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Local News Headlines Archives for 2022-06

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 30, 2022

State Legislature to consider new gun control laws today in special session...
New York leaders plan to ban people from carrying firearms into many places of business... unless the owners put up a sign saying guns are welcome.  Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday that she and lawmakers have agreed on the broad strokes of a gun control bill that the Democratic-led Legislature is poised to pass Thursday.  The legislation was written after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the state's handgun licensing law.  It will also include provisions that make it harder to apply for a permit to carry a gun outside the home and create more rules around firearm storage.


Another motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle sends one to the hospital from Lakewood...
Lakewood-Busti Police are investigating a second motor vehicle-motorcyle accident on Fairmount Avenue -- near the main entrance to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter -- in the past several days.  Lakewood Fire rescue crews were called to the scene... in the area of Fairdale and Fairmount Avenues... shortly after 10 p.m. Monday.  Officials say EMTs provided first aid to one of the operators before they were taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Traffic was restricted in the area for a short time... and, the road was fully reopened shortly after 11 p.m.  No other information has been made available.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers also responded to the scene.


Domestic with shots fired leads to one arrest in Jamestown...
A city man has been arrested following an investigation in to a report of shots fired on Jamestown's northside late Wednesday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says city police got "several" 911 calls shortly before 11 a.m. about someone firing shots, and, a possible domestic incident at 34 Regent St.  Samuelson says officers arrived, and tried to get the occupants to exit the home.  After about 20 minutes the male occupant... 27 year-old Aaron Johnson... came out of the home.  Samuelson says Johnson was taken into custody, and was charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration.  Police got a search warrant for the home... but, did not find any firearms inside.  Johnson was jailed pending arraignment.  The investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected. 


Rosas and Borrello react to primary victories by Hochul and Zeldin...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Congressman Lee Zeldin can now focus on the November election after convincing victories in Tuesday's primaries.  Hochul easily won in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination... with 57% of the statewide vote... while Zeldin defeated three other candidates for the GOP endorsement.  He had 44% statewide.  Local State Senator George Borrello, who is a co-chair for the Zeldin campaign, says he believe's the Long Island Republican has a chance in our "Deep Blue" state because he believes that independents and Democrats who have left the party will vote Republican.  On the Democratic side... Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas, who is also the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee Chair, was impressed by Hochul's win.  Rosas says they will be very involved locally in the campaign.  Rosas says they'll be working with Erie County Democrats to get the vote out for Hochul, who is a Buffalo-area native.  Hochul got about 80% of the Democratic vote in Chautauqua County.  Her running mate, former Congressman Antonio Delgado... was also elected to run for Lieutenant Governor.  Zeldin received 48% of the GOP vote in Chautauqua County.


Three 12 year-old boys arrested after breaking into Lakewood house, and stealing booze, and handgun...
A trio of 12 year-old boys are accused of breaking into a home along Chautauqua Lake in Lakewood a week ago... and stealing multiple bottles of liquor and a handgun.  Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the undisclosed location about 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22 on a burglary complaint.  After finding the items missing... officers also found some security video showing the three -- two of them from Jamestown and the third from Lakewood -- swimming in the victim's pool.  Police later arrested the trio and recovered the 9-millimeter handgun.  Their case was petitioned to family court on charges of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny... and petty larceny.  


Buffalo-area man acquires former Petri Baking Products building for business...
A man from the Buffalo-area known for selling Christmas products has acquired the former Petri Baking Products building in the village of Silver Creek. Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise tells us that the move to purchase the facility at 18 Main St. was approved during Tuesday's IDA Board meeting. Geise says Dave Gordon's plans are to use the building as a warehouse for his merchandise.  He says Gordon plans to invest thousands into the facility... and, will produce many of the products there.  The former Petri Baking facility had closed in 2013.


Fourth of July holiday conditions on Chautauqua Lake looking good...
Chautauqua Lake is in good shape for the Fourth of July holiday.  The Executive Director of the Chautauqua Lake Association, Doug Conroe, says the weeds... so far... are nothing more than a  'minor annoyance' in the Celoron and town of Ellicott area.  Otherwise... he says "it's clear, open and fun."  Conroe says the water is warm, and great for swimmers in all but a few places -- mainly along the immediate shoreline where some smaller harmful algal blooms have been found.  Conroe suggests following the old adage, 'if it doesn't look good... don't go in there.'

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed-Tues, June 28-29, 2022

**This update includes items not published from Tuesday, June 28...

 

(**New)City man arrested after "shots fired" call in Jamestown's northside...
A Jamestown man faces an obstruction charge after city police were called to a report of shots fired on the northside late Wednesday morning.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they got "several" 9-1-1 calls shortly before 11 a.m. about someone firing shots, and, a possible domestic incident at 34 Regent Street.  Samuelson says when officers arrived, they tried to get the occupants to exit the home.  After about 20 minutes the male occupant... 27 year-old Aaron Johnson... came out of the home.  They say Johnson was arrested for second-degree obstructing governmental administration.  JPD investigators got a search warrant and checked the residence... but, did not find any firearms in the residence.  Johnson was jailed pending arraignment.  The investigation is continuing. 


City Council delays vote on sidewalk snowplow agreement with Jamestown Public Schools...
The Jamestown City Council has delayed action on a shared services agreement with the city school district for snowplowing sidewalks around the schools.  Lawmakers last night pulled a resolution to hire two sidewalk plow operators... with two machines that would be purchased by the school district.  Council President Tony Dolce says there are a number of questions left unanswered... including whether American Rescue Plan Act funding can be used to pay for those workers.  Dolce says there are also questions about paying out $675,000 to two full-time employees over four-years.  Dolce says lawmakers want to look further into whether it would be better to go with two "seasonal" employees as opposed to full-time parks workers.  The school district would put $250,000 towards purchasing the sidewalk plows... with the city picking up the remaining $56,000.  


Jamestown lawmakers approve additional $17,000 to deal with "Tree of Heaven" along Chadakoin River...
City lawmakers last night did vote unanimously to put another $17,760 towards the Chadakoin River Restoration project to eliminate "Tree of Heaven."  The project... headed up by the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy... would involve work in three areas along the river where the invasive tree species has been found.  Councilman Brent Sheldon says city's Riverfront Management Council fully supports the effort.  The head of the restoration effort... Twan Leenders... updated the City Council on the project earlier this month... and, showed where "Tree of Heaven" was getting a foot-hold.  Leenders said very specific treatments needed to be done in July to eradicate the invasive.  


Two arrested on burglary charges in town of Harmony...
Two people have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home on the Blockville-Watts Flatts Road in the town of Harmony late last night.  Sheriff's officers were called to a "burglary-in-progress" about 11:30 p.m., and established a perimeter around the residence.  Deputies later found 39 year-old Amanda Barton of Busti... and, 41 year-old Chad Enos of Jamestown inside.  Officers say further investigation determined that Barton and Enos had unlawfully entered the home... and, removed property from inside.  Both were arrested on charges of third-degree burglary... and, third-degree attempted Grand Larceny.  They were issued appearance tickets for Harmony Town Court at a later date.


Clymer man arrested for alleged theft of more than $60,000 from Falconer business...
A Clymer man has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $60,000 from a Falconer-area business the past several months following a fraud complaint.  Sheriff's officers say they and Ellicott Town Police found that 23 year-old Nathan Massing obtained the money from a local business he was not entitled to.  They say Massing was knowingly in possession of the money... and, did not return it to the business.  He was arrested on a warrant issued in Ellicott town Court Monday morning.  Massing was jailed pending centralized arraignment on one count of second-degree Grand Larceny.


City man arrested for allegedly causing death of two people by drug overdose...
A Jamestown man has been indicted on federal charges surrounding the deaths of two people from overdoses of the drug Fentanyl.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging 34 year-old Steven Mojica-Medina for distribution of heroin, fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl causing death... narcotics conspiracy... possession with intent to distribute heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine... using and maintaining a drug-involved premises, possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes, and being a Felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  Prosecutors accuse Medina of selling drugs to an individual identifed as "J.H." that caused their death in August of 2018... as well to a person identified as "J.T. in September of that year.  They add that Medina conspired with others to traffick heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine... and, used a Euclid Avenue home to do his drug dealing from.  Ross says the charges carry a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $1-million dollar fine.


County lawmakers approve borrowing for expansion of lake sewer district...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has taken another step towards expanding a sewer district that stretches along the southern end of Chautauqua Lake.  During last week's monthly meeting in Mayville, lawmakers passed three resolutions to extend the boundaries of the South Chautauqua Lake Sewer District, including authorizing $24-million in bonding for the project.  Lawmakers passed the resolutions after several comments and questions were made during a public hearing.  Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon says he didn't note any objections to the project during the hearing... but, heard some very good questions, and suggestions.  The project would extend the district from Stow to the southern end of the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District on the west side of the lake.  

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 29, 2022

Hochul, Zeldin big winners in Democrat, Republican primaries Tuesday...
Democrat Kathy Hochul has won her party's nomination for New York governor, setting her on an expected path to win the governor's office in November.  Hochul beat back primary challenges Tuesday from New York City's elected public advocate, Jumaane Williams, and Congressman Tom Suozzi, a moderate from Long Island.  Hochul, who had 80% of the vote in Chautauqua County, won with 57% of the vote statewide.  Democrats have more than twice as many registered voters as Republicans in the state and are expected to keep the governor's mansion this fall, which they've held since 2007.  Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin won the GOP Primary with 44% of the statewide vote, 48% in Chautauqua County. 


Two arrested for alleged burglary in town of Harmony...
A man and woman have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home on the Blockville-Watts Flatts Road in the town of Harmony late Monday night.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a "burglary-in-progress" about 11:30 p.m., and established a perimeter around the residence.  Officers later found 41 year-old Chad Enos of Jamestown... and, 39 year-old Amanda Barton of Busti... inside.  Deputies say further investigation determined that Barton and Enos had unlawfully entered the home... and, removed property from inside.  Both were arrested on charges of third-degree burglary... and, third-degree attempted Grand Larceny.  They were issued appearance tickets for Harmony Town Court at a later date.


Sheriff's Office warns of possible texting scam...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is warning residents about a possible texting scam that has recently surfaced in the county.  Deputies says they've received reports of people getting random texts from a local bank asking them to click on a web link, similar to a link sent when you change your account status.  They say if a person clicks in this web link, it will take them to a fictitious banking web site.  It's believe that if a person continues to answer questions, and enter their information it will lead to a scam.  The Sheriff's Office reminds people to very cautious when responding to any text messages or phone calls requesting personal information.  Always know who you are talking to and only give sensitive information to those entrusted with that information while they are in person with you.


Prosective buyer for White Inn in Fredonia may have been found...
The latest push to market the White Inn in Fredonia may have led to a prospective buyer for the historic property.  While he did not release any details... Mayor Doug Essek indicated during Monday evening's Village Board meeting that a local business person might purchase it.  Hanna Commercial Real Estate in Buffalo has been marketing the property since last November.  Essek gave an update during the board's workshop session... noting that they are working with a "local businessperson" who is interested.  He adds there may be an announcement next month.  J.G. Funding currently owns the property.  Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise indicated there were county, state and federal incentives available when the marketing effort began last fall.


Man and woman from Silver Creek accused of child endangerment during altercation...
A man and woman from Silver Creek have been arrested for allegedly being involved in a physical altercation with a young child on Angell Road in the village.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene of a "past-tense" altercation shortly after 6 PM Monday... and, investigated.  Deputies say they found that 75 year-old Richard, and 73 year-old Anna Henry had allegedly choked the child.  Both were arrested and charged with endangering the Welfare of a child... and Richard was also charged with criminal obstruction of breathing and blood circulation.  Both were taken to the Hanover substation for processing... then taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Jefferson MS Band Director a quaterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator Award...
Jefferson Middle School Band Director Carrie Pawelski has been named a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.  Pawelski says she was nominated by a former student for the honor.  The award honors music educators who've made a significant and lasting contribution... and are committed to keeping music education in schools.  Dr. Pawelski says she's taught every level from kindergarten to college, but, likes middle school the best because she has a chance to have a "real close connection with the students and their families" to help find their special gifts.  Pawelski has directed the Jefferson bands for six years.  As a quarterfinalist she's in contention to become one of 200 semi-finalists for the Grammy.  The field will then be narrowed to 10 finalists.  The winner will be flown to the 65th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in January of 2023.  Chautauqua County already has a distinguished history with the Grammy for music educators.  Kent Knappenberger of Westfield won the first award in 2014.


