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Former court clerk in Ellicott indicted for allegedly stealing $34,000 from the court's till...

A former Ellicott Town Court Clerk has been arraigned on one count of Felony Grand Larceny for allegedly stealing $34,000 in court funds.  Chautauqua County district Attorney David Foley tells us that 40 year-old Jennifer Piazza was arraigned Thursday in county court after being indicted by the county Grand Jury.  Foley says Piazza allegedly stole the fine... and, other funds over a four-year period.  Piazza was one of two Court Clerks in Ellicott... and, had been a full-time employee for the past 15 years before being terminated during the investigation in mid-June.  Foley says a pre-motion conference will be held in mid-September... and, Piazza will be free on her own recognizance until that time.  Foley says the State Comptroller's office was also involved in the investigation.


City man arrested for allegedly trafficking powder cocaine...

A Jamestown man has been arrested following a drug raid on the city's southside this morning.  City Police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, the State Police C-NET Team executed a search warrant at 18 Columbia Avenue about 8:30 a.m.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the raid was part of the ongoing investigation into the sales and trafficking of illegal narcotics.  Samuelson says police arrested 34 year-old Gerald Rivera, Jr. for allegedly trafficking powder cocaine from the residence.  They also allegedly found a quantity of cocaine, and drug paraphernalia during the raid.  Rivera is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal use of drug paraphernalia.  More charged are pending.  He's being held pending arraignment.


Syracuse University officers to be outfitted for body cameras...

Syracuse University officials say the school's officers will soon be outfitted with body cameras.  The Syracuse Post-Standard reports the central New York university's Department of Public Safety purchased 36 cameras for its officers.  Campus Police Chief Bobby Maldonado says the cameras should be operational by October 1st.  He says every officer will be trained and they all will wear the cameras on their shifts.  The body cameras will only be provided to the university's 42 peace officers, who are armed.  Maldonado says the school's 14 community service officers, who are state-licensed security guards, will not be given the equipment.  The decision to obtain body cameras was made by Maldonado's predecessor, Anthony Callisto Jr., who now serves as Syracuse's senior vice president and chief law enforcement officer.


Brocton school Superintendent reflects on tenure, and long career...

Brocton Central School Superintendent John Hertlein is getting ready to retire after spending 45 years in a career in education that began in the classroom... and, ended as a top official of a school district.  Hertlein will be succeeded by Jason Delcamp in early October.  Hertlein says he is pleased with the school board's choice of Delcamp, the man he hired as high school principal when becoming the superintendent.  He says he and Delcamp have worked together for about five-years.  Hertlein says there have been many changes in education since he began his career as a Kindergarten teacher in Pennsylvania... the biggest being the involvement of the state and federal governments in education.  The long-time educator expects a smooth transition between now and October 2nd when he steps down... and, Delcamp takes over as superintendent. 


Two injured in two-car accident in town of Ripley...

A two-car crash in the town of Ripley near the Pennsylvania state line sent two women to the hospital.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on the Northeast-Sherman Road just after 9 Thursday morning... and, found that a vehicle, operated by 19 year-old Haley Reslink of Ripley, was slowing to pull into a driveway.  Deputies say Reslink's car was struck from behind by another vehicle, driven by 22 year-old Katelynn Kenny of Mayville.  Officers say Reslink was transported to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of non-life threatening injuries... while Kenny was taken to Westfield Hospital as a pre-caution.  The investigation is continuing.


Jamestown officials announce final plans for 36th Labor Day Festival...

