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Local News Headlines Archives for 2022-11

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 29, 2022

City Council approves 2023 budget with 27 amendments...
City lawmakers in Jamestown have approved a 2023 budget that includes no tax rate increase... but, included 27 amendments.  The City Council approved the $38.6-million spending plan unanimously... after much discussion about several additions... and, some other reductions.  Council President Tony Dolce explained the rationale behind some of the changes... noting they did want to include some additional equipment to what they were able to do with American Rescue Plan funding.  Dolce and other lawmakers praised Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund for her hard work and due diligence in making sure the budget was accurate and balanced.  The budget does include some additional revenue... including $75,000 more in anticipated sales taxes.  She says it's a bit of a gamble" because you don't know what the economy and inflation are going to look like.  Ecklund is refering to the $3 cap on county and state motor fuel taxes... with the county one coming off this Wednesday.   One of the biggest changes approved was eliminating the 100% increase in parking meter fees for next year.  That took $127,000 -thousand dollars out of the spending plan... and, came after council members said they heard a lot of public opposition to that increase.  The changes also include using another just-over $54,000 from the undesignated fund balance to offset additional spending.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist has five business days to sign, or veto the budget or parts of it.
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City lawmakers last night did introduce two local laws... which were automatically tabled for 30 days.  One sets new ward district boundary lines in the city.  Council also tabled a local law authorizing the use of video conferencing for city government meetings.  


Jamestown man arrested for fleeing accident scene from city police...
A city man is accused of fleeing police after he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Brooklyn Square last Sunday night.  Jamestown police on patrol were at the intersection of Harrison and Institute Streets about 7:30 p.m. when they witnessed the accident in front of the patrol car.  Police say the striking vehilce pushed through the accident... and, sped off east on Harrison Street.  Officers immediately followed the fleeing car with their emergency lights and sirens on.  However... the vehicle continued to drive away.  Police say the car eventually stopped in a business parking lot on Water Street... and, the driver -- identified as 40 year-old Jamie Warner -- was arrested.  Warner faces several charges including third-degree unlawfully fleeing police in a motor vehicle... leaving the scene of a Property Damage Accident... and, nine other traffic violations.  Warner was arraigned... and, released with appearancet tickets as per the state's Bail Reform Law.  


Wendel says upper floors of HRC Building to remain closed this week...
Chautauqua County's Department of Health and Human Services operations at the Hall R. Clothier Building in Mayville will remain closed to the public for at least this week.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel Monday morning.  Wendel says crews continue to make repairs from a major water leak that occurred earlier this month.  He had hoped to be open this week, but, says crews wanted a few more days to make sure the work was done properly.  Wendel says the employees have returned to the building as crews continue their work.  Meanwhile, he says cost estimates from the damage continue to rise to nearly $500,000.  The water line to an HVAC unit broke on Nov. 2... forcing the closing of the second through fourth-floors to the public.


Geise says County IDA working to package more property for new "Shovel Ready" development...
Chautauqua County is running out of "shovel ready" commercial and industrial sites for new development.  However... the county's Industrial Development Agency is moving to acquire new properties that will attract new companies to the area.  That from IDA Director Mark Geise... who says they are using more than $3-million to acquire a significant amount of land to development.  Geise says $2.5-million is coming from the county's American Rescue Plan Act allocation... along with $600,000 from Capital Projects money.  He says they're "very close to pulling the trigger on a large parcel."  However... Geise says they're not quite ready to announce the new development site.  As for the present... he says only have a small amount of property left in the north and south county industrial parks.  He says there's about 30-acres of land in the Mason Industrial Park, and a small parcel left in the Chadwick Bay park.  Geise did say the new "shovel ready" site is in a "really good location..." but, says they are still in the process of signing land contracts, and getting the infrastructure put in for the site. 


City man arrested for allegedly threatening woman, and stealing merchandise from Big Lots...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly pulling a knife on a woman... and, then stealing merchandise from the Big Lots store in Brooklyn Square.  City police were called to the scene on Harrison Street shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday on a report of a person with a weapon.  Officers say their investigation showed that 29 year-old Zachary Wilson displayed the knife to the victim causing her to fear for her safety.  They also found that he had the stolen store items.  Wilson was found, and taken into custody without incident.  He's charged with second-degree menacing... and, petty larceny and was released with an appearance ticket for City Court.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 28, 2022

Buffalo Tops Market shooter pleads guilty to murder, hate-motivated charges...
The white gunman who massacred 10 Black shoppers and workers at a Buffalo supermarket has pleaded guilty to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges.  Payton Gendron entered the plea Monday in an Erie County courtroom. The charges carry an automatic sentence of life in prison.  The 19-year-old used a legally-purchased semi-automatic rifle to gun down victims at the Tops Friendly Market in May.  He said in writings posted online that his goal was to terrify Black people and preserve white power.  Gendron has pleaded not guilty to separate federal hate crime charges that could carry the death penalty.


House fire in Sinclairville ruled accidental...
A malfunctioning power strip that triggered flames in nearby debris is listed as the cause of a late morning fire Sunday that's damaged a home in the village of Sinclarville.  County Fire Investigators say Sinclairville firefighters were called to 2200 Old Chautauqua Rd. shortly after 11 a.m.  They were joined by Gerry fire crews and other mutual aid companies at the scene.  After stopping the fire... investigators were called in to look for the cause.  They found that the power strip had faulted... and, caused combustion in a wire and surrounding debris.  No injuries were reported.


City man arrested for threatening woman with a knife in Big Lots store...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly pulling a knife on a woman... and, then stealing merchandise from the Big Lots store in Brooklyn Square.  City police were called to the scene on Harrison Street shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday on a report of a person with a weapon.  Officers say their investigation showed that 29 year-old Zachary Wilson displayed the knife to the victim causing her to fear for her safety.  They also found that he had the stolen store items.  Wilson was found, and taken into custody without incident.  He was issued an appearance ticket for second-degree menacing... and, petty larceny and released.


Buffalo man arrested for alleged fight in Ellery...
A fight between two people inside a vehicle last Friday night in the town of Ellery has led to Felony charges against the Buffalo man accused of being the aggressor.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to a report of a disorderly person inside a car on Slide Joslyn Road about 10 p.m., and, investigated.  Deputies say they found that 45 year-old Dorian Kelly had gotten into the phyisical altercation with the other person... and, damaged property belonging to that individual.  Kelly was arrested and charged with second-degree reckless endangerment... fourth-degree  criminal mischief... and second-degree harassment.  Officers say Kelly was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


City Council to vote on 2023 Budget, other measures at tonight's voting session...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will vote on several important agenda items during tonight's voting session... including a 2023 budget.  The City Council has discussed the $38.6-million spending plan with department heads in recent weeks.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist's budget includes no tax rate increase... but, does include some fee increases.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says she wants to see more justification for a 100% increase in parking meter fees.  The total tax levy in the proposed 2023 budget is $16.17-million. 
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Council tonight will also vote on two local laws.  One sets new ward district boundary lines in the city... and, lawmakers will also consider a local law that authorizes the use of video conferencing for council, and other city government meetings.  Tonight's meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.  


Dunkirk man arrested in alleged "road rage" incident in town of Sheridan...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested for allegedly threatening the driver of another vehicle during a road rage incident on Route 20 in the town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's Officers say they received a complaint just before 5 p.m. Friday about the incident.  Their investigation determined that 54 year-old Allan Barreca put the other person in fear of death or physical injury by displaying what appeared to be a deadly weapon.  Deputies say Barreca was arrested on one count of second-degree menacing... and was issued an appearance ticket for Sheridan Town Court at a later date.


City woman arrested after child gets into prescription pills, and overdoses...
A Jamestown woman is accused of having prescription pills in an area that a child was able to get into... and, suffered an apparent overdose.  City police were called to assist Jamestown fire rescuers at an eastside address shortly before 9 p.m. last Friday.  Officers say they arrested 44 year-old Tina Keeler for endangering the welfare of a child... and, she was held pending arraignment in city court.


Electrovaya seeking local incentives, and expects to begin operations in 2023...
A producer of Lithium-ion batteries and cells is expected to begin opening it's new, $75-million gigafactory near Jamestown in 2023.  In addition... Electrovaya is seeking local incentives from Chautauqua County... and, it's Industrial Development Agency to locate it's first U.S. facility in the Mason Industrial Park.  Earlier this Fall... New York state announced a hydropower deal to have the Canadian-based company move into the former Heidenhain facility in the Mason Industrial Park.  IDA Director Mark Geise is 'excited' about the project... which will include another structure being built at the site, and employ 250 people.  The state incentives include Empire State Development providing up to $4-million in tax credits through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program... along with $2.5-million of funding through the Regional Council Capital Fund Program. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 25, 2022

Fugitive found in Jamestown arrested during street check...
A man wanted as a fugitive from justice in Fredericksburg, Va. has been arrested in Jamestown after downtown crime prevention detail.  City police were called to check on a man who had his shirt pulled over his head inside the lobby area of Covenant Manor on West Third Street shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday.  Officers say the man identified himself as 29 year-old Daniel Haymaker... who they found was wanted in Fredericksburg for violating his probation for Felony attempted robbery with malicious wounding.  Haymaker was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Two north county residents arrested during drug raid in Fredonia...
A pair of north county residents have been arrested on several drug-related charges following a raid in the village of Fredonia earlier this week.  Sheriff's deputies say Dunkirk Police... and, the department's Narcotics Detectives... Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigators... and, Fredonia Police executed a search warrant last Tuesday night at at room at 10455 Bennett Rd.  Police say they arrested 41 year-old Megan Waterman of the Fredonia address... and, 41 year-old Dale Miller, Junior of Dunkirk.  Investigators also found more than 8-grams of fentanyl, .10 grams of crack cocaine... just over 16-grams of methamphetamine... scales and packaging material... as well as $1,249 in cash.  Both Waterman and Miller were charged with two counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  Officers also found that Waterman was wanted on a Dunkirk City Court warrant.  Both were taken to the county jail pending arraignment. 


Black Friday shopping underway across U.S.; Chamber officials urge shopping local with tomorrow being Small Business Saturday...
Black Friday has been a busy one in the usual places in the Jamestown-area.  In addition... the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is reminding shoppers that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday... a day to discover shopping opportunities that are close-by. and accessible.  The chamber's Director of Marketing, Communications and Governmental Affairs, Sheila Webster, believes local shopping is on the upswing... and, has been the past 2 to 3 year during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Webster says people are seeing the need for it "now than they ever did before."  Chamber Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says they've put up a special incentive to encourage local shopping on Saturday...  do a simple Facebook or Instagram 'check-in' at each local business you visit... and, you could win a ShopCHQ gift card.  Heitzenrater says a total of $500 in gift cards will be given away.  For more information, go to their website.