Gasoline prices are reported "stable" heading into Fourth of July holiday...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are stable heading into the long Independence Day Holiday Weekend.  That from the AAA East Central Gas Price Report... which says the cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is just under $4.90.  That's up a fraction of a penny from last week.  However... nationally... the average price for a gallon has fallen for a second-straight week with another drop in the global price of oil.  That average is now $4.89... 9-cents less than last week... but, 30 cents more than a month ago.  Even with these historically high gas prices... AAA says Summer travel is in full swing. 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 27, 2022

Frewsburg man hurt when Motorcycle hits animal on Frew Run Rd...
A Frewsburg man escaped serious injuries after the motorcycle he was riding struck an animal on Frew Run Road early Sunday morning and crashed.  Sheriff's officers say 22 year-old Robert Lingenfelter was eastbound shortly before 12:30 a.m. when he struck the animal... and the bike crashed.  Deputies say Lingenfelter was thrown from the motorcycle.  He was taken by ambulance to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of his injuries.


Man from Sherman arrested after weekend altercation in the village...
A Sherman man has been arrested for allegedly hitting several individuals during an altercation on West Main Street in the village Sunday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 10:15 a.m., and, learned that 22 year-old Trever Kneer had struck the individuals... and, damaged their property.  Kneer was arrested and charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, two counts of second-degree harassment.  He was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Hochul calls Special Session of leg. to deal with gun laws, Borrello asks, "what for?..."
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she's bringing state lawmakers back this coming Thursday to consider gun safety legislation in response to the U-S Supreme Court striking down key portions of the state's licensing law.  The court last Thursday overturned the state law that required that people applying for a concealed carry permit demonstrate a specific need to have a gun in public.  However... local State Senator George Borrello believes whatever Democrats come up with will also be struck down because it would likely be ruled unconstitutional, as well.  Hochul called the decision "reckless and reprehensible" as she announced she will convene a special session of the legislature.  New York officials are considering restrictions on concealed carry in "sensitive locations," such as government buildings and bars.  Hochul and other Democratic leaders say they're also looking at implementing specific training for permit applicants.


Some Public Defenders defending SCOTUS gun ruling...
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York's tight restrictions on who can carry a handgun... condemnation erupted from liberal leaders and activists.  However... some public defenders, often allies of progressive activists, have praised the court's ruling, saying gun-permitting rules like New York's have long been a license for racial discrimination.  The defense lawyers say that by making it a crime for most people to carry a handgun, New York and a few other states have ended up putting people - overwhelmingly people of color - behind bars for conduct that would be legal elsewhere.


Della Pia says, with SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade, woman's right to choose is on the ballot...
The Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional District seat for the August Special Election... and the regular election in November... says a woman's right to choose is on the ballot this year.  Owego's Max Della Pia says the "Supreme Court has flagrantly disregarded precedent.  Trigger legislation will ultimately deny the right to choose for 38 million women in 26 states!"  Della Pia also warned that in Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion... he also stated “we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents including Griswold, Lawrence, & Obergefell.”  Della Pia says with that... "Thomas has made it clear the next move is to come after the right to access and use contraceptives without restriction, have same-sex relationships, and marry who we choose."


Motivational speaker, entrepreneur, addresses JHS graduates last Friday...
It was the completion of "one dream" for local high school graduates last Friday night... and, the beginning of many more for the Class of 2022.  Those were the sentiments of Jamestown High School's Commencement Speaker at the Chautauqua Institution's amphitheater.  Local motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Katie Castro, congratulated the Class of 2022... and, said she could "feel the optimism" of the graduates.  Castro told the Class of 2022 that they are being referred to as "the Open Generation..." whose defining charactorists are: "curiousity, creativity, community, and optimism."  This was the first, full graduation program for Jamestown... and, all the other schools in the county after the COVID-19 pandemic put graduations totally on-line in 2020... and, were held with restrictions in 2021.


Crisanti named new 4-H Lead Educator....
Chautauqua County 4-H has a new ‘lead educator.’  Lindsay Crisanti grew up in nearby Cattaraugus County and graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with a degree in Animal Science and Ag Education.  She is delighted with her new position... adding that she had been breeding cows, and hosting meetings for various sellers, and organizations.  However, Crisanti says her new position "is for me."  For the first time since 2019, 4-H will be back at the Chautauqua County Fair with all its programs and competitions, July 18-24.  Linsday says she’s fortunate to have everything fully opened up for her first year directing the program. 


Jamestown man faces 10 Child Porn charges following arrest...
A city man has been arrested on several counts of possessing Child Pornography.  State Police in Jamestown say they received a report earlier this month about child porn being seen on Snap Chat with a user name and e-mail address provided.  Troopers say a subpoena revealed that the Snap Chat account belonged to 21 year-old Jarred Ristau.  Police obtained a search warrant for Ristau’s home and seized multiple electronic items.  The electronics were analyzed, and, they reported their findings.  Ristau was arrested on June 12 on 10 counts of possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child.  He was issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri-Sat., June 24-25, 2022

Jamestown man sentenced to 8 years in federal prison for possession of Child Porn...
A city man will spend the next 8 years in federal prison after being convicted of being in possession of child pornography five-years ago.  In addition... U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says 36 year-old Travis Sanders received 10 years post-release supervision from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara in Buffalo.  Ross says Sanders was found guilty of possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.  Prosecutors say they obtained a laptop belonging to Sanders in late November of 2017 that contained more than 150 images of child porn -- including one image showing the sexual abuse or exploitation of an infant or toddler.  During a search of the laptop and Sanders’ iPhone... investigators also discovered sexually explicit online contact between Sanders and various victims, who were or appeared to be minors.  He later admitted that he sometimes told victims that he was a 15-year-old boy. 


Gillibrand blasts SCOTUS ruling overturning restrictions on concealed carry of firearms in NYS...
New York's junior U-S Senator is blasting the U-S Supreme Court's ruling that allows concealed carry of a loaded handgun in public.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says the decision to strike down a New York gun law "is not just irresponsible, it is downright dangerous."  Gillibrand says the nation is in the middle of a "gun violence epidemic" and "instead of working to protect our communities, this court has made it even easier for potentially dangerous people to carry guns in public spaces."  Gillibrand argues that studies have shown -- overwhelmingly -- that "looser restrictions on who can carry a concealed firearm in public are associated with higher rates of violent crime and homicide." 


Borrello says calling special legislative session to deal with aftermath of SCOTUS ruling will likely be in vain..
For decades, New York's leaders boasted that its strict limits on handgun ownership made it one of America's safest places... a claim backed by statistics showing the state consistently had among the nation's lowest death rates from firearms.  Now, state lawmakers are trying to preserve as many restrictions as they can in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision striking down key portions of the state's gun-licensing law.  However... State Senator George Borrello is not sure what that would entail, because any new legislation may well be striken down as well.  Governor Kathy Hochul vowed Thursday to call the Legislature back for a special session to pass new rules, including a law specifying "sensitive locations" where people cannot carry concealed weapons.


Borrello announces NYS Historic Business Registry for Fancher Chair...
The longest existing business in both Chautauqua County and New York state has solidified it's legacy by being placed on the state's new "Historic Business Registry."  Local State Senator George Borrello nominated Fancher Chair on South Work Street in Falconer to be among the first 100 businesses honored in the registry.  Borrello was at Fancher Chair Friday morning for the formal announcement... adding that the business has been making outstanding furniture pieces for many places since 1807 - including the White House.  Borrello says businesses selected for the registry have to have been in existance for at least 50 years.  Fancher Chair's owner for the past 13 years... Gary Henry... calls it a great honor for the business... but, adds it's even bigger for their 120 employees.  Henry says "their dedication, work, and efforts have allowed Fancher to be around so long. 


Chautauqua Adult Day Center holds Grand Opening at new Jamestown location...
About 200 people were on hand for this afternoon's grand opening of the Chautauqua Adult Day Care program's new location on East Fifth Street in Jamestown... now named the Bercik-Loucks Center.  It's in honor of long-time CADC Executive Director Frank Bercik, and Associate Director, Karen Loucks.  Chautauqua Adult Day Care Board President Janita Byers made the announcement during a luncheon celebration at the location... in the former First Baptist Church.  CADC provides day programming for seniors, the elderly and older disabled residents.  Bercik says... after 35 years at Christ First United Methodist Church... they needed a new location... and, First Baptist became available.  


Federal Grand Jury indicts Jamestown man for trafficking drugs that caused "Bodily Injury" to another person...
A federal grand jury has indicted a Jamestown man for trafficking drugs that caused "serious bodily injury" to another person.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 43 year-old Bradley Knapp has been charged with narcotics conspiracy, using and maintaining a drug-involved premises, and distribution of controlled substances causing serious bodily injury.  Prosecutors say Knapp conspired with others between January of 2019 and now... to sell heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.  On August 13, 2020... Ross says Knapp allegedly sold a controlled substance that caused serious bodily injury to an individual identified as "M.H."  During that time... she says Knapp used a 9th Street home for his drug trafficking activities.  He was arraigned in federal court in Buffalo, and is being detained. 


County Legislature approves public hearings for redistricting maps...
Chautauqua County lawmakers on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing public hearings for the reapportionment of the county's legislative districts.  Two maps are being proposed -- one by Republicans, who want to maintain the number of districts at 19; and one by Democrats, who seek to reduce the number to 17.  Dunkirk Democrat Robert Bankoski, who is a member of the County Legislature's Reapportionment Committee, says his party wants to reduce the number of districts because of the county's loss of population over the past decade... in fact he says it's lost the total population of one of the current districts.  Bankoski says that's why they're proposing the reduction.  He says legislators would represent nearly 1,000 more people if two districts are eliminated.  Bankoski says the committee could still make changes to the maps.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 23, 2022

County Legislature approves public hearing dates on reapportionment maps...
Chautauqua County lawmakers on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing public hearings for the reapportionment of the county's legislative districts.  Two maps are being proposed -- one by Republicans, who want to maintain the number of districts at 19; and one by Democrats, who seek to reduce the number to 17.  Dunkirk Democrat Robert Bankoski, who is a member of the County Legislature's Reapportionment Committee, says his party wants to reduce the number of districts because of the county's loss of population over the past decade.  In fact... he says the county has lost the population of one legislative district the past 10 years.  Bankoski says legislators would represent nearly 1,000 more people if two districts are eliminated.  Bankoski says the committee could still make changes to the maps.  He expects the legislature to take final action in October.
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Also during Wednesday's meeting, legislators approved a local law that will increase the salary for the county's Director of Emergency Services, who will also take on the role of Workplace Safety Director.


One person seriously hurt in weekend car-motorcycle crash near Lakewood Wal-Mart...
A motorcyclist is being treated for serious injuries after allegedly running a red light in front of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Lakewood... and, crashing into a turning car.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they were called to the scene at 350 East Fairmount Ave. about 11:30 a.m. last Saturday... and interviewed witnesses, and viewed video footage of the area.  Officers say the bike was eastbound when the unidentified rider failed to stop at the red light... and, went into the intersection and struck the car.  Police say the driver of the car had the green arrow to make the turn.  The motorcycle rider was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  No names are being released... but, police say charges are pending.


Streets Projects well underway in Jamestown...
Summertime in the city of Jamestown is also where residents see the start of dozens of street's projects to fill potholes... or completely repave certain roadways.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist's office is reporting a number of projects this week... including the paving of Water Street... and, the partial reconstruction of Tower Street from King to English Streets.  Sundquist says the city has received a significant amount of both federal and state funding that can be used... and, he says the state has said they can also use the funding for improved curbing, and sidewalks.  He adds that the city's Public Works Department is doing several of the projects in-house... but, adds that contractors are also being used on some.  That may have caused some issue recently with a crack-sealing project that residents in one area were not notified about.  Sundquist says city officials are looking at a new public notification system.


