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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Aug. 10, 2022

Four people arrested following high-speed car chase, and drug raid in Jamestown...
Four people have been arrested -- including a wanted parolee -- on several drug-related charges following a high-speed chase that began in Jamestown and ended in Frewsburg.  City police say officers attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Willard and Allen Streets just before Noon Tuesday after spotting the parolee... 40 year-old Samuel Pointer of Jamestown and Buffalo... driving the vehicle.  Police tried to stop Pointer... but, he wouldn't comply... and, led officers on the chase into the town of Ellicott, and then Frewsburg.  They say Pointer finally stopped on the Falconer-Frewsburg Road, and he and a woman in the car, 23 year-old Dakota Trippe of Jamestown, were arrested.  There was also a child under the age of one-year-old in the car's back seat.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force later conducted a raid on Pointer's home... and, found the other two suspects... 44 year-old Russell Barlett of Jamestown, and 49 year-old Don Lawson of Buffalo.  They also found just over 11-grams of heroin, 1.6-grams of crack cocaine, 8.4 grams of fentanyl, nearly 30-grams of methamphetamine, and two handguns.  Pointer faces 14 individual charges... including two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's also charged with unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle.  Lawson also faces two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, and three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police say Trippe and Bartlett are each charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.


City man busted for drug possession after traffic stop...
A Jamestown man faces several drug-releated charges following a traffic stop on the city's eastside early Tuesday morning.  Jamestown Police say they stopped 37 year-old Tyler Elsesser in the area of East Second and Cowing Streets shortly after 3 a.m., and, found he had a suspended license... and, he was arrested.  Officers then searched the vehicle... and, found various quantities of methamphetamine, cocaine, Fentanyl, Heroin, prescription pills and suboxone.  They also found digital scales.  Elsesser was arrested on one count of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... five counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He's also charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle... and, was jailed pending arraignment.


Investigation continues into fatal shooting in Sinclairville...
The investigation is continuing into a fatal shooting that occurred in the village of Sinclairville last month. 18-year-old Joseph Misciagno of Cassadaga died after being shot in the lower back following a dispute in the area of Reed and Park Streets shortly after 7:30 p.m. on July 5.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone gave an update Tuesday on where the investigation stands, and says they anticipate charges "relatively soon" depending on follow up investigations.  Quattrone says one of the reasons an arrest has not been made is because of recent changes to New York State's discovery laws... because you can't continue an investigation now once an arrest is made.  Six people were reportedly involved in a dispute that led to the shooting, including Misciagno.


City woman arrested after child found wandering alone...
A city woman has been arrested for allegedly leaving her 2-year-old child unattended... and, left wandering in the area of West Ninth and Cherry Streets Monday night.  Jamestown police were on patrol in the area when officers were flagged down by two citizens shortly before 8 p.m.  Police say they had the 2-year-old with them... noting the child was alone.  Officers say it was about 30 to 40 minutes before they found 19 year-old Lynette Merced... and, arrested her for endangering the welfare of a child.  They say the child was found about two-blocks away from their home... but was not hurt.  The infant was turned over to another family member.


Della Pia "fearful" of what may happen in Congress if polarization becomes worse...
The Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional seat in this month's special election... and, the general election in November….. spoke to supporters Tuesday evening at Dow Park in Jamestown.  Owego's Max Della Pia says he is ‘fearful for what is going to come ahead... if we don’t have the right people in Congress.’  Della Pia says we need people moved by service to their country... not for political gain, power, or money.  The Republican primary for Congress on Aug. 23, the same day as the special election, is getting a lot of press.  Della Pia calls that a gift.  He says some people he's spoken with say they're kind of sick of "the polarization, the anger, the hate" in politics now.  Della Pia says he's not that kind of person. 


2021 Audit shows Jamestown "rainy day" fund growing...
The city of Jamestown wound up fiscal year 2021 with a very "positive financial result..." with revenues exceeding spending by about $4-million.  That from the city's third-party auditor... Accountant Carl Widmer with the firm Drescher and Malecki... which performed Jamestown's audit for the second year in a row.  Speaking to the City Council at Monday night's work session... Widmer noted that most of that was "unexpected revenues..." fueled mainly by sales tax proceeds that came in between $1.2-million to $2-million over budget.  In fact... he says the city has done well in it's budgeting the past five years... with the overall, undesignated fund balance... now at just over $6-million.  He says that's 17.2% of total year's revenues... which he says is well within what the Government Financial Officers Association recommends municipalities keep on hand for emergencies.  He says they should have 16.7% of annual funds... and he says the city is now just past that.  Widmer says having 2 to 3 months funding is most advisable. 
 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Aug. 9, 2022

Council Finance Committee approves added $3-million in ARPA funding for housing and property improvement programs...
The Jamestown City Council will vote later this month on adding another $3-million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to two programs to upgrade housing and other property improvement programs.  The Council's Finance Committee approved both measures last night.  Acting Committee Chairwoman Marie Carrubba says $1-million will be used to replenish the Building and Infrastructure Improvements program... which had been reduced to $500,000.  She says the action would restore the program to $1.5-million... which was the original amount.  The Finance Committee also approved adding $2-million to the city's Healthy Communities and Neighborhoods funds to support roof, private sewer, and water line repair and replacement.  Carrubba says there have been 130 requests for funding originally from the program... and, one-third were found to be eligible for the funding.  But, only 10 were found to be ineligible for funding.  The program was originally funded last March for $750,000.


City officials pleased with how Lucille Ball Comedy Festival went downtown...
Jamestown city officials are pleased with how last week's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival turned out following it's two-year, COVID pandemic hiatus.  City Council President Tony Dolce says he attended some of the events... and, says the attendance was great... and, the response very positive.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist echoed those sentiments... adding that downtown businesses were very pleased with how it all went.  Sundquist says it "was wonderful to see people back in Jamestown, and enjoying (the festival)."  He adds that he spoke with a number of business owners who were pleased to see business back to where it was before the pandemic.  Sundquist added that one local restaurant may be the beneficiary of some positive publicity.  He says he understands that eatery will soon be featured on the "Food Network" for what they did during the festival.  Several of the major activities from the five-day event... which ran last Wednesday through Sunday... were sold out.  


Woman from Gerry arrested for alleged assault with vehicle, and machete... 
A Gerry woman faces assault and menacing charges after she allegedly stuck another woman with her car... then struck her several times with the side of a machete.  State Police in Jamestown say they were called to a home in on Rt. 380 on a report of someone being struck by a vehicle.  Troopers say they found that 64 year-old Mary Butler was driving with four youths inside the car last Thursday... and, swerved to hit the woman, who was on the side of the road.  Police say Butler got out of the car... and, then struck the victim with the flat side of the machete.  Butler then fled the scene... and, the victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Butler was later found at her home... and, she was arrested for second-degree assault... second-degree menacing... second-degree reckless endangerment and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was processed... and, taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Schumer highlights what Inflation Reduction Act will bring to upstate region...
New York's Senior U-S Senator is back in the state... and, is touting major victories in recent weeks... including Sunday's approval of the more than $700-billion Inflation Reduction Act.  During a Zoom conference with state-wide media Monday afternoon... Democrat Charles Schumer said "persistance" helped get the final legislation over the finish line... though it's less ambitious than President Joe Biden's original domestic goals.  Schumer says there will be upwards of 9-million new clean energy jobs created through the measure... and, "hundreds of thousands of those will be in upstate New York.  Several climate change tax credit and other programs are part of the package.  Schumer says they include alternative fuels for cars and trucks... including advancement of hydrogen technology being developed by Cummins' Jamestown Engine Plant.  In addition... Schumer says there will be funding to help lower energy costs for upstate New Yorkers in the bill.  The lowering of prescription drug costs is also part of the measure... including a $35-dollar cap on insulin costs for people on Medicare.  Finally... Schumer says the measure... which now heads back to the House of Representatives... includes $300-billion in deficit reduction.


Two county men sentenced in Chautauqua County Court...
Two Chautauqua County men have been sentenced to state prison time... one for illegal drug possession... and another for illegally possessing a loaded gun.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says today that 37 year-old Richard Sendall of Brocton, received a determinate term of six years in prison... and, three years post-release supervision after having pled guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... both class B felonies.  Schmidt says Sendall entered the pleas back in May.  The two counts are from two separate incidents, one in the City of Jamestown and one in the Town of Ellery. 
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D.A. Schmidt also reports that 53 year-old Aaron Davis of Jamestown was sentenced to a determinate state prison term of five-years with 5 years post release supervision after having pled guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a weapon -- loaded firearm.  Schmidt says that's a class C felony.  The conviction occurred earlier this year in March 2022... and, Davis was sentenced as a violent felony offender after having two felony convictions within 10 years. 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Aug. 8, 2022

Pa. man arrested for alleged fight, and assault...
A North East, Pennsylvania man faces several charges after allegedly getting into a fight, and injuring that person early last Saturday morning in the town of Ripley.  Sheriff's officers were called to a home on the Northeast-Sherman Road just after 12:30 a.m., and, found that 58 year-old William Leamer physically hurt the other person... but, also intentionally damaged property belonging to that person.  Leamer is also accused of keeping that person from being able to call 9-1-1.  Deputies say the victim told them that Leamer had fled the scene on foot... and, officers called in the Department's K-9 Unit.  K-9 "Link" later found Leamer hiding in some tall grass, several hundred yards from the residence.  He was arrested on charges of third-degree assault... two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, resisting arrest... and, taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


North county man arrested for DWI and allegedly using a cellphone in crash...
A Fredonia man has been arrested for allegedly driving while drunk... and, using his cellphone when his car crashed on the Ellery-Centralia Rd. in the town of Stockton early last Saturday.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 1:30 a.m., and, found the operator was 19 year-old David Hahn.  Further investigation... troopers determined that Hahn was driving while intoxicated.  He's also accused of using his cell phone while driving.  Police arrested him for DWI... and, operating a motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device.  Hahn was issued appearance tickets for Stockton Town Court at a later date.


Gerry Rodeo sets more records for crowd size and competitors...
This year’s Gerry Rodeo..… the 77th annual..… will go down as one of the biggest and best.  That from Spokesman Paul Cooley... who says at 10,000 people attended the shows Wednesday through Saturday nights.  Cooley says -- inspite of threatening weather for two nights... it seemed to go around them, and the crowds were "just amazing."  He adds it was one of the biggest years in another way… with around 200 performers vying for prizes.  Cooley says they had a full contingent of bronc riders, something that's usually hard to find.  Some 3,000 roast beef dinners were served over the four days.  All the rodeo proceeds go to support the Gerry Fire Department’s operations for the next year.  Cooley thanked the 150 volunteers from all over the community who helped make the annual rodeo successful.


The 109th Ellington Town Picnic also a big success...
The town square in Ellington was jammed Saturday night with vendors, adults in lawn chairs, and kids with hula-hoops..… all listening to the music of Paul Zittel and Pure Country.  They were there for the 109th Ellington Town Picnic.  The picnic association’s President, Mat Pickup, proclaimed the event a success.  Pickup says they had some rainy weather on Friday night -- but, they got through it, and, the crowd came out then and Saturday night as well.  The Ellington Town Picnic is the longest running such event in the country….. and features some popular ‘old time’ competitions.  More than 20 entrants were registered for the baby show.  More than 30 people competed in the saw cutting contest, and 14 dogs and one hamster vied for prizes in the pet show.


Man from Indiana arrested in Stow for speeding, drug possession...
An Indiana man faces drug-related charges after his car was stopped for speeding on Interstate 86 in Stow late last week.  State Police in Jamestown say they stopped 36 year-old Brandon White of Pekin, IN. for speeding late Thursday... and, during the stop... they allegedly found him in possession of oxycodone pills, several packages of methamphetamine, and a digital scale with drug residue on it.  White was arrested for second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia... and, two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance.  He was processed at State Police headquarters... and issued appearance tickets for North Harmony Town Court at a later date.


Wendel pays tribube to Arden Johnson, and Howard Howlett on their passing...
Two men who were considered giants in the community for their work in local politics... and, public service... are being remembered on their recent passing.  The politician is retired Ellery Town Supervisor Arden Johnson... who passed away on July 30 at the age of 91.  Even though he had retired sometime back... County Executive P-J Wendel says the life-long Republican was still active in the community... like former county GOP Chairman Al Hendrickson... who passed away at age 90 last February.  The other passing Wendel recognized was that of long-time retired auto dealer Howard Howlett... who died at age 83.  Howlett was among the founders, with late Sheriff John Bentley, and Murray Marsh, of Starflight helicopter.  He passed away July 26.  Wendel made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


City man arrested for DWI, and leaving the scene of an accident...
A Jamestown man is accused of drunk driving after allegedly being involved in a property damage accident... and, driving off from the scene.  City police were called to a location on the westside about 5 p.m. last Friday for a driver leaving the scene.  Officers say they later spotted the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of the Jefferson Street Laundromat... and, found the driver, 78 year-old Bruce Ellis, was intoxicated.  Police say Ellis is charged with DWI... and, leaving the scene of a property damage accident.   No injuries were reported.