Busti man arrested for trying to rob Chautauqua Mall store, and threatening use of a bomb...
A Busti man has been arrested for allegedly robbing a store at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood by threatening to use a bomb last Monday afternoon.  Lakewood-Busti Police tell us that officers were called to the Fairmount Avenue location just before 1 p.m.  A witness says the man said he had a bomb... and, to do what he asked.  Officers were initially told the man was a black male wearing a grey hoodie... and, was last seen by the exit near the public bathrooms.  Mall security advised police of a person in the restroom.  Police did find a white male... identified as 34 year-old Michael Lee... in the restroom wearing different clothing from the description given by witnesses.  Police continued their search... and, returned later and found the clothing from the robbery in the restroom.  Police say Lee tried to disguise himself using make-up.  He was later found at an address near Wal-Mart after allegedly stealing items there.  Lee was arrested for third-degree robbery and petty larceny for both the robbery from the mall... and the larceny from Walmart. 


City woman arrested for trespass at Foote Ave. Ext. Kwik Fill...
A Jamestown woman faces a trespassing charge after allegedly going onto store property at the Kwik Fill Convenience Store on Foote Avenue Extension in Kiantone.  Sheriff's officers say 47 year-old Bethany Johnson had been told to leave the store on Route 60 recently... and, not return.  However... she did return just after 11 p.m. this past Tuesday... and, was arrested for criminal trespass.  Johnson was issued an appearance ticket for Kiantone Town Court.


Sempolinsk says he supports Ukraine in war against Russia's invasion; however, wants more accounting for U.S. Funding support...
The current end-of-year "lame duck" session of Congress is expected to take up another spending bill to support Ukraine in it's war against Russia.  However... many minority Republicans are saying they want a better accounting of the amount being spent... and, what it's for.  Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski is among them... who says he support Ukraine in their fight against Russia.  However... he has concerns about the amount of money being spent and he feels there needs to be "transparency and accountability" on that.  The U.S. support for the war is among a number of items that have led to inflation... and shortages on some of them.  Sempolinski feels those are "pretty legitimate" questions. 


City man arrested in Thursday domestic incident...
A Jamestown resident has been arrested after allegedly kicking in a front door during a domestic incident on the city's southside early Thursday morning.  Jamestown police were called to the undislosed scene about 2:30 a.m., and found that 30 year-old Kieran Hunt had gone to the victim's home... and damaged the door.  Officers say Hunt was taken into custody for fourth-degree criminal mischief, and jailed pending arraignment.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 23, 2022

PA man arrested for allegedly trying to rob Hinsdale Post Office in Cattaraugus County...
A McKean County, Pa. man has been arrested for allegedly threatening postal workers in Hinsdale with a hammer, and taking property from them.  Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Main Street in the village shortly before 8 a.m. Monday for a robbery in progress.  The department's Criminal Investigation Bureau looked into the incident... and, later arrested Kenneth Lannager of Port Allegany.  Lannager faces several charges... including first-degree attempted robbery... second-degree burglary... and second-degree menacing.  Deputies say he was jailed on $5,000 bail... and will appear in Hinsdale Town Court Wednesday.


Two city residents arrested following break-in at home on Jamestown's northside...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home on the city's northside late Monday afternoon.  City police say they found an open door to the home shortly before 5 p.m., but, learned from the property owner that no one should be inside.  Officers say the door had been locked when they tried to make entry... and, they breached the door... and, found 22 year-old Jonathan King, and 20 year-old Chelsea Coulter inside.  King and Coulter were both arrested for second-degree criminal trespass... and, King was also taken into custody on outstanding warrants from Jamestown City Court.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


Sempolinski says new GOP House majority will be able to move ahead on investigations...
With one more race in the House of Representatives going to Republicans... they will have an iron-clad majority there the next two years.  That from local Congressman Joe Sempolinski... who says he's pleased to see more checks and balances being restored in Washington, D.C.  The Steuben County Republican says that not only will there be more oversight on spending... but, on the administration as well... including President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his allegedly shady business dealings.  House Republicans have already signaled that they are ready to proceed with a full investigation into foreign business dealings with the younger Biden... and, any possible connection to Joe Biden.  He says those are stories that most of the media, and social media have ignored... which he called a "double-standard" when compared to the Trump family.  There is currently a federal IRS investigation underway into Hunter Biden's financial dealings.  Sempolinski will leave office on Tuesday, Jan. 3 when the new Congress is sworn-in... and, new Congressman Nick Langworthy will be seated.


Salvation Army's first week of Red Kettle Campaign brings in $2,300, but, also need for more bell ringers...
The annual Red Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army of Jamestown is off to a good start... but, there's a real scarcity of bell ringers for coming days.  That from Major Kim Merchant... who says they've raised $2,300 so far from the kettles.  However... she says they need people to sign up.  The past couple of years... Merchant says the pandemic prevented them from having groups man the kettles... but, she says they can do that again this year.  She adds they can now have couples, and families man the kettles.  Merchant says the best part of the early campaign is they'll be able to "multiply" donations quickly... as an anonymous donor will match the first $10,000 raised.  She says that means they've raised about $4,600 so far.  In addition to the Red Kettles... resident can also mail a check to the Salvation Army at 83 South Main St. in Jamestown.  In addition... Merchant says you can also text a contribution to "Jamestownkettles" at 51555.  For more information... call the Salvation Army at 664-4108.  Major Merchant made her comments during an interview on our Dennis Webster Show Tuesday morning.


Local Salvation Army also in need of food for holiday season...
There's also a need for food for the pantry at the Salvation Army... with Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holiday's coming up.  Major Kim Merchant says they've been talking with local churches and other groups about possibly doing a food drive to make sure they have enough to help feed the needy.  Merchant says they've also talked with school and civic groups about helping out.  The Salvation Army of Jamestown offers programs and services to people of all ages.  In addition to the food pantry... they provide financial assistance, referrals to community resources, a weekly senior’s group, weekly children’s programs... and more.


Hochul signs Cryptocurrency Mining Moratorium...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a "first-in-the-nation" cryptocurrency mining moratorium... a move celebrated by advocates across the state.  It puts a two-year pause on new and renewed air permits for fossil-fuel power plants that house proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining, and require the state Department of Environmental Conservation to do a study of the practice's environmental impacts.  With that... advocates are now urging the Governor to finish the job by shutting down the existing fracked gas-powered Bitcoin mines Greenidge Generation and Fortistar North Tonawanda.


City man arrested after choking woman to point of losing consciousness...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a domestic incident in which he allegedly choked a woman to the point of losing consciousness.  City police say they were called to a northside address just after 9 p.m. Monday... where the victim told them she had been grabbed and then choked by 32 year-old Erick Blackwood-Head.  Blackwood-Head was taken into custody without incident... and, charged with second-degree stangulation.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 22, 2022

Biden Administration issues Emergency Declaration for 11 NY Counties after major snow storm...
A federal emergency declaration has been issued by President Joe Biden for 11 counties in upstate New York... including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties... from last week's lake effect snow storm that buried areas around Buffalo.  Governor Kathy Hochul says she was able to secure the emergency declaration after the storm brought around seven feet of snow to places like Orchard Park and Hamburg this past week.
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Meanwhile... Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says while there was about a foot of snow in some places last Thursday... and, several more inches that fell Sunday... county snowplow crews were able to keep up with snowfall.  As for the federal disaster declaration... Wendel wasn't sure if the county would be eligible for such assistance.


City man pleads guilty to selling drugs to overdose victim...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to selling drugs that caused 'serious bodily injury' to another person just over two-years ago.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross announced Monday that 43 year-old Bradley Knapp pled to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say Knapp bought and sold heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine for profit and his own use... and, used a West Ninth Street residence to make, package and distribute the drugs.  He's accused of selling about a gram of a heroin/fentanyl mix to an individual identified as 'M.H.' in August of 2020.  The following day... the victim took about half a gram of the illegal drugs, overdosed, and stopped breathing.  He needed multiple-doses of Narcan to be revived.  Knapp faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison... and a $1-million fine.


Two people from Cattaraugus County arrested after 11-month old ingests Fentanyl...
Two people from Cattaraugus County have been arrested after an 11-month old child in their home became unconscious after ingesting a quantity of Fentanyl late last week.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to an apartment at 221 Erie St. in the village last Thursday afternoon for an unresponsive child.  Deputies gave the child two doses of Narcan... and, the child became alert and responsive.  Officers say the adults... 29 year-old Cody Worthington and 32 year-old Samantha Steiner... had the drugs in their home and the child got into them.  Worthington and Steiner were arrested on charges of second-degree assault... and, first-degree reckless endangerment.  Both were arraigned... and, sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail;  Worthington on $1,000 cash bail... Steiner on $2,500 cash bail.


Sempolinski says Congress needs to deal with debt ceiling in addition to budget...
In addition to dealing with a new continuing resolution... the "lame duck" session of Congress may involve a fight over raising the nation's debt ceiling.  House Republicans... who are set to be in the majority come the new year... see the debt ceiling fight as some leverage to curb the agenda of Democratic President Joe Biden.  Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski has just over a month left in his short term in office... and, sees the debt ceiling debate in a similar light as the need for an actual budget.  He's not "holding his breath" about the House actually dealing with the budget, nor the debt ceiling until it needs to be.  Sempolinski says both Republicans and 'rank-and-file' Democrats should be able to be part of the process... and, have it be done "the right way."  Congressman Buddy Carter, who is a contender for House Budget Committee chairman, said the debt ceiling would be key to a new Republican majority's hopes of reining in federal spending.  That debt ceiling needs to be raised to $31.4-trillion in 2023 in order for the U.S. to not default on it's debts.


Dead body found near railroad tracks in Farnham...
The Erie County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying an individual who was struck and killed by a train in the village of Farnham -- at the Chautauqua Count line.  Deputies responded to a report that a person had found human remains and clothing along the tracks on Saturday.  Sheriff's detectives are trying to identify the person who was traveling on foot along the railroad tracks in the area of Railroad Avenue between Friday and Saturday.  The person may have been wearing a blue fleece jacket and yellow reflective vest at the time.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Erie County Sheriff's Office at 858-2903.


Infinity to open new Pearl City Clay House soon...
The Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program in Jamestown will soon be expanding to a new location officials say will create a 'fun and inclusive environment' for people to learn and grow by taking part in the visual arts and contemporary crafts.  Infinity's Executive Director, Shane Hawkins, says they hope to open their Pearl City Clay House at 220 East Second St. before the end of the year.  Hawkins says they had hoped to open the Clay House sooner... but, the pandemic hit.  She adds that it's also produced some construction issues.  However... they're almost finished and, it's going to be "a beautiful community art space" and she says all the proceeds will fund youth programming at Infinity.  Hawkins says programming will be for adults, families and tourists taking contemporary arts classes.  She says profits from the Clay House will be used to support Infinity's mission to help area youth explore and learn through the arts.


