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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 31, 2023

Two city residents indicted by federal Grand Jury for drug trafficking... 
Two Jamestown residents have been indicted by a federal Grand Jury in connection with a drug trafficking operation in the city the past three years.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced the grand jury returned the indictment Monday against 50 year-old David Ledesma... and 31 year-old Susan Walker... are charged with narcotics conspiracy, using and maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl.  Ross says Ledesma is also charged with distribution of controlled substances causing serious bodily injury and distribution of heroin, fentanyl, and para-fluorofentanyl.  Prosecutors say between May of 2020 and May of 2023... Ledesma and Walker conspired to sell heroin and fentanyl in the area... and, maintaining a residence on Lafayette Street in Jamestown to manufacture, distribute, and use heroin.  In addition, Ledesma is accused of selling controlled substances to an individual identified as "A.R." causing serious bodily injury.  If convicted, Ledesma faces a maximum of 20 years in prison... and, Walker faces a maximum of 10 years.


Jamestown man arrested on drug charges after being found sleeping inside running car...
A Jamestown man found sleeping inside a running vehicle has been arrested on an outstanding warrent... and for being in possession of fentanyl and methamphetamine.  City police were called to an eastside location shortly after 10 a.m. Monday... and, found 25 year-old Dale Linkous inside the vehicle.  Officers were made aware of the warrant... and, also found that Linkous' driver's license had been revoked.  They add he was also required to have an Ignition Interlock System... but, it did not.  Linkous was taken into custody... and, he was found with the Meth and fentanyl in his possession... along with a small amount of cocaine that was inside the car.  He was also charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... third-degree Aggravated unlicensed opeartion... and, operation of a motor vehicle without an Ignition Interlock System.  Linkous was jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel signs 2024 budget approved by legislature...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel has now signed the 2024 budget that was approved by county lawmakers 15-4 last week.  Wendel says he's excited about the spending plan... which totals $294.1-million.  He noted that the legislature described the negotiation period as "probably one of the best" in some time... and the changes made were "very solid."  Wendel says budget, which lowers the tax rate by 89-cents per $1,000 full value, is a "sound" one for county residents.  While cutting the tax rate... Wendel's budget does include a $1.8-million increase in the tax levy... and, was rejected by all four Democrats on the legislature... who wanted to use more fund balance to lower the levy.  Wendel says one of the late changes made to the budget involved his proposal for a Lake Maintenance Fund that was reduced from $1-million to $500,000.


City Council introduces local law to increase income limit for Senior property tax exemption...
The Jamestown City Council has introduced a local law that would increase the amount of income seniors can receive, and still qualify for a local property tax exemption.  At-Large Councilman Jeff Russell formally introduced the measure during last night's voting session to be tabled for 30-days.  Russell says... raising the combined income from $19,000 to $22,000... will benefit a number of local seniors who recently received cost of living increases from Social Security.  He says there are a few dozen such residents were looking at losing the exemption if it stays in place.  In fact... he said some could see their taxes double if there is no increase.  Russell added that those seniors who were receiving only Social Security face the possibility of losing their homes due to the federal increase.  He brought up the idea at a recent work session.  Councilmembers noted that the change would also be in line with what Chautauqua County has done with the limits on income eligibility for a property tax exemption. 


Woman arrested for DWI after car strikes utility pole...
A 28 year-old woman is accused of driving drunk after her car struck a utility pole on Jamestown's westside early Sunday evening.  City police say they responded to the report shortly after 8 p.m., and, found that Kimberly Carare was driving the vehicle, and the sole occupant.  Officers say their investigation showed that Carare was driving while intoxicated, and her blood alcohol content was above the legal limit.  Police say they also determined that she was driving with a suspended license due to a previous DWI arrest in September.  Carare was taken into custody for DWI, first-degree Felony aggravated unlicensed operation of a Motor Vehicle... along with numerous traffic citations.  Carare was held pending arraignment.


Woman found with drugs at Jamestown city jail...
A woman who was arrested on previous charges last week in Jamestown has now been arrested for being in possession of two controlled substances illegally while being taken to the city jail.  Jamestown police say they were told that 37 year-old Danielle Braun was being remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail on the previous charges last week.  However... as she was being taken by court security to the city jail... she was found with the two illegal substances... and, she was issued appearance tickets for two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 30, 2023

City police arrest Jamestown woman for domestic shooting incident...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly shooting a man in the chest during a domestic incident at a westside home late last Saturday night.  Jamestown police were called to the unidentified address shortly before 11 p.m. for a reported shooting.  Officers say they found the male victim inside the home with a gunshot wound.  Police identified the suspect as 55 year-old Lasean Johnson... and, found the gun at the scene.  Johnson was arrested for first-degree assault... and, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  There has been no information provided on the victim.


County leaders praise response to Colony Motel fire...
Elected officials from in an around the Jamestown-area are praising first responders for the job they did with last week's massive fire that destroyed the Colony Motel in West Ellicott.  County Executive P.J. Wendel... who is still a volunteer with the Lakewood Fire Department... noted that it was an "all-hands" on deck situation early last Tuesday morning.  Wendel says 14 different fire departments from both Chautauqua County and northwestern Pa. responded, along with county EMS, and even the interim Health Director.  Wendel... who was a teacher in the Falconer School District for many years... talked about how he would drive by the motel just about every day.  He praised the firefighters who stayed at the scene for the better part of 12 hours that day... and, then responded again just before Midnight for a re-kindle.  County Legislator Elizabeth Rankin says her uncle owned the motel on Fairmount Avenue for a time... and, the Jamestown Republican said it's a piece of "family history that we've lost."  Republican Legislator Lisa Vanstrom lives in West Ellicott... and, thanked Johnny's Lunch, Tim Horton's and Farm Fresh Foods for donating food to the volunteers.
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The Colony Motel fire broke out just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday... and fully engulfed the central part of the structure before spreading to the room wings on each side.  What was left of the building was torn down later in the day... and, the cause remains under investigation.


City man arrested following domestic violence incident last Friday...
A Jamestown man faces a number of charges following an alleged domestic incident early last Friday morning on the city's southside.  Jamstown police were called to the scene about 7:45 p.m., and found 31 year-old Brandon Hogue and the female victim outside their home.  Officers say their investigation showed that Hogue had taken the woman's phone when she tried to call 911... and, he then laid on top of her... and, restrained her.  Police say he also covered her mouth and nose, making it difficult for her to breathe. While on scene... officers found the residence -- which is shared by Hogue, the female victim, and three children under the age of 17 -- was in a deplorable condition.  Hogue was arrested for second-degre unlawful imprisonment... criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, three counts of endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Hogue was held pending arraignment... and, more charges are pending.


Ribbon is cut on new Vitality Natural Health and Wellness in Lakewood...
It’s become a familiar sound, as the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce got out the giants scissors for its 63rd ribbon cutting of the year last Friday… this one near the clock tower on Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood.  It marked the grand opening of the Vitality Natural Health and Wellness Center at the former Lakewood Apothecary.  The business is now owned by Dr. Melissa Dengler who intends to follow in the path of the previous owner, Jim Rovegno, with the same staff.  Dengler says the staff is very helpful in directing customers to what they want and need.  She also has locations in Meadville and Grove City, Pa... and, is trained as a naturopathic doctor... specializing in homeopathic and herbal medicine, and lifestyle modifications.  Vitality Natural Health and Wellness will be open Monday through Friday from 9 to 6 and Saturdays from 9 to 2. 


Prendergast Library in Jamestown receives Historic Marker...
One of the city of Jamestown's oldest buildings and institutions has been recognized with an Historic Marker.  City officials... and, officials with the James Prendergast Library... joined together last Friday to unveil the city's 79th marker on the West Fifth Street side of the library.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist pointed out the library has been an important "community space" for some 132 years.  City Historian Ashley Senske noted that the James Prendergast the library is named after was not Jamestown's founder... but, his grandson.  Senske says... before he died at the age of 31... the younger Prendergast said in a memorandum wanted his business proceeds to be used for a "free library."  She says that was not common... especially in this region... at that time.  Senske says the library was originally built on that site in 1891... several years after the younger Prendergast died in 1879.  She adds that... a short time after James Prendergast wrote about wanting to someday establish a "free" library... they began to be popular in the late 19th Century.  One person who later helped establish one in the U.S. was Andrew Carnegie.

  
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Oct. 26, 2023

County Legislature approves $294.1-million, 2024 Budget in party-line vote...  
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a $294-million, 2024 budget that cuts the tax rate by 89-cents per $1,000 full value.  Lawmakers approved the spending plan after some debate by a 15-to-4, party line vote.  Minority Democrats did try to amend the budget twice... once by moving an additional $l-million from the undesignated fund balance to offset taxes.  However... Audit and Control Committee Chairman, Republican Dan Pavlock cautioned that there are some unknowns in the coming year... and, that one time "employee vacancy savings" have likely been used up because that's how some department heads were able to reduce their spending.  The amendment was defeated, 4-to-15... as was one to eliminate the relatively new Media Information Officer position.  Democrats said that would save just under $100,000.  Jamestown Democrat Billy Torres says the person filling that position was actually in the media prior to this... and, often covering the legislature meetings.  Torres says, while Justin Gould has done a good job, it shouldn't be at taxpayer expense.  Legislature Republicans also pointed out that some of the newer, added expenses were significant... totaling $2.9-million.  Lawmakers were able to find some additional savings to offset that.  The spending plan already used just over $1-million in fund balance to offset a slight increase in the tax levy.