Less than 400 people have taken advantage of early voting in county so far...
Chautauqua County elections officials say turn-out has been light so far in early voting for the June 28 primary.  That from County Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says since voting began last Saturday... there have been 363 ballots cast, so far.  Abram also reminds those voters they cannot cast another ballot once a person has voted early.  Primary voting will continue until next Sunday, June 26.  After that... you will have to vote on the 28th.  Abram says all four locations for early voting will continue each day through Sunday.  Check VoteChautauqua.com for hours.  The locations include the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood... and, the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.   


Sinclairville man arrested for illegal firearms possession...
A Felon from Sinclairville man face an illegal weapons charge after he was allegedly found in possession of two rifles during a fight call last weekend.  State Police in Jamestown say they and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Officers were called to Hillside Estataes Mobile Home Park last Saturday on a report of a drunk person trying to fight people.  While at the scene... troopers learned that 34 year-old Aaron Raynor was in possession of the guns illegally.  Raynor was arrested for fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was processed at the Jamestown barracks... and, released with an appearance ticket for Gerry Town Court.


Gas prices in Jamestown see increase through early week... but, holding steady at just under $4.90 a gallon...
There's been little change in the average price for a gallon of gasoline in the Jamestown-area over the past few days... where it's just below $4.90 a gallon for regular, unleaded.  AAA East Central reports that... since a week ago last Monday... the price is up about 27-cents after falling due to the gas tax being capped by New York state and Chautauqua County.  The National average price has fallen back below $5 a gallon... due primarily to the tumbling cost of oil... which fell from $122 to around $110 a barrel due to fears of a global recession, and its associated economic slowdown.  As a result... AAA says the national average for a gallon of gas is $4.96 a gallon.  That's a nickel less than a week ago, 37 cents more than a month ago, and $1.89 more than a year ago.  AAA says the recent high prices may have led to a small drop in domestic gasoline demand as fewer drivers fueled up last week. 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 22, 2022

Fiery tanker truck-pick-up truck crash sends both drivers to hospital...
Two men were taken to area hospitals following a fiery crash involving a tanker truck and a pick-up truck on the Route 20 overpass for the New York State Thruway in the town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene -- near Aldrich Road -- shortly before 10 a.m., and, learned that a westbound van lost a rear wheel while driving on the bridge.  Deputies say the wheel struck an eastbound TPS Fuel Truck Fuel truck being driven by 30-year-old Jean Esquilin-Melendez of Dunkirk.  Officers say the tanker then struck the pick-up... driven by 40 year-old Herbert Overbeck of Silver Creek head-on.  The impact forced the TPS truck partially over the Thruway bridge... and both vehicles caught fire.  The tanker truck was carrying about 100 gallons of diesel fuel.  Overbeck was able to get out of the pick-up... and, was taken by a private vehicle to Brooks Hospital.  Deputies say Esquilin-Melendez was also able to get out of his truck... and, was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of burns and other injuries.  Officers say the van driver continued on... and, tried to hide the van some distance away.  The driver fled, and, is still being sought by police.  Several fire and emergency crews responded.  The investigation is continuing.  Both the State Thruway and Route 20 in the area were closed while the scene was cleared.


One-car accident in Westfield injures three...
A single-car accident on Route 5 in the town of Westfield Tuesday afternoon left three people were hurt... one seriously.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene... near Eight Street... about 1:30 p.m.  Deputies say the investigation showed that 21 year-old Bisitt Welday of Roxbury, Mass., was driving eastbound when she lost control of the vehicle, and, it crashed.  Officers say a male passenger... 25 year-old Aman Asgedom of Roxbury, was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of serious injuries.  Welday and a juvenile female were treated for minor injuries at the scene... and, later taken to Hamot.  She faces charges of speeding, failure to Keep Right, and Unlicensed Operator... and, was issued appearance tickets for Westfield Town Court.


Grand Opening held for new Americold cold storage facility in Dunkirk...
A number of elected and other officials turned out for a grand opening ceremony for Americold's newest cold storage facility on Williams Street in the town of Dunkirk.  Americold's Chief Commercial Officer Rob Chambers was among the speakers... and, called Tuesday an exciting day for them... and, their customers.  The 181,000 square foot facility will employ 60 new workers.  The head of the county's Industrial Development Agency, Mark Geise, called it a major investment of more than $40-million in the community.  The IDA... and, New York state are providing tax incentives to Americold as part of the project... and the New York Power Authority is providing lower-cost hydropower for the company.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the project is exciting because it's also about a company helping a company.  He says Wells was commiting to using about 50% of the capacity at Americold... but, has now upped that to 90%.


JHS to have full graduation this Friday night at Chautauqua...
Jamestown High School had no formal commencement in 2020.  In 2021... a last minute lifting of COVID-19 restrictions meant most of the traditional Amphitheater ceremony could return.  However... this year faculty member and head of the student organization, Tony Dolce, says this Friday at 7 p.m., the 300 members of the JHS class of 2022 will get their diplomas at the Chautauqua Amphitheater... with full choir and band accompanyment.  When all the elements are present, Dolce believes the JHS commencement is unsurpassed.  The traditional baccalaureate service will be back this year as well, Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Sts. Peter and Paul Church. 


JHS Graduation Speaker announced...
A motivational speaker, strategist and social entrepreneur has been announced as Jamestown High School's Commencement Speaker this Friday night.  The Class of 2022 says Ally Company of Jamestown founder Katie Castro will deliver the address during the program at the amphitheater.  JHS Principal Dana Williams says Castro "exemplifies the idea of working together for the betterment of everyone.  She is a great role model for young people as they move on from high school and into their adult lives.”  Castro has also been a speaker and coach with Women Speakers Collective in Los Angeles, California and worked as a Strategic Lead for Boundless Communications in Toronto, Canada.  She holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership from St. Bonaventure University near Olean.  Castro has also been the former Director of Mission at Conduit Ministries, co-founder of (Re)sisterhood, Chapter Founder of Brave Global and Board Chair at Community Helping Hands in Jamestown.


U.S. Senate negotiators reach agreement on compromise gun violence bill; vote could happen late this week...
Senate bargainers have reached agreement on a bipartisan gun violence bill.  That potentially tees up congressional passage this week on an incremental but notable package that would stand as Congress's response to mass shootings in Texas and New York that shook the nation.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., predicted Senate approval later this week, and passage by the Democratic-led House could follow quickly.  It would make background checks tougher for the youngest gun buyers and bolster spending for school safety and mental health programs, and bar gun ownership by romantic partners convicted of domestic abuse.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 21, 2022

Man arrested following street fight in Jamestown after being found in possession of loaded handgun...
A street fight on Jamestown's southside late Monday morning has led to the arrest of a man who was allegedly in possession of a loaded pistol.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the area of Forest and Newland Avenues just before 11:30 a.m. after receiving several calls from residents.  Police say one person -- later identified as 21 year-old Kevaun Green -- was later found in the area with the handgun.  Samuelson says Green was taken into custody... and, charged with Felony second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, obstructing governmental administration.  He says the incident was also captured on a Jamestown Police Traffic Camera.  Green is currently in the city jail and is awaiting arraignment.


Law restricting sales of Body Armor in NYS would not restrict that used by suspect in Buffalo mass shooting...
A new law barring sales of bullet-proof vests to most civilians in New York doesn't cover the type of armor worn by the gunman who killed 10 people last month at a Buffalo supermarket.  That gap is raising questions about the law's effectiveness in deterring military-style assaults.  That's not all... local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he sees other problems with the law... including the fact it's not illegal to possess body armor, which can still be purchased in Pennsylvania.  Goodell made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program here on Media One.  Payton Gendron wore a steel-plated vest during the May 14th attack.  That armor stopped a handgun round fired by a store security guard who tried to halt the 18 year-old Gendron's rampage.  The A-P reports the law, hastily enacted by state lawmakers after the attack, only restricts sales of "bullet-resistant soft body armor."  That has lawmakers talking about a possible fix.


Wendel pleased with Sales Tax revenues being up in May, but, concerned over what happens after tourist season...
While Chautauqua County saw an increase in sales tax revenues in May compared to the same month last year... County Executive P.J. Wendel sees it as a mixed bag.  A recent analysis by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that the county collected approximately $7.3-million in sales taxes for the month, which is 19.1% higher than May of 2021.  Wendel tells us the downside is the effect that inflation is having on local residents.  He cited rising gas prices as an example... because as of June 1, the gasoline tax was capped at $3 a gallon.  He says three-days after the initial reduction... the price jumped 30-cents.  Wendel says the upside is that there are other items and goods sold in the county that are consumed and used by not just local residents, but from people outside the area.  He says there should be another increase in sales tax as the tourism season kicks in.  Wendel adds that the increase in sales tax collections shows that the county has a "vibrant" economy, but he wonders at what point those tax collections will drop off.


Concerns raised in Jamestown over who will buy foreclosed properties during auction by county...
More than 300 foreclosed properties in the city of Jamestown are up for auction by Chautauqua County this year... and, finding enough people to bid on them is not a problem.  Finding the right bidders, though, is more difficult.  That came from a discussion the city council had recently with Development Director Crystal Surdyk.  Surdyk was asked if the city advertises those properties... but, she said they aren't because all potential "investors" know they're available.  She says the concern is over investors who get on line immediately and begin buying up properties that's "really... scary."  That also means that those properties may be purchased through the on-line auction... and, then possibly flipped in the near future.  Surdyk says the city plans to work with the Chautauqua County Landbank to possibly package some properties for new construction, or rehabilitation.  She says they're hoping to get people to package some of the empty parcels in different parts of the city.  Surdyk says using the Landbank would be the best way to pull properties together to get into the hands of interested first-time homebuyers.  


Hochul signs Voting Rights measure...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a law intended to prevent local officials from enacting rules that might suppress people's voting rights because of their race.  The law signed Monday by the governor will make New York one of the first states to bring back a version of a process known as "pre-clearance."  The process was gutted by a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2013.  Under the federal Voting Rights Act... states with a record of suppressing the rights of Black voters once had to seek U.S. Justice Department approval before changing voting rules.  Now, local governments with a record of discrimination in New York must gain approval from state officials.


Lockport woman arrested following DWI accident...
A woman from Niagara County has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk when her car crashed in the town of Hanover Sunday evening.  Sheriff's officers were called to the unspecified location about 6:30 p.m., and, say two people were injured, and had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.  During the investigation... 27 year-old Andreonna Mindoro of Lockport was found to be driving while under the influence of alcohol.  Mindoro was arrested for DWI... and following too closely.  She was issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court at a later date.


 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 20, 2022

City firefighters called to early morning house fire on Wilson Place...
A home on Jamestown's northside has been damaged in an early morning fire.  City fire officials say a crew was called to 25 Wilson Place about 5:30 a.m., and, had the blaze under control fairly quickly.  Flames could be seen coming from the roof and attic area of the home.  North Main Street at the intersection with Wilson was closed for a time so crews could access a fire hydrant.  No injuries were reported... but, the occupants are being helped by the local Red Cross.  Fire officials say the building appears "salvagable."  The cause is under investigation.


Man arrested for allegedly firing off hand-gun on Dunkirk street last Friday...
A Dunkirk man was arrested Friday afternoon on several charges after Dunkirk Police received numerous complaints of a person pointing a gun at people and firing several shots in the air.  Police say the suspect was reported to be shooting the gun in the area of the 400-block of Park Avenue and the 400 and 500 blocks of Columbus Avenue shortly before 1:30 p.m.  Officers say 24-year-old Adrian Rivera-Salome, who is a convicted felon on parole, was located with a 9 mm pistol near the intersection of East Sixth Street and Columbus Avenue, where he surrendered without incident. Rivera-Salome was charged with six counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of second-degree menacing, and one count each of second and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He is being held in the Chautauqua County Jail on $50,000 bail.