 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 21, 2022

City man arrested for alleged violent domestic incident...
A Jamestown man faces numerous charges after allegedly pinning a female victim against the wall of a home... and, hitting her in front of their two children.  City police were called to a Stowe St. residents just after 6 p.m. Saturday on a report of a domestic violence incident.  While on route... officers were told by dispatch that the suspect... 21 year-old Ronald Maund... was yelling in the background that he was going to come out of the house armed, and he was upset and despondent.  Police say they were able to get the victim... her two children... and, another woman safely out of the home.  They then got information from the victim that Maund was in possession of a pellet gun, knife and was despondent.  The victim said that she almost lost consciousness while he was choking her.  After talking with the suspect for a period of time... officers were able to finally take Maund into custody.  He was jailed pending arraignment on charges including second-degree strangulation... criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... two counts of endangering the welfare of a child... second-degree unlawful imprisonment... second-degree obstruction... and, resisting arrest. 


Jamestown Fire Dept. ends fire suppression operation at former Crawford Furniture factory...
The huge fire that's destroyed the former Crawford Furniture factory at 1061 Allen St. was finally declared out late last Friday afternoon.  In a printed statement... Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city Fire Department's suppression operation concluded at 5:30 p.m.  Sundquist says the department's Fire Investigation team is continuing to gather evidence.... and, the cause remains under investigation at this time.  No injuries were reported in the blaze... which was reported shortly before 11:30 Wednesday morning.  Sundquist further thanked the city fire department along with 13 other volunteer departments... including Falconer, Celoron, Frewsburg, Kiantone, Kennedy, Busti, Gerry.  Most helped with trucking water to the scene.  City agencies... including the Department of Development... the Board of Public Utilities... and, the county's HazMat Team were also involved. 


Borrello believes Zeldin would be a good RNC Chair...
Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin, who made the governor of New York's race, is apparently eyeing the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee.  That's according to an article in POLITICO late last week.  Local State Senator George Borrello, who was a co-chair of Zeldin's campaign, is aware of the story... and, says Zeldin ran a "great campaign" and never compromised his own values during the campaign.  Borrello says he would support Zeldin in such a run.  The POLITICO story says Zeldin's stature in the party has been elevated because Republicans made several inroads in House races in New York state.  Zeldin lost a closely contested race to sitting Governor Kathy Hochul by just under 300,000 votes after trailing by double-digits in late Summer.  Zeldin is looking to challenge current leader Ronna McDaniel.


Parts of Western New York -- south of Buffalo -- end up with possibly "historic" amounts of snowfall...
Parts of Upstate New York are finally catching a break after a storm dumped snow for days on cities and towns east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  Many businesses in the hardest-hit areas remained closed Sunday... but, highways reopened and travel bans in many areas were lifted.  Snow began falling Thursday in towns south of Buffalo.  By Saturday, the National Weather Service recorded 77 inches in Orchard Park.


CHQ Plus holds ribbon cutting on new store...
CHQ Plus… the Resource Center’s first ever retail location… is officially open.  Lisa Underwood cut the ribbon at the store in the Wellman Building late Friday afternoon.  She’s one of a group of workers from TRC getting ‘pre-vocational’ training at the store.  Following the ceremony... she talked about her job saying she looks forward to working with customers, and making them feel welcome to the store.  CHQ Plus is open Tuesday through Saturday each week, and is featuring the products of more than 20 vendors.  


Cornell Cooperative Ext. to hold Ag Forum Nov. 30...
Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County will present an ‘Ag Forum’ at the Carnahan Center at Jamestown Community College on Wed., Nov. 30.  Executive Director, Emily Reynolds, says it’s the first time since COVID they’ve been able to offer such an extensive program, and it will last the entire day.  Reynolds says the keynote speaker will be Jenna Walczak, Ag Climate Resiliency Specialist with Extension’s ‘Harvest New York’ program... who helps farmers and others implement practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  At the afternoon ‘break-out’ sessions... one will feature former State Senator Cathy Young, who now heads up Cornell’s Center for Food and Excellence.  The all-day program is free... but you must sign up by this Wednesday, Nov. 23, to get the complimentary lunch that’s offered.  For more information, go to the Cornell Cooperative Extension-Chautauqua County website or phone them at 664-9502.


Man in Ripley arrested for allegedly holding another person armed with a gun...
A Ripley man has been arrested for allegedly getting into a fight with another person while being armed with a shotgun early last weekend.  Sheriff's officers were called to 22 Mechanic St. shortly before 6 p.m. Friday on a report of a "disorderly person" with a firearm.  Deputies were able to get the victim out of the home... but, the suspect -- 33 year-old Dennis Cash, Jr. -- failed to comply with their orders to leave the house.  Officers say further investigation determined that Cash had an active order of protection from State Supreme Court that prohibited him from possessing firearms.  The Sheriff's Department SWAT Team was brought in... and, took Cash into custody without further incident.  The investigation is ongoing.  Cash was jailed pending arraignment on charges including second-degree criminal contempt... and, unlawful imprisonment.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 18, 2022

Lake Effect Snows impacting northern Chautauqua County, but, not south today... 
A major lake effect snow storm continues to affect portions of Western New York today... including the general area between Dunkirk and Buffalo.  A Lake Effect Snow Warning continues until 1 a.m. Saturday.  Meteorologist Kirk Apffel with the National Weather Service says he doesn't see any major movement in the band of lake effect snow between Dunkirk and Buffalo through tonight.  Apffel says th lake effect snow is expected to move north of the Buffalo area by early Saturday.  But the snow band will be on the move again Saturday night... into Buffalo and south -- including the Dunkirk area and maybe Jamestown.  Because of today's snowfall, The I-90 remains closed from exits 53 to 59.  Dunkirk Police are continuing a travel advisory in the city. 


Hochul issues State of Emergency for 11 counties -- including Chautauqua -- through end of storm...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has now formally declared a State of Emergency in parts of western New York ahead of a potentially dangerous bout of lake-effect snow.  The National Weather Service is forecasting up to 4 feet of snow or more through Sunday that ``may paralyze'' the hardest-hit communities, including Buffalo, with periods of near-zero visibility.  Hochul's state of emergency covers 11 counties, with commercial truck traffic banned from a stretch of Interstate 90 southwest of Buffalo beginning to Rochester.  While the bulk of the snow is being forecasted for the Buffalo and Watertown areas, Commissioner Jackie Bray with the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, says several nearby counties are considered at risk.  In addition to Chautauqua... Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties are included.  The National Weather Services says the snowfall was expected to be at its greatest intensity now through 7 p.m. Friday. 


Despite lack of new snow in Jamestown-area, schools in entire county closed due to State of Emergency...
Public schools across all of Western New York are closed today.  Jamestown Public School Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Whitaker, says the state's Emergeny Declaration -- on account of weather -- dictates the decision.  Whitaker says the fact the State of Emergency has been declared opens up too much liability for schools -- if they were to open today.  He says he understands why people may scratch their heads over a closing on a day when little if any snow is falling.  He says they "certainly would be in school" without the State of Emergency.  In addition to all the public schools being closed... SUNY Fredonia cancelled classes today, and Jamestown Community College went 'remote' for the day. 


Outgoing Chautauqua Co. HH Director Schuyler recognized at legislature meeting...
Chautauqua County officials recognized outgoing Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler at this week's legislature meeting for her 14 years of service to the county.  Executive P.J. Wendel read a proclamation lauding Schulyer for her work initially as public health director... and, then leading Health and Human Services.  Wendel noted Schuyler's ability to find issues that need to be addressed in the county... including mental and infant health, and, lead poisioning.  Democratic Legislator Susan Parker of Fredonia... who is a registered nurse herself... thanked Schuyler herself.  She praised her for her efforts during the H1N1 and COVID Pandemics... which she called "a very difficult time."  Schuyler spoke to the legislature... and, thanked the department heads and staff members who she worked with for many years.  She thanked the directors, and her assistant, Sheri Rater in particular along with former Health Director Dr. Robert Berke and County Executive Greg Edward, who got her involved in county government.  Earlier in the week... Wendel said that he wants to wants to move in a different direction with the structure of the county's delivery of human services.  Schuyler's last day with the county will be Nov. 29.  DHHS Physician Michael Faulk will become Interim Public Health Director after that.


Upper floors of Countys' HRC Building to remain closed through Thanksgiving holiday...
The upper floors of Chautauqua County's Hall Clothier Building in Mayville will remain closed another week due to the water damage caused by a water leak earlier this month.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the building's second-through-fourth floors will be closed now through November 25th... a week from today.  Wendel says "we are still working on recovering from the water damage that occurred when a water line broke in the building on Nov. 2.  We appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding and cooperation as we work to repair office areas so our clients and impacted workers can safely return to the building.”  He says the closure only impacts the Public Health, Environmental Health and Social Services Divisions of the Department of Health and Human Services. 


City man arrested on drug and stolen property charges...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a early morning noise complaint on the city's southside that led to him being found with multiple stolen credit cards.  City police were called to the location around 2:30 Thursday morning... and, found 31 year-old Matthew Buck at the scene.  Officers say they found that Buck had multiple warrants for his arrest... and, found him in possession of a quantity of cocaine... and, the credit cards.  Police say the credit card had been reported stolen this past Tuesday.  Buck was taken to the city jail... and, jailed on three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's being held pending arraignment.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 17, 2022

Southern Tier receives several inches of early morning Lake Effect Snow; more to come...
The first major lake effect snow event of the season is underway in the region... and, the Buffalo area could see the bulk of the snowfall.  However... the Jamestown area, which was predicted to get about seven inches of the white stuff -- at most -- overnight through tonight... is now looking at upwards of a foot already.  With that, our Lake Effect Snow Warning has been extended until 10 o'clock tonight.  National Weather Service Forecaster David Thomas said snowfall totals -- mainly along the Chautauqua Ridge --  would range to around a foot before the snow bands lift northward tonight.  Snowfall totals in Southern Erie county will range from 1 to 3 feet tonight through early Saturday.  The Buffalo area is bracing for snowfall range from 2 to 3 feet through Sunday evening. 


Sheriff Quattrone urges motorists to drive cautiously...
With some parts of southern Chautauqua County receiving upwards of a foot of snow from the Lake Effect system that's moved into the region... local police are urging driving caution today.  Among them is Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone... who reports some accidents this morning... mainly of the fender-bender type.  Quattrone says if you have to drive... be ready for the conditions.  He says drive at a "reasonable speed," and give yourself enough time to get where you are going.  Quattrone adds that you should also have an emergency kit in case you get stuck, and or delayed while traveling.