Colony Motel fire remains under investigation, investigators asking public's help...
The investigation into the huge fire that's destroyed a more than 70 year-old, landmark hotel in West Ellicott is underway.  Celoron firefighters were called to the Colony Motel at 620 Fairmount Ave. just after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday to battle the blaze... which apparently began in the center portion of the structure.  Celoron Fire Chief Jamison Justham says that part of the building was heavily-involved in fire when they arrived... and it was spreading to the two wings of rooms on each side.  Two aerial trucks were still on the scene late Tuesday morning pouring water on the building.  Justham says there were 15 guests staying at the hotel... and, officials now say four people had to go to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries... two of them were firefighters.  County fire investigators say if anyone has information on the blaze, or were in the area just before the fire broke out, they're asking you to call them at (716) 661-7232...or Ellicott Town Police at 665-7083.


Former Colony Motel owner, Mary McAuliffe, talks about when the family owned it...
After 70 years of welcoming guests, the loss of the landmark Colony Motel in West Ellicott to fire has saddened many, including Mary Anne McAuliffe.  She and he late husband Denis owned the business at 620 Fairmount Ave. for around 40 years... through the early 2000s.  The family subsequently moved to a nearby house on Houston Avenue.  As a 'mom and pop' operation, Mary Anne says working at the Colony gave their four children a unique upbringing because they often did odd jobs and "regular" jobs at the business.  The McAuliffes' acquired the Colony in the early 1960's.  Mary Anne McAuliffe remembers the crowds that came in the early years to the furniture shows in Jamestown.  Space was so scarce, she would occasionally have a guest sleeping on the family sofa.  


Jamestown School Board approves putting $126-Mill., Phase-Two Capital Project up for public vote...
The Jamestown School Board has approved putting a $126-million, five-year capital project up for a public vote in December.  Board President Paul Abbott says the project will have no impact on local taxes... as the district is reimbursed by New York State at a rate of 98% on such projects.  In a press release... Abbott adds that the district has been able to save up the remaining two-percent of the cost over the past few years.  He says the project to be presented to community members for a vote on Tuesday, Dec. 12... with a public hearing on Dec. 5.  Abbott adds that "the Board of Education has made the continual improvements of our buildings, facilities, and infrastructure a priority and has been diligent in accomplishing this work in the most cost-effective way possible for our community."  This second, five-year project is part of the district's 10-year plan to improve the district’s school buildings following a 2019 Building Condition Survey.  The public hearing on Dec. 5, will be held in the Board Room at the Administration Building at 5:45 p.m.  The vote will be held Dec. 12 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the president schools... Lincoln Elementary... and, Jefferson and Washington Middle Schools.


Chautauqua Co. airports receiving $1.6-million from NYS for infrastructure and security projects...
Chautauqua County’s two public airports have received $1.6-million in funding from New York State for infrastructure and security enhancements.  In a press release... Airport Manager Shannon Fischer says Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that $49-million will be allocated for strategic infrastructure enhancements to improve safety, facilitate innovation, leverage existing resources, advance business development, and promote sustainability and resiliency at public-use airports across the state.  The Jamestown Airport is slated to receive $1.1-million to improve existing commercial space inside the terminal building... replace a rapid heating system for an existing hangar... and, replace the current security camera system in and around the terminal.  At the Dunkirk Airport... the state is awarding $500,000 for the replacement of two existing bi-fold hangar doors from the 1960’s with new electric bi-fold doors. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 24, 2023

Landmark motel in West Ellicott destroyed in early morning fire...
Flames of an unknown origin have destroyed a more than 70 year-old, landmark hotel in West Ellicott.  Celoron firefighters were called to the Colony Motel on Fairmount Avenue around 5:30 this morning to battle the blaze... which apparently began in the center portion of the structure.  Celoron Fire Chief Jamison Justham says that part of the building -- mainly in the back -- was heavily-involved in fire when they arrived.  Justham says the fire was starting to spread into the room wings when they got there.  Two aerial trucks were still on the scene at mid-morning, pouring water on the building.  That part of West Ellicott is serviced by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities... and, Justham says they were definately "taxing" the system... with about 4,000 gallons between those two aerials being poured per minute.  He adds they also set up a tanker shuttle to deal with the back of the structure.  Justham says there were 15 people staying at the hotel... and, four people had to go to the hospital.  Two were civilians... and, two were firefighters.  They all had minor injuries.  Justham says they, along with Lakewood and Busti... with some assistance from the Jamestown Fire Department... initially responded.  The building is being demolished.  Several other departments responded... with others on stand-by.  The cause of the blaze is under investigation.


Celoron Fire Chief: Fairmount Ave. to remain closed in that area most of the day due to fire...
The Colony Motel fire at 620 East Fairmount Ave. led to the closing of that four-lane portion of the highway this morning... and it will likely remain closed through the day today.  That from Celoron Chief Jamison Justham... who says that's due to the fact the building may have to have to be torn down at some point today.  Justham says that could be a "rather extensive process."  He says with that... it's likely that Fairmount Avenue will remain closed between Dunham and Howard Avenues through early this evening.  In addition... due to the strain from water being poured on what's left of the motel... the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says water in West Ellicott and west Jamestown will be discolored through the day today due to the water use for the fire. 


City man convicted in jury trial of criminal possession of loaded handgun...
A Jamestown man has been convicted by a Chautauqua County Court jury of being in possession of a loaded handgun illegally in early April of last year during a traffic stop.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says he was pleased to announce the panel reached the verdict against 36 year-old Joshua Hammer on Monday on one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Schmidt says the case was prosecuted by Assistant DA's Andrew Molitor and Erik Bentley.  He adds that Hammer faces a maximum of 25 years to life in state prison if found to be a persistant Felon with three previous Felony convictions.  Hammer will be sentenced on Dec. 18 in county court.


Jamestown man arrested for sexually abusing young child...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following an investigation into his allegedly sexually abusing a child under the age of 11 on the city's northside.  Jamestown police say arrested 47 year-old Jose Rosario last Saturday for first-degree sex abuse... first-degree predatory sex act... and predatory sex assault of a child.  Officers say Rosario was arraigned in Jamestown City Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail pending further court action.


Salamanca Man gets 23 years in prison for Child Porn... 
A Cattaraugus County man has been sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for producing child pornography three-years ago in his on-line accounts.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 38 year-old Robert Calkins, Jr. of Salamanca received the sentence in federal court in Buffalo Monday after being convicted of production of child pornography.  Prosecutors say in April of 2020... the state Police began an investigation into Calkins after receiving dozens of reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children... saying Calkins was in possession of suspected child pornography within his Google accounts.  In September 2020... investigators executed a search warrant at Calkins’ East Jefferson Street home in Salamanca... and, seized four cell phones and an S-D card.  A forensic analysis conducted by Homeland Security Investigations recovered thousands of images and videos of child pornography, including several images that Calkins produced using a minor victim.  


City Council discusses DPW and Parks budgets during Monday night deliberations...
The Jamestown City Council continued it's review of Mayor Eddie Sundquist's 2024 budget proposal with a look at one of the biggest departments in the city.  Acting Public Works Director Mark Roetzer discussed details of his spending plan during last night's budget session.  One question regarded what kind of Consolidated Highway Improvement Program... or CHIPS funding... the city was looking at for next year.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist and Roetzer noted that line item includes more than CHIPS funding.  Sundquist says there's also Emergency, and Recovery fund with that, among others.  The five items in that line total $1.5-million in 2024... which Sundquist says was a pretty good increase from the current year's $700,000.  Parks were also discussed... and, a question was raised over the Allen Park Ice Rink.  Sundquist's 2024 budget totals $40.15-million... and, includes a slight, $207,000 increase in the tax levy... but, no increase in the tax rate.  That would remain $23.69 per $1,000 under the proposal.

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 23, 2023

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening several youths who were fighting with a handgun...
A city man is accused of pulling a loaded handgun and threatening a large group of juveniles who were fighting late last Friday night on Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to the area of Newland Avenue and Charles Street just before 11:30 p.m. on a report of a large fight.  On arrival... officers were told that the group has mostly fled the area.   Their investigation determined that during the fight... a neighbor had come out of his home, and pointed a handgun equipped with a laser sight at the group.  They says the man was identified as 30 year-old Jacob Michael, who was taken into custody without incident, and taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Police were able to locate and secure the weapon -- a 9-mm handgun -- that was used in the incident.  Michael was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... second-degree menacing... and, endangering the welfare of a child.


Southside residents complaint to City Council about kids causing trouble in their neighborhood...
Some Jamestown residents are urging city police and lawmakers to take action to stop a "very large problem" with delinquent children on the city's southside.  Two of them -- Lorena and Sid Bernoudy -- live there, and, told the City Council recently that several kids -- one as young as 6 -- have been "terrorizing" an area of Broadhead Avenue between Newland Avenue and Kidder Street.  Lorena Bernoudy says it's especially a problem on Friday and Saturday nights... and, the kids don't seem to care.  Bernoudy says she told them she would call the cops... but, some have said "go ahead, they won't do anything."  Bernoudy says there have been some issues with children in the neighborhood in the past... but, "nothing like this."  City Councilman Jeff Russell -- a former JPD officer -- noted that with "Raise the Age" legislation... 17 and 18 year-olds cannot be charged as adults for many crimes.  However... Russell suggested they can go after the parents under New York's penal law for contributing to being a juvenile delinquent... or not supervising the child.  But... one person said in some cases parents are at work, and not at home to supervise the children.  Police Chief Tim Jackson concurred with what was being said... and, adds it's gotten to the point of police looking to make arrests.


Jamestown man sought on warrants in three jurisdictions arrested following warrant check...
A city man sought in three different jurisdictions was arrested early last weekend during a warrant check on Jamestown's westside.  City police say they were conducting the check shortly after 10 p.m. last Friday when they made contact with 48 year-old Paul Russo... who was sought by police in Jamestown, Fredonia, and Bradford, Pennsylvania.  However... Russo initially identified himself as a different person... then tried to run off to avoid arrest.  After a brief foot pursuit... Russo was taken into custody and was found in possession of a quantity of Hydrocodone.  He was charged with resisting arrest... second-degree criminal impersonation... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, being a fugitive from justice.  Russo was jailed pending arraignment.