 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Aug. 5, 2022

Former Sherman village treasurer arrested for allegedly stealing more than $20,000 from village...
A former Sherman village treasurer has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $20,000 in tax and fee payments from village residents.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that 54 year-old Ann Gilbert was taken into custody for allegedly using those payments to pay her own bills... and, for personal items from places like Dollar General, Walmart and others between 2012 and 2016.  The missing money was reported after DiNapoli's Office performed an audit earlier this year.  Gilbert... who now resides in Florida... was arrested by Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies on a charge of third-degree Grand Larceny.  DiNapoli's office worked with local District Attorney Jason Schmidt's Office.  The comptroller says "Gilbert allegedly betrayed her neighbors by pocketing tax payments to pay her personal expenses.  I thank District Attorney Schmidt and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office for partnering with my office to hold her accountable.”  He added that, once Mayor Colleen Meeder found out about the missing money, she contacted his office.  Gilbert served as Sherman's treasurer from 2007 to 2016.


Tricky Forecast shows strong chance of rain at times through the weekend...
There will be a strong chance of rain at times  through Sunday.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apffel with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who told us Thursday that the greatest probability is coming before the weekend.  Apffel says rain will be a little more widespread later in the day Friday.  Apfell says the current atmospheric conditions make the rain difficult to predict.  Organizers of outdoor events and those who want to attend are advised to keep an eye on the radar and be prepared for quick changes in conditions.


Gerry Rodeo has sell-outs for first two nights of performances...
There was a prediction of thunderstorms last night... but, they stayed away... and more than 2,000 fans were on hand to watch the second-night of the Gerry Rodeo.  A special tribute was held at the beginning for military members, first responders, and health care workers by having them stand to a prolonged ovation from the fans.  Another large number of rodeo cowboys and cowgirls took part... with Bareback bronc riding kicked off the competition with seven of the nine cowboys making successful rides.  However... only three of the ten cowgirls were able to successfully rope their calves in the breakaway roping event.  There was a capacity crowd on hand for the first night Wednesday at the 77th annual rodeo... and they saw a record number of cowboys and cowgirls begin competition.  The rodeo continues tonight through Saturday at the Rodeo Grounds in Gerry.


Ellington Picnic gets underway tonight, and continues through Sunday...
Of all the events happening in the Jamestown area this weekend, none has a longer history than the Ellington Town Picnic.  This weekend's is the 109th in the series.  Picnic Association President, Mat Pickup, says they offer all kinds of 'traditional  fun'... especially on Saturday with a baby show, a pet show, wood cutting, and a chicken barbecue.  The activities are centered around the town square in Ellington.  There is no admission charge.  There will be bounce houses at the picnic for the first time in two years.  The Ellington Town Picnic begins tonight with music and vendors... runs all day until fireworks on Saturday, with a few concluding events Sunday.  The full schedule is available on the 'Ellington Town Picnic' Facebook page.  


Wendel: No Monkeypox seen yet in Chautauqua County...
Chautauqua County officials are monitoring the Monkeypox situation... though it's not contracted through either casual contact or close proximity to an infected person.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says there have still been no cases detected in the county.  However... there have been at least two in nearby Erie County.  Wendel says he's also talked with New York's Health Commissioner, Dr. Mary Basset, about it during a Zoom call.  He says there are a couple of specific "risk groups" involved, and they need to be careful.  Unlike COVID-19... which is spread through the air... Wendel says Monkeypox is contracted by "skin to skin" contact... and, he says it's not through "casual contact, either."  Prior to Erie County's cases... Wendel says the closest case was in Chemung County.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the monkeypox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has it... and, you can take steps to prevent getting monkeypox and lower your risk during sexual contact.  For more information... go to cdc.gov.


The 2022 Chautauqua Vintage Book & Paper Show is set for Saturday in Mayville...
A vintage book and paper show and sale is going on tomorrow in Mayville to benefit the Jamestown Trolley Car Restoration Project.  The show is being held this year in a new and larger location... the Chautauqua Suites... from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Organizers say the Chautauqua Vintage Book and Paper Show will feature over 20 different dealers on hand selling a large variety of items, including vintage and rare books, first editions, antiquarian books, local history, postcards, photography, maps,  historic documents, posters, sports memorabilia, comic books, trade cards, sheet music, and more.  Once again... that runs from 10 until 4 tomorrow at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville.  Admission is $5 per person.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Aug. 4, 2022

City man arrested on drug trafficking charges following traffic stop...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of several kinds of illegal drugs after his car was stopped for not signaling a turn on the city's eastside.  City police say officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Pine and East Fifth Streets just after 6 a.m. Tuesday... and, found the driver, identified as 38 year-old Stephen Glover, Sr., had a suspended license.  Glover was arrested for second-degree unlicensed operation.  A further search of the vehicle yielded a quantity of methamphetamine, Fentanyl, and digital scales.  Glover was taken to the city jail pending arraignement on charges of third-and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.... second-degree criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia... and, failure to signal prior to 100 feet of a turn.


Jamestown man gets 5 years in prison for burglary, and attempted burglary...
A city man has been sentenced to five-years in state prison for second-degree attempted burglary... along with five-years supervised parole.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 46 year-old David Spunaugle recently received the jail term from County Court Judge David Foley.  Schmidt says Spunaugle was also given to 2-to-4 years indeterminate in state prison on his conviction for a third-degree burglary charge... which will run concurrently.  Schmidt says Spanaugle was awaiting a court date on the attempted burglary charge when he burglarized another person’s home.  The D-A thanked both State Police, and Jamestown Police for their investigation of these two cases.


Gerry Rodeo draws capacity crowd for opening night...
There was a capacity crowd on hand for the opening performance of the 77th annual Gerry Rodeo last night... and they saw a record number of cowboys and cowgirls begin competition.  Spokesman Paul Cooley reports the "very physically demanding bareback bronc riding" event kicked off the action with three cowboys making successful rides.  The top rider was Louisiana's Kade Sonnier, who scored 82 points.  The 10 steer wrestlers had little success in throwing their steers to the arena dirt.  Cooley says only Terrek Keller of Fredonia, Pennsylvania, was able to leap from his speeding horse, grab his steer by the horns, and wrestle it to the ground in a very fast 5.5 seconds.  The rodeo continues tonight through Saturday at the Rodeo Grounds in Gerry.


Lucille Ball Comedy Festival gets fully-underway today...
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is fully-underway in Jamestown... and, the immediate area... with more than 50 events taking place through Sunday.  The first big show will be held tonight at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts when Margaret Cho takes the stage at 7 p.m.  National Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson says Cho worked hard to become one of the best comediannes ever... and, they're happy to have her.  There are still tickets remaining for Margaret Cho's performance at the Reg Lenna.  Friday night's first show for legend Jeff Foxworthy at 7 p.m. is sold out.  However... the Comedy Center's website shows his second performance at 9:30 still has a "limited number" of tickets left.  The final headliner program on Saturday with Saturday Night Live Legends David Spade, Kevin Nealon and Rob Schneider is also sold out.  For more information... go on-line to ComedyCenter.org.


Gillibrand calls on Biden Administration to use Defense Production Act to make more monkeypox vaccines...
New York's junior U.S. Senator is calling on the Biden Administration to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase domestic production and access to monkeypox vaccines.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says... as monkeypox spreads through-out the United States... more than one in 4 case in the U-S are in New York State.  During a video press conference Wednesday... Gillibrand added that New York has declared  State Disaster Emergency in response to the outbreak... noting that the state has been allotted 170,000 vaccine doses from the federal government.  She says there are currently more than 6,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S., including several in children, and New York State has emerged as a center of the outbreak.  She adds that case are expected to rise, but the U.S. does not currently have enough vaccines to protect all at-risk individuals.  In fact... she says of the 170,000 doses being sent to New York... 90,000 are going to New York City.  Gillibrand says invoking the Defense Production Act would give the president the authority to mandate that corporations and manufacturers accelerate production of this critical vaccine. 


Gasoline prices down again this week in Jamestown-area...
The price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area has fallen by nearly 10-cents from what it was at the beginning of last week.  But, while the price is now more than 30-cents a gallon less than a month ago... it's still nearly $1.25 more than this time last year.  The AAA East Central's Gas Price Report says the price began the week at just under $4.56 a gallon.  However, it's now down in many places to just under $4.53 a gallon.  AAA says national average price has fallen 14 cents over the past week to $4.21.  About half the stations in the country are now selling gas at less than $4 a gallon.  While gasoline consumption is up... the crude oil price remains under $100 a barrel at just over $98.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Aug. 3, 2022

Spanaugle sentenced on burglary/attempted burglary charges...
A Jamestown man convicted of third-degree burglary... and, attempted burglary... has been sentenced to five-years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 46 year-old David Spunaugle received the jail term... and, five years supervised parole... from County Court Judge David Foley.  Foley says Spunaugle was given to 2-to-4 years indeterminate in state prison on his conviction for the third-degree burglary charge... which will run concurrently.  Schmidt says Spanaugle was awaiting a court date on the attempted burglary charge when he burglarized another person’s home.  


Preliminary cause given on fire at Fredonia tavern... 
It appears that Monday afternoon's fire that damaged Heenan's Irish Pub in Fredonia started accidently.  The Post-Journal reported late Tuesday that Chautauqua County fire investigators determined that village crews burning weeds on the sidewalk in the area likely sparked flames that caught the side of the building on fire.  Fredonia Fire Chief Josh Myers says the call came in as a fire on an exterior wall shortly before 3 p.m., and on arrival, saw the fire going on the outside, but, adds it was moving into the interior at the same time.  Fredonia crews got mutual aid at the scene from the city of Dunkirk and Sheridan crews.  Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek, who is also a volunteer firefighter, praised the work of the fire crews.  Essek says there's always concern over a fire in an older building where flames can travel quickly.  County fire investigators were later brought to the scene... and, it's believed the fire started on the exterior of the building at ground level. 


Suspect sought in Seneca Casino robbery in Cattaraugus County...
State Police in Cattaraugus County are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect in an armed robbery at Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Oil Springs Casino in the town of Ischua.   Troopers in Machias say the unidentified man entered the casino just before 11 p.m. last Saturday night... displaying what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun, and carrying a cloth shopping bag.  They say the man approached the cashier cage where he demanded money.  The suspect appeared to be an average build white male and approximately 5'9" inches tall... and, he was wearing a camouflage shirt, hat, mask, dark sweatpants and black sneakers with white trim.   The suspect appeared to be wearing transparent gloves with the words LOVE either tattooed on his knuckles or drawn on the gloves.  He left on foot with cash in the shopping bag, as well as a cashier drawer.  Anyone with information can contact State Police at 585-344-6200.  


Borrello introduces legislation to eliminate Farm Laborer's Wage Board...
Local State Senator George Borrello has made good on his word... and, has introduced legislation in Albany that would eliminate the three-member Farm Laborers Wage Board.  A companion measure in the State Assembly has been introduced by Ranking Minority Agriculture Committee member, Chris Tague.  The wage board was established as part of Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act approved in 2019.  Borrello says the board is charged with making a recommendation on reducing the current 60-hour overtime threshold for farm workers to 40 hours.  Back in January... Borrello says more than 70% of the testimony given during public hearings was concerns over the harm that such a measure would cause.  Borrello says "the wage board has just one member with an agricultural background, making it ill-equipped to render sound, informed decisions concerning New York State’s critically-important agriculture industry."  The board is to meet next on September 6th to make it's final report and recommendations to state leaders.


Annual Gerry Rodeo set for 77th edition to begin tonight...
About 200 professional rodeo cowboys and cowgirls will be taking part in the 77th Gerry Rodeo... which is set to begin tonight at the grounds of Rt. 60.  The first performance will be held at 8 p.m., and will feature several men's divisions... and, two for the women this year.  Long-time rodeo Spokesman, Paul Cooley... says the rodeo's stock contractor and producer... Painted Pony from Lake Lucerne, New York... is back again.  He said Tuesday they've brought more than 100 head of bulls and horses this year.  Florida's Brinson James is this year's rodeo clown... and, entertainer.  It's the 28 year-olds first time at Gerry... and, told our Dennis Webster that he's enjoyed his short stay so far.  James has been a rodeo clown the past 10 years... and, says he's been to most of the major rodeos in North America... including the Calgary Stampede in Canada.  The Gerry Rodeo runs each night... tonight through Saturday beginning at 8 p.m.  The Gerry Fire Department will also be selling their traditional beef barbecue dinners beginning at 5.  For more information... go on-line to gerryrodeo.org.


Attica Book Ban Lifted...
New York state prison authorities have lifted a ban on a book about the 1971 Attica uprising following a First Amendment lawsuit.  Author Heather Ann Thompson, a historian and professor at the University of Michigan, sued the state's prisons in March in Manhattan federal court over the censorship of her book ``Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971.''  Prison official said last week in a letter to a Manhattan federal judge that they would dismiss the ban... but, will cut out a two-page map from all copies for security purposes.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Aug. 2, 2022

Fredonia pub damaged by fire Monday afternoon...
No one was hurt... but, a mid-afternoon fire Monday damaged a long-time tavern in the north count village of Fredonia.  Chautauqua County fire investigators say Fredonia fire crews were called to Heenan's Bar at 39 East Main Street about 3 p.m., and, crews were able to extinguish the blaze quickly.  Fredonia got mutual aid at the scene from city of Dunkirk, and Sheridan firefighters.  Investigators were called in... and, say they determined the fire on the exterior of the building at ground level.  They add the investigation will continue. 