Crews stay on scene of major fire at former Crawford Furniture building in Jamestown late into the night...
Two Jamestown Fire Department crews remained at the scene of yesterday's huge fire that destroyed the former Crawford Furniture factory at the Jamestown city-line with Falconer.  The building is the same one that had partially collapsed in recent months.  The fire was still going into the late afternoon Wednesday as several nearby departments joined city fire crews in battling the blaze at 1061 Allen St.  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says crews were initially called to the scene at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, and found heavy fire coming from several locations in the building.  With that, Coon says firefighters took a "defensive posture" in fighting the flames.  A full off-duty shift was called into assist city fire crews at the scene... and, they had several water guns and aerial guns pouring water on the fiery debris.  While there were "multiple" parts of the vacant complex on fire... Coon couldn't say if the fire was set.  However... he did say it is suspicious because no services were hooked up to the building.  In addition to Falconer and Celoron... he says other nearby departments assisted by trucking water to the scene.  Coon says Allen Street and some side streets will remain closed for a time due to debris in the roadway from the building.  No injuries were reported.  Coon says no one was apparently in the building.


County Legislature approves increasing some landfill, and transfer station tipping fees...           
Chautauqua County lawmakers in Mayville have approved a resolution to raise tipping fees at the landfill... and, the county's transfer stations.  The county legislature approved the resolution 12-to-3... with four legislator's absent at last night's monthly voting session.  Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel says the increase is modest... but, is needed to keep the "enterprise fund" operation viable.  GOP Majority Leader Tom Harmon agreed the increase is needed.  However... Dunkirk Democrat Bob Bankowski was among those voting no... because that increase will be felt by the taxpayers of the north county city.  Bankowski says the increases may seem small... but, he feels with a large number of people living below the poverty level... it will have a negative impact.  The cost to dispose of municipal solid waste at the landfill will increase from $30 to $31 per ton... while it will increase from $42 to $45 at the transfer stations at the beginning of 2023.  


City man found with stolen credit cards, and cocaine...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a early morning noise complaint on the city's southside that led to him being found with multiple stolen credit cards.  City police were called to the location around 2:30 this morning... and, found 31 year-old Matthew Buck at the scene.  Officers say they found that Buck had multiple warrants for his arrest... and, found him in possession of a quantity of cocaine... and, the credit cards.  Police say the credit card had been reported stolen this past Tuesday.  Buck was taken to the city jail... and, held pending arraignment on three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. 


Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign gets early start...
The Salvation Army of Jamestown's annual Red Kettle Campaign is getting an earlier start this year... with two locations set to open today.  That from Salvation Army Major Kim Merchant says their bell-ringers will be on hand at the local TOP's Markets... and, then Wal-Mart in Lakewood this coming Saturday.  Merchant says the goal this year is again $115,000... and, they're getting a boost from another anonymous donor.  That donor will match the first $10,000 they receive.  Merchant says... in addition to putting spare change into any of their bright red kettles across the region... and sending a check... you can also text a donation to "Jamestownkettle" to 51555.  If you would like to volunteer to man the Red Kettles... you can also call them at 664-4108. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 16, 2022

City firefighters respond to huge blaze reported at old Crawford Furniture building...
Jamestown firefighters are at the scene of smokey blaze that broke out late this morning in an old furniture factory building at the city line with Falconer.  Dispatchers say crews were called to the former Crawford Furniture building at 1061 Allen St. about 11:20 a.m., and, found a lot of fire and smoke billowing from the building.  City police are at the scene directing traffic... which is being diverted away from the building.  There have been no reports of injuries at this time.  More when it becomes available.


Lake Effect Snow Warning now in effect for Chautauqua County...
A couple of lake effect snow storms will take aim at Western New York... beginning tonight.  The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 7 o'clock tonight through 7 p.m. Thursday for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  Meterologist David Thomas in Buffalo says the heaviest snows will fall in northern Chautauqua County... especially along the Chautauqua Ridge area... where there could be as much as 9-inches of snow.  After less than half-an-inch today, the weather service is forecasting 2-to-4 inches both tonight and through tomorrow.  Looking at the entire region... Thomas says what happens in Chautauqua County today and Thursday is just the beginning.  He says the larger band lake effect will bring multiple feet of snow to some areas... mainly along the Niagara Frontier.


Head of State DMV and Gov's Traffic Safety Committee gives Wintertime driving tips...
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee are offering tips to help residents winterize their vehicles, and to prepare to drive in Wintery conditions.  Both agencies also reminded motorists that they can install snow tires on their vehicles.  State law allows the use of snow tires from Oct. 16 through April 30.  DMV Commissioner and Traffic Safety Committee Chairman Mark Schroeder says "Winter is right around the corner... so now is a good time for motorists to winterize their vehicles... and, anticipate changing weather conditions."  Schroeder says motorists can take some easy steps when conditions become adverse... including driving slowly... making sure the vehicle and the headlights are clear and not covered with ice or snow... and, having ample windshield washer fluid.  Schroeder also advises motorists to check their tire tread... fill their gas tank... and make sure your heater and defrosters are working properly.  For more tips and information... go on-line to dmv.ny.gov.


Sempolinski discusses importance of "Lame Duck" session of Congress...
The "lame duck" session of Congress is underway... and, it's expected to be a busy one with leadership of the House expected to return to Republican hands on Jan. 3 of 2023.  Word is that the current Democratic majority will try to push ahead with billions of dollars in new spending before the end of the year.  Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski says that's why it's important that the Southern Tier District have a "voice" in the process because outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi will try to ram through as many bills as possible before January.  That will likely be seen in the Continuing Resolution that's expected to come before lawmakers before mid-December.  Sempolinski voted against the last one because the GOP didn't have a seat at the table during the discussions... and, says more spending won't help inflation. 


Sempolinski says McCarthy is GOP nominee for House Speaker in 2023...
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California has enough support among Republicans to become the next Speaker of the House.  However... that's still pending a small number of Congressional races not yet decided.  Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski doesn't have a vote on the matter... since he'll be out on Jan. 3 when the 118th Congress is seated.  However... he's been watching what's been going on.  Even with McCarthy getting the nod among the Republicans, it doesn't mean he's automatically speaker.  There is a constitutional process to naming a speaker... and that is getting a majority of members of Congress to elect a person.  That means needing at least 218 votes... and with the GOP expected to have a narrow majority now... that may be more difficult than it appears.  


Williams wins another Upstate District to replace Katko in House...
Another New York Congressional seat will stay in Republican hands now that the race for retiring moderate House member John Katko has been determined.  The A-P says tech entrepreneur Brandon Williams has been elected in a race in the new, central New York district.  Williams defeated Democrat Francis Conole in the contest to decide who will represent the Syracuse-area district.  A Texas native and devout Christian, Williams is almost certain to be a more conservative voice in Washington than Katko.  However... he has said he would not vote in favor of a national ban.  Katko was a long-time friend and ally of former Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed.


City man arrested for allegedly holding woman against her will...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedl holding a woman against her will during a domestic incident on the city's southside Monday afternoon.  City police were called to the undisclosed address about 4:30 p.m., and, their investigation found that 23 year-old Christian Jewel had held the woman for a period of time.  Officers arrested Jewell for second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 15, 2022

Winter Storm Watch in effect as two storms coming to the region...
A couple of lake effect snow storms will take aim at Western New York beginning Wednesday night.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a Winter Storm Watch for 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  Meterologist David Thomas says the heaviest snows will fall in northern Chautauqua County... with up to 9 inches of snow in the area around the "Chautauqua Ridge."  Looking at the entire region, Thomas says what happens in Chautauqua County Wednesday and Thursday is just the beginning... as a big lake effect snow event comes at the end of the week into the weekend.  That second storm could have crippling effects over a sustained period across the Niagara Frontier and further inland if it plays out as forecast. 


City Council agrees to move ahead with landbank, and "19-A" program funding...
City lawmakers in Jamestown appear to have finalized the last two, outstanding proposals for use of about $1.75-million in American Rescue Plan funding.  The City Council's Finance Committee discussed using one-million dollars for the Chautauqua County Landbank to administer and fund the demolition of several properties.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk discussed how busy her department is already... and, how difficult it maybe to hire someone to do it "in-house."  Surdyk says it appears it will be difficult and time consuming to find someone to administer the program.  The other proposal would allocate $750,000 to develop a "19-A" program to get Zombie properties back on the market and in use.  Assistant Corporation Counsel Ben Haskins says they could at least start the program with $500,000.  Haskins says having properties they can make a profit on would allow the program to be "self-sustaining."  Lawmakers agreed to move ahead on the half-million dollar allocation.  The $250,000 not being used for that will now go towards the Senior Home Improvement program.  The proposals will be acted on at this month's voting session.


Ecklund urges fellow council members to get their budget proposals out...
The city council will hold the annual public hearing on the city's 2023 budget this Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in council chambers.  However... Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund wants to hear from fellow lawmakers about what they want to see changed or adjusted in the $38.6-million spending plan before the Nov. 28 voting session.  Ecklund says... since there's not another work session prior to that meeting... those questions and proposals need to be e-mailed to lawmakers and the administration.  No formal amendments were offered by lawmakers by last Wednesday's deadline.  However... changes can still be made on the floor prior to the vote.  One item Ecklund says needs to be buttoned down is the cost of the Jamestown Police Department's K-9 handler.  The budget includes no tax rate increase... through there is a slight increase in the tax levy.


City man sentenced to six-years in prison on assault and weapons possession convictions...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to six-years in state prison on two separate violent Felony convictions earlier this year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 29 year-old Bless Grant... also known as “Bam Bam...” received the sentences from County Court Judge David Foley Monday morning.  Schmidt says Grant pled guilty to second-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon... then on May 19... while out on bail for the April 5 conviction,... he was arrested for second-degree assault.  In September... Grant was convicted on the assault charge after pleading guilty to pistol whipping another person.  He was also convicted of pointing the hand gun in a threating manner at another individual during the same incident.  Judge Foley sentenced Grant to six years in state prison... plus five years post release supervision on the assault conviction... and, three years in state prison... plus five years post release supervision for the April conviction. These sentences will be served concurrently.


Wendel says human services delivery will change with Schuyler leaving county office...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says he wants to move in a different direction with the structure of the County's delivery of human services.  As a result... the County's top elected official today announced the departure of Christine Schuyler as the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services Director effective Nov. 29.  Wendel says Schuyler had a "tremendous" 14-year career with the county... but, he wants to "pivot and move in a different direction."  Wendel wants a separate Department of Health.  He is also looking to reorganize the county's human services departments, including social services and mental health because often times, people are receiving help from both departments.  Wendel says legislative leaders have been briefed on the changes... and, are supportive of them.  Schuyler says “I am extremely proud of the transformational work and tremendous accomplishments my department has achieved over my tenure.”  In the interim... Wendel has says DHHS Physician Michael Faulk will be Interim Public Health Director. 


Gas prices up in Jamestown...
The average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area is up a dime from last week to just under $4.  The AAA East Central's Gas Price Report says the price was just under $3.90 to begin last week... but, is now just over $3.99 a gallon.  AAA adds the national average for a gallon of gas fell 3-cents in the past week to $3.77... which is 13 cents less than a month ago.  Officials say the main reason has been fluctuations in the cost of crude oil.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 14, 2022

Schuyler to leave County Government on Nov. 29...   
Chautauqua County's public health director the past 14 years is leaving at the end of the month... and, the current Department of Health and Human Services will be restructured.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who announced this morning that Schulyer's last day will be Nov. 29.  Wendel says "Christine's current term expires the end of this month and I have made the decision to not re-appoint her to another 5-year term, and move in a different direction with the structure of the County’s delivery of human services."  He says he "appreciates" Schuyler's service and dedication to county residents... and, "I wish her all the best with her future endeavors."  In the interim... Wendel has assigned DHHS Physician Michael Faulk additional duties to act as Interim Public Health Director overseeing the DHHS Division of Public Health.


