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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Aug. 26, 2022

Two city men now charged in connection with fatal shooting on Prendergast Avenue...
Two Jamestown men taken into custody in connection with last Friday's fatal "targeted" shooting incident on Prendergast Avenue now 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 in the same incident on Prendergast.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt confirmed late Thursday that 32 year-old Joseph Fontanez-Walker is now 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.  Schmidt says bail for Roldan-Pantojas was set at $200,000 cash... $400,000 property bond because the weapon's possession count is a violent Felony.  However... the charges against Fontanez-Walker did not qualify for bail, and under state law, he was released. 


Sempolinski says he's ready to go in Congress...
Fresh off his special election victory Tuesday night... Joe Sempolinski says he is ready to become the 23rd Congressional District's representative for the next four months.  However... Sempolinski tells us that he doesn't know when he will officially begin to fill out Tom Reed's final term.  Sempolinski says House members are not scheduled to return to Washington until Sept. 13, but, he thinks there's a chance the swearing-in could come sooner because there are other Congressional Special Elections where winners need to be sworn-in.  Sempolinski, who will not be running in November, has a lot to do.  Among his first tasks, getting constituent service back up and running.  Then he'll move onto the legislative agenda.  Sempolinski... who is a Steuben County Republican... says he is waiting to hear about his committee assignments. 


State begins accepting applications for marijuana dispensaries...
New York state has started accepting applications to open its first recreational pot shops.  The state is taking a novel approach by reserving the initial roughly 150 retail dispensary licenses for people with past pot convictions or their relatives.  The application process began Thursday... and is a key step toward opening one of the country's most hotly-awaited legal marijuana markets.  There's no firm date yet for sales to begin.  New York officials have emphasized that they want to make sure the new industry provides opportunity to people who bore the brunt of drug law enforcement.


City man arrested on outstanding warrant, and as a parolee absconder...
A Jamestown man wanted on outstanding arrest warrants and for violating his parole has been arreste following a traffic stop on the city's westside last night.  Jamestown police say they pulled over 41 year-old Justin Meacham in the area of Livingston Ave. and Geneva St. about 8:30 p.m. for a traffic violation... and, ran background check.  Officers found city court warrants, and that Meacham was a parole absconder.  When police tried to take him into custody... Meacham ran off and led officers on a short foot chase... then resisted arrest.  He's also accused of trying to destory a quantity of drugs he had.  Meacham was arrested on two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count each of tampering with physical evidence...resisting arrest and second-degree obstruction.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Co. Legislature approves borrowing for North County water tower project...
Chautauqua County lawmakers on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution authorizing borrowing money for a project to repair and rehabilitate a water storage tower in the North County Industrial Water District.  Two legislators spoke about the project at a public hearing during the legislature's monthly meeting in Mayville.  Dunkirk's Robert Bankoski says the facility in the Town of Sheridan supports the area's large manufacturers... like Nestle Purina.  Sheridan's Terry Niebel says the county has secured more than $860,000 in American Rescue Plan funds for the project, but it plans to apply for grants that would allow for the repurposing of the federal money at a later date. 


Dunkirk man arrested for assault last weekend...
A Dunkirk man is facing multiple charges after a domestic dispute on Lake Shore Drive West in Dunkirk early Sunday morning. Dunkirk Police say that 24-year-old Austin Burgess allegedly had thrown a female victim to the ground and tried to choke her, and then took the victim's phone when she tried to call 911.  The victim then flagged down a patrol car for assistance.  Burgess is also accused of attempting to obstruct the investigation... and allegedly resisted police when he was being taken into custody.  After being booked... Police say Burgess attempted to tamper with the surveillance system.  He's charged with criminal obstruction of breathing/blood circulation, obstructing governmental administration, criminal mischief and harassment.


F2CS band to hold preview program early this evening...
The members of the F2CS Blue and Gold Vanguard High School marching band are working intensively this week on their fall 2022 show 'Blue Print.'  The band is made up of 40 students from both Falconer and Frewsburg Central schools.  Director, Alicia Laska, says the combined band is in its 6th year of existance... and things are going very well, even with some new staff.  She says it's great now because the kids get along much better than in the beginning.  Alicia's husband, Shaun, is the assistant director of the band... and this year, one of their children, Frewsburg senior Kelson Laska, is one of the drum majors.  The band's preview show will be today at 5:15 p.m.