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WJTN News Headlines

The Chautauqua County Legislature is accepting federal and state dollars for a major rehabilition project for the parking lot at the Greater Chautauqua-Jamestown Airport.  However... some lawmakers opposed the measure... saying they believe the state and federal government should be doing more for economic development in the county.  One in particular... Frewsburg Republican Ron Lemon... was critical of putting more money into the regional airport... when it doesn't get much passenger traffic. Lemon was one of four lawmakers who voted against the measure... while 13 voted for it at Wednesday night's meeting.  The county would have a local share of 21-thousand-296 dollars for the 851-thousand dollar project.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he understands the frustration of some lawmakers... but, adds they want to give the new airline a fair chance... and, the parking lot needs upgrading.  Lemon specifically cited the loss of Keywell-Vac Air Alloys over the past year in the Frewsburg-area as being a source of his frustration.  However... Horrigan says New York state will "step up to the plate..." if there's interest in bringing new business in.

 

Fieldbrook Foods and the City of Dunkirk held a joint news conference this afternoon and announced the addition of 50 full-time positions at the plant.  Bob Charleston, Fieldbook Foods CEO, made the announcement at the plant located on Ice Cream Drive in the city. Charleston thanked the city for its cooperation along with the management team, the workers and the teamsters union.  Mayor Willie Rosas says city officials have been working closely with the company since he took office in January.  Rosas says he's had several meetings with Charleston over the past year.  He says many of the issues relate to the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant and some of the levels in regard to the company's permit.  He says both parties continue to work together in resolving any outstanding issues.  Charleston says he sees a "bright future" for the local facility, although he would not reveal any specifics about the company's future plans.  Fieldbrook Foods is adding the 50 jobs to the plant's 500 permanent jobs. State Senator Cathy Young is praising the announcement by Fieldbrook Foods.  Young says "I have been meeting with Fieldbrook Foods... and, it's great to see them growing the number of jobs.  Our goal is to continue to increase economic vitality in the region."  The Olean Republican says she's grateful to see the company investing in the community.

 

A judge says former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver can remain free until at least late October while he appeals his conviction and 12-year prison sentence.  Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni issued an order Thursday.  The 72-year-old Democrat was convicted last year in a 5-million dollar corruption scandal.  Silver's lawyers say a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer improves his chances on appeal.  It reversed the public corruption conviction of former Virginia Republican Gov. Robert McDonnell.  Caproni says Silver can remain free until at least Oct. 27 or until two weeks after a court rules on his request to remain free for the length of any appeal.

 

A program that is designed to train Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers to be Emergency Medical Technicians has resulted in six more members of the law enforcement agency becoming certified... including the sheriff himself.  Joe Gerace, three deputies, a deputy sergeant and a corrections sergeant completed the training and recently received their certification.  Gerace says the training is quite a lift, but it's well worth the effort. Gerace and Leone announced the program back in March.  Gerace says the Sheriff's Office now has 13 law enforcement EMTs who can respond to EMS calls throughout the county.  He believes its already making a difference.  Gerace says some of the new EMTs are also joining local fire departments.  He says the next phase of the program will begin next month when 19 academy recruits, and eight part-time deputies will start the Basic EMT Course through the Sheriff's Academy.  The Basic EMT Course has been added as a permanent component to the Sheriff's Academy curriculum. 

 

A national organization promoting September 11th as a day of public service and remembrance is asking presidential candidates to stop campaigning and running political ads on the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks.
 The New York-based nonprofit, "9/11 Day," has sent letters to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  It's also urging people running for Congress to refrain from campaigning on September 11th.  The nonprofit's president and co-founder, David Paine, says a one-day campaign moratorium would help revive the spirit of national unity and empathy that followed the attacks.  Representatives for Trump and Clinton did not immediately say whether their candidates would agree to a campaign moratorium.  The organization made a similar request in 2012.  Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama complied.

 

Final preparations have been made for the city of Jamestown's annual "End of Summer" bash.  The 37th annual Labor Day Festival will be held on Sunday, September 4th... featuring food, fun, and pro wrestling for the first time.  Mayor Sam Teresi urges residents to get to Bergman Park early that day to get a good spot for the fireworks at 8:30 PM.  Teresi says there are plenty of activites planned. The Labor Day Festival actually gets underway at 9:30 AM on Baker Street with the annual Dan Feather Memorial 5-K Run Walk.  Registration begins at 8 AM.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says the Arts and Crafts booths open at 11 AM... and, the food vendors and other activities get underway at 12 Noon.  The wrestling program begins at 1 PM with Southern Tier Wrestling putting on the first-ever "Bergman Brawl" at the Babe Ruth Baseball Field.  Ciesla-Hanley says another new event... a cheerleading demonstration... will be put on by the XPlosion All-Stars at 3:30 PM at the Danielson Softball Field.  The Labor Day Festival will conclude with a huge fireworks display at 8:30 PM.

