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

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


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


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


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


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


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


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Sept. 27, 2023

Four JPD officers treated at hospital following Fentanyl exposure during arrest...
Four police officers in Jamestown have recovered from exposure to fentanyl after struggling with a city woman who was being arrested on a bench warrant Monday.  City police say officers had brought 34 year-old Jennifer Conti to the city jail just before 2 p.m., and, while searching her, found suspected drugs in her possession.  Police say Conti fought with officers and tried to ingest the narcotics when a bag fo suspected drugs split open... and, a white powdery substance became airborne.  The four officers were taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital after the substance tested positive for fentanyl.  All four were treated and released.  Conti was also charged with four counts of second-degree assault... tampering with evidence... and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


Borrello signs onto letter to Hochul calling for passage of Cannabis Growers relief bill...
A bipartisan coalition of nearly 70 state lawmakers is urging Governor Kathy Hochul to sign legislation that would provide a lifeline to struggling cannabis farmers across New York.  Local State Senator George Borrello is among the lawmakers pushing for Hochul to sign the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act.  Borrello, who is the Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says issues with the launch of the state's legal adult-use cannabis market has hurt numerous cannabis farmers.  He says this "botched" roll-out of recreational marijuana... but, the farmers are paying the price for raising those crops for "this  legal market."  Borrello... a Republican from Sunset Bay... says there is more than 250,000 pounds of unsold cannabis in storage.  He says there are more than 200 farmers who "invested a lot of money..." and there were supposed to be 800 dispensaries open by now... but, only about 20 have now opened.  Borrello says while signing the bill would not be a "cure-all," it would provide some immediate relief.  The effort comes two weeks after the coalition released a statement on the issue, noting that it is becoming an "agricultural emergency."


Two management employees of Weber-Knapp now buying the company, keeping it local...
A local, long-time maker of hardware for the furniture industry in the Jamestown-area is being sold to two people involved in the company's day-to-day operations.  The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency's Board of Directors has approved a one-million dollar Al Tech loan to Weber-Knapp President Rhonda Johnson... and, Chief Financial Officer Wayne Rishell... for the purchase of the company.  Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says they're purchasing Weber-Knapp from Rex McCray and Donald Pangborn... who purchased the company from an overseas firm in 2011.  Geise says they are both now retiring.  He says Weber-Knapp has two facilities... one located on Chandler Street in Jamestown... and the other on Allen Street in Falconer.  Both facilities have a combined 243,000 square feet of space.  Geise says -- "it's essential that the CCIDA supports local manufacturers, such as Weber-Knapp, especially when that assistance results in local ownership."  He says the new owners don't have any expansion plans right now... but, are looking for workers."


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly threatening woman with BB gun during domestic incident...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly choking his girlfriend... and, threatening her with a BB gun early Monday afternoon on Jamestown's eastside.  City police responded to a 911 call at an apartment complex shortly after 1 p.m., and on arrival, officers say the victim told them that 19 year-old Joseph Connolly had threatened her.  Police found Connolly outside the residence... and, he was detained.  The victim told officers that Connolly had threatened to shoot her in the eyes... then choked her... and, tried to prevent her from calling police.  She also told them that he did all that while she was holding a 3-month-old child.  Connolly was arrested for second-degree menacing... criminal obstruction of breathing... endangering the welfare of a child... and, fourth-degree criminal
mischief.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Dolce says council approves "once in a lifetime generational" investment in Chadakoin River...
The Jamestown City Council has approved another nearly $225,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to continue the restoration of the Chadakoin River in the city.  Lawmakers voted unanimously to approve the funding to the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy to continue the efforts to secure shoreline areas... and, eliminate growth of the invasive "Tree of Heaven."  Council President Tony Dolce says the $224,500 goes for Phase-Two of the program... to shore up more river bank areas and eliminate more "Tree of Heaven."  One of the first APRA grants the city awarded went to the conservancy... which used that $277,000 to clear a lot of debris... and, beaver dams... along the river.  Conservancy Director of Conservation, Twan Leenders, says they've been able to remove about 90% of the "Tree of Heaven" so far.  Phase-Two work should begin shortly. 


Woman arrested in Celoron after 2 year-old found wandering in street...
A Celoron woman has been arrested for allegedly allowing her two-year old child wander in the street unsupervised Monday.  Ellicott Town Police were called to an undisclosed address to check on the well-being of a young child running in the street without parental supervision.  Officers found the child, and took the toddler to safety.  Following an investigation... police arrested 32 year-old Brea Carlson for endangering the welfare of a child.  She was issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court.

 
  
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Sept. 26, 2023

City Council approves five of seven ARPA grants to local non-profits...
City lawmakers in Jamestown have approved five of the seven American Rescue Plan Act grants that totalled more than $100,000 each for local non-profit projects.  The most discussed was the $200,000 grant for construction of a new YMCA on Harrison Street.  "Y" fund-raisers had requested $1-million... but, there was only $1.5-million left for all the projects.  Some concerns were raised.  Councilwoman Marie Carrubba says her biggest concern is loss of local management... which she says has been "outsourced" to the Greater Buffalo YMCA.  Carrubba adds that she's also concerned about what will happen to the Jamestown "Y's" current building on Fourth Street.  Councilman Bill Reynolds wanted to see the city do more to support the project.  Councilman Jeff Russell voiced support because the YMCA provides programming for much of the local population.  The measure was approved 6-to-2, with Council President Tony Dolce abstaining... and, Reynolds and Randy Daversa voting no.  
----
City lawmakers did unanimously approve one ARPA grant for $200,000 for construction of "The Kids Zone" at the Northwest Arena... and in a 6-to-3 vote... approved another $200,000 for renovations to the Cappa Theater at the Robert H. Jackson Center.  Council also approved $181,000 Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.'s request to fund a new homeless shelter for women.  They also approved a $145,000 grant for the YWCA for it's female youth programs.  Lawmakers did reject two $200,000 grants: one for the National Comedy Center... and, the other for St. Luke's Church bell tower restoration project.


Jamestown lawmakers approve $224,500 ARPA grant for Phase-two of Chadakoin River restoration project...
City lawmakers last night approved another nearly $225,000 ARPA grant for the Chadakoin River restoration effort to fully iradicate an invasive plant... and, finish storeline restoration.  The City Council unanimously approved the additional funding for the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy's Phase-Two of the project.  Conservancy Conservation Firector, Twan Leenders, recently went before lawmakers... and, explained the need to eliminate remaining Tree of Heaven... which often draws another invasive species -- the Spotted Lanternfly.  He says so far they have not seen the invasive, but, he adds that if they get here, and run out of Tree of Heaven to feed on, they'll go after grapes and apples.  Those are two important crops to the area.  The City Council earlier this year approved just over $277,000 for Phase-One of the restoration effort.


Wendel set to unveil 2024 tentative budget Wednesday night...
Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel says residents will be pleasantly surprised when he unveils his tentative, 2024 budget plan at this week's county legislature meeting.  Wendel admitted that when he first began work on the spending plan... which will likely be somewhere between $270-million and $280-million... he was "very concerned."  That was due to the fact New York state was intercepting about $3-million  to $4-million in federal Medical Assistance Program funding... which is being intercepted by New York state now.  Wendel says overall spending will be up this year... but, not by the amount in the current year's budget.  He says additional tax levy monies will help offset the spending increase.  To those critics who have said Wendel's administration continues to spend and adds more positions... he says he's being trying to strike a balance that holds down and lowers the tax rate... while keeping services intact.  Wendel will present the tentative budget to the legislature near the start of Wednesday night's meeting... which begins at 6:30 p.m.  He made his comments on a recent Community Spotlight program. 

 


Woman, formerly of Dunkirk, sentenced to 7 years for assaulting child...
A woman formerly of Dunkirk has been sentenced to seven-years in state prison after being convicted of assaulting a young child in 2021.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says he's pleased to announce that Titiana Berrios also received three-years post-release supervision from County Court Judge David Foley this morning.  Schmidt says Berrios was convicted of second-degree assault for injuring the child... who was under the age of 7.  The DA says the matter was investigated by Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.  He adds that "despite a plague of limited resources all the way around, including shortages in personnel, money and equipment, our local law enforcement agencies make do with what we have to ensure that people who hurt others pay for their actions."