County BOE reminds residents that early voting for special election and GOP primary beings Aug. 6...
Early voting begins a week from this coming Saturday, Aug. 6 for the special election and Republican primary for New York's 23rd Congressional District.  The Chautauqua County Board of Elections will be utilizing four locations in the county for that.  That from Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says the Special Election to fill out the remaining four months of former Congresman Tom Reed's term... pits Republican Joe Sempelinski against Democrat Max Della Pia.  Abram says both that, and the Republican primary between state GOP leader Nick Langworthy and Buffalo-area developer Carl Paladino are running at the same time.  Sempelinski is Reed's former chief of staff.  Any registered voter can take part in the Special Election.  However... Abram emphasizes that only Republicans will receive the second ballot to vote for either State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy, or Buffalo Developer Carl Paladino for the primary to run for a full, two-year term in the 23rd District against Della Pia in November.  Meanwhile... Abram says all polling locations in the county will be open on Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Sinclairville man arrested for attempted assault...
A man from Sinclairville has been arrested for allegedly trying to assault another person during an altercation in the village early Monday afternoon.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a location on Main Street in Sinclairville about 12:30 p.m. for an "assault in progress."  Officers say their investigation led to the arrest of 31 year-old Ronald Dunam, Junior after he allegedly struck another individual.  They say Dunam was charged with third-degree attempted assault... and, taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Alleged domestic in Cattaraugus County leads to arrest of Jametown woman...
Cattaraugus County Sheriff's officers say an alleged domestic incident involving two women in the town of Randolph has led to the arrest of a Jamestown woman.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley were called to the scene on Windmill Road Sunday morning... and, saw the vehicle of one woman trying to leave the scene.  Officers say they found both women inside the car once they stopped it... and found that one, identified as 45 year-old Tammy Wendell, had a warrant for her arrest.  She was taken into custody... and, issued an appearance ticket for Randolph Town Court.  Sheriff's officers say the domestic incident was investigated... but no other charges were filed.


Borrello wishes new president and CEO at Brooks Hospital the best in trying to turn it around...
State Senator George Borrello is reacting to the recent announcement of a new President and Chief Executive Officer of Brooks-TLC Hospital in Dunkirk.  The Sunset Bay Republican says he looks forward to working with Kenneth Morris, who succeeds Mary LaRowe who is left the post Monday for retirement.  Borrello says "we'll support them..." but, warns there needs to be more transparency as to what's going on there.  Meanwhile... Borrello says a special task force will hold its first meeting to analyze Brooks-TLC's plan for a new hospital and present a better plan.  Borrello says he, Assemblyman Andy Goodell... and, County Executive P-J Wendel were part of the effort to create the panel.  He says it's crucial that a plan is developed for the hospital that's financially sustainable.


City Council approves "Vision Zero" traffic safety policy...
The Jamestown City Council has approved a new highway design policy that says traffic fatalities are "preventable" versus "inevitable."  Lawmakers recently adopted the policy called "Vision Zero..." which began in places like Sweden in the mid 1990s as a new approach to dealing with traffic safety for motorists, pedestrians and bike riders.  Mayoral Assistant Zach Altschuler has been the point-man for the city on the effort... and, says the policy recognizes that people -- driver's aren't perfect -- so mistakes need to be considered when making decisions.  Altschuler presented the police to the Public Safety Committee... which then approved it to go before the full city council.  Council President Tony Dolce says traffic has been one of the biggest issues facing Jamestown because it's an older city... that began at a time when there was really no vehicular travel at all.  In addition to cars... he says motorcycles and bicycles are part of the equation.  Dolce says that's especially been the case around the neighborhood elementary and junior high schools.  He says they were built at a time where there wasn't as much vehicular traffic in those areas.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Monday, Aug. 1, 2022

Jamestown man arrested for alleged stabbings at Wine Cellar...
A city man is free on $25,000 bail after allegedly slashing multiple people with a sharp object during a large fight outside the Wine Cellar bar in downtown Jamestown.  City police were called to the scene on North Main Street at closing time Saturday... 2 a.m.  On arrival... an officer spotted 23 year-old Codie DJ Swartz -- and began a foot pursuit with the man after being told that he had stabbed some of them.  After a brief chase... Swartz was taken into custody with no further incident.  Police say the victims suffered lacerations in the incident.  Swartz is charged with two counts of second-degree assault... tampering with physical evidence... fourth-degree criminal possession of a Weapon... and, second-degree obstructing governmental administration.  He was sent to the county jail where he posted bail.


Man from Ashville arrested for menacing with a baseball bat...
An Ashville man has been arrested for allegedly threatening another person with a baseball bat... and, damaging that person's property with it.  Sheriff's officers were called to 8248 Griswold Rd. 9:30 Sunday morning... and learned that 47 year-old Mason Riggle had threatened the person, and damaged their property.  Riggle was arrested for third-degree criminal mischief... and second-degree menacing... and, taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment.


Chautauqua Co. included with 21 total now under a NYS Drought Watch...
There are now 21 New York state counties -- including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus -- that are under a Drought Watch due to a lack of rain.  Governor Kathy Hochul late Friday directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a drought watch for those counties after consulting with the state Drought Management Task Force, and federal agencies.  The state is encouraging residents in affected counties -- especially those dependent on private groundwater wells -- to conserve water whenever possible during the coming weeks.  Hochul says "recent rains across the state were not enough to address the dry conditions that have persisted this year."  In addition to Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties... those in the drought watch area also include Allegany and Erie.  While few public water supply challenges have been reported due to dry conditions, below-normal precipitation during the last three months, low streamflows, and low groundwater levels prompted the need for action to ensure adequate public water supplies.


Borrello raising concern over upcoming meeting of Farm Laborers Wage Board...
Chautauqua County's two representatives on the state legislature are expressing concern over a meeting of the Farm Laborers Wage Board in early September.  The Board is expected to vote to advance their recommendations, and final report during the meeting set for Sept. 6.  Back in January... the board voted 2-1 to lower the threshold to 40 hours for farm laborers before overtime kicks in.  Borrello says if Governor Kathy Hochul and her administration accepts the recommendation, it would become the biggest challenge facing farmers.  He adds that Hochul has proposed a tax credit for those farmers... but, he says they've only created a "fund" in the budget with no details.  Labor unions and other organizations favor the move to lower the threshold to 40 hours, saying it would give migrant farmers workers a more fair wage.  But Borrello... who is the ranking member on the Senate's Agriculture Committee... has a different view.  Borrello says he and Assemblyman Andy Goodell have introduced legislation that would eliminate the Farm Laborers Wage Board.


Woman from Arkwright arrested for trepassing in weekend incident...
A woman from Arkwright is accused of trespassing inside a Center Road home in the town she was not allowed to be in.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly after 2 p.m. last Saturday... and, found that 55 year-old Ida Weber Smith had entered, and remained unlawfully inside the home.  Smith was found, and taken into custody for second-degree criminal trespass... and, further investigation found that she had also violated an order of protection.  Smith was also charged with second-degree criminal contempt... and, taken to the county jail for arraignment.  She was issued appearance tickets for Arkwright Town Court.


77th Gerry Rodeo set to begin this Wednesday night...
The town of Gerry will again become "Rodeo City" this Wednesday when the 77th Gerry Rodeo gets underway at the rodeo grounds off Route 60.  The four-day event run goes through next Saturday, Aug. 6... with shows beginning each night at 8 p.m.  Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley says the rodeo's traditional beef barbecue dinners will also be served beginning at 5 p.m. each night.  If you've never had one before... Cooley says you need to try one.  He says they cook about 1,000 pounds of beef over an open fire each day, and serve it with potatoes and other sides, plus drinks.  The rodeo was one of the few events actually held last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued... and, that helped the Gerry event set some attendance and other records in 2021.  This year... Cooley says they're hoping to at least equal that success.  He says they'll also have about 20 vendors on hand... selling everything from cotton candy, to western wear and fried dough.  Cooley says they have a new, ladies event this year... cowgirls break-away roping... which has been added to the traditional timed barrel racing.  Proceeds support the Gerry Fire Department.  For more information... including tickets... go on-line to gerryrodeo.org... or call 985-4847.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 29, 2022

Ellery man arrested for trying to set house on fire late Thursday night...
An Ellery man is accused of trying to set fire to a home in the town during a reported argument and fight late last night.  Sheriff's officers say the 911 center received a hang-up call from the residence about 11:30 p.m.  Deputies investigated once they arrived... and learned that 40 year-old Dan Lutgen did try to burn down the home while other persons were there.  Lutgen was arrested for second-degree attempted arson... and, second-degree reckless endangerment.


EF-2 tornado reported in Wyoming County Thursday morning...
There was a brief, heavy rainshower yesterday morning in the Jamestown area... but, there was much more severe weather to our north and east in Wyoming County.  The National Weather Service in Buffalo says a tornado packing winds of about 115 mph touched down in the town of Java... about 25 to 30 miles southwest of Buffalo.  The 200-yard-wide twister then moved eastward for about 10 miles before dying out 15 minutes later.  The winds knocked down trees and power lines and sent some trees on to homes.  The weather service says one barn suffered extensive damage, with a portion displaced by about 30 yards.  Photos posted online showed a barn with most of its upper portion gone and the rest barely standing.


Geise cites two big reasons for new Ghostfish Brewing coming to Chautauqua County... 
A local connection... and, the need for an East Coast presence... has led a Seattle-based company to decide to locate a new craft brewery in Chautauqua County.  The county's Industrial Development Agency board this week approved AL Tech Revolving Loan Fund loans for Ghostfish Brewing Company to provide money, and equipment purchases for a new brewery and distribution center in the town of Westfield.  IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says it will occupy 51-hundred square feet of existing space at the Grape Discovery Center on Rt. 20.  Geise says one of the principles in the business is from Westfield, and he says they really like the Grape Discovery Center space... and, the proximity to I-90 is ideal.  He says Ghostfish Brewing is the largest dedicated 'gluten-free' brewery in the country.  He says they will use the new location to satisfy the steadily increasing demand for its products here in the east.  In fact... Geise says Ghostfish's second biggest consumer area is Massachusetts. 


County Legislature approves Makowski as new HR Director...
Chautauqua County government will have a new Human Resources Director... beginning early next month.  The county legislature Wednesday night unanimously approved the appointment of Cherry Creek's Debbie Makowski... who will begin her duties on Aug. 8... and, will fill the remainder of former director Jean Riley's term.  Riley resigned in early April.  Legislature Minority Leader Bob Bankowski says the bi-partisan search committee he was part of felt Makowski was the best candidate for the job, and he's glad to have her on board.  Makowski introduced herself briefly to lawmakers following the vote.  She says she brings 25 years of experience to the post... most recently as Executive HR Director at Warren General Hospital.  She's lived in Cherry Creek for the past 13 years... and, is ready to get started.  Prior to working at Warren General Hospital... she was a Human Resources Business Partner at Wells Enterprises in Dunkirk.


Falconer man arrested for allegedly trespassing and stealing trailer from Tow Company... 
A Falconer man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a Stockton tow company... and, taking a trailer and damaging a vehicle before driving off.  State Police in Jamestown say 30 year-old Blaydon Niles is charged with third-degree criminal mischief... and third-degree criminal trespass.  Troopers say they received a complaint from the unidentified company July 22... and, Ellicott town Police later stopped Niles on County Rt. 380 in Falconer.  Niles was issued tickets by Ellicott Town Police... and, then arrested by troopers.  He was issued appearance tickets for Stockton Town Court.


Gov. Wolfe suing Pa. state legislature over proposed amendments...
Pennsylvania's Democratic governor is suing the state legislature over a package of proposed constitutional amendments that Republican lawmakers are pursuing... including one that would say the state constitution does not guarantee any rights relating to abortion or public funding of abortions.  The lawsuit filed Thursday in the state Supreme Court argues that the proposed abortion amendment would violate privacy protections.  Governor Tom Wolf wants the high court to throw out the amendments, declaring that they are not constitutionally valid.  He also says bundling the abortion amendment together with four others runs afoul of a constitutional rule against passing legislation that addresses multiple, unrelated topics.


United Way announces 2022 Campaign co-chairs...
With the start to the general campaign just under a month away... the United Way of southern Chautauqua County has announced three co-chairs for this year's campaign.  The United Way says they are Denise Heppeler, Danielle Stone, and Heather Turner.  Heppeler is a retired speech pathologist and special education chairperson from Jamestown Public Schools.  She is currently employed by the Jamestown schools as Preschool Enrollment Coordinator.  Heather Turner is the Owner of Blackstone Advanced Technologies & Ulrich Fabrication... and, current serves on the Northwest Ice Arena board of directors, and the board for the United Way.  Danielle Stone is currently the Service Area Manager at Wegmans in Jamestown, and, created the Striders/Wegmans work program that has been employing students from the Striders Jamestown High School Program for the last 5 years. 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 28, 2022

County Legislature approves plan to keep 19 legislative districts for next 10 years...
There will continue to be 19 Chautauqua County Legislature districts after lawmakers voted resoundingly in favor of that plan last night in Mayville.  The final vote was 14-3 along party lines.  A plan to reduce the number to 17 failed, 3-14.  Former Legislator Larry Wilcox of Cassadaga was a member of the bi-partisan redistricting panel... and, says -- if the 17 member plan was adopted -- the county could be sued because it "dilutes the minority vote in this county."  Wilcox later said the 17 district proposal also divided more towns into separate districts.  However... Mary Croxton with the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters noted that the county lost more than one district between 2010 and 2020... 7,248 people.  She adds future population trends aren't good either... with adults over the age of 18 has decreased by 4% the past 10 years, while the number under the age 18 and under has declined 10.5%.  However... Sheridan Legislator Terry Neibel says... while the county has lost 10.5% of it's population the past 10 years... the legislature is 24% smaller than after the 2010 Census.  The legislature also voted later against putting the matter up for a public referendum in another 14-3 vote.  