Search for city man following ATV incident in Cattaraugus County...
The search is ongoing for a man from Jamestown who reportedly got washed away with the all-terrain vehicle he was riding on with another man in flood waters along the Allegheny River.  Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers were notified that the ATV had been washed away near Old Route 17 shortly before 11 p.m. last Friday.  Deputies say the operator was able to make it out of the water safely... but, had become separated from his passenger.  The identity of the passenger was unknown to the driver, and was known to him only as "Matt from Jamestown".  It is believed the passenger was a white male, possibly in his 40's, first name of Matt, and possibly drove a tan truck.  Anyone with any information on the matter is asked to call the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department at 938-9191.


City man arrested for second time in two weeks...
A Jamestown man previously arrested for stealing and taking a U-Haul moving truck for a joy ride has been arrested a second time in two weeks for a domestic dispute.  City police were called to a southside location late last Wednesday morning and arrested 39 year-old Timothy Warrior, Jr.  Warrior is accused of breaking down a door to get to a female victim during the incident.  Police say Warrior tried to hide inside the home... but, was soon after found and taken into custody.  Police charged him with fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Back on November 1st... Warrior was accusing of stealing the U-Haul as it was being loaded by renters. 


Sundquist says no budget amendments offered by deadline...
The Jamestown City Council has a couple of smaller departments to review... but, so far... there have been no amendments made to the proposed 2023 budget proposal.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist laid out the $38.6-million spending plan in early October... and, includes no tax rate increase.  Sundquist says amendments from the City Council to the proposal were due last Wednesday... but, says none were offered.  However... that doesn't mean that changes can't be made to the budget on the floor of the council's voting session later this month.  Sundquist says one things that's non-negotiable is increasing the tax rate from the current $23.69 per $1,000 full value.  He says they will see the projected savings from retirees who are 65 and older and going off the city's self-insured plan... and onto a Medicare program.  Spending is up in the new budget... but, so are property values.  The tax levy is up about 6%.


Blue Star Mother's host "Blue Wing Fest..." ready for sending out care packages to the troops...
The local Blue Star Mother’s annual effort to send Christmas Care Packages to active duty troops is fully underway.  President Susan Rowley says their hope this year is to send as many boxes as in 2019... before the pandemic... when about 1,000 went out.  The group is collecting non-perishable, non-fragile items to send.  A full list of suggestions and where to drop them off can be found on the Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie Chapter 4 internet or Facebook page.  Each box costs $15 to send.  Checks to support mailing can be sent to Blue Star Mothers, Box 22 in Jamestown.  The boxes will be packed on Saturday, December 3rd at the Fluvanna Community Church starting at 9 a.m. 


Jamestown man arrested for stealing pick-up truck...
A city man is accused of stealing a truck last week while the operator was in the process of unloading lawn care equipment on Jamestown's northside.  City police were called to the scene at 628 Prendergast Ave. about 11:20 a.m. last Wednesday on a complaint of a pick-up being stolen.  Officers say the victim described the vehicle... and, it was found about Noon parked in the driveway at 860 North Main St.  Police reviewed security footage from a nearby business... which showed the man drive away with the truck.  Officers later found that 41 year-old Brandon Guillory had appeared on multiple surveillance videos.  He was arrested for third-degree grand larceny, and jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel says second through fourth-floors of Hall Clothier Building remain closed this week...
The temporary closures to much of Chautauqua County's Hall Clothier Building in Mayville remain in effect through this week due to water damage from the Nov. 2 leak.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says they are still working to repair and clean the second, third, and fourth floors of the building. 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 11, 2022

Jamestown High School has "larger-than-usual" police presence Thursday after safety threat rumor circulates...
A rumor of a potential safety threat at Jamestown High School was found to not be credible after city police "fully investigated" all leads about the rumor.  In a printed statement late Thursday... School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker said Jamestown police was made aware of the rumor late Wednesday night... and they worked with the district to investigate.  Whitaker adds that "out of an abundance of caution, the department provided a larger-than-usual police presence at the building earlier this morning."  He added the district "appreciates the immediate response, investigation, and strong partnership with Jamestown Police to ensure the safety of our students and staff."


North county woman arrested for serious assault on young child...
A Dunkirk woman has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a young child back in late April of 2021 in Fredonia... seriously injuring the child.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Departments Criminal Investigation Division conducted a probe into the incident... which occured on Apr. 28 of last year.  Deputies say their investigation found that 34 year-old Titiana Berrios caused the serious injuries to the child... who needed immediate medical attention.  Officers arrested Berrios Wednesday on charges of first-degree assault... two counts of second-degree assault... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says the indictment was filed in late June of this year.  However... Berrios fled the county before she could be arrested on the indictment.  Sheriff's investigators located her Wednesday, and she was arrested on the outstanding warrant.  Barrios was arraigned and sent to the county jail on $750,000 cash bail... $1.5-million property bond.


City woman pleads guilty in drug-related death case...
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty for her role in a narcotics conspiracy that resulted in a drug overdose death more than two-years ago.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross says 36 year-old Rachelle Allison entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr. to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say that between 2019 and June of this year... Allison conspired with others -- including her boyfriend -- Ryan Bloom -- to sell heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.  During that time... she bought and sold the illegal drugs for profit and her own use, using Facebook to conduct her drug trafficking activities and to assist Bloom, which included making drug deals.  They also used a Fairview Avenue home in Jamestown to conduct their drug trafficking activities.  In April of 2020... Chautauqua County Sheriff’s officers were called to a home on Hoag Road in Ashville for a possible overdose death.  Upon arrival, an individual identified as D.R., was found dead.  Allison admitted that she and Bloom sold heroin and fentanyl to D.R. the day before his death. 


Task Force in Jamestown announces two temporarily homeless shelters to open to help during cold weather...
Two temporary homeless shelters are expected to come on line by the end of the month to deal with a spike in the number of homeless people in Jamestown.  The city's Homeless Task Force met Thursday at Christ First United Methodist Church to go over final preparations to open the shelters at the Joy Fellowship Church... which will provide beds for mainly families.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the other will be located at the Mental Health Association in the Gateway Center on Water Street for single housing.  Sundquist says the temporary beds are being provided by an organization called "Relief Beds..." which produces air-inflatable mattresses.  Sundquist... who led the meeting... says the two shelters will be available for up to 30 people.  He says the beds will be available when there's a "Code Blue."  That's when the temperature or wind chill makes the air temperature fall to 32-degrees -- or lower.  Sundquist says the program is being started with $194,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding.


Start of Sidewalk Plowing around JPS school not a certainty yet...
The agreement between the Jamestown Public Schools and the city to get sidewalks plowed around schools this winter has hit some stumbling blocks: the plows aren’t here, yet -- and there’s no one to operate them.  The school district put up most of the $300,000 for the two plows, and Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says they’ve been ordered, but, says there's been a shipping or delivery delay until likely mid-December.  He's hopeful there's no major snowfall before that.  In the meantime... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the city’s been looking for people to do the early morning plow work.  Initially... the city was looking at hiring two full-time workers who would do other work as well.  However... the City Council wanted to go with hiring "seasonal" workers.  Sundquist adds they’ve had a few applicants, but no one’s been hired yet. Anyone interested in the work should contact the city's Public Works Department.


Jamestown man arrested for shoving person during domestic incident...
A city man is accused of pushing a person to the ground during a domestic violence incident... and, then resisted arrest.  Jamestown Police say they were called to a location on the southside late last Sunday for the incident.  Officers say their investigation showed that 23 year-old Michael Bane had gotten into the altercation... and, violently shoved the victim to the ground.  Police say Bane was also found to have violated an order of protection the victim had against him.  He then allegedly tried to fight officers when they were arresting him.  Bane faces charges including two counts of first-degree criminal contempt... and, was jailed pending arraignment.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 10, 2022

Town of Chautauqua residents arrested on several drug and weapons charges...         
Two town of Chautauqua residents have been arrested on several drug and weapons-related charges following a traffic stop in the town of Ripley Tuesday night.  Sheriff's officers say deputies stopped a car for failure to keep right on Burton Road shortly before 8 p.m., and, while interviewing the driver saw a drug pipe on the floor of the vehicle.  During a search of the car... officers found more than 70-grams of methamphetamine... a digital scale... and $1,467 in cash.  Deputies arrested 27 year-old Alexander Latta of Potter Road for second and third-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... resisting arrest... failure to keep right and aggravated Unlicensed Operation.  Latta also had an arrest warrant for failure to appear.  His passenger, 31 year-old Megan Hermann of the same address... faces similar charges.  County Narcotics Investigators later obtained a search warrant for Latta's home... and, found an assault rifle, a firearm and a high-capacity magazine loaded with .223 ammunition.  He was also charged with second-degree criminal possession of a Weapon... and three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


County elections commissioner says Election Day went well...
An official with the Chautauqua County Board of Elections says Election Day went well in the county... with nearly 34-thousand voters turning out at the polls.  Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says there were no major problems reported, with poll workers encountering some of the usual issues... like paper jams, or machines having issues reading a few ballots.  Abram says one local contest is still too close... and that's the second of two trustees seats in the village of Mayville.  He says there is a six-vote difference with Democrat Bill Ward leading in that race over Republican Eagle Harrington.  Absentee ballots will be opened next Tuesday, Nov. 15.


Zeldin concedes governor's race to Hochul in NYS...
New York Congressman Lee Zeldin has now conceded the governor's race to Democrat Kathy Hochul after problems regarding the vote count in his home county were cleared up.  There were lingering concerns over a cyber attack in Suffolk County that occured two months ago.  But in the end... officials were relieved to learn their election night woes weren't because of another attack by nefarious hackers... but, something more innocent: slow Wi-Fi.  Once the situation was cleared up... Zeldin final conceded defeat.  In a printed statement... Zeldin congratulated Hochul... saying "this race was a once in a generation campaign, with a very close margin in the bluest of blue states."  The State Board of Elections last night showed Hochul with 2.95-million votes... Zeldin with 2.66-million.  In Chautauqua County... Zeldin won by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.


Sempolinski ready to help transition three members of new Congress, including Langworthy...
Southern Tier Congressman Joe Sempolinski brief tenure will end in a couple of months... but, he and his staff will very busy before he leaves office.  But... it's not all to do with voting on legislation in Washington, D.C.  Sempolinski will not only be tossing the batton to new Congressman Nick Langworthy... but, two others as well.  As for Langworthy... he says his successor follows a similar path that he did -- as a former congressional district director.  Sempolinski says that will put him in a good position to help work with people in the new, 23rd District.  He says he'll also be working with re-elected Congresswoman Claudia Tenney... and, newly-elected Republican Marc Molinaro because they'll each be getting a small part of the former 23rd District.  Langworthy... who is also New York state GOP Chairman... won the race for the new 23rd District over Democrat Max Della Pia... 189,000 to just over 101,000.