Chautauqua County receiving $1-Million dollar Mental Hygiene grant to help local children...
The Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene is receiving a $1-million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help chidren with serious mental and emotional issues.  The grant has been announced by local Congressman Nick Langworthy... who says the grant comes of HHS' Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances Program.  Langworthy says he's "pleased to announce this significant grant to provide needed resources for our community's mental health services.  Mental health is a critical component of the well-being of our citizens, especially our children, and I look forward to continued collaboration with County Executive Wendel and other local leaders on this issue."  Mental Hygiene Program Coordinator, Rachel Ludwig, says the funding will be used to expand screenings and assessment opportunities and create referral pathways to evidence-based practices to meet the identified needs of our children, youth, and young adults."
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 25, 2023

Jamestown firefighters make quick work of accidental porch fire on southside...
No one was hurt in an accidental house fire early last weekend in the city of Jamestown.  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to 16 Locust St. just after 4:30 p.m. Friday... and, found smoke coming from the front porch eaves on arrival.  Coon says firefighters met the owner in front of the home... and, he told them that there was fire in the dead space between the porch ceiling and roof of the home.  Coon says crews gained access to the area burning... and, got the fire out quickly with the help of an off-duty shift.  Crews were at the scene until shortly before 6 p.m.  The cause was ruled accidental.


Busti concludes 200th Birthday Celebration with big finale...
The weather held out for three of the four-days of the Big Finale for the Busti Bicentennial Celebration.  However... the light rain that fell much of the day Sunday failed to dampen the spirits of residents who enjoyed the town's 200th birthday all Spring and Summer.  That from Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins... who reflected Sunday on the past five-months of activities... and, the past four-days.  Robbins says the celebration was "very successful."  He says there was something for everyone with the kick-off, Tarp Skunks baseball game, and Busti Night at Stateline Speedway.  During the finale and some of the other recent events... Robbins says they've heard from "hundreds of people" that they would like to see something next year.  He says town government won't be involved in it... but, he says the fire department may do something on a smaller scale.  The Bicentennial Celebration began last April with a reenactment of the first town board meeting... and, other activities.  Saturday's full-day of activities for the big finale featured a huge fireworks display at the Busti Firemen's Grounds.


Busti Bicentennial Parade celebrates 200 years of history...
The 200th birthday of the town of Busti culminated with last weekend's "Big Event..." which featured a huge parade Saturday morning that celebrated the town's history over two centuries.  The Southwestern High School Marching Band was among the dozens of units that took part.  There was also a bag pipe and drum corps that took part... as well as local sports teams, and cheerleading squads.  In addition... a number of Turn of the 20th century farm tractors... trailers and others also took part.  Among those was a recently restored 1937 Allis-Chalmers "Model U" crank start tractor... driven by the Busti Historical Society's Norm Carlson.  The tractor driven by Norm Carlson was his father's first tractor.  There were also a handful of vintage race cars that competed at Stateline Speedway... along with classic cars, and some horse drawn carriages.


Two-day Busti Apple Harvest Festival draws good crowds...
Right next to the bicentennial festivities in Busti, the 49th Apple Harvest Festival took place both Saturday and Sunday.  Victoria Parker of Mayville was showing how to make linen out of flax and spoke near the end of the event Sunday.  Parker says attendance was really good on Saturday, but adds -- despite the rain Sunday -- there was pretty good attendance then as well.  Longtime Busti historian Norm Carlson says running two days was extra work because they don't have a large membership.  However... he says they were very pleased with the two-day turn-out.  Proceeds from the Apple Harvest Festival help fund the ongoing work of the Busti Historical Society.  


Bemus Point man accused of harassment in Friday fight...
A Bemus Point man has been arrested following an alleged fight with another person in the presence of a child at the High Acres Mobile Home Park.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene just before 7 p.m. last Friday for an altercation.  When they investigated... deputies arrested 25 year-old Mark Guzman for making unwanted physical contact with the other person.  Guzman was charged with second-degree harassment... and endangering the welfare of a child.  Chautauqua County Child Protective Services was also involved in the investigation.  Guzman was issued appearance tickets for Ellery Town Court.


Two arrested in Jamestown for trespassing in condemned home...
Two Jamestown men have been arrested for allegedly trepassing inside a condemned home on the city's eastside.  Jamestown police were called to the undisclosed address about 6:40 p.m. last Wednesday for a complaint of someone on the property who shouldn't have been there.  Police located 37 year-old Jonathan Yates... and, 32 year-old Malcom Bull inside the condemned residence.  Both Yates and Bull were taken into custody on one count each of third-degree criminal trespass... and, were jailed pending arraignment.


Greg and Sue Jones receive John D. Hamilton Award...
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation presented this year’s John D. Hamilton Community Service award on Friday to Greg and Sue Jones.  The Joneses have worked for nearly half a century on behalf of more than a dozen organizations touching all aspects of life in the area.  Sue Jones talked about the motivation for that service... noting that Greg's mother and father, Stanford and Hazel Jones, instilled that in them.  Greg Jones is a retired optometrist.  Sue Jones was a longtime spokesperson for Jamestown General Hospital and later the Board of Public Utilities.  Friday’s celebration was held at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 22, 2023

Pick-up truck driver in head-on, triple-fatal crash in Cattaraugus County faces murder, vehicular homicide charges...
A man from Cattaraugus County has now been indicted on several charges in connection with last June's triple-fatal, head-on crash in the town of Freedom.  State Police in Machias Thursday announced the Cattaraugus County Grand Jury returned the indictment against 21 year-old Evan Klink of Freedom on three counts of second-degree murder in connection with the crash on Freedom Road.  Troopers say Klink was driving a pick-up truck that ended up hitting a car... driven by his sister, 24 year-old Dahlia.  State Police say the younger Klink apparently had driven into the oncoming lane -- on purpose -- but, lost control of the truck before hitting the car.  Dahlia Klink... 17 year-old Havanah Lopez of Java, and 6 year-old Molly Kibler of Freedom died in the crash.  Troopers say Klink is also charged with one count of aggravated vehicular homicide... first-degree vehicular manslaughter... first-degree vehicular assault... reckless driving... driving while ability Impaired by Drugs and other vehicle traffic tickets. 


Jamestown man accused of chasing person with knife during domestic incident...
A city man faces serious charges after allegedly brandishing a knife... and, threatening another person during a domestic incident on Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to the area of Newland Ave. and Charles St. just before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday... and, learned that 38 year-old Juan Rivera had struck and choked the victim prior to chasing them with the knife.  Officers say they found Rivera a short time later at a nearby home.  He was arrested for second-degree menacing... third-degree assault, and criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal obstruction of breathing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel says White House order for TPS status for Venezuelan migrants will have no impact locally...
With White House officials announcing that certain individuals from Venezuela will be eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status... Governor Kathy Hochul says the move should be a way to mitigate the asylum seeker and migrant crisis in New York.  However... Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says he learned at the recent New York State Association of Counties Fall session that the action taken by the Biden Administration will not help those who are in Chautauqua County.  Wendel says it will help New York City... where 43% to 46% of migrants are from the Latin American nation.  Wendel also tells us that he is concerned that the action taken by the White House will lead to more migrants coming to New York State. 


City man accused of throwing juice box that hit's 4 year-old in the head...
A Jamestown man is accused of hitting a 4-year-old girl in the face with an unopened juice box during a early evening domestic incident Wednesday on the city's northside.  Jamestown police were called to the location about 5:30 p.m., and, learned that 30 year-old Tommy Hale, Junior had thrown the box at the girl.  The young girl suffered only minor injuries.  Officers say the incident occured in close proximity to two other children.  Police found Hale a short time later... and, he tried to pull away and leave the scene when being taken into custody.  After a brief struggle... Hale was taken into custody... and, charged with third-degree assault.. endangering the welfare of a child... and, resisting arrest.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


JPS has "enough" bus drivers for now, but, could use more...
There are now "enough" bus drivers for the Jamestown Public School District... but, they and most other districts are still looking for additional drivers.  That from School Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker... who says they have some "career" drivers who are busy with not just taking a busload of kids to school in the morning... then take them home later in the day.  Dr. Whitaker adds there are athletic events... and, others activities around the region.  He adds this has been a "nagging" problem for a while now.  Whitaker tells our Dennis Webster that becoming a driver is not as difficult as one might think.  While some believe running a bus system for all schools in a county might be the answer... he believes it wouldn't because an issue with one district could become a problem for all of them.


Busti Apple Harvest Festival  set to go both Saturday and Sunday alongside Bicentennial...
It'll be the same kind of Apple Harvest Festival in Busti... but, it'll be held over two days this weekend.  The 49th edition will run from Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday... and, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.  It's put on by the Busti Historical Society... and, the Society's July Schultz hopes the public will come for one day... or both.  Schultz says they'll have 85 vendors in all for the weekend.  She says some will be there both days... others may be one day or the other.  Admission is $5, children 12 and under are free.  Another spokesman, Norm Carlson, says they've made significant improvements to the grounds for this year's festival, including improved roads, and parking. to help people get in and out.  The Apple Harvest Festival will be running simultaneously with a carnival and other events celebrating the town of Busti's Bicentennial.  Schultz says all cars should use the entrance opposite Peterson's Candies on the Busti-Sugar Grove Road.  She says people will come to a "Y" in the road... with one way to the Apple Festival... the other to the Bicentennial activities. 