Legislature welcomes Gustafson as new District 10 lawmaker...
There's a new member of the County Legislature... as the appointment of Lakewood's Jamie Gustafson was approved unanimously last night.  Gustafson was born and raised in Jamestown... but, has lived in Lakewood with her family the past 30 years.  She spoke to lawmakers briefly after the vote, and thanked them.  Gustafson says she wants to bring her background of 32 years with M-&-T Bank to the panel, where she works with most of the businesses in the county.  She also is Vice-President of the local Creche organization that works with needy children.  Gustafson replaces Ken Lawton... who resigned earlier in the month after moving out of the area.  Lawton was finishing up his first term as District 10 legislator. 


Randolph man pleads guilty to child porn charges...
A Randolph man has pleaded guilty to producing child pornography with an 11-year-old girl two years ago.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says 29 year-old Alexander Carnahan entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr. to two counts of production of child pornography.  Prosecutors say Carnahan removed the girl's clothing and took a video of the victim naked in early 2020.  They say he did so because he was sexually attracted to the girl.  During the investigation... law enforcement says they recovered additional images and videos of the girl in video files belonging to Carnahan.  He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, a maximum of 30, and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced next November.


Long-time Media One, James Broadcasting GM Merrill Rosen passes away at 82...
We are saddened to report the passing of the retired, long-time General Manager here at Media One Radio... and it's predecessor... James Broadcasting.  Merrill Rosen, 82, of Jamestown, passed away unexpectedly early this past Monday morning.  He was the husband of Patty Trusso Rosen.  Prior to retirement... Merrill was the vice-president of James Broadcasting, Trend Broadcasting, and Media One Group, consisting of WJTN, WWSE, WHUG and WKSN radio stations, where he served the broadcasting community for 52 years.  He had also been a member of the of the Temple Hesed Abraham, the Jamestown Area Jaycees, Jamestown Sertoma Club, Mt. Moriah Lodge 145 Free and Accepted Mason, the Jamestown Shrine Club, and the National Broadcasting Association.  A private service will be held at the convenience of the family.  Visitation will not be observed.  The Lind Funeral Home is handling arrangements for Merrill Rosen.


Comedy Center cuts ribbon on new Carl Reiner Exhibit...
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival begins in Jamestown a week from yesterday... and, those attending will have a brand next exhibit to enjoy at the National Comedy Center.  The adult children of the late Carl Reiner were on hand to officially cut the ribbon on the comedy center's new Carl Reiner exhibit.  Before he died a couple of years ago... Reiner turned over 75 boxes of artifacts, props and other items to be archived at the center.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson expressed their appreciation, and thanks to the family.  The most well-known of Reiner's three children... Comedian and Actor Rob Reiner... talked about he and sister Annie watching him on "Show of Shows" on Saturday nights when they were little kids.  Reiner says they were allowed to watch... and, their father worked out a way to say good night to them... straightening his tie, which meant "I love you... now go to bed!"  Rob Reiner was joined by his sister, Anne... and, younger brother Lucas for the ribbon cutting.  Carl Reiner was a strong supporter of the National Comedy Center in it's early days... serving as a member of the center's Board of Directors. 


Gov. Hochul announces lithium-ion battery maker coming to Jamestown-area... 
The city of Jamestown will be welcoming a portable lithium-ion battery manufacturer... using an additional 1.5-megawatt hydropower allocation from the New York Power Authority.  The announcement was made late Tuesday by Governor Kathy Hochul... who announced that the Power Authority's board approved economic development awards to 23 companies that will support more than 3,700 jobs... with more than 1,000 newly created... to spur significant capital investments.  The NYPA allocation to Jamestown will support Electrovaya, a developer and maker of lithium-ion batteries... which is planning a 135,000 square-foot expansion project in Jamestown to operate cell manufacturing, and battery module assembly equipment. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed. July 27, 2022

Four arrested during drug raids at two Prendergast Ave. locations...
Four Jamestown residents have been arrested in a pair of drug raids at two locations in the 800-block of Prendergast Ave.  City police say a 'several months long' investigation resulted in search warrants being executed at 850 and 854 Prendergast just before 4:30 p.m. Monday.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were helped by the JPD SWAT Team at 854 Prendergast... where six people were found inside.  A search of the residence led to discovery of 53 grams of fentanyl, 41 grams of methamphetamine, 30 units of LSD, mushrooms, suboxone, cocaine, scales, packaging materials, cash, a switchblade knife, a 12-gauge shotgun and a bullet-proof vest.  No one was found at 850 Prendergast... but, police did find a quantity of Fentanyl and cash.  The most serious charges were placed against 21 year-old Austin Weatherby... who faces two counts of Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon among his charges.  Police say 23 year-old Cora Waddington also faces two Felony drug possession charges.  The other two arrested... 39 year-old Corinna McCreary, and, 21 year-old Dalton Nuse... face lesser charges.  All four were jailed pending arraignment.


County lawmakers to act on district Reapportionment maps tonight...
Chautauqua County Legislators will take action on two reapportionment maps when they meet tonight in Mayville.  The Legislature's four Democratic members support a proposed map that would reduce the number of legislative districts to 17.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says he supports the proposal keeping the number of legislative districts at 19.  Wendel believes it meets all of the "5 or 6" metric requirements.  There is also a proposal on the agenda that would put the plans up for a public referendum... although Wendel doubts it will have enough support... because a bi-partisan group of lawmakers "came up with these election maps."  Tomorrow night's agenda also includes approval of a new legislator for District 10... which includes Lakewood and much of Busti.  Incumbant Republican Ken Lawton has resigned because he has moved out of the area... and, Lakewood resident Jamie Gustafson is being voted on to replace him.  Tonights meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Gerace Office Building in Mayville.


Ghostfish Brewing Co. to open new facility in Westfield...
A leading popular brewer of gluten-free craft beer will soon open a new processing and distribution center in the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield.  The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has announced that Seattle-based Ghostfish Brewing Company will open the center in existing vacant space in the discovery center.  The IDA Board has approved a resolution authorizing loans from the Al Tech Revolving Loan fund to 3811 Holdings, LLC -- doing business as 'Ghostfish Brewing Company East.'  IDA Project Manager Kristine Morabito says "as the largest dedicated gluten-free brewery in the U-S, Ghostfish Brewing Company has built a customer base that is extremely loyal.  A well-established business, they are currently distributing to 17 US States and two Canadian Provinces.”  GBC East President Richard Smith says the brewery will occupy 51-hundred square feet at the Grape Discovery Center. 


Gas prices in Jamestown-area down again this week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area continue to fall... dropping by about 13 cents over the past week.  The AAA East Central Gas Price Report says the average price began the week at $4.62 a gallon.  But... several stations in the area are now charging just under $4.56 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  Last week's price was about $4.70 a gallon.  AAA says modest demand for gas and lower oil prices resulted in pump prices falling again, down 17 cents since last week to $4.35 a gallon.  The steady decline is due to low domestic demand for gasoline and oil prices that remain in the mid-$90s per barrel.  


City Council approved shared services agreement with JPS for sidewalk plowing...
The city of Jamestown is moving ahead with a shared services agreement to provide sidewalk snowplowing services to the Jamestown Public Schools.  However... there's still be no consensus yet on how to provide the manpower to do the work.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist after lawmakers voted unanimously to move ahead with the program... beginning next Winter.  Sundquist says they're still talking with the Parks employees' union about how that will be handled.  During initial discussions with the school district... officials were looking at hiring two laborers who would have other duties when snowplowing is not needed for the sidewalks.  There's also been discussion about making them seasonal laborers.  The school district will purchase the two sidewalk plows... and, the city will provide some matching funds for the purchases. 


Jamestown city lawmakers also approve appointments to new Broadband Commission...
City lawmakers Monday night also approved four appointments by Mayor Sundquist for the new commission created to help city officials decide whether to provide municipal broadband to residents.  Sundquist hosted a Broadband program at the Prendergast Library earlier this year... bringing in an expert in the area to discuss the concept.  He says the new members will join with others yet to be chosen... and, will include representatives from local foundations, the Board of Public Utilities, and city council.  The Board of Public Utilities would likely be the entity involved in extending the service.  The citizen members of the panel include: former Paragon Cable Manager Dan Swackhammer... Bill Johnston... Brendon Fager... and, Philip Zimmerman.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., July 26, 2022

City Council unanimously approves new, four-year contract with Jamestown Professional Firefighters...
The Jamestown City Council has unanimously approved a new, four-year contract agreement with the city's unionized firefighters.  Lawmakers okayed the agreement... which runs retroactive to the beginning of 2021, and, runs through 2024... 9-0.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist, says the contract includes 10.25% pay hikes over the life of the contract.  They are 2.5% for the first three years... and, 2.75% for the final year in 2024.  Sundquist says the agreement does include an increase in employee contributions to the firefighters health insurance program.  Sundquist says staffing remained a "bone of contention..." but, adds both sides agreed to continue discussions.  Still... there will be five new firefighters hired... including one to fill a vacancy.  At-Large Councilman Jeff Russell also praised Sundquist and his administration for getting agreements with all city unions.  Russell says the Sundquist administration was able to do something that past administrations were "unable to do."  At the beginning of his administration at the beginning of 2020... Sundquist made it a priority to get new contracts for all the city's unions.  He said he was very pleased to realize that goal.   Council President Tony Dolce called it a "fair contract."


Council also approves contracts for work on new Fleet Management Building...
City lawmakers last night also authorized Mayor Sundquist to finalize about $4.5-million in agreements with four contractors to building a new vehicle maintenance facility on Washington Street.  The city has purchased the former Hartley Buick dealership for the location.  Sundquist says it's important to move forward on the project because material costs are still going up.  He says they will likely be slightly over budget for the project, but, adds they can cover that with American Rescue Plan Act funding.  To build a new facility, said Sundquist, it would likely cost $10-million-plus. The proposal was first developed under former Mayor Sam Teresi's administration because the city's current facility is antiquated.  The biggest contract is for Building Innovation Group from East Rochester, at a cost of nearly 2.5-million dollars.  The plumbing contract will go to Ciancio Mechanical in Jamestown.  The mechanical contract will go to JMI Heating and Air of Frewsburg... and, the electrical contract will go to Ahlstrom-Shaeffer Electric of Jamestown.


Clean-up continued Monday in north county from Sunday night storms...
The clean-up continued in the city of Dunkirk's First Ward after severe storms moved across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties late Sunday and early Monday.  Route 5 -- Lake Shore Drive -- was still closed in both directions from Fizell Avenue and North Serval Street as emergency utility work continued late Monday morning.  Dunkirk was among the communities hit by the storms that formed ahead of a cold front.  That from Meteorologist Steve Welch at the National Weather Service says there was a "lot of instability" in the atmosphere that created the strong storms.  Besides Dunkirk, there was also damage reported in the towns of Charlotte and Gerry. 


Two men arrested for allegedly involvement in fight at County Fair...
Two north county area men have been arrested for allegedly getting into a large fight with several minors at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds Sunday night.  Sheriff's officers were called to the Central Avenue location in Dunkirk shortly before 8 p.m., and, found that 22 year-old Hunter Evans of Brocton, and 19 year-old Joshua Kelly of Portland... got into the physical altercation with several youths.  Both were arrested for endangering the welfare of a child... and, taken to the county jail pending Centralized Arraignment.


City woman arrested in Ellicott on Leandra's Law violation...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs with a child under the age of 16 in the car.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped 35 year-old Brandi Bartlow on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott shortly before 1 p.m. last Friday... and found her to be driving while ability impaired by drugs.  Deputies say Bartlow is also charged with aggravated driving while ability impaired by drugs with a child less than 16 years old... a violation of Leandra's Law.  She was also issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court for endangering the welfare of a child... second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... having a broken windshield... and, an unregistered motor vehicle.


Local artist hired to paint new three-sided mural on Spring St. Parking Ramp...
The Lucille Ball "Vitameatavegamin" mural painted on one side of the Spring Street Parking Ramp on East Third Street will soon have some company.  The city of Jamestown received a $5,000 Community Arts Program grant earlier this year as part of a downtown beautification project.  Local artist Molly Strong was selected to do the floral-themed mural... and, explained what she'll be doing to the City Council this past week... noting that the mural will be under the Lucy mural facing the Spring Street side of the garage.  Strong presented a couple of conceptual drawings of what she'll be doing... but, then made some changes to give the flowers a more realistic look.  She says there are more lines in the flowers than she originally planned to give that more realistic look.  Strong was introduced to lawmakers by City Principal Planner, Ellen Shadle... who said the city received the grant from Arts Services, Incorporated last January... and, the project was approved in March.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., July 25, 2022

Two men from Jamestown arrested on robbery, and burglary charges...
Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly breaking into, and robbing the residents of a westside home late last week.   City police were called to the scene shortly before 6 p.m. last Thursday for a "burglary in progress..." involving a handgun.  They soon after found Dakotah Kaltenbach... and, Zaid Mendoza at separate addresses.  Police say Kaltenbach allegedly had a quantity of methamphetamine in his possession.  However, it's unknown if a weapon was found.  Both men were jailed pending arraignment.  Mendoza is charged with first-degree burglary and robbery... along with second-degree menacing.  Kaltenbach is charged with first-degree robbery and criminal posession of a controlled substance.