The city of Jamestown's 36th annual Labor Day Festival is set for Sunday, Sept. 6 starting at Noon at Bergman Park.  The Labor Day Festival Committee met for the last time yesterday afternoon to finalize details before the annual "end of Summer" bash.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the event will again have an early start with the annual Dan Feather Memorial 5-K Run/Walk at 9:30 a.m.  She says registration begins at 8 a.m.  Ciesla-Hanley says the Arts and Crafts area opens at 11 a.m... and, the rest begins at 12 Noon.  She says there will be about a dozen vendors selling food at Bergman Park to benefit a number of not-for-profit organizations... including the Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee... and, the Train Engine Museum.  Also again this year... several musical groups will play on two separate stages beginning at Noon and 12:30 p.m.  Ciesla-Hanley says they are again excited to have the huge fireworks display put on by Zambelli fireworks at 8:30 p.m.  Ciesla-Hanley says "labor" is also a big part of the Labor Day Festival... and, the annual George Ritzer Labor Award will be handed out at 4 p.m. on the main stage.

 

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Jamestown dog owner, attorney, lay-out complaint against deputy who shot and killed the dog; sheriff responds...

An animal rights lawyer working with a Jamestown family that says their dog was shot and killed by a Chautauqua County Sheriff's officer for no good reason says the animal wouldn't "hurt a fly."  However... Sheriff Joe Gerace says his deputy felt threatened... and, says if the dog was on a leash... last Friday's incident never would have occured.  Buffalo attorney Matt Albert addressed the county legislature last night... and, says Officer Rob Holcomb was at least reckless... and, should be held accountable for his actions.  Albert says there's a "cover-up culture," that allows officers to do what they want, and get cleared.  Albert says all the Donisi's wanted is justice for their animal... and, with that... they have formed the group "Justice 4 Rocky..." which has gotten followers across the country.  Sheriff Gerace says Holcomb is upset over the incident... but, adds that people with no knowledge of the facts have threatened the officer.  He says Holcomb feels "terrible" about what happened, and says Holcomb has been the subject of e-mail and social media death threats.  Gerace calls that appalling.  Unfortunately... he says while a dog may generally be friendly... his officers have no way of knowing what the dog's intentions are when it "comes at you" on a dead run -- and it's teeth are showing.  Several times... Albert referred to the shooting as "cold blooded."  Gerace called those comments "despicable" and "ridiculous."  Albert hinted there may be legal action coming.


Gerace says one "good thing" came out of last night's meeting... support for police body cameras...

The attorney for the Nathan Donisi family proposed two ways to help resolve police and pet incidents... such as the one involving the dog named "Rocky."  Matt Albert made the suggestion during last night's legislature session that a Citizen Review Board be established... and, that deputies be equiped with body cameras.  The move to body cameras is sweeping the nation in the wake of several high-profile officer-related shootings.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says he's already moving in that direction.  In fact... he's been working to get funding for in-car, and body cameras for his deputies.  He adds it's part of his 2016 budget proposal.  However... Gerace doesn't feel a Citizen Review Panel would be a good idea.  He questions there real effectiveness.  Albert says cameras help establish "trust and accountability."  The Jamestown Police Department is also taking a serious look at body cameras.


Residents in north county village of Forestville to vote Nov. 3 on dissolution...

Forestville residents will decide this fall on the future of the village.  The Forestville Village Board last night took action setting the official vote on dissolving the village.  Village Attorney Mike Sullivan explains that the vote will coincide with the general election on Nov. 3.  Sullivan says there will be a simple question there; "Should the village of Forestville dissolve?"  If the referendum passes... the village and Town of Hanover will be required to put together and approve a dissolution plan.  Sullivan says the village board also approved the hiring of a contractor that will do a baseline study, which will determine the impacts of dissolving on taxes and services.  The cost will be covered by grants.  The information will be provided to residents before the vote.


Gas prices drop by 4-cents a gallon this week...

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have dropped another 4-cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel this week.  That from the AAA's East Central Fuel Gauge report this week.  The Fuel Gauge says the average price... based on reports from 19 local service stations... has fallen to $2.76.  It was $2.80 a gallon last week.  The current national average has dipped to $2.59.5.  Nationally... AAA says gas prices are now at the lowest levels for this time of year since 2004 due to the steep decline in the cost of crude oil.  Gas prices have dropped recently despite ongoing refinery problems, and prices should continue to fall this autumn due to declining demand and the switchover to winter-blend gasoline.


JCC official says it appears enrollment for Fall Semester is down compared to last year...

The start of the new school year at Jamestown Community College is "always an exciting time."  That from JCC's Vice-President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications... Kirk Young... who says classes for the Fall Semester got underway this past Monday.  Young says final enrollment figures for the first semester won't be known for about two more weeks... but, he says it looks like the number of students is down slightly from the 2014-15 academic year.  He adds, though, that the final numbers usually adjust through the first three weeks of the new year.  Young says there is still time for students to enroll for the Fall Semester.  He adds they're not sure what Freshman enrollment is going to look like... but, says it appears to be down by roughly 50 students.  Young says they should wind up at -- or close -- to where they were last year.  That's about 3,000 full-time students.  He adds that the lower numbers for the first semester are not surprising, because graduating classes at local high schools have also been trending lower.

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NRG Dunkirk project on hold due to Entergy lawsuit...

Developments concerning two NRG power plants in Western New York -- including the one in Dunkirk -- have left the north county plant's status in limbo.  Company officials yesterday announced that they have filed an application to retire the Huntley plant in Tonawanda by March 2016.  NRG officials also confirm that the project to convert the Dunkirk plant from coal to natural gas is now on hold.  Company Spokesman David Gaier says a lawsuit is holding up the project and creating a massive amount of uncertainty about the plant's future.  Gaiser says the lawsuit was filled by the Entergy Corporation.  In another development, Gaier says the last turbine that's in operation will be "mothballed" by next Jan. 1.  Unlike the Huntley plant, Gaier says the Dunkirk plant is not being retired.


Young, and Horrigan vow to fight to keep NRG project moving foward, and keeping plant open...

Local and state officials, who played an important role in championing the NRG Repowering project two years ago, vow to continue to fight for the project.  State Senator Cathy Young tells us that she will work with state officials to keep that project on track.  Young says she, the governor, and Public Service Commission remain committed to keeping the plant open, and viable.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he remains upbeat about the project.  He participated in a conference call Tuesday concerning the NRG announcement.  Horrigan says "we worked long and hard" on the project, and reconfirmed his commitment to it.  Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce says he is disappointed with the delay in the project because of the widespread community support for it.  He also says he stands ready to take action should it be needed.


Dead body recovered at bottom of overlock area in Allegheny Nat. Forest...

A body has been found at the Jake's Rocks Overlook area of the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County.  The Warren Times-Observer says the discovery was made Tuesday night... but, the identity of the person has not yet been released.  Warren County Sheriff Kenneth Klakamp says the body was discovered earlier Tuesday evening by deputies.  Officials aren't sure how long the body had been there.  Klakamp says the body was found about 75 yards down the very steep hill from the first overlook.


Jamestown man jailed without bail after alleged burglary...

A city man is jailed without bail for allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's eastside... and, stealing a purse.  City police responded to a reported burglary at 529 Crescent Street just after 9:30 this past Monday night.  Officers say the female victim arrived at the residence... and, saw 45 year old Angel Diaz exiting her house through a window.  Police were able to obtain a video of Diaz carrying the purse from the residence and postivitly identify him.  Diaz was located near the scene... and, taken into custody.  Diaz was arraigned on charges... including second-degree burglary... and, sent to the county lock-up.


Fallowses talk about rebounding of small cities and towns from 2008 recession...

For the past two years, well known authors James and Deborah Fallows have been traveling to small and middle size cities that have rebounded from the shock of the recession.  Deborah Fallos says it's places like Eastport, Maine... Columbus, Mississippi... Winters, California... and they went to those places to see how they did it.  She says one of the things they found was a focus on education of a particular kind... those being career track programs that allow them to go into specific career fields.  One of the things people in turnaround communities almost never discuss is the 'disfunction in Washington...' and, they're not quite sure why.  The Fallows work is part of Atlantic magazine's 'American Futures Project' and will be featured in a cover story early in 2016.  They spoke Tuesday as part of 'Creating Livable Communities' week at Chautauqua.


Teresi says public hearing next Monday night will be on final design plans for new, Third Street Bridge configuration...

A public hearing will be held next Monday night in Jamestown on final plans to reduce the four-lanes of traffic on the Third Street Bridge to two... and, include new bicycle lanes.  That from Mayor Sam Teresi who... along with Public Works Director Jeff Lehman... discussed those plans at Monday night's City Council work session.  Lehman says the state Department of Transporation has drawn up it's final plans for the project.  Teresi says officials have already considered several plans to include a two-lane bridge with a turning lane, primarily for Porter Avenue, and two bicycle lanes.  He says the move should be a welcome change from the span that's been there since 1986... and, at times has become a "drag strip" for people trying to pass slower traffic.  In recent years... he says local affiliates with the Safe and Complete Streets programs have been urging the city to make the streets more "bicycle-friendly."  There would be a middle "turning lane..." with seven-foot bicycle lanes on each side of the street.  Next Monday night's public hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.


 

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City couple arrested in connection with domestic incident involving a knife...

A Jamestown couple has been arrested for an alleged domestic dispute... and, the woman involved faces a menacing charge for allegedly throwing a large knife.  City police were called to the scene at 8 Cowing Street late last week on a report of a physical domestic incident.  Following an investigation... officers accuse 23 year-old Robert Porter of head-butting his girlfriend, 31 year-old Michelle King, on the forehead.  Police say that King then allegedly chased Porter... and, threw a large kitchen knife at him twice.  Officers say several neighbors corroborated what had happened.  King is charged with second-degree menacing... and reckless endangerment.  Porter was arrested for second-degree harassment.  Both were held pending further court action.


City man arrested for allegedly burglarizing a Jamestown business last weekend...

A Jamestown man is jailed for allegedly burglarizing a westside business early last weekend.  City police were called to the scene at 718 West Third St. shortly after 4 a.m. last Saturday to investigate a burglary complaint.  Officers found someone had broken into the business... and, stole merchandise valued at more than one-thousand dollars.  City police later Saturday say they found... and, arrested Timothy Geigert of Kortwright Road.  Officers say he's been charged with third-degree burglary... and, fourth-degree grand larceny.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Man arrested in Mayville for allegedly domestic violence incident while picking up personal items from village home...

A Mayville man is jailed for allegedly assaulting and strangling his estranged girlfriend at her apartment on Erie Street last weekend.  Sheriff's Deputies say they were called to the scene at 34 South Erie early Saturday morning. Officers say the victim told them that 45 year-old William Osthehagen, Jr., came to her apartment to take some of his belongings.  However... they say the situation escalated in to a domestic dispute.  The victim says Osthehagen allegedly destroyed her phone... struck her in the face... and, choked her to a point that she could not breath.  Deputies arrested him without incident for criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... and, second-degree harassment.  Osthehagen was arraigned on the charges Stockton Town Court, was sent to the county jail on $2,000 cash bail.  Just before being jailed... deputies say they also found him in possession of a quantity of marijuana.


Tri-Valley wins Babe Ruth World Series, avenging earlier lose in tournament...

An opening game loss to Tri-County, Maine didn't phase the Tri-Valley, California 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series team.  They just played hard... and, beat Tri-County in last Saturday afternoon's title game in Jamestown.  Tri-Valley Manager Tony Battilega got doused by bucket of ice water after his team's convincing, 20-0 win over Tri-County in the game at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park.  Speaking with our Terry Frank... Battilega says his team just wanted another shot at Tri-County in the title game... and, they got it.  He says one thing they had going for them was a solid hitters... 10 of which swing left-handed.  Battilega says they never really saw any left-handers in the series, so they got more comfortable as the week went on.  Tri-Valley got a lot of mileage out of those left-handed bats... jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning after two-outs... on way to their big win in 5-innings.  Tri-Valley also took a lot of individual honors... with World Series Outstanding Pitcher and Player "Beau" Garrat.  Four members of the Tri-Valley team also made the World Series All Tournament Team.  Asher Golden was awarded Best Hitter of the series for his .526 batting average.


Diethrick looks back on Jamestown's 16th BRWS...

The 16th Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown was a "amazing..." and a success.  That from Jamestown Host President Russ Diethrick... who says his committee did another outstanding job of overseeing the eight-day series... which wrapped up last Saturday afternoon.  Even though the championship game ended up being a rout... Diethrick says the teams played hard right up to the end.  He adds that tradition is what makes Babe Ruth Baseball a great sport for youngsters.  He also reflected back 35 years to the first 13 year-old Series in 1980... and, recalled many of the city and county officials who have come and gone.  The Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series Committee also continues to innovate... and, find new ways to make the series better.  With the "Host Family" program no longer in place... they began the "Host Ambassador" program to help the out-of-town families and player handle any situation that comes up.


Route 60 redesign in town of Dunkirk underway...

A $300,000 pilot re-striping project on Route 60 n the north county will be used to help ease left-hand turns... and, widen shoulders.  The State Department of Transportation has announced the project... which will involve Route 60 from Vineyard Drive to the Dunkirk South City Line in the town of Dunkirk.  DOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll says the idea is to increase motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist safety.  After a two week pilot period... Driscoll says that stretch of road will be paved and final pavement markings will be installed based on DOT observations and community feedback.  He says the existing four-lane section of Route 60 will be converted to a three-lane section of highway... with a continuous, dedicated two-way center turn lane.  The shoulders will be widened to seven feet to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.

 

 

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Tri-Valley takes big lead early, cruises to BRWS victory over Tri-Valley...

Tri-Valley, California just wanted another shot at Tri-County, Maine in the championship game of the 35th anniversary 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown... and, they got it.  They also took full advantage of the opportunity... jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the top of the first inning after two-outs... on way to a huge 20-to-0 win over Tri-County in this afternoon's title game at Russell E. Diethrick Park.  Tri-Valley lost to Tri-County in the first game of pool play last weekend... and, Tri-Valley Manager Tony Battilega says they weren't looking for revenge... but, another chance, and they took advantage of it.  Congratulations to ALL the teams that made it to the World Series -- you're all winners in our eyes.

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(**Update)Tri-County to take on Tri-Valley for 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series title in Jamestown...

It will be a battle of the east coast versus the west coast in today's Championship of the 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series.  Tri-Valley California nailed down one of the spots in the title game at Jamestown's Russell E. Diethrick Park with a 5-to-1 win over previously unbeaten Bismark, North Dakota.  In Friday's other semi-final game... Tri-County, Maine held off Janesville, Wisconsin, 6-to-5.  Today's Championship Game begins at 1 p.m., and, can be heard on WJTN, 1240 AM.

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New director named for FBI office in Buffalo...

An FBI agent with experience investigating Internet and international terrorism has been chosen to lead the agency's Buffalo office.  FBI Director James Comey announced the appointment of Adam Cohen as special agent in charge of the upstate New York office on Thursday.  Cohen most recently served as the section chief for the FBI's Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section, managing investigations of terrorists' use of the Internet.  He began his FBI career in the New York City field office in 1997.  Cohen will report to Buffalo in early October.


Sweat now arraigned on Felony charges in connection with prison break with Richard Matt...

Convicted killer and captured prison escape David Sweat has been arraigned on a pair of felony counts over the breakout. David Sweat escaped June 6 from Clinton Correctional Facility with fellow inmate Richard Matt.  Matt was shot dead June 26, and Sweat was shot and captured two days later.  The 35-year-old Sweat is already serving life without parole for the killing of a sheriff's deputy.  He was hospitalized after his capture and then sent to a different prison.


Janesville, Tri-Valley, advance to division finals of BRWS...

An outstanding 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series for the Western New York representative has come to an end.  Ithaca... which made it to the single-elimination part of the series... was eliminated last night by Janesville, Wisconsin, 7-0.  But... for a self-annointed "underdog... " Ithaca did well.  Janesville was one of three teams that went 3-and-1 in round-robin play.  Manager Tom Davey says his kids have looked strong... but, adds it's "13 year-old baseball.  Let's make the routine plays and throw strikes and see how things unfold."  Also at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park last night... Tri-Valley, California edged out Paulino-Bronx by an 8-to-2 score.  With that... tonight's semi-finals are set.  In the early game... top-seed Bismark, North Daktota will take on Tri-Valley at 5 p.m., while Janesville will play Tri-County, Maine in the second-game.  In addition to tuning us in... you can keep up at jamestownworldseries.org... or Jamestown BRWS on Facebook.  They're also on Twitter.


Jamestown Babe Ruth series team member says it was a "great experience..."

They didn't win any games... but, playing in the Babe Ruth World Series was a great experience for the host Jamestown team.  That from Isaah Rojas... one of the players on the Jamestown team in the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series.  The host team gets a berth in the series, and four games in the 'round robin' part of the tournament.  Rojas says the team knew going in it would be a big challenge because they play better than most teams, and are the "best teams in the country."  Rojas and his teammates did a lot of volunteering to support the world series... and he knows the community did a great deal to support the team, and thanked the community for cheering them on.  The semi-final games in the Babe Ruth World Series begin at 5 p.m. today Diethrick Park.  The championship will be at 1 p.m. Saturday.  Sponsors bought out all the games so fans can attend free of charge.


Ross says 1978 Camp David Peace accords part of Carter's legacy...

A long-time friend of former U-S President Jimmy Carter says Carter will fight his recent diagnosis of brain cancer with the same determination he showed while in public office.  American diplomat and author Dennis Ross was one of yesterday's featured lecturers at Chautauqua Institution.  Ross also worked with the state Departments of a number of presidents... both, Republicans and Democrats -- often working on issues involving Israel.  Ross says Carter's defining work was the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords... which served as the basis for future treaties he was directly involved with.  He says those include the pacts crafted in 1993 and 1995.  Ross says -- when negotating a peace deal -- you have to be practical and deal with the "reality on the ground."  He began his government work in the Department of Defense under Jimmy Carter... and, is now a Special Assistant and Envoy for President Obama.  He is a distinguished Fellow with the Washington Institute.  Ross and another Senior Fellow at the institute -- Ghaith Al-Omari -- spoke yesterday as part of "The Middle East Now and Next" week at Chautauqua.


Former Lakewood Mayoral candidate files suit against current mayor, police and others...

A former mayoral candidate in Lakewood is now taking steps to sue the current mayor and Lakewood-Busti Police Department for a reported $5-million.  Officials confirm that Randy Ridgeway is filing the suit over what he calls a 'wrongful' domestic incident arrest... and, an alleged attempt to destroy his credibility.  A notice of claim has been filed against the police department, and Mayor David Wordelmann... as well as his own campaign manager, and fund-raiser--promoter.  Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley spoke briefly to village officials this week about the matter.  Bentley says Ridgeway was charged in June after allegedly attacking and strangling his girlfriend.  He says the claim states that Wordelmann and the other defendants "acted in malice and corruption..." to sabotage his mayoral campaign, and got his girlfriend to file a false claim against him.  An order of protection against Ridgeway has been dismissed in court.


Horrigan says SBA Flood assistance can now applied for...

Chautauqua County residents and small-businesses hit by the flash flooding in July will now be able to apply for federal low-interest loans.  State Senator Cathy Young says Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the necessary paperwork for the loan program through the U.S. Small Business Administration.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he is pleased with the news... and, he thanked Young for moving the process along.  The loans can be used to make repairs or replace items damaged or destroyed in last month's flooding, according to Young.


 

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