 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 21, 2023

Jamestown man arrested for allegedly threatening and assaulting a person during domestic incident...
A city man faces serious charges after allegedly brandishing a knife... and, threatening another person during a domestic incident on Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to the area of Newland Ave. and Charles St. just before 8:30 Tuesday night... and, learned that 38 year-old Juan Rivera had struck and choked the victim prior to chasing them with the knife.  Officers say they found Rivera a short time later at a nearby home.  He was arrested for second-degree menacing... third-degree assault, and criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal obstruction of breathing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


City man accused of throwing unopened juice container, hitting child during domestic incident...
A Jamestown man is accused of hitting a four-year-old girl in the face with an unopened juice box during a early evening domestic incident on the city's northside.  Jamestown police were called to the location about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday... and, learned that 30 year-old Tommy Hale, Jr. had thrown the box at the girl.  The young girl suffered only minor injuries.  Officers say the incident occured in close proximity to two other children.  Police found Hale a short time later... and, he tried to pull away and leave the scene when being taken into custody.  After a brief struggle... Hale was taken into custody... and, charged with third-degree assault.. endangering the welfare of a child... and, resisting arrest.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Two city men arrested for possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine...
Jamestown police arrested two men for allegedly being found in possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning.  City police say members of their Violent Crime Unit conducted a traffic stop in the area of Forest Park and Forest Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. for a traffic infraction.  Officers identified the two occupants as 41 year-old Jeremiah Morningstar... and, 40 year-old Justin Wilcox... and, also spotted illegal drugs in plain view.  Police searched the car... and, found 4-grams of meth... and, 1.2-grams of fentanyl.  Both Morningstar and Wilcox were arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and were issued appearance tickets for City Court at a later date.


Gillibrand urges common sense in trying to avoid federal government shutdown...
With a potential government shut-down just over a week away... frustration is growing in Washington, D.C. over the inability of the House and Senate to come together on a spending bill.  Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says he won't give up in trying to pass a conservative bill to prevent a shutdown.  However... it remains to be seen if a handfull of "hard-right" GOP members will even support a measure.  Those are the feelings of New York's junior U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand... who feels McCarthy has "lost control" of his conference.  Gillibrand says a shut-down would "significantly" affect the economy.  At the same time... Gillibrand says a bi-partisan spending measure is set to go in the Senate.  The New York Democrat says they've also sent a so-called "mini-bus" appropriations bill to the House.  Gillibrand says it includes three of the spending bills to at least get those in place.  However... nothing has been done with them.


Two more drug raids conducted in north county...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested following two more raids on homes in the north county city Wednesday morning that led to the seizure of a significant amount of cocaine and crack cocaine.  Sheriff's officers say they concluded a lengthy investigation with the execution of search warrants at 102 East Second St., and, 142 Lincoln Ave. just before 10:30 a.m.  Officers say they seized 14.16 grams of cocaine... and just over 9-grams of crack cocaine...  scales... and, packaging material for the distribution of narcotics, and $2,677 in cash.  Police arrested 20 year-old Devan Fernandez on three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and two counts of second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia.  Fernandez was take to the Dunkirk Police Department... pending arraignment in city court.


City man arrested Tuesday for allegedly violating Order of Protection...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection numerous times during a domestic incident last night.  City police were called to a southside residence shortly before 9 p.m., and were told by the victim that 36 year-old Silk Spencer had just been at her home... and, was knocking on her windows.  Spencer, who has an order to stay away from the woman and her child, left the scene before officers arrived.  Officers got another complaint from the victim that Spencer had returned... and, was tapping on the windows trying to communicate with her.  An officer arrived in the area shortly after... and, saw Spencer walking less than a block away.  Upon seeing the officer... Spencer fled on foot and refused numerous commands by the officer to stop.  Additional officers converged on the area... and, were able to take Spencer into custody without further incident.  He was jailed pending arraignment on four counts of second-degree criminal contempt and resisting arrest.


Sample named new Chautauqua Co. IDA Communications and Marketing Coordinator...
A long-time local radio personality and manager has been named as the new Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.  Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, and IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise announced late Wednesday that Jason Sample has been added to their team.  Jason most recently had been General Manager at WRFA-LP FM... and was employed for seven years with Media One Radio previously.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Sept. 20, 2023

City man found guilty of drug possession in county court...
A Chautauqua County Court Jury has found a Jamestown man guilty of Felony drug possession... and, he now faces up to 14 years in state prison.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says he's pleased to announce that John Anzalone was found guilty of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Schmidt says the conviction is the result of investigation by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, a lengthy prosecution by h;is office.  The JPD Metro Drug Task Force reaised Anzalone’s home in January of 2021 and found about seven ounces of cocaine.  He says JPD was assisted in their investigation by the Ellicott Police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s office.  He also praised the work of Second Assistant D.A. Erik Bentley and First Assistant D.A. Andrew Molitor who prosecuted the case.


Two city residents arrested for possessing significant amount of fentanyl and meth...
Two Jamestown residents are accused of being in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine and fentanyl following a traffic stop on Jamestown's eastside early Monday morning.  City police say members of their Violent Crimes Unit conducted the stop on Grant St. -- near East Seventh -- shortly before 2 a.m. because their car had no visable license plates.  Officers searched the vehicle... and, found the meth and fentanyl... which was individually packaged for sale.  They also found the vehicle had been stolen in Cleveland, Ohio.  Police arrested 38 year-old Eric Vangiesen and 41 year-old Lindsay Voye on two counts each of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance -- with intent to sell... and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  Officers add that Voye tried to use a phony name to hide her identity because she was sought on active arrest warrants.  She was also charged with second-degree criminal impersonation... along with traffic tickets for unlicensed operation... and, having an unregistered motor vehicle.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


Gillibrand says she's willing to work with GOP lawmakers on immigration reform...
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she's ready to work with Republicans in the chamber to draft and approve legislation to deal with the country's migrant crisis.  While most of the issues have to be resolved with legislation... the New York Democrat says there seems to be some reluctance right now among GOP members.  Gillibrand says she's been talking with GOP Senators... such as Bill Cassady of Louisiana... about helping to get migrants who want to work into employment.  Gillibrand says that's especially the case for people from one particular South American nation -- Venezuala.  She says asylum seekers from there should be able to get Temporary Protected Status in 30-days as opposed to 180-days before they can work.  Gillibrand says allowing those migrants and asylum seekers to work while they're awaiting their court dates would help alleviate cost to the government if their cases can't be heard for six-months to a year.  She says... while Republicans approved HR-2 regarding immigration... the Senate's already had a bill that had been approved eight years ago.  She's also doubious of how well the House bill would address the current problems because if they "present themselves for asylum" they can enter the country legally.


Jamestown pair arrested for allegedly trafficking illegal drugs, and untaxed cigarettes...
Two city residents have been arrested following a month-long investigation into drug and untaxed cigarette trafficking on Jamestown's southside.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force were assisted by Ellicott Town Police, the Sheriff's Department Narcotics Investigators, K-9 units and the District Attorney's Office in executing a search warrant at an apartment at 252 South Main St. just after 8 a.m. Monday.  Police say a search of the residence turned up quantities of fentanyl... crack cocaine... methamphetamine... scales... cash, and several cartons of cigarettes.  Investigators arrested 52 year-old Steven Patterson and 39 year-old Jamie Bennett on charges of third and seveth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance...  and seventh-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Both were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


United Way General Campaign to raise $1.4-million underway...
The theme for this year's United Way of Southern Chautauqua County general campaign 's "Better Together: Because of United Way."  That will involve ways to get new people and potential donors to take part.  That from United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler as the campaign kicked-off late last week.  In recent years... workplace presentations have played a big role in the campaign... but, still Rohler says not everyone knows about who they are, and what they do.  She says part of those presentations is a video that's also available on-line.  Such moves are important... especially with an increased goal of $1.4-million this year.  However... Rohler says she's "convinced that the community will again step up with their generous support."  She says the need among their 29 members agencies, and the United Way itself, is as great as ever... especially with costs continuing to rise.  Rohler says the United Way has a couple of significant programs they provide to the community.  One is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance -- or VITA program -- which provides free tax preparation for low-income residents, and another is their 2-1-1 referral service.  For more information... call the United Way at 483-1561... or go to uwayscc.org.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Sept. 19, 2023

Two city residents arrested during traffic stop for possessing "large quantities" of Fentanyl and methamphetamine...
Two people from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly being in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine and fentanyl following a traffic stop on the eastside early Monday morning.  City police say members of their Violent Crimes Unit conducted the stop on Grant St. -- near East Seventh St. -- shortly before 2 a.m. because the vehicle had no visable license plates.  Officers searched the vehicle... and, found the meth and fentanyl... which was individually packaged for sale.  They also found the vehicle had been stolen out of Cleveland, Ohio.  Police arrested 38 year-old Eric Vangiesen and 41 year-old Lindsay Voye on two counts of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance -- with intent to sell... and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  Officers add that Voye tried to use a false name to hide her identity because she had active warrants for her arrest.  She was also charged with second-degree criminal impersonation... along with traffic tickets for unlicensed operation... and, having an unregistered motor vehicle.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


City man arrested on drug charges following northside raid Monday...
A Jamestown man faces drug-related charges following a raid on his northside residence early Monday afternoon.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's offcers say they... along with Jamestown Police, and other agencies... executed a search warrant on an apartment at 854 Prendergast Ave. just after 2 p.m.  Deputies say investigators seized a quantity of cocaine... and, drug paraphernalia diluents used in the preparation or mixing of narcotics.  Officers arrested 37 year-old Joshua Dorsey for fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Police say Dorsey was released with appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.  If you see any suspicious or narcotics-related activity in your area... you're asked to call the Sheriff's Deparment Narcotics Investigators tip line at 800-344-8702... or 664-2420.  For the JPD Tip line call 716-483-TIPs.. or 483-8477.