Portland man arrested after his car strikes an Amish buggy in town of Chautauqua early last weekend...
A town of Portland man is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs after his car struck an oncoming Amish buggy in the town of Chautauqua last Friday night... injuring two people.  Sheriff's officers say there were four people in the buggy... and, two had to be taken to an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital for treatment.  Deputies say the driver of the car, 41 year-old Adam West, was northbound on Thayer Road shortly before 8 p.m. when he struck the sounthbound buggy.  Further investigation found that West was driving while under the influence as he failed multiple field sobriety tests.  He was arrested for Felony DWAI due to a prior conviction in the past 10 years.  West was also charged with failure to keep right... and, was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Fairport man accused of assaulting Zeldin at campaign event now being held on federal charge...
The Monroe County man who attacked Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin at a campaign event near Rochester has now been arrested on a federal charge.  U.S. attorney Trini Ross says that 43 year-old David Jakubonis of Fairport was arrested Saturday on a criminal complaint... charging him with assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Harvey says Zeldin, who is running for governor, was speaking at a campaign event last Thursday evening when Jakubonis walked onto the trailer the Republican was speaking from.  The attacker approached Zeldin, extended a keychain with two sharp points toward him and grabbed his arm.  A struggle then ensued between the two and bystanders intervened.  Jakubonis pulled Zeldin down onto the bed of the trailer, saying several times during the assault, “you're done.” Jakubonis was subdued and arrested.  He was intially released under the state's bail reform law before being arrested by federal agents on Saturday.  Jakubonis made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court... and, is being held pending a detention hearing next Wednesday morning.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.     


Meat Animal Sale for 4-H brings better than $200,000...
Considering how the cost of everything seems to be going way up, the head of the Four-H Market sale committee, Dave Schauman, wasn’t sure what would happen at last Friday’s Meat Animal Sale at the county fair.  But, looking at the nationwide economic situation he was "tickled!."  Bidders generously supported all the young people selling steer, hogs, goats, lam bs and chickens at the annual auction.  The final sale figures were still being calculated Sunday, but Schauman says the 16 market steer went for close to $100,000... with the total for all animals over $200,000.  And that’s not all.  Lisa Kempisty, Dairy & Livestock Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension, says the 4-H Dairy program was blessed with more and bigger donations this year.  She says a couple of business representatives said they wanted to support the kids after all they went through the past two years.  More than 125 young people either showed or sold animals at the Chautauqua County Fair this past week.


First "World Series of Wheels" at Bergman Park in two years a success for local committee...
The World Series of Wheels roared back to life at Jamestown’s Bergman Park last Saturday.  Dave Christo’s ‘429 Mach 1 Mustang’ was the winner of ‘Best in Show’ at Saturday’s event, the first since 2019.  Babe Ruth World Series Committee Vice-President Kim Eklund was pleased.  She says about 150 vehicle registered for the program... but, many others came just to be part of the show, and not be judged.  The hiatus was a result of COVID-19.  Eklund said the number of attendees appeared to be good too, considering all the other events happening over the weekend.  The World Series of Wheels is a financial boost for the next Babe Ruth World Series which Eklund hinted could come as early as 2023.  


Riverwalk "Christmas in July" program a success...
There was a light breeze... with temperatures in the 70’s along the Riverwalk in downtown Jamestown Saturday evening... but the music suggested another season.  The Harmony Express Barbershop Chorus performed, "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" as part of the program. More than 150 people listened as chorus performed for ‘Christmas in July.’  The event was organized by Patrick Smeraldo of Collaborative Children’s Solutions, who says it was great to give local children something to do with their "incredible partners."  They include the county's Industrial Development Agency, the Jamestown Local Development Corporation, and the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth.  Smeraldo added some 1,100 young people were at the stadium for the Tarpskunks game and fireworks.

  

WJTN News Update for Fri., July 22, 2022

(***Update)Body of charter captain missing since July 7, recovered near town of Evans...
The body of a Coudersport, Pa. man has been found in Lake Erie... two weeks after he went missing after falling off his chartered fishing boat near the town of Ripley.  Sheriff's officers say 70 year-old Fred Forsythe, Jr., who was captain of the boat, was found near the town of Evans in Erie County this morning.  Deputies say they received a 9-1-1 the morning of July 7 that Forsythe was attempting to bring a fish into the boat when he lost his balance and fell into the water.  Officers say his charter guests were unfamiliar with the boat's operation and were not able to get the boat turned around before Forsythe disappeared under the water.  An active search involving the Sheriff's Department... the county's Water Emergency Team... State Police Underwater Recovery Team... and the Coast Guard... failed to find Forsythe for five days.


Fire damages Dunkirk home... but, firefighters make quick work...
Dunkirk city firefighters made quick work of a fire at 40 Armadillo St. late this morning.  Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews responded to the fire around 11:45 a.m., and they found heavy fire coming from a first-floor apartment.  Edwards says it was starting to spread into the second floor.  However... he says crews quickly got water on the flames.  No injuries were reported.  Edwards says the occupants able to get out of the building.  Dunkirk received mutual aid from nearby East Dunkirk.


Wendel announces appointment of new HR Director for county...
A human resources director from Warren, Pa. has been appointed to be the new director of Human Resources for Chautauqua County.  County Executive P.J. Wendel Friday announced his choice of Deborah Makowski to fill the post vacated earlier this year by Jean Riley.  Wendel says Makowski was Executive Director of Human Resources at Warren General Hospital... and, in that capacity... she was responsible for employee relations, benefits management, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, recruitment, and orientation for more than 650 union and non-union employees.  She also previously worked as a Human Resources Business Partner at Wells Enterprises... and, did Human Resources and Community Relations at Cockaigne Resort.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 22, 2022

Huge Kennedy house fires ruled arson...
A Randolph man has been arrested for allegedly setting fire to the first house destroyed in Wednesday morning's huge blaze in Kennedy.  State Police in Jamestown say their Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene at 72 Second St. sometime after the initial call for Kennedy firefighters just after 10 a.m., and, they arrested 28 year-old Aubrey Baize on one count of third-degree arson.  Troopers say they worked with the county's Fire Investigation Team... and, learned through interviews that Baize was seen entering the home just prior to the fire.  Further investigation led to the arrest.  Baize was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.  The District Attorney's Office is also assisting in the case.


Zeldin uninjured after attempted assault near Rochester...
Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin of Long Island was attacked by a man who tried to stab him at an event in the Rochester-area last night... but, he was uninjured.  The current Congressman was giving a speech when a man climbed onstage and appeared to begin wrestling with him.  That's according to Katie Vincentz, a spokesperson for Zeldin's campaign.  A video of the event in Perinton posted on Twitter showed the man appearing to grab Zeldin's arm and the two fell to the ground as other people tried to intervene.  State GOP Chairman and 23rd Congressional District Candidate Nick Langworthy later accused Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul of "fanning the flames of hate by directing her supporters to his rally schedule.  This is unacceptable conduct for anyone, let alone a sitting governor."  Governor Hochul posted a tweet saying, "I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible... it has no place in New York."


Wells Ent. scaling-back operations in Dunkirk...
A major employer in the north county area has announced it's decision to scale-back operations at the Dunkirk facility in 2023.  According to the announcement by Wells Enterprises... their plant plans to have five production lines in operation next year.  County Executive P.J. Wendel called the announcement "concerning."  Wendel says he's spoken with Well's local legal counsel... and, says they aren't sure about how many jobs may be affected.  However... operations will remain as is through 2022, so the move is not immediate.  Wendel says he will be reaching out to company officials in Iowa to see how the county can assist in trying to keep as many people employed as possible.  Again... Wells... which produces "Blue Bunny" ice cream and other products has indicated that it will continue normal operations for the remainder of 2022. 


Jamestown man arrested during drug bust with Fentanyl...
A city man faces drug related charges after his home on Jamestown's eastside was raided one week ago today.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant late last Friday morning at 347 East Fourth Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Police say they arrested 34 year-old Hector Carrillo-Santos after finding quantities of Fentanyl, scales, packaging materials and cash inside the home.  Carrillo-Santos was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was jailed pending arraignment in City Court.  Anyone with information on drug or other illegal activity in the city is asked to call the JPD Anonymous Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Four-H Meat Animal Sale taking place at County Fair in Dunkirk today...
Preparations are going well for the annual 4-H Meat Animal Sale... which is now underway at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  Dave Schauman is the chairman of the meat sale committee, and says from what he's seen judged so far, the kids "are doing a great job."  Chautauqua County's sale has traditionally been one of the best supported ones in New York State, and Schauman hopes that's true this year, as the 4-Her's are confronting a new lesson... inflation.  He says feed is up about $3 per 100 pounds of weight because it's usually purchased in those increments.  The sale will open with 48 hogs, followed by 10 meat goats, 31 pairs of frozen chickens, 15 sheep and 16 steer.


Comedy Festival adds Cho, and second Foxworthy show to line-up...
There's less than two weeks to go before another Summertime event in Chautauqua County re-emerges from the COVID pandemic shut-down.  The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is set for Wednesday, Aug. 3 through Sunday, Aug. 7 at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts... the Northwest Arena... and, the National Comedy Center.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says it's "fantastic" to finally have the festival back.  Gunderson says Jamestown will again be host of "one of the best comedy festivals anywhere."  The first big show of the long weekend of 50-plus activities is the show featuring Margaret Cho... who was added to the line-up earlier this year.  Gunderson says Cho is a legend in her own right, and has been playing to audiences for decades now.  She'll be performing on Thursday night, Aug. 4, at the Reg Lenna Center.  Cho joins a star-studded line-up that already includes Jeff Foxworthy... and, Saturday Night Live legends David Spade, Kevin Nealon... and, Rob Schneider.  A second show for Foxworthy has been added... and, there are tickets remaining for that.  For more information... go on-line to ComedyCenter.org.  Gunderson made her comments for this coming weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 21, 2022

Man arrested for allegedly setting devastating house fires in Kennedy...
A Randolph man has been arrested by State Police in Jamestown for allegedly setting fire to the first house destroyed in Wednesday morning's huge blaze in Kennedy.  Troopers say their Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene sometime after the initial call for Kennedy firefighters just after 10 a.m., and, they arrested 28 year-old Aubrey Baize on one count of third-degree arson.  Police say they worked with the county's Fire Investigation Team... and, learned through interviews that Baize was seen entering the home just prior to the fire.  Further investigation led to the arrest.  Baize was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.  The District Attorney's Office is also assisting in the case.


Two houses consumed in massive Kennedy fire Wednesday...
The massive fire that broke out late Wednesday morning destroyed two homes in the hamlet of Kennedy.  Kennedy Fire Chief Keith Bean says his crews were called to the scene at 72 Second St. just after 10 a.m., and, found the one home fully-engulfed in heavy fire... and they issued a second-alarm.  Bean says they called in several tanker trucks, and EMTs due to the blistering hot weather conditions.  Bean says they had water trucked to the scene using 10 mutual aid tankers.  As they were fighting the first fire... he says the two-family home next door caught fire, and they had to deal with both for a time.  Bean says the first house is completedly gone... and, they needed an excavator brought in to open up the second structure to get to the first inside.  Fire officials put in an immediate call for mutual aid... and, nine more companies responded, including: Frewsburg... Falconer... Gerry... Ellington... Sinclairville... Randolph... Ellery Center and Fluvanna.  Chautauqua County EMS was also called in... but, there were no injuries.  The cause is under investigation.  A significant amount of water was trucked in from Falconer... and, the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says that may cause unsettled water in their system in both Falconer and the northside of Jamestown through mid-day today.


Five arrested in drug bust on Allen St. in Jamestown...
Five people face drug trafficking charges following a raid on a home on Jamestown's eastside about a week ago.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant at 328 Allen Street shortly after 4 PM on Tuesday, July 12th... and, were assisted by the JPD SWAT Team.  Inside... police say they found nearly 26-grams of methamphetamine... scales... packaging materials and ammunition for a 45-calibur gun.  Four people... 36 year-old Warkim Keys, 47 year-old Larry White, 46 year-old Belinda Walker, and 35 year-old Jamie Morse... were arrested at the scene on one count each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police say the fifth suspect... 51 year-old Christopher Freeney... later turned himself in to police.


Hochul says state distributing millions of COVID testing kits to use before start of school in Fall...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says the state ramping up for the return of school this fall and is developing a strategy to deal with COVID-19.  At a briefing in New York City Wednesday... Hochul said she does not anticipate the use of masks at this time.  However... she's reserving the right to do it if circumstances change.  She adds that the state is distributing more than 3-million test kits to schools now.  The Governor also gave an update on the spread of Monkeypox.  Health officials report 679 cases, with 639 of the cases in New York City. 


Teen burglar arrested in Jamestown...
A Jamestown teenager has been arrested for allegeldy stealing a number of items from a home on the city's eastside last weekend.  Jamestown police were called to the undisclosed address just after 7 p.m. last Saturday.  They spoke with the homeowners, who said when they returned home, they saw a male subject inside the house.  Police say the 16 year-old suspect fled with the items... and, one of the homeowners ran off after him.  Officers later found the teen... but, when they tried to stop him... he ran off again.  This time... he ran several blocks... jumped into the Chadakoin River, and came out the other side.  However... they; finally caught the teen in a parking lot.  The 16 year-old was taken to the JPD Juvenile Bureau where he was turned over to his parents under the Raise the Age Law.  He's charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, abd petty larceny.


