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A Frewsburg man has been arrested for allegedly being involved in a road rage incident in the town of Busti... then leading police on a high-speed pursuit.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to assist Lakewood-Busti Police with the alleged incident on Baker Street Extension shortly after 11 last Friday night.  Deputies say they located both vehicles -- traveling at a high rate of speed.  Officers tried to stop both vehicles... but, neither complied... and, led deputies on a short pursuit.  Both vehicles were eventually stopped.  Shortly after being stopped... one of the vehicles involved fled the scene.  Officers say that car was later stopped in the town of Carroll... and, the driver, 41 year-old Eric Stohl... was arrested.  Stohl was later arraigned in Busti on charges including speeding... failure to comply... and, reckless driving.  He also faces charges in Carroll... including driving while intoxicated.  Stohl was sent to the County Jail, and posted one-thousand dollars bail.

 

Reform advocates, most voters and Governor Andrew Cuomo want to help clean up scandal-scarred Albany by prohibiting the state's 213 legislators from making serious money on the side.  But... the most recent financial filings show most lawmakers already get by without substantial outside income.  In fact... a majority reported no earnings from sideline work.  Those with other jobs included a pharmacist, a veterinarian and an insurance agency owner.  However, financial disclosures filed last year show 24 lawmakers, mostly lawyers, were making about as much or more in outside income as their 79-thousand-500 dollars base annual pay from the state.  Assemblyman Steve Hawley, a Batavia Republican who reported $450,000 income from his insurance business, says hard-working citizen-legislators could finish state work in 60 days and take a public pay cut.

 

Chautauqua County's top-cop says he's not happy that Governor Cuomo is proposing a 50-percent state aid cut to localities that have navigation patrols for local waterways.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says the cut would be state-wide... and, he adds that the New York State Sheriff's Association is reaching out to state lawmakers... and, formally opposing the cut.  Gerace says the state would not be able to provide the service itself any more efficiently than the local departments. Gerace says -- if the cut is enacted -- the state would only support 25-percent of the cost... which would make it very difficult for New York's counties.  The Sheriff's Office provides navigation patrols on several local lakes in Chautauqua County... and, including Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake.

 

A Jamestown man who allegedly led police on a foot chase late last week faces several charges... including resisting arrest.  City Police say they pulled over a car, allegedly driven by 52 year-old Michael Deponceau, on Buffalo Street near Blackstone Avenue last Wednesday night.  Officers say he allegedly committed several traffic violations... and, they found him to allegedly be drunk, and driving with a suspended license.  But... during the investigation... Deponceau allegedly got out of the car... and, ran off.  Police caught him after a brief foot pursuit.  Deponceau faces charges including driving while intoxicated, failure to yield, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, and resisting arrest.  He ws arrested pending arraignment.

 

An organization that looks out for consumers is also warning New York residents about scam artists posing as state and federal treasury officials this tax season.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says the calls to taxpayers have been reported over the past several weeks.  The Better Business Bureau Spokeswoman Melanie McGovern says you the IRS never contacts taxpayers by phone... nor by e-mail. McGovern warns against giving out any personal information over the phone... and, don't send any funds by money order.  She adds you should not engage the scammer in conversation... but, just hang-up.  McGovern says there seems to be an increase in Tax Scams this time of year because we are into the Tax Filing season... leading up to the annual deadline of April 15th.  She says you can get more information from the Better Business Bureau's website at bbb-dot-ORG.

 

FBI records reviewed by The Associated Press show guns were used in 195 domestic-related killings in New York from 2006 through 2014.  Nationally... records show just over 62-hundred people were killed in such attacks, with current wives and girlfriends accounting for 75 percent of the victims.  New York's number compared with 637 in California, with a population twice as large, and with 798 in Texas, the second most populous state.  Of the killings in New York, 88 of the victims were girlfriends and 74 were wives.  Combined, that was 83 percent of the total. The others included nine boyfriends, seven common-law wives, one ex-husband, eight ex-wives and eight husbands.  Gun ownership rules in New York are among the strictest in the nation and restrict ownership and access by domestic abusers.

 

A winter thaw has triggered sap to flow in maple trees, launching an early start to the maple syrup season for some producers in parts of New England who chose to tap trees early.  Many of those taking advantage of the warmer weather were larger operations with plastic tubing and vacuum systems.  The Corse Farm in the southern Vermont town of Whitingham started tapping on January 31st... the earliest date in the farm's 148-year-old history.  Some of those who tap trees and attach buckets were either caught flat-footed, or elected to hold off.  Tapping trees too early can allow the tap to dry out, limiting flow later.  As for the price of the sweet stuff, which in Vermont goes for an average of about 49-dollars a gallon retail, it's too early to tell how the four-to-six-week season will unfold and how much syrup will be produced.

 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will release his 2016-17 budget plan even as he fights to get his major priorities into this year's budget.  Major portions of the current budget plan by the first-term Democrat remain in limbo after a fight with the Republican-controlled Legislature.  Disagreements over school spending, taxes and Republican policy priorities could bleed into deliberations over a new budget.  The new budget year starts July 1st.  Wolf is the first governor in modern Pennsylvania history to come to this point with substantial portions of the budget for the current fiscal year still in limbo.  He has made some revelations about what he will propose Tuesday... including an additional $200 million for public school instruction and operations and another $60 million for pre-kindergarten programs for children of low-income parents.

 

Some 551 New Yorkers have been certified to obtain medical marijuana, nearly one month after the state's program began.  More than 330 physicians, meanwhile, have registered with the state, a requirement for doctors who want to be able to authorize the drug for patients.  The figures come from the state's Department of Health in response to questions posed last Friday by The Associated Press.  To receive marijuana, patients with certain qualifying conditions must get a certification from a physician registered with the state's program.  The patient must then apply for a state registry card.  The medication is available only in non-smokable form and can be obtained from a state-regulated dispensary.  More than 20 states now have medical marijuana programs.

 

Finally... an astounding reunion.  After 50 years of searching, and with a lot of help from her granddaughter, Betty Morrell has finally met her 96-year-old birth mother.  She also has forged a close friendship with a sister she never knew she had.  Morrell, of Spring Hill, Florida, flew to Binghamton, New York, last month to meet Lena Pierce, who as a 13-year-old mother was forced to relinquish her baby girl for adoption in 1933.  Pierce, now living in Hallstead, Pennsylvania, says it was a joy to meet the child she had called Eva May after all these years.  Morrell also met her 65-year-old sister, Minnie Hawk, who lives near Binghamton. She says the two immediately clicked.  Morrell credits her granddaughter Kimberly Miccio's dogged persistence via the Internet for connecting her with her birth family.

 

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JPD officials warn of IRS Tax Scam that took more than $4,000 from city woman...

Local police are issuing a new warning about an old telephone scam that cost one person from the city of Jamestown more than $4,000.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson is renewing his call to beware of what's called IRS Tax Scam.  Samuelson says that's where someone posing as an IRS Tax Agent calls... and, says the person -- typically an elderly victim -- owes thousands of dollars in back taxes.  He says, under no circumstances, would the IRS call someone saying they owed money with first sending a notice in the mail.  In one local case... Samuelson says an elderly person was taken for more than $4,000 after she sent multiple money orders to Las Vegas and Orlando addresses.  He adds multiple addresses are a red flag as well.  Law enforcement officials say the IRS will contact you in the mail first if you have any kind of situation where back taxes are owed.  He adds the IRS would never ask you for personal information... and, would not threaten arrest.  He adds even their caller ID can look convincing... and, they tend to sound "very convincing."


City man arrested a predicate offender for assault and robbery...

A city man and a teenager are jailed without bail for allegedly assaulting a man with a baseball bat... and, robbing him of his money late last month.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says their investigation into the January 23rd incident at 248 Broadhead Ave. led them to arrest 30 year-old Rocco Beardsley... and, the 16 year-old youth.  Samuelson says the victim was initially taken to WCA Hospital... then transferred to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie, PA for further treatment.  Both Beardsley and the teen have been charged with one count each of first-degree robbery... and, second-degree assault.  They were both jailed without bail.


Statistic show shootings in NYS in Domestic Abuse cases much lower than larger states...

FBI records reviewed by The A-P show guns were used in 195 domestic-related killings in New York from 2006 through 2014.  Nationally... records show just over 6,200 people were killed in such attacks, with current wives and girlfriends accounting for 75-percent of the victims.  New York's number compared with 637 in California, with a population twice as large, and with 798 in Texas, the second most populous state.  Gun ownership rules in New York are among the strictest in the nation... and, restrict ownership and access by domestic abusers.


Tranum says county Chamber and MAST to move temporarily while Manufacturing Technology Institute is expanded and upgraded...

A major reconstruction and expansion project at the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College means a temporary move for two tenants of the building.  The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier have been housed at the MTI the past several years.  However... the head of both business groups, Todd Tranum, says they'll be moving to JCC's Annex Building a week from today.  While there'll be some minor inconvenience... Tranum says they're excited about the project.  He says there's been program growth at the MTI, and with that, they'll be moving into the Annex building near the corner of Falconer and Curtis Streets.  He adds there'll be signs placed so visitors can easily find their temporary offices.  Tranum adds they expect to be there between 6 and 9 months... but, adds their contact information remains the same.  He adds there will be no change in their Dunkirk location during the temporary move in Jamestown.  For more information... call 484-1101.

 

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Alleged Warren County drug kingpin arrested with others...

The alleged kingpin of the illegal drug trade in Warren County, Pennsylvania was arrested Thursday morning along with a number of his cronies.  The Warren Times-Observer reports that members of the Warren County Drug Task Force, State Police, Warren city police and a number of other agences raided a residence at 625 Conewango Avenue in Warren about 8 a.m.  During the raid... the alleged kingpin... 46 year-old Franklin Geiger was taken into custody on charges of possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and endangering the welfare of a child.  Geiger is accused of selling 1-to-3 pounds of marijuana a week along with prescription medications.  Three others were also arrested on charges ranging from criminal possession of drugs... to endangering the welfare of a child.


Investigation continuing into fire at vacant home at 196 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown...

The investigation is continuing into an overnight fire at a vacant house in Jamestown that extensively damaged the upper floors of the building.  Deputy Fire Chief Chet Harvey says a neighbor to the structure at 196 Fairmount Ave. knocked on the door at Station-#5 about 1:30 p.m. morning... and, alerted firefighters across the street.  Harvey says fire crews found heavy flames on the second-floor and attic area.  He says it took about 1 1/2 hours to bring the blaze under control.  Harvey says one firefighter was treated for minor burns at WCA Hospital and released.  He says crews used a number of different hose lines to battle the flames.  He says no one was home at the time the blaze was called in.  No one -- aside from the one firefighter -- was hurt.  Harvey adds crews worked to protect the exposure side at a neighboring house that had been vacated recently by a family.


Acting D.A. Swanson says he's running for County District Attorney in November...

The man serving as Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney says he is running to be the D-A for the next four years.  Patrick Swanson announced his candidacy Thursday afternoon... saying that he has the experience of prosecuting thousands of cases in the D-A's office over the past nearly five years.  The Fredonia Democrat says he also has a lot of criminal law experience in Memphis, Tennessee.  Swanson says he's "settled into the office..." and, feels -- after talking to family and friends -- that this was the next step for him.  He is a Sherman native... who has been a lifelong Chautauqua County resident.  He says he and his wife, Natalie, moved back to the area after getting their professional degrees.  Swanson says it gives him a chance to "give back" to an area that's given him so much.  He says the office needs someone who "understands the problems that permeate through-out the county."  While he is a Democrat... Swanson says he would like to pursue other major party lines for next November's Special Election -- including the Republican line.


JPS officials hold second public budget planning session...

The first steps in developing the Jamestown School District's 2016-17 budget were taken last night... and, district leaders will now create a spending plan to present board members later this month.  School officials hosted the second of two budget planning meetings last night to prioritize, and determine how much money is needed for each part of the spending plan.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says break-out groups discussed four educational areas.  Mains says those were identified in the first meeting... and, include Instructional Excellence... Whole Child Development... Family and Community Engagement... and, Support and Metrics.  Mains says the input from the two sessions will be collated... and, presented as part of the preliminary budget plan at the school board's Feb. 23 meeting.


Horrigan returns from NYSAC Conference with new view on current issues...

The annual New York State Association of Counties annual Legislative Conference went very well... and, helped Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan better "frame" his vision for the county.  Horrigan is back from the three-day conference in Albany... where he says the NYSAC Conference was one of the most well-attended ever.  He says it helps him in understanding where other counties are in dealing with similar issues... ranging from jobs to the Heroin epidemic.  Horrigan says it's given him a new perspective on those issues... many of which he'll be addressing in his State of the County Address at the end of February.  He adds he did have a chance to meet privately for a few moments with Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a gathering of some NYSAC leaders at the Governor's Mansion.  Horrigan says they talked about two issues... the NRG Project in Dunkirk... and, a 200-million dollar "Commercialization Center" project in the county.  Horrigan made his comments for our "Community Spotlight" program this weekend.


Horrigan learns more about proposed $200-million "Commercialization Center" in county; TBN story adds to it...

We are getting bits and pieces about the $200-million "Commercialization Center" proposed for Chautauqua County in the governor's budget.  However... County Executive Vince Horrigan says he can't talk very much about it.  Horrigan can only confirm it will be a "significant project."  However... the Buffalo News yesterday is reporting it will be a $200-million "high-tech drug manufacturing center."  The News says it would be located in Dunkirk... and, adds the company involved is "Athenex..." which makes a specialty Cancer drug and has a headquarters in Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus.

 


 

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Strong wind gusts of 50 miles an hour and more hit the Lake Erie shoreline area of Chautauqua and southern Erie counties yesterday morning... causing downed trees and power lines. Forecaster Dan Kelly with the Weather Service's Buffalo Officer says winds in the early morning were well over 50 at times... with a top gust of 60 at the Dunkirk Airport.  The winds were strong enough to plunge about 3,700 New York State Electric and Gas customers in the Silver Creek area into darkness.  Crews were able to get the power back on by 8 AM... but, the outage had already forced Forestville and Silver Creek school districts to cancel classes. Besides the high winds, temperatures warmed up considerably.  Buffalo set a new high temperature record of 61 degrees late yesterday afternoon.  That shattered the old record of 50 degrees.

 

As many as three witnesses could be called to the stand next Monday as the court case involving the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater project continued Wednesday.  Attorney's for the "Save the Amp" group... and, the institution met in chambers Wednesday afternoon with State Supreme Court Judge Frank Sedita-the-third.  "Save the Amp" attorney Arthur Giacalone said he planned to call one witness... while attorneys for the Institution planned to call two.  However... one of those could be Chautauqua President Tom Becker, who is currently out of the country.  If he's not available... Giacalone says there may have to be an adjournment.  As of now... proceedings are to resume next Monday afternoon at 1 PM.  The "Save the Amp" group has sued the institution... contending officials have not followed environmental law in how the project is to proceed.  For now... a temporary restraining order is continued for the project.

 

A key Cuomo administration official spoke to a state legislature panel late Tuesday about a line item in the Governor's budget proposal for a 200-million dollar economic development project in Chautauqua County.  State Senator Cathy Young, who chairs the Senate's Finance Committee asked Empire State Development President and Chief Executive Officer Howard Zemsky, about the project during a budget hearing in Albany on Tuesday.  Zemsky says it'll be a "commercialization center..." and, be production-oriented.  He adds it would be similar to the SUNY Poly-Model.  Zemsky says he is not at liberty to give out any further details, although did indicate that he’s enthused about the project. 

 

New York's economic development commissioner says boosting the minimum wage to $15 would be an economic stimulus, putting more money into circulation.  Howard Zemsky, head of Empire State Development, told state legislators Tuesday that Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal would raise people out of poverty who will spend and circulate that money.  Cuomo wants the general state minimum wage incrementally increased from $9 to $15 in New York City by the end of 2018 and in 2021 elsewhere.  Zemsky says businesses are resourceful, and he doesn't believe there's any segment that can't adapt over the six-year rollout.  Business Council of New York Vice President Kevin Pokalsky says Cuomo's plan may be the single most costly legislative proposal ever considered by lawmakers, one that will unintentionally cost jobs, especially upstate.

 


When the Jamestown High School bands present their Winter Concert this coming Saturday night... a new group will take the stage.  Band Director Meghan Murray says for the first time in about 20 years... there's a jazz band at JHS. McGough will conduct the jazz band for two pieces at the concert, which starts at 7 PM, Saturday at the Merton P. Corwin auditorium at JHS.  Tickets are $5.  In addition to the Concert and Symphonic Bands, the Fredonia trombone choir, a group of twenty players from the SUNY College at Fredonia will also be joining the performance. And, while it's not marching band season, Meghan Murray reports the New York State Field Band Conference has moved JHS up one class for the next school year.  Murrays says -- due mainly to winning the past two state titles in the Small School-Two division -- they are moving up to the "National Division."  Murray says they'll be facing new schools and stiffer competition when the season begins in September. 

 

The first month of new Lakewood Mayor Cara Birritierri's (Beer-ah-TEE-Airy's) term has gone "fairly well..." and, she's already put together an advisory committee to help her put together the new budget.  Birritierri... who has never held public office before... chaired her first meeting earlier this month... and, says it was a little rough, but, will get better.  She promised during the campaign that she would be a "full-time" mayor, and says she's been there most every day. Birritierri says she's "digging in"... and, enjoying getting to meet people... and, learn about all the village's operations.  One of her first big jobs is going to be assembling the village's 2016-2017 spending plan... and, says she's put together a first-time Budget Advisory Committee to help with the process.  Birritierri says she's looking forward to learning from the panel members to put together an "equitable budget" for the coming year.  She says the advisory committee has three members... David Bargar, Dave Sheppard, and Doug Shuttee.

 

Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have fallen another 2-cents a gallon this week to about 2-dollars-8 cents for regular, unleaded fuel.  That from the Triple-A East Central’s weekly Fuel Gauge Report.  The report says the price is based on reports from 19 local service stations.  Triple-A says last year at this time... the price had fallen to 2--49 a gallon.  Nationally... the Fuel Gauge says the average price has now fallen to just over one-dollar-79 cents.  Triple-A says drivers are saving just over one-dollar a gallon from the 2015 peak price reached this past June.  The national average price is now just over 1--79 a gallon.  That's the lowest price for gasoline since January 2009.

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High winds -- especially along Lake Erie shoreline -- trigger power outages...

High winds are being blamed for downing power lines and knocking out electricity service to more than 11,000 utility customers in parts of upstate New York... including Chautauqua County.  The National Weather Service says wind gusts topping 40 MPH have been recorded early Wednesday morning in Dunkirk.  The winds led to outages that have closed the Silver Creek and Forestville Schools for today.  NYSEG says about 3,700 of its 5,400 total outages are reported.  RG&E reports more than 4,000 outages in the Rochester area, including about 2,500 in Monroe County and another 1,700 in neighboring Ontario County.  National Grid reports about 1,200 outages in the Syracuse area.  The weather service has issued wind advisories Wednesday from Lake Erie's eastern shore to the Finger Lakes region and Mohawk Valley, with gusts expected to hit 55 MPH in some areas.


Gerace says new, county-wide emergency radio system live date pushed back to March...

It'll be March now before the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department goes live with it's new, digital, county-wide emergency communications system.  Sheriff  Joe Gerace has hoped to have the new system up and running by the end of January... however... he says he and the personnel involved in getting the system on-line have decided to make sure everything is checked and double-checked.  Gerace says there'll be some issues at first... but, adds they want to minimize those because these are "critical communications" equipment and systems.  He says they're working closely with the vendor, Motorola, on the project.  The Sheriff's Department completed testing of the new system back in late December.  Gerace says the new system has been about 20 years in the making... but, suffered a setback several years ago when New York decided to end it's effort to create at state-wide network.  He says the new system will be able to work with old, analog radios that local fire and police agencies have until they have made the change-over... using a system of "gate-ways" until they make the change.  The county received a $6-million state grant for the project. 


Gerace says latest statewide Stop DWI Crackdown coming up Super Bowl weekend...
 
The latest Stop-DWI Enforcement Crackdown is set for this coming weekend.  There's no holiday... but, there are going to be a lot of "Super Bowl" parties for the biggest game of the National Football League season.  With that... local police will be taking part in the Crackdown... which begins on Friday, Feb. 5, and, runs through Midnight Monday, Feb. 8.   Sheriff Joe Gerace says they see a number of crashes that occur... especially the evening of the Super Bowl.  Gerace says the increased effort is funded by the state's Stop DWI Foundation.  He says taking part in the program allows them to get additional funding to put more deputies on the streets... and, he says they'll be arresting drivers who's been drinking... or using drugs... and, driving.  During the most recent crack-down over the Christmas and New Year's Holiday period... Gerace says there were 129 vehicle stops, arrests and summonses. 
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The AAA says if you plan to drink, plan not to drive by having a designated, non-drinking driver... alternate transportation... or plans for an overnight stay wherever you watch the big game.  Party hosts are reminded to consider designated drivers when stocking up for parties.


State Assembly again approves Paid Family Leave bill...

The New York state Assembly has again passed legislation to allow workers to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child or a sick loved one.  The measure endorsed Tuesday would be funded by a weekly employee payroll deduction that would start at 45 cents in the first year.  When fully phased in... the maximum weekly benefit would be capped at $633.  Rhode Island, New Jersey and California have similar laws on the books. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie noted that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn't offer paid family leave.  The measure has run into trouble in the Senate before, but this year supporters are optimistic.  Polls show broad public support and Governor Andrew Cuomo has offered his own proposal.


Employee at Artone Manufacturing burned during accidental ignition "flash explosion" Tuesday...

A worker at Artone Manufacturing is being treated for burns to the upper part of his body after a flammable material was ignited about mid-morning Tuesday.  Jamestown Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says city fire-rescue crews responded to Artone... which is located on Allen Street... shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday.  Sigular says the employee... who was not identified... was rushed to the hospital... and, later flown to the Erie County Medical Center for further treatment.  No condition was available for the worker.


State Assembly leader proposes millionaire tax increase...

A long-awaited tax plan from the New York state Assembly's Democratic majority would increase taxes on millionaires while giving relief to middle-class and low-income workers.  Speaker Carl Heastie tells The Associated Press that under the Democratic plan, the current top income tax rate of 8.82-percent would be applied to anyone making $1-million to $5 million a year, and two new, higher rates would be imposed on those making more.  Some 56-thousand taxpayers would be affected, with an average tax increase of $33,000.  The proposal also would reduce rates for middle class workers to give 5.5-million taxpayers an average savings of $50, and increase the earned-income tax credit for low-income workers.

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Dunkirk Dave sees his shadow, breaks ranks with other groundhogs...

Chautauqua County's own groundhog went against the regional trend of the majority of groundhogs... who agree with a prediction of an early Spring this year.  "Dunkirk Dave" ventured outside his burrow this morning... and, saw his shadow.  His long-time handler, Bob Will, says that means six more weeks of Winter weather.  Will says Dave came out and got some of his favorite food, and walked around a little.  He says there was some sun out at the time, and Dave did see his shadow.  Will is quick to point out that, he has "Dave" stick with tradition for the groundhogs... which are usually left on the ground after they come out of their burrows to be fed.  He points out that Punxsutawney Phil's handlers hold him up in the air... which skews the ability to see the groundhog's shadow.  Phil did not see his shadow this morning... meaning an early Spring.


City man and teen arrested for allegedly assaulting another man, and pistol-whipping him...

A Jamestown man and a teenager have been arrested for allegedly assaulting another city man during an incident on Newton Avenue last Sunday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson adds that police also recovered a loaded pistol during an investigation into the incident... which was reported about 2 p.m.  Samuelson says the victim was struck in the head, and pistol whipped by the suspects.  He says they found the gun in the trunk of a car connected to the incident.  Police obtained a search warrant for 22 year-old Aaron Miller's apartment at 846 Prendergast Ave., where they also found more than 22 grams of "crack" cocaine, cash, and another gun.  Miller faces several charges... including Felony counts of second-degree assault... and, criminal possession of a weapon.  The 17 year-old faces an Felony assault charge.  Both were arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.


City police and fire investigators identified Jamestown man as alleged "Serial Arsonist..."

A city man is jailed on $75,000 bail for allegedly being the "serial arsonist" who set three vacant house fires in Jamestown between October of 2014... and, last Christmas Eve.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says 26 year-old Joshua Whalen was arrested after being indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on three counts of third-degree arson.  Samuelson credited city police and fire investigators for solid evidence collecting in the case... and, says they're both pleased... and relieved... that this arsonist is off the streets.  He credited city police and fire investigators for their hard work on the case.  Samuelson says the arsons allegedly took place at 230 McKinley Ave. on back on October 25 of 2014... 420 Falconer St. on May 18 of last year... and, 1052 1/2 North Main St. last Dec. 24.  He says Whelan was arraigned... and, sent to the County lock-up.  Samuelson says they are looking to see if the suspect was involved in three other arson fies.  Samuelson says... if you have any information on those other arsons... you're asked to call the JPS Tip-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. 


City police say person allegedly involved in Second St. Shooting is in custody on other charges...

One suspect is in custody on an unrelated charge in connection with a drive-by shooting on Jamestown's eastside a week ago in which a 10 year-old child was wounded.  City police say they are continuing to investigate the incident at 411 East Second St., in which several gun-shots were fired into the building.  No one else was hurt.  The child was initially recovering from the wound at Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  But, we understand the child has now been released.  Neither the child... nor the supect have been identified.  If you have any information in the case... you're asked to call City Police at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Judge in case involving Chautauqua Amp. project wants expert testimony before rendering decision on lawsuit...

A temporary restraining order remains in place for Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater project after another hearing in State Supreme Court in Mayville.  That from "Save the Amp" Attorney Arthur Giacalone... who says Judge Frank Sedita-III has also ordered lawyers for both sides to be back in his chambers this Wednesday afternoon.  Giacalone says Sedita wants to hear witness testimony before deciding further on another extension.  He says he also needs to determine if the $41.5-million project constitutes a significant "action..." or a "minor action."  He says that will help determine if the project violates the State Environmental Quality Review -- or SEQR -- Act... as well as the town of Chautauqua's Waterfront Consistancy regulations.  The legal action was started once the town of Chautauqua issued demolition and building permits for the project... which will involved demolishing the old Amp... and, building a replica structure.


Both sides in Chautauqua Amp. case react...

The two sides in the case released statements following Monday's court hearing.  "Save the Amp" co-founder Brian Berg says extension of the temporary restraining order is "an important next step in preserving Chautauqua's sacred space and one of America's most historic landmarks."  Berg adds they're also pleased that the judge and the court are "proceeding carefully and we're looking forward to continuing the process next week."  Officials at Chautauqua says they're disappointed they cannot begin work on the new Amp.  However... officials say they are pleased the judge "recognizes the urgency of our Spring construction schedule."  In the meantime... they says other aspects of the project are moving forward.

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The head of the Jamestown City Council says he wasn't entirely sure that Mayor Sam Teresi would not give a formal State of the City Address.  At the same time... Council President Greg Rabb says he believes the mayor struck the right "tone" with the written address handed into lawmakers one week ago.  Rabb says Teresi full-filled his requirements by handing in the report... which is available at a number of places... including the city's website. Rabb was pleased to see the mayor focus on some items that he also brought up during the City Council's inauguration on New Year's Day.  One was to push for a much-needed, residential drug treatment facility that's in the city... or just outside Jamestown.  He says it's a public safety and criminal issue... but, adds it's also "a public health emergency."  In the long run...Rabb says a facility is needed because in many cases it takes several tries for a person to kick drug addiction.  He made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

 

For the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, the big game is already over... and they won!  The annual Souperbowl to benefit WCA Hospital was held at the Rod and Gun Sunday, and their lobster bisque soup was the overwhelming choice as the most popular.  The soup was created by kitchen manager Jill Vincent. She says the soup's on the menu... featured occasionally on Friday nights.  As for the entire event, Vincent says it's a great time. The Souperbowl benefits robotic surgery at WCA.  The hospital's Director of Development, Megan D'Angelo, declared the Superbowl a great success. Media One Radio helps organize the Souperbowl each year.  

 

A Jamestown man was hurt when his car went out of control on a snow-covered town of Carroll road... and, struck a tree.  Sheriff's Deputies say 19 year-old Wyatt Mann of Howard Street was southbound on Old Warren Road about 2:45 last Friday afternoon when he lost control of his vehicle... and, it left the road and hit the tree.  Officers say Mann was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of his injuries.  No charges were filed.

 

A north county woman was hurt when her car went out of control in last Friday's snowy conditions on Farrington Hollow Road in the town of Cherry Creek... and, crashed.  Sheriff's Officers say 23 year-old Katherine Clement of Fredonia was southbound about 3 PM when she lost control of the vehicle.  Deputies say the vehicle traveled down an embankment on the eastside of the roadway... overturned... and, came to rest on its roof.  Officers say Clement was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  No charges were filed.

 

The village of Fredonia will be looking again at the village's possible involvement in the North County Water District.  That's according to Mayor Athanasia (Atha-KNEE-See-ah) Landis.  Dr. Landis says she is open to the water district and would like to see an interconnect between the village and the city of Dunkirk. That pleases County Executive Vince Horrigan who has held several meetings with Dr. Landis and trustees.  He says the state would like to see Fredonia's involvement because of grant funding.  Horrigan says it could be a "significant grant."  He adds the state has been waiting for a final budget-plan in place that will including Fredonia.  Under the previous administration... the village board decided against the Village's participation in the North County Water District.

 

A Cattaraugus County woman has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk... and, being in violation of Leandra's Law in the town of Machias.  State Police in Machias say they arrested 25 year-old Jacquelyn McCord of Little Valley after she was pulled over on Route 242 late last week for alleged equipment violations.  While interviewing McCord... troopers say an odor of alcohol was detected... and, she was given field sobriety tests... which she failed.  They add her driver's license was also suspended.  A nine-month old child was in the back seat of the vehicle.  McCord was arrested for Felony DWI... and, for a Felony violation of Leandra's Law.  She was arraigned, and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 500-dollars cash bail.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo says a special election to fill state Assembly and Senate seats vacated after corruption convictions will take place on April 19th.  Cuomo says the date coincides with the presidential primary in New York and was picked to maximize voter turnout.  Sheldon Silver was forced from his Manhattan Assembly seat and Senate Leader Dean Skelos of Long Island Republican had to give up his seat.  Staten Island voters also will fill a vacant Assembly seat.

 

New York residents are rallying to help residents of Flint, Michigan, where the water is contaminated with lead.  True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo collected and sent a truckload of bottled water to Flint last Friday.  Pastor Darius Pridgen says two other truckloads will follow.  Utica radio host Bill Keeler and the Utica Boilermaker, meanwhile, also are conducting a bottled water drive.  Improperly treated water leached lead from pipes into drinking water after Flint switched from Detroit's water system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money.  Some children's blood has tested positive for lead, which has been linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ and behavioral problems.

 

Another Chautauqua County school district is looking at combining its football program with another football team.  The issue came up at last week's Fredonia School Board meeting.  School Superintendent Paul DiFonzo says the district has had discussions about joining the Westfield-Brocton combined program. DiFonzo says the other option is not to offer football.  Board President Mike Bobseine indicated his concerns about continuing to allow students to participate in the sport during the meeting.  DiFonzo says the board has scheduled a community forum on the issue tonight at 6 PM in the High School Auditorium.  He says a decision is needed by the board's next meeting in February.

 

A recent, week-long trial has ended with a Dunkirk man being acquitted of all charges stemming from an alleged robbery-assault that occurred on King Street in the north county city in December 2014.  Acting Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the jury acquitted Edwin Alicea of all charges including... first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, first degree criminal use of a firearm, first degree unlawful imprisonment, second degree assault, criminal possession of a weapon and fourth degree criminal mischief.  Swanson says prosecutors "presented all of the evidence, but the jury decided that there wasn't sufficient proof to convict." 

 

New York is operating 85 free tax filing assistance sites across the state.  The sites are staffed by state tax department volunteers who guide eligible filers through tax preparation software.  The sites offer morning, evening, and weekend sessions.  The free tax assistance service is available to New Yorkers and families who earned less than 62-thousand dollars in 2015.  Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome.  Taxes are due April 15th.  Taxpayers seeking a site can call the state tax department at 518-457-5181 or visit tax.ny.gov/fsa/.

 

The headquarters of a famed New York chopper company featured in two reality TV shows is set to be auctioned off in March.  But, Paul Teutul, Senior tells The Middletown Times Herald-Record that the sell-off has nothing to do with his company, Orange County Choppers.  Bidding for the 13-million dollar , 61,000-square-foot glass-and-steel building built in 2008 will start at $900,000.  The paper reports the company surrendered the building that holds its custom-made motorcycles in 2011 to its lender, which then sold it to a Dallas, Texas-based company.  The motorcycle-building exploits of Teutul and his son Paul Teutul, Junior have been featured on Discovery Channel's ``American Chopper'' and ``Orange County Choppers'' on Country Music Television.  Teutul says the company has leased the space and the auction won't impact it's business.

 

 

 

 

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