Gerry woman arrested on drug and weapons charges in Silver Creek last weekend...
A Gerry woman has been arrested in Silver Creek for allegedly being found in possession of three illegal narcotics and a set of "plastic stun gun knuckles."  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of an apparent drug overdose on Jackson Street... and, found 36 year-old Amanda Sendall inside.  During the investigation... Sendall was allegedly found with three separate controlled substances, and the stun gun knuckles.  She was arrested on three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count of fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon.  Sendall was later released with appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court.


Jamestown's Juneteenth Festival wraps up Sunday...
Jamestown’s Juneteenth celebration took place Saturday and Sunday at Jackson-Taylor Park.  At the opening ceremony, event coordinator, and City Councilwoman, Regina Brackman talked about the diverse members of the Juneteenth planning committee that was brought together to trying an bridge the gap that causes racial divisions.  Reflecting on the May 14 shooting rampage in Buffalo, Mayor Eddie Sundquist said Juneteenth is not only about history... but also knowing how much we still have to do.  The two day celebration featured a poetry reading, musical performances, vendors, a basketball tournament, and a worship service. 


New IDEA Coalition introduced during Juneteenth...
The Juneteenth celebration in Jamestown marked the official beginning of a new coalition to eliminate systemic racism in the community.  It came about from a series of conversations led by United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler... who says the name is short for: "Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Diversity Coalition."  Rohler says it's a group that will work for "community change."  Over a dozen community groups and institutions have committed to the new coalition, and they’ve chosen Bishop Leecroft Clarke of the Healing Word Ministries Church as project manager.


Early primary voting underway in NYS, and Chautauqua County...
New Yorkers began going to the polls last Saturday to cast early votes in a primary election that could determine whether Governor Kathy Hochul keeps her job.  Select polling places are open for early votes across the state through June 26th... ahead of the June 28th primary.  In the Democratic gubernatorial primary... Hochul is trying to fend off challenges from Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.  On the Republican side... four candidates are competing for the nomination: Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, businessman Harry Wilson and Andrew Giuliani, the son of New York City's former mayor.
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In Chautauqua County... there are four polling sites open for early voting.  They are the Board of Elections Offices in the Hall Clothier Building in Mayville... the county Fairgrounds 4-H Building in Dunkirk... the Robert Jackson Center in Jamestown... and, the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.  For move information... go on-line to VoteChautauqua.com.


Jamestown's "Yassou!" Festival returns after two-year hiatus for COVID...
Two years without a "Yassou!" Festival apparently whetted Jamestown’s appetite for Greek music and food.  At St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Saturday, ‘Yassou’ spokesperson Alexis Singleton said the community response had been outstanding.  Singleton says many people talked about how pleased they were it was back.  She says Yassou is important for St.Nicholas as a fundraiser, and for the way it builds the church community and helps young people understand their heritage and faith.  The full festival was not held in 2020 or 2021 because of the pandemic.
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There was a break in the festivities at the Yassou Festival Saturday for a presentation by State Senator George Borrello.   He announced that the Director of the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Mary Ann Spanos, had been chosen to receive one of the Senate’s ‘Women of Distinction’awards.' Spanos has been director of the Office for the Aging since 2007, and is a long time member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church.  Borrello noted how important she has been to seniors throughout her career... and particularly during the pandemic.  Spanos was ‘humbled’ by the recognition.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 17, 2022

Warren teenager arrested for allegedly killing grandmother in early June...
An man in Warren is being held on a charge of criminal homicide in the death of his 60-year-old grandmother.  The Jamestown and Warren newspapers report the victim as Kelly Wadsworth of Fourth Avenue in Warren.  Warren Police have now charged 18-year-old Juston Moore.  The Warren Police Chief says the cause of death was asphyxiation, strangulation and blunt force trauma.  An 'affadavit of probable cause' says Moore admitted to killing the woman on June 8 or 9, stuffing her body in a recycling bin, leaving it beside her house and then taking her car.   


JPD Captain praises multi-agency effort in twin drug busts on Wednesday...
A multi-agency law enforcement effort led to the arrests of 12 people during two simultaneous drug raids in the city of Jamestown early Wednesday afternoon.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant for an apartment at 47 Charles St. with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Samuelson says the other was done... with the help of the Southern Tier Drug Task Force... at 15 West Cowden Place.  He says it's part of an ongoing, "targeted" effort to get illegal drugs and guns off the streets.  He says one firearm -- a loaded 9 mm pistol -- reported stolen in Houston, Tx.  Samuelson says there were eight adults and one juvenile located inside the Charles Street home... where investigators found a quantity of money, fentanyl, methamphetamine, scales, packaging materials... in addition to the gun.  Police say 43 year-old Anthony Cunningham was arrested on the most serious charges... including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Samuelson says there were six people found at the Cowden Place location... and, four were arrested on drug-related charges.  One... 30 year-old Lawrence Gary, Jr., also faces a fugitive from justice charge.  Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the two raids.  If you have information on any illegal drug activity... you're asked to call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Tip line at 664-2420.


Dunkirk police looking for suspect in alleged stabbing last weekend... 
The investigation is continuing into a stabbing that occurred sometime early last Sunday morning in the north county city of Dunkirk.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says, though, that the stabbing may have taken place at another location.  Ortolano says they were notified about stabbing victim at East Fourth Street and and Park Avenue about 5:30 a.m.  Ortolano is urging anyone who may have information on the incident to call them at 366-226... or their confidential tips line at 363-0313.  He says the stabbing victim was flown to a trauma hospital in Erie, Pa. and is reported in stable condition.


Jamestown woman arrested for burglary...
A city woman is accused of breaking into a home on Jamestown's eastside late Wednesday night.  City police were called to 15 East Fifth St. shortly before Midnight... and, found there had been forced entry made to the house.  But... they found no one inside.  Officers say surveillance camera footage showed 50 year-old Tina Taylor had broken into the building... and, while taking the report... and, patrolman spotted Taylor walking outside the residence.  She was arrested after a brief foot chase on charges including second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, resisting arrest... and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Taylor was jailed pending arraignment.


Mayville man arrested in Lakewood for allegedly leaving dog unattended over an hour...
A man from Mayville faces New York state Agriculture and Markets Law violations after police found he had left a dog inside his car in Lakewood for more than an hour without food or water.  Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the Lakewood Cinema 8 on Fairmount Avenue last Saturday afternoon by concerned employees.  Police were told by those employees that 70 year-old Alexander Calhoun had parked the vehicle on the sidewalk... and, left the dog unattended.  Officers and staff later found Calhoun, who was advised of the dangers of leaving the dog.   He was also issued an appearance tickets for Busti Town Court at a later date.


County Democrats endorsed Hochul for governor...
Democrats in Chautauqua County have made their endorsements for New York's gubernatorial race in the November election.  The Committee's Acting Chairman, Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas, announced late Wednesday that they have endorsed incumbents Kathy Hochul for Governor... and, former Congressman Antonio Delgado for Lieutenant Governor.  Rosas says Hochul knows our area well... and, "we have a great relationship with her."  Hochul is running against Congressman Tom Suozzi... and, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in the June 28th primary.


Yassou Festival underway at St. Nicholas Greek Church...
For the first time in three years, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Jamestown is presenting the Yassou Festival this weekend on the church grounds on Frances Street.  One of the organizers, Alexis Singleton, says it's exciting to bring Yassou back because people have made it clear that they are "eager" to have the event back.  The festival is a full immersion in Greek culture... with traditional food made from scratch, beverages, dancing... and music with a live band coming in to perform during the event... along with a greek music duo.  The hours for the Yassou Festival are through 11 p.m. Friday, June 17... and, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.  Tours of the domed church will be held at 2 and 6 PM both days.  Admission is only $3 for adults.  Children 12 and under are free.

 

  

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 16, 2022

(**Alert)National Weather Service keeps Tornado Watch for all of WNY until 11 p.m...
There's a tornado watch in effect for all of Western New York through 11 o'clock tonight.  That after a heat advisory was issued this morning for Chautauqua County until 8 p.m.  Forecaster Jason Alumbaugh with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said the risk of severe weather is around 'a level 3 out of 5.'  Alumbaugh says there could be damaging winds, and hail... along with a slight risk for a tornado in the region.  While the heaviest weather will occur east of a line from Jamestown to Rochester... Alumbaugh is quick to add that you could still have severe thunderstorms west of that, as well. 


JPD arrests 12 in simultaneous drug raids on two locations...
A dozen people face illegal narcotics and other charges following two simultaneous drug raids in the city of Jamestown early Wednesday afternoon.  City Police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant for an apartment at 47 Charles Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Officers say there were eight adults and one juvenile located inside the home.  Investigators found a quantity of money, fentanyl, methamphetamine, scales, packaging materials... and a loaded 9mm pistol that was reported stolen in Houston, Texas.  Police say 43 year-old Anthony Cunningham was arrested on several counts... including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... criminal possession of stolen property... and, multiple Felony drug counts.  The other seven face multiple drug charges.  At the same time... City Police and members of the county's Narcotics Investigation Team... raided an apartment at 15 West Cowden Place.  Six people were found there... and, four were arrested on drug-related charges.  One... 30 year-old Lawrence Gary, Jr., also faces a fugitive from justice charge.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says one location was used as a "stash house..." while the other was for "users."  


Buffalo woman seriously hurt in motorcycle crash in town of Villanova...
A female motorcyclist had to be flown to a Buffalo-area hospital after crashing her bike on Oak Rd. in the town of Villanova Tuesday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene -- near Route 322 -- about 3:30 p.m., and found the 55 year-old Buffalo woman was making a left turn onto Oak Rd. from 322 when she lost control of the motorcycle and crashed.  The operator was treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries by South Dayton EMS... and the county's Medic fly car.  The unidentified woman was late flown by Mercy Flight to the Erie County Medical Center for further treatment.  No charges are expected as a result of the investigation.


Borrello discusses push to keep Brooks Hospital open in Dunkirk or Fredonia...
About 50 people turned out to the Kosciuszko Club in Dunkirk on Tuesday for a town hall meeting hosted by State Senator George Borrello.  A number of issues were brought up during the hour-long session, including the status of Brooks Memorial Hospital.  The Sunset Bay Republican said he has discussed the matter with Governor Kathy Hochul's Office in recent days, making clear that the Dunkirk-Fredonia area needs a state-of-the-art facility... so people don't have to go to Buffalo or Erie, Pa. for treatment.  While he did not discuss the details of his conservations with the Governor's Office... Borrello said that a lot of people are "very committed" to making sure the north county has a full-service hospital.  He says there are a "lot of people" including officials who are pushing to maintain a hospital there.  Also at the town hall meeting... Borrello also discussed gun legislation, bail reform, and efforts to get an Amtrak station to the area. 


Mayville man arrested for alleged DWAI, and tampering charges... 
A Mayville man faces a driving while under the influence of drugs charge following a single-car accident on the Fredonia-Stockton Road in the town of Stockton last Tuesday night.  State Police in Fredonia say they responded to a 9-1-1 call about the crash shortly before 8 p.m.  During the investigation... witnesses told troopers that the driver, 32 year-old James Mawhir, could be seen ingesting unknown substances and trying to hide other unknown objects before police arrived.  When they interviewed Mawhir... troopers noted obvious signs of impairment, as well as failure of standardized field sobriety tests at the scene.  Mawhir also admitted to having a revoked driver’s license.  After initially refusing treatment... Mawhir was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital where he received multiple doses of Narcan after showing signs of possible overdose.  He was issued appearance tickets for Felony tampering with physical evidence... seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... false personation... and DWAI.