CLN announces it's recruiting for it's Class of 2024...
A non-profit organization that identifies and nurtures regional leaders is now recruiting for it's Class of 2024.  The Chautauqua Leadership Network’s year-long leadership development gets underway next February with a two-day retreat at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron.  CLN Vice President Brian LeBarron says participants will learn leadership skills through several core competencies during the course of the year including building on strengths and assets.  Monica Simpson is a graduate of CLN's Class of 2016.  She says the leadership program helped her get to know Chautauqua County better at a time when she was relatively new to the area... and found it to be a "welcoming community" when she moved her in 2015.  Applications for the program are due by November 15th. Interested candidates can go to chautauqualeadership.org or call (716) 338-1555 to apply.


Silver Creek man accused of violating Leandra's Law in DWI accident...
A north county man has been arrested for allegedly violating Leandra's Law after his car crashed into a front yard in the village of Silver Creek with a juvenile inside the vehicle.  Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the Buffalo Street location about 5:30 PM last Friday on a complaint of an "erratic operator."  Before officers arrived on scene... it was reported that the suspect vehicle had crashed into the yard.  When they arrived... deputies found the driver, 26 year-old Allen Harris-the-third of Silver Creek, was driving while under the influence of alcohol with the child in the car.  Harris was arrested for DWI-Leandra's Law... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  He was processed at the Hanover Substation... and, issued appearance tickets for Hanover Town Court.


Ashville man arrested following DWI accident in Kiantone...
An Ashville man faces a drunk driving charge following a one-car, rollover accident in the town of Kiantone early last weekend.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Kiantone Road shortly after 10 p.m. last Friday.  The driver, 33 year-old Benjamin Eggleston, was found unhurt.  Deputies say their investigation determinied that Eggleston was operating the vehicle while intoxicated... and, he was arrested for DWI... and, failure to keep right.  He is to appear in Kiantone Town Court at a later date.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Oct. 20, 2023

Fire involving trailer containing old fires sends billowing, black smoke into air in and around Celoron...
A semi-trailer being used for storage in the back of a partly-wooded property in the village of Celoron pushed heavy, black smoke into the air around the Jamestown-area during the Noon hour today.  Celoron fire crews were called to the scene on East Livingston Avenue about 11:40 a.m., and, Public Information Officer Jordan Smith says the trailer was fully-ablaze when they arrived... and, says they pulled hand lines and extinguished the flames before pouring foam on it to keep the rubble from re-igniting.  Smith says it took about an hour for firefighters to bring the flames under control... due partly to the fact several old tires were stored inside the trailer.  Fortunately... Smith says crews were able to contain the flames... and, the melted rubber from the tires inside the trailer.  At this point... Smith says there's been no need to call in the county's HazMat Team... or the State DEC.  He tells us that a passer-by first spotted the fire... which remains under investigation.  Celoron firefighters were joined at the scene by Lakewood fire crews.  Smith says Busti was called in as well... but, were soon after sent back to their station as the fire was brought under control. 


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly threatening multiple students in from of JHS...
City police have arrested a Jamestown man who allegedly threatening several students outside Jamestown High School with a knife on Wednesday morning.  City police say they were called to the scene on East Second St. about 8:15 a.m. on a report of the man displaying the knife and threatening multiple students.  Officers say the suspect... identified as 20 year-old Devon Diers... then left the area... but, he was located a short time later with the help of a school safety officer.  Police say Diers was found with a knife in his possession... and, he was arrested for fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, five counts of endangering the welfare of a child.   He was jailed pending arraignment.


Man accused of leading police on vehicle chase Wednesday night into Ellicott...
A 39 year-old man wanted on multiple Felony warrants in the town of Ellicott is accused of leading police on a vehicle chase through Jamestown and into the town Wednesday night.  City police say members of their Violent Crime Unit conducted a traffic stop shortly after 9 p.m. in the area of Delaware and Cole Avenues after spotting a traffic infraction.  Officers say they turned on their emergency lights... but, the driver -- identified as Dustin Reagan -- failed to comply and led police on the pursuit.  Police identified the driver as Reagan... who then finally stopped the car in the town.  City police then made verbal contact with Reagan... who soon after got out of the car... and, was arrested without further incident.  He was later found with a small quantity of methamphetamine... and, was charged with third-degree unlawfully fleeing in a motor vehicle... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... as well as numerous traffic violations.  Reagan was jailed pending arraignment.


BPU Manager pleased to see city and utility receive $17-million-plus for Microgrid project...
The new microgrid project for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will be the major part of a more than $17-million project to upgrade the system against extreme weather events.  That from BPU Transmission and Distribution Manager Kris Sellstrom... who developed the idea of a microgrid for the public utility.  Sellstorm tells us the $17.3-million grant will not only help get the microgrid up and running...but, upgrade the entire underground system if there's a lot of damage to infrastructure that's above ground.  He says the underground cables connect to much of the core of the downtown area.  The grant money is coming from the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act... through the U.S. Department of Energy.  U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced the award Wednesday... and, says the project will also add and create, good-paying union jobs.  Sellstrom says the BPU will negotiate a final grant contract with the Department of Energy over the next four months... then begin final design work.  He says the project would be completed in about five years.  Between their gas turbine and steam generators... he says the BPU can produce just over 80 megawatts of power.  However... if their interconnect with the Dow Street Substation goes down... they can't run those systems right now.  He says the planned upgrades would allow them to do that. 


Jamestown part of NYS Action Plan for broadband monies...
The city of Jamestown has been included in New York state's action plan to receive federal funding for the potential creation of a municipally-owned broadband program.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says Empire State Development last week included the city's plan for creating the local system in it's five-year action plan.  Sundquist says the plan... which lays out a framework for implementing $664-million of state-funding from the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program... describes how to most effectively invest New York’s allocation in ways that will attract private investment and reach unserved and underserved areas.  He says that would be done with a mix of fiber optic and wireless internet technologies.  It's estimated that a municipally-owned broadband network in Jamestown would cost $25-million to build and operate.  However... the monthly cost for users would remain fixed while providing a faster service.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Oct. 19, 2023

City of Jamestown and BPU awarded $17.3-million for new microgrid, other fail-safe systems to keep power on during severe weather...
The manager who developed the idea of a microgrid for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities says he's very pleased to see the BPU getting a $17.3-million federal grant for the project.  Transmission and Distribution Manager Kris Sellstorm also tells us it's the full amount the BPU and city was seeking for the project... which will also update and enhance their systems if there's a widespread outage due to extreme weather.  Sellstrom says they still need to go through the formal process of getting the grant... but, he adds it will bring a lot of value to our community."  The grant money will come from the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act... through the U.S. Department of Energy.  U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced the award Wednesday... and, says the project will also add and create, good-paying union jobs.  Sellstrom says... between their gas turbine and steam generators... they can produce just over 80 megawatts of power.  However... if their interconnect with the Dow Street Substation goes down... they can't run those systems right now.  He says the microgrid would allow those systems to be not only up... but, get necessary power to the community.  In addition... Sellstrom says they have a number of underground connections that would be upgraded so that... if a storm that takes down several major power lines... they would have the underground systems in place as back-up to keep electricity flowing to local schools... and, other key locations.


Twin brothers accused of parking violations... fighting with police; one sucker punches officer...
Twin brothers from Jamestown are in trouble with the law after one refused to park his Sports Utility Vehicle legally... and, he fought with police and his brother then sucker punched one officer.  City police working a Gun-Involved Violence Enforcement detail spotted the SUV pulled over at Superior Street and Forest Avenue just after 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.  Officers say the vehicle... driven by 18 year-old Ruben Medina... was parked illegally and blocking traffic.  Police asked Medina several times to park the vehicle legally.  However... he failed to comply... and he also refused to provide his driver's license and registration.  He was advised he would be arrested if he didn't comply... but, he continued to refuse.  Ruben Medina then punched and fought with the officer.  During the altercation... his twin brother, Raymond... tried to pull him away so he could evade arrest.  However... failing to break contact, Raymond sucker punched the officer.  Raymond Medina then fled the scene... and, other officers responded to assist getting Ruben into custody.  Officers searched for some time to find Raymond... but, he remains at-large... and, faces second-degree assault, and resisting arrest charges.  Ruben Medina was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Anyone with information on Raymond Medina's whereabouts is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or their Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips... that's 483-8477.


County D-A announces plea agreement with north county man for illegal weapon's possession...
A Silver Creek man has pleaded guilty to being in possession of a weapon illegally... and, faces 3 to 6 years in prison when he's sentenced in December.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 28 year-old Dakota Sugg entered the plea Wednesday in County Court to third-degree criminal possession of a weapon as part of a plea agreement.  At the time of his plea... Schmidt says Sugg was also indicted on another charge.  In addition to his indicted cases... he had several pending matters in local justice courts across the north county involving damages to the personal property of other people.  As part of his plea deal... Schmidt says Sugg's pending charges were settled and he has agreed pay restitution for property damages alleged in his pending cases.  He will be sentenced in Chautauqua County court by Judge David Foley on Dec. 18. 