City lawmakers discuss and raise concerns over proposed, $6.9-million bonding resolutions...
There are still several questions to be answered before the Jamestown City Council votes on borrowing $6.9-million for repairs to city hall... and, to complete the new fleet management building.  There are actually two bonds... one for $5.9-million for city hall -- including replacing the roof -- and several windows -- among others.  The other is $1-million to help complete the new maintenance building on Washington Street.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says Councilwoman Marie Carrubba voiced concern over the $350,000 costs for the new windows.  Ecklund voiced concern over having no other bonds coming off the books in 2024, and she requested a bond plan so they know what's coming off next year, and after that.  Some 17 windows in all need to be replaced in the building.  There was also much discussion about the roof... and why a new one is being looked at now.  Councilman Jeff Russell says -- if considered earlier -- they might have been able to use more of the city's American Rescue Plan Act funds.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says there was a recent engineering study done... and that included a detailed look at the roof.  Council President Tony Dolce suggested looking at other options -- including remaining ARPA funding -- to bring down the cost.


County Legislator from Jamestown announces Democratic "Pro-Housing" proposal...
The city of Jamestown is not the only community in Chautauqua County that's dealing with housing challenges.  That from County Legislature Democrats... who say they'll be proposing a measure next month that would allow the county to partner with local municipalities to address some long-standing issues.  District 13 Legislator Tom Nelson offered the proposal during a recent announcement about a city initiative by incumbant Mayor Eddie Sundquist... for a "Pro-Housing" program to help local municipalities become "Pro-Housing Communities..." which would be able to take advantage of state funding available for those programs.  Nelson says the want to create a group that would work together to attact some of the $650-million in discretionary funding Governor Kathy Hochul launched last month with the "Pro-Housing Communities Program." It's a statewide initiative to give priority consideration for those funds to local governments who are committed to housing growth.  The program was announced by Governor Hochul in August.


Federal Housing program charges local owner and property manager of housing discrimination against tenant...
The owner and property manager of a rental property in Jamestown home have been accused by federal officials with violating the Fair Housing Act by refusing to allow a tenant with a disability to live with her assistance animal.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the charges against Ronit, and Voyl “Tom” Mecham.  HUD's Principal Assistant Deputy Secretary, Dementria McCain says "assistance animals provide people with disabilities the support they need to enjoy the benefits of their housing.  HUD is committed to zealously enforcing the Act to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities.”  McCain adds that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on disability.  She says this includes refusing to provide reasonable accommodation so that persons with disabilities can have an equal opportunity to enjoy their housing.  A reasonable accommodation includes waiving a “no pet” policy for assistance animals.  An administrative law judge will hear HUD’s charge, unless any party to the Charge elects to have the case heard in federal district court. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 18, 2023

Man pulled over in Jamestown for traffic violations found with significant amount of drugs, and loaded handgun...
Jamestown police arrested a man following an early morning traffic stop Sunday for being in possession of illegal drugs, and a loaded firearm.  City police say they pulled over Felix Santiago-Bahamundi in the 300-block of Fluvanna Ave. shortly after 2 a.m. for multiple traffic violations.  Officers say they found Bahamundi had a suspended driver's license.  Police got his consent to search the vehicle... and found a loaded Glock semi-automatic handgun with two 17-round magazines.  Officers say they also located a "significant quantity" of cocaine individually packaged for sale... along with a quantity of heroin in his possession.  They determined that Bahamundi was in possession of the drugs and firearm... and, he was arrested without incident.  He was charged with second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, third- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was also issued traffic citations, and was jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown woman arrested for possessing significant amounts of fentanyl and cocaine during weekend traffic stop...
A city woman has been arrested for allegedly being found with a "significant quantity" of fentanyl and cocaine during a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside last Saturday night.  City police say they stopped the car... driven by 55 year-old Debra Leeper... in the area of Prospect Street, and the Arterial, shortly before 9 p.m.  Officers say Leeper allowed police to search the vehicle... and, they found the drugs inside... along with materials used for the packaging of illegal drugs.  She was arrested without incident... and, taken to the city jail on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... along with multiple traffic citations. 


Wendel, other county legislators, discuss three main issues during NYSAC Fall program...
Group of bipartisan county leaders from across New York state say they are facing three major challenges right now.  The New York State Association of Counties says they include: the migrant crisis, the withholding of enhanced federal medical assistance percentage -- or eFMAP -- funding... and new election changes.  Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel was among the leaders attending the annual New York Association of Counties fall seminar in Verona late last week.  Wendel says "someone needs to take ownership" of this... and, formula a plan to deal with it.  He says the withholding of eFMAP funding will have definate financial impacts on every county in the state.  He says Chautauqua County is losing just over $3-million to the state.  Regarding the state's change in putting local elections to even-numbered years is nothing more than a power grab by state Democrats.  Wendel... who is a member of NYSAC's Board of Directors... says it's important for counties to rally in solidarity to raise awareness about those three issues.  The NYSAC Fall gathering was held in Verona in Oneida County late last week.


Jamestown, F2CS Bands take top honors in Fall Festival of Bands...
At Strider Field in Jamestown last Saturday night... the JHS Marching Band was one of 9 groups performing in the 44th Fall Festival of Bands.  The stands were full of band fans.  The event is put on by the JHS Band Boosters.  Chairperson, Traci Stevenson, was thrilled, and says they had a great crowd, and a good turn-out for the event.  The Jamestown band came in first among four bands competing in the Large School 2 Class with a score of 72.95.  The F2CS band from Falconer and Frewsburg was the lone competitor in the Small School 3 Class, finishing with a score of 63.05.  Both bands will continue to perform at various regional shows through October, concluding at the state championships in Syracuse on Oct. 29.  


City man accused of stabbing two County Jail employees with pencil...
A Jamestown man being held in the Chautauqua County Jail faces two charges of second-degree attempted assault following a stabbing incident there on Sept. 11.  Sheriff's officers say 21 year-old Xavier Guadarrama, who is an incarcerated individual at the jail, stabbed two employees there with a pencil.  Deputies say Guadarrama was taken to the Centralized Arraignment Program on the two new charges.  He was being held at the jail on a separate pending case.


Charity walks in Jamestown last Saturday draw nearl 200 total participants...
Two walks for good causes took place Saturday morning in Jamestown.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was interrupted a couple of times when he addressed the crowd at the Chautauqua County Humane Society’s ‘Walk for Paws’ at Panzarella Park.  But... he says they're excited to be there to support the Humane Society and it's work.  Around 65 people and their pets assembled for the fundraising walk.  The Humane Society’s Executive Director, Kellie Roberts, thinks the location is ideal, and they hope to be there for "many years to come."  Just a short time later at Jackson-Taylor Park, around 100 people gathered for the ‘Out of the Darkness’ Suicide Prevention Walk.  Carri Raynor is the coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Alliance in Chautauqua County... and, says they were all there for a "very important reason."  The names of 33 people whose lives had been lost to suicide were read as the walk began.  And, Mark Grzybowski, chairman of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Western New York, spoke of the importance of the walk, which helped them to raise $8.2-million of research across the region and country.  The total amount raised from each walk will be calculated over the next several days.


 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 15, 2023

Sex offender from Frewsburg arrested for possessing Child Porn again...
A sex offender from Frewsburg has again been arrested on federal child pornography charges.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says 57 year-old Jeffrey Paden was taken into custody on a criminal complaint on one count of receipt and possession of child pornography in connection with a raid on Sept. 12.  Prosecutors say Paden... who was convicted in 2015 and sentenced to 57 months in federal prison... was on federal supervised release at the time of his arrest.  They say State Police received a report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a person from Frewsburg had uploaded images of child porn from the Internet... and, their investigation traced them back to Paden.  If convicted... he faces a manditory minimum of 15 years in prison... and, a maximum of 40.