Referee at Jackals play-off game recovering after serious heart attack...
Basketball referee John Scully's life was saved Saturday at the Jamestown Jackal's playoff game at Jamestown Community College.  Team owner Kayla Crosby says Scully had a heart attack and dropped to the floor a half-minute before the end of the first quarter.  Toledo Glass player... and firefighter... Myles Copeland jumped into action and led players in doing chest compressions and CPR to save Scully.  Crosby's aunt, Jody Marsh, who is a nurse, also helped out.  Shot clock operator Steve Randolph, rushed to get the nearby defibrillator, which was used twice.  All of this occurred prior to the arrival of the the local ambulance.  Crosby says it was a very scary situation because Scully turned blue before being revived.  He's from Rochester... and, was taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment.  He's expected to have bypass surgery shortly.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 15, 2022

Western NY and Chautauqua County looking at unseasonably hot and humid conditions the next two days...
Much of western New York... especially away from the Great Lakes... will see the hottest temperatures of the year beginning later today... as the hot air mass that started in the southwestern United States moves in.  The warm air may produce some showers and thunderstorms through early afternoon.  However... for the most part... it will be sunny and hot with a high around 90.  Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service says stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, and do most of your activities in the morning.  Thomas adds that this kind of heat is unusual for this time of year... and some parts of the region could see the heat index rise to about 100 today.  He says daytime highs will be within a couple of degrees of record highs for the day.  However... he says the more likely record will come overnight tonight because the low is only expected to reach the lower 70s.  Thomas says Thursday will again be sunny and hot to begin the day.  However... he says the chance of rain and thunderstorms will pick up later in the day when a cold front begins to move in.


Fredonia woman arrested following van rollover accident on Route 20 in Pomfret...
A Fredonia woman has been charged after her van rolled over onto the side of a barn on Route 20 in the town of Pomfret late Monday morning.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene -- in the area of Harmon Hill Road -- shortly before Noon.  Officers say the driver, 26 year-old Selena Diaz, was westbound when the van went off the roadway and hit several street signs before shearing off an electrical pole.  Deputies say the van then struck a small embankment... causing it to flip over and hit the barn.  Diaz was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  Officers say a passenger in the van was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment of serious injuries.  Diaz was ticketed for moving from lane unsafely... and, will appear in Pomfret Town Court at a later date.  Route 20 was closed in that area for a time to clear the scene.


Gillibrand able to get illegal gun trafficking measure into federal Gun Control legislation...
New York's junior U.S. Senator has been able to get federal gun trafficking legislation into the bi-partisan gun safety deal to be acted on sometime in the next two weeks.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says -- if approved -- the provision would address a serious concern and create a more serious offense when someone traffics guns into the state illegally... because they are currently just a violation.  During a video conference call with reporters Tuesday... Gillibrand said she believes there is strong support for the agreement that was announced on Sunday.  The gun safety framework includes investments in mental health care, federal funding to encourage the passage of state 'red flag' laws, enhanced background checks, and a provision to close the so-called "boyfriend loophole."


McConnell says he backs Senate Gun Bill...
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced his support for his chamber's emerging bipartisan gun agreement.  The Kentucky Republican's endorsement Tuesday boosted momentum for modest but notable election-year action by Congress on an issue that's deadlocked lawmakers for three decades.  An outline of the accord was released Sunday by 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans.  Leaders hope it can be translated into legislation in days and voted on by Congress before lawmakers' July 4th recess.


JCC and SUNY Colleget at Fredonia announce first two 4-year degree programs to be provided at JCC...
The pilot program that will allow students to get a SUNY College Fredonia degree by taking classes at Jamestown Community College is ready to go for this fall.   Fredonia President, Dr. Stephen Kolison, believes it’s an ideal way for people who work or have families to finish their degrees.  Kolison says it's a great way to pursue a bachelors degree if you are unable to leave Jamestown.  JCC President Dr. Daniel DeMarte says Fredonia faculty will be teaching late afternoon or evening classes in Business and Childhood Education on the Jamestown campus….. and there’ll be  ‘on campus’ support  from SUNY Fredonia as well.  Both college presidents encourage students to apply soon.  


Surdyk outlines Jamestown's CDBG and HOME program Action Plans...
The Jamestown City Council is to vote later this month on the city's Community Development Block Grant Action Plan... and HOME programs for 2022.  The council's Finance Committee approved the more than $1.5-million proposal... most of which goes towards low to moderate income projects in the city.  Development Director Crystal Surdyk says there's a little less money for CDBG... but, they're offset by more for the HOME program.  Surdyk says they were concerned about what might happen due to population loss noted in the 2020 Census.  However... she says while they lost $50,000 in CDBG funding, the city received $60,000 more from the HOME program.  Surdyk says the biggest item in the CDBG program is $210,000 for public or privately-owned commercial or industrial property rehabilitation.  She adds they are again including an emergency program for owner-occupied homes.  Surdyk adds they also decided to put 30% of the HOME Program funds to owner-occupied housing rehabilitation work done by Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated, and the Chautauqua Home Rehabiltation and Improvement Corporation... otherwise known as CHRIC.  

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 14, 2022

Council reviews city providing $56,000 match on JPS sidewalk snow plow purchases...
The Jamestown City Council still has one matter to be resolved before it can vote on a shared services agreement for plowing sidewalks with the city school district.  The City Council Finance Committee gave conditional approval to a resolution to have the district pay for two new plows... but, the city will now allocate $56,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to match a $250,000 allocation from the school district.  Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says everything else is the same... with the city using $689,000 to pay for two new parks dept. employees to run the plows.  Ecklund says the agreement would run from this coming Aug. 1 through Dec. 31 of 2026.  However... Councilman Jeff Russell questioned if the city could legally enter into the agreement itself.  The initial response was "yes..." but, Russell and Ecklund asked if they could use ARPA funding for the match.  Corporation Counsel Eliot Raimando said he would have to look further into that matter.  However... he says the shared services agreement basically is no different than the one the city has for it's grants writer with Jamestown Community College.  The final measure would be acted on at the City Council's June 27 voting session.


House fire on Jamestown's eastside Sunday morning under investigation...
Fire has extensively damaged a two-story, single-family home on Jamestown's eastside early Sunday morning.  Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to 15 Winsor St. sometime before 7 a.m., and, found heavy flames on the outside of the rear of the house moving up into the first and second-floors.  Sigular says the responding crew was able to get the blaze out fairly quickly... and, no one was hurt.  He says firefighters did have to rescue a pet cat from inside.  The responding crew was at the scene until shortly before 9 a.m.  The cause is under investigation.  Sigular says the house is uninhabitable.


Angola man arrested for license being suspended or revoked 10 times following head-on crash on Rt. 60...
A Buffalo-area man whose license has been suspended or revoked 10 times has been arrested following a head-on crash early Monday morning on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte.  Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene... along with Sinclairville Fire rescuers and other mutual aid... just after 7 a.m. between Moon and Luce Roads.  Officers found that a southbound pick-up truck, driven by 49 year-old John Lemke of Angola, was allegedly passing another vehicle in a marked 'no passing' zone.  While passing the other vehicle... Lemke struck a northbound construction truck pulling a trailer.  The collision significantly damaged both vehicles. The four people inside the construction truck suffered minor injuries... with one going to the hospital.  Lemke was also taken to the hospital.  Lemke was cited for second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation... switching plates, unsafe passing, and other charges.


Hochul signs series of six abortion rights bills...
Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a a package of abortion bills into law in New York City.  A total of six measures were approved by state lawmakers before the end of the 2022 session.  The bills are aimed at strengthening legal protections for providers and women ahead of a possible ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe versus Wade.  Hochul says the legislation will protect women who seek abortions... because if the high courts strikes down the law, there would be "government mandated pregnancies."  Hochul also had three messages for those who oppose abortion rights... "not here, now now, not ever."  Back in May... Governor Hochul announced millions of dollars in additional funds for abortion providers across the state to expand their facilities and strengthen security ahead of the possible ruling from the nation's highest court.


Jamestown Municipal Band ready to begin full slate of performances, beginning June 29...
For the first time in three years... the Jamestown Municipal Band will perform a full slate of Wednesday concerts at Allen Park beginning on June 29 and running through Aug. 3.  Band Director Rick Lundquist says the band is delighted to be back.  Lundquist says it's great to see all the people on the hill.  He adds the performances are free to the public.  Lundquist adds the band has also been booked for the Labor Day Festival at Bergman Park….. and may be playing at some downtown events, as well.  The theme for the first concert, June 29 at 7 p.m. is ‘Music for a Summer Night.'  For that program... Lundquist says they want to include a tribute to baseball... and, include some members of the local Jamestown Tarp Skunks in that.  The annual ‘patriotic’ concert will be July 6.  Lundquist describes the performances as ‘music you know and love… played by your friends and neighbors.’  The Allen Park Women’s Club will once again be selling refreshments at each of the band’s concerts in the glen.


Whitaker says more than $1-million in scholarships and awards presented to JHS seniors...
Several members of the Jamestown High School Class of 2022 received numerous scholarships... and other awards during the school's recent Awards Night.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says they received more than $1-million combined during the virtual ceremony.  Whitaker says more than 100 awards were handed out.  Whitaker says it's a "long night..." but "an incredible experience."  Student of the Year awards went to Grayson Bloomquist, Sydeny Maggio, Jacob Smeraldo, and Annika Spitzer.  Whitaker says the number of "incredibly talented" students receiving awards "packed the stage" at JHS.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 13, 2022

Five escape serious injury in head-on crash on Rt. 60 in town of Charlotte...
An early morning head-on collision on Route 60 in the town of Charlotte Monday injured five people... and two of them were sent to the hospital.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene... along with Sinclairville Fire rescuers, and mutual aid... just after 7 a.m. between Moon and Luce Roads.  Deputies found that a southbound pickup truck, driven by 49 year-old John Lemke of Angola, was allegedly passing another vehicle in a marked 'no passing' zone.  While passing the other vehicle... Lemke struck a northbound construction truck pulling a trailer.  The collision significantly damaged both vehicles.  The construction vehicle driver and three other occupants suffered minor injuries.  The driver was taken to the hospital, along with Lemke.  Officers say his license had 10 state suspensions and revocations.  Lemke was cited for second-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation... switching plates, Unsafe Passing, Failure to keep right, and other traffic violations.


One person taken to Erie, Pa. hospital for serious injuries after two-car crash in town of Sherman...
One person suffered serious injuries in a two-car crash on the Sherman Stedman Road in the town of Sherman early last Saturday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 1:30 a.m., and on arrival... found a passenger in one of the vehicles had been seriously hurt.  That person was transported to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa. for treatment.  The Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction was called in to investigate the scene.  Deputies say at this time... the investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.


City council to consider program to eradicate "Tree of Heaven" invasive plant during Chadakoin River restoration effort...
The first-phase of the Chadakoin River restoration project has been completed... but, future phases are being influenced by an invasive tree species that's taken over three areas of the shoreline.  That from the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy's Twan Leenders... who recently updated the City Council on the project.  Leenders says phase-on began on March 10th... and, involved removing debris, and dead trees in using four "trap areas" to minimize impact on property.  He says doing that minimized the impact on shoreline areas.  However... Leenders says there are three areas of the river where an invasive tree species, called "Tree of Heaven..." has caused major concern.  He says the problem with "Tree of Heaven" is that it will crowd out other species -- including natives.  That makes it hard to get rid of.  He says if you don't get rid of it properly... it will secreet stress hormones to the roots, and up to 40 or more new shoots will come up.  Leenders says there are specific chemical treatments that have to be used because they can kill off the tree's root systems.  He says another problem with "Tree of Heaven" is it attracts the invasive "Spotted Lanternfly..." which creates havoc for fruit plants.


Jamestown Pride Festival draws large numbers to downtown...
Saturday’s Pride Festival was just the second annual for the city.  Jamestown Pride’s coordinator, Sheridan Smith, found the large turnout reassuring to a part of the community that has sometimes felt fear.  Smith says it was an opportunity to show people that those in the LGBTQ+ community are welcome.  Smith also believes ‘pride’ in Jamestown is more than just one day.  He says more and more, it's becoming part of the 'year round fabric of our lives.'  A common sight at the festival were ‘Jamestown Pride’ tee shirts and bags.  Sheridan Smith says proceeds from those items help fund the pride committee’s activities.


City's Public Market opens in concert with Pride Festival...
The opening of the Jamestown Public Market combined with the Jamestown Pride festival made for a big day downtown on Saturday.  Market Manager Linnea Carlson says the combined event "was amazing" and the largest one they've had for the market.  The market, located on Third Street between Main and Cherry will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the fall with a wide variety of local produce, as well as beef and pork.  Several growers had fresh strawberries for the market opening.  A number of specialty products will be offered through the summer as well.