Jamestown man pleads guilty to federal Fentanyl-drug charges leading to death...
A city man has pleaded guilty in federal court to selling fentanyl that led to another person's death.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross says 30 year-old Garson Butcher entered the plea before U.S. District Judge John Sinatra, Jr. in Buffalo to one count of distribution of fentanyl causing death, narcotics conspiracy, and using and maintaining a drug-involved premises.  Prosecutors say between March of 2020 and June of 2021... Butcher and co-defendant Alisha Centi conspired with others to possess and sell heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.  In late March of 2020... the pair was accused of selling fentanyl resulting in the death of a person identified as "T.R."  Later that year... Butcher and Centi sold heroin to an individual identified as "K.K.", who overdosed... but was revived by multiple doses of Narcan.  Both are slso accused of using homes on Fairview Avenue and Roland Road to manufacture and distribute drugs.  Charges remain pending agains Centi. 


"Meat Your Farmer" event in Fluvanna another success...
Over 80 people attended the latest 'Meat Your Farmer' event Wednesday night at the Fluvanna Fire Hall.  'Meat Your Farmer' brings local meat producers together with consumers.  One of the organizers, Ted Card of Moon Meadow Farm, says it's a great education opportunity because there are a number of things -- including feed -- that sometimes confuses consumers.  Card says the best way to find out what meat is available locally, and what cuts you might like is to reach out to a local farmer or Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Extension's Lisa Kempisty... the local dairy and livestock educator... says they are interested expanding the 'Meat Your Farmer' concept to other areas of agriculture.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 9, 2022

Hochul becomes first elected women to win New York's governor's race...
New York state has it's first elected governor with Western New York Democrat Kathy Hochul winning her race against Republican Lee Zeldin.  Hochul has been interim governor for just over a year after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in the midst of sexual harassment allegations against him.  Zeldin did final concede about mid-afternoon Wednesday.  As of Wednesday night... Hochul had 2.95-million votes... to Zeldin's 2.66-million.  The difference was about 290,000 votes.  In Chautauqua County... Zeldin won by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
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In other state races... Democratic Attorney General Letitia James held off a challenge from Republican Mike Henry.  James got 55% of the vote... while Henry had 42%.  Meanwhile... Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli won his race over Republican Paul Rodriguez.  Henry and Rodriguez won Chautauqua County.


Langworthy handily wins 23rd Congressional District race...
State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy won the 23rd Congressional District race... handily defeating Democrat Max Della Pia in both Chautauqua County, and the district.  Langworthy won the county with 28,052 votes to Della Pia's 13,950.  District-wide... Langworthy won 189,022 to 101,000.  Current Congressman Joe Sempolinski did not run for the seat.  In the U-S Senate... Incumbant Democrat Charles Schumer was comfortably re-elected over Republican Joe Pinion.
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Locally... State Assemblyman Andy Goodell more than doubled the vote in winning over Democratic challenger Sandra Lewis... 30,613 to 11,625.  Goodell will return to the legislature's lower chamber for a seventh-term next January... and, his focus has been dealing with high inflation, and higher energy bills, among others.  Goodell says he's hopeful that Republicans will win enough seats to break Democrat's "supermajority" in the Assembly.

In the State Senate... Republican George Borrello was a big winner over Democrat Dan Brown... 76,856 to 28,441.  Borrello appreciated the support he got in the three new counties in the 57th District. 

In Jamestown... Current Fifth-Ward Councilman Bill Reynolds held off Democrat Douglas Lawson, 751 to 486.  There was one contested county legislature seat... won by Republican John Penhollow over Democrat Barbara Colt, 1,600 to 600.


Sempolinski denounces political violence in wake of attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband...
Chautauqua County's soon-to-be outgoing Congressman Joe Sempolinski is denouncing the violent attack recently on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband.  Sempolinski made his comments during last weekend's Town Hall meeting in Frewsburg when he was asked about Paul Pelosi... and, the incident in which an assailant struck him in the head with a hammer.  The man reportedly said "Where's Nancy?..." when he got into the Pelosi's home.  Sempolinski said "we've seen way too much of this lately."  Zeldin was not hurt in the attack by a man who is being treated for addiction issues.  Speaker Pelosi says her husband is "making steady progress" after being treated for injuries he suffered in the violent attack.  Sempolinski says... while House leadership typically has security with them in public... other members don't.  Coincidently... Sempolinski was working on the staff of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise several years ago when Scalise was shot and seriously wounded during a Congressional baseball practice.  Speaker Pelosi says "since the horrific attack on Paul early last Friday, we have been deluged with thousands of messages conveying concern, prayers and warm wishes.  We are most grateful.


City man arrested for illegal drug possession following traffic stop...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with significant amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine during a traffic stop on the city's southside last week.  City police say they conducted the traffic stop in the area of Colfax Street last Friday... and, arrested 46 year-old Michael Barringer.  Officers say they found Barringer in possession of just over 34-grams of fentanyl... 24-grams of meth... a quantity of suboxone... and more than $1,000 in cash. Barringer was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled Substance... and, second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Anyone with information about drug or criminal activity is asked to call the JPD Tip Line at 483-TIPs... that's 483-8477.


Frat Parties temporarily suspended at Cornell...
Fraternity parties are temporarily suspended at Cornell University after reports that a student was sexually assaulted over the weekend... and, four others were reportedly drugged in recent weeks.  Leaders of the Ivy League university in upstate New York said this week that all of the incidents occurred at residences affiliated with registered fraternities.  Investigations are ongoing.  A Cornell University Police alert Friday warned of at least four incidents since Sept. 24 in which students reported they had become incapacitated while attending parties off campus, despite having consumed little or no alcohol.  On Sunday, university police said a student reported being sexually assaulted at an event early that morning.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 8, 2022

It's Election Day 2022, and the polls are open across the state -- and county...
Election Day is here and all 49 poll sites in Chautauqua County are open until 9 tonight.  A tight gubernatorial race in New York State may bring more voters to the polls this year.  That from Chautauqua County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says they're expecting a "strong turn-out" for the county... as evidenced by early voting.  If you're not sure what all is on the ballot... or want to double check your polling site... go to their website, VoteChautauqua.com.  Abram says the most active times at the polls are usually around lunch and dinner hours. 


Several state and county elections on the ballot in Chautauqua County...
State-wide... voters are deciding on several races... including governor where Democrat Kathy Hochul is hoping to stave off the recent challenge by Republican Lee Zeldin.  Hochul became governor in August of 2021 after embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in the midst of sexual harassment allegations.  Zeldin has been hitting Hochul hard on the issues -- mainly crime.  In other state races... Attorney General Letitia James is being challenged by Republican Mike Henry... and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is being challenged by Republican Paul Rodriguez.  
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Voters are also deciding on a new Congressman for the 23rd District... with Republican Nick Langworthy squaring off against Democrat Max Della Pia.  Current Congressman Joe Sempolinski is not running for the seat.  Incumbant U-S Senator Charles Schumer is being challenged by Republican Joe Pinion.
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Locally... State Assemblyman Andy Goodell is being challenged by Fredonia's Sandra Lewis... while State Senator George Borrello is being challenged by Cattaraugus County Democrat Dan Brown.  In Jamestown... there is a run-off for the rest of the Fifth-Ward City Council seat between Republican Bill Reynolds... and, Democrat Douglas Lawson. 

You can hear coverage of Election Night: 2022 tonight on WJTN... beginning at 8:30 p.m.


City man arrested on drug possession charges following traffic stop...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found with significant amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine during a traffic stop on the city's southside last week.  City police say they conducted the traffic stop in the area of Colfax St. last Friday... and, arrested 46 year-old Michael Barringer.  Officers say they found Barringer in possession of just over 34-grams of fentanyl... 24-grams of meth... a quantity of suboxone... and more than $1,000 in cash. Barringer was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled Substance... and, second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment. 


Falconer man arrested on Felony warrants for allegedly being part of "large scale" Fentanyl distribution ring..
A man from Falconer faces multiple drug-related charges following two raids on homes in the city of Jamestown, and the Falconer-area.  City police say officers also executed a search warrant on a pick-up truck driven by the suspect... 22 year-old Alex Johnson.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigation team conducted the raids last Thursday night into what was called a "large scale Fentanyl distribution ring."  The first warrant was served at 617 East Second St. in the city... while the second was at 3342 Gerry-Levant Rd. in Falconer.  During the searches... police say they seized just over 181-grams of fentanyl, 5-doses of LSD... a scale and just over $6,700 in cash.  Drug agents charged Johson with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia. 


Sheriff's Deputy involved in patrol car-buggy crash faces traffic charge...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has completed it's investigation into a crash involving a Sheriff's patrol car and an Amish buggy... and, the Sheriff's deputy involved has received a traffic ticket.  That from Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone.  Five occupants of the buggy were treated, and later released from UPMC Chautauqua Hospital after the crash in the town of Chautauqua on Sunday night, Oct. 30.  Quattrone today updated the investigation... adding they have review dashcam video, and interviewed the people involved.  He says Deputy Dylan Pratt was cited for failure to exercise due care in the accident... which occured on the Stockton-Hartfield Road in a 55 mph zone. 


Fire destroyes Russell, Pa. home...
An early evening fire Monday destroyed an old, two-story home in Russell, Pa.  Russell Fire Chief Dave Schwanke says crews found the home at 1227 Howard Rd. fully-engulfed in flames on arrival shortly before 6 p.m.  Schwanke says one person suffered minor smoke inhalation... but, everyone else got out safely.  He says the owner spotted flames shooting from the back of the home... and, called 9-1-1.  Russell was joined at the scene by North Warren, Lander, and Scandia fire crews in Warren County... and, Frewsburg, Kiantone and Busti from Chautauqua County.  The cause is under investigation.


City Council moves ahead on two more ARPA funding resolutions...
City lawmakers in Jamestown have agreed to move forward on voting on two of the four remaining resolutions on use of American Rescue Plan Act funding.  City Council members last night decided to move ahead with putting $1.5-million towards a Non-Profit Assistance Program... and, $750,000 towards business expansion and building acquisition.  Councilman Jeff Russell was glad to see the non-profit program... which includes funding for a new YMCA... move forward.  Two of the measures... one for $1-million to fund a County Landbank Housing Initiative... and, $750,000 for a "19-A" Homeownership Program... were both tabled for more information and discussion.