Pa. man arrested on federal gun trafficking charges related to Jamestown drug trafficking...
A New Castle, Pennsylvania man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking guns used in the drug trade in the city of Jamestown the past two years.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 27 year-old Christian Arroyo-Collazo was taken into custody on a criminal complaint for engaging in the firearms business without a license... unlawful shipment and transportation of firearms... and, firearms trafficking.  Prosecutors say Collazo was identified by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as being associated with multiple local drug traffickers and users.  Between November of 2021 and May of 2022... investigators say they traced three firearms recovered in Jamestown to Collazo, who purchased the firearms at two gun shops in New Castle.  Two of the guns were recovered during the arrests of two other federal defendants.  Ross says the charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Hochul urges New Yorkers to get the new COVID vaccine... 
With the Centers for Disease Control approving an updated COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday... Governor Kathy Hochul is urging New Yorkers to get the shot once it becomes available later this week -- or next.  During a briefing in New York City this week... Hochul said that cases of the virus are on the rise, and the vaccine is needed due to waning immunity and mutated variants.  She says, even if you have been vaccinated in the past, it won't do much for you right now.  Hochul says the new vaccine, which was previously authorized by the Food and Drug Administration... is expected to be available at pharmacies and physicians' offices, as well as other health care providers, throughout the state in the coming days.


Missing fishing boat from Canadian side of Lake Erie found near Dunkirk Thursday morning...
Dunkirk Police and fire units responded to Cedar Beach this morning to a report about a capsized boat.  However... the boat discovered near the NRG plant around 7:30 a.m. was an unoccupied fishing boat.  Police Chief Dave Ortolano tells us that with the help of the U-S Coast Guard, they were able to determine that the boat was involved in a rescue on other side of Lake Erie in Canadian waters... after it had a malfunction and stalled out.  The man was rescued... but, they were unable to retrieve the boat.  The vessel was apparently carried by the lake currents to the Dunkirk beach.  Ortolano says the owner is making arrangements to retrieve the boat.


Sundquist announces "Better Housing for All" at campaign stop near blighted home...
Housing is an essential piece of the puzzle that connects all the issues facing the city of Jamestown... and, it's people deserve better housing.  That from incumbant Mayor Eddie Sundquist... as he and other Democratic candidates stood in front of a vacant run-down, dilapitated home at 237 McKinley Ave.  Sundquist used the occasion to outline his new "Better Housing for All" initiative.  He says there are three main parts to it; one is fighting blight, the second is better housing for all, and finally protecting the community.  Sundquist says they'll fight blight by tearing down properties, like the one at 237 McKinley, to allow for new home building.  He says that would be through a grant program... as well as taking over former "Zombie" properties, and getting them back in the hands of new, and first-time homebuyers.  Sundquist says the plan would also have the city work with it's partners to develop more housing for the most vulnerable a "mix" of supportive, and traditional housing.  He says lawmakers also need to approved new ordinances that prevent homes from falling into disrepair.  


County BOE announces need for additional poll workers for Nov. 7 election...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is need of poll workers for the upcoming Nov. 7 General Election.  County Elections Commissioners Brian Abram and Luz Torres say poll workers "play a critical role in our democracy and having an adequate number of staff at the poll site on Election Day ensures voters receive the assistance they need."  They say the workers prepare the site for voting... help setup the needed equipment... sign-in and process voters, demonstrate voting procedures and help close the polling location.  Poll workers are paid $25 an hour for their training and $14.20 an hour while working the polls.  Abram and Torres say they have added training dates for anyone interested.  The first will be held next Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the SUNY Jamestown Community College North County Training Center on Route 60 in Dunkirk.  If you have any question about being a poll worker... call the Board of Elections Office at 753-4580... and/or visit chqgov.com/board-of-elections/Board-of-Elections.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Sept. 13, 2023

JHS Nickname Committee narrow's down field to two names...
The Jamestown High School Nickname Committee has narrowed down it's choices for the school's next nickname to two.  In a press release from the district Wednesday morning... officials say the two names selected following a community survey and discussions with students are the high school... are "Catamounts..." and "Red & Green."  Either will accompany the district’s “big cat” mascot... which was adopted in 2022.  JHS Athletic Director Ben Drake says they appreciate the communities input... and, adds "As we move forward, the committee has taken the public’s voice into consideration in narrowing down our options and we are excited about these two nicknames that we’ll be presenting to our school community.”  While it was another popular choice... Drake says the committee decided to eliminate “Jaguars” from consideration because that's the nickname at Jefferson Middle School.  "Catamount" is another name for the American panther, cougar or mountain lion.  Students are having the first few days of school to weigh in.  The community will also have a chance to voice their opinion on-line at jpsny.org/nickname.  Drake says "Red & Green" was the high school’s first known nickname from 1905-1935 prior to the introduction of the “big cat” logo.  The survey will be open until Sept. 30, and, the committee will then make a recommendation to the school board for final action in December.


Rhonda Frank named as new JPS Secretary/District Clerk...
There's a new superintendent's Secretary and District Clerk for the Jamestown School Board now on board.  The district has announced that Rhonda Frank replaces Jaunita Walter... who retired in August after seven years in the position.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says -- "I am overjoyed to welcome Rhonda to this important position.  She did an outstanding job during the interview process, and has hit the ground running."  Frank joins the district after spending 20 years as a Technical Assistant, Office Manager, and Secretary to the President at Summit Wealth Management in Jamestown.  She also served in support roles to the Chief Administrative Officer of Jobs Chautauqua and Secretary to the Chief Executive Officer and President at the Florida Air Academy in Melbourne, Fla.  She is a native of Sugar Grove, Pa., and, has lived in Jamestown for 25 years.


County Airport near Jamestown receives $1.9-million infrastructure grant...
The Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown is getting a $1.9-million Federal Aviation Administration grant to build perimeter fencing and enhance safety and security at the facility.  That from local Congressman Nick Langworthy, who announced the Airport Improvement Grant from the FAA Tuesday afternoon.  Langworthy says he's "thrilled" to announce the new funding because "this airport serves as a vital transportation hub for our community, connecting our region through aviation, and maintaining critical infrastructure will ensure its future operations remain reliable and efficient."  County Executive P.J. Wendel calls the funding "critical..." and, adds "I'm grateful Congressman Langworthy, and his team, were able to secure this funding which will significantly improve our airport infrastructure for years to come.” 


City's Public Works Committee discusses need for crosswalk, eliminating "no left turn" sign at pair of intersections...
There's been further discussion about some changes to streets in the city of Jamestown... including a crosswalk, and allowing a left turn at one intersection.  That from City Council Public Works Committee Chairman Randy Daversa... who says the panel Monday night talked more about a request by Third-Ward Councilwoman Regina Brackman for a crosswalk at the corner of Washington and 11th Streets.  Daversa says Interim Public Works Director Mark Roetzer will look into that with the state Department of Transporation.  Daversa says they also discussed eliminating the "No Left Turn" at the intersection of North Main and Third Streets.  He says Roetzer will also talk about changing that with the state DOT... because a main reason for prohibiting the left turn was because of the size of the city's former JARTS Buses.  No specific action was taken on either proposal during Monday night's committee... or full council work session.


Harmony Historical Harvest Festival set for this Saturday...
The Harmony Historical Society will be hosting it's annual Harvest Festival this Saturday on the society’s grounds in Blockville.  Society President, John Brown, says this year’s event will be different with a "living history" that will include 30 demonstrations going on during the day.  The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.  The society’s treasurer, Tina Scott, points out some highlights... including wagon rides, weaving, and others.  Brown adds, they’re going to remember Harmony’s infamous ‘Roll a Bowl’ race track in a special way... they'll have a replica of a car that used to race on the track.  Randy Anderson from the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will be there to relate some of the history of the ‘Roll a Bowl.’  All the events this Saturday at the Harmony Historical Society will be free.  Food and ice cream will be available for purchase.  


Chaut. County unveil new mobile app for residents and visitors...
The Chautauqua County Office of Emergency Services has announced a new smartphone application as a new way to connect with county residents and visitors.  Officials say the new app will provide information on such matters as power outages... find local shelters... and be able to submit damage reports and get other urgent news quickly.  The Emergency Services app was developed by myEMAapp.com.  The new app can be downloaded for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play by searching “Chautauqua County Emergency Services, NY.” 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Sept. 12, 2023

Two city men plead guilty in major drug trafficking conspiracy...
Two Jamestown men have pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a major conspiracy to traffic heroin and fentanyl in the city two years ago.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross in Buffalo announced Monday that 29 year-old Justin Yuchnitz... and, 38 year-old Brandon Andino entered the pleas before U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo.  Ross says Yuchnitz pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin and fentanyl... while Andino pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl.  She says Yuchnitiz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1-million.  Andino faces a mandatory minimum of 5-years in prison, a maximum of 40, and a fine of $5-million.  Prosecutors say Yuchnitz sold the drugs he received from co-defendant Joseph Zaso, utilizing electronic media.  They add that Andino distributed large amounts of heroin and fentanyl that he also received from Zaso. 