Andrew Guilani says he's been barred from GOP Gubernatorial Debate due to no proof of reciving a COVID vaccine...
Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani says he has been barred from participating in-person in an upcoming primary debate because he has refused to submit proof he's been vaccinated against COVID-19.  The son of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani held a news conference Sunday outside the offices of CBS-TV, which is televising the debate Monday night. Giuliani says he has chosen not to be vaccinated... but, said he told debate organizers he would take multiple tests leading up to and on the day of the debate.


Celoron Rib-fest makes big return...
Following a two year absence due to the COVID pandemic... the Celoron rib-fest had a triumphant return.  Mayor Scot Schrecengost says this "might have been one of our best years."  Schrecengost says it took some work, but, everything ran "great."  He says Wednesday and Thursday were ‘good’… while the weekend crowds were ‘booming.’  In addition to ribs, there were live bands, children’s activities, a car show…. and more at Lucille Ball park.  Schrecengost believes rib-fest is great for the whole community because it gives back to many non-profit organizations including the Celoron Fire Department and Celoron Moose Club.  

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 10, 2022

Local police investigating alleged threats to supermarkets...
The Jamestown and Lakewood-Busti Police Departments say they are aware of "a post going around on Facebook regarding threats to Tops Market on Foote Avenue and Wal-Mart on Fairmount Avenue."  Police say the threats are being investigated by various law enforcement entities including the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  At this time... they say the FBI does not believe that there are any credible threats to the establishments.  However... both departments are continuing to monitor the situations and request that anyone with information on who may be responsible for the threats to contact them, or their local law enforcement agency.  The JPD tips line is 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Lakewood-Busti Police can be contracted at 763-9563.


Former Reed chief of staff endorsed by GOP and Conservatives to run in special election Aug. 23...
Retired Congressman Tom Reed's former chief of staff has been selected by Republicans and Conservatives to fill out the remaining months of Reed's sixth-term in the House.  In a twitter feed this afternoon... Joe Sempolinski said "it is a profound honor to be the unanimous choice of the Republican and Conservative Parties" in the 23rd Congressional District.  Sempolinski is running in the Aug. 23 special election to fill out Reed's current term.  The Post-Journal is reporting that Sempolinkski first declared his candidacy in July of last year... after Reed announced he was not seeking another term.  Owego-area Democrat Max Della Pia is the Democratic candidate for the special election.  

Paladino again has to explain comments made over past year... this time about Hitler...
New York congressional candidate Carl Paladino says he was wrong to invoke Adolf Hitler when he said in an interview last year that he was "the kind of leader we need today" because of his ability to rally crowds.  The Republican responded after the comments made during a WBEN interview resurfaced.  It's the second time this week that Paladino has had to explain himself since announcing his campaign for New York's 23rd Congressional District.  On Wednesday... he said he hadn't fully read a conspiracy-laden Facebook post he shared and then deleted, which suggested a racist mass shooting in Buffalo and other mass killings were part of a plot to take away people's guns.  While Joe Sempolinski has been endorsed to run in the special election... Paladino is seeking to run for the newly redrawn 23rd district in November.  Chautauqua County native, and current State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy is also reportedly interested in running.


Gillibrand expresses disappointment in delay in vote on Burn Pit legislation...
Some late opposition has led to a delay in the U-S Senate on voting on helping veteran's impacted by toxic burn pits overseas.  One of the lawmakers leading the effort to get a program in place is New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand... who says the program was approved in a procedural vote, 86-12.  However... Gillibrand says a final vote has now been delayed until next week.  She says action needs to be taken now.  Gillibrand says she began working two years ago on the issue with lawmakers, like GOP Senator Marco Rubio, and citizens, like Comedian Jon Stewart, to get the matter addressed.  Gillibrand says there are a small number of Senators who want the spending to be discretionary... meaning it would have to be taken up each year by Congress.  She says the permanent program would cost $300-billion over 10 years... adding that we "always (seem to) have plenty of money for "tanks and planes and missiles and guns." 


Gillibrand explains need for regulations on cryptocurrency, and industry influence...
New York's junior U-S Senator is among those pushing for legislation that will regulate cryptocurrency... and other aspects of 'on-line' business.  Kirsten Gillibrand was asked about the influence of the leaders of cryptocurrency... and, the fact there are no regulations right now.  Responding to a question from the media... Gillibrand agreed the industry is putting a lot of money into political campaigns, and, she says that's never good because it helps stonewall helpful regulation.  In fact... Gillibrand says a number of federal lawmakers are not accepting such donations anymore because they don't want to appear as being influenced in how they vote.  She says a good example of that was seen this past week in Western New York... with Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs losing the backing of several prominent GOP officials because of his stated willingness to discuss and approve "common sense" gun control legislation.  Jacobs then announced he would not seek re-election to the newly redrawn 23rd Congressional District.


City man arrested following alleged, physical domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly hitting another person he was ordered to stay away from... and, then threatening to stab that person Wednesday night.  City police were called to a northside resident about 9:30 p.m. on a report of a physical domestic incident.  Officers say their investigation showed that 24 year-old Victor Andino Martinez, Jr. violated an order of protection when he struck the victim... and, then threatened the victim several times if they left the scene.  Martinez was arrested on charges including first-degree criminal contempt, and aggravated contempt... along with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and second-degree menacing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 9, 2022

Two men -- one from Jamestown -- indicted for allegedly trafficking "large amounts" of narcotic drug...
A city man has been indicted -- along with a prior Felon from Buffalo -- for allegedly trafficking large amounts of heroin and fentanyl in the region.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced a federal Grand Jury returned the narcotics conspiracy indictments against 38 year-old Joseph Zaso of Buffalo... and, 47 year-old Denver Komenda of Jamestown.  In addition... Ross says Zaso is charged with using and maintaining a drug-involved premises and distribution of fentanyl.  He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison, and a maximum of life.  Komenda is also charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.  Prosecutors say the two men are accused of conspiring to possess and sell the drugs... and, using a home in Jamestown between September of 2018 and May of this year for their drug-trafficking activities.


Chautauqua Mall announces Buddy Brewster's Ale House to move into former Ruby Tuesdays...
A north county restaurant will be opening a second location in the Jamestown area this coming Fall.  The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood has announced that Buddy Brewster's Ale House will be opening the new location at the former Ruby Tuesday's on the Fairmount Avenue side of the mall.  The Professional Hospitality team... which also owns and operates the Chop House on Main in Jamestown... and, the Village Casino in Bemus Point... has already begun work on the new location.  They were recently approved for a building permit by the Lakewood Village Planning Board.  Buddy Brewster's offers a diverse, homemade menu with a fully-stocked bar, and outdoor dining available.  


Head of Heritage Ministries sounds off on new nursing home penalties...
New York state is continuing to deal with a nursing shortage... and, two new measures approved by state lawmakers will make more difficult for nursing homes to provide services.  That from Heritage Ministries President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Haglund... who says they are supporting a lawsuit by the "LeadingAge" group against the state, and Governor Kathy Hochul.  She says they're trying to prevent the state from enforcing what she calls "punitive measures" on homes that pay too much overtime to meet minimum standards of care.  Haglund says that's led to New York being short about 12,000 nurses right now.  She says Heritage is better of than many facilities, though.  Haglund says the new measures would impose fines when nursing home facilties have to use overtime to comply with providing 3.5-hours of care per resident -- per day.  She thanked state Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell for voting against the new measures.


Wendel gets update on where ImmunityBio project is...
ImmunityBio remains on track with its plans for the Athenex plant in town of Dunkirk... which the California based company acquired in February.  That's according to County Executive P-J Wendel, who says the Department of Planning and Economic Development, met with the company's Human Resources Director on Tuesday.  Wendel says county officials wanted to get an update on the 400,000 square foot facility on Route 5.  He says what they've been going through is part of the process of getting their drugs and vaccines approved, processed, and to market.  Like most other businesses... Wendel says the company been affected by supply chain issues.  However... he says there's no long term issues expected... so they should be able to keep the process moving forward.  Wendel spoke about scheduling the meeting with ImmunityBio during an appearance before the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce last Friday.


Rosas asking for state help if Brook's Hospital ends up moving from Dunkirk to Fredonia...
The city of Dunkirk is planning to ask for financial assistance from New York State -- if Brooks Memorial Hospital relocates to the village of Fredonia.  That from Mayor Willie Rosas... who spoke about the issue during Tuesday's Common Council meeting.  Rosas says if the hospital leaves Dunkirk, he would like Governor Kathy Hochul's Office help with repurposing the current hospital building, and addressing a gap in services for the "less fortunate in our community."  Rosas, who was involved in a rally last weekend to keep the hospital in Dunkirk, says he would rather have a hospital in Fredonia than no hospital in the area, but not without having the city's concerns addressed.  The Mayor says Governor Hochul is aware of the city's situation, and he plans to further discuss the issue with her office on Friday.  Brooks-TLC has until June 22 to buy the property in Fredonia.


More controversy surrounding Paladino as he looks to run for Congress is re-drawn 23rd District...
A New York Republican running to represent a congressional district that includes southern suburbs of Buffalo, New York, shared and deleted a conspiracy-laden Facebook post suggesting a racist mass shooting in Buffalo and other mass killings were part of a plot to take away people's guns.  The lengthy June 1st post shared by Buffalo developer Carl Paladino said in almost every mass shooting, including the shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo last month... and, a shooting at a Texas elementary school, ``there are strange occurrences that are never fully explained.'' Paladino denied writing the post initially, but then changed his story in an interview with the Buffalo News.  Paladino is being challenged by New York state Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy... who is a Chautauqua County native.  He recently received a conservative Party endorsement to run.  State Senator George Borrello is also reportedly weighing a run for the position.  


 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 8, 2022

Abram says Hochul selecting special election date clears up some voting confusion...
There's a little less confusion now that New York Governor Kathy Hochul has set the date for the 23rd Congressional District's special election.  Chautauqua County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says it will be held on the same day as State's second primary of the year on Aug. 23.  Abram, who is GOP commissioner, says it's not all that unusual to have a special election occurring on the same date as a primary.  He says it did happen up in the Buffalo-area a couple of years ago.  Meanwhile... Abram says the Board of Elections is gearing up for the state's first primary on June 28.  He says early voting will open on June 18.  For more information... go on-line to VoteChautauqua.com.  Abram says Republican and Democrats will both be holding Gubernatorial primaries on June 28.


Pa. man arrested in connection with fatal pick-up truck-motorcycle crash in French Creek... 
A Corry, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of a fatal truck-motorcycle accident in the town of French Creek last weekend.  State Police in Jamestown say they worked with State Police in Pennsylvania to investigate... and, arrested 32 year-old Slater Lindstrom on charges including leaving the scene of a fatal collision, unlicensed operation, and reckless driving.  Troopers say they were called to the intersection of Marvin and Belknap Roads shortly before 3 p.m. last Saturday... and, investigated the accident.  They say Lindstrom was southbound on Marvin Road, and missed a turn onto Belknap.  He then allegedly stopped in the roadway and backed-up.  However... the motorcycle -- which was following Lindstrom -- did not stop and struck the back of the truck.  The operator, 63 year-old Andrew Howard of Erie, Pa., died of his injuries.  


Three illegal aliens working on Catt. Co. farm arrest for alleged stabbings... 
Three migrant farm workers in the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom are accused of stabbing three other workers during an altercation late last week.  State Police in Machias were called to Chaffee Hospital in Springville last Friday for three people being treated for non-life threatening stab wounds.  Troopers say further investigation found that the trio of suspects used a combination of items... including a kitchen knife and beer bottles to stab the other three.  Following an investigation... police arrested 21 year-old David Del Carmen-Ibarra... 36 year-old Alberto Ibarra Del Carmen... and, 25 year-old Jose Del Carmen Ibarra for second-degree assault.  Troopers add that Immigration and Customs Enforcement were contacted about the three suspects, who were illegal aliens.  All three were arraigned in Freedom Town Court... and, sent to the Little Valley jail on $50,000 cash bail each.