World Series of Wheels, Italian Festival on tap for Saturday...
A major fund-raiser for the local Babe Ruth World Series Committee is returning this Saturday in Jamestown.  The annual "World Series of Wheels" will take place... beginning at 8 a.m.  One of the events organizers, Keith Ecklund, says they're excited to be back with more classic, vintage and modified cars, trucks... and motorcycles.  Ecklund says the cost will be $3 each for adults... but, children 12 and under are free.  Ecklund says activites in the park actually begin an hour earlier with breakfast by the local Meals on Wheels.  For more information... call contact Stephanie Ricketts at 450-6198. 
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In addition... the Italian Festival at St. James Church in Jamestown is set for this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., under a brand new tent at the corner of Allen and Institute Streets in Jamestown.  After two years off for the pandemic, St. James Deacon, Mike Lennon, is grateful the festival can return... and it will include the usual games, and Italian food.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., July 20, 2022

House fire in Kennedy involves two structures near fire hall...
A huge house fire in Kennedy has spread to a neighboring property... and, firefighters from at least 10 departments are at the scene -- near the fire hall.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were initially called to the scene at 72 Second St. on shortly after 10 a.m., and, found heavy fire coming from the home.  The flames had already begun spreading to the neighboring property.  Mutual aid was called in from  Frewsburg... Falconer... Gerry... Ellington... Sinclairville... Randolph... Ellery Center and Fluvanna.  Chautauqua County EMS was also called in... but, no injuries have been reported.  


138th Chautauqua County Fair opens with traditional cannon shot...
Aside from the usual canon shot... those taking part in the opening of the 138th edition of the Chautauqua County Fair Tuesday morning at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk sounded a familiar theme.... "it's great to see everyone at the fair..." and, "it's great to be back."  Among those voicing those feelings were County Executive P.J. Wendel, and 4-H'ers Rachel Comstock of Gowanda and Mackenzie Graziano of Forestville.  The fair is back and fully open this week... after nothing in 2020 and a just a limited 4-H show in 2021.  With all that behind them... Mackenzie Graziano reflected on what makes the fair so special for her and the five goats she brought to show... noting that it's great to show off how much work you've done to get them ready.  The 4-H Meat Animal sale will be Friday at noon.   The first grandstand show was to be the Latin Pop band 'Rumba Caliente' tonight at 7 p.m.  However... they've had to cancel for unforeseen reasons, and "Banda DS" will appear in their place.


Weather Service forecaster says, after Wednesday's heat and humidity, it should be a "fair" week at the Fair...
Except for one possible rain interruption in the weather... it should be a "fair" week at the County Fair through Sunday.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says today will be hot and muggy... with a high around 90.  However... a cold front will come through late tonight, and that will likely bring some scattered rain showers.  Apfell says don't expect anything like the soaking rain like we had earlier this week... where everywhere in the region received at least an inch of rain.  Some places wound up with two or more inches.  As for today... Apfell says be sure to keep hydrated, and stay out of the sun as much as possible.  Once the front comes through... we'll see pretty fair weather with highs each day around 80.  Apfell says the next chance of rain come late this coming weekend.


Gas prices in Jamestown-area down again this week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen again this week to under $4.70 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The AAA East Central Gas Price Report says... to begin the week... most places were charging about $4.69 a gallon.  However... some places are now charging just over $4.65.  That's an 11 cent drop from a week ago.  AAA says the national average has fallen 15-cents the past week to $4.52 a gallon.  That's 46 cents less than a month ago.  AAA says the recent price decline is due to lower domestic demand for gasoline at the pump... and, a much lower global price for oil.  The cost of a barrel of oil is now around $100... down from $110 two weeks ago.


Search for suspects in Jamestown tire slashings continues...
Jamestown police are continuing to investigate a crime spree last weekend in which two subjects were allegedly involved in the slashing of about 30 vehicle tires.  City poilce say they were alerted to the crimes... which primarily occured during the overnight hours on Friday, July 8 through the morning hours of Saturday, July 9.  Residents in the area have been asked to check any security camera video footage that they may have.  The impacted areas include McKinley Avenue, Charles Street, Norwood Avenue, Chautauqua Avenue, Delaware Avenue, Front Street, Forest Avenue, and Chambers Street.  Anyone with video footage or information regarding the suspects is asked to contact Detective Morganti at 969-5565 or at Morganti@jpdny.com.  JPD officials also thanked Johnson Family Towning for voluntarily assisted many of the victims with changing their tires free of charge.


City man arrested for causing jail disturbance...
A Chautauqua County Jail inmate has been accused of covering himself in bodily fluids in order to cause a disturbance in the jail earlier this month.  Sheriff's Officers say... once 46 year-old Winfred Clark of Jamestown started the disturbance... he came in contact with several jail employees.  Clark was arrested for aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate... which is a class E felony.  He was arraigned, and returned to the jail.


Brocton woman arrested for second-time for domestic incident...        
A Brocton woman was arrested for a second-time late last weekend for allegedly shoving a person who had a valid order of protection against her.  Sheriff's officers were joined by State Police in responding to an Ellicott Rd. address in the village about 10 a.m. last Sunday.  Deputies accuse 33 year-old Cassie Dash of pushing the other person during a disturbance at the home.  Dash was arrested for second-degree criminal contempt... and, second-degree harassment.  She was processed... and, taken to the county jail pending arraignment.  She's to appear in Portland Town Court at a later date.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., July 19, 2022

City Council committee hears concerns from landlords about new proposed, housing ordinances...
Several landlords in the city of Jamestown are voicing concerns over three proposed ordinances regarding vacant property, rental inspections, and dealing with public nuisance matters.  Members of the Real Estate Investors Association addressed the City Council's Housing Committee last night, questioning the reason for repealing two current laws for new ones... and adding the third regarding vacant property registration.  Committee Chairwoman Maria Carrubba says the landlord registry is needed because contact persons and phone numbers are needed by first responders for emergencies.  Landlords did voice concern over the fact the ordinances seem to put more responsibility on the landlords in situations were the tenant may be at fault.  Carrubba says some responsible landlords have complained about getting licensed plumbers and electricians to do on-site inspections in a timely manner.  She says they are in the process of setting up a meeting with the REIA on the proposed ordinances.


Sundquist speaks with City Council on growing homeless issue...
The city of Jamestown is also seeing a growing "homeless" problem that was the focus of a major leadership meeting last week.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says they've seen an increase in people staying under viaducts, the riverwalk, the parks and elsewhere.  Sundquist says they're working to improve safety and security in some of those areas to open up, and better light those areas, and work with local agencies on better addressing the issue -- especially in providing shelter.  Sundquist says there have been no significant public safety issues yet.


Dryer vent issue triggers Sinclairville house fire...
A fire that began early Sunday afternoon in the town of Gerry has left a family at least temporarily homeless.  Sheriff's Department investigators say Sinclairville fire crews were called to a resident on Damon Hill Road just after 1:30 PM... and, once they got the blaze under control... called in fire investigators.  Members found a dryer vent is where the flames originated... and, the cause was accidental.  No one was hurt... and the family is being assisted by the local Red Cross.


Investigation continues into shooting incident in Dunkirk...
The investigation is continuing into a reported shooting that occurred on Route 60 in the city of Dunkirk Sunday night.  Witnesses tell Dunkirk Police that vehicle that was traveling south on Route 60 was being shot at by a second car that was passing the first vehicle.  Two juveniles sustained gunshot wounds as a result.  The occupants sought safety and medical assistance at the Red Apple Kwik Fill in Fredonia.  The juveniles, who were not identified, were taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.  The Dunkirk Police Department is asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact the police desk at 716-366-2266 or the confidential tip line at 716-363-0313.  Dunkirk Police received assistance from Fredonia Police, the State Police, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and Fredonia Fire.


Fredonia mayor pleased to see local businessmen buying the former White Inn... 
Fredonia's top elected official is pleased with the announcement that a local businessman and a restaurant partner intend to purchase and restore the historic White Inn.   Mayor Doug Essek spoke about the announcement by Steve St. George and Davin Jones Monday... and, says he's excited to hear about the plans that St. George and Jones have for the location on East Main Street.  He says the White Inn has been closed since 2017, and has suffered from neglect.  Essek also thanked the county's Industrial Development Agency for their work on the effort.  St. George and Jones intend to purchase the downtown property from New Jersey-based J-G Funding Corporation for an undisclosed amount.  Essek says the new owners are both from the local area and that should be a plus... because they have a baseline to work with having lived here.  In a statement released late Friday... St. George said he knows what the White Inn means to the community, and he wants to do everything in his power to restore hotel and restaurant.


Head of Scandinavian group praises first full Scandinavian Festival in Jamestown since pandemic began...
The first Scandinavian Folk Festival since the pandemic began was a big hit.  It was held Saturday and Sunday at the Northwest Arena.  The festival is under the auspices of the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation.  As it drew to a close Sunday, foundation President Jeff Kroon said crowds were "very steady and very busy" mid-day on Saturday... and, good Sunday, when another 250 people attended.  The festival includes music, dancing, food, lectures, demonstrations... and Scandinavian goods.  This was the first time the festival was ever held in downtown Jamestown. 


New "home of" sign put up at cityline for Jamestown's 10,000 Maniacs...
Jamestown has added another city entrance sign on North Main Street -- at the city line -- honoring the hometown "10,000 Maniacs."  Members of the band... which celebrated it's 40th anniversary last year... joined with Mayor Eddie Sundquist... and other elected officials to unveil a new “Home of 10,000 Maniacs” sign at the North Main Street entrance sign.  They join Lucille Ball, Roger Tory Peterson, and Robert H. Jackson as those honored on City entrance signs.  The band's Dennis Drew, Steve Gustafson, and Jeff Erickson from the band were in attendance.  They were also joined by State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Senator George Borrello, Councilmen Brent Sheldon and Bill Reynolds, along with a representative of County Executive P.J. Wendel’s office.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., July 18, 2022

Family left homeless after house fire in Sinclairville...
A fire that began early Sunday afternoon in the town of Gerry has left a family at least temporarily homeless.  Sheriff's Department investigators say Sinclairville fire crews were called to a resident on Damon Hill Road just after 1:30 p.m., and, once they got the blaze under control... called in fire investigators.  Members found a dryer vent is where the flames originated... and, the cause was accidental.  No one was hurt... and the family is being assisted by the local Red Cross.


City man arrested for alleged DWAI, and drug possession...
A Jamestown man found sleeping behind the wheel of his running car has been arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs.  City police responded to a call to a West Third Street address about 9:30 p.m. last Friday for a man sleeping behind the wheel of a car.  Officers say they found 30 year-old Dylan Abbey in the driver's seat with drugs and drug paraphernalia through-out the vehicle.  Police say they determined that Abbey had driven to the location... and, was high on drugs at the time.  Police also found quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine inside the car.  He was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... driving while ability impaired by drugs... and several other traffic violations.  Abbey was jailed pending arraignment.


Woman from town of Portland arrested after alleged altercation...
A town of Portland woman faces criminal charges following an alleged fight at home in the town late Saturday night.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Ellicott Road shortly after 11 p.m., and, their investigation found that 33 year-old Cassie Dash allegedly made threats to physically harm another person... and, obstructed that person's breathing in the presence of a child under the age of 17.  Deputies arrested Dash for second-degree aggravated harassment... criminal obstruction of breathing or Blood Circulation... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  She was taken to the County Jail pending centralized arraignment.


After two-year COVID hiatis... Scandinavian Folk Festival is back...
Jamestown’s Scandinavian Festival awakened from its two year pandemic hibernation just before noon on Saturday.  To help open the two day event... local musician Rick Lundquist sounding the traditional wooden horn known as ‘naverlur’ to start a parade to take the fully decorated 22-foot tall ‘mid-summer pole’ from the Public Market to the festival site at the Northwest Arena..… where is was raised to loud cheers.  Festival organizer, Don Sandy, was elated to be back, along with the people and community in general.  Sandy reflected on Jamestown’s deep Scandinavian roots….. dating back to the immigration of the 1840’s and said "we're proud to celebrate it..." particularly at the new location.  This is the first time the Scandinavian Festival has been held in downtown Jamestown since its inception in 2002.  Events continued at the arena until mid-afternoon Sunday.


Chautauqua County Fair opens today... officially on Tuesday...
There’s a lot of anticipation for the 138th Chautauqua County Fair… which opens this week in Dunkirk.  Dave Wilson is the Fair Board President... and says everyone's happy to see the fair is back, from 4-Hers to Demolition Derby participants.  This is the first full fair since 2019.  The official opening day has been delayed a day, to accommodate the ride provider.  The opening cannon shot will be Tuesday morning, with events unfolding from there.  Wilson says they were lucky to get any carnival rides, as they've been hard to obtain.  Presale tickets will be available for $10 at a number of locations through tonight.  Admission at the gate is $15... $9 for seniors.  Late Sunday the fair announced a $5 admission fee for today's 'preview day’ on the Dunkirk fairgrounds.  Parking is free.  There will be harness racing at 2 p.m.  More information at the fair website chautauquacofair.org.