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 7, 2022

City officer punched during street check...
A man from Jamestown faces multiple charges including 'Attempted Assault on a Police Officer' after an altercation shortly after 3 this morning near the intersection of West Third and Hallock Streets on the westside.  Jamestown Police stopped 35-year-old Shawn Sobczak for a 'street check' and found there was a warrant for his arrest.  Officers say he became aggressive, and slugged an officer in the face.  Once subdued... Sobczak was found to be carrying cocaine and methamphetamine.  He was jailed, pending arraignment.  In addition to the assault charge, Sobczak faces four drug-related counts, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration.  We have no word on the severity of the officer's injuries.


Mayville man arrested for harassment and criminal mischief...
A Mayville man is accused of criminal mischief after allegedly shoving one person to the ground... and, damaging property belonging to another person during an incident in the village.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to an undisclosed address shortly before 5 a.m. last Thursday... and learned that 21 year-old Corbin Kates had allegedly pushed the one individual... and, damaged the other's property.  Deputies arrested Kates for second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, he was taken to the county jail for Centralized Arraignment.


City man arrested after being found asleep inside stolen car...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found -- asleep -- inside a stolen car on the city's southside late last week.  City police were called to the area of 240 West Virginia Blvd. for a suspicious situation just after 2 p.m. Thursday.  Police say they found Jared Jacobs sleeping inside the car... which was reported stolen in Jamestown the day before.  Officers arrested Jacobs for third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Sempolinski says it's believed 'lame duck' session following election...
Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski is expecting a longer than expected "lame duck" session of Congress once lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. after the election.  It's already been a busy first two months for the Steuben County Republican since being sworn-in last Sept. 13.  During a local town hall in Frewsburg last Saturday morning... Sempolinski said he's already voted on 57 bills in the House.  He says the lame duck session is to begin on Nov. 14, and, is schedule to end in mid-December.  However... if Republicans regain the majority... Sempolinski believes it will be longer because Speaker Nancy Pelosi will try to take advantage of what time they've got left to get their legislative agenda passed.  Sempolinski says the legislation Congress will deal with will include another Continuing Resolution to keep the government running until the new House is seated.  He voted against the last CR because it winds up being a continuation of government the way it is... with some changes put in by the majority party.  Sempolinski adds that the process has no transparency.  The Carroll Town Hall was his 10th in the 23rd District's 11 counties. 


Sempolinski talks about interest rate increases possible impact on federal deficit...
The more recent interest rate hikes by The Fed are concerning to everyone who has debt... and, that should be sounding alarm bells for lawmakers in Congress.  That from current Southern Tier Congressman Joe Sempolinski... who was asked about that during his Town Hall meeting in Frewsburg Saturday.  The federal debt now exceeds $30-trillion... and, interest rates have climbed by 4% in recent months.  Sempolinski says the federal government spends close to what it does on national defense on interest on it's debt.  While the national debt has climbed even moreso under the Biden Administration... Sempolinski says other administrations  -- including Republican presidents -- haven't helped either.  He looked back on his time as a Congressional Aide to former Representative Tom Reed... when he helped put on some 150 town hall meetings.  At a lot of those... he would put up a chart showing how much of the federal budget went to pay off debt racked up by the government.


Dunkirk man faces Felony DWI charge following traffic stop...
A north county man faces Felony charges after he was found to be driving with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his systme when his car was stopped in Fredonia last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies say a patrol pulled over 32 year-old Tyvone Casey of Dunkirk on Bennett Road shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday.  Officers took Casey into custody.. and, charged him with Felony driving while intoxicated... Aggravated DWI with a blood alcohol content of .18% or higher... first-degree aggravated Unlicensed Operation... and speed in zone.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


City of Jamestown DOD shuts down two illegal cannabis dispensaries...
The city of Jamestown has shut-down two illegal cannabis dispensaries... one located at 214 Fairmount Ave., and the other at 29 North Main St.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the businesses have not received licenses to sell cannabis from the New York State Office of Cannabis Management.  Sundquist adds the businesses did not comply with a Cease-and-Desist order from the Jamestown
Department of Development when a complaint that the businesses were selling cannabis was filed two weeks ago.  The mayor says "I fully support legal cannabis and the potential for legal dispensaries in Jamestown.  However, these businesses must comply with the law and have a license from the proper authorities."
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 4, 2022

Whitaker says juveniles who broke into JHS recently found weakness in locking system...
Jamestown school district officials now know how two juveniles were able to recently break into the high school and attempt to steal several items.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the pair was able to find a weakness in a locking system, and gain access to the building.  Whitaker says it was a "mechanical" issue with the locking device that may not been seen at first or second glance.  In a press release earlier this week... Whitaker said the break-in was captured on video... which was given to city police and the courts for further action.  The two juveniles were not JHS Students... but, because of their ages they can't be identified.  Whitaker says the district is pushing ahead with charges against the pair.  In response to the incident... Whitaker says additional monitoring of the building by day and night staff will take place.


City man arrested on drug charges following weekend traffic stop...
A Jamestown man faces numerous drug-related charges following a traffic stop this past week in the area of North Main and West Fifth Street.  City police say they stopped the car... driven by 34 year-old Brandon Anderson... shortly before 1 a.m. last Saturday for an alleged traffic violation.  Officers say they found Anderson in possession of 20.5-grams of methamphetamine... 1.4-grams of cocaine... 1.6-grams of Fentanyl... and, 2.5-grams of crack cocaine.  Police say they also found him driving with a suspended driver's license.  Anderson was later arraigned on one count of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.


Appeals Court upholds state law on allowing absentee ballots to be reviewed prior to Election Day...
A New York appeals court has upheld a new state law allowing absentee ballots to be reviewed before Election Day, saying it would would be ``extremely disruptive'' to change the rules with absentee voting already underway.  Tuesday's decision from the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court reverses a lower court ruling that declared New York's early review of absentee ballots unconstitutional.  The appeals court said Republican and Conservative party officials who brought the lawsuit in September waited too long to bring the challenge.  Election Day is Nov. 8.


Wendel reiterates that "Voter Integrity" organization going door-to-door is not affiliated with county, or Board of Elections...
No other problems have been reported in recent days.  However... Chautauqua County officials remain concerned about a group calling itself the "Voter Integrity" group has been going around trying to verify voter information.  County Executive P-J Wendel and the county's Board of Elections got out a statement earlier this week alerting local residents that anyone going door-to-door claiming to verify information for next week's election are not... in any way related to... or employed by the Board of Elections.  Wendel says it's also reportedly happening in other counties, as well.  Elections Commissioners Brian Abram and Luz Torres say all voters who are registered by Oct. 14, as Election Law specifies, are eligible to vote in the November 8th General Election.  They add that ID is NOT required in New York State... and proof of identity is your signature comparison at the poll site.  
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Early voting in Chautauqua County continues today through Sunday at the four locations the Board of Elections has established.  They include the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood... and, the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.  For more information... go on-line to VoteChautauqua.com.


Sempolinski hosting final town halls -- including in Chautauqua County -- this weekend...
Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski will be holding his final two town hall sessions this coming Saturday in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties as part of the old, 23rd Congressional District.  Sempolinski... who is filling out the final few months of former Congressman Tom Reed's final term... won a special election last August.  However... he's continued Reed's tradition of holding town hall meetings in each county of the district.  The Steuben County Republican says he also believes it's important to hear was residents have to say in the sprawling district because issues affect people in each county differently.  Early on... Sempolinski said one of the big topics has been the need for more workers for jobs in the region... and, developing a stronger workforce.  However... with the mid-term elections coming up next week... he says other issues have also been discussed... including crime and public safety... inflation... and how the COVID pandemic has been handled.  The town hall at the Carroll Town Hall in the Frewsburg-area this Saturday will run from 8 to 9 a.m.


Two arrested after shoplifting incident at Home Depot in town of Dunkirk...
Two Chautauqua County residents were arrested following an alleged shoplifting incident at the Home Depot store on Vineyard Drive in the town of Dunkirk.  State Police in Fredonia say they arrested 52 year-old Alisha Scinta of Dunkirk... and, 23 year-old Dennis Weaver of Cherry Creek on several charges.  Troopers were called to the location Tuesday... and, when they arrived on scene, store employees had stopped Scinta from leaving.  State Police were also outside in the parking lot... where they interviewed a "disoriented" Weaver... who said he was "waiting for his mother."  Further investigation found that Weaver was connected with Scinta... and, they saw obvious signs of impairment.  He also had his driver's license was revoked.  Scinta was charged with fourth-degree Grand Larceny... and petty larceny.  Weaver was charged with DWAI and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 3, 2022

Upper floors of Hall Clothier Building remain closed through weekend after water leak...
A break in a water line that feeds the HVAC system atop Chautauqua County's Hall Clothier Building in Mayville forced much of the building to be closed Wednesday.  And... the upper three floors will remain closed through Saturday.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says two key parts of the lower portion of the building have remained open for business: The Department of Motor Vehicles and the Board of Elections.  The Hall Clothier Building is one of four locations for early voting for next Tuesday's election in the county.  Wendel says the leak was reported about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday... and, he says Buildings and Grounds crews immediately went to work and repaired the two-inch water line, and began work on damaged offices.  However... Wendel says the third and fourth-floor have some "significant" water damage... and, those areas house most of the county's Department of Health and Human Services.  Those floors and the second-floor will remain closed through Saturday for repairs.


Jamestown man arrested for burglary, and threatening person with a knife...
A city man is accused of burglarizing a residence in downtown Jamestown earlier this week... and, threatening the person living there with a knife.  City police were called to the scene shortly before 10 p.m. last Sunday for a possible burglary.  When they arrived... the victim told officers that 24 year-old Angel Rosas had unlawfully entered their apartment... and, brandished a knife.  Rosas is also accused of threatening the victim.  Officers found Rosas at the scene, and he had the knife in his possession.  He was arrested for first-degree burglary... second-degree menacing... and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Rosas was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Sempolinski says crime a major concern for Southern Tier residence as Election Day draws near...
As Election Day draws near... crime and public safety are among the major concerns being expressed by Southern Tier residents to local Congressman Joe Sempolinski.  The issue has been raised as a major issue in both New York state.. and other races nationwide.  Sempolinski says "frankly, we have made it nearly impossible for police to do their jobs and, unfortunately, made it extremely easy on criminals..." and he says the statistics back up that assertion.  He says, according to the FBI, the most police officers were killed in the line of duty since the "9/11" terrorist attacks.  The Steuben County Republican says the murder rate is the highest it's been in 25 years.  Sempolinski says "you can see it daily in the local news and hear about it from your friends and neighbors."  Unfortunately... he says Governor Kathy Hochul and some other Democrats say it's a conspiracy theory."  Sempolinski says the victims of crime... and people who know them... would say it's not a conspiracy theory.  While he agrees minor offenders should not be kept in jail indefinately... he says "dangerous criminals are back on the streets before the ink dries on the police officer's report."  Sempolinski made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


Missing girls found in Ripley Wednesday night...
Two girls who went missing in the town of Ripley after getting lost early last evening were later found safe and sound.  Sheriff's officers say deputies were called to an area of Johnson Road shortly after 6 p.m. on a report of a missing 7 and 16-year-old juveniles in a wooded area.  Upon arrival... the Sheriff's Department K-9 unit was deployed into the woods... and, K-9 "Bentley" was able to track and locate the two missing girls.  Officers were then able to get them both out of the woods safely, and with out injuries.  The two juveniles were returned to their parents.


