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WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 19, 2024

City man arrested for violating Jamestown burn ordinance, and possessing illegal drugs...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating the city's burn ordinance by starting a fire inside a tent on the city's northside... and, being in possession of drugs.  Jamestown police say a patrol in the area spotted the fire coming from the tent... which was between two houses... shortly after 4 a.m. last Friday.  Officers found that 42 year-old Marcelino Hernandez had started the fire which violated the city code for Prohibited Burning within the city.  While police spoke with Hernandez... they conducted a search... and, found him in posession of quantities of methamphetamine... cocaine... suboxone... and, packaging materials.  He was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... four counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia... and, violating the city code prohibiting burning.


Four arrested on drug charges following warrant check in Panama...
A warrant check on a Panama home last Saturday afternoon led to the arrests of four people on drug and weapons related charges.  Sheriff's officers say they initially took 41 year-old William Curry, Jr. into custody at 6803 Route 474 about 1:30 p.m., but, then acquired a search warrant for the home, and, found 47 year-old Harry Radke of Conewango Valley... 35 year-old Dennis Cash, Jr. of Dewittville... and, 37 year-old Jared Gilbert of Mayville.  Sheriff's Department Narcotics Investigators... and, Dunkirk Police assisted with the investigation... and, police found 13.1 grams of methamphetamine, scales and packaging for the distribution of narcotics... as well as an assault rifle that had been reported stolen.  All four subjects were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  All four were jailed pending centralized arraignment. 


Quattrone concerned over proposal for more "full contact" jail visitation...
As state budget talks continue in Albany... Chautauqua County's top cop is keeping an eye on a bill that would amend New York's correction law to establish a visiting program for inmates.  It would require state and local correctional facilities to "give incarcerated people opportunities for personal contact with their relatives, children, friends...and other persons" during evening and weekend hours.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says it's something his department already does, but this legislation would also require a full contact visit.  He has two concerns with that: especially because it can allow for more contraband to be brought into the jails.  Quattrone says they want more clarification on that.  Quattrone... who is First-Vice President of the New York State Sheriffs' Association... says they have offered to meet with state legislators to discuss how they can maintain safety in jails.


Even without ice castle, Mayville Winter Festival is deemed a success...
There were some challenges... but the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says its Winter Festival in Mayville over the weekend was a success.  Coordinator Shannon Biekarck with the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber says for not have the castle, but, some crazy cold weather, she felt it was successful.  Biekarck thanked residents for coming out.  With a wide open Chautauqua Lake... the signature feature of the Winter Festival… an ice castle… was absent for the second year in a row.  There were around two dozen other activities at Lakeside Park in Mayville between Friday and Sunday, with excellent participation in the polar plunge and the pet parade, along with a huge crowd on hand for the Saturday night fireworks.  The County Chamber’s Director of Marketing and Communication, Sheila Webster, thanked everyone who made the weekend possible... namely sponsors and volunteers. 


Two Jamestown women arrested on drug charges following eastside traffic stop...
Two women have been arrested following a traffic stop on Jamestown's eastside last Friday night led to the seizure of drugs and weapons.  City police say members of their Violence Interdiction Team... and, K-9 Unit conducted the stop in the area of Falconer and Grant Streets shortly before 10 p.m. for alleged traffic infractions.  During the stop... officers found that 28 year-old Kylah Seiberg... and, 40 year-old Janice Rogers... were both in possession of quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine... a quantity of cash... and, a throwing star.  Police also found that Seiberg has previously been convicted of a crime... leading to her being charged with felony third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  She was also charged with third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Rogers was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... one of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


Borrello says redrawn Congressional boundary map appears fair, but, still raises concerns...
New York State's Independent Redistricting Commission has approved a new congressional re-districting map for the state... and, it includes some minor changes to what was used for the 2022 elections.  The bipartisan commission okayed the map by a 9-1 vote late last week... and, it remains subject to approval by the State Legislature.  While he hasn't taken a close look at the proposed map yet... State Senator George Borrello says it appears to be a fair one, but he is concerned about a projected loss of GOP representation.  Borrello says there is a minor change to the 23rd Congressional District, which includes Chautauqua County.  The previous map was redrawn after the state Court of Appeals in December rejected the map that was drawn by a special master in 2022.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 16, 2024

One person arrested following pair of day-time drug raids in Jamestown....
A Jamestown man faces a number of drug-related charges following a Noon-time raid today on his home on the city's northside... and another a few doors away.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 850 Prendergast Ave. with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.... and, found 45 year-old Ramon Nieves-Fagot.  Once the residence was secured, detectives searched and found 93 individual baggies of fentanyl... 18 vials of cocaine... 30 Tramadol Hydrochloride pills... and, $339 in cash.  He's charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  At the same time... Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators executed a search warrant on the lower apartment at 854 Prendergast Ave. with the help of their SWAT Team.  Police say the residence was unoccupied but charges are pending. 