City reaches shared services agreement with school district for more sidewalk plowing...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will consider a shared services agreement with the city school district to start a new, and more comprehensive sidewalk plowing program this Winter.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he and public works officials began talks with the school district earlier this year on the plan... which would also help clear snow in other parts of the city as well.  Sundquist says the proposal will give the city and district a way to better keep sidewalks plowed, and usable during Winter.  He says the school district would purchase two sidewalk plows for about $306,000... while the city would hire two additional parks laborers for $675,000 through 2026.  That cost would be paid for with American Rescue Plan Act funds.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the district surveyed what walking routes students took to get to school... and, divised a map to determine those areas.  The plan will be voted on later this month.


Sex Offender arrested in Wellsville for failure to register in Chautauqua County...
An Allegany County woman who is a registered sex offender has been arrested for allegedly failing to register her new address in Chautauqua County.  Sheriff's deputies were told that 35 year-old Whitney Blankenship, who is listed on the state registry, failed to verify her address with the state within the time period allowed.  Deputies say a warrant was issued... and, Blankenship was arrested in Wellsville, and she was arraigned in Chautauqua Town Court.


Retired Buffalo Fire Commissioner testifies before Congress on guns and domestic terrorism...
The son of an 86-year-old woman killed in the racist Buffalo mass shooting is calling on Congress to act against domestic terrorism.  Garnell Whitfield, Jr., whose mother was the oldest of the 10 Buffalo victims, challenged senators at a hearing Tuesday.  He told them: "What are you doing? You were elected to protect us." The emotional testimony came against the backdrop of intensifying Senate negotiations on a gun safety bill.  The proposals are gaining traction, but also raising concerns from Democrats and some advocacy groups who are pushing senators to do more sooner.


City courtroom in Albany closed after hundreds of cockroaches are released during melee...
Albany City Court has been closed for fumigation after hundreds of cockroaches were released during an altercation that broke out at an arraignment.  Court officials say the clash broke out Tuesday during proceedings for four people.  A defendant who started to film the courtroom proceedings was told to stop.  In the altercation that followed... hundreds of cockroaches brought into the courthouse in plastic containers were released.  The bug release was being investigated while the courthouse was closed for the rest of the day for fumigation.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 7, 2022

One person hurt when SUV crashes into Jamestown apartment house...
One person had to be taken to the hospital after a sports utility vehicle went off West 17th Street in Jamestown this morning... and, slammed into the side of an apartment house.  City Fire Battalion Chief Brian Acterberg says a crew, and city police were called to the scene at 15 West 17th shortly before 7:30 a.m., hitting the kitchen area of the first-floor.  Acterberg says the male driver was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  He adds the SUV also hit a gas line... so services had to be shut-off to the house.  No one inside was hurt... but, Acterberg says the residents are being helped by the local Red Cross while the house is being repaired.  City police are continuing their investigation.


Several departments respond to house fire in Westfield...
Several fire departments responded to a house fire in the village of Westfield.  The blaze at 66 So. Portage St. was first reported around 8:30 this morning.  The Chautauqua County Emergency Dispatch Center says that crews from Westfield are receiving mutual aid from Brocton, Portland, Ripley, Mayville, Crescent and Fuller Hose from North East, Pennsylvania and Stockton. Chautauqua County Emergency Services is also assisting at the scene. No injuries have been reported so far.


Sundquist in NYC for Hochul signing of gun control measures; reports to city council Monday night...
One local, elected leader was on hand when New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed 10 new laws into effect that regulate guns... and, who can buy and possess them.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist was among those attending the ceremony in the Bronx Monday morning.  Sundquist highlighted the brief trip during remarks at last night's City Council work session.  He says they're small steps... but, he's hopeful they'll help in places like Jamestown.  Sundquist says he's optimistic that more will be done for mental health issues in the near future... along with gun violence in cities.  In fact... he said the city was concluding it's fourth-day in row in which there was no gun-related incident or arrest.  He says that's the longest stretch of this year.  Many of the measures are well-known... but, Sundquist adds two surprised him because they aren't on the books already.  He says one law establishes making a crime of 'making a threat of mass harm...' and, another for 'aggravated making a threat of mass harm.'  The key measure for Hochul was making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy or possess a semi-automatic weapon.


Hochul signs gun control legislation...
Governor Kathy Hochul signed those laws during the ceremony in the Bronx she says will enhance New York's already tough gun laws.  The move comes just a few weeks after 10 Black people were gunned down in Buffalo.  Hochul says the state is taking "bold, strong action... to keep guns away from dangerous people."  They also increase the age to legally purchase or possess a semi-automatic rifle to 21.  Hochul also spoke about the need for federal legislation... saying "enough of the bloodshed" because gun violence is now the number-one killer of school aged children.  State Attorney General Letitia James says the legislation also helps address the role that social media platforms can play in gun violence... saying they have become an "unchecked vehicle for these dangerous and corrosive ideas to spread." 


Quattrone says raising the age to buy semi-automatic rifles will create staffing problems for Sheriff's Office...
Chautauqua County's top elected law enforcement official believes the new laws signed by Governor Kathy Hochul primarily address one issue, guns.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone also says the legislation raising the age to 21 for the sale of AR-15s will create a staffing problem for his office because sheriff's offices will have to do those background checks.  Right now... Quattrone says keeping up with pistol permitting is difficult.  He is also concerned about the lack of details after the bills were passed by state lawmakers last week... and, calls the legislation is "somewhat a knee-jerk reaction."


Gas prices down after tax caps take effect, shoot up again this week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area remain lower than they were to begin the week last week... due to the state and county gas tax cap going in place on June 1.  However... since then the price has been steadily increasing to $4.76 Monday in most places locally.  One location in Lakewood was charging $4.89 a gallon  The price had initially fallen by 21 to 23 cents a gallon.  The price was 16 cents lower by the end of the weekend.  The cost is increasing rapidly across most of the country in part due to seasonal trends and the rising cost of crude oil.  The cost of a barrel of oil is nearing $120 -- nearly double from last August, as increased oil demand outpaces the tight global supply.  The national average has surged by 25 cents in one week to hit $4.86 on Monday.


Little Theater of Jamestown announces three shows for 2022...
No dates have been set... but, during its ‘Summer Kickoff Celebration’ Monday night the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown announced three shows that will be staged this year.  Theater Vice-President Holly Weston says two of them were on the schedule before the pandemic shutdown -- and include "Young Frankenstein" this Fall... and, "Elf: the Musical" will be in the Winter.  This Summer it will be "Disenchanted."
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 6, 2022

Potentially threatening messages about Jamestown elementary school found no credible...
No credible threat was determined overnight after a fourth-grade student sent text messages and video that contained a potential threat to Ring Elementary School in Jamestown.  The district reports that City police were notified, and investigated the report.  After that... they determined that there was no credible threat to Ring school or any individuals.  Officials say they "continue to proactively communicate with the Jamestown Police Department, who has been an essential partner in this process, as we both continue to monitor this situation."  As a precaution this morning... there is an increased police presence and additional restrictions on access to the building.  "The district says students safety is always our top priority.  JPS is dedicated to maintaining a strong partnership with parents.  A key to that partnership is open communication.  To that end, JPS will always communicate directly with parents in the case of any situations we hear that may affect our schools. 


Gov. Hochul sets Aug. 23 for special elections in 23rd and 19th congressional districts...
There will be a late August special election for both the 23rd and 19th Congressional Districts.  The 23rd District seat has been vacant since six-term Republican Tom Reed resigned to take a position with a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm.  Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed the special votes would be held Aug. 23, just one day after Buffalo-area Republican Chris Jacobs announced he would not seek re-election in the new 23rd District.  Jacobs decided not to run because he recently said that he would be willing to discuss "reasonable" gun control after mass shootings in Buffalo, and Evalde, Texas.  That led several prominent Republicans to withdraw their support... and, Jacobs pulled out.  That's thrown the possible Republican nomination for the 23rd District up in the air. 


City man arrested after disorderly call to Harrison St. business...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly hitting someone at a business on Harrison Street... and, then struggling with police.  City officers were called to the scene at 145 Harrison about 1:45 a.m. Saturday on a report of a disorderly person.  Police spoke with employees who said 27 year-old Kevin Lopez Figueroa became disorderly... and, stuck an employee.  Lopez-Figueroa was found a short distance away... and highly-intoxicated and beligerent.  Officers say he began walking away and refused to stop.  He then struggled briefly with police before being arrested for second-degree harassment... obstruction and resisting arrest.  Lopez-Figueroa was arraigned in city court... and, released with appearance tickets for City Court. 


Wendel says Jamestown Airport runway project to be completed Friday after finding buried items under current runway...
A surprise discovery while digging to lay a new runway at the Chautauqua County Airport has slightly delayed that project.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who updated members of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce on the project during the chamber's Executive Breakfast in Dunkirk.  Wendel says crews had to dig deeper than expected because of materials they found buried near the intersection of the runways, including bricks and railroad timbers.  About a year ago... the county legislature accepted a $6.2-million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay for costs incurred to rehabilitate 5,300 feet of the existing runway, including the sub taxiway, drainage, remarking, and rehabilitating the existing lighting system.  The county did not have to pay any matching funds for the project... which is now expected to be completed by June 10.


Dixon receives Lifetime Achievement Award from state for work with county IDA...
The chief financial officer for the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has been given a lifetime achievement award from the state.  Rich Dixon was honored with the Brian T. McMahon Award for excellence in Community-Based Economic Development at the 2022 NYS Economic Development Council Awards Banquet last May 24 in Cooperstown.  IDA officials say the award is presented in recognition of a lifetime of service in the economic development field.  Dixon was recognized as an accomplished economic developer due to his track-record and extensive financial and operations management experience.  He's been the IDA's CFO since 2006.


Chautauqua Art Gallery opens new location in downtown Jamestown...
A new art gallery in downtown Jamestown has had its grand opening last Friday... and held a ribbon cutting to commemorate the event.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was on hand for the official opening of the Chautauqua Art Gallery at 318 North Main St.  Leslie Calimeri started the gallery in Lakewood four years ago.  Her new location in Jamestown is bigger and better, and that allows her to show her work, and those of other artists.  The gallery will feature many kinds of art... all of it created in this region.  318 North Main has a storied history as a hat store, florist shop, beauty salon... and for much of the 20th century a famed women’s store called Nord’s.  Calimari says there were already beautiful cabinets they're using to display their artwork.  The new Chautauqua Art Gallery is open Wednesday through Friday 11 am to 6 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm.


Little Theater kick-off set for tonight...
The Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown will present its first-ever Summer Kickoff Celebration tonight from 6 to 7 p.m.  Theater Vice-President Holly Weston wants everyone to stop by and be part of their "reopening celebration" after being closed the past two years due to the pandemic.  Weston says they’ll have music, a wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and news about the theater.  Some of those will include upgrades that have been made to the facility. 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 3, 2022

(**Bulletin)Jacobs announces he won't run for Congress again after backing assault weapons ban...
Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs of New York says he will not run for another term in Congress amid backlash over his support for new gun control measures.  Jacobs, who represents suburban Buffalo, told reporters Friday that he has decided to retire instead of facing what he said would be ``an incredibly divisive election.``  His announcement comes just days after he voiced support for a federal assault weapons ban and other gun control measures.  Gerard Kassar, who chairs the New York State Conservative Party, welcomed Jacobs' decision.  He said the party had been ``perplexed'' by Jacobs' recent stance.


State legislature approves package of bills including ban on anyone under 21 from buying, selling or possessing a semi-automatic rifle...
New York's legislature has voted to ban banning anyone under age 21 from buying or possessing a semi-automatic rifle.  The legislation is a major change to state firearm laws.  It was passed late Thursday, less than three weeks after an 18-year-old used one of the guns to kill 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo.  Other new legislation will restrict civilian purchases of bullet-resistant armor, which was worn by the killer in Buffalo.  Bills would also require new guns to be equipped with microstamping technology that can help law enforcement investigators trace bullets to particular firearms.  Legal fights over the legislation are expected.


