Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., May 23, 2023

City Council unanimously approves hiring eight new firefighters -- with stipulations...
An 11th hour push to find a way to allow eight more firefighters to be hired in the city of Jamestown proved fruitful... as the Jamestown City Council approved a revised measure unanimously.  Lawmakers agreed to lift the hiring freeze... and, accept a 1.8-million dollar federal SAFER Grant last night after several weeks of debate and discussion.  In the end, though, it was the re-worked resolution with five added stipulations that won over lawmakers concerned about the financial implications after the three-year grant expires.  Councilman Jeff Russell commended lawmakers -- in particular Marie Carrubba -- for working out he final bill... even with all the "unnecessary noise" surrounding the proposal.  Councilman Bill Reynolds supported the measure from the beginning... noting that he often heard how residents felt about the need for more firefighters.  Reynolds says "the need is now"  A key stipulation has the Jamestown Professional Firefighters union agreeing to waive having to make IMPACT payments to the union based on a "new minimum staffing" number with the eight additional firefighters once the grant expires.     

City fire crews busy with pair of Monday afternoon fires...
City firefighters had a busy Monday afternoon having to respond to two house fires.  The first one was reported at 511 Clinton St., and, caused significant damage to the home.  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says the structure was heavily-engulfed in flames when crews arrived around 12:20 p.m., and it took about 45 minutes to bring it under control... and, about two-hours to complete extinguish the flames.  No residents were hurt... but, three pets perished.
Coon says the second fire was called in from 20 Newland Avenue just before 5:30 PM.  Coon says they found a lot of smoke both inside and outside the home.  He says it took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  The one person living there was not home at the time... and, no injuries were reported.  The cause remains under investigation.

Burham now implicated in kidnapping of two Sheffield, Pa. residents located in So. Carolina...
The search for the man accused of killing Jamestown mother-of-three Kala Hodgkin has led from Pennsylvania to South Carolina.  City police overnight released a flyer from the North Charleston, S.C. Police Department with three pictures of 34 year-old Michael Burham... who is now believed to have kidnapped two people in Sheffiled, Pa. in his efforts to flee New York and Pennsylvania in the wake of the murder of the 34 year-old Hodgkin May 11.  North Charleston Police were called to a Rivers Avenue address on a report of two kidnapping victims... who were taken from their home in at gun-point and driven to South Carolina.  Few details have been release on that incident... but, police say Burham was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap... blue jeans and a light-colored T-shirt.  He may no long have facial hair, and changed his hair style.  
Earlier in the day Sunday... police said that last Friday night's streaming of the national program "On Patrol: Live" highlighted the manhunt for Burham... and, it produced numerous tips.  Investigators say he apparently went to Warren, Pennsylvania... rented a car... and drove the the area of Hodgkin's home in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 11th.  He's then accused of setting fire to what we are now being told was another woman's vehicle on Fulton St. before fleeing back to Warren.  If you have any information on the case... call JPD at 483-7537... or the Tips line at 483-8477.

Catt. County man arrested after fleeing scene of fatal car-pedestrian accident...
A Cattaraugus County man is charged with murder after he allegedly hit a woman with his pick-up truck while she was walking along a town of Olean road... killing her.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the accident occured Sunday when 48 year-old Scott Carlson was driving the pick-up on Seneca Avenue, and struck the unidentified, 42 year-old woman.  Officers say Carlson then fled the scene... but, he was later found following an investigation.  He was arrested for second-degree murder... and, second-degree manslaughter.  Carlson was arraigned and sent to the Little Valley jail in lieu of bail.

Cummins Engine celebrations production of 2.5-millionth heavy-duty engine at JEP...
A large gathering of local officials, Cummins Engine officials and employees gathered this afternoon at the Jamestown Engine Plant to mark the 2.5-millionth heavy duty engine to be produced at the town of Busti facility.  Engine Business President Srikanth Padmanabhan pointed to a Kenworth tractor near their stage with a new, environmentally friendly natural gas engine.  Padmanabhan says when you use a lower-carbon producing engine, that's good for the environment.  Jamestown Engine Plant Manager Anna Dibble, emceed the program, and expressed her appreciation to local officials... the Jamestown-area community... and, their employees... for making it all possible.  Dibble says it's because of all that support... Cummins is making an approximately $450-million investment in the plant.  She says the area of the plant they were gathered will be full of machining equipment for next year's 50th anniversary at JEP.  Dibble herself is a 32-year veteran of the Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant located on Baker Street... starting as a Summer employee.  The plant has now begun production of the first of three engines from the next generation... which will also include hydrogen powered truck engines.