Gillibrand calls for additional funding to protect synagogues and other houses of worship due to "troubling rise" in anti-semitism, and Islamaphobia...
The recent terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel has exacerbated an already troubling rise in anti-semitic... and, Islamaphobic crimes in New York -- and the nation.  That's why U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging both houses of Congress to increase the amount of funding for a program that helps defend synagogues, and other religious institutions.  During a video conference call with statewide media Wednesday morning... the New York Democrat said she had previously requested a record $360-million for the National Security Grant Program.  She wants that increased to $500-million now to help made those places safe because "hatred and violence have no place in our communities."  Gillibrand says the grants allow house of worship to make physical improvements to provide more protection and security for them.  Earlier this year... she says that the FBI issued a new report on anti-semetic attacks... showing that those increased by more than 37% in 2022... the biggest increase since such crimes have been tracked.  Gillibrand adds that the number of hate crimes against Muslims since 2020 have more than tripled in New York state. 


Gillibrand says not having a House Speaker could delay security, and defense funding for houses of worship, and generally for Israel and Ukraine...The current dysfunction in the House of Representatives could derail any efforts to increase funding to help houses of worship improve their security.  Senator Gillibrand was asked about the on-going problem majority Republicans have had in voting for a new Speaker to replace Kevin McCarthy.  Efforts to elect Ohio Republican Jim Jordan have not garnered the necessary 217 votes.  In addition to the additional security funding for synagogues and other houses of worship... Gillibrand says funding for the war in Ukraine... and, for Israel... will be held up if nothing is resolved.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Oct. 18, 2023

County Sheriff's officers investigating pair of alleged arson fires in front of two Brocton churches...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating a pair of incidents in which fires were set in front of two different churches in the Village of Brocton. In a Facebook post... the department states that it has been working with representatives of the churches and is actively pursuing these cases.  There have been no injuries nor major damage reported as a result of these incidents.  The public is encouraged to contact law enforcement if they observe suspicious activity around places of worship.  If anyone has any information about these incidents... call the Sheriff's Office at 753-4232 and ask for Investigator Doug Walter or Deputy Karlstrom.


Sheriff's Dept. announces new collaboration with IGNITE program to lower jail recidivism rates...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has become the first in New York state to take part in a new educational program designed to help lower recidivism rates.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone hosted a press conference in Jamestown late Tuesday morning with other sheriff's, and law enforcement leaders who are part of the IGNITE -- or Individual Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education -- program.  Quattrone says the county jail will be the 11th in the United States to take part... and, says it's "a comprehensive rehabilition program to provide inmates with education, vocational training and life skills that will allow them to (reenter) society upon release."  He says the program has been developed jointly with the National Sheriff's Association... and, has been very successful in both Mecklenberg County in North Carolina... and, Genesee County, Michigan.  The Genesee County program was the first in the nation in 2020.  Officials say the beauty of the program is it's all volunteer... and, inmates -- now referred to as "residents" -- are given incentives to be in the program.  The program is flexible, and counties can choose what to offer depending on collaboration with local resources.  Among the programs that can be offered are GED classes... job certification and post-incarceration work opportunities and assistance — all things not traditionally offered in jails, which are primarily pretrial holding facilities.


Quattrone says NYS Bail Reform should not be a hinderance to IGNITE program...
Bail Reform has changed how jail inmates are incarcerated... and if they are at all.  However... Sheriff Jim Quattrone says all inmates at the Chautauqua County Jail can take part in the IGNITE program -- if they want to.  Quattrone says they are working with outside entities to allow the programs to continue outside the jail if necessary so they can complete the program.  Among the other entities represented that would be part of the program were: Jamestown Community College... and the Erie-2, Chautauqua, Cattarugus BOCES.  Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone was also on hand... and, said he's pleased to have such a program in place now because the county has many resources for people who are incarcerated.  Barone says this will help tie them together.


Concord Grape crop slow to come in this Fall...
Chautauqua County’s concord grape harvest is coming in, but Steve Cockram, General Manager of Growers’ Coop in Westfield says it’s been slow.  Cockram says they're only 40% of the way into the harvest.  However... he says it's "a big crop."  Cockram says he estimates they are about two weeks behind, but says the wait was worth it, in terms of quality.  He says the birx level is kind of "average."  Brix is a measure of sweetness in the grapes.  The hope now is they’ll be able to get the harvest completed before a major frost or snow storm.  Demand for concord is strong.  Farmers should receive about $400 for each ton of grapes.  Growers’ Coop accounts for about 10% of the 30,000 acres of grapes in the Lake Erie belt… selling most of its output wholesale. 


City man arrested following back-to-back domestic incidents...
A Jamestown man is accused of tackling a woman to the ground during a pair of domestic incidents on the city's eastside that happened within 20 minutes of each other.  City police were first called to the location about 9:15 a.m. Tuesday... and, on arrival spoke with both 34 year-old Justin Martin, and, a woman inside the home.  Neither party wanted to press charges at that time.  However... about five minutes after officers left... they responded to a second 9-1-1 call from the residence.  Police later found that Martin had gone into a bedroom and tackled the female victim... and, held her down while forcibly taking a pack of cigarette's out of her hands.  After he left the room... the victim locked the door and called 9-1-1.  Martin then returned and kicked the bedroom door open... causing more than $250 damage.  He was arrested at the scene on charges including third-degree criminal mischief... fourth-degree grand larceny and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  Martin was arraigned and later released per bail reform.


Arrest made in Frewsburg-area riding mower theft...         
A Jamestown man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a riding lawn mower in the Sandberg Road area of the town of Carroll.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene last Thursday... and, the mower was recovered Tuesday.  Deputies say they arrested 36 year-old Joshua Warner for fourth-degree grand larceny.  Warner was issued an appearance ticket for Carroll Town Court at a later date.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 17, 2023

City lawmakers begin work on 2024 budget proposal...
Jamestown City Council members are still gathering information on Mayor Eddie Sundquist's 2024 budget proposal.  There is some money not yet accounted for in the $40.15-million spending plan which was released just over a week ago.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says one item left out was an initial payment on the $6.8-million to $6.9-million they're looking to borrow for capital projects and repairs.  That's estimated to be about $160,000 dollars... and, there's about $10,000 for software and training in the Information Technology Department.  There were other areas of concern... including a significant jump in the amount budgeted for Summer Parks Laborers.  Councilman Andrew Faulker asked Mayor Eddie Sundquist about that.  Sundquist says it's a "combined" number with the Youth Employment Program at the Parks Department's recommendation.  Ecklund later added that the city also needs to account for 15 to 20 properties that have been torn down... and, won't be producing anymore tax revenue.  The budget review will continue next Monday night.


**(New)County Sheriff's Office to be part of new IGNITE jail inmate program...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has become the first in New York state to take part in a new educational program designed to help lower recidivism rates.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone hosted a press conference in Jamestown late Tuesdaymorning with other sheriff's, and law enforcement leaders who are part of the IGNITE -- or Individual Growth Naturally and Intentionally Through Education -- program.  Quattrone says the county jail will be the 11th in the U.S. to take part in the comprehensive program designed to provide inmates with education, job training, and life skills so they can be a contributing part of society once released.  More on it tomorrow.


Chagnon says Democrats budget proposal was not presented during budget talks...
Two budget proposals announced recently by Chautauqua County Legislature Democrats were not discussed during the recent budget sessions.  One was to use another $1-million in fund balance to further reduce the tax levy... and, rate in the county.  The second would eliminate the still-new Media Information Officer's position.  Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon says none of the four Demcrats brought those up... and, that was somewhat of a surprise.  However... amendments can still be offered on the floor of the legislature at it's Oct. 25 meeting... when lawmakers are expected to vote on the final spending plan, which totals about $294.1-million.  The legislature will hold a public hearing prior to that vote a week from this Wednesday. 


City woman arrested for hitting another woman several times during reported domestic incident...     
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly hitting another woman several times on the city's northside before fleeing the scene to avoid capture.  City police were called to a Fluvanna Avenue business shortly before Noon Monday for a report of a "domestic dispute in progress."  Officers say the suspect -- identified as 40 year-old Amie Griffith -- was later found with her car on Prendergast Avenue.  Upon further investigation... police determined that Griffith had struck the victim several times in the face and body through her car window while also damaging the woman's $500 prescription glasses.  Griffith was taken into custody on charges of second-degree harassment and third-degree criminal mischief.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


Man from Hanover arrested for harassment...
A town of Hanover man has been arrested for allegedy getting into a physical altercation with another person at a home in the town early last Saturday.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Jaekle Avenue about 10:40 a.m. Saturday... and, their investigation showed that 41 year-old Robert Bissell made unwanted physical contact to another person.  Officers arrested Bissell for second-degree harassment... and, he was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Sundquist and Ecklund discuss and debate public safety in mayor's forums...
Public safety has come up time and again as an issue in this year's race for mayor in the city of Jamestown.  Incumbant Mayor Eddie Sundquist's administration has been criticized for being slow to react to some of those... including security in the city's two parking ramps.  However... Councilwoman Kim Ecklund, who is the Republican challenger in the race, says public safety becomes a broad issue that includes more than police and fire protection.  Ecklund says there hasn't been a "great environment" coming out of the pandemic with people not working, mental health issues, and others.  She says that's why she supported proposals to hire a new "nuisance officer" to deal with noise and other "quality of life" issues... as well as hire more officers.  For his part... Sundquist says his administration made those moves in response to community meetings he's held with residents.  As for the ramps... security issues were first reported more than a year ago in the Cherry Street ramp.  More recently... they became a bigger issue in the Spring Street facility.  Sundquist says they've been able to boost personnel... including police patrols for the ramps.  However... Ecklund says the administration has been late on making those changes. 