Borrello says Senate GOP proposed it's own gun, crime laws...
While the state legislature's Democratic majority seems poised to act on measures to strengthen New York's gun laws... State Senate Republicans have countered with their own proposals to stymie rising gun violence.  Local State Senator George Borrello says he backs a proposal that would strengthen the weak areas in the state's mental health system.  Borrello says he would also like a measure to fully fund and mandate armed school resource officers in every school building in the state.  He says "we could do that easily... and, it would truly help protect our children." 


Schmidt pleased Jamestown man gets maximum for assault of corrections officer... 
A Jamestown man will spend the maximum seven-years in state prison after being convicted for assaulting a corrections officer at the Chautauqua County Jail last year.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 51 year-old Oliver Bookman also received three-years parole supervision on the charge of second-degree assault -- a Class-D violent felony.  Bookman was convicted in a jury trial back on Mar. 16 for the assault... which occured in June of 2021.  Schmidt was pleased with the sentence... stating “an assault on any person is bad enough, but any attack on the men and women who serve our community and put themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us is terrible and egregious.  I hope this conviction sends a message to the community that these types of crimes will not be tolerated in Chautauqua County.”  Schmidt and First Assistant DA Andrew Molitor prosecuted the case.


JHS back pretty much to normal as school year comes to a close...
The atmosphere in local schools... including Jamestown High School... has been much better than it was at the beginning of the school year last Fall.  That from JHS Principal Dana Williams... who says operations are pretty much back to normal as the COVID pandemic wanes.  During an interview on our Dennis Webster Show Thursday morning... Williams said the biggest improvement has been in student attitude and morale.  He adds it's also boosted their attendance.  With that... Williams says they are moving full speed ahead with end of school year programs... beginning with their  Awards and Scholarships Night last night... and, then others including the Battle of the Classes... and, it's capped off by graduation near the end of the month.  For the most part... Williams says teachers and students have worked hard to mitigate learning problems during the pandemic... which led to what educators called "The COVID Slide."  He says they told teachers to adapt their curriculum to "meet kids where they're at" during the school year. 


Dunkirk schools investigating lock-down Malfunction at high school...
A malfunction in Dunkirk High School's new lock-down system triggered a lockdown that lasted about 30 minutes Thursday morning.  Dunkirk Police responded to the alarm and the Dunkirk City School District in a news release indicated that no immediate threat was detected in any of the district's buildings.


Busti-Kiantone solar project to be part of NYS "large-scale solar and energy storage projects..."
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced awards for 22 large-scale solar and energy storage projects... including one in Busti and Kiantone that will deliver enough clean, affordable energy to power over 620,000 homes... and, do it for at least 20 years.  Hochul made the announcement Thursday that this is the state's largest land-based renewable energy procurement to date... and, the projects will spur over $2.7-billion in private investment and create over 3-thousand short- and long-term jobs across the state.  The York Run Solar project in the towns of Busti and Kiantone will involve construction of a 90-megawatt Solar facility.  It is one of four facilities announced for Western New York... and, Hochul "these awards accelerate progress to exceed New York's goal to obtain 70-percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030."


Tarp Skunks open season with many returning players, fans and win over Olean...
Jaemstown Tarp Skunks Catcher Johnny Kampes had such a good time playing for the team last season, he came back this year.  During a preview event prior to last night's opener against Olean at Diethrick Park... Kampes said he liked the laid back approach of the coaches... the tight bond with his teammates… and the crowds.  He called it a great experience.  The next Tarp Skunks won last night's game 2-0 with only one hit in the game.  They're in Niagara Falls tonight.  Jamestown's next home game is Tuesday against Newark.


 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 2, 2022

State Legislature to have "very challenging" final week of session...
A "very, very challenging" final week of the New York state legislature is underway... with about 100 individual bills being considered Wednesday... and, 50 to 100 each day through Saturday.  That from local Assemblyman Andy Goodell... who said during an interview in Albany Wednesday... that new gun safety measures are among those being considered in the wake of recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas.  The Jamestown-area Republican says he's not against gun control measures that "make sense..." noting that he supports background checks, and reasonable waiting periods to try and keep guns "out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them."  By the same token... Goodell says New York already has the SAFE Act in place... which already restricts who can buy and possess a gun.  He adds most of the school shootings have been committed by underage boys, who have become suicidal -- including the 18 year-old in Texas, who found out he wasn't going to graduate, and initially got into an argument with his grandmother.  Goodell says any gun control measures need to be done in concert with dealing with mental health, and violence in society.


Borrello says he's just now seeing legislation in the Senate that tighten existing gun laws...
Expect state lawmakers to begin passing a package of ten bills that would tighten existing gun laws in New York State this week.  The legislation was announced late Tuesday by Governor Kathy Hochul, and Legislative leaders.  State Senator George Borrello says he is just learning some of the details of the bills... which were to be acted on Wednesday and Thursday.  However... Borrello doesn't believe any of the bills address the main issues... because they don't address the realities regarding bail reform and mental health.  The current legislative session is expected to wrap up on Thursday.


Borrello praises passage of broadband legislation that he co-sponsored...
State Senator George Borrello heralded passage of a measure he championed that will expedite and encourage the deployment of high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities.  Borrello says the legislation would end the state Department of Transportation’s policy of requiring fiber optic companies undertaking new or expanded projects to resurvey any affected state-owned rights of way.  The Sunset Bay Republican says he first called for the proposal in 2020 after meeting with broadband providers in his district told them about the "excessive costs and project delays resulting from the re-surveying requirement."  Borrello urged the Assembly to approve the measure... and, Governor Kathy Hochul to sign it.    


Two Jamestown men arrested for Illegal Dumping...
Two city men have been arrested following an on-going investigation into the illegal dumping of trash in the Pratt Avenue area of Jamestown.  City police say 44 year-old Omar Camacho... and, 24 year-old Jomar Camacho Monge... have been charged with violations of the Jamestown City Code, and state Environmental Law.  Police say due to multiple instances of trash being left on the side of the road... a surveillance camera was placed there, and others where dumping had been going on.  On Tuesday... the camera recorded two men in a silver sedan to dispose of two tires and a rug.  A photo from the video was put out on the JPD Facebook page and within minutes the vehicles location was given to police.  Officers then located the vehicle, and both men, on Park Street in Jamestown.  


Larson says the number of men coming before him in city court who don't work was shocking...
Retired City Court Judge Fred Larson deal with thousands of cases, and people, during his seven-and-a-half years on the bench in Jamestown.  However... he says he found the number of "20-something" men who don't work to be the most shocking part of the job.  During a recent interview with our Dennis Webster and Terry Frank... Larson said he dealt with a number of men who "had no dream... no goals... and no direction."  He says it's a problem that society needs to address in a way that makes them want to graduate, go to a trade school or college, and ultimately "go to work."  Larson says these men came before him every day... every month and year.  He says they were "okay" with the fact they weren't working, and mooched off either a girlfriend, or family.   after day.  While there were some who managed to "game the social welfare system..." Larson says most are not getting benefits... but, might sell drugs on the side.  Larson says many of these men who don't work... quit school early... so they can't get into the social welfare system. 


Buffalo-area man accused of tearing mattress apart in County Jail....
An Angola man is accused of destroying his jail-issued mattress at the Chautauqua County Jail during an incident this past Monday.  Sheriff's officers say 30 year-old Matthew Kennedy was being held on second-degree burglary charges out of Villanova Town Court... but, Monday night, he tore the mattress apart at the seam.  The supervising officer ordered Kennedy to stop several times... but, he refused to comply.  He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.


Cuomo campaign misses petition deadline...
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to have opted against mounting an independent run for his old job -- at least for now.  The Democrat had said he was open to running for governor this year, despite resigning from office last August amid allegations he sexually harassed multiple women.  But a 5 p.m. Tuesay deadline for candidates to collect 45,000 voter signatures to appear on the November general election ballot passed without Cuomo's campaign turning in the nominating petitions. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 1, 2022

Shooting victim in stable condition following home invasion robbery in Jamestown...
A man is in stable condition at an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital after being shot by one of two alleged suspects in a "targeted" home invasion robbery on Jamestown's northside.  City police say they were called to 1211 Prendergast Ave. shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday on a report of shots-fired.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers discovered that a home invasion robbery had occurred... and, that a man living there had been shot in the abdomen.  Samuelson says the suspects were described as being two males dressed in all black who were also armed with guns.  The suspects reportedly fled the residence after the male victim was shot.  The 41 year-old victim was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... where was later flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center for treatment.  Samuelson says the investigation is continuing... and, anyone with information should to contact city police at 483-7537 or the  Anonymous Tips Line at 483-TIPs... that's 483-8477. 


Now former city court judge says judges need discretion back in NYS...
Former Jamestown City Court Judge Fred Larson found himself completely 'frazzled' by some aspects of New York's bail reform law.  In an interview with WJTN's Dennis Webster and Terry Frank, Larson recalled three instances in his final year where the law forced him to let people go over three weeks -- each allegedly using a gun in some way in each case -- and he couldn't set bail.  Larson spent 7 1/2 years on the bench before retiring at the beginning of the year.  He says some 'bad judges' were the motivation for the 2019 bail reform act because some people who shoplifted may have gotten an appearance ticket... while another judge would set say 10-thousand dollars bail for the same offense.  That led the state legislature to create a tight list of crimes for which bail could be set.  Everyone else gets appearance tickets.  


City man arrested for DWAI crash on I-86 near Kennedy...
A Jamestown man has been arrested early last weekend for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs... and, with a suspended license.  State Police in Jamestown were called to a report of a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 86 near Kennedy.  Troopers say 47 year-old Patrick Patterson was westbound when a tire blew out... causing him to lose control and strike a guard rail.  Police sayPatterson exhibited multiple signs of drug impairment, and he was arrested after failing several sobriety tests.  Patterson was also allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine, and his driving privileges had been suspended multiple times.  He was further evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert at the State Police barracks... and, he provided a blood sample.  Patterson was issued appearance tickets for Poland Town Court on charges of  Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.  He was not hurt in the crash.


Gas prices hold steady, but, go down as gas tax holiday's begin...
After a relatively quiet Memorial Day holiday period... gasoline prices are expected to be on the move again after crude oil prices rose to $115 a barrel.  However... after topping out at about $4.80 a gallon during the Memorial Day Weekend... the price in the Jamestown-area fell this morning at most places between 21 and 23-cents a gallon.  On Tuesday... the AAA East Central Gas Price Report showed the price for regular, unleaded gasoline rising 2-cents the past week to just under $4.80 a gallon.  It was $4.77 last week.  AAA says the national average price is up 3-cents a gallon to $4.62 this week.  The price of crude oil, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas, has now moved above $115 a barrel.  AAA says it's due to fears of further global supply constraints as European Union leaders announced they will ban 90% of Russian oil imports by the end of 2022. 


Wendel says, even with prices down now, it's unclear how much gas tax holiday will help... 
Beginning today... Chautauqua County is capping the local share of the gasoline tax at $3 per gallon.  Coupled with the suspension of some of the state's gas tax, local motorists should see a savings of nearly 20-cents per gallon.  However... County Executive P.J. Wendel maintains there is no guarantee we will see those savings at the pump.  Wendel says he hopes that, with the media pressure, that wholesalers and retailers will provide those savings at the pump.  The County Legislature passed the cap during April's meeting by a 12-6 vote.  The local tax cap will last for six months, ending Dec. 1.


County Legislature approves Juneteenth Day motion...
County lawmakers have unanimously approved a motion making June 19 "Juneteenth Day" in Chautauqua County.  Juneteenth is the oldest national celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  While slaves in the U.S. were emancipated almost two years earlier... they weren't finally freed in Texas until June 19, 1865.  Celebrations will be held on June 19 in Jamestown and Dunkirk.  Fredonia Democrat Susan Parker high-lighted the importance of the date opportunity for "all Americans to recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and  justice.  Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin says the city's observance will be at Jackson-Taylor Park... beginning on June 17.  Jamestown Democrat Billy Torres noted this year's event would be the first without the weekend's long-time organizer Vickye James.  James was also a former county legislator... who headed up the program for many years.  
 

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