County commemorates "9/11" with program in Mayville...
Chautauqua County's annual "9/11" rememberance was held early Monday afternoon in front of the County Courthouse in Mayville.  The local ceremony was one of hundreds held across the nation on the 22nd-anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City... Washington, D.C., and, Western Pennsylvania.  American Legions from around Chautauqua County helped put together the program in Mayville.  County Executive P.J. Wendel got emotional in talking about his former classmate... who was a flight attendant on one of the planes flown into the World Trader Center... Celoron native Amy King.  He said he got the terrible news that afternoon that Amy King had taken on working that flight with her boyfriend so they could spend some time on the west coast.  American Legions from around Chautauqua County helped put together the program in Mayville.  The county's Legion Commander, Kirk Miller, also spoke.  He paid tribute to his cousin, Craig Miller... who was a member of the Secret Service... and, was in New York on an assignment at the UN when he saw what happened, and tried to help get people out of Tower Number-1.  His duffel bag, with his belongings were found there.  A witness later said Craig had been seen in the stairwell just before the building's collapse.


City man arrested for DWI after being spotted driving the wrong way...
A Jamestown man was arrested early Monday morning for driving the wrong way on East Fourth Street... and while under the influence of alcohol.  City police say they spotted the vehicle -- near the intersection with Pine Street -- going the wrong way just after 2 a.m.  Officers stopped the vehicle... and, determined that 30 year-old Kellen Fiore... was drunk at the time.  Fiore was taken into custody without incident, and taken to the city jail.  He was ticketed for aggravated DWI... driving the wrong way on a one-way street... and, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration.


City Council's Housing Committee talks about boosting housing stock...
The Jamestown City Council's Housing Committee is discussing various ways to boost new housing in the city in light of local companies looking to hire.  Committee Chairwoman Marie Carrubba says fellow Councilman Bill Reynolds addressed the panel about the need with at least one company expanding... and, new companies -- like Electrovaya -- coming in.  Carrubba says he talked about the need with Cummins' Engine hiring more people with it's expansion project.  She adds that there are several lots available still at Countryview Estates.  In addition... Carrubba says they have learned a company called Modular Homes... which is currently putting up modulars in the Pittsburgh, Pa. area... may come here to do likewise.  She says they're also looking to take advantage of a new state law that allows "tiny" smaller homes to be put onto vacant housing lots.


County Legislators honor town of Busti for it's Bicentennial program...
The Chautauqua County Legislature is honoring the town of Busti on it's big, bicentennial celebration that will be having it's big finale later this month.  Busti-area lawmakers Jamie Gustafson and Travis Heiser presented a proclamation during last night's town board meeting.  Gustafson noted that the town's namesake -- Paul Busti -- immigrated to the United States in the late 1700s... but, never settled in Busti.  Busti began working in the U.S. with the Holland Land Company, and did come to Western New York and Erie, Pa.  The town of Busti was formed in 1823, encorporating parts of the towns of Ellicott and Harmony.  Town Supervisor Jesse Robbins thanked the legislators for the recognition... and, praised former Supervisor, Dale Robbins, for making the town what it is now.  The town's bicentennial continues with a number of events at the Busti Firemen's Grounds on Sept. 21-24. 


Mitchell Anderson to do one-man show this coming Friday and Saturday...
Jamestown born actor and restauranteur Mitchell Anderson will perform a one-man show Friday and Saturday at the Cappa Theater at the Robert H. Jackson Center at 7 p.m.  Anderson says he wrote the show during the pandemic... and, says he talks a lot about Chautauqua County, and Jamestown, in the show.  Mitchell Anderson is the son of the late R. Quintus and Sandra Anderson.  His show is titled 'You Better Call Your Mother.'  Tickets for 'You Better Call Your Mother' are $30 from 'Brown Paper Tickets' online. All proceeds will benefit the restoration of AIDS Memorial Park in downtown Jamestown.  

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 11, 2023

City woman arrested near McCrea Point for drug possession and driving while under the influence...     
A Jamestown woman faces multiple drug-related charges after she was allegedly found slumped behind the wheel of her car near McCrea Point Park.  City police say they responded to a "suspicious situation" at 20 Jones-&-Gifford Avenue about 7 a.m. Sunday... and, spoke with the driver, 54 year-old Lisa Calkins, and then conducted field sobriety tests.  Officers say Calkins was found to be driving while under the influence of drugs.  Police say, they allegedly found her in possession of 17.2-grams of methamphetamine along with other drug paraphernalia... and, packaging material.  Calkins was taken into custody and taken to the city jail pending arraignment on charges of driving while ability impaired combined influence of drugs/or alcohol... third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, two counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia.


Five trespassers arrested on Prendergast Ave. in Jamestown after police spot one sought on warrants...
After spotting a city man wanted on an active bench warrant enter a vacant house... Jamestown police arrested him, and, four other people on trespassing and other charges.  City police say they spotted 23 year-old Justin Rowe on Prendergast Avenue about 1 p.m. last Friday... who was wanted on the warrant by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.  Officers say Rowe went into an apartment... that was supposed to be vacant... and tried to make contact.  Police got no response... and, forced entry.  They found Rowe... along with 36 year-old Keith Seice... 38 year-old Kristine McCool... 35 year-old William Blakey... and 56 year-old Ella Rodgers all staying there illegally.  All five were arrested without incident... and, taken to the city jail on charges of second-degree trespass... and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.  While at the scene... police also found that Seice was in the direct presence a juvenile who had a valid order of protection for Seice to stay away from them.  He was aditionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child... first-degree criminal contempt... and aggravated Family Offense.  All five were held pending arraignment.


Jamestown man and woman arrested following domestic violence incident...
A man and a woman were arrested the past weekend following a domestic violence incident in which both injured each other.  City police were called to a parking lot on the westside shortly before 10 p.m. last Saturday for a "domestic incident in progress."  Officers say... on arrival... they found 37 year-old Karen Danson... and, 39 year-old Andrew Cooley at the scene and yelling at each other.  Further investigation found that both were injured in multiple parts of their bodies... and, had commited offenses against the other.  Cooley was arrested for third-degree assault... fourth-degree criminal mischief... criminal obstruction of breathing... and Aggravated family offense.  Danson was arrested for third-degree assault... and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Both were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Gillibrand announces legislation to allow job trainees to keep SNAP benefits...
U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced legislation that would help prevent jobseekers from losing their Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.  The New York Democrat says the Training and Nutrition Stability Act would rectify loopholes within the SNAP Employment and Training program.  Gillibrand says taking those people who are training off SNAP is "shooting ourselves in the foot exacerbating the very problem we're trying to solve."  The legislation... if passed... would help ensure that SNAP recipients continue to receive nutritional assistance while working to secure employment.  Gillibrand says her office has heard directly from officials who run those training programs that those being trained are concerned about this.


Jamestown man arrested for causing disturbance, damaging room at Doubletree Hotel...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly becoming disorderly... and, damaging a hotel room at the Doubletree Hotel early last Saturday morning.  City police were called to the scene at 150 West Fourth St. about 12:15 a.m. on a report of a disorderly person that staff wanted removed.  Officer say they found that 46 year-old Stephen Baumann had damaged property within one of the room at the hotel.   Baumann was taken into custody without further incident... and, taken to the city jail on one count of fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was issued an appearance ticket for city court.


Edible Art show kicks-off at Chautauqua Art Gallery...
A new exhibition opened last Friday at the Chautauqua Art Gallery on North Main Street in Jamestown.  It’s called ‘Edible Art.’  During the opening reception, gallery owner Leslie Calimeri says the work all revolves around food, and what local people like to have at home, or dining out.  The show includes the work of ten artists and was done in conjunction with the magazine Edible Western New York & Erie Lakeshore, published by Stephanie Burdo.  Burdo says Calimeri approached her and told her she really wanted to do an "edible art show..." and she said "great" because she wanted to do a similar type of edition of her magazine.  Burdo notes that while there are 80 ‘Edible’ publications like hers in the U.S. and Canada, she doesn’t know of anyone else who’s done an art show.  'Edible Art' will be on display at the gallery through Oct. 27.  


Chautauqua County host's annual "9/11" ceremony...
Chautauqua County's annual "9/11" remembrance ceremony honoring victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will take place later today in Mayville.  Spokesperson Justin Gould says the local American Legion will host the ceremony at 12 p.m. in front of the County Courthouse on North Erie Street.  The ceremony will feature a few words from local dignitaries, a moment of silence and 21 gun salute. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 8, 2023

Fire on Jamestown's eastside extensively damages apartment house...
Jamestown fire crews were at the scene much of Friday morning of an apartment house on the city's northside.  City Fire Captain Shawn Tibbetts says firefighters were called to the scene at 114 Stowe St. about 8 a.m., and crews reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the back of the structure... and the attic.  An off-duty shift was also called out.  Tibbetts says one occupant got out of the building safely... and, there were no injuries reported.  The house is between Falconer Street and Newton Avenue.   The cause is being investigated.  The city's Department of Development has ordered an emergency demolition of the home.


Search continues for shooter in early Thursday morning...
Jamestown police are asking westside residents to check their surveillance cameras for footage of a man who allegedly shot another man during an early morning incident Thursday.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the victim was 'targeted" by the shooter... and, is now in stable condition at an Erie, Pa. hospital.  Samuelson says the unidentified victim was given first aid by police when they arrived just before 2 a.m.  He says they were called to the area of 38 Whitley Ave. -- near the Sixth Street Bridge -- and found the victim had been shot multiple times.  Samuelson says, initially, the man was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown before being transferred to UPMC Hamot.  Late yesterday... city police said they are looking for a man who apparently fled the scene on foot... going east over the West Sixth Street Bridge.  Samuelson tells us that they have very limited information on the suspect... but, said late Thursday that he was wearing a blue hoodie, and blue jeans.  He adds anyone with any information about the shooting to call JPD at 716-483-7537 or the Anonymous Tip Line at 716-483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.


Jamestown trio arrested for drug possession following southside traffic stop...
Three people from Jamestown face drug-related charged following a traffic stop on the city's southside early Wednesday morning.  City police say their Violent Crimes Unit conducted the stop in the area of Newland Avenue and Park Street for traffic violations abtou 1:45 a.m.  Officers say they found that 38 year-old Joshua Dorsey was driving with a suspended license.  Police also found a quantity of methamphetamine during a search of the vehicle.  They arrested Dorsey... 26 year-old Morgan Ryder... and, 42 year-old Willie Graham on one count each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police add that Ryder allegedly concealed a quantity of fentanyl as she was taken to the city jail... and, was charged with a second count of seventh-degree criminal possession... along with Felony tampering with physical evidence.  Officers say Graham was found to have concealed a large amount of Fentanyl in his pants... and, he refused to allow officers to recover it for some time.  He was additionally charged with two counts of Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and, was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Ryder and Dorsey were released with appearance tickets for city court.


Whitaker says start to school in Jamestown was "incredible..."
Aside from a lack of air conditioning in a couple of areas of the high school... it's been an "incredible" start to the new school year in Jamestown.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says he managed to get to several of the school buildings for Tuesday's half-day start... and says most everyone was happy to be back.  Whitaker says everything he saw and heard about was "wonderful."  But... with temperatures hovering around 90 most of the week... the district's air conditioning units got a workout... and, one on the high school had a malfunctioning compressor.  Dr. Whitaker says he was at JHS on a couple of occasions and can attest that it was "very warm."  He says he wanted to make everyone was alright... and, they looked forward to more comfortable weather late this week.  Dr. Whitaker says the high school alone has seven, large air conditioning units on it's roof.  He says they will be replaced during the ongoing capital project renovation work at the high school in the coming months. 


Woman from Mayville arrested for harassment...
A Mayville woman is accused of making verbal threats to another person before hitting that person in the face at the Portage Hill Apartment complex.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at 40 Evens St. about 9 a.m. Tuesday... and, learned that 65 year-old Barb Nelson threatened a resident there, and them stuck the victim.  Officers say Nelson was located and issued an appearance ticket for second-degree harassment.


County Chamber to present Person of the Year and other awards at Oct. 5 banquet...
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the organization's Annual Awards Banquet, set for Thursday, Oct. 5.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says Greg Peterson of Lakewood... who is a well-known attorney in the Jamestown area... will receive the Person of the Year Award.  He says Peterson is well-know for his work locally with the firm Phillips/Lytle... as a founder of the Robert H. Jackson Center, and board member for Jamestown Community Baseball, which owns the Tarp Skunks.  The Chamber will be presenting it's economic development award... during the banquet at SUNY Fredonia's Williams Center... to the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Sept. 6 and Thurs., Sept. 7, 2023

Man in stable condition following shooting incident early Thursday; suspect still at large...
A Jamestown man is in stable condition following a "targeted" shooting on the city's westside early this morning... and the suspect remains at-large.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to a westside location -- near West Sixth Street -- around 2 a.m.  Samuelson says the address was 38 Whitley Ave.  He says officers found the unidentified victim... who was initally taken to UPMC Chautauqua in Jamestown... then UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa.  Samuelson says city police are still looking for the suspect... and, if you have any information... call them at 483-7537... or their confidential tip line at 483-8477.  He tells us they have little information on the shooter... aside from the fact it was a male, wearing a sweatshirt and blue jeans.  Late Thursday afternoon... police said they believe he fled east over the Sixth St. Bridge.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.


Man killed in rollover accident in Panama now identified...
A Panama man has now been identified at the person killed in a one-car, rollover crash early this week in Panama.  Sheriff's officers say 27 year-old Lester Yoder was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident... which occured about 11:30 p.m. Monday.  Deputies say Yoder was ejected, and pinned underneath the vehicle.  Several rescue and fire department personnel responded.  


Jamestown man in custody after leading police on chase that injured one officer...
City police say a Jamestown man is now in custody after allegedly leading officers on a chase that injured one of them.  Jamestown police say they found 29 year-old Wayne Wright III following the vehicle/foot pursuit in the area of Baker and Colfax Streets shortly before Noon Wednesday.  Officers say Wright was also wanted for failure to appear in court on a charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  They say he has a "violent criminal history..." and he was last believed to be in the Axtel... or Park Street areas.  


County officials looking at goal of getting more homeless out of temporary housing... to transition, supportive and affordable housing...
Chautauqua County's leaders say their goal -- over time -- is to move away from the use of local hotels as homeless shelters... and, expand the use of shelters.  That from the county's director of Community Mental Hygiene Services Carmelo Hernandez... who says a location like the Budget Inn in Falconer has provided immediate public shelter.  However... Hernandiez adds a "long-term structured support is vital to success."  He says the county is working with the area’s Homeless Collation to identify priority areas.  He says they need a progression of “Emergency Housing, transition housing, supportive housing and affordable housing."  He says there's also a need to provide help to the chronically homeless... those with mental illness and drug addiction issues.  The county has contracted in recent years with the Budget Inn, and others to provide the emergency housing.  However... village leaders and residents have complained in recent times about issues with crime, open drug use... and, other problems associated with use of the hotel.


About 100 on hand for Farm Bill "Listening Session" hosted by Langworthy...
A number of farm and farm-related issued were touched on during a two-hour long listening session hosted by local Congressman Nick Langworthy in the town of Portland Wednesday morning.  Langworthy and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson of Northwestern Pennsylvania heard from several people during a "listening session" at Cornell Cooperative Extension on West Main Road.  One... Fred Johnson of Johnson Estate Winery... spoke from the perspective of having worked in agriculture in several places around the world.  Johnson says the U-S has the "best agriculture in the world..." but, needs to focus on three things; the first being land-grant colleges, basic and applied research, and extension.  He says that's "all we need."  Steve Cockram with the Grower's Coop in Westfield called for a push to "level the playing field" in the U.S., and, the world.  The 5-year Farm Bill authorization bill is up this Fall in Congress.


Fredonia mayor issues State of Emergency for village water system...
On-going problems with the village of Fredonia's water system have led Mayor Doug Essek to declare a State of Emergency regarding the system.  A source in the north county confirmed the move... which took place at the village board meeting Tuesday night.  In addition... the Post-Journal reports that if something isn't done about the water system's 15 health violations quickly... it could be fined up to $2,400 a day for each one.  That was part of a Chautauqua County Health Department report earlier this week.  The village had had on-going problems with it's water system since 2020... including four boil water orders.  Health officials assured Fredonia users their water is safe to drink -- for now. 


Schneider says schools continue to hire, and look for people to fill positions as school begins...
One of the biggest needs among local school districts is bus drivers.  They're especially crucial for rural districts.  However... some districts have had to get creative in filling positions for the 2023-24 school year.  That's been seen in Jamestown... where the district has agreed to share a transportation supervisor with the Southwestern and Frewsburg districts.  New York State School Board's Association Executive Director Bob Schneider says others are using signing bonuses... and, consolidating routes.  Regarding other positions... Schneider says some districts have decided to use apprenticeships to help recruit new workers... and, can get help from the state Department of Labor in that effort. 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Sept. 5, 2023

Buffalo-area couple killled in pick-up truck -- motorcycle crash in town of North Harmony...         
An Amherst, NY couple has been identified as the two people killed when their motorcycle crashed into a pick-up truck on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony last Sunday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say the bike... operated by 64 year-old John Honan... was traveling on Route 394 -- near Camp Chautauqua -- just before 1 p.m. when the truck made a left turn in front of him.  Multiple fire and rescue units were called to the scene... but, Honan and 53 year-old Rhonda Honan were pronounced dead at the scene.  The driver of the pick-up truck... 42 year-old Stefan Parkhurst of Mayville... has been arrested on several charges... including reckless driving... operating without insurance... operating while registration revoked or suspended... making an improper turn... moving from lane unsafely... and, failure to yield.  He was issued appearance tickets for North Harmony Town Court at a later date.