City woman arrested for alleged shoplifting at Brooklyn Square Rite Aid...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly shoplifting at pharmacy in Brooklyn Square last Saturday night.  City police were called to the Rite Aid store at 50 South Main St. about 7 p.m. for a reported theft.  Officers say they found that 38 year-old Jennifer Allen had put store merchandise in her shirt before leaving the store without paying for those items.  Police located Allen near the scene... and, she was arrested without incident.  She was jailed on a petty larceny charge pending arraignment.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 16, 2023

Fire heavily damages garage in town of Arkwright...
Firefighters from six departments battled a garage fire early Monday morning in the Town of Arkwright.  Crews from Forestville, Cassadaga, Sheridan, Sunset Bay, East Dunkirk and Fredonia responded to the blaze at a detached garage at 1994 Shaw Rd. shortly after 2:30 a.m. The Forestville department reported on it's Facebook page that flames began to melt the siding on the house and cracked all the windows in the front.  Additional tankers were called... but, not needed.  One firefighter was taken to a local hospital for a medical issue.  County fire investigators were also called to the scene.


Jamestown man arrested for assault, and attempted assault of police during domestic investigation...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting one Jamestown police officer... and, trying to assault another...  as he was being arrested for an alleged domestic dispute.  City police say they were called to a southside address shortly before 1 a.m. last Saturday... and, learned while going to the scene that the suspect had allegedly forced his way into a nearby home.  Once they arrived... officers tried to take 23 year-old Xavier Williams into custody.  However... they say Williams refused to follow commands... and, tried to hit a uniformed police officer.  During the ensuing struggle... another officer suffered a minor injury.  Police say their investigation found that Williams had allegedly grabbed and choked a female victim prior to forcing entry into a nearby home and trying to assault the occupants inside.  Williams was taken to the city jail... pending arraignment on charges including second-degree attempted assault of a police officer... second-degree assault of an officer... second-degree burglary and harassment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing.


City man arrested for violating orders of protection in weekend incident...
A Jamestown man is accused of again violating orders of protection... this time for four people... three of them children.  City police were called to a violation of an order of protection complaint shortly after 12 p.m. last Saturday... and, made contact with 42 year-old Timothy Smith... who had been released from jail that morning.  Upon being released from jail... officers say Smith entered and remained inside the victim's home as three of the protected children were inside.  He was arrested and taken to the city jail where he was being held on four counts of second-degree criminal contempt... and one count of second-degree criminal trespass... pending arraignment.


Despite nearly $3-million in additional expenses... legislature able to eliminate any increase in 2024 budget proposal...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has been able to find enough savings and additional monies to offset just under $3-million in added expenses in the proposed 2024 budget proposal.  Lawmakers will do a final review of the spending plan during this week's committee meetings after being able to trim the spending plan back to the levels in Executive P.J. Wendel's tentative proposal.  Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon was pleased with how the first round of deliberations went.  Chagnon says lawmakers were able to find some additional reductions, and revenues.  He says increases were anticipated in four areas: The first was an additional $650,000 in payments to New York state for Medicaid.  The second was having to pay out another $750,000 in "safety net" funding.  Chagnon adds that state retirement costs are up nearly $1-million... and, court-ordered psychiatric evalutions are up about $500,000.  However... lawmakers did find additional reductions... the biggest being road salt costing the county $500,000 less next year. 
----
Once lawmakers complete the final review at this Thursday's Audit and Control meeting... the just over $294-million budget will be up for a public hearing and vote at the legislature's Oct. 25 meeting. 


Hanover man arrested for harassment...
A north county man has been arrested for allegedy getting into a physical altercation with another person at a home in the town of Hanover.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Jaekle Ave. about 10:40 a.m. Saturday... and, their investigation fund that 41 year-old Robert Bissell of Hanover made unwanted physical contact to another person.  Deputies arrested Bissell for second-degree harassment... and, he was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Borrello joins workers at Collins Correctional Facility for protest over "celebration" for inmates...
State Senator George Borrello joined with correctional officers and their families last Friday to denounce a decision by the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to host a celebration for inmates and their families amid increasing inmate-on-staff violence and deteriorating working conditions.  Borrello says union leaders for the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association were also on hand to express their outrage.  Senator Borrello says "while our hardworking correctional officers are being assaulted and injured in record numbers... and whose own family lives are suffering because of extraordinary amounts of forced overtime... DOCCS has expended its focus and resources on planning a celebration for inmates and their children... and, a ‘pampering’ event for wives and girlfriends." 


Langworthy supports Jordan for House Speaker...
As House Republicans continue to struggle with naming a new speaker... local Congressman Nick Langworthy has thrown his support behind House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan.  Langworthy says "the time is come for the Republican Conference to unite and support Jim Jordan to be the next Speaker of the House.  Jim has a plan to take us forward in a narrow majority in divided government.  He has a proven track record of conservative leadership that makes him uniquely qualified to bring us together with a stronger resolve." 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Oct. 13, 2023

Parole visit leads to arrest of Jamestown for allegedly trafficking large amounts of drugs...
A home Parole visit has led to the arrests of two Jamestown residents following a drug raid Thursday morning.  City police say they were assisting State Parole officials with the visit to check on 41 year-old Samuel Arrington at 9 King St.  Officers say they located a shotgun... white powdery substance and ammunition inside the home... and, they contacted the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force to assist in the investigation.  Police say they applied for a search warrant... and, found a loaded, .357-caliber revolver... a 12-gauge shotgun... ammunition for both guns... nearly 108-grams of powder cocaine... 119.8 grams of fentanyl... scales, and about $2,300 in cash.  Police arrested for Arrington, along with 32 year-old Desire Williams.  Arrington is charged with second-and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.... and, endangering the welfare of a child because Williams child was present in the house.  She is only charged with child endangerment.  If you have information about drug or other criminal activity... call the JPD Tip line at 483-TIPS (8477).  For the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Tip line call 664-2420.


Trailer fire in town of Hanover under investigation...
Firefighters from multiple area departments battled a trailer fire overnight Thursday in the Town of Hanover.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say the blaze on Angell Road was reported shortly after Midnight.  Crews from Hanover Center, Forestville, Silver Creek, Sunset Bay and Irving were among the responders.  Meanwhile, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Silver Creek man after following up on their investigation into the blaze.  Deputies say they located 43-year-old Jeremiah Haas, who was allegedly in violation of an active stay-away order of protection.  Haas was taken into custody and charged with second-degree criminal contempt.


Coast Guard to hold "Boat America" class in Lakewood Saturday...
An eight-hour "Boat America" Class will be hosted this weekend by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in the village of Lakewood.  The class will be held on Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m., at American Legion Post #1286 on Chautauqua Avenue.  Coast Guard Auxiliary spokesperson Margaret Mary Wagner says it's part of an effort to get about one million boaters in New York in compliance with Brianna's Law... and the cost is nominal -- $30 to cover the books used.  Wagner says the best part of the class is that it's good in about 40 states.  Brianna's Law is named after an 11-year-old girl who was killed in a boating accident off Long Island a few years ago... the the pilot of the other boat really had "no idea of the rules and regulations" for powerboating.  The law was signed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2019.... and, requires all powerboaters to complete a boating safety course by the end of 2024... no matter their age.


Nelson formally announces run for full-term in legislature for Dist. 13...
Chautauqua County Legislator Tom Nelson is running for a first, full-term on the legislature in this November's election.  Nelson was appointed to fill the District 13 seat this past January when it was vacated by retiring Paul Whitford.  In his announcement... Nelson says... "our county needs economic development, a commitment to public safety, opportunities for our young people, and care for our elderly.  We need to address our declining population, bring back commercial air service to Jamestown, and, support job creation by supporting new businesses, and develop shovel-ready sites."  Before joining the County Legislature, Nelson served on the Jamestown City Council from 2015-to-2021 representing Ward 6.  While on the council, he served on the Public Works Committee.  He's now a member of the legislature's Public Safety Committee.


Winning Powerball "Power Play" winner sold in Warren Co., Pa...
A Country Fair store in Warren County, Pennsylvania has sold a winning "Power Play" ticket for two recent Powerball drawings.  It wasn't from Wednesday's historic, $1.7-billion drawing... but, is worth $150,000 to the ticket holder.  In all... the Pennsylvania State Lottery says there were six such winners... totalling $900,000... this past Monday and last Saturday.  Four of those six were drawn Monday night... with tickets matching four out of the five white balls drawn... along with the red Powerball. 


New memoir from Salman Rushdie to account attack at Chautauqua Institution...
Author Salman Rushdie has a memoir coming out about the horrifying attack that left him blind in his right eye and with a damaged left hand.  “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder” will be published April 16.  In a statement released Wednesday by Penguin Random House... Rushdie said "this was a necessary book for me to write: a way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art."  Last August, Rushdie was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and abdomen by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture at Chautauqua Institution.  The attacker, 25 year-old Hadi Matar of New Jersey, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and attempted murder... and, is still awaiting trial.  For some time after Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa calling for Rushdie's death over alleged blasphemy in his novel “The Satanic Verses,” the writer lived in isolation and with round-the-clock security.  But for years since... he had moved about with few restrictions, until the stabbing at the Chautauqua Institution.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Oct. 12, 2023

Weapons detection pilot program to be conducted at Friday night's JHS Varsity Football game...
Jamestown school superintendent Kevin Whitaker says there'll be something new at the main gate this Friday night for those attending the Jamestown football game at Strider Field.  Dr. Whitaker says they'll be testing out a new weapons detection system for the game against visiting Bennett.  Two detectors, rented from Chautauqua Institution, will be set up at the main gate.  Whitaker says it'll be a good test for the staff to see what challenges the system creates at the gate.  For fans attending the game... it'll be a reminder of what's not allowed on school grounds... including any kind of weapon, and or illegal drugs.  Whitaker says the test was one of several recent recommendations from the district's Safety Committee.  While games so far this year at the Jamestown field have been relatively civil, tensions have been high at some contests in the Buffalo-area this fall, leading to the suspension of one game and the cancellation of several others. 