City man arrested for slashing tire during domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly slashing a tire on the car of another person during a domestic incident late last week on the city's eastside.  Jamestown police say they were called to the scene shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday... and, found that 35 year-old Andrew Schultz had slashed the tire... and, then took the victim's cellphone as they were trying to call 9-1-1.  Schultz was arrested for two couints of fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, one count of fourth-degree Grand Larceny.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Trooper shoots man involved in incident in which man allegedly pointed gun at officers...
The investigation is continuing into a State Police-involved shooting of a Cattaraugus County man earlier this month in the town of Machias.  State Police were called to the scene on Reynolds Rd. the evening of July 9 for a possibly suicidal subject.  Troopers say they were assisted by the Sheriff's Office in finding 20 year-old Thomas Wright, using an unmanned drone.  Police say Wright threatened them initially with a baseball bat.  They got him to drop the bat... but, he then drew what appeared to be a black pistol at the trooper.  Police told him to drop the weapon, but, he did not... and, the trooper fired one shot... hitting Wright... who was taken into custody, and given immediate medical aid.  He was taken to Erie County Medical Center for treatment and a mental health evaluation.  Police say the pistol was later identified as an air-soft pistol.  He's charged with second-degree menacing.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 15, 2022

Fire destroyed Falconer home Thursday night...
A home in the village of Falconer has been destroyed in a fire blamed on an unattended candle on the second-story porch late last night.  Sheriff's Department fire investigatiors say Falconer firefighters were called to the scene at 102 No. Work St. shortly before 10 p.m., and, found the structure fully-engulfed in flames.  Falconer was joined at the scene by several mutual companies... including the city of Jamestown, Kennedy, and Kiantone.  Investigators were called in later... and determined the fire was caused by the candle on the second-floor.  No injuries were reported... and, fire officials were told that all the occupants had gotten out safely.


Crops in Chautauqua fairing 'okay' during dry spell, but, rain needed soon...
The situation for farm crops is still ‘okay’ despite a serious dry spell that’s persisted for the better part of a month.  But... Dan Steward, a consultant for the Western New York Crop Management Association, says rain needs to come pretty soon.  Steward says it hasn't been horrible yet for corn or soybeans.  However... he says if it lasts another 10 days, they'll be "really concerned."  The first two cuttings of hay in the region were ‘adequate’ but the third has been stunted by the lack of rain. Steward notes some areas in nearby Cattaraugus County have had just enough rain to keep the crops healthy. Some of the driest places include Chautauqua County...north and south... and along the 'lake plain' into Erie County.   On the plus side, crops diseases and pests have been light so far this summer.


Randolph arrested for allegedly stealing car...
A 16 year-old girl living at the Randolph Children's Home has been arrested for allegedly stealing a car in the Cattaraugus County town late last week.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested the teen Wednesday for fourth-degree grand larceny following an investigation.  Deputies say the vehicle was stolen last Friday, July 8.  The unidentified teen was arraigned in Cattaraugus County Youth-Part Court... and, the case was referred to Cattaraugus County Family Court.


Sundquist says city council will act on confirming John Sellstrom as new City Comptroller later this month...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist will be putting forth a familiar name to city lawmakers later this month to fill the vacant City Comptroller's position.  Ryan Thompson... who left the position for a job in the private sector on July 8... was credited with helping the city get through the COVID-19 shut-down and pandemic recovery.  Now that Thompson has left city government... Sundquist says John Sellstrom is currently serving in an "acting" role.  Sellstrom has also been Financial Coordinator for the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency.  Sundquist says retired Comptroller Joe Bellitto has also been assisting them during the interim period.  He says JURA already has someone in place to replace Sellstrom, once he's confirmed as comptroller.  He says an offer has been made to the top candidate... and, they have accepted. 


City of Jamestown offers new "SourceFinder" program for start-up businesses...
The City of Jamestown is offering a new resource to help businesses get started... and grow.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist unveiled ‘SourceFinder Jamestown’ at the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon.  Sundquis says it's meant to be a tool for new entrepreneurs to help them launch and grow their business.  It was developed with the help of the National League of Cities and Sourcelink from Kansas City.  The Department of Development’s Principal Planner, Ellen Shadle, says the 16 listed organizations can help with point of entry, business planning, marketing and fund-raising among others.  The ‘SourceFinder’ is available on paper and through the city’s website.  For more information, contact Ellen Shadle at the Department of Development at City Hall.


JPS names 2022-23 student members of school board...
The next two student members of the Jamestown School Board have been appointed as ex-officio members for the 2022-23 school year.  In a printed release...  district officials say Seniors Aubrey Reynolds and Emylia Hallberg, will serve as non-voting members of the panel.  More and more districts are putting student members onto their boards... and, State School Boards Association Director Bob Schneider says he was recently at a rural district gathering where it was discussed... and, one superintendent spoke glowingly about how it was working out.  Jamestown School Board President Paul Abbott agrees with that assessment... saying "it's important that students know that they have a voice with the Board of Education.  We had a very successful first four years with our student representatives..." and adds he hopes "our student body continues to utilize this opportunity and supports Aubrey and Emylia by giving them their suggestions and input." 


26th annual "Laurel Run" underway...
A countywide tradition of celebrating people with developmental disabilities is now underway with the 26th annual Laurel Memorial Run.  The two-day event is named after the late Laurel Hotelling, who lived her life with special needs until her passing in 2017.  Laurel's father, Wayne Hotelling, is the founder of the event... and, says the idea is to promote awareness of people with developmental disabilities.  Festivities began this morning with a single-person flag relay run from Jamestown to Dunkirk and continues on Saturday in Silver Creek.  Steve Waterson of the Resource Center says there will be several different walks and runs on Saturday, including the signature event -- Laurel's Legacy Lap. 

  


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 14, 2022

City man receives 70 months in federal prison on Fentanyl trafficking conviction... 
A Jamestown man convicted of trafficking significant amounts of the deadly drug Fentanyl will spend nearly six-years in federal prison.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Wednesday that 59 year-old Alfredo Diaz was given 70-months behind bars by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo.  Diaz was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute, and to distribute, fentanyl.  Prosecutors say in April 2020...  investigators conducted three controlled fentanyl purchases from Diaz.  Then... a month later, they conducted searches of both Diaz’s home, and a storage unit he used.  In the residence... investigators found about $8,000 in cash... as well as drug distribution paraphernalia, including glassine bags and a digital scale.  In the storage unit... they found and seized a black 2016 Cadillac SUV registered to Diaz... as well as about $44,000 cash.  The vehicle also contained a digital scale and packaging material. 


Cause of town of Chautauqua house fire listed as improperly discarded cigarette...         
An improperly discarded cigarette is the apparent cause of a fire that gutted a home in the town of Chautauqua Tuesday afternoon.  Sheriff's Department fire investigators say Chautauqua was joined at the scene at 5989 Stockton-Hartfield Rd. by Hartfield, Dewittville, Mayville, Stockton, Brocton, Cassadaga, Ellery Center, Sherman and Portland firefighters about 2:30 p.m., and, found the structure fully-engulfed in flames.  The Fire Investigation Team determined that the blaze was caused by the improperly discarded cigarette coming into contact with combustible materials on the back porch.  There were no occupants home at the time of the fire... and no injuries reported.


County hosting second COVID vaccination clinic today in north county...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is hosting a pair of COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week for anyone ages six months and older.  One was held yesterday at Jamestown Community College, while the second one will take place today at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says both clinics will be offering the Moderna vaccine... and, anyone eligible can some in to start their series of initial shots, or get a first or second booster.  Pre-registration is required... and, that can be done on the county's website at chqgov.com.  Schuyler says the hours for today's clinic in Fredonia will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Quattrone says Sheriff's Department reactivates 46 year-old missing person's case...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is actively investigating a suspicious missing person case involving a Silver Creek woman who has not been seen in 46 years.  Judith Threlkeld was first reported missing to the Silver Creek Police Department on March 8th of 1976.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says Threlkeld, who was 22 years old at the time of her disappearance, was last seen walking home from the Anderson-Lee Library.  Quattrone says Westfield Police actively investigated the case for several years... but, were never able to locate her.  Quattrone says his department received new information about the case back in June reported to their unsolved crimes unit and started looking into it while investigating an unrelated homicide case.  More information about the case can be seen on the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office new "Unsolved Chautauqua" Facebook page.


JPS Board re-elects board president, VP... while NYSBBA releases election analysis...
The leadership of the Jamestown School Board last year will remain in place for the new school year ahead.  District officials say Paul Abbott was re-elected as board president... while Patrick Slagle will remain vice-president after the board voted at Tuesday night's reorganizational meeting.  Generally... a new report by the New York State School Boards Association shows voters across the state returned the majority of incumbants to the local panels.  That from NYSBBA Executive Director Bob Schneider... who says 54% of incumbants were re-elected.  First time candidates accounted for 46%.  However... Schneider says the number of incumbants who ran again was smaller than usual.  He says there are usually 20 to 25% who don't run again... but, last May the number was up to 30%.  Schneider says many of those appeared to have had enough of contentious meetings fueled by national narratives.  He adds that... for the most part... the number of candidates state-wide was about normal.  On average, Schneider says there were 1.4 candidates running for each seat in the state.  A total of 1,453 candidates were elected statewide in May.


Thompson named as new Persell MS Principal in Jamestown...
The city school board Tuesday night approved the appointment of Assistant Principal Traci Thompson as the new principal at Persell Middle School.  Thompson will replace Dr. Mike McElrath who retired at the end of the school year.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says "we are very excited to have Traci as our new principal at Persell.  Her time as an assistant principal at Persell, and her commitment to collaboration has resulted in great relationships and a strong community."  Thompson has also been an assistant principal at Jamestown High School... and an administrative intern and science teacher at the Sherman Central School. 


Gillibrand, others push for approval of "9/11 Responder Correction Act..."
New York's junior U.S. Senator is among a group of lawmakers pushing for Congress to approved the "9/11" Responder and Survivor Health Funding Correction Act.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says the legislation will deliver $3-billion dollars in supplemental funding to close the impending funding gap in the World Trade Center Health Program.  The funding shortfall will begin impacting the program and its ability to provide services starting in Fiscal Year 2025. 

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., July 13, 2022

Investigation into Sheridan business fire continues...
The investigation is continuing into Monday's major fire that destroyed a pawn shop on Route 20 in the town of Sheridan... but, officials believe they now know where it started.  Sheridan firefighters were joined by 15 other departments in battling the blaze at Pawn Starz at 3491 Route 20, which was first reported at about 5:15 p.m. Monday.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says crews on arrival saw flames from the back of the building.  Quattrone says several fire companies from Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie Counties were called in to assist.  Investigators late Tuesday said they found the blaze originated in the area of an auto detailing business near the back of the building... which also housed a pet grooming business.  The location is the former Astro Lanes bowling alley.  Quattrone says county fire investigators arrived on scene Tuesday morning to look for the cause because most of the fire companies were on scene through late Monday night trying to bring the blaze under control.  Firefighters returned to the scene early Tuesday morning to take care of some hot spots.  Quattrone says there were no reports of any injuries. 


Flames gut home in town of Chautauqua...         
An improperly discarded cigarette is the apparent cause of a fire that gutted a home in the town of Chautauqua Tuesday afternoon.  Sheriff's Department fire investigators say Chautauqua, Hartfield, Dewittville, Mayville, Stockton, Brocton, Cassadaga, Ellery Center, Sherman and Portland firefighters were called to the scene at 5989 Stockton-Hartfield Rd. about 2:30 p.m., and, found the structure fully-engulfed in flames.  The Fire Investigation Team determined that the blaze was caused by the improperly discarded cigarette coming into contact with combustible materials on the back porch.  There were no occupants home at the time of the fire... and no injuries reported.


Two men arrested on drug charges after being found in vehicle passed out...
Two Chautauqua County men have been arrested on numerous drug-related charges after they were found passed out in their car on Jamestown's northside Tuesday morning.  City police were called to check on the well-being of two men inside a car that was idling on Lakeview Avenue.  Officers say they found 41 year-old Shaun Ellison of Forestville, and 31 year-old Benjamin Gray of Cassadaga, inside the running vehicle.  During the investigation... police say they found about 75-grams of methamphetamine... 14.4-grams of Fentanyl... and, a quantity of Naloxone along with other items inside the car.  Both Ellison and Gray were arrested... and, charged with one count each of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, two counts each of third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Both also face multiple charges of criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Both were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


County receives second payment in ARPA funding, more projects being eyed...
A two-part review of future projects for just over $12-million in the second round of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act is underway in Chautauqua County.  County Executive P.J. Wendel confirms the county has received the approximately $12.3-million, and, that will include some efforts already underway.  Wendel says that includes Phase-Two of the Sewer Expansion on the western side of Chautauqua Lake.  He says a working group will look back on how projects went in the first-round... and, use that to help determine what they'll go forward with.  Wendel says part of the review will be looking at certain projects that need the best, or "cadillac"-type of equipment... or that for a modest, mid-sized sedan.  He says they will get input from their people in the field to determine what's best to do because they know what's needed.


Paladino files lawsuit challenging NYS's new gun control measures...
A federal lawsuit challenging part of New York's new gun law has been filed by Republican congressional candidate Carl Paladino.  State lawmakers this month approved an overhaul of licensing rules after the Supreme Court struck down a 109-year-old state law that required people to demonstrate an unusual threat to their safety to qualify for a license to carry a handgun outside their homes.  The lawsuit filed in federal court in Buffalo takes aim at the law's provision that will bar people from bringing guns into private businesses unless the owners put up signs saying guns are welcome.  Paladino is running against State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy for the nomination to run in the new 23rd Congressional District.


Scandinavian Festival returns after two-year absense due to COVID...
After two years off for COVID, Jamestown’s Scandinavian Folk Festival returns this weekend.  Gwen Funsell is one of the organizers... and, she admits it all seems a little "surreal" and like their holding their first festival.  The festival will run 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday (7/16) and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (7/17).  With dala horses and decorations all over the arena, Funsell says it will become the ideal setting for the festival's vendors, lecturers, musicians and dancers.  Admission is just $5 with children under 16 free.  There’ll be some outdoor events, too... including a ‘mid-summer’ celebration starting at 10 a.m. Saturday with the decoration of the maypole -- near the public market.  A replica Viking ship will sail the Chadakoin River on Friday and then be on display on Lafayette Street throughout the festival.  More information is available at the website scandinavianjamestown.org.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., July 12, 2022

Investigation underway into fire at Sheridan business...
Chautauqua County fire investigators are now looking into the cause of yesterday's blaze that heavily damaged much of a pawn shop on Route 20 in the town of Sheridan.  Sheridan firefighters were initially called to the scene at 5:15 p.m. Monday... and, found that part of the structure fully-engulfed in flames.  Route 20 was closed in that area while Sheridan, East Dunkirk, Sunset Bay and Fredonia... and, many other crews... battled the flames.  In addition to the Pawn Stars shop... there was also reportedly a swingers club in that location.  No injuries were reported.


City firefighters make quick work of room fire on Prendergast Avenue...
Quick work by Jamestown firefighters prevented serious damage to a home on the city's northside early last Saturday night.  Fire officials say crews were called to the scene at 905 Prendergast Ave. shortly after 5 p.m., and, were joined by some firefighters that were going off-duty during a shift change.  The fire was under control quickly, and mainly confined to a second-story room.  No injuries were reported, and the cause remains under investigation.  The Red Cross is helping the occupants.


Four arrested in three police raids in Jamestown late last week...
Four people were arrested last Friday afternoon during three separate raids on various drug and weapons possession charges in the city of Jamestown.  City police say search warrants were executed by officers and members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force at about 1 p.m. at 433 Allen St., 341 Forest Ave., and, 38 Bowen St.  At 433 Allen... police say the JPD SWAT Team made entry... and, officers spotted 18 year-old Jacquez Thomas and tried to take him into custody.  Thomas fled, but, officers found him a few blocks away, and arrested him.  Inside the home... they found a loaded, 9-millimeter handgun with a defaced serial number.  Thomas is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  At the same time... police entered 341 Forest with the help of the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team... and, found more than 100-grams of crack cocaine... more than 380 grams of methamphetamine... along with scales, packaging materials, and cash proceeds.  A second person... 28 year-old Jose Maisonet... was arrested there... and, charged with second, and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  A 16 year-old Juvenile was arrested at 38 Bowen for allegedly shooting an officer in the face and eye with an Orbeez gun.  He was charged with attempted assault.  The child's mother was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child.


Funeral arrangments set for CCSO Captain David Bentley... 
Funeral services have now been set for the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Captain who drowned in an accident on Chautauqua Lake in the Martha's Vineyard area of the town of Ellery.  The Lind Funeral Home says the funeral for David Bentley will be held this Friday morning at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Jamestown.  The family will receive friends from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday in the Lind Funeral Home.  Captain Bentley... a 37 year veteran of the Sheriff's Department... fell into the lake last Saturday afternoon while trying to get on a boat.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says members of the department are mourning the loss of the 62 year-old Bentley... who he says had a "huge impact" on law enforcement in the county. 


Dunkirk Police arrest dirt bike rider following July 4th weekend pursuit...
A Fredonia man is facing a slew of charges after he led Dunkirk Police on a pursuit on a dirt bike through city neighborhoods on July 2.  Officers saw an all-terrain Vehicle, and a dirt bike being operated on West Talcott Street near Lincoln Avenue in violation of multiple vehicle and traffic laws.  The operators of both off-road vehicles failed to comply with a traffic stop... and, both led patrols on a short pursuit.  Police terminated the pursuit with the ATV and continued with the dirt bike, which was operated by 18-year-old Onell Rivera-Cruz.  Officers apprehended Rivera-Cruz in the 600 block of Deer Street.  He was charged with several vehicle and traffic violations and was issued tickets for Dunkirk City Court.


Wendel says county now taking applications for use of 3% occupancy tax funding...
Chautauqua County is now accepting applications from interested groups and organizations for next year's 3% Tourism Product Development Grant Program.  The program is funded through the county's 5% bed tax... and County Executive P-J Wendel says it's used to provide grants to projects that "will achieve, and/or support special tourism product and event development initiatives."  Wendel says it may be an event, a community picnic or other events to be held.  He says the funding cycle is usually three years.  Wendel says applications for the 3% bed tax funding are being accepted by the Planning and Economic Development Department through October 1st.  The 2% tax is used soley for the enhancement and protection of all lakes and streams in the county.


Humane Society continuing dog adoption fee waiver through July 16...
Officials with the Chautauqua County Humane Society say they are "very grateful" to the community's response to their recent plea for help regarding the dog population at the shelter.  Senior Programs Director Brian Papalia says... since June 14th... they've had 11 dogs adopted... and, four more go into foster to adopt situations.  Papalia says there were also several strays that were being held that were reunited back to their families.  He says there are currently around 20 dogs available for adoption... and, adds they are continuing to waive adoption fees through this Saturday, July 16. 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., July 11, 2022

Sheriff's Dept. Captain drowns in Chautauqua Lake near Ellery...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department  lost of one of its own in last Saturday afternoon's drowning in the area of Martha's Vineyard on Chautauqua Lake.  Sheriff's officers say they received a call for a man in the water near the town of Ellery about 1:30 p.m. last Saturday... and, assisted the Fluvanna Fire Department... the county's Dive Team... and county EMS at the scene.  They say family members and others located 62 year-old David Bentley in the water... and, unresponsive.  He was treated at the scene before being rushed to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown... where he later died.  Bentley was a 37-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, where he was currently a captain.  He was off-duty at the time.  The investigation is continuing. 


City man and woman arrested for alleged burglary early last Saturday...
A man and woman from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly breaking into a storage business on the city's eastside early Saturday morning.  Jamestown police were called to the scene shortly after 2 a.m., and, when they got to the scene... established a perimeter, and awaited additional units.  Officers were about to attempt entry when a man, later identified as 49 year-old Michael Cook, came out of the building.  Cook was taken into custody without incident.  Police then made entry with the help of Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department K-9 "Link" to find the other suspect.  They soon after found 39 year-old Corinna McCreary... and, she was arrested without incident.  Both are charged with third-degree criminal mischief.  Cook is also wanted on multiple bench warrants... while McCreary is also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


City man arrested for another alleged break-in on Jamestown's eastside...
A Jamestown man was arrested early last weekend for allegedly breaking into an eastside business... and, stealing a speaker.  City police were called to the location for a "burglary-in-progress" about 11 p.m. last Friday, and, saw 46 year-old Winfred Clark coming out of the building with the black-colored speaker.  Officers say Clark did not have permission to possess or remove the item from the building... and, was arrested for third-degree burglary, and petty larceny.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Rally held in Jamestown Sunday for Reproductive Rights...
Over a hundred people marched across downtown Jamestown Sunday afternoon in the Jamestown Justice Coalition’s ‘Reproductive Rights Rally.’  At Dow Park, Flannery Plum set the tone for the walk.  She’s a summer visitor from Mississippi, the state that... as she put it... brought down Roe.  Plum says the right to "control our own bodies is one of the most fundamental rights we have."  Once the marchers reached Tracy Plaza at city hall, five speakers took the microphone.  Among them was Sukanya Burman of Jamestown.  She believes Democrats as well as Republicans are responsible for the rescinding of abortion rights, because the left has become complacent.  Many marchers carried signs with phrases such as ‘Vote Blue in 22’... ‘Women’s Rights are Human Rights’, and ‘Abort the Court.’  


Quattrone voices concern over NYS's new, Concealed Carry laws...
Chautauqua County's "top-cop" is voicing concerns about new concealed carry gun legislation approved earlier this month by New York State lawmakers during a special session.  The legislation was in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that struck down the state's century-old concealed carry law.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone called the lawmakers' reaction "rapid" and "perhaps even unconstitutional," noting that some of the legislation did not allow for any kind of normal, three-day, public input.  Quattrone says the new legislation, which expands eligibility requirements for concealed carry permit applicants, will put a burden on courts and law enforcement agencies.  He says they are still trying to find out how to implement the new laws that have been signed by Governor Kathy Hochul.  Quattrone says licensing agencies like his department will have to personally meet with individuals who apply for permits.


Improperly discarded cigarette apparent cause of Westfield house fire...
An improperly discarded cigarette is the apparent cause of an accidental fire that damaged a front porch of a home in the village of Westfield.  Sheriff's officers say the Westfield Fire Department... along with deputies and Westfield Police... were called to the scene on Union Street about 4:30 p.m. last Thursday.  The Sheriff's Department Fire Investigation Team was called in to determine the cause of the blaze.  Their investigation found the discarded cigarette came in contact with combustible materials on a second story porch.  However... they say the occupants were able to exit the home safely.  Westfield firefighters were able to contain the damage to the exterior of the residence.


Jackson scholar Barrett speaks about recent SCOTUS rulings...
Those who think the U.S. Supreme Court went too far in some of the decisions announced last month might find some solace in the words of Robert H. Jackson.  John Q. Barrett, the Elizabeth Lenna fellow at the Robert H. Jackson Center says Jackson wrote a book in the early 1940’s... before he was on the Supreme Court... contending that the court is no greater than the other branches of government.  Barrett says the Supreme Court is not the last word on the meaning of the constitution.  He says "We the people" ultimately decide in what's an "ongoing process."  He believes there is still a ‘judicial pendulum’ that swings left to right.  More important, he says, is that the people and their representatives are still empowered to influence how that pendulum swings. 


 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 7, 2022

Local, state and federal agencies respond to report of person overboard on Lake Erie near Ripley...
A search is underway today for a person who fell overboard from a charter boat on Lake Erie near Ripley.  The incident was first reported shortly before 8:30 a.m. this morning... according to the Chautauqua County Emergency Dispatch Center.  A number of agencies are involved in the search, including the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Navigation Unit, Chautauqua County Emergency Services, the U-S Coast Guard out of Erie, Pa., and, a Coast Guard helicopter out of Detroit.  We'll have more details when they become available.


Sheriff's office continuing investigation into fatal shooting in Sinclairville...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate a deadly shooting that occurred near the intersection of Reed and Park Streets in the village of Sinclairville.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says Sheriff's deputies responded to the call shortly after 7:30 pm Tuesday evening when a dispute took place... and, two people got into a truck and drove away.  However... the pick-up wound up in a field about a quarter of a mile away, and the driver was unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the lower back area.  Quattrone says his office is working with the Chautauqua County District Attorneys Office, interviewing all of the individuals who involved in the incident.  The investigation is also continuing in the area of the shooting incident.  The victim's name has not been released at this time.


Westfield man arrested for allegedly being involved in a fight...
A fight in the town of Westfield on the morning of the Fourth of July has sent a Westfield man to the county jail.  Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene about 6:15 a.m. last Sunday... and, resulted in the arrest of 25 year-old Andrew Harris for fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Harris was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Lakewood Village Board to hold special meeting on EMS billing tonight...
Another community in Chautauqua County is looking at how to bill insurance for EMS Services provided by the local fire department.  The Lakewood Village Board will hold a special meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the board room at Village Hall to get public input on the best way to do that.  Mayor Randy Holcomb says the board set the meeting at it's June 27th meeting... and, they will continue discussion that began at that meeting.  Holcomb says they hope to make a decision tonight, or at least make movement in that direction.  He says two possible scenarios would have the village try to bill for services itself... or do it through a billing entity.  However... they'll look at all possibilities. 


Heritage announces Bemus Point resident is new CFO...
A Bemus Point man has been named as the new Chief Financial Officer for Heritage Ministries... which operates three skilled nursing facilities in the Jamestown-area.  Heritage President and Chief Executive Officer Lisa Haglund has announced the hiring of Paul DeSantis... who comes to Heritage with a qualified background including nearly two decades in healthcare and financial management, most recently serving as the CFO at a large healthcare institution in Western New York State.  In his role as Chief Financial Officer at Heritage... Haglund says DeSantis will be responsible for the oversight of all financial operations locally, and affiliates nationwide.  He has a Masters Degree in Health Services Administration... and, is involved with a number of organizations, and boards... including the Chautauqua County Health Network... Great Lakes Health Network.  He is also a Little League baseball coach, and Junior Olympic wrestling coach.


McEntire to hold special organ recital Friday night...
This Friday night the music minister at St. Luke's Episcopal Church will play an organ recital featuring music by Cesar Franck.  Ron McEntire says he hopes to play all of Franck's major organ works this year on the newly renovated instrument at St. Luke's.  His plans took an unexpected turn in mid-May when he woke up one day... unable to read or even use a phone.  Doctors determined he had 'glio blastoma multeform.'  McEntire's oldest son died of the same type of cancer at age 42.  Despite the devastating diagnosis, he remains optimistic... noting that he's done a lot in his 72 years.  But, he adds at some point, you have to pass the torch and says it's time for someone else to do it.  McEntire's had brain surgery.... with chemo-therapy and radiation to follow.  Though he still can't read words, he can read music... and hopes for a good crowd when he plays Friday night at 7 p.m. at St. Luke's Church at Fourth and Main Streets in Jamestown.  The concert is free to attend.


NYC boosts starting wages for Lifeguards with nationwide shortage...
Starting wages for lifeguards in New York City will be $19.46 an hour this summer under an agreement reached with the lifeguard union.  Under the deal announced Wednesday by Mayor Eric Adams... a retention bonus will be awarded in September for those lifeguards who work every week through the summer season.  A new training program will also be developed to fully staff 17 mini pools throughout the city.  But... Adams stressed that while the changes are a step in the right direction, the city's ability to safely open beaches and pools has been impacted by the national lifeguard shortage.  That shortage is being felt here in Chautauqua County. 


 

 

 

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