WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 28, 2023

Wendel presents $294.1-million, 2024 budget that cuts tax rate by 89-cents per $1,000...
Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel is proposing another significant tax rate decrease in his tentative, 2024 budget.  During last night's budget presentation to the county legislature... Wendel said the proposal cuts the full value tax rate by 89-cents per $1,000 full value, to $6.91.  He added that, since talking office in 2020, he's cut the tax rate by $1.65-per $1,000.  Wendel says the $294.1-million spending plan will continue financial stability for the county inspite of a rate of inflation that's still about 6.2%.  While the rate is down... he noted that the overall tax levy is up about $1.8-million.  However... he says that's within the state's 2% property tax cap.  He says the big reason for the increase is a spike in Medicaid costs -- beyond the $31.3-million initially expected.  That's because New York state is intercepting the approxmiately $3-million in federal Medical Assistance Program funding.  He says that cost has now increase by another $643,000 for a total increase of just over $3.6-million.  The eFMAP funding was supposed to go directly to local counties.  Wendel did announce one new initiative for the coming year... a designated, $1-million fund for upkeep and improvements of all six local lakes -- including Chautauqua. 


City man arrested for allegedly trafficking cocaine and fentanyl...
A Jamestown man is accused of trafficking cocaine and fentanyl from his home following Wednesday morning raid on the city's southside.  Jamestown police say members of the city's Metro Drug Task Force, and other agencies executed a search warrant at 8 Pullman St. about 8:15 a.m.  Officers say the JPD SWAT Team entered and cleared the home... and, found one adult and a teenaged child inside.  They searched the home... and, found more than 15.8 grams of cocaine... 5.6-grams of fentanyl, suboxone, metal knuckles, scales, packaging materials, and $1,292 in cash.  They also arrested 41 year-old Victor Mojica-Medina on several charges... including three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Mojica-Medina was jailed pending arraignment. 


Pair arrested in town of Ellicott for burgalizing business...
Two men are accused of stealing more than 2-thousand dollars worth of items earlier this week from a business in the town of Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Police say a patrol spotted a white Sports Utility Vehicle behind a town business shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday... and, a man carrying items from inside out to the vehicle.  Officers say... once the subject saw the marked patrol car... he drove off and attempted to flee.  Police pursued... and, with the help of Jamestown police and county sheriff's deputies... they found the vehicle stopped in Jamestown.  After a brief foot chase... they arrested 24 year-old Dakota Proestler... and, 42 year-old Jody Baron.  Police say their investigation showed that the pair had taken $2,230 worth of items from the business.  Proestler and Baron were charged with fourth-degree grand larceny... and, Baran is also charged with multiple traffic infractions... in addition to fleeing police.  Both were issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.


Dolce explains decision on who among non-profit's in Jamestown are receiving ARPA funds...
With two of the nine requests for funding from Jamestown's $28.3-million in American Rescue Plan act rejected... there's an additional $400,000 left unallocated.  City Council President Tony Dolce says lawmakers will now have to decide how that money will be used.  Following Monday's votes on the seven projects council had to sign off on... Dolce reminded the public that they had $1.5-million left initially for $2.7-million worth of requests.  He says they understand the "need is great."  Dolce says the ARPA funding was not just "handed out" to those non-profits from the city.  He says the Department of Development and Jamestown Local Development Corporation -- which he sits on -- went through a lengthy process where each project was scored.  Dolce says lawmakers will now discuss how to use the additional, undesignated funds.  The two projects turned down by council were for $200,000 each for the National Comedy Center... and, the bell tower restoration at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.


City man sought on warrants arrested for alleged trepassing...
A Jamestown man has arrested for allegedly trespasing at a northside address... was also found with multiple arrest warrants from two police agencies.  City police were called to the scene just after 11:30 a.m. Tuesday... and, found 31 year-old Tyler Brown and another man in a detached garage.  Officers say they found that Brown was wanted on two warrants issued by Jamestown police... and, a third by Lakewood-Busti Police.  While in the city jail... police discovered that Brown had a New York driver's license in his property which had been reported stolen from a vehicle in August 2022.  He was additionally charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of stolent property... and trespassing.... along with his bench warrants.  He was later turned over to Lakewood-Busti Police after being released from Jamestown City Court.


Two people from Jamestown arrested for burglarizing vacant home, and stashing items in city home...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly burglarizing a vacant home on Moon Road in Sinclairville... and, stashing the property at a home in the city.  Sheriff's officers say... between Aug. 26... and, Sept. 5... 32 year-old Dustin Newbree and 38 year-old Monica Pacheco... had entered the vacant residence and had stolen property.  Sheriff's investigators say they found the stolen property inside the Jamestown home on Sept. 15... face charges including third-degree burglary, and, petty larceny.