City man arrested in major drug raid on southside...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a raid on his home on the city's southside for allegedly trafficking a variety of drugs... and, being in possession of firearms.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators... and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant just after 8 a.m. Wednesday at 15 Myers Ave.  Police say the JPD SWAT Team gained entry to the home... and, agents found two pistols... .45 caliber ammunition... just over 74-grams of powder cocaine... 13.1-grams of fentanyl... 12.3-grams of crack cocaine... 81.7-grams of psilocyben mushrooms... just over 29-hundred grams of marihuana, and others -- including several thousand dollars in cash.  Police say a child was found inside the home.  They arrested 48 year-old Ameir Glover after he left the home... and, a traffic stop was conducted on his car.  Glover was taken to the city jail... then the county jail where he is being held for the DEA on federal charges. Glover will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on his charges at a later time. 


Dunkirk man identified as person killled in Route 60 head-on crash in town of Pomfret...
A Dunkirk man was killed when his Sports Utility Vehicle collided head-on Monday morning with a tanker truck on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret.  State Police in Jamestown responded to the scene about 10:15 AM... and, found that 41 year-old Samuel Lobley's southbound GMC S-U-V had crossed into the on-coming lane... and, struck the truck.  Lobley was pronounced dead at the scene.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say the accident forced Route 60 in that area to be closed until about 4 PM Monday.  Police say the state Department of Environmental Conservation was called to the scene to clean up a diesel fuel leak.  Troopers say Lobley's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.  The state Police Reconstruction Unit... and other agenies assisted police with the investigation.


County lawmakers approved revised OFAS receipt of $286,000 federal grant to help get vaccines out...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved the Office for Aging Services receiving a $286,000 federal grant to help get people more people important vaccines.  Interim County Public Health Director Dr. Michael Faulk says it's especially timely with recent upticks in respiratory diseases... like COVID.  However... lawmakers recently amended the measure to say the funding will not be used to give "incentives" for people to do it.  Faulk says this will help get people those vaccines who need them.  The amendment was approved with Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel voting "no."  Neibel also cast the lone "no" vote on the final resolution.  He cited a vote on a $75,000 grant last year that health officials said would not be used to push the COVID vaccine on children under 5.  However... Neibel says, while the Health Department later apologized for that,  he's concerned it will happen again.  Dr. Faulk says it's part of the effort to prevent disease and it's spread. 


Sundquist announces initiatives in his 2024 budget proposal...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist's 2024 budget proposal includes a number of initiatives... targeting dilapitated housing... and, the city's parks.  During his recent budget presentation... Sundquist said $500,000 will be added to the usual amount budgeted to demolish what he calls "unsalvagable" condemned homes.  Sundquist adds the Home Rehabilitiation program will be expanded, and there will be a new sidewalk repair fund.  He says there's also some infrastructure work is also planned for storm sewers.  Sundquist adds there will be projects coming to fruition at some of the city's parks in 2024... including new splash pads at two parks... and, major improvements to Willard and Roseland Parks.  He says he's also budgeted some additional manpower for the Parks Department.  The budget... which totals $40.15-million... marks the first time the city budget has exceeded $40-million.  While the tax levy is up slightly in the budget... Sundquist says the tax rate remains at $23.69 cents per $1,000 assessed value.  City Council will begin it's full review of the spending plan at next Monday night's work session.  A final budget is due by Dec. 1.
  
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 10, 2023

Dunkirk man driving SUV killed in collision with tanker-truck on Route 60 in Pomfret...
A Dunkirk man has been identified as the person killed when his Sports Utility Vehicle collided head-on with a tanker truck on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret.  State Police in Jamestown responded to the scene about 10:15 a.m. Monday... and, found that 41 year-old Samuel Lobley's southbound GMC SUV had crossed into the on-coming lane... and, struck the truck.  Lobley was pronounced dead at the scene.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say the accident forced Route 60 in that area to be closed until about 4 p.m. yesterday.  Police say the state Department of Environmental Conservation was called to the scene to clean up a diesel fuel leak.  Troopers say Lobley's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.  The state Police Reconstruction Unit... another other agenies assisted with the investigation.


Wanted man on bicycle arrested after colliding with patrol car in Jamestown...     
A Jamestown man sought by police was arrested late Saturday morning after leading city police on a short chase until his bicycle crashed into a marked patrol car.  Jamestown police were trying to conduct a "street check" on 31 year-old Joseph James on West Sixth Street about 11:30 a.m., and, found that James was wanted on a Felony arrest warrant.  But... when police went to stop him... he rode off on his bike before hitting the patrol car near Washington Street.  James was then arrested without further incident... and, taken to the city jail, where he was additonally charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief... resisting arrest, and multiple traffic infractions.  He was held pending arraignment.


Borrello to host Town Hall meeting in Gerry next week...
A state lawmaker from the region has announced that he will hold a town hall meeting in Chautauqua County next week.  State Senator George Borrello says the meeting will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Gerry Rodeo Conference Center on Route 60.  The Sunset Bay Republican says residents will have an opportunity to bring up their questions and concerns about issues New York State is facing.  Borrello says it's an opportunity for him to update residents on current issues in Albany, and hear what's on their minds.  He adds the meeting is open to everyone, and he adds that no registration is necessary.


County jail inmate, woman charged for trying to bring illegal drugs into jail...
A Chautauqua County Jail inmate and a Jamestown woman have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle narcotic drugs into the Mayville facility.  Sheriff's officers say their Intelligence Unit learned that 36 year-old Jena Blocker was trying to bring contraband into the jail during a pre-visit security screening on Sept. 21.  They released Blocker at that time, pending an investigation.  Then on Sept. 29... officers located, and arrested Blocker in the city on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... first-degree promoting prison contraband... and fifth-degree conspiracy.  The inmate involved... 30 year-old Brent Robbins... was arraigned separately on fifth-degree conspiracy charge.


Wendel pushing state for pause on "Sanctuary Status" in state stem migrant/asylum-seeker influx...
The best way to handle New York state's migrant crisis would be to pause the state's "Sanctuary State" status for one-year to ease the situation in New York City and the upstate region.  That from Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says he recently spoke with the head of the New York State Association of Counties... Steve Acquario, and, says he supports the idea wholeheartedly.  The request has been made to state officials... but, Wendel says they have not yet responded.  He says they've called on state leaders to meet with county executives about the issue for more than a year.  In order to find more room for the migrant surge... New York City officials have reportedly been working to move the homeless out of their shelters to one's upstate.  Wendel says that's what led him to issue a new executive order just over a week ago to prevent local entities from contracting to take additional homeless people into the county.  He made his comments during last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Whitaker outlines next Capital Project for JPS...
The Jamestown Public School's are looking ahead to their next capital project, with the huge, $86-million capital project now well underway.  That next project will include $2-million worth of projects at the three middle schools... and, School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says about $400,000 worth of projects will be done at Jefferson Middle School... and, Strider Field.  Dr. Whitaker says some work will be done in the parking lot... and the soccer lot.  He says they're also looking indoors for work on gym floors and others in the building.  Whitaker says there will also be heating and ventilation work.  District officials say they're also looking at replacing the scoreboard at Strider Field... and replacing the external lights with LED lighting at Jefferson.  There will also be heat replacement and upgrades to the track at Persell Middle School... and, the relocation of the nurse's office to establish a school-based health center at Washington Middle School.  The capital work is estimated to cost $1.4-million at Persell Middle School... $400,000 at Jefferson... and, about $125,000 at Washington. 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 9, 2023

Police investigating crash involving tractor-trailer at SUV on Rt. 60 in Pomfret...
A crash involving a tractor-trailer and a Sports Utility Vehicle shut down a section of Route 60 in the Town of Pomfret for several hours Monday.  Chautauqua County dispatchers say the crash occurred at about 10:15 a.m., and, that it caused the SUV to roll over.  Route 60 was closed between Webster and Straight Roads... but, it reopened about 4 p.m.  State Police are handling the investigation.


Woman and girl hurt when their car is struck by a train in the town of Portland...
Two people were hurt... but, apparently not seriously... when the car they were in was struck by a train at the Munson Road crossing in the town of Portland.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 1:30 p.m. Sunday on a report of a Norfolk-Southern Train hitting a vehicle.  Deputies say the driver... 37 year-old Shannono Burgun of Brocton... failed to stop at the stop sign prior to crossing the tracks.  Burgun and a 12 year-old girl were taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment of their injuries.  Burgun was charged with failure to stop.


North county man arrested for trying to hit person with his vehicle, and breaking into their home...
A Fredonia man faces several charges after allegedly trying to hit someone with his car in the village of Brocton... and, tried to break into the victim's house during a separate incident.  Sheriff's officers and State Police both responded to a Central Avenue location about 8:30 a.m. last Friday... and, determined that 38 year-old Matthew Galen had gotten into an altercation with a person at the residence, and then tried to hit that person with his vehicle.  He's also accused of gaining access to the home during another incident... and, damaging someone elses property inside.  Galen is then accused of fleeing the scene... but, was later found and arrested without incident.  He was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment... third-degree criminal tampering... second-degree burglary... and, fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Galen was taken for processing... then taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment.


Sundquist says flat tax rate in budget due to increased property values, and more anticipated revenues in 2024...
A big increase in property values, and more projected revenues are allowing the city of Jamestown to keep taxes flat in Mayor Eddie Sundquist's 2024 budget proposal.  Sundquist unveiled his $40.15-million spending plan late last Friday... and, says his administration is anticipating about $1.3-dollars more in revenues next year... and some of that is due to the increase in property value.  He says that increase is projected to be about 22%.  Overall... property taxes are expected to increase by $207,000, and, some payment-in-lieu of tax agreements will end on some others that will now be fully taxed.  Sundquist says the city has been able to hold overall expenses to a 3.5% increase... which is under the rate of inflation... which is projected to be 4% in 2024.  He says the equalizaton rate next year is expected to be 73%... which is down from 88% in 2023.  The property tax rate would remain $23.69 cents per $1,000 assessed value under the proposed budget.  A final spending plan is due Dec. 1.