 


News Headlines for Thurs., Aug. 25, 2016

Key figure in local cocaine trafficking-murder case, sentenced to life in prison...
One of the drug "kingpins" involved in a major cocaine trafficking operation in the Jamestown-area has been sentenced to life in prison for ordering the contract murder of a drug informant.  U-S Attorney William Hochul, Jr. announced late Wednesday that 47 year-old Jose "Noelle" Martinez, received the sentence in federal court in Buffalo from U-S District Court Judge William Skretny.  One of the prosecutors... Assistant U-S Attorney Thomas Duszkiewicz says... Martinez was afraid Quincy Turner was going to provide information in another drug operation... run by co-defendent Quentin Leeper.  He says Martinez believed that Turner was going to "snitch" on him regarding Leeper's part of the operation.  Prosecutors say Martinez ran a drug trafficking organization in Jamestown that handled 500 or more grams of cocaine.  They say evidence showed that Martinez also supplied cocaine to Leeper's organization in Jamestown.  In May of 2008... Martinez put out a contract for the killing of Quincy Turner.  They say Martinez had Turner killed on May 30 of that year outside of Turner's race shop near the Jamestown Airport.  Hochul says 45 defendants were charged in connection with three drug trafficking rings operating between Jamestown and Rochester.
 
 
Three Erie residents arrested for allegedly weekend Home Invasion-Burglary in Sherman...
Three Erie, Pennsylvania residents are jailed without bail for allegedly committing a home invasion-burglary in Sherman last Sunday morning.  Sheriff's deputies say they were called to 134 Cornish St. about 6:30 a.m. on a report of the three suspects getting inside the home.  Officers say an unidentified female resident there was initially attacked by 32 year-old Nicholas Tobin... while the other two -- 37 year-old June Hoovler and 35 year-old Jamie Markham -- stood at the front door to stop anyone from leaving or getting into the home.  The suspects allowed a man and child in the residence to move to another room during the incident.  The man then called 9-1-1.  The suspects then allegedly stole the female victim's cell phone... and, left before deputies arrived.  All three suspects were found... and, arrested Tuesday.  They were all arraigned on charges... including first-degree burglary... and, unlawful imprisonment.  They were the sent to the county lock-up.
 
 
Fieldbrook Foods announces addition of 50 new, full-time employees...
Fieldbrook Foods and the City of Dunkirk held a joint news conference yesterday afternoon and announced the addition of 50 full-time positions at the plant.  Bob Charleston, Fieldbook Foods Chief Executive Officer Bob Charleston made the announcement at the plant located on Ice Cream Drive in the city.  Charleston says they're "excited" about building "a newer, stronger more cohesive team."  He thanked the city for its cooperation along with the management team, the workers and the teamsters union.  Mayor Willie Rosas says city officials have been working closely with the company since he took office in January.  Rosas says he's had several meetings with Charleston over the past year.  He says many of the issues relate to the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant and some of the levels in regard to the company's permit.  He says both parties continue to work together in resolving any outstanding issues.  Charleston says he sees a "bright future" for the local facility, although he would not reveal any specifics about the company's future plans.  Fieldbrook Foods is adding the 50 jobs to the plant's 500 permanent jobs.
 
 
County Legislature approves boarding out some 18 inmates to Wyoming County...
Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved an agreement with Wyoming County to house some of the jail's inmates to stem an overcrowding situation.  Lawmakers meeting in Mayville last night voted unanimously for the agreement... which primarily involves some 18 state Parole violators.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says he's met with the county's Probation and Public Defender's Office about alleviating the situation.  Horrigan says they're taking another hard look at ways to relieve what he hopes is a "temporary" situation.  Sheriff Joe Gerace... who oversees the jail operation... says it's going to cost $85 each to house the excess inmates in Wyoming County.  Gerace says the county usually makes $95 a day on each federal prisoner they house... so it's cutting into the Sheriff's Office bottom line.  Horrigan says there's one other factor to consider... and, that's the fact it's Summer... and, there tends to be more "criminal activity" during the warmer months of the year. 
 
 
Dunkirk man initially looking at a shoplifting charge turns it into a robbery...
A north county man who is accused of robbing a store at the D&F Plaza last Monday afternoon is being held in the Chautauqua County jail without bail pending further court action.  Dunkirk Police Chief Dave Ortolano says the initial call came in just before 1 p.m. as a shoplifting.  However... Ortolano says as officers, arrived, the suspect was making his get-away.  He says 43-year-old Ethan Figueroa of Dunkirk is accused of displaying a knife to personnel at the J-C Penney store as he was leaving the store with stolen merchandise.  He says a private citizen played an instrumental role in helping police by calling 9-1-1 dispatch... and, telling them which way the suspect was headed.  Besides the stolen merchandise... Figueroa was also allegedly found to be in possession of a quantity of heroin and hypodermic instruments.  He faces several charges... including first-degree robbery.
 
 
City of Jamestown makes application for nearly $150,000 grant to deal with Zombie and Vacant Properties...
Jamestown's Department of Development is applying to the state for a nearly $150,000 grant to help it better deal with the city's zombie and vacant property issue.  That from Development Director Vince DeJoy... who outlined the city's Local Initiatives Support Corporation application to the state Housing Stabilization Fund last Monday night.  DeJoy says there are three parts to the application... including a small amount to be used for outreach to people who need help.  Secondly... he says they'll be looking for funding to help provide a GIS Module to help map out where vacant and zombie properties are.  He says the third component will be funding to add an attorney to the Corporation Counsel's Office to specialize in housing enforcement.  Last month... the city council approved the Department of Development submitting an application for the grant. 
 

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