Borrello touts need to lower high gasoline prices in lead up to Election Day...
It's time to bring back "political balance" in Albany in order to bring about a "common sense" approach to energy policy in New York.  Those are the feelings of local State Senator George Borrello in the final days of the campaign during a pair of stops in Chautauqua County to talk with motorists about the high price of gasoline.  During the stops in Silver Creek... and, Jamestown... the Sunset Bay Republican pointed out that -- to implement the Climate Action Council's energy plan -- it would add about 55-cents a gallon to gas prices.  One resident he spoke with said the cost of gasoline has been a big drain on his pocketbook... and, he's concerned about the coming Winter.  Borrello was at the Green Frog/TPS on Route 20 Tuesday... and, the Crosby’s on North Main Street Extension near Jamestown Wednesday to highlight high gas prices.


Ribbon cut on new Potter's Alley Terrace...
There's been new life breathed into a former outdoor venue in downtown Jamestown with the ribbon cutting for the newly renovated Potter's Terrace at the corner of Third Street and Potter's Alley.  The project was headed up by the Urban Core Director Frank Besse with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation.  Besse says the new terrace will replace what used to be called "The Wood Park."  That park... with an elevated wooden platform... became dilapitated, and was torn down in 2019.  Besse says the new park is more of a "passive space" to enjoy the outdoors yourself, or with a few friends.  He says it took some time and planning with a local designers and others to create the finshed product.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 2, 2022

Water leak from broken line causes upper parts of Hall Clothier Building to be closed Wednesday...
A break in a water line that feeds the HVAC system atop Chautauqua County's Hall Clothier Building in Mayville has forced much of the building to be closed today.  However... County Executive P-J Wendel says two key parts of the lower part of the building will be open today for business: the Board of Elections, and the Department of Motor Vehicles located in the basement of the building.  The Hall Clothier Building is one of four locations for early voting for next Tuesday's election in the county.  Wendel says the leak was reported about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday... and, he says Buildings and Grounds crews immediately went to work to get rid of the water, and dry out office areas.  Wendel says the third and fourth-floors have some "significant" water damage... and, those areas house most of the county's Health and Human Services Department.  He says work is taking place all day today in hopes of having the building completely open tomorrow.


Man from Sherman arrested for having loaded guns, drugs in his possession during mental health evaluation...
A Sherman man is accused of drug and weapons possession charges in Jamestown after he was taken by ambulance to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for a mental health evaluation.  City police say they were called to the hospital about 1 p.m. Monday after 19 year-old Marcus Detweiler was found with a loaded, .25-caliber pistol... and, a loaded .20-gauge sawed-off shotgun.  Officers say Detweiler was also found with more than 10-grams of methamphetamine... just over 13-grams of Fentanyl... pills... a scale and drug packaging material.  He was later released from the hospital, and arraigned in City Court.  Detweiler was then taken to the county jail pending further court action.


Jamestown man arrested on drug and weapons charges in Dunkirk following traffic stop...
An early morning traffic stop in the city of Dunkirk Tuesday resulted in the arrest of a Jamestown man on weapon and drug charges.  Dunkirk Police pulled over 18-year-old Anthony Alvarez-Luna in the area of West 4th and Lark Streets around 1:15 a.m.  That from Police Chief David Ortolano... who says officers found Alvarez-Luna had a suspended license.  They later found he was in possession of a loaded, 9-mm handgun, a quantity of cocaine and other drugs, as well as about $1,500 in U.S. currency.  Ortolano says Alvarez-Luna is facing multiple charges... including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Alvarez-Luna was being held pending arraignment.


City man arrested for allegedly stealing U-Haul truck, and taking it for Joy Ride...
A city man is accused of stealing a U-Haul moving truck that was being loaded by renters on Jamestown's southside... and, the thief driving it into the town of Busti before it was found back in the city.  Jamestown police say they received a report of the truck being taken from a Prospect Street location about 10:30 a.m. Monday.  Officers say they received a number of calls about where the U-Haul had been before it was driven through a fence in Busti.  Police say the vehicle was later found in a field on South Avenue near The Resource Center facility.  The driver, identified as 39 year-old Timothy Warrior, Junior, was seen laying in the field, and taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital before police arrived.  They later arrested Warrior on charges including third and fourth-degree grand larceny... and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.


Dolce calls on lawmakers to make final decisions soon on remaing ARPA funding...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will consider whether to move forward with four proposals -- that haven't been acted on yet -- for use of American Rescue Plan Act funding.  The City Council has not acted on the plans... partly because they only have about $4-million of the original $28-million allocated... and there are other proposals as well.  Council President Tony Dolce urged fellow lawmakers to be ready to take some kind of action in November... starting with next Monday night's work session.  A $1-million request was made by the Chautauqua County Landbank for demolition, and other activities to get property into the hands of new owners.  Just over half of that would be for demolitions... which Dolce says was much discussed during August's Public Safety Forum.  Council will look at just funding those demolitions as well.  They'll also consider allocations to the city's 19A program to deal with "Zombie" properties... one for non-profits... and, a fourth to help more businesses with expenses for coming out of the COVID pandemic.


Whitaker says two "out-of-district" juveniles have been arrested for JHS break-In...
Two juveniles who don't attend Jamestown High School have been arrested for allegedly getting into the school... outside of school hours... looking for items to steal.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says "these actions have been captured on video, which has been given to the police and courts for further action."  Whitaker adds the two youths have now been identified by Jamestown Police... but, because they are minors, they can't be identified.  He says they have been working closely with JPD and their School Resource Officer to investigate... and, adds "the district will be pressing charges."  In response to the incident... Whitaker says additional monitoring of the building by day and night staff will take place... and, city police will assist with that.  Anyone with more information on the matter is asked to call the JPD Tips line at 483-TIPs... that's 483-8477.


False alarm leads to lock-down at Gowanda Central Schools...
A false alarm led to the temporary lock-down of the Gowanda Central School District in Cattaraugus County Tuesday morning.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the call came in shortly after 9 a.m., and, they cleared the school with the help of Erie County Sheriff's deputies.  State Police, Gowanda Police, North Collins Police and other agencies also responded.  However... no threat was found to any students or buildings.  Officers say the school was turned back over to district leaders, and resumed the regular school schedule about Noon.  

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 1, 2022

Identities released in collision involving Sheriff's Office patrol car, and Amish buggy...
The deputy who was driving the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department patrol car when it struck an Amish buggy from behind... injuring five people on board... has been identified along with the victims.  Sheriff's officers say, though, that all five people were treated at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, and have now been released.  They say Deputy Dylan Pratt was driving the car, which was traveling northwest on the Stockton-Hartfield Road about 9 p.m. Sunday when the buggy was struck.  Deputies say there were three adults... 50 year-old Elizabeth Byler... and, Levi and Katie Lee... both 25.  A 1 and a 3-year-old were also on board.  The road was unlit... with a speed limit of 55 m.p.h.  Officers say the buggy met all state requirements for a slow-moving vehicle being drawn by an animal. 


Teenager killed, two others critically injured in one-car crash in Cattaraugus County...
A 17 year-old girl was killed... and, two other people are in critical condition... following a one-car crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Machias last weekend.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the car went out of control on a sharp curve at an intersection... went off the road and struck a tree about 10:30 last Saturday night.  The teenaged girl was pronounced dead at the scene... while two others were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.  The other passengers suffered minor injuries.  The investigation into the crash is continuing.


Wendel signs 2023 county budget...
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he's pleased with how the county's 2023 budget turned out after it was unanimously approved by the legislature.  Executive P.J. Wendel has signed the 2023 budget plan that lawmakers approved last Wednesday night, 18-to-0.  Wendel said Monday that he didn't wait long to sign the final, $277.6-million spending plan when it arrived on his desk the next morning.  He adds he was pleased with the final product.  The budget includes a 30-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate reduction... which Wendel says was needed to stay within New York State's property tax cap.  Overall... he says since taking office... he's been able to reduce the tax rate by 71-cents per $1,000 full value.  The tax levy increases in the spending plan by 4.1-percent.


County Board of Elections says they are not involved with so-called "Voter Integrity" group...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is alerting local residents that anyone claiming to verify voting information for the November 8th General Election are not in any way related to... or employed by the Board of Elections.  In a joint statement... Elections Commissioners Brian Abram and Luz Torres says there are reports of a ‘voter integrity’ group going door-to-door and these individuals are not part of regular Election Activities.  They say all voters who are registered by October 14th, as Election Law specifies, are eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election.  They add that ID is NOT required in New York State... and proof of identity is your signature comparison at the poll site.  If you have moved... and, have not notified the Board of Elections, please go to your NEW poll site, where you will be required to vote by Provisional Affidavit.  They add that the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department has been made aware of this situation.


CLA President provides legislature with 2022 report...
The Chautauqua Lake Association had a busy 2022 season taking out more than 400 truckloads of weeds and other debris from the lake.  The CLA just recently concluded it's season with a "Rake for the Lake" along the shoreline areas.  It was headed up by CLA President Rudy Mueller of Lakewood... who last week updated the Chautauqua County Legislature on what was done this year.  Mueller says they also have a program to try and stop invasive weeds from getting into the lake in the first place... using 15 boat stewards to inspect more than 12,000 boats on three lakes, total.  Mueller says the CLA received $60,000 in Bed Tax funding this year... but, is asking for more in 2023.  He says another $30,000 would fully-fund their just over $1-million operation.  The county and the CLA were recently criticized at the end of the September legislative meeting for the condition of Burtis Bay and the Celoron-area by another lake group, and the operator of the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel.  They said dead weeds along the shoreline produced a foul smell there.


North county man arrested for not appearing in court on shoplifting incident -- in 2015...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear in Busti Town Court on petty larceny and criminal mischief charges... seven years ago.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they arrested Richard Graham... with the help of Dunkirk City Police... Sunday night.  Officers say the warrant stemmed from a July 10, 2015 incident at the Fairmount Ave. Wal-Mart SuperCenter.  Graham was sent to the county jail on $2,500 cash bail... $5,000 property bond.


Local gas prices climbing in recent days...
The price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in Chautauqua County gone back over $4, according to the latest survey by the AAA East Central Gas Price report.  AAA says the price is up by 13-cents a gallon to $4.03 a gallon.  However... some stations in the immediate Jamestown-area are now just under $4.10 a gallon.  Last week's price was $3.90 a gallon.  Nationally... the average pump price continued its recent trend by dropping 3-cents over the past week to hit $3.76.  AAA says tepid domestic gas demand... and shifting global oil prices are the main reasons. 
 

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