Teen charged in connection to two-car accident in town of Hanover...
An 18 year-old boy has been charged following a two-car crash late last week in the north county town of Hanover.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Routes 5 and 20 near the McDonald's restaurant about 3 p.m. last Friday.  Deputies say one person was taken to Brooks-TLC Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Officers say their investigation showed that the teen made an improper right turn... and, moved from lane unsafely causing the accident.  The unidentified teen was issued traffic tickets for the two infractions... and, will appear in Hanover Town Court.


Ribbon cut on new state-of-the-art playground at Hartley Park in Lakewood...
A large gathering of supporters and other leaders braved a cool, breezy afternoon at Lakewood's Hartley Park to cut the ribbon on the park's new, state-of-the-art playground area near Lakewood Beach.  The approximately $700,000 project was headed up by the Lakewood Community Development Corporation... and, the LCDC's Bill Evans lll, says the ribbon cutting culminates a three-year effort by a number of community partners... including the private individual donors.  Evans says there were a number of public and private contributors... and, individuals who played important roles.  Officials say the "all-inclusive" playground has a 2 to 5 year-old and 5 to 12 year-old play areas... with several features.  They include: two hill racing slides, a Skyrun zip track, a custom imaginative-play nature club house, seesaw, overhead and leaning climber ladder, and more.  State Assemblyman Andy Goodell was among those on hand... and, says being able to raise a significant amount of private funding -- some $170,000 -- helped bring New York state on-board.  Goodell says that kind of local investment is what convinces state officials to support the project.  Primary funding was provided by a $456,000 New York Department of State Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program Grant.  Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb says this is a "first-of-it's-kind" playground area in Chautauqua County.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Oct. 6, 2023

Missing Jamestown teen found safe...
A Jamestown teenager reported missing earlier this week has now been found... safe and sound.  City police late Thursday reported that 18 year-old Zachary Hamby... who was considered a "missing endangered person with autism" had been last seen on Monday in the city.  Officers say they appreciate the public's help in the matter.


City man arrested for possessing child porn after phone is found inside store...
A Jamestown man who was convicted 20 years ago on multiple sex abuse charges has now been arrested on a federal charge of production of child pornography.  U.S. Attorney Attorney Trini Ross says 63 year-old Timothy Douglas was arrested on a criminal complaint in connection with an incident last Aug. 12.  Prosecutors say a customer at a grocery store in Jamestown found a blue Moxee phone sitting on a table in the entryway to the store and turned it over to a store employee, who took it to the security office.  The employee unlocked the phone... noticed that the photo gallery was open... and, saw a picture of naked 5 or 6 year-old girl.  The employee decided to wait until the next day to contact the store’s General Manager.  The next day another employee saw the phone in the security office, unlocked it, saw another photo of a naked girl, and called city police.  At that point... JPD investigators executed a search warrant on the phone and recovered images and videos of child pornography.  They traced the phone back to Douglas... who is a New York State Registered Sex Offender.  If convicted... he faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison... and, a maximum of 50.


Wendel says legislature Democrats are being "very misleading" when saying residents are "overtaxed..."
Chautauqua County's top elected official says county legislature Democrats are being "very misleading" when they say local property owners are being "overtaxed" in his 2024 budget proposal.  Executive P.J. Wendel is responding to a proposal by minority Democrats who are calling on using an additional  $1-million from fund balance to offset the tax levy in next year's budget.  The Lakewood Republican says -- first of all -- the state has heaped another $7.3-million dollars in unfunded mandates on the county.  Wendel adds that doesn't include the just over $3-million in federal eFMAP funding the state has intercepted for it's own use.  He confirmed that the county's undesigned fund balance has grown to just over $37-million.  However... he says that's not all property tax monies.  Wendel says there have been "other" revenues that have come in.  However... he says some of that money was taken by New York state, and the federal government.  Wendel says that $5-million of the $18-million in added rainy day monies has gone back to the state and federal government because they can't keep profits from tax foreclosure sales in the past three years.  His proposal includes an 89-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate decrease... and, increases the levy by about $1.8-million.


Wendel also defends having Media Info. Officer in county government...
Through the first three-days of deliberations on his budget proposal... Wendel says legislature Democrats have been quiet regarding their proposal... including elimination of the Media Information Officer's position.  The executive believes that's because... due to restructuring in his office, and elsewhere... it's not impacting his budget.  Wendel says they had planned for the new position by consolidating some others.. beginning two years ago.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.   


Rally held in front of Brook's-TLC Hospital for state to release funding for new hosptial...
Officials and workers from Brooks-TLC Hospital... along with several elected officials... had a message Thursday for the New York State Department of Health.  They chanted "Build Brook's Now."  A rally was held at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk to call for the release of $71 million in funds for a new hospital in the north county.  Among the speakers was Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, who says a new hospital is critical for the area... not just Dunkirk.  Brooks-TLC President and Chief Executive Officer Ken Morris says a new hospital is part of the health care system's plan to provide quality care, and that included funding to improve access and services to be provided.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says without the funding, the hospital is in jeopardy of not existing... for not just Dunkirk... but the entire north county area. 


Five people arrested during drug raid in Jamestown Wednesday...
Five Jamestown residents have been arrested following a drug raid early Wednesday morning at a home on the city's eastside.  Jamestown police say members of the Metro Drug Task Force and Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators executed a search warrant at 628 Spring St. shortly after 6 a.m., with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Officers say there were six adults found inside the home.... and, a search led to seizure of a quantity of fentanyl... crack cocaine... methamphetamine... Alprazolam, scales, packaging materials, and a small quantity of cash.  Police arrested 47 year-old Wilfredo Castrillo... 46 year-old Cesar Soto... 45 year-old Jennifer Aldrich... and two 18 year-olds -- Kayla Lutgen, and Alanah Howard.  All five are charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia .  They were all taken to the city jail and, are being held pending arraignment. 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Oct. 5, 2023

City police ask public's help in finding teen with autism...
Jamestown Police are looking for the public's help in locating a teenaged boy who is considered a missing endangered person with autism.  Officers say 18 year-old Zachary Hamby is described as a white male with brown hair and hazel eyes.... who was last seen this past Monday, October 2nd in the city.  If you see Zachary, or have information on his whereabouts, you're asked to call Jamestown Police at 483-7537.

Legislature Democrats propose using another $1-mill. in fund balance to lower tax levy increase in 2024 budget...
Democrats in the Chautauqua County Legislature are calling for using another $1-million from the fund balance in next year's budget to offset any increase in the tax levy.  Jamestown Democrat Tom Nelson has signed onto the measure... and, says the move would relieve some of the burden on "overtaxed" property owners.  Nelson says the county's fund balance is reported to be about $37-million.  He says the State Comptroller's Office says it should be about $14-million... and, he feels they could "responsibly do that" and still have enough in their rainy day fund.  The $1-million addition to the budget would cover all but $800,000 of the tax levy increase.  Nelson says some of the rest would be handled by eliminatation of the new Media Information Officer's position.  Democrats believe that move would save about $100,000.  Nelson says that may seem strange coming from Democrats... but, adds that county taxpayers could use a break... and, the county can afford to provide a little more tax relief.  Wendel's $294-million tentative budget cuts the tax rate by 89-cents per $1,000 full value... is being reviewed by lawmakers this week. 
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On Thursday... County Executive Wendel responded to the Democrat's proposal, calling it "very misleading."  The full story and his comments tomorrow.


Ghostfish Brewing opens up new, East Coast location at Grape Discover Center in Westfield...
There’s a new brewery that's located in the Grape Discovery Center in Westfield... and, it's producing some of the hottest brews on the market.  The ribbon has been cut on the new east coast processing and distribution center for Seattle-based Ghostfish Brewing Company... which is now in full production.  To celebrate, company representatives and area officials gathered late last week for a special ribbon cutting ceremony, hosted by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Deputy County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says inside it's new location, Ghostfish Brewing Company “East” is now brewing its No. 1 top seller -- Grapefruit IPA... along with Kick Step IPA... and, Lunar Harvest.  Officials with Ghostfish say they're also on the way to brewing all seven of its flagship brands.  Brewmaster James Maxson says GBC East is a dedicated, 100% gluten-free focused brewery. 


Hochul announces Cannabis Market expansion...
Governor Kathy Hochul had announced the largest expansion of New York State’s legal cannabis market so far... with hundreds of licenses being made available to individuals and businesses interested in legally growing, processing, distributing, and selling cannabis.  The application period is now open... and, will remain so for two months.  The Governor also announced the results of continued aggressive enforcement against the illegal sale of cannabis across the state undertaken by the Office of Cannabis Management and the Department of Taxation and Finance.  So far... Hochul says that effort has yielded the seizure of more than 8,500 pounds of illicit product with an estimated street value of more than $42-million.  She also announced new partnerships with localities that will enable them to pursue padlocking orders against businesses illegally selling cannabis from State courts, and a new multi-agency initiative to target illegal operators for labor violations.  Hochul says that involves significantly increasing fines and penalties that businesses may face.  She says "we know there's room for improvement as New York works to launch a brand-new cannabis industry and crack down on illicit operators, and I'm committed to working with all stakeholders to get the job done right."