Man killed in Panama in one of three, Labor Weekend fatal crashes in Western Southern Tier...
A 27 year-old man has died from injuries suffered in a one-car, rollover crash in Panama late Monday night.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Goshen Rd. just after 11:30 p.m.  Deputies say the man was found pinned underneath the vehicle... and, pronounced dead at the scene.  The Sheriff's office was assisted by Panama, Clymer, and Sherman fire departments as well was County EMS at the scene.


One killed, another seriously injured in strange Cattaraugus County accident...
One person was killed and another seriously injured when they and four other people were struck by a car during a gathering last Sunday night in the Cattaraugus County town of Allegany.  State Police in Olean were called to a home on Cheese Factory Rd. about 7:30 p.m. after the vehicle... driven by 70 year-old Peggy Errera of Bradford, Pa., went into the front lawn of the home as she was trying to leave.  Troopers say Errera had backed out of the driveway... and, into the roadway... but, never straightened out the front wheels as she accelerated forward.  One of the people struck... 81 year-old Ronald Piechota of Schenectady... was pronounced dead at the scene. 


Borrello says press conference calling attention to issues with "Nourish NY" program spurs action...
A news conference held to call attention to the state of limbo the "Nourish-NY" program has apparently caught the attention of Governor Kathy Hochul's office.  That from State Senator George Borrello... who provided an update on the situation late last week on the program... which helps those who are food insecure while providing a market for farmers.  Borrello says he and the program's Assembly sponsor, Catalina Cruz, were both on a conference call with the governor's staff, and caught their attention.  As a result... Borrello they were able to dollars flowing to the program... with another $22-million being released for it.  He says they are still trying to get answers about getting the program back fully in place.  Borrello was joined by local and state elected leaders outside Chautauqua County Rural Ministries, which works with Nourish-NY, to again call for the program to be returned to the perview of the state Department of Agriculture.  


Students back to school; NYSSBA director says goals include getting migrant students up to speed, along with others out of pandemic...
There are a number of challenges that many school districts across New York state face heading into the new year... but, for the most part -- they are ready to resume classes this week.  That from State School Board's Association Executive Director Bob Schneider... who says... given the number of asylum seekers coming into New York City... there was concern over the numbers who would end up upstate.  However... Schneider says a survey they did show those numbers appear low right now... with only 5% of districts responding said they expected more migrant students.  But, he says they indicated they should be able to handle their numbers.  New York state schools have been told they must accept those students like any others.  However... providing the services... especially help with language skills... may be a problem.  Schneider says a lot of that's because -- as with many other positions -- there's a lack of English as a Second-Language instructors.  The Jamestown schools resume classes today with a half-day of school... and, a full-day tomorrow.


Chautauqua Lake Association receives funding from county to get through Fall...
A number of ideas have been 'floated' in recent years to generate additional money for the maintenance of Chautauqua Lake.  Executive Director Doug Conroe with the Chautauqua Lake Association, says whatever way the money comes... it'll be welcome.  He cites this summer as a good example, because if they didn't receive added funds, they would have had to shut-down operations on Aug. 18.  The county legislature approved the extra money at its August meeting.  As a result, Conroe says their 'on lake' operations will continue into the fall.  He says they recognized that more needs to be done... and, approved an additional $87,000 to fund the work. 


Ritzer Award to Whitney on sunny, warm Sunday before Labor Day...
It was maybe one of the best weather days in recent years for last Sunday's 42nd annual Labor Day Festival at Jamestown's Bergman Park.  All events went off without a hitch... including the yearly presentation of the George Ritzer Labor Award.  That went to long-time International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union member Robert Whitney, for his many years of union leadership... and, community contributions. 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 1, 2023

Trio from Jamestown sentenced on drug trafficking charges in connection with pair of Fentanyl deaths...
Three people from Jamestown have been sentenced to significant time in federal prison following their convictions for selling fentanyl that led to the deaths of two people.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 31 year-old Garson Butcher... and, 29 year-old Alisha Centi were sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr., with Butcher to serve 20 years... and, Centi 7 years.  In a separate case... Ross says Sinatra sentenced 37 year-old Ryan Bloom to 20 years in federal prison.  All three had been convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine.  Butcher and Centi were accused of selling the drugs from March of 2020 through June of 2021.  They sold fentanyl that killed a person identified as "T.R." in late March of 2020.  Bloom and co-defendant Rachelle Allison were accused of selling fentanyl to a person identified as "D.R." who died of an overdose in Ashville in April of 2020.  Ross says Allison has been convicted... but, is awaiting sentencing in the case.


Whitaker says JPS schools pretty much set for start of classes next Tuesday...
Final preparations are well underway in the Jamestown Public Schools for the start of classes right after Labor Day.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says teachers are back... and, Freshman Orientation has been taking place at the high school.  Dr. Whitaker says they'll have a half-day of classes next Tuesday... and, school fully begins on Wed., Sept. 6 in all schools.  He says be careful of children walking to school, or riding the buses on the roadways."  Whitaker adds that parents, grandparents and guardians also need to be ready to get your student --  or students -- to the bus stop... or school... on time because there are different start times for each.  The superintendent adds that Jamestown is like any other district in the region... and, still in need of hiring more people in a number of areas -- not just teachers.  


County Chamber of Commerce holds Grand Opening at newly-renovated building...
Around 100 people gathered on a street corner in downtown Jamestown Thursday evening for a major event... as the ribbon was cut on their own building at Third and Main Streets.  Jamestown’s Gebbie Foundation invested $250,000 for a full interior and exterior renovation of the chamber's headquarters.  Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Greg Edwards, said it turned out great, considering where they started.  Edwards said -- somewhat jokingly -- it was "one of the ugliest structures" in downtown Jamestown.  However... he says the final product is outstanding.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist believes the new office will help the chamber in its important work with small businesses.  He says they are important to keeping a vibrant city and county going.  The new office at Third and Main will also serve as a tourist information location in conjunction with the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau.


Labor Day Festival to be held in Jamestown for 42nd year Sunday...
Everything is set for Jamestown's 42nd annual Labor Day Festival Sunday at Bergman Park, except for one late cancellation.  Patrick Smeraldo, owner of Children's Collaborative Solutions, says the Southern Wrestling Show will not take place due to scheduling conflicts that have arisen with some of those involved.  Otherwise, Smeraldo believes it'll be a great festival, with great weather, at a great place -- Bergman Park.  The Dan Feather Memorial 5K starts the day Sunday at 9:30 a.m.  The 20 or so craft vendors open at 11.  Live music on two stages starts at noon, ending with fireworks at dusk.  Parking is $5... but, the festival itself is free.  Food will be available for purchase.  Smeraldo extends his continuing gratitude to the city, local unions, and everyone who has a hand in making the festival happen.  Children's Collaborative Solutions has become the principal organizer of the Labor Day event in the post-pandemic era.  Long-time local labor leader, Robert Whitney, will receive the George Ritzer Labor Award at 4:30 p.m.


North county man arrested on drug and weapons possession charges following drug raid in Forestville...
A man from Forestville remains jailed on several drug and weapons-related charges after multiple law enforcement agencies conducted a raid on his home.  Sheriff's deputies say they executed a search warrant at 11139 Mixer Rd. shortly before 6 p.m. last Wednesday... and, arrested 34 year-old Timothy Will.  Officers say they seized about 10 grams of fentanyl... prescription pills... drug paraphernalia... several large capacity ammunition devices... a switchblade knife... and, $1,891 in cash.  Will was arraigned at the county jail and is being held on bail.  Sheriff's Department criminal and narcotics investigators were assisted by the Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, Dunkirk Police, Jamestown Police, the FBI Safe Streets division, Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Officers and Chautauqua County EMS. Will is charged with third... fourth... and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  


City Council barely approves new, one-year leased vehicle for mayor...
The Jamestown City Council has narrowly approved a resolution allowing Mayor Eddie Sundquist to renew a vehicle lease for the next year for just over $12,000.  Lawmakers approved the measure Monday night, 5-to-4 with Democrat Marie Carrubba, and Republicans Andrew Faulkner, Kim Ecklund and Randy Daversa voting "no."  Ecklund... who is Finance Committee Chairwoman... and, the Republican candidate for mayor this Fall... says that was just one of the concerns she has.  She calls it a "tough time to lease a vehicle..." noting that lawmakers will need to look at all leased vehicles come budget time.  As it is... the lease with Shults Chevrolet will run for one year from this Thurs., Aug. 31, which is when the current lease expires.

 
 

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