevin Roldan-Pantojas... is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C violent felony, and tampering with physical evidence.  County Jail officials confirmed Roldan-Pantojas was sent to the Mayville lock-up with bail set at $200,000 cash bail and $400,000 property bond.  However... the charges against Fontanez-Walker did not qualify for bail, and under state law, he was released. 


County lawmakers approve one-year extension of CSEA Contract...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a tentative one-year contract extension with the labor union that represents the majority of county employees.  Lawmakers on Wednesday passed a resolution for the deal with Civil Service Employees Assocaition Local #6300 that runs from January to December 2023.  Sheridan legislator Terry Niebel says the contract includes a 3% wage increase and a one-time bonus for the employees of $750 for about 900 employees.  Niebel says the cost of the extension is about $2.3-million.  He believes it is a fair deal for the employees and county taxpayers.


Dolce announces date for public safety/gun violence forum in Jamestown...
Final details are still being worked on... but, Jamestown City Council President Tony Dolce has now scheduled a public forum on the city's gun violence issue for three weeks from Wednesday.  Dolce made the announcement during the council's Work Session earlier this week.  Dolce says it'll be held on Wednesday night, Sept. 14, and, city officials are being asked to be there.  They would include Police Chief Tim Jackson, and city Development Director Crystal Surdyk to talk specifically about neighborhood, and housing issues.  While there was a lot of discussion about public safety during Monday night's meeting... Dolce says there really isn't enough time during the course of council meetings to address the many concerns.  Monday night's comments came in the wake of the latest shooting in the city last Friday afternoon when one person was killed, and other seriously wounded.


Sempolinski declares victory in Special Election... Langworthy wins GOP Primary...
A former staff member for retired 23rd District Congressman Tom Reed has now claimed victory in the Special Election to fill out the rest of Reed's final term.  Corning's Joe Sempolinski, the Republican and Conservative Party nominee in the race, declared victory late Wednesday morning.  Sempolinski says "it's the honor of a lifetime to be selected by my friends and neighbors to speak for them on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.  I intend to spend my time in Congress fighting for the people that have given me everything in my life. I will work to make sure that the voice of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes is heard throughout the remainder of this Congressional term."  He received 38,749 votes to Democrat Max Della Pia's 34,001 tallies.  Sempolinski thanked all those who voted in the election, volunteered for the campaign and supported him throughout this entire process, especially his family. 
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In the Republican Primary for the new 23rd Congressional District... State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy has won the Republican primary to run this Fall.  Langworthy wound up winning by the same number as was shown early Wednesday morning, 24,275 to 22,283 for Buffalo developer Carl Paladino.  Paladino conceded the race late Wednesday morning.


County elections officials very pleased with higher than expected voter turn-out for special election, and primary...
Turnout for Tuesday's special election and Republican primary in the 23rd Congressional District proved to be much higher than elections officials had anticipated.  Chautauqua County Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says numbers were much greater than the primary contests held in June.  Abram says they saw 13% participation back in June, and they were looking at similar numbers this time.  However... he says they're looking at something "in the mid 20s."  Meanwhile, Abram says the Board of Elections is now beginning the process of reconciling the ballots... namely affidavit and absentee ballots with the state Board of Elections.  He says that's to ensure no one could cast "multiple votes."  Abram says because of the higher than expected turnout, there were delays at some of the poll sites.


Farmer Neighbor Awards handed out in Ellington...
Several awards were conferred at the fifth-annual Chautauqua County Farmer-Neighbor Dinner... held Tuesday night at the Grandview of Ellington.  The organizing committee named the Carlberg Farm from just south of Jamestown as 'Farm of the Year.'  Ginny Carlberg, accepted the award.  She says it's really an honor to receive the award, and was a surprise.  The dairy the farm part of the business dates back to 1904.  The family added a produce operation in 2018.  The 'Friend of Agriculture' award went to Robert Cross and family of 3 C's Catering.  Cross took the business from dairying to catering in 1996.  The Farmer-Neighbor Committee named Steve Kimball of Kennedy as 'Legacy Producer.'  The Soil and Water Conservation District presented its annual 'Environmental Management' award to the Dunnewold Farms of French Creek.