City woman arrested for alleged robbery of necklace from person wearing it...
A woman from Jamestown is accused of grabbing another woman's necklace from around her neck... and, injuring the victim.  City police were called to the scene -- near the corner of Allen and English Streets -- shortly after Midnight Wednesday -- to talk with a person who was being harassed.  Officers say their investigation found that 35 year-old Jennifer Allen had walked up to the victim... and, forcibly took the necklace from her.  Allen is also accused of injuring the other woman's neck.  Police found Allen a short time later... and she was arrested for second-degree robbery... petty larceny... second-degree assault... and, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


Health Care coverage "Open Enrollment" to start shortly...
New York health experts are preparing people for the health-care coverage open-enrollment period.  Between 2010 and 2021, the number of New Yorkers without health insurance declined from almost 12% to a little more than 5%.  As people consider their coverage... Stacy Villagran with the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York says people need to be aware that Medicaid’s auto renewal ended with the public health emergency.  That's because everyone the past three-years were "auto renewed."  Villagran adds that people need to be cognizant of any notices they receive from their local Department of Social Services... or New York State of Health.  The Kaiser Family Foundation reports more than 338,000 people have been disenrolled, while around 654,000 had their coverage renewed.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Oct. 3, 2023

County issues public health alert after four reported drug overdose deaths last weekend...
A public health alert has been issued in Chautauqua County -- and in particular the Jamestown-area -- following a spike in suspected fatal drug overdoses over the past weekend.  The alert was issued late Monday by the county's Health Department and Department of Mental Hygiene... Jamestown police and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.  Media Information Officer Justin Gould says four deaths... suspected drug overdoses... occured this past weekend in the vicinity of Jamestown.  County officials warn that any street drug should be assumed to contain fentanyl, a highly dangerous opioid that is deadly in tiny quantities.  Residents are urged to reach out to loved ones who are struggling with drug abuse or addiction, and share this information.  People who used drugs and their families should obtain a Narcan kit... and, be prepared to call 911 in the event of an overdose.  Local sources of Narcan can be found at CombatAddictionCHQ.com. 


City man faces numerous felony and traffic charges following vehicle pursuit...         
A Jamestown man faces numerous traffic and other charges following a car chase Monday night that began when police spotted a stolen car in the town of Ellicott.  Sheriff's officers say they tried to stop the vehicle just after 8 p.m., but, the driver failed to comply... and, led deputies on a pursuit on Route 394 into the village of Lakewood, and town of North Harmony.  Officers say they lost sight of the vehicle... but, were alerted a short time later that the driver had abandoned the vehicle at a Bemus Point home and fled on foot.  Deputies brought in K-9 "Drake" to help track the man... later identified as 32 year-old Matthew Buck... and, he was located and apprehended  without incident.  Buck faces charges including first-degree reckless endangerment... third-degree criminal possession of stolen property... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, driving while ability impaired by drugs.  Buck was taken to the county jail pending arraignment. 


Jamestown man arrested after allegedly hiding stolen handgun...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly hiding a handgun inside a home after a call for a person with a weapon on Crown Street.  City police say they were called to the scene about 1 p.m. Monday on a report of a person being armed with a handgun walking in the street.  Officers say they found that 19 year-old Jaden Rogers had hidden the gun inside a nearby residence.  Rogers was found to be wanted on warrants for third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child from a separate incident.  He was also charged with Felony tamping with physical evidence... and, jailed pending arraignment.


National Weather Service says "flipping" of warm and cold weather systems bringing current "Summerlike" conditions to Western New York...
It's going to feel like Summer most of this week... starting Monday with a high that reached 80-degrees in many parts of our region.  That from Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we'll see warmer than average temperatures through Thursday.  Hitchcock says highs will be in the low to mid-80s Tuesday and Wednesday.  He says overnight lows on Wednesday into Thursday may create another chance at record highs that day.  Hitchcock says we've seen a weather "flip" with warmer, milder conditions here in the east... while it's been cooler out west and in the mid-west.  However... he says that cames to an end on Thursday night into Friday... as highs will only get into the low 60s... the the 50s on Saturday and Sunday.


Falconer Mayor expresses appreciation for county officials working with village on emergency housing for the homeless...
County leaders and officials from Falconer are now discussing ways to relieve the pressure of housing homeless and transitional residents in a village hotel.  That from Falconer Mayor Jim Jaroszynski in comments to the county legislature this past week.  Jaroszynski was especially appreciative of 3 or 4 lawmakers who have spoken with him about the situation.  He says village leaders talked with legislators, and officials from the Department of Social Services.  Jaroszynski says DSS officials explained how those decisions are made, and the village discussed those impacts.  He added he appreciated the questions posed by Jamestown legislator Elisabeth Rankin during last month's Human Services Committee meeting.  He says he was able to meet with County Executive P.J. Wendel about the situation, as well.  Jaroszynski and some residents from the village have attended legislature meetings the past two to three months complaining about the impact housing so many homeless people who have mental or behavioral issues.  They say it's negatively impacted their "quality of life" and have called on the county to fix the situation.


County Legislature begins budget deliberations...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has begun deliberations on Executive P.J. Wendel's tentative, $294.l-million budget for 2024.  Wendel presented the budget to lawmakers last Wednesday night... and, it includes an 89-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate decrease.  However... the levy is up about $1.8-million.  With that... the spending plan is right at the state's 2% property tax cap.  Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon said last Wednesday the Audit and Control Committee will give the budget a "very thorough review (this) week."  He says they'll look at suggested changes on Friday.  The review will continue through the month of October... with the intention of holding a public hearing on the spending plan -- and vote -- at the legislature's Oct. 25 meeting.  

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 2, 2023

Electrical malfunction cited as cause of major fire at main building at Forestville golf club...
An early morning fire Sunday at the main building of the Tri-County Country Club in Forestville is being blamed on an electrical malfunction.  The Sheriff's Department's Fire Investigation Team say the Forestville Fire Department was called to the scene at 540 Route 39 just after 6 a.m., and, found heavy fire coming from the structure.  Officials say several area fire departments were called in for mutual aid.  Once the blaze was out... the fire investigation team was called in and found the electrical malfunction was found in the southeast corner of the building.  The fire has been ruled accidental.  No injuries were reported.


Wendel issues new order regarding potential homeless being relocated to Chautauqua County...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel signed a modified, second Emergency Order on Sustainable Migration Friday... which would block a New York City program to relocate homeless people to Chautauqua County.  During a video press conference last Friday... Wendel announced the order -- which was first signed by officials in Oneida County.  Wendel says this is in response to New York City's "Fighting Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement" -- or FHEPS -- program.  He says the program provides five years -- or more -- of rental vouchers to homeless New York City residents who agree to relocate upstate.  Wendel says the city is now allowing those residents to go anywhere in New York State.  While it applies only to the "homeless" in New York City... Wendel says it's an "unlawful program that poses a grave risk to the social, health and emergency services resources of our county, practically because the county’s homeless population is already at an all-time high."  It's also caused problems with a large number living in a hotel in the village of Falconer.  Wendel says the emergency order prohibits any person, business or entity within the county to accept a rental voucher as payment for housing, without first getting written authorization from the County Executive.


North County pair arrested on drug and weapons charges in Jamestown...
Two north county area residents face drug and weapons related charges following a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside early last Friday.  City police say their violent crime unit conducted the stop in on East Virgina Blvd near Holbrook St. for observed traffic infractions.  During the investigation...  officers conducted a vehicle search after observing the passenger, 48 year-old Jimi Jo Sobczak of Brocton, reaching around the cabin of the vehicle and picking up an unknown pill and ingesting it as officers approached the vehicle.  Police then located a switchblade knife in the possession of 45 year-old Thomas Dalton of Portland.  The investigation later uncovered a quantity of cocaine in Sobczak's possession as she was trying to conceal drugs and paraphernalia.  Once she was taken into custody she tied to dispose of additional drugs which were secreted on her person.  Dalton was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Sobczak was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, tampering with physical evidence.  Both were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City man arrested for threatening woman who had court order against him...
A Jamestown man is accused of threatening a woman -- who had an order of protection against him -- during an early weekend domestic incident on the city's westside.  Jamestown Police were called to the unidentified location about 6:30 p.m. last Friday for a disturbance.  On arrival... they learned that 22 year-old Austin Harkins had threated the female victim... a violation of the order of protection.  Harkins was arrested for second-degree harassment... first-degree criminal contempt... and, aggravated family offense.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Langworthy votes for bi-partisan CR Saturday night to help avoid government shutdown...
Local Congressman Nick Langworthy was among the House Republicans who voted last Saturday night in favor of a 45-day continuing resolution to keep the government open.  The Buffalo-area Republican also voted Friday in favor of the "Continuing Appropriations and Border Secuity Enhancement Act."  After that... he blasted the 21 right-wing Freedom Caucus members who voted against the proposal.  They voted with Democrats to defeat the measure, 198-232.  On Saturday... Langworthy was among the 335 Republicans and Democrats who voted for the measure.  There were 90 -- mostly far-right Republicans -- who voted no on the measure with one Democrat. 


Schumer praises bipartisan effort to avoid shutdown...
After the House took it's vote... the Senate late Saturday approved the 45-day spending bill to keep the government open and avoid a shutdown.  The House bill did not include funding for aid to Ukraine in it's war with Russia.  After the bill passed -- Senate democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the House for getting the bipartisan bill through and said he will work to restore help for Ukraine.  He says majorities in both conferences support doing that.  


Gillibrand expresses condolences to Feinstein's passing to her family...
New York's junior U.S. Senator is among those expressing their condolences to the family of her former colleague, and long-time friend, Dianne Feinstein.  Kirsten Gillibrand said -- in a statement last weekend -- that she was "deeply saddened" by Feinstein's passing.  Gillibrand called Feinstein a "role model and mentor.  Dianne was a force to be reckoned with, a political giant and a trailblazer who laid the groundwork for generations of women leaders."

 
 

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