Perrysburg man arrested for town of Portland altercation involving three other people...
A man from Perrysburg is accused of breaking into a home in the town of Portland late Wednesday night... and, getting into a physical altercation with three people there.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the unidentified location just after 11 p.m., and, found that 30 year-old Clint Cathot had unlawfully entered the residence... and stayed there while assaulting the three individuals.  Cathot was found a short time later... and, arrested for first-degree burglary... third-degree assault... third-degree attempted assault... and, second-degree harassment.  He was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Man from Mayville arrested on drug-related charges in Ripley...
A Mayville man has been arrested on drug-related charges following a check on a person's well-being in the town of Ripley.  Sheriff's deputies say they also found that 34 year-old James Mawhir was sought on a Jamestown City Court warrant.  Officers say they were recently called to a business address in Ripley... and, during the investigation... became aware of the warrant for Mawhir's arrest.  They took him into custody... and, a search of his vehicle led to the seizure of a quantity of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  Mawhir was taken to the Jamestown Police Department... where he was arraigned on his charges and released.  He was also issued appearance tickets for Ripley Town Court and released pending a future court appearance.


City woman found with illegal drugs after allegedly giving police a fake name...
A Jamestown woman is accused of drug possession following a larceny investigation in the area of East Fifth Street.  City police were called to the scene shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday... and located one of the suspects --  35 year-old Jacklyn Long -- in the area of Bemus and Kinney Streets.  Long is also accused of giving police another person's name... and, she was charged with second-degree criminal impersonation.  They later found her in possession of a quantity of Fentanyl... and, she was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Long was also jailed pending arraignment for previously failing to appear in court on other charges.


Borrello helps introduce legislation reversing "Sanctuary State" status...
State legislature Republicans have introduced legislation to reverse New York's "sanctuary state" policies they say have exacerbated the migrant crisis in the state.  Among other things... the legislation would require local and state law enforcement agencies and certain courts to notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- or ICE -- officials of the arrest or conviction of non-citizens.  State Senator George Borrello backs the measure, calling it "common sense."  Borrello says the migrant crisis is the number one concern in most areas of the state, and he's calling for leaders on the other side of the political aisle to step up.  He adds Governor Kathy Hochul could change the policy with the "stroke of her pen."  The Sunset Bay Republican says the proposed legislation would reinstate the 365-day maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor... and, would repeal the Protect our Courts Act of 2020... which state GOP lawmakers say was designed to discourage cooperation and enforcement of federal immigration laws.


Many activities planned for this weekend's Mayville Winter Festival...
A full weekend of activites are planned for the annual Mayville Winter Festival... which begins tonight and runs through Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Park.  But... regardless... Mayville/Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce... and, Festival Chairman Brian Pender says there's still a lot to do even if there's no snow... or cold weather.  Pender says there's no ice castle this year... but, he adds there will be a replica castle lighting at 6 tonight... and, starting Saturday... they'll have 25 vendors on hand... along with five food trucks.  Pender says they'll also have a beer and wine tent... and, adds some of the events will be a "bit weather dependent."  He says activities on Saturday begin at 10 a.m., with the Polar Plunge at Noon.  The annual fireworks display will take place Saturday at 8 p.m., and is being provided by Skylighters of New York... and, is being sponsored by the town of Chautauqua this year.  Pender says they "really stepped up their contribution this year."  Sunday's activites begin at 10 a.m., with a 5K run put on by Trackqua... and, a volleyball tournament.  For more information on the Winter Festival... go on-line to chautauquachamber.org/winter-festival.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 15, 2024

BPU GM reports only one of five divisions has a rate hike for 2024; updates water main replacement projects...
Only one of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' five divisions is seeing a rate increase in 2024.  That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who gave a quarterly update for the City Council this week.  Leathers told lawmakers that was for the wastewater division.  However... he says a couple of others saw some other charges increase... including water service connections... and, the electric division was looking at a possible fuel charge adjustment.  Leathers says the Water Division is moving into Phase-Two of it's Water Main Replacement Grant program.  Leathers says they are looking to see how much of their $5-million grant remains... and, will then put the projects out to bid.  He says Phase-One was on Washington Street.  He says there are five streets in Phase-Two... which will include: West Virginia Blvd... Glenview... Mercury Lane... and, West 18th Street.  Leathers also told the City Council that there have been four water main breaks so far in 2024 after coming off what may have been a record low number in 2023.  He says the BPU has also been producing a significant amount of power in recent months using the power plant's gas turbine.


State Legislature looking at bill that could end parents of Foster kids having to pay for their care... 
A bill in the New York State Legislature could alter how the foster care system operates in the state, by ending the requirement that parents have to pay for their child’s stay in foster care.  New York collected more than $2-million in 2021 from low-income parents with kids in foster care.  These so-called "maintenance payments" include a 9% interest rate.  Jill Berrick, a University of California Berkeley professor who tracks this issue, notes half of these families make less than $10,000 per year... which means they may be handing over $10 to $100 a month which could turn their finances upside down."  Berrick adds the bill faces little opposition, with many in the child welfare system supporting it.  If it doesn't pass... Berrick notes taxpayers will continue footing the bill for most payments, since parents aren’t usually able to make them.  California, Michigan, Montana and Washington have already taken action to end systems like this.  The bill is now in the New York Senate Judiciary Committee.


Gerry man arrested for speedking and DWI...
A man from Gerry has been arrested for allegedly driving drunk and speeding on Route 60 in the town of Gerry last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies say they stopped the car shortly after 10 p.m. last Saturday... and, found that 28 year-old Devin Parker was operating the vehicle.  Officers say he was found to be driving while intoxicated... and, was arrested.. and, issued appearance tickets for speeding, and DWI for Gerry Town Court.


CSHOF Induction Dinner now a sell-out...
Next Monday night's Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction dinner is now a sell-out.  Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson tells us they have sold 350 tickets for the annual event at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club on Feb. 19.  Anderson says the Class of 2024 includes nine new inductees... from many different backgrounds... and for the first time... the majority of them are women.  They are Karen Bakewell... Cheryl Miller-Burns... Carlene Sluberski... Karen Tellinghuisen... and, Judy Young.  The male inductees include the late Danny Bryner... Tom D'Angelo... Doug Kaltenbach... and, Rod Maloy.  Anderson says this is the 42nd group of inductees since the Hall of Fame was established in 1981.


Langworthy announces bipartisan letter writting effort to EPA regarding farm manure emissions...
Chautauqua County's Congressman is leading a bi-partisan letter writting effort... urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to refrain from considering  the reporting of certain substances emitted into the air by the natural break-down of animal manure.  Buffalo-area Republican Nick Langworthy is among those signing the letter to EPA Secretary Michael Regan to not consider the rule... which he says would add significant red tape for farmers and ranchers in an industry that is already heavily-regulated.  Langworthy says the letter is co-led by Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of California, and has been signed by a bi-partisan coalition of 44 additional members.   Republican Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson, who represents Warren County, Pa., has also signed onto the letter.


Rep. Rapp announces more than half-a-million dollars in fire and rescue grants for Warren, Crawford, and Forest County departments...
Fire and ambulance companies in Pennsylvania's 65th Legislative District... including several in Warren County... are receiving just over $566,000 in state grants.   That from Republican State Representative Kathy Rapp... who says the funding will come from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency... and, the Office of the State Fire commissioner.  Rapp says most of the grants are going to Warren County fire-rescue entities... and, total between $13,000 and $16,000 each.  The city of Warren is receiving just over $31,000 between two grants.  Rapp also represents parts of Crawford and Forest Counties.   

    

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Feb. 14, 2024

UTV operator killed in Villenova crash last weekend is identified...
A Westfield man has now been identified as the person killed in last Saturday night's fatal, Utility Terrain Vehicle crash in the town of Villenova.  Sheriff's officers say 64 year-old William Shreve was operating the UTV just after 11:30 p.m. when the vehicle went off Dye Rd., and, slammed into a tree.  Deputies say Shreve was the only person in the vehicle when it crashed... and, he died at the scene.


Mayville Winter Festival set to be held President's Day Weekend...
Final preparations are underway in the village of Mayville for one of the biggest winter festivals in Western New York.  The annual Mayville Winter Festival is slated for this coming Presidents' Day weekend, Feb. 16-18 at Lakeside Park.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says there will be plenty of offerings available for those in attendance... even though there won't be an ice castle.  Heitzenrater says... the past few years... the chamber has worked hard with the Mayville/Chautauqua Chamber to put together a festival full of activites that's not as dependent on an ice castles.  Heitzenrater says there will be no traditional ice castle at this year's event due to unseasonably warm temperatures that's led to a lack of ice on Chautauqua Lake.  However... Festival Chairman Brian Pender says they do have a backup plan in place... with a wooded castle they debuted a few years ago.  The rest of the weekend will feature 25 vendors, several food trucks, a polar plunge, live music and a fireworks display, among several other activities.  The festival was started about 50 years ago by Pender's grandfather, the late Don Hogan.


Pair of women arrested following traffic stop in Jamestown...     
Two women have been arrested on drug-related charges stemming from a weekend traffic stop on Jamestown's southside.  City police say their Violence Interdiction Unit conducted the stop near the intersection of Newland and Barrett Avenues late last week for a traffic infraction.  Officers say they found both 44 year-old Sandra Pavlock... and, 35 year-old Kelsey Staszewski in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.  Both women were taken into custody without incident... and, taken to the city jail where police located another 13.6-grams of meth in Pavlock's possession.  She ws charged with third-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, was jailed pending arraignment.  Staszewski was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... along with traffic citations.  She was issued an appearance ticket for city court.


Borrello among state legislature Republicans calling for more study of electric powered buses before mandate kicks in...
New York State Republican lawmakers are looking to "pump the brakes" on the state's implementation of its electric school bus mandate.  During a Monday press conference in Albany... they unveiled proposals to allow for the completion of a pilot program, cost-benefit analysis and other feasibility assessments.  Among the legislators was Senator George Borrello, who says school officials are "increasingly concerned" about the cost of the mandate that was enacted in 2022.  Borrello says there about 800 districts in the state that have 50,000 school buses... which he says would cost around $20-billion to convert and build all buses to be electric.  Borrello also cited other problems associated with electric vehicles, such as poor reliability and limited operability in freezing temperatures.  He says the range is only about 100 miles in ideal conditions.  Borrello... a Republican from Sunset Bay... says his proposal would allow schools to test how electric buses perform.  The electric school bus mandate requires new school bus purchases to be zero emission by 2027 and all school buses in operation to be electric by 2035.


Gas prices in Jamestown-area hold steady, while national prices goes up 5-cents...
The price for gasoline in the Jamestown-area is remaining stable this week... while the national average is up about a nickle a gallon for regular, unleaded.  That from AAA East Central's Gas Price Report... which says the local price this week is just under $3.50 a gallon.  That's virtually the same as last week... and, about 20-cents lower than a year ago.  Nationally... the price is up 5-cents to $3.19 a gallon.  Seasonal demand increases, higher costs for oil, and routine refinery maintenance have pushed pump prices higher.  AAA says the Energy Information Administration reports that the demand for gas is up... wile total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by just over 3-million barrels a day.


City man arrested for DWAI...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found to be driving on the city's northside while under the influence of drugs.  City police say officers spotted the vehicle... driven by 34 year-old Steven Gustafson-Solinger... on Fluvanna Avenue -- near Washington Street -- about 7 p.m. last Friday with no headlights or tailights on.  Officers say they saw that Solinger appeared to be under the influence and gave Standardized Field Sobriety Test's to which he failed.  He was taken into custody and transported to the city jail for processing.  Solinger's BAC came back .00 BAC... and, a Drug Recognition Expert then conducted a Drug Influence Evaluation.  He was charged with DWAI-Drugs and other traffic violations.


Suozzi wins NY House District 3 run-off to replace Santos...
Democrat Tom Suozzi won a special election Tuesday in New York for the U.S. House seat that was left vacant when Republican George Santos was expelled from Congress.  Suozzi defeated Republican Mazi Pilip to retake a seat he held for three terms before giving it up to run, unsuccessfully, for governor. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 13, 2024

Goodell says Hochul's budget proposal addresses state's issues... but, not in the right way...
Chautauqua County's representative in the state Assembly says Governor Kathy Hochul has her focus on the "right issues..." but, her budget doesn't really address those problems.  Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell says he appreciates what the governor is trying to do... but, says "throwing money" at them doesn't solve them.  Goodell says... more funding to stem the rise in retail theft won't work if those crimes aren't going to be prosecuted.  He says that's the underlying issue that's not addressed.  Goodell says there is a housing crisis in New York state... but, says at least part of the problem is a doubling of the time in order to evict someone... which led to monitary losses.  He says landlords then had to deal with a two-year eviction moritorium during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Goodell adds that while Governor Hochul increased public education funding to $35-billion... her budget also eliminates the "hold Harmless" clause that no school district would lose foundation aid.  He says that's led to several districts losing aid in the new budget.  Hearings and debate is underway on the $233-billion spending plan... which is due by Apr. 1. 


Investigation into weekend shooting in town of Dunkirk continues... 
State Police are investigating a shooting that occurred last Saturday afternoon in the north county town of Dunkirk.  The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation at the Fredonia barracks responded to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk shortly after 2:45 p.m. on a report of a 20-year-old man with multiple gunshot wounds.  The victim was later taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo... and, is listed in guarded condition.  Troopers in Fredonia confirm that the shooting took place at the Lakeside Mobile Home Park on Route 5.  No other details have been released.


Thomas provides detailed report on ARPA spending, and money remaining to City Council...
The Jamestown City Council has received a full accounting of used... and, remaining funding from the city's $28.4-million in American Rescue Plan funding.  New City Comptroller Ericka Thomas provided the information in a four-page spreadsheet at last night's work session... noting there is just over $1.4-million in funding left to be used.  She says there were a couple of booking errors that had to be accounted for... and, there is about $261,000 that could be "clawed back" from the Deputy Comptoller's position.  In addition... Thomas says the city has earned a pretty good chunk of change in interest... totalling $312,000 in interest.  She says she has some additional meetings coming up with the police, fire and parks departments to go over the ARPA monies used, and remaining for their projects and other purchases.  


Schumer, and families of Flight 3407 victims commemorate 15th Anniversary of crash, reflect on ongoing battle to keep pilot training and safety measures in place...
The families of the nearly 50 victims of Colgan Air Flight 3407 commemorated the 15th anniversary of the tragic crash in Clarence Center Monday.  Family members gathered at the site for a vigil... and, also joined U.S. Senator Charles Schumer for a video press conference to advocate for keeping air training and safety standards in place as part of the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill.  Schumer... who is Senate Majority Leader... praised the families for helping him keep those rules in place.  He says the measures were protected in the Senate "mark-up" of the new bill.  In fact... Schumer says since that crash on Feb. 12, 2009... there have been no major airline crashes in the United States.  In addition... one of the major provisions in the bill requires pilots to have 1,500 hours of training before flying commercial aircraft... and, that pilots have enough rest between flights.  A couple from the town of Portland were among those killed in the crash.


Backyard Bird Count pre-registration due today...
A well known local 'birder' is encouraging everyone to take time over President's Day Weekend to note the birds in their neighborhood.  Craig Thompson says the Great Backyard Bird Count is a continent-wide event that's easy to be a part of.  He says just take a walk around your home and neighborhood and count the number, and kinds of birds you see or hear in any one instance -- like you're taking a picture with your camera.  Once you're done counting, go on-line to report your results at birdcount.org.  He says you'll need to establish your own account... which is free to do.  Since February is NOT migration season, Thompson says this is the ideal time to get a tally of 'settled' bird populations. Both RTPI and the Audubon are having instructional sessions on the bird count this Saturday morning -- Feb. 17 -- at 9 a.m.  Pre-registration for either class should be done by today (Feb. 13).


Celoron man accused of hurting woman during domestic in downtown Jamestown...
A Celoron man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into a Jamestown woman's apartment... and punching her repeatedly during a domestic incident in the downtown area.  City police say they were called to the unidentified location shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday for a reported domestic dispute.  When they arrived... officers say they made contact with both the victim... and, the suspect -- 58 year-old Robert Porter, Jr.  Their investigation showed that Porter had forced his way into the apartment... and, punched the victim several times, causing injury.  He was arrested on charges including first-degree burglary... and, third-degree assault.  He was also allegedly found in possession of suboxone... and, was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Porter was jailed pending arraignment.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 12, 2024

One person killed in fatal, utility terrain vehicle accident in Villenova...
One person has been killed in a fatal, utility-terrain vehicle crash in the north county town of Villenova.  Sheriff's officers and members of the South Dayton Fire Department were called to the scene on Dye Road shortly before Midnight Saturday.  Deputies say their investigation showed that the Utility Vehicle had left the roadway and struck a tree.  Officers say the operator was the sole occupant of the vehicle... and, died from the accident.  No other details... including the UTV operator's name... have been released.  Deputies say the investigation is ongoing.


Boil Water Order in Fredonia lifted...
The Boil Water Order put in place after an issue at the village of Fredonia's water treatment plant late last week has now been lifted.  The Chautauqua County Health Department, in conjunction with the Village of Fredonia, announced the lifting of that order Sunday morning for all water customers inside... and outside the village's boundaries.  Officials say water leaving the treatment plant has been adequately treated since late last Thursday night... and, two consecutive days’ sample results indicate the water throughout the distribution system is safe for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth, and making coffee.  They add that plumbing lines that have not been used regularly since the boil water went into effect should be flushed before water from that line is consumed.  This includes ice makers and refrigerator water dispensers.  For more information... call the village at (716) 679-2307... of the county Health Department at 753-4481.


Bobseine announces run for 150th Dist. Assembly seat...
A north county man who's been involved with local and county governments much of his life has announced that he is running for the New York State Assembly.  Fredonia Democrat Michael Bobseine made the announcement at the Labrynth Press Company in Jamestown last Saturday... noting that the 150th District has not had "real influence" in Albany for since when fellow Democrats Bill Parment and Rollie Kidder were in the Assembly.  He says the county needs a person in the majority who can work with the governor's office, and legislative leadership.  Bobseine is a former Chautauqua County Legislator... and Legislature Chairman and Majority Leader.  He's also been a school board president and member... and, most recently has been Dunkirk City Attorney.  Bobseine says it's important to have an assembly member who supports putting New York's Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot.  He adds his campaign is centered on five basic rights of each New Yorker.  The first is a good public education... second is having affordable and accessible health care.  Third is having a business... or "living wage" job.  Fourth is suitable housing... and fifth is a life in a "safe, inclusive community."
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Democratic candidate Michael Bobseine also made another pledge during his announcement in Jamestown.  He says he is taking part in New York's new Public Campaign Finance Program.  Under the program... Bobseine says his campaign is seeking contributions of $5 to $250- from "real people" that will be matched with state campaign finance dollars.  


Goodell says he will make an announcement on his status by the end of February...
Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell has represented Chautauqua County in the 150th Assembly District since 2011... but, has not yet formally announced any re-elections plans yet.  However... reached in Albany Monday morning... Goodell says he will be making an announcement soon because petitions have to be circulated... starting late this month.  He says he's "thoroughly" enjoyed representing the county in Albany... and, is thankful to have the voters support.  He noted that he's especially enjoyed being the Minority Leader Pro-Temp... or Floor Leader since 2018... which gives him many opportunities to represent the county.  Goodell... who is also a former County Executive... was first elected in the Fall of 2010.


City woman arrested for scissors attack during domestic incident...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly stabbing a man during a reported domestic dispute last Saturday on the city's westside.  Jamestown police say they were called to the location about 2 p.m., and, soon after arrival, officers were able to identify the suspect as 56 year-old Helen Anderson.  Police say Anderson and the male victim got into a verbal argument that quickly turned physical... and, the victim was stabbed in the forearm with a pair of medical scissors.  Anderson was arrested for second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.... and, was first taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of injuries she suffered during the incident.  The male victim did not have to be transported.  Anderson was treated and released... and, taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Two arrested for faking missing person's report...         
Two people have been arrested for allegedly faking the disappearance of a juvenile girl earlier this month in the town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's officers say they were called in to investigate the alleged disappearance of the girl on Straight Road on Tues., Feb. 2.  Deputies say their investigation showed that 21 year-old  Austin Sample of Brocton, and, 26 year-old Kimberly Vannorstand of Curwensville, Pa., attempted to obstruct a missing juvenile investigation by providing false information to officers about where the girl might be.  Vannorstand is also accused of having the girl change her appearance in order to impede the investigation.  Both were charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 9, 2024

Two men arrested on drug charges following traffic stop in downtown Jamestown...
Two men face drug-related charges following a traffic stop on Jamestown's northside late last night.  City police say they spotted a vehicle... driven by 64 year-old Carl Yanik, Jr. of Kennedy... committing multiple traffic infractions on North Main Street.  Officers with the Violence Interdiction Unit pulled over the car near Price Street just after 11:30 p.m.  They found the passenger... 58 year-old Tyrone Harrison of Jamestown... was sought on active City Court bench warrants.  Harrison was taken into custody... and, police further searched the vehicle.  Officers say they found Yanik was in possession of a quantity of cocaine... and, Buprenorphine and Naloxone Sublingual Films.  He's faces two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and one count each of driving an uninspected motor vehicle and inadequate plate lamps.  Harrison is charged with one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Yanik was processed... and, issued an appearance ticket for City Court.


City officials confirm closing of The Beer Snob on Jamestown's westside...
A well-known craft beer establishment in downtown Jamestown is confirmed as having closed it's doors permanently.  Reports began circulating about mid-day Thursday that The Beer Snob at 318 Washington St., inside the old historic Viking Temple building, had shut it's doors.  The business was started in November of 2018.  It's business social media accounts reportedly disappeared.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk said... in a printed statement Thursday... that -- "The Beer Snob, located in Downtown Jamestown, has made the difficult decision to close its doors permanently.  While we are disappointed to see any business close, we respect the business owner’s decision and privacy."  She adds her office "has been in contact with the business owner, and as with any recipient of city grant funding, we will work with the business owner to recapture awarded grant funds."  The Beer Snob was awarded funding through the Jamestown Local Development Corporation in February of last year for acquisition of the building.


Gillibrand urges fellow Senators to approve Child Tax Credit reinstatement...
New York's Junior U.S. Senator is urging her Senate colleagues to approve legislation that will restore the expanded child tax credit that expired at the end of 2021.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says the credit would make it easier for low-income families to qualify for the Child Tax Credit... which is part of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act... which includes the expansion... which would make it easier for families to qualify for the maximum amount possible.  Gillibrand says the credit would be $3,600 a year for each child under the age of 6 in a family with income up to $150,000 a year.  She says that credit would be reduced to $3,000 a year between ages 6 and 17.  She says the average cost savings of nearly 700-dollars a month was a major boost to families with children... improving their "overall well-being."  So far... Gillbrand says the measure received more than the 60 procedural vote needed to move onto a final vote... and, hopefully the measure will be acted on soon.  Gillibrand says the Child Tax Credit "is a lifeline for working families and one of the best tools we have for fighting child poverty."  Once the expanded credit ended at the end of 2021... she says child poverty has more than doubled nationwide.  Gillibrand says the measure would help lift an estimated 69,000 children in Western New York... and, 25,000 in the Southern Tier... out of poverty.


Fredonia Boil Water Order goes into the weekend...
A disruption in operations at the village of Fredonia water treatment plant has led Chautauqua County and village to issue a boil water order for all customers of the system.  Late Thursday morning... the county Health Department issued the boil water order... adding that the state Department of Health requires that anytime water is not adequately treated... a boil water order must be issued to notify customers.  County officials say a problem with a chlorine pump was the main problem... and, the disruption led to water that was not adequately treated getting into the distribution system.  They say the water could contain harmful microbes... and, boiling the water kills bacteria and other microbes that may be present.  All Fredonia water customers must boil water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and making coffee until further notice.  Water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute then cooled prior to use.  Mayor Mike Ferguson says they hope to have water samples come back clean today and tomorrow... and, being able to lift the order late Saturday or Sunday morning.  If you have questions... call the county Health Department at 753-4481.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed-Thurs., Feb. 7-8, 2024

City man arrested for riding bicycle on sidewalk, and giving JPD a false name...
A Jamestown man stopped for allegedly riding his bicycle on a sidewalk on the city's westside faces a number of charges after allegedly giving police a false name.  Jamestown police say they spotted 28 year-old James Eastham riding the bike shortly after 8  p.m. Wednesday in the area of West Sixth and Cherry Streets without proper lights.  Officers stopped Eastham... but, he gave them a family member's name believing he was wanted because he had not been meeting his probation requirements. Police were able to properly identify Eastham... and, found he did have warrants for his arrest.  He was also charged with second-degree criminal impersonation.  He was later searched... and, found in possession of a quantity of fentanyl.  Eastham was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... riding a bicycle on a Sidewalk and multiple traffic tickