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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 28, 2023

"Double Up Food Bucks" program receives $2-million from New York state...
A nine-year-old program that provides greater access to food for low-income senior citizens and others who get SNAP benefits is receiving 2-million dollars in funding from New York state.  Officials with the Field & Fork Network say the "Double Up Food Bucks" program literally doubles the buying power for SNAP recipients.  During a program at the Silvertree Senior Center on Crane St. in Jamestown Thursday... Field & Food Program Director Josh McGuire says they've grown from being part of seven farmer's markets in 2014... to more than 230 in 32 counties now.  McGuire says it's a nutrition incentive program to stretch the dollars of recipients for healthy and nutritious food.  State Senator George Borrello... who is the top ranking Repubilcan member of the Senate's Agriculture Committee... says he's pleased the allocation's in the new state budget.  Borrello says the "Double Up" program is major benefit during a time of high inflation... and, allows those people to get fresh, locally grown products.  The announcement was made in front of the Jamestown Public Market's "mobile food truck" at the senior center.  Market Director Linnea Haskin says they've been bringing fresh fruits and vegatables to the center for four years now.  Silvertree's Liz Caldwell says residents look forward to the mobile truck coming to the center once a week.


Cummins to receive low-cost ReCharge NY power allocation for expansion project...
Cummins Jamestown Engine Plan is receiving a 450 kilowatt ReCharge New York allocation from the state Power Authority in support of the major expansion of it's town of Busti plant.  That from Governor Kathy Hochul... who Thursday announced 21 companies statewide are receiving more than 9-megawatts of low-cost power in support of $830-million in capital investments.  Cummins has the largest of the 21 projects... with the expansion supporting a transition to building heavy-duty engines powered by natural gas... and. eventually hydrogen.  The project will add 90 jobs to the plant... which currently employs 1,280 workers.  Hochul says all the projects will add 727 new jobs... and, support a total of nearly 4,500 jobs.


CARTS rebranded... is now CHQ Transit with new logos, buses, and trolleys...
Chautauqua County's long-time public bus system is getting a new name... and, a new look.  The ribbon was cut Thursday afternoon in front of one of nine new buses for the newly rebranded "CHQ Transit..." formerly known as CARTS.  A combination of federal, state and some local funding is paying for the transformation... which will be fully in place by next Monday.  CHQ Transit Senior Project Manager Michelle Westphal made the announcement at CHQ's headquarters on Hopkins Avenue in Jamestown.  Westphal says the benefit is two-fold, with buses that look different from other small buses in the area, and secondly the design incorporates various landmark scenes from across the county.  The new design and upgrade were well received by local officials... including Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist and County Executive P.J. Wendel.  The program also included an open house.  Westfall says the buses were being funded by a state Department of Transporation grant of $826,000... along with a $1.5-million Modernization and Enhancement Program grant from the State DOT to purchase the three new, hybrid trolleys.


City fire investigators still looking for cause of No. Main St. fire...
Jamestown fire investigators are still looking into the cause of Wednesday's blaze at a two-story apartment house on the city's northside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Shawn Shilling says crews were called to 860 North Main St. about 4:45 p.m., and, found heavy flames shooting from the second-story apartment.  Shilling says they were able to knock down the fire from outside... but, it was difficult getting inside at first... because the heat and wind would continue fanning the flames.  He says it took about an hour to bring under control.  Shilling says there was heavy fire damage to the second-floor... and, water damage to the first-floor.  An off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to assist.  No one was hurt.  


Five more people graduate from "Invest U" program...
The five newest graduates of the groundbreaking ‘Invest U’ program got their degrees Wednesday at the Northwest Arena.  ‘Invest U’ is a 16 week course that helps people break the cycle of poverty and become more invested in their communities.  It uses a curriculum called ‘Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World.’  One of the new grads, Haydee Diaz of Jamestown, found the courage to make her first ever public speech... and, she says she now feels like she can "make a difference in my community."  The Executive Director of the YWCA, Amanda Gesing, delivered the keynote address.  She encouraged the graduates to ‘use their voices' to make positive change in the community.  The other graduates were:  Ben DuPree, Yanira Castellano, Carmen Perez and Rebecca Spinler... all of Jamestown. 


Wild America Festival set for Panama Rocks this weekend...
The Wild America Festival returns to Panama Rocks this weekend... both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Festival organizer, Jonathan Weston, says there'll be great music, food, lectures... and three dozens exceptional artists and vendors.  Weston says it's a juried show for them.  Adult tickets are $12, less for children.  The $5 parking fee goes to support the Audubon Community Nature Center.  More information on the Wild America Festival and the full schedule can be found at WildAmericaFest.com.  Full access to Panama Rocks is included with paid admission.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 27, 2023

Flames heavily damage second-story of No. Main St. home in Jamestown...
Jamestown firefighters battled flames... and heat and humidity... during a late afternoon house fire on Jamestown's northside Wednesday.  Fire Battalion Chief Shawn Shilling says crews were called to 860 No. Main St. about 4:45 p.m., and, found heavy flames shooting from the second-story apartment.  Shilling says firefighters immediately took a defensive posture to bring the exterior blaze under control.  He then sent interior crews in... but, they were driven back twice by intensifying flames due to the heat, and wind.  Shilling says it took nearly an hour to bring the blaze under control.  Shilling says the structure has heavy fire damage to the second-floor... and, water damage to the first-floor.  While the house is still standing... it has been condemned.  Shilling says it's not clear if anyone lived in the second-floor apartment... and one person lived on the first floor.  He says that person was taking a nap at the time -- and a passerby pounded on the door to wake him up.  An off-duty shift was called in to assist.  No one was hurt.  The cause remains under investigation today.  


County Legislature unanimously approves new, four-year contracts with CSEA, CCSEA workers...
Members of the Chautauqua County Legislature Wednesday night unanimously approved new labor contracts with the Civil Service Employees Association-Local 6300... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Employees Association.  During their monthly legislature meeting... lawmakers discussed the measures briefly.  Legislature Minority Leader Bob Bankowski of Dunkirk commended both county and labor negotiators for agreeing to fair contracts.  Bankowski, and Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin agreed the county needs the agreement to help recruit, and retain good workers.  Rankin says it's a lot less expensive to keep good people than to bring new ones in often, and have to train them.  While he ultimately voted for the contracts... Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel warned fellow lawmakers that they also need to look out for the taxpayers because the wage hikes add $1.7-million to the budget.  Bankowski and others had earlier said the contracts "won't break the county."  Both contracts run for four-years.  The CSEA contract includes 3% wage increases the first two years... and, 3.5% the next two.  The one for CCSEA includes 3.5% increases each year... and both includes cost of living bonuses each year.


City man pleads guilty to Meth drug conspiracy...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty in federal court to trafficking methamphetamine as part of a drug conspiracy in the city three years ago.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Wednesday that 57 year-old Austin Gordon entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five grams or more of methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.  Prosecutors say Gordon bought, sold and distributed quantities of meth for profit between June and December of 2019... using Facebook.  In July of that year... investigators looking for a federal fugitive on Bishop Street found methamphetamine inside the residence.... and, seized the meth, along with drug paraphernalia, and just over $1,400 dollars in cash.  In November... they recovered drugs -- including 32-grams of meth... just over $1,600 cash, two firearms and 454 rounds of ammunition at Gordon's home.  He faces a manditory minimum of 5-years in prison... and, a maximum of 50.


Jamestown woman faces assault charge after domestic incident...
A city woman has been arrested for allegedly injuring a male victim during a domestic incident on Jamestown's southside early Wednesday morning... and, doing it in front of two children.  City police say they were called to a Prospect Street home about 1:30 a.m. for a domestic dispute.  Their investigation showed that 28 year-old Jessica Glovier had injured the man... and, damaged property belonging to him.  Officers say Glovier was taken into custody on charges of third-degree assault... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.


Gillibrand proposes ban on posting of 3D Ghost Gun blueprints...
The recent proliferation of what are called "Ghost Guns" has led New York's junior U.S. Senator to craft legislation that would ban on-line distribution of 3D printing of blueprints for those homemade guns.  During a video conference Wednesday  morning... Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand outlined her "3D Printed Gun Safety Act."  She says it would make it illegal to publish and distribute the digital blueprints to make those guns.  Gillibrand says it would make it more difficult for bad actors to get their "hands on them."  She adds the problem with ghost guns is they have no serial number, making them untraceable and extremely difficult to regulate.  Since many of the 3D printed guns are made of plastic... she says they're hard to detect at places that rely on security measures... including courthouses, airports and other "secured public areas."  In 2022... Gillibrand says police in New York State seized 85% more ghost guns than they did the year before in 2021.


Abbott to receive 2023 Joseph Mason Award...
The man who has been president of the Jamestown School Board the past seven-years... and, has been a local volunteer... has been selected to receive this year's Joseph H. Mason Award.  The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County will present the award to Paul Abbott during the organization's annual "Salute to Labor" dinner at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel on Wed., Aug. 9.  For more information on the dinner... call the United Way at 483-1561.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., July 26, 2023

(Update)**Fire heavily damages residence on No. Main St....

Jamestown firefighters were busy late Wednesday afternoon with a house fire at a multi-story home on the city's northside.  County Fire dispatchers say crews were called to the scene at 860 North Main St. at 4:42 p.m... and, traffic was diverted while firefighters dealt with the blaze.  No injuries have been reported, and the cause is being investigated.

 

Ten suspects now charged in drug bust in city of Dunkirk...
Ten Dunkirk residents were rounded up during a late afternoon drug raid Monday on Willowbrook Avenue in the north county city.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says a number of agencies -- including Jamestown Police -- assisted in executing a search warrant, and all 10 now face drug and weapons charges.  Police say this was the second drug raid at that residence in the past six months.  The first one netted nine arrests.  Police say they arrested Dakota Cordell... Taylor Austin... Robert Wardell... Robert Kaczor, Sr., Robert Kaczor, Jr., Kathleen Shipley... Jodi Messere... Alicia Eppinger... William Tolbert and Floyd Tolbert.  As a result of the search... investigators seized 5.72 grams of fentanyl, 2.13 grams of methamphetamine, point-1 grams of crack cocaine, two dosage units of suboxone, scales and packaging material for the distribution of narcotics, a 22-calibur rifle and $912 in cash.


Man who assaulted a fellow worker after being fired charged with assault...
A Jamestown man is accused of assaulting another person after he was fired from his job at Jamestown Electro-plating early Tuesday afternoon.  City police were called to the location at 105 Water St. just before 1:30 p.m., and were told that 42 year-old Angel Vargas-Mendoza had caused a facial injury to the other person... who was also en employee.  Officers were told that Vargas-Mendoza had fled the area.  However... he showed up at Jamestown Police headquarters to turn himself in a short time later.  He was charged with second-degree assault... and, taken to the city jail where he was held pending arraignment.


City woman arrested as Fugitive from Justice in Florida...
A Jamestown woman wanted in the state of Florida has been arrested in Jamestown during a warrant check on the city's eastside Tuesday morning.  City police say the check was performed about 7:15 a.m., after Florida law enforcement contacted JPD to tell them of the confirmed probation warrant for 26 year-old Nicole Grimm.  While back in Jamestown... police say Grimm violated terms of her probation, and Florida officials issued the warrant.  She was arrested as a fugitive from justice... and, was jailed pending arraignment.  Grimm will then be taken to the county jail to await extradiction.


City police and Department of Development to host second Community Meeting at Dickson Park tonight...
The second community meeting involving the Jamestown Police Department... and, the Department of Development... will be held tonight on the city's eastside.  The sessions are designed to allow residents to come and make comments and ask questions on public safety and "quality of life" issues.  Wednesday's program will be held at the Lillian Dickson Park on Falconer Street at 6 PM.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist tells our Terry Frank that the sessions are supported by the city's Gun-Involved Violence Elimination Grant program because they wanted to have "community engagement" as part of it.  One part of the additional funding the city has received has allowed for the hiring of a "quality of Life" or Nuisance Officer.  Sundquist says that officer has been very busy since being brought on in late May.  He says the city is taking a "hard stance" on dealing with those issues... such as fireworks around the Fourth of July.  Jamestown has received about $261,000 from the more than $600,000 provided to Chautauqua County from the GIVE Program.  Last week's second community meeting was cancelled due to the stormy weather... and, will be made up later in August.


"Retool '23" being held today at Chautauqua Institution...
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is again hosting a "Retool" conference today... which this time will focus on developing the workforce for regional manufacturing growth in Climate Tech.  That from "Retool '23" Organizer Ellen DiTonto... who is the BPU's Business Development Coordinator.  DiTonto says they made this year's conference a one-day event at Chautauqua Institution after those taking part last year wanted that... and, to have it be one topic.  She says the keynote speaker for the afternoon session will be 'energy expert" and consultant Dennis Elsenbeck.  DiTonto says Elsenbeck has a "long history of understanding how energy can be part of our overall economic development of the region."  DiTonto says the day at Chautauqua Institution will start with the 10:45 a.m. lecture in the Amptheater, which will feature Leslie Dewan.  She is a nuclear engineer, environmentalist and entrepreneur.  Participants in the conference will then attend a private lunch at the Athenaeum Hotel before Elsenbeck's address... and, a panel discussion at Smith-Wilkes Hall.  


JCC Board recognizes Lillian Ney for more than 20 years on panel...
A retired cadiologist from Jamestown... who was also a City Council President... has been recognized for her long time contributions to SUNY Jamestown Community College.  Dr. Lillian Ney stepped down from the college's Board of Trustees at the end of the last school year after serving more than two decades on the panel.  Dr. Ney first joined the board in the early 1990’s she was a working cardiologist who was also parenting her two daughters.  She served on the board from 1990 to 2001... and, again from 2011-to-2023.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., July 25, 2023

City man sentenced to 9 years on drug and weapons charges...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to nine-years in state prison after pleading guilty to a felony weapon's charge in Chautauqua County Court.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 44 year-old Anthony Cunningham was given the term Monday by County Court Judge David Foley for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Schmidt says the plea also covers a third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance charge.  He says Cunningham was arrested in June of 2022 on the charges... and, entered the plea this past June 13.  In addition to the 9 years... Cunningham was given five-years post-release supervision for the weapons conviction.  Schmidt says this was his second felony conviction in Chautauqua County within 10 years, making him a predicate Felon.  Cunningham was sentenced in December 2022 for violation of probation for a previous felony conviction... and, he was also sentenced to 8 years for that with 5 years of post-release supervision.  Schmidt says the sentences will run concurrently.


Wendel looking forward to having all employee contracts in place as budget work begins...
Chautauqua County lawmakers will take up resolutions approving employee contracts between the county and two bargaining units when they meet this week in Mayville.  County Executive P-J Wendel says he expects to legislature to approve the contracts at Wednesday night's session... one of which is with county's largest bargaining unit:  The Civil Service Employees Association Local #6300... which represents about 700 workers, and the CCSEA... which includes corrections officers at the jail, and emergency dispatchers.  Wendel says he'll be happy to have all employee contracts done before work on the 2024 budget begins in earnest.  Work is aleady underway on the spending plan.  Wendel was also asked about State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's recent announcement indicating that the tax cap will remain at 2% for another year.  With that... he says the county should be "okay" with that.  Wendel says the goal again is a "structurally balanced budget" that does not rely on fund balance.  He says it was more a challenge in developing the 2023 budget plan due to last year's higher inflation rate.


City man faces obstruction charges after week weapon's complaint...
A Jamestown man was arrested early last weekend after a call for a person with a weapon in the area of Chandler and Cross Streets.  City police say they were called to the scene shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday... and located 24 year-old Christian Jewell... and, two other subjects in the area.  While officers tried to conduct an investigation into the complaint... they say Jewell was acting disorderly... and, not following officer’s verbal commands.  He tried to leave the scene and tried to pull away from officers several times.  He also made several threats towards officers and slapped one officer's hand.  He was arrested for second-degree obstructing governmental administration... and, was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City woman sought on warrant arrested in Jamestown...
A wanted Jamestown woman now faces a resisting arrest charge after allegedly struggling with city police who were trying to take her into custody late last week.  Jamestown police say they responded to a northside address just before 11 PM last Thursday on a warrant check.  On arrival... officers say they made contact with 36 year-old Samantha Hitchcock... who was found to have an active warrant for her arrest out of City Court.  When being taken into custody... they say Hitchcock began actively resisting... but, after a brief struggle she was taken into custody and taken to the city jail, where she was additionally charged with resisting arrest.


Items being accepted for inclusion in 60th anniversary Fenton Time Capsule...
The Fenton History Center in Jamestown is celebrating its 60th anniversary and is looking for items to fill a time capsule to be opened during the centennial... 40 years from now.  Collections Manager Norm Carlson is chair of the Fenton's 'time capsule committee.'  He describes what they are looking for... and, they should be items that depicts life in Jamestown as it is now -- with special emphasis on the "Fenton history itself."  Items need to be small... as the capsule is only 12x12x18 inches in size.  All donations need to be delivered to the Fenton by the end of August, so they can be evaluated for possible inclusion.  He says you can bring them to him at Hall House... or drop it off at the mansion.  Carlson adds that newspaper clippings are not good contributions, as they deteriorate too quickly.  Items in a digital format will be accepted.  For more information contact the Fenton directly.  


Quattrone says 14 local children took part in NYS Sheriff's Summer Camp...
There were 14 children from Chautauqua County that took part in the annual New York State Sheriff's Institute Summer Camp in the Finger Lakes region recently.  The week-long camp is for boys and girls ages 9-to-12 who would not be able to have an opportunity to attend a summer camp due to economic reasons.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the opportunity is made possible through the generosity of donors to the Sheriffs' Institute... which solicits money from the area to send the campers.  Quattrone says they learn skills, and they're heard positive results when they return home.  The Sheriffs' Institute Summer Camp has provided disadvantaged youth across New York State with the experience on Keuka Lake since 1986.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., July 24, 2023

Fatal crash Saturday night in town of Salamanca claims three lives...
Three young people from Cattaraugus County were killed... and, one was seriously hurt late last Saturday night when their car slammed into a tree in the town of Salamanca.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the vehicle was traveling at a "high rate of speed" when it struck the tree on Old Route 17 just before 10:30 p.m.  Three of the young people... including a recent graduate of Salamanca High School... were pronounced dead at the scene.  Deputies say the fourth person was flown to a Buffalo-area hospital for treatment, and it now in stable condition.  Officers say the accident remains under investigation.  The Salamanca School district Superintendent late Saturday issued a statement... saying he had "awful news to share."  Mark Beehler says "... a tragic accident took the lives of three individuals.  Our hearts and prayers go to the families of all involved."


Two people arrested on drug and weapons charges in Jamestown Saturday night...     
A street check in downtown Jamestown last Saturday night led to the arrest of two people on drug charges... with one also found with a metal knuckle knife.  City police say they spotted a woman using drugs at the corner of West Fourth and Cherry Streets just before 9 p.m.  Officers say further investigation found the woman, 31 year-old Starr Bliss... along with 48 year-old Jason Passinger... in possession of illegal drugs.  Both were arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, they were taken to the City Jail.  Upon her arrest... police say they found the knuckle knife in Bliss's possession... and, she was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.


One arrested, three detained after alleged shoplifting at 7-Eleven store in Jamestown...
A teenager and three juveniles from Jamestown are accused of taking part in stealing items from an eastside convenience store late last week.  Jamestown police were called to the 7-Eleven store on East Second Street just after 1 a.m. last Thursday for a reported "burglary in progress."  Officers say a witness followed the suspect's vehicle... and, police later found and stopped them.  They arrested 18 year-old Madeline Gambrill and detained the three youths.  Their investigation found that Gambrill and one of the juveniles took merchandise from the store without paying for it.  Police also learned that Gambrill had dragged a female victim with her vehicle as she drove off.  She is charged with petty larceny... fourth-degree criminal mischief... second-degree reckless endangerment... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Gambrill was issued appearance tickets and released... while the three youths were turned over to their guardians. 


Four-H Meat Animal sale -- including dairy boxes this year -- dubbed a big success...
The 59th Four-H Meat Animal Sale at the Chautauqua County Fair was one of the most successful in recent years.  A total of 127 entries went through the auction last Friday, generating over $220,000.  Meat Animal Sale Chairman, Dave Schauman, was grateful for all the supporters who "step up every year, and are willing to spend pretty good dollars ot help these 4-Hers."  Coolers full of dairy products were added to the sale this year.  They sold for between $500 and $2,200 apiece.  Dan Crowell was one of the people who helped initiate the effort... and says they "couldn't be happier with what happened."  Officials say the coolers, full of donated dairy products, allowed young people in that part of Four-H to earn money at the auction for the first time.


Slow Moving Vehicle safety exhibit debuts at County Fair...
The Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension joined with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's office at the fair Saturday afternoon to prove a point.  They lined up a tractor behind an Amish buggy on a busy pathway between the gate and the midway... to remind drivers to be cautious around show moving vehicles.  The President of the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau, Dick Kimball,  put it this way.  Kimball says people seem to "lose their minds" when they get behind a slow-moving vehicle... and, get impatient to get by.  Often times... he says they can't see what's coming -- especially when there's a double-solid median line.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says Amish buggies are often on the roads of the county, and present particular challenges -- especially when the buggies get to the top of -- or crest -- of a hill. 


Whitaker says finalist names for new JHS nickname should be revealed in 5 or 6 weeks...
The second and final round of community voting on a new nickname for Jamestown High School sports teams will take place once school resumes in the Fall.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says there were a handful of initial choices for students and the public to vote on late last school year.  Dr. Whitaker tells our Dennis Webster that they will release results of the first-round of voting soon... and, once the second round is completed... those results will go to the committee for a final decision based on the recommendation before the deadline of the end of 2023.  Whitaker says they will release the finalists within the next "5 or 6 weeks."  The committee charged with deciding on a new nickname to replace Red Raiders has been meeting regularily after the New York State Department of Education determined that Jamestown needed to remove the name from all imagery and sports teams by the end of this year.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 21, 2023

Storm damage clean-up underway in Chautauqua County after severe storms Thursday night...
Severe thunderstorms rolled across portions of Western New York early last evening... downing trees and power lines.  Chautauqua County appears to have been one of the worst hit areas... especially the city of Dunkirk, which is under a State of Emergency.  That from Forecaster Kirk Apffel at the National Weather Service in Buffalo, with more than 10 reports of damage.  He says that a cluster of thunderstorms moved through the area, triggering the severe weather.  He says the first reports they received was at 7:10 p.m. and the last was at 7:35 p.m.  Thousands of utility customers lost their power in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.  Crews from National Grid and New York State Electric and Gas were still making repairs as of Friday morning.


Jamestown woman arrested on multiple drug possession charges following raid on Prendergast Ave....
A city woman faces multiple drug possession charges following an early morning raid yesterday at an apartment on Jamestown's northside.  Sheriff's officers say their Narcotics Investigtors executed a search warrant at 608 Prendergast Ave. shortly after 5 a.m. with the help of Jamestown and Dunkirk Police.  Deputies say the raid was the result of a two-month long investigation into narcotics sales out of the residence.  Officers say the arrested 43 year-old Alicia Alexander after finding 9.4-grams of fentanyl... 3.1-grams of methamphetamine... scales and packaging material... along with $95 in cash.  Alexander was arrested during a previous raid last month for criminal using drug paraphernalia.  Alexander was arrested this time on charges of third, fourth and fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment. 


Falconer music teacher arrested for communicating with juvenile student...
A Falconer Central School music teacher has been arrested for allegedly sending more than 600 text messages to a juvenile student... and, trying to get her to meet him at various places in the village.  Ellicott Town Police say they were recently alerted to a suspicious situation involving 49 year-old Jeffrey Camp of Fredonia.  Investigators add that Camp also allegedly tried to bring the Juvenile into the school after hours.  Police say a search warrant was issued by Ellicott Town Court... and, Camp’s cell phone was secured as evidence.  Officers say he's been charged with endangering the welfare of a child.  They add the investigation is continuing and further charges are possible.  Town Police say they are working closely with the Falconer school administration on the case.  Camp was located and arrested Thursday.


Effort underway to create new Innovation Center at former Rogers School in Jamestown...
The former Rogers Elementary School in Jamestown will be reopening this coming school year as a new Innovation Center for the district.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the first-phase of the project at the 41 Hebner Street location will begin this Fall with "three or four" classrooms being moved from Fletcher Elementary School due to capital project work taking place there.  Whitaker says Phase-Two of the center’s opening will include starting career and technical education programming that is slated to begin during the 2024-25 school year.  He says "we are excited to begin the process of reopening Rogers."  As for getting the Innovation Center itself up and running... he says that will actually take place at Jamestown High School for the 2023-24 school year... with the aviation program going in first.  As for the students who'll be at Rogers this coming school year... Fletcher Elementary School principal Amanda Sischo says "we are committed to ensuring that this temporary transition takes place as smoothly as possible.  Teachers, paraprofessionals, and classroom routines will all remain the same as will any services in which a student regularly participates including art, library, music, and access to a school nurse."

City man sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison for possession of stolen guns...
A Jamestown man convicted of being a Felon in possession of a firearm has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 35 year-old Angelo Pollino received the 78-month term from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say Pollino and two other men broke into a home in the town of Ellicott in January of 2019... and, stole a .380-caliber pistol.. 38 caliber revolver... a Glock pistol... and various bank and credit cards of the victim.  The following day, the trio used the victim’s bank and credit cards at various locations in New York and Pennsylvania.  Pollino then traded the pistol and revolver for heroin.  Pollino had been convicted in 2012 in Chautauqua County Court for burglary and criminal possession of stolen property.... as a result... he was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. 


Gillibrand, Hawley introduce Ban on Stock Trading for federal lawmakers...
A bi-partisan bill that would ban stock trading -- an ownership -- by federal lawmakers, and would boost penalties for violations, has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.  The proposal called the "Ban Stock Tradiing for Government Officials Act" is being sponsored by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand... and, Missouri Republican Josh Hawley.  During a video conference with state-wide media... Gilllibrand says it takes her 2012 Stock Act a step further... and represents the "most substantive bipartisan effort to date to ban stock trades members of Congress, and senior executive branch officials."  In addition... Gillibrand says the measure creates additional transparency and financial disclosure reporting.  She hopes there will be support from both sides of the political aisle on the bill. 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 21, 2023

City man gets 6 1/2 years in federal prison on Felony firearm's possession...
A Jamestown man convicted of being a Felon in possession of a firearm has been sentenced to 6-1/2 years in federal prison.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 35 year-old Angelo Pollino received the 78-month term from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say Pollino and two other men broke into a home in the town of Ellicott in January of 2019... and, stole a .380-caliber pistol... .38 caliber revolver... a Glock pistol... and various bank and credit cards of the victim.  The following day, the trio used the victim’s bank and credit cards at various locations in New York and Pennsylvania.  Pollino then traded the pistol and revolver for heroin.  Pollino had been convicted in 2012 in Chautauqua County Court for burglary and criminal possession of stolen property.... as a result... he was legally prohibited from possessing a firearm. 


Schmidt announces two County Court sentencings...
A man from Erie, Pa. involved in a manhunt in the town of Westfield in October 2021 has been sentenced to six years in state prison after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 40 year-old James Gnacinski received the sentence... plus five years post-release supervision... from County Court Judge David Foley Wednesday.  Schmidt says Gnacinski was originally charged with first-degree burglary for the incident....but, he agreed to plea to the lesser charge last February.
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Also in County Court Wednesday... a Buffalo man was sentenced to five-years in prison... and, five-years post-release supervision on one count of second-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon.  D-A Schmidt says 28 year-old Michael Bland pled guilty to the charge last April in connection with an incident in the city of Jamestown in March of 2022. 


Sundquist says new Deputy City Comptroller now in place...
There's a new Deputy City Comptroller in place for Jamestown to deal with financial matters for the first time in more than three months.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says Carol Malek was hired last month... and, recently took on the position... replacing Katie Maycock.  She left the position back in March for a job in the private sector.  Sundquist says Malek is currently working retired Comptroller Joe Bellitto... who has been helping out in a part-time basis.  He says it's important to have someone in the post full-time to help finish the city's audit for 2022, and begin the 2024 budget process shortly.  Malek will be the fifth Comptroller for Jamestown in the past three years.  Sundquist says she has a lot of accounting experience... serving in the non-profit... and, private sectors. 


County Health Dept. unveils new Mobile Health Unit...
The Chautauqua County Health Department now has the ability to take it's outreach and education programs out to the local communities.  Health Department staff unveiled their new mobile health unit as part of an open house Wednesday afternoon in Mayville.  Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Faulk says they first pitched the idea in 2021... during the height of the COVID Pandemic.  Faulk says the county received a grant to initially get the van to provide health services to schools, and others to enhance testing and dispensing COVID vaccines.  With the pandemic now over... Faulk says the mobile vehicle will be used to primarily bring health education and services to "local vulnerable" populations.  He says they'll be at the County Fair in Dunkirk this Friday through Sunday.  For more information on the mobile unit... go on-line to healthychq.com


4-H Meat Animal Sale at Chautauqua County Fair set for Friday... featuring new "Dairy Boxes..."
When the 59th annual 4-H Meat Animal Sale gets underway this Friday at 12 Noon at the Chautauqua County Fair... there will be the usual offerings of hogs, goats, chickens, lamb, steer... and something new... dairy boxes.  Leighanne Swan of Sherman is one of 13 4-Her's selling a box which she says will have a variety of dairy related items.  Buyers will bid on the boxes, just as they do with other auction items.  Items in the boxes were donated... to give 4-H dairy kids an opportunity to get some help with their expenses.  Proceeds can also be used to buy next year's projects, or put away for college.  


Attendance at Nat. Comedy Center this Summer reported good, with boost from free kids program...
The annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown is still a couple of weeks away... but, the National Comedy Center has already had a great summer.   Center Executive Director, Journey Gunderson, says it started with Memorial Day weekend, when it seems like the "turnstile flood gates opened."  The Shults Auto Group is underwriting the cost of attendance for young people visiting the Comedy Center this summer.  Gunderson believes that's made a big difference... because they're seeing more families coming to the center, and taking part in the exhibits people can take part in.  Gunderson says sales have been brisk for the two headliners coming to Jamestown in early August for the Comedy Festival: Gabriel Iglesias and Taylor Tomlinson.  Iglasias performs at the Northwest Arena on Thursday night, Aug. 3, while Tomlinson performs the following night, Friday, Aug. 4.  Gunderson advises anyone wanting tickets for those shows to get them soon.  The website is comedycenter.org. 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., July 19, 2023

Teen drowns in tragic accident on Lake Erie near Dunkirk...
A teenaged boy has died in a drowning in Lake Erie near the city of Dunkirk.  The Dunkirk Fire Department, along with Dunkirk Police, Dunkirk Water Rescue Team, Chautauqua County Water Emergency Team... and, others -- including the U.S. Coast Guard -- received a call shortly before 4:30 p.m. Monday that the teenager had jumped into the water... and, did not resurface near Cedar Beach and the outer break wall.  Rescue divers from the Dunkirk and Chautauqua County entered the water and located the 13 year-old victim a short time later.  He was transported to the City Pier on Marine-1 and transferred to Brooks Memorial Hospital by Alstar Ambulance.  No further details have been released at this time.


Russell calls on city leaders, UPMC, and Alstar to live up to ambulance agreement...
A member of the Jamestown City Council is calling out UPMC... Alstar Ambulance... and the Sundquist Administration for not living up to an ambulance service agreement signed nearly three-years ago.  During Monday night's council work session... At-Large Republican Jeff Russell noted that while the city is spending millions of dollars to bring on new firefighters, and buy a second ambulance... UPMC is not living up to the October 2020 agreement.  Russell says the agreement states that two ambulances will be fully-equiped.  He added that the agreement also says that -- "Alstar shall make best efforts to maintain these ambulances at the ALS level... and, in no event shall Alstar provide no less that two providers per ambulance... except in cases of emergency."  He says he's been informed that Alstar sometimes only has one worker on an ambulance.  He says the "burden continues to fall (for service) on the city.  The contract between the city and UPMC and Alstar EMS is to run until 2024.  Mayor Sundquist was not in attendance for Monday night's meeting.  However... his executive assistant was taking down the information for him.


UPMC, Deputy Fire Chief respond to Russell's comments...
Officials with UPMC says they are "committed" to their relationship with the city in terms of continuing ambulance service.  That was in response to a request by Media One for comment on the matter.  A spokeswoman says they "are not familiar with the accusations but are committed to our ongoing relationship with the city... and, will engage them in discussions regarding any opportunities to better meet their needs."  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says the fire department provided between 1,000 and 1,300 ambulance transports last year.  For the most part... Coon says Alstar EMS has mainly provided non-emergency transports  He says the second ambulance is to allow the department to respond to calls they rely on others to do.  He says there are about 400 calls that they get help from Lakewood, and other outlying ambulance services.  Coon adds there are times when both ambulances wind up at a call... and, if it ends up being a non-emergency call... Alstar will handle that transport. 


The 142nd Chautauqua County Fair opens in Dunkirk...
They shot off the canon Tuesday morning to start the 142nd Chautauqua County Fair at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the entire event is a tribute to the longevity of agriculture in this area.  Wendel says only five years in the past did not have a fair -- and three were due to World War-Two.  The Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County, Emily Reynolds, believes it’s more important than ever for people to see the things the fair has to offer in person.  She says she gets more and more questions about where our food comes from.  Agricultural shows run all day long at several show arenas on the Waldorf Road side of the fair.  Grandstand shows begin each night at 7 p.m.  Regular admission to the fair is $15... $9 for seniors.  Ages three and under are free.  The Chautauqua County Fair runs through Sunday.


Corry, Pa. man arrested for allegedly harassing another person in the town of Chautauqua...
A Corry, Pa. man has been arrested for allegedly making unwanted and harassing phone calls to a person in Chautauqua County.  Sheriff's officers were called to a town of Chautauqua address Monday afternoon... and, found that 63 year-old Joseph Blachowski had made threatening statements to the victim.  Blachowski was found a short time later... and, arrested for aggravated harassment.  He was taken to the county jail for arraignment... and, will appear in Town of Chautauqua Court at a later date.


Angola woman arrested in town of Sheridan for DWI after allegedly trying to hit two people...
An Erie County, New York woman has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk when she tried to hit two people with her car late last week in the town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's officers were called to a complaint near an address on East Lake Road just after 2 a.m. last Thursday.  On arrival... deputies say they located 49 year-old Ivie Heaney of Angola... and, following an investigation it was determined that Heaney was driving while intoxicated.  She was arrersted for driving with an open container of alcohol... DWI... and, was issued appearance tickets for Sheridan Town Court.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., July 18, 2023

City Council discusses, will vote on new local law allowing Code Inspectors to issue fines for housing violations...
The Jamestown City Council will vote in two weeks on a new ordinance that will allow code enforcement officers to hand out fines for minor housing violations.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk outlined the measure for both the Housing and Public Safety Committees... including the kinds of violations her code enforcement people can ticket.  She says they include: animal maintenance and waste, exterior junk and debris, high weeds or grass, unauthorized motor vehicles, prohibited burns.  Some residents on hand complained about the number of vehicles parked on the terrace and in yards in the city.  Surdyk says the ordinance is designed to take more minor "quality of Life" matters out of housing court... which can be a lengthy process.  House Committee Chairwoman Marie Carrubba says the idea is to get homeowners and others to comply with the law.  There was some discussion about how to deal with tree issues because... unless the tree is in the terrace... or there are limbs into of over the terrace on the street... there's not much that can be done. 


Residents express numerous "quality of life" complaints during public comment at work session...
Discussion about the new ordinance allowing code enforcement officers to issue fines for minor housing violations came after much public discussion about the need for that.  Resident Rosanne Himes says she and her husband have lived in their current home for 43 years... but, they've seen their neighborhood go "downhill" in recent times.  Himes says it's "frustrating" because they're complained numerous times.  She says a neighbor has put in a swimming pool without required permits, there are unregistered vehicles, and people are not "scooping their dogs crap."  Other complaints ranged from ongoing fireworks issues... to many cars illegally parked.  Another resident... Melissa Paterniti... complained about the number of homes that are still standing that have had multiple fire calls to them.  Paterniti says some have sat vacant for "3 or 4 years."  There were also complaints about often reaching Department of Development staff voice mails... and, not getting follow through from them.  Corporation Counsel Eliot Raimando noted that one code officer had 75 voice mail complaints Monday morning alone.


Westfield area resident killed when riding mower is struck by pick-up in town of Portland Monday...
A Westfield area resident has been killed after their riding mower pulled onto Barnes Rd. in the town of Portland early Monday afternoon... and, was struck by a pick-up truck.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene -- near Prospect Station Rd. -- a few minutes after 12 Noon... and learned the mower entered the roadway from the north shoulder... and, directly into the path of the westbound pick-up truck... which was towing a mower.  Deputies say the operator of the pick-up truck did try to stop and avoid the riding mower... but, was unable to do so.  Officers say the operator of the riding mower was seriously hurt... and, succumbed to those injuries at a local hospital.  Deputies say the names of both people involved are being withheld at this time to allow for proper notifications.  Additional information will be released at a later date. 


Schmidt hoping to present case against Burham to county Grand Jury soon...
The prime suspect in the murder of a Jamestown woman is back in custody after a nine-day manhunt in Warren County, Pa.  But Michael Burham is now being held in Erie County, Pa. prison -- not the Warren County Jail where he made his escape on July 6 by repelling down the walls with a makeshift rope made with bedsheets.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says that is probably due to an ongoing "criminal investigation" into the escape.  Burham is a suspect in the May 11 homicide of 34-year-old Kala Hodgkin.  Schmidt says he's among the people who are relieved that Burham is no longer on the run... because the safety of local witnesses were in jeopardy.  However... he was caught and "nobody was harmed."  Meanwhile... Schmidt says he continued to work on the murder case while Burham was on the run.  Chautauqua County's top prosecutor expects to be a position to present a case to a grand jury "in about a month."


Boil water and Water Conservation orders in effect for Brocton-Portland water customers...
A boil water... and water conservation order has been issued for water customers in the village of Brocton... and town of Portland customers -- south of Interstate 90.  The Chautauqua County Health Department issued the order late Monday... noting that all water to be used for drinking and cooking should be boiled first... or you should use bottled water.  Health Department officials say water pressure in several areas of Brocton and Portland is low due to multiple water main breaks Monday morning.  Some customers may not have any water at all.  Water District staff have located the source of the break and are in the process of fixing the problem.  However... all water customers in these areas must boil their water until further notice.  Water for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and making coffee must be brought to a rolling boil for one minute then cooled prior to use.  The Health Department is also requiring all customers to please limit their water usage by 50% until further notice.  For more information, contact the Village of Brocton at (716) 792-4160 or the Town of Portland at 792-9614. 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., July 17, 2023

Police identify motorcyclist killed in two-vehicle crash in West Ellicott...
Ellicott town Police have now identified the man killed in last Friday afternoon's fatal car-motorcyle crash on Fairmount Ave. near N. Green Ave.  Officers say 65 year-old Richard Burham of Big Tree Road, Lakewood died from his injuries at UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa.  Police say the accident occured about 5:30 p.m. when Burham was traveling west on Fairmount Avenue and an eastbound vehicle attemped a left turn onto Green and struck the motorcycle.  Officers say the driver, 52 year-old Michael Hart of Falconer, failed to yield... and, was ticketed.  Burham was initially taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown before being transferred to Hamot.


Man arrested for allegedly driving with four-times the legal BAC in property damage crash...
A local man has been arrested for allegedly driving with four-times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when his car struck another vehicle on Jamestown's eastside early yesterday morning.  City police says their Violent Crimes Unit responded to a report of an erratic driver entering the city on Willard Street.  Police found the vehicle traveling in the area of Willard and Peterson Streets shortly after Midnight... and, then hit the parked vehicle.  The driver -- now identified as 55 year-old Boyd Walker -- continued westbound on Willard before finally being stopped.  Officers arrested Walker for driving while intoxicated... and later found he had a Blood Alcohol Content of .32%.  He was further charged with Aggravated DWI... and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.  Walker was jailed pending arraignment.


Burham now in federal custody after being captured Saturday in Warren County, Pa...
Jail escapee Michael Burham is now sitting in the Erie County, Pa. prison after a tip from a Warren County homeowner last Saturday led to his capture.  The nine-day manhunt ended late Saturday afternoon on Jackson Run Rd. in Conewango Township when Pennsylvania State Police responded to a call for a suspicious man at a corner of their property.  State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens says their command center in Warren received the tip around 4 p.m.  Bivens says they set up a perimeter around the property, and took Burham into custody just before 6 p.m.  He says the couple's dog started barking and they checked the area on a golf cart... and, encountered the 34 year-old Burham... who escaped Thursday night, July 6 from the Warren County Jail.  The homeowner said Burham told him he "was camping..." but, he then recognized him... and, called their tip line.  Bivens says they mobilized manpower and set up a perimeter and began moving in on Burham near Logan Road... just northwest of the city.  Burham was taken into custody just before 6 p.m.  He was indicted Saturday night on a federal escape charge... and, was to be moved to the Erie County, Pennsylvania prison until his next court appearance.  Bivens says Burham did not have a firearm... and was wearing the pants he had on when he escaped from the jail.


Memorial service at St. Luke's Church honors Ron McEntire...
St. Luke's Church Minister of Music, Ron McEntire, who lost his year long battle with brain cancer earlier this month, was remembered at a memorial service at St. Luke's on Saturday.  The church's Rev. Luke Fodor said McEntire's honest and straightfoward approach to the disease was a lesson to all... "don't worry... live."  One of McEntire's children, Marina, said excellence in music was just one of her father's accomplishments.  She says he set an example for all, just studying to be an accountant, and getting two masters degrees.  An extraordinary choir of around 60 voices assembled to honor McEntire at the memorial.  The choir was directed by Brian Bogey, a close friend of McEntire's.


Scandinavian Festival attendance up during weekend event...
The Jamestown Municipal Band provided some traditional music as the 20th Scandinavian Festival drew to a close Sunday at the Northwest Arena.  The President of the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation, Jeff Kroon, said the second year for the festival at the arena went great.  Kroon says they had wonderful attendance, great food, music and interesting items for sale.  Kroon expected the total attendance to exceed last year’s by at least a few.  He says organizers are already looking forward to adding some new things for next year.  The Scandinavian Festival is generally held the third weekend in July each year.


Jamestown woman arrested for trio of Child Endangerment charges...
A city woman faces multiple child endangerment charges after one of her children was found wandering outside unsupervised on Jamestown's westside.  City police were called to the scene shortly after 7 p.m. last Friday.  On arrival... officers located the mother of the child... 34 year-old Tiffany Freedline... inside her home.  Further investigation led police to find the residence to be in deplorable condition.  Officers say Freedline had three children living there with her... and, they saw the children walking barefoot through and standing in animal feces and urine.  They add the floors of the home were covered in animal feces and urine.  Due to the issues in the home... Freedline was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

 

WJTN News Alert for Sat., July 15, 2023+

(Update) Burham captured off Jackson Run Road, just northwest of Warren, Pa...
A tip from homeowners on Jackson Run Road in Conewango Township in Warren County, Pennsylvania led to the capture of jail escapee Michael Burham early Saturday night.  Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens says their command center in Warren received the tip around 4 p.m. Saturday... and they caught Burham shortly before 6 p.m.  Bivens says the homeowners were alerted by their barking dog about someone on the property.  He says the couple checked the area on a golf cart... and, encountered the 34 year-old Burham... who escaped Thursday night, July 6... from the Warren County Jail.  When they encountered Burham, the man asked what he was doing there, and the suspect reportedly said he "was camping."  However... the man recognized Burham from photos... and, called their tipline.  Bivens says they mustered all their resources and set up a perimeter and began moving in on Burham near Logan Road... just northwest of the city.  They found him in a prone position as he tried to elude capture.  Burham is being indicted Saturday night on the escape charge, and, was to be housed in isolation until later Sunday... when he is transferred to a more secure facility until he faces further court action.  Bivens says Burham did not have a firearm... and was wearing the pants he had on when he escaped from the jail.  Police said he was wet, tired, and dirty.
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Bivens says he was grateful that Burham could be taken into custody with no shots fired... and no one hurt.  You could sense the relief amongst people in the area.  There was a buzz at Saturday night's Jamestown Tarp Skunks baseball game as word spread of Burham's capture.  An announcement made on the public address system was met with rousing applause.  Burham is the primary suspect in the May 11 shooting death of Jamestown's Kala Hodgkin... and, the subsequent kidnapping of a Sheffield, Pennsylvania couple as he fled to South Carolina before being caught the first time in late May.
 

WJTN News Update for Sat., July 15, 2023

(**Update)Confirmed sighting of Burham reported by Pennsylvania State Police Friday; reward money increased...
There's been a confirmed sighting of accused killer Michael Burham in an area south of Warren, Pa.  However... the manhunt for the Ashville-area man who's been on the run since a week ago yesterday... continues.  That from Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Colonel George Bivens during Friday afternoon's press update in Youngsville.  Bivens says a home surveillance system picked up the quick clip over the past two days.  Bivens says the footage came from a "video doorbell" just after 5 a.m. in the past "couple of days" and, shows Burham walking towards the woods.  However... Bivens says it's the only time -- so far -- where they've been able to verify that it's Burham in the video.  He says the video clip gives credence to their belief that he's in a wooded area south of Warren... and, an area that may also include the Allegheny National Forest.  Bivens adds that it appears Burham is limping, and may be injured.  During the press conference... Bivens thanked the people of the area for their unwavering support of the police effort to find Burham.  He also noted that they are working closely with New York State Police, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in the search... and in providing some K-9 support for the effort.  He's again urging residents to be vigliant... and, lock their homes and cars to Burham doesn't have the chance to steal something to further his escape.   
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Lt. Colonel Bivens also announced during the press conference that the reward money from the U.S. Marshalls Service and Pennsylvania Crime Stopper organizations is now up to $22,000.  If you have any information on the case... call the Pennsylvania State Police Command Center at (717) 265-9650 or (717) 265-9651.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 14, 2023

More evidence found that Burham is still in Warren County, Pa...
The search for accused killer Michael Burham enters it's second-week... and, law enforcement investigators say they've found more evidence that Burham is still in the Warren County-area.  Pennsylvania State Police... who have been leading the investigation and manhunt since the 34 year-old Burham escaped last Thursday... updated the investigation Thursday afternoon.  State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens says they've found more campsites... or stashes... where the suspect has kept survival items -- in a wooded area not far from the city.  Bivens says investigators found a so-called "grab bag" near the city that contained food and other survival type items.  He adds they've used DNA and other means to identify whether Burham has recently planted those items... or if they may have been put there for him by someone else.  If you have an information on the case... you're asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police Command Post Tip Line at 717-265-9650 or 717-265-9651.  


Chautauqua County Sheriff says local officers following up on leads, supporting effor to find Burham...
As the manhunt continues for escaped homicide suspect Michael Burham... the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office continues to provide assistance in the search.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says his department has received several suspicious person complaints, but there has been no indication that Burham has been in Chautauqua County since his escape from the Warren County Jail.  Quattrone says they've had a number of "good intent" calls, but, adds there's been nothing verified yet.  Quattrone encourages the public to continue reporting any possible sightings of the 34-year-old Ashville native... who is the prime suspect in the May 11 homicide of Jamestown resident Kala Hodgkin.  He says people now have surveillance cameras in many places that may pick up something suspicious... and, Quattrone also reminds area residents to lock their doors and vehicles so Burham does not have "easy access for him to continue to be on the run." 


The 27th annual Laurel Run gets underway in Jamestown...
The Resource Center's 27th Laurel Run started with a bang this morning in Jamestown.  Confetti swirled in front of the Michael J. Raymond Center on Jones & Gifford Avenue as the first relay runners began to make their way toward Dunkirk.  The run is named for the late Laurel Hotelling of Silver Creek.  She had Down's syndrome and was a leader in the struggle to raise awareness and acceptance for the disabled.  At the opening ceremony, her father, Wayne, reminded the audience why Laurel Run exists... and, that's for the people served by The Resource Center.  The events shift to Silver Creek tomorrow.  The Resouce Center's Steve Waterson, another of the race organizers, noted a change for this year... with the 8K run being trimmed back to a 5K.  Proceeds of Laurel Run benefit persons with disabilities.


Buffalo man arrested for drug possession following traffic stop in Jamestown...
A man from Buffalo is accused of being in possession of significant quantities of narcotic drugs following a traffic stop on the northeast side of Jamestown early Thursday morning.  City police say members of their Violent Crime... and, K-9 units... were in the area of Sturges and Crossman Streets shortly after 1 a.m. when they spotted a black GMC Sports Utility Vehicle reported stolen out of Orchard Park, NY.  Officers say they stopped the vehicle... driven by 27 year-old Markeel Hilson... and found drug paraphernalia in plain view.  Police obtained a search warrant... and, found more than 15-grams of cocaine... and, nearly 15-grams of Fentanyl inside... individually packaged for sale.  Hilson was arrested on two counts of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Record set for "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign with over $32,000 raised...
Organizers and major donors to the annual Cents for St. Susan's campaign says they are "overwhelmed" by the record of over $32,000 raised for the Jamestown areas largest soup kitchen.  Main Organizer... Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins... says the amount far surpassed last year's record of $26,693 dollars raised.  Robbins says sponsors helped raise the majority of the money... but, she adds there were other areas they set new records... including canisters and the annual Hot Dog sale.  All told, they raised $32,508.  Robbins says they also had some new donations... and, increased contributions:  One in particular.  She says there was a "major anonymous" donor who helped put them over the top.


Scandinavian Folk Festival begins Saturday...
The 20th Scandinavian Folk Festival will be held at the Northwest Arena on Saturday and Sunday.  But... festival coordinator, Don Sandy, says the festivities will start Saturday around 10 a.m. just down the street at the Jamestown Public Market.  He says they'll be decorating their 20-foot tall pole to celebrate the Mid-Summer season.  The decorated pole will be paraded down Third Street, planted near the Viking ship outside the arena, and danced around.  Inside the arena there’ll be vendors with Scandinavian merchandise, continuous music, educational lectures, and food... including a Swedish Meatball Dinner... or one of Norm's famous "Korvburgers."  The festival runs until 8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is just $5.  The full schedule is at Scandinavianjamestown.org.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 13, 2023

County legislature member not hurt in fatal, car-motorcycle accident in town of Westfield...
A member of the Chautauqua County Legislature escaped injury when his car struck a motorcycle last week -- killing the rider -- on Hardenburg Rd. in the town of Westfield.  Westfield Police say the crash occured shortly before 3 p.m. last Thursday, when a Sports Utility Vehicle -- driven by 77 year-old John Hemmer of Westfield -- crossed the center line and struck the motorcycle.  Officers add that the bike's operator -- 83 year-old Jeffrey DuChaine of Westfield -- was initially taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital.  DuChaine was flown to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo... where he later died.  Police say the investigation is continuing and no charges have been filed.  Hemmer is in his sixth-term on the county legislature.


Search for Michael Burham now one-week old... law enforcement continues to receive tips on whereabouts...
The search for escaped prisoner Michael Burham in Warren County, Pa. is now entering it's seventh-day... and, police continue to follow up on leads into where the murder, kidnap and rape suspect may be hiding.  Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens reported Wednesday that investigators are looking into whether someone used a drone to help Burham escape from the county jail last Thursday night.  Bivens says they've interviewed a couple of people who noticed a drone in the area about the time he escaped.  If it's found the drone was in that area... and, someone was operating it with the intention of helping Burham break out of the jail... Bivens says that person will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  At this point... he says a couple of witnesses said they heard a drone in that area around the jail.  Bivens again noted that Pennsylvania State Crimestoppers has now offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the 34 year-old Burham's capture.  That's in addition to the $2,000 already put up by Warren County Crimestoppers... and, the $7,500 by the U-S Marshalls Service.  If you have information regarding Michael Burham... you're asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police Command Post Tip Line at 717-265-9650 or 717-265-9651.  


City police arrest man in illegal possession of loaded firearm...     
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a loaded 9-mm. handgun without a state pistol permit.  City police say they were called to check on the well-being of a person in the Warner Place--Barrett Avenue area shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday.  Officers say they also found that the handgun in the possession of 24 year-old Cody Boisvert had been reported stolen during a burglary in the city last month.  Police arrested Boisvert for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel signs new, five-day extension of State of Emergency for migrant situation...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel has signed another, five-day extension of the State of Emergency regarding migrants being brought to here.  Wendel signed the measure on Monday... which prohibits local hotels and municipalities from contracting with New York City -- or any other county -- to bring groups of migrants to the county.  He says Chautauqua and other upstate counties simply don't have the resources to take care of such large groups.  Wendel says state and New York City officials may say they aren't shipping migrants to upstate countie... but, they have.  Wendel says the State of Emergency does not prevent people from coming here on their own.  The Lakewood Republican says county leaders across New York state are continuing to push to have face to face meetings with Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York Mayor Eric Adams. 


Gillibrand proposes "Resilient Transit Act" to fund mass transit improvements in wake of catastrophic storms...
New York's junior U-S Senator is proposing legislation she says would help restore mass transit and highway service faster after major storms.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says this week's floods in parts of the state shut-down vital transporation corridors... including some Metro-North lines north of New York City.  During a video press conference Wednesday afternoon... Gillibrand announced the "Resilient Transit Act"  which would set aside federal funding for preparing those systems to withstand those major events.  She says the legislation comes on the heels of another measure she got included in the $1.9-trillion Infrastructure Bill approved by lawmakers last year.  Gillibrand says the "Resilient Highways Act..." which allows states to make such improvements to highways, bridges and tunnels.  Gillibrand says this weeks storms... which claimed one life in the Mid-Hudson Valley... have "made it clear that our roads and railways are highly vulnerable to flooding and other extreme weather."  She says we can't wait until the next "devastating storm" to fix weaknesses in such critical infrastructure. 


JPS Superintendent announces adminstrative restructuring...
A new "administrative structure" has been put in place in the Jamestown Public Schools... but, most of those changes are "in name only" to clarify the positions involved.  That from School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... who made the announcement during this week's school board re-organizational meeting.  Dr. Whitaker says -- "the most noteworthy of these is a change from three ‘chief’ positions to two assistant superintendent titles.”  In the new structure... Tina Sandstrom will now serve as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and School Improvement.  Brittnay Spry will now be Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations... and, Jessie Joy will now serve as Executive Director of Information and Student Services.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., July 12, 2023

Reward for information leading to Burham's arrest more than doubled as manhunt enters sixth day...
Authorities have raised the ante in the manhunt for accused murderer Michael Burham in northwestern Pennsylvania.  State Police yesterday announced that Pennsylvania State Crimestoppers has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the 34 year-old Burham's capture.  That's been added to Warren County Crimestoppers $2,000... and, the $7,500 by the U.S. Marshalls Service.  Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens Tuesday reiterated the need for residents to stay vigliant... secure items, and lock your doors.  If you seen anything... you're now asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police Command Post Tip Line at 717-265-9650 or 717-265-9651.  Investigators believe Burham has been able to stockpile some items he needs to keep alive in the wilderness areas of Warren County... they also haven't discounted the fact he may be getting some help.  Burham is the prime suspect in the shooting death of Jamestown's Kala Hodgkin back on May 11.


Warren Co. Board of Commissioner's to meet on contracting with Pa. DOC to do full evaluation of jail and it's operations...
Fugitive Michael Burham's escape from the Warren County Jail will be the focus of today's regular meeting of the Warren County Board of Commissioners.  In a press release... Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said the board, along with the Prison board, have now met to discuss and review data from Burham's escape.  Eggleston says -- "multiple law enforcement agencies are conducting criminal investigations related to the escape, which has slowed our ability to provide information or react to policy and facility concerns."  He adds the commissioners and Prison Board's goal is to support all investigations into the escape, and see that they come to a complete conclusion.  The commissioners say some short-term changes have already been made to the jail... including repairs to the roof of the prison yard... and, they have ordered the space "be augmented with deterrents and safety measures, and that the exercise equipment be removed and replaced with equipment that does not provide access to higher positions in the facility." 


Wendel taps Jennifer Swan to be new county budget director...
A familiar face in Chautauqua County government has been hired to be the county's new Budget director.  County Executive P-J Wendel says they have hired Sheriff's Office budget chief Jennifer Swan to replace Kathleen Dennison... who retired earlier this year.  Wendel adds that Swan follows in Dennison's footsteps because the retired director also previously worked with the Sheriff's Department.  He says Swan stood out because she's shown a commitment to the county in her work.  Swan previously worked with the Gebbie Foundation before being hired by former Sheriff Joe Gerace.  Wendel says... with Swan moving over to be the county's Budget Director... his administration will go full speed ahead on joining the budget and finance departments as part of a finance reorganization.  Wendel says Swan is expected to begin her new duties on Thursday, July 27. 


Sundquist in D.C. with 15 other mayors in U.S. for "Good jobs, Great Cities" Academy...
Jamestown top-elected official has joined with 15 of his counterparts from across the country for a two-day, workforce development gathering in the nation's capitol.  Earlier this year... Jamestown was chosen to be part of the "Good Jobs, Great Cities" Academy this week in Washington, D.C.  It's a joint effort by the Biden Administration and the National League of Cities to bring together ideas for getting more people into the workforce.  That from Acting Labor Secretary, Julie Su.  Sundquist says he's excited to be part of the program's first academy... and, he looks forward to being part of an effort to improve workforce development.  The two-day academy runs through today.  Sundquist talked about Jamestown's evolution from the "furniture making capitol..." to more of a manufacturing base... and says there are a number of open positions that those 200 manufacturers need to have filled.  He says it's more important now than ever for local communities to provide the means for workers to find employment... and, employers to find good, skilled workers. 


Local male in town of Chautauqua found with only minor injuries...
Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers were able to find a man Tuesday afternoon -- with the help of their K-9 -- after he got lost in a heavily-wooded area of the Town of Chautauqua.  Officers say the male called the dispatch center about 2:30 p.m., and, were able to determine he was in the area of Bloomer Rd.  In an attempt to locate the man... Sheriff’s K-9 "Drake" was deployed into the woods and was able to get an "air scent" of the male... and, he was found about a half mile from the roadway.  He had only minor injuries and did not require treatment.


Heitzenrater urges local residents to shop local, and in-person this Summer...
Major retailers such as Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart are beginning to roll out discounts for their online summer sales.  And while it's tempting to take advantage of those deals... a local business association is encouraging residents to skip the on-line hype and shop locally whenever possible.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dan Heitzenrater says doing so will have a greater impact on your community... because those revenues stay in the community.  He says a 2019 study showed that local retailers return 52% of their revenue back into the local economy, compared to just 14% for national chain retailers.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., July 11, 2023

Reward upped for information leading to Burham's arrest...
The search murder suspect Michael Burham is into it's fifth day... and, one of the rewards for information leading to his capture has been increased to $10,000.  That today from Pennsylvania State Crimestoppers, who are now offering $10,000 for information leading to the capture of the 34 year-old Burham.  That raises the reward offered to $19,500 with Warren County Crimestoppers offering $2,000... and, the U.S. Marshalls offering $7,500.  There were a couple of reports of heavy police presence on Jamestown's southside early Monday.  Authorities in both states are trying to locate and find the 34 year-old Burham... the Chautauqua County man suspected of murdering Jamestown's Kala Hodgkin in the early morning hours of May 11.  While the search has focused mainly on Warren County... Pennsylvania State Police Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Lt. Colonel George Bivens, says the terrain in many spots is "very rugged, it's steep..." and, there are some places "you just have to go on foot to search it."  If you have any information on the matter... call Warren State Police at (814) 728-3600... or 9-1-1.  Here in New York... you can all the Jamestown Police Tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Man from Rochester arrested for trepassing and drug possession...
A Rochester man has been arrested on Jamestown's southside after being found drinking alcohol in a public place... and then being found in possession of nearly 15-grams of a cocaine-fentanyl mixture.  City police responded to a call for a "suspicious male" about 8 p.m. Saturday... and found a man who refused to identify himself.  Officers say the man - later identified as 34 year-old Bruce Miles -- then tried to enter a person's home to elude police.  He was taken into custody... and, found with 14.7-grams of the fentanyl-cocaine mix.  Miles was charged with second-degree criminal trespass... and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He later fought with officers, and was also charged with resisting arrest.  Miles was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Jamestown man arrested as Scofflaw, and drug possession...
A city man accused of nearly two-dozen scofflaw violations has been arrested duing a traffic stop during which he was allegedly found with a quantity of cocaine.  Jamestown police say a patrol stopped 53 year-old Daniel Garcia on Harrison Street about 9 a.m. last Saturday for failure to stop at a stop sign... and, having insufficient tail lights.  Officers add he was apparently driving without a license.  A background check also found 23 scoffs on 10 different dates... and, they found just under a gram of cocaine inside a red cylinder in Garcia's possession.  He was taken to the city jail without incident on charges of first-degree aggravated unlicenced operation... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was later released with appearances tickets for city court.


County Chamber in early stages of putting new strategic plan in effect...
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is in the early stages of implementing its strategic plan that is geared towards helping local businesses.  That from Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Heitzenrater.  Heitzenrater says the plan was approved by the Chamber's Board of Director earlier this year, and he expects "exciting" changes going forward... and, he says they're trying to again become the "champion" of local small businesses especially.  In addition to being a champion for the local business community... Heitzenrater says the Chamber also plans to do some self-evaluation in the coming months. 


Target sets Grand Opening date for opening West Ellicott store...
After several months of rumored opening dates... Target has announced it's Grand Opening of it's new store in the Wegman's Plaza in West Ellicott.  A spokeswoman for the company at Ketchum Marketing says the location at 975 Fairmount Avenue will celebrate it's official Grand Opening on Sunday, Aug. 13.  Officials say the approximately 117,000 square foot store will "bring an easy, affordable, and convenient shopping experience to new guests in the community." 


Gas Prices in Jamestown area show no change...
There's again no change in the price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area to begin the new week.  However... the national price is up about a penny over last week.  That from the AAA East Central Gas Price Report... which shows virtually no change in the local price... which is slightly under $3.70 a gallon.  AAA says that's still about $1.08 less than a year ago.  Nationally... AAA says pump prices have barely budged over the past week... and, is now $3.54 a gallon. 


Busti Bicentennial goes to the ball park this weekend...
The town of Busti's Bicentennial Celebration heads to the ballpark in Jamestown this Sat., July 15.  It will be "Town of Busti" Night at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park when the Jamestown Tarp Skunks take on the Niagara Power beginning at 6:30 p.m.  In addition... veterans currently living, or previously lived in the town are invited to attend the ball game at no charge... and, you'll be honored during a special pre-game presentation.  Officials say veterans need to pick up their ticket at the Town Clerk's Office in Lakewood during regular business hours: Monday -- Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Robbins says veteran's will also be provided with a voucher for a purchase at the concession stand that night.  Discount tickets are also available at the clerk's office.  For more information... call the town office at 763-8561.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon. July 10, 2023

Search for escaped prisoner, Michael Burham, continues into fourth-day...
It's Day-Four of the ongoing search for escaped prisoner Michael Burham in Warren County, Pa. with some new leads.  However... no actual sightings have been reported.  Pennsylvania State Police officials say they believe the 34 year-old Burham is still in Warren County... based on some small, makeshift campsites they've found in wooded areas around the city of Warren.  State Police Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Lt. Colonel George Bivens, updated the investigation late Sunday.  He says they've found either "stockpiles or small campsites" they believe are associated with Burham.  There was also a report of Burham stealing some men's clothing from a home near the Pennsylvania stateline with New York.  Bivens says the Chautauqua County man... who's accused of killing a Jamestown woman, 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin back on May 11, is a "self-taught survivalist" and has military training.  A pair of rewards are being offered for information leading to the capture and arrest of Burham.  Bivens says the U.S. Marshalls have put up a $7,500 reward... and, Warren County Crimestoppers has put up another $2,000.  Again.. police believe Burham is "armed and dangerous."  If you see or encounter him... do not approach him... but call Warren State Police at (814) 728-3600... or 9-1-1.  Here in New York... you can all the Jamestown Police Tip line at 716-483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Schmidt updates case against Burham in Chautauqua County...
As the manhunt for Michael Burham continues into the new week... work on the homicide and arson cases against him is continuing in the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office.  That from D.A. Jason Schmidt... who says a lot of their work has been completed.  However... he says they are still awaiting lab results from the State Police Crime Lab in Albany.  During an interview about Burham's escaped from the Warren County Jail last week... Schmidt updated the local case against him... saying they rely on state and regional crime labs because of limited resources.  However... he says they've been able to develop a lot of their case already.  Prosecutors and law enforcement decided after Burham had initially been captured in South Carolina to proceed with the kidnapping case in Warren County since that case was ready to go.  Burham is accused of kidnapping an elderly Sheffield couple... and, forcing them to help get him to South Carolina... after he allegedly killed Kala Hodgkin.  In addition... with changes to New York's discovery laws... Schmidt says they only have a certain amount of time after they bring charges here to begin presenting their case. 


Rochester man arrested for trespassing and drug possession...
A Rochester man has been arrested on Jamestown's southside after being found drinking alcohol in a public place... and then being found in possession of nearly 15-grams of a cocaine-fentanyl mixture.  City police responded to a call for a "suspicious male" about 8 p.m. Saturday... and found a man who refused to identify himself.  Officers say the man - later identified as 34 year-old Bruce Miles -- then tried to enter a person's home to elude police.  He was taken into custody... and, found with 14.7-grams of the fentanyl-cocaine mix.  Miles was charged with second-degree criminal trespass... and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He later fought with officers, and was also charged with resisting arrest.  Miles was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City man arrested for violating order of protection...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection by following a woman as she was walking in the area of Harrison Street and Barrett Avenue shortly after Midnight Sunday.  Jamestown police say a patrol spotted 31 year-old Kieran Hunt following the woman on the sidewalk... and, were aware of the order for him to stay away from her.  Officers stopped Hunt and took him into custody.  They later determined that he been convicted for violating the order in the past... and, he was charged with first-degree criminal contempt.... and, aggravated family offense.  Hunt was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Dunkirk lawmakers looking to learn more about Chadwick Bay Marina purchase in coming days...
Dunkirk city lawmakers should learn more about the plans the new owner of the Chadwick Bay Marina has for the facility when they meet in two weeks.  The issue came up during this past week's meeting... with City Attorney Michael Bobseine confirming that the transfer of property has already taken place... and, adds that he, Mayor Willie Rosas and Development Director Vince DeJoy... are excited about the possilibities there.  The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency recently approved a consenting resolution transferring the property.  Councilman at-Large David Damico gave Bobseine permission for the presentation to be held during the Council's July 18 meeting.


Chautauqua Co. receiving just over $10-mill. in BRIDGE-NY funding...
Chautauqua County is slated to receive over $10.6-million in state funding to rehabilitate and replace several bridges countywide.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the money was allocated through New York’s BRIDGE-NY initiative... which Governor Kathy Hochul announced will be providing $516-million of enhanced assistance to localities across the state.  Among the projects receiving funding will be the just under $2-million effort to replace the Wiltsie Rd. Bridge over Frew Run... another $1.9-million to replace the Summit Avenue Bridge over a Chautauqua Lake tributary... and, $2.1-million to replace the Kiantone Road bridge over Stillwater Creek.

 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 7, 2023

Burham escapes from Warren Co. Jail... and is on the run...
A manhunt is continuing this afternoon for the Chautauqua County man accused of murdering a Jamestown woman last May... and, who escaped from the Warren County, Pa. Jail overnight.  The Warren County Sheriff's Office and Jamestown Police sent out a bulletin regarding 35 year-old Michael Burham... who was being held in Pennsylvania for allegedly kindapping two Sheffield residents and forcing them to help him get to South Carolina after allegedly killing 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt has been monitoring developments... and, says Jamestown Police are taking the lead here..  Schmidt says JPD specifically, has set up a command post, and are working with the FBI and other agencies.  Late this morning... Jamestown police issued a statement saying -- "we are asking that if you see Burham, call 911 or the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency having jurisdiction immediately and do not approach or try to apprehend him.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Jamestown Police Department anonymous tip line at 716-483-8477.  All calls and tips will be kept confidential."
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Burham escaped the jail about 11:20 last night... and, was reportedly wearing orange and white striped jail-issued pants... a white T-Shirt... and, a blue denim jack with "Warren County Jail" lettered on the back.


Schmidt urges the public to be vigilant, and cautious during Burham search...
In addition to the general public at-large... there is a lot of concern for the safety and security of witnesses in Michael Burham's murder case here in Chautauqua County.  D.A. Jason Schmidt says that was among the first concerns local authorites had when they learned of Burham's escape late last night.  Schmidt says they are aware that Burham has ties to Chautauqua County, and there are a number of witnesses in the murder, and kidnapping cases around here.  Police in Warren County -- in a press statement earlier -- urged all residents there to lock their doors and stay vigliant."  They added "we do not know where he is at this point."  Schmidt said late this morning that's still the case.  While not pointing an accusatory finger... Schmidt did say he hopes that if and when Burham is recaptured... that he will be kept under much stricter security.


Jamestown Police, Development officials, hold first community meeting at Allen Park...
Nearly two dozen people were on hand for the first of four community meetings with Jamestown police and development officials.  Nuisance, drug and homeless issues were raised during last night's meeting at the Allen Park Pavillion.  One of the main issues raised was the noise from vehicles with loud engines... and, racing on some city streets.  Police Chief Tim Jackson says they hired a Nuisance Officer in late May... and, he's been busy.  Jackson adds he's "made a huge impact..." and he's neared 100 tickets being issued for such smaller crimes.  JPD Captain Scott Forester... who is Traffic Division Commander... says they can move one of their speed trailers to those trouble spots.  Forester adds they're also applying for another Governor's Traffic Safety Board grant to deal with such issues.  At the same time... Jackson and Forester say their officers can't be everywhere at once.  Jackson urged people to call their "non-emergency" numbers to reports nuisance crimes at 661-7090... or 483-7537.


Five people arrested in Dunkirk following drug raid...
Five Dunkirk residents have been arrested following an early morning drug raid in the north county city that also led to seizures of a gun and cash.  Sheriff's deputies say they were assisted by The Dunkirk Police SRT Team... and, Jamestown police... in concluding a two-month long investigation in alleged drug trafficking at 111 Dove St. shortly before 5 a.m. Thursday.  Officers say they arrested 41 year-old Justin Schuk... 35 year-old Arlena Rivera... 44 year-old Jodi Messere... 35 year-old Draonn Richardson-Copeland... and 62-year-old Karen Schuk.  They also found Justin Schuk's two young two children inside.  Investigators say they seized just under 10-grams of fentanyl... 6.9 grams of cocaine... 1.13 grams of crack cocaine, scales and packaging material... a .22-calibur rifle... and, $1,451 cash.  Justin Schuk... Rivera... Messere Richardson-Copeland each face two counts of third... and two more of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  They also face various other drug-related charges... while Justin Schuk is also charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, two counts Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Rivera was also charged two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Karen Schuk was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and first-degree criminal nuisance.  All five were arraigned and released with appearance tickets.


Woman hospitalized after alleged hit-and-run accident in Lakewood...
A woman was injured when she was struck by a dark-colored sports utility vehicle in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Lakewood Wednesday night.  Lakewood-Busti Police say officers were called to the sceneon Fairmount Ave. about 8:30 p.m., and, learned the SUV that struck the woman fled the scene.  Police say the woman was transported by ambulance to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  Meantime... police are looking for the suspect vehicle... described as a 2011-to-2018 model Range Rover with front end damage.  They add the SUV might have a temporary license plan in the rear window.  Anyone with any information regarding the Range Rover.. or the driver... is asked to call Lakewood-Busti Police at 716-763-9563.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., July 6, 2023

Overnight fire in city destroys vacant house...
An overnight fire has destroyed a vacant, two-and-a-half story home on Jamestown's eastside.  City fire officials say crews found heavy flames coming from the rear portion of the home at 231 Barrows St. shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday.  Fire Captain Robert Bailey says firefighters initially took a defensive posture to get the flames under control... then did an interior attack.  No one was inside the structure... and, no injuries were reported.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Garage fire in Jamestown determined to have started in vehicle inside...
A late morning fire Wednesday heavily-damaged a vehicle inside a garage in the city of Jamestown, that was also damaged.  City Fire officials now say crews were called to the scene at 158 Sampson St. at 10:35 a.m., and they were joined by an off-duty shift of six firefighters.  Firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading into the house... and, the blaze was put out fairly quickly.  City fire investigators were later called in... and determined the cause was accidental.  No injuries were reported.


Former "World's Strongest Man" and Chautauqua County native Don Reinhoudt dies at age of 78...
A Brocton native who was known for many years as the world's strongest man died after a crash in the town of Pomfret on Monday.  State Police in Fredonia say 78-year-old Don Reinhoudt of Lily Dale was traveling north on Glasgow Road when his Jeep went off the west shoulder of the roadway striking a tree.  Reinhoudt was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital where he later died.  Troopers say there is still an active investigation into the crash.
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Don Reinhoudt had an incredible career in powerlifting... setting 36 world records in the sport between 1971-and-1980.  He later became a teacher... and, was later appointed as Chautauqua County Youth Bureau director.  Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson calls it a "sad day" for the local sports community... noting that Reinhoudt seemed to never meet anyone that didn't turn out to be a friend.  Anderson says... in addition to the local hall of fame... Don Reinhoudt had been inducted into at least eight other halls of fame.  Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel spoke about Reinhoudt's service to his community... and, recalled Don Reinhoudt Day in the county in June of 2005.  Wendel says Reinhoudt was a humble man... and, a great ambassador for Chautauqua County. 


Jamestown man arrested for threatening to shoot neighbor and the neighbor's car...
A city man is accused of threatening to shoot a neighbor and their vehicle... then struck another person with a metal rod... during a dispute on Jamestown's eastside.  City police were called to the unidentified location about 6:30 Monday night for a reported assault.  Officers investigated... and, found that 49 year-old Joseph Brisson, Jr. had allegedly threatened to shoot his neighbor and their vehicle with a BB gun following the brief dispute.  It was also found that Brisson had then tried to punch a second victim... and, then grabbed a metal rod from his vehicle.  He then struck an injured a third victim with the metal rod .  Brisson was arrested for second-degree assault... and, two counts of second-degree harassment.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Quattrone says stepping up drug, gun and drunk driving arrests among his goals in new, four-year term...
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone began his second, four-year term in office last January after being re-elected last year.  Quattrone says... among his goals for his new term... is to continue efforts to get more drugs... and guns... off the streets.  He says the department has two members who work closely with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration out of Buffalo.  Quattrone adds they also have a part-time officer that works with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  He says the recent Gun-Involved Violence Elimination Grant awarded to the county includes $261,000 in direct funding to the city of Jamestown.  However... Quattrone says a lot of what the just over $400,000 the county is receiving will be used to address drugs, and gun violence in both cities.  He adds they're also working to get the community more involved in the effort.  He made his comments on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


City man arrested for Leandra's Law violation after being stopped for speeding...
A Jamestown man is accused of speeding... and, driving drunk with two young children in the car with him late Monday night in the village of Lakewood.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they stopped 24 year-old Nicholas Barrett on Hunt Road about 10:30 p.m., and, upon further investigation... Barrett was found to be intoxicated and had the two children with him at the time.  Barrett was arrested for Aggravated DWI -- Leandra's Law... DWI... speeding... and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  He was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court at a later date.


United Way of So. Chautauqua County receives Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding...
Chautauqua County will be receiving just over $21,000 to help boost emergency food and shelter programs to be distributed by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.  United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler says the award was made by the Emergency Food and Shelter Program's National Board... chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Adminstration... and includes members from United Way Worldwide... the American Red Cross... and, The Salvation Army to name a few.  For more information... call 483-1561.


 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., July 5, 2023

Man arrested for allegedly stealing truck in Jamestown, and leading police on pursuit...
A Jamestown-area man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a truck on Washington Street... and, then leading multiple police agencies on a vehicle chase Tuesday morning.  City police were called to the 1800 block of Washington Street about 7:45 a.m. on a report the truck had been stolen... and, the driver smashed it through an industrial gate.  Officers say the incident was witnessed by several people... and officers quickly found the stolen truck traveling north on Washington.  Police say the driver... later identified as Ray Babyak... failed to comply with police and led JPD... Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers... Ellicott Town Police and State Police on a pursuit out of the city... and, ultimately into the town of Ellery where Babyak was stopped and taken into custody.  Police say he was taken to the city jail... where he's being held on charges including third-degree burglary and Grand Larceny... and, second-degree criminal mischief.  


Jamestown man arrested for assaulting man with metal rod, and threatening others...
A city man is accused of threatening to shoot a neighbor and their vehicle... then struck another person with a metal rod... during a dispute on Jamestown's eastside.  City police were called to the unidentified location about 6:30 p.m. Monday for a reported assault.  Officers investigated... and, found that 49 year-old Joseph Brisson, Jr. had allegedly threatened to shoot his neighbor and their vehicle with a BB gun following the brief dispute.  It was also found that Brisson had then tried to punch a second victim... and, then grabbed a metal rod from his vehicle.  He then struck an injured a third victim with the metal rod .  Brisson was arrested for second-degree assault... and, two counts of second-degree harassment.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown man arrested on trespass, and drug charges...
A city man is accused of being with others inside a condemned house on Jamestown's eastside... and, in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.  City police say members of the Violent Crime Unit were on patrol... and, responded to the residence about 10:30 Monday night.  Officers say they found 33 year-old David Blakey inside... and, had meth in his possession in plain view.  Blakey was arrested for third-degree criminal trespass... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was processed at the city jail... then released with an appearance ticket for city court.


75th annual Warren Parade a huge success...
Warren, Pennsylvania celebrated the 4th of July with its 75th annual parade Tuesday.  Christine Porter sang the National Anthem at the opening ceremony.  Mayor David Wortman reminded the crowd the city is named for General Joseph Warren, who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill... and he calls it a "fitting tribute to our city and to our county that we show our patriotism... and, love of country."  The chairman of the Warren 4th of July Organization... Bill Thompson... recalled the illustrious history of the parade... which was started by the Warren Jaycees in "either 1947 or 48."  This year’s parade, with 105 entries, was confined to Pennsylvania Avenue East avoiding the center of the city, where a roundabout is under construction.  There was also a nice turn-out of units... and, on-lookers for the annual Mayville 4th of July Parade Tuesday morning.


Clear skys greet fireworks watchers Tuesday night...
It was a great night for legal fireworks at a number of locations in and around Chautauqua County last evening... with mainly clear skies greeting those on hand for the pyrotechnics.  There were shows held in the villages of Lakewood... Bemus Point and, Mayville... along with Betts Park in Warren, Pennsylvania... as well as the City Pier in Dunkirk.     


Perrysburg man arrested after allegedly exchanging gunfire with State Police...
A Perrysburg man has been arrested for allegedly firing a long-gun towards State Police during a call in the Cattaraugus County town last weekend.  Troopers in Collins say they responded to a "mental health" call on Town Line Road shortly before Midnight Saturday.  They say 42 year-old Michael Buthy discharged multiple rounds from the gun... and, troopers returned fire.  Police say no one was struck in the exchange of gunfire... and, Buthy was eventually taken into custody.  Troopers say he was taken to the police barracks for processing on charges including first-degree attempted murder.. and first-degree reckless endangerment.  Several other police and fire rescue departments assisted.


City of Jamestown to host community public safety meetings...
Jamestown police and the city's Department of Development will hold the first of four community meetings at city parks this coming Thursday night.  It'll be held at Allen Park beginning at 6 p.m., and, city police say residents are asked to attend... and, share what concerns they have in their neighborhoods.  Each meeting begins at 6 p.m.  The second session will be on Thursday, July 20 at Jackson-Taylor Park on Washington Street.  The third will be at Lillian Dickson Park on Falconer Street on Wednesday, July 26... and, the fourth will be at Bergman Park on Wednesday, Aug. 2. 


City Council approves receipt of large GIVE Grant...
The community meetings come on the heels of the city receiving a significant increase in the amount of funding they receive from the Gun-Involved Violence Elimination -- or GIVE -- grant program.  The City Council recently approved receiving the just over $261,000 grant from New York State.  Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says Police Chief Tim Jackson told her it's a major increase over the approxmiately $70,000 in year's past. 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 29 and Fri. June 30, 2023

(Sorry, tech. issues prevented last Thursday and, Friday headlines from being posted)...
Chautauqua County lawmakers accept state and federal funding for airport projects...
County lawmakers have approved accepting more than $760,000 in federal and state funds for construction projects at the Jamestown and Dunkirk Airports.  During it's monthly meeting in Mayville Wednesday... the county legislature okayed resolutions toward a taxiway rehabilitation project at Dunkirk... and, a project to replace 34 airfield guidance signs at the Jamestown Airport.  Jamestown Republican Elisabeth Rankin said it's important to support those projects.  North county legislators Tom Harmon of Silver Creek, and Robert Bankoski of Dunkirk, say the projects will come at no cost to county taxpayers... and, they will save money down the road.  The funds from the Federal Aviation Administration... and, New York State Department of Transportation total over $679,000 for the Dunkirk Airport project and $86,700 for the project at the Jamestown Airport.


Fredonia man arrested following investigation into theft of meds from town of Dunkirk assisted living facility...        
A Fredonia man is accused of stealing prescription medication from a residential assisted living facility... and, then falsifying records to cover up the crime.  Sheriff's officers were initially called to a reported larceny at the unidentified town of Dunkirk facility last May 1st... and, began investigating after packaging materials and business records were found inside a trash can away from the facility.  During the several weeks long investigation... deputies found that 56 year-old Scott Frank stole the medication prescribed to patients... and, then altered and destroyed business records at the facility to cover up the theft.  An arrest warrant was obtained... and, Frank was arrested for first-degree falsifying business records... fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... fraud and deceit related to a controlled substance... and, two counts of petty Larceny.  He ws taken to the County Jail for centralized arraignment. 


Five arrested during drug raid on Jamestown's westside Wednesday night...
A drug raid on the city of Jamestown's westside has led to the arrest of five people on several narcotics-related charges.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators executed a search warrant at 110 Fairview Ave. just before 7 p.m. Wednesday.   Officers say they found 32 year-old Jaqwan Martin... 39 year-old Michael McGaughy... 20 year-old Jhaszmine Mitchell... 32 year-old Taylor O'Neil... and, 29 year-old Christine Baca inside.  Detectives searched the home and found 14-grams of crack cocaine... 12.8-grams of fentanyl... a quantity of methamphetamine... packaging materials, scales, ammunition, and cash inside the residence.  All five individuals were arrested for three counts each of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Police say O'Neil was also charged with two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  All five were jailed pending arraignment.  The JPD SWAT Team... and K-9 Unit also assisted. 


Project SEARCH holds graduation...
There was a chorus of celebration Thursday morning at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown, as the first three graduates of ‘Project SEARCH’ received their diplomas.  Project SEARCH was conducted in partnership with the Resource Center.  TRC’s Director of Employment and Community Based Services, Terri Johnson says it’s is a ‘full immersion internship’ for persons with disabilities.  Johnson says the students get to go to the host business and have a variety of experiences to help develop those skills they've learned about over their nine-months of work.  The three graduates are Abigail Adam, Joshua Holsinger and Nick Kenzie.  Kenzie told our Dennis Webster that he wanted to join the program to better position himself to get a job.  Project SEARCH is an established program at many places around the world, including five UPMC hospitals. 

Dunkirk Police on look-out for woman allegedly involved in bank robbery...
Dunkirk police are asking for the public's helping in finding a person allegedly tied to a bank robbery early Wednesday afternoon.  The Dunkirk Police Department Facebook page reports that officers were called to the Key Bank location at 51 East Fourth Street -- in Dunkirk -- shortly after 1 p.m.  Police released two photographs of the alleged suspect... but, did not release any other information regarding the suspect.  They did not say how much, or if any money was taken.  The person -- believed to be a woman -- was wearing a grey or tanish colored hoodie... wire rimmed glasses and a white mask.  Anyone with information regarding Wednesday’s robbery is asked to contact Dunkirk Police at 716-366-2266 or the confidential tipline at 363-0313.


County Legislators agree they need a new Budget Director ASAP...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel recently kicked off the 2024 budget making process.... but, the county is also in the process of looking for a new budget director.  Kathleen Dennison left the post for retirement earlier this month.  County Legislature Majority Leader Tom Harmon, a member of the search committee, says the effort to find a new director is underway.  The Silver Creek Republican says it's a "huge position" that needs to be filed.  Legislature Minority Leader Bob Bankoski says Dennison is helping out, but the position needs to be filled full-time.  Right now... he says Dennison is helping out 2 or 3 days a week.  Wendel has until late September to present the County Legislature with a 2024 budget. 


Local woman arrested for allegedly shoplifting $1,300 of items from West Ellicott Wegman's...
A Jamestown-area woman has faces a Grand Larceny charge after allegedly stealing just over $1,300 worth of merchandise at the Wegman's supermarket in West Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Police say they received a report of a shoplifting at the 945 Fairmount Ave. location on Tues., June 20.  Officers say their investigation showed that 42 year-old Stephanie Derby had filled a shopping cart with items, and proceeded to walk out of the store without paying.  She was arrested for fourth-degree Grand Larceny... and, issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date.


State School Board's Association says overall, there is a nice balance of experienced, and new board members taking office on July 1...
As a new public school year begins this Saturday... new school board members begin the process of getting up to speed on the nuts and bolts of running a school district.  That from New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Bob Schneider... who says there were just over 500 new board members elected last month across the state.  Schneider says a larger number of incumbants chose not to run on May 16, but, those who ran did well.  He says there were 1,378 seats that were filled in the May elections.  Schneider says 854 incumbants won their elections... and, 524 newcomers were voted in.  Typically... Schneider says about 20% to 25% of incumbants elected not to run for re-election... but, this year about 30% decided not to run again.  He says NYSSBA found that there were only about 1.3 candidates running for each open school board seat this year.  Usually... Schneider says that number is usually 1.5 candidates.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., July 3, 2023

City man accused of being part of alleged meth ring pleads guilty to federal charges...
A man from Jamestown has pleaded guilty to federal charges for being part of a methamphetamine drug ring in the city from mid-June of 2019... to October of 2020.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says 31 year-old Michael Murphy entered the plea before U.S. District Court in Buffalo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say that Murphy bought, sold and distributed quantities of meth for profit.  Members of the U.S. Marshall's Service and other law enforcement officers went to a Bishop Street home in July of 2019 to arrest a fugitive... but, also saw Murphy with -- in plain view -- distribution amounts of methamphetamine.  They seized the meth, and more than $1,400 in cash.  They later got a search warrant... and later seized another 223 grams of actual meth and drug paraphernalia.  Law enforcement later raided Murphy's home on Newland Avenue.  He was later arrested with more meth, illicit mushrooms and other items... two guns and ammunition... and more than $1,600 in cash.  If convicted... he faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.


Erie, Pa. man accused of hitting another vehicle on lake bridge and fleeing scene early Sunday...
A man from Erie, Pa. has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk when his car almost struck another vehicle on the Chautauqua Lake Bridge early Sunday morning.  Sheriff's officers responded to a vehicle complaint on Interstate 86 about Midnight Sunday.  The motorist complained that another westbound vehicle had almost struck their car.  Deputies did locate the other vehicle... still traveling west on I-86 in the town of Sherman.  They stopped 59 year-old Robert Schultz of Erie... and, found he was allegedly driving while under the influence.  He faces four charges... including DWI... and, was taken to the Sheriff's Office for processsing.  Schultz was issued appearance ticket for Sherman Town Court.


Ellington man arrested for criminal mischief...
An Ellington man has been arrested for allegedly damaging and stealing property belonging to someone else on West Hill Road early Sunday morning.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the address shortly after 2:30 a.m., and, during their investigation... officer also learned that 34 year-old Brandon Todd had also violated an order of protection.  Todd was arrested for fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, second-degree criminal contempt.  He was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Chautauqua Lake in good shape for Fourth of July...
The head of the Chautauqua Lake Association believes the lake will be in pretty good shape for the 4th of July.  Executive Director, Doug Conroe, says the first weed of the season -- the Leafy Pond Weed -- was light.  Conroe says it came in early this year... and, had now dropped to the lake issue.  He adds there is nothing else that's become a "real issue" yet.  As of last Friday.... the association was still some doing some shoreline clean-up of pond weed, but no major harvesting was taking place in either the north or south basin.  Conroe is quick to add the summer is just getting started.  He believes there will be some more algal blooms as time goes on, along with weed issues from hot weather.  What winter ice there was on Chautauqua Lake disappeared early, leading some to think the weed growth would be robust, but -- so far -- that’s not been the case.


County Legislature approves motion denouncing racism...
Chautauqua County lawmakers have gone on record approving a motion denouncing racism countywide... and, promoting equality and inclusion for all.  The motion was signed by a number of legislators... including Jamestown Democrat Tom Nelson... who teaches U-S History at Frewsburg High School.  Nelson says he changed his day's lesson the day after someone wore "blackface" at a Halloween Party in the Frewsburg-area... and, it was publicized.  However... he says this is not the end-all.  He adds it's a "process -- it's not an event."  Nelson says he looks forward to working with local community leaders and pastors to address the issue.  Nelson and Jamestown Republican Dave Wilfong were among local leaders at a recent meeting with local clergy and members of the African-American community to discuss what happened.  A Democrat from Jamestown, Billy Torres, is the first hispanic member of the legislature... and, recalled what one woman said during that meeting.  Torres says she asked why people have to be "trained to like us." 


Four-H Evaluation Day coming up as County Fair two-weeks away...
The Chautauqua County Fair is still two weeks away, but for members of 4-H the competition is already cranking up.  The County’s 4-H Lead Educator, Lindsey Crisanti, says all ‘non-animal’ projects will be evaluated this Saturday.  Crisanti says they have about 1,500 projects to evaluate this year... which is about 200 more than last year.  Each project will get a ribbon, and 60 of them will be selected to go on to the New York State Fair later this summer.  The variety of projects, Lindsey says, is amazing... including painting, sewing projects, and wearable art.  All of the projects will be on display in the 4-H building at the fair in Dunkirk beginning July 17.  The 4-H animal projects will be judged at various competitions during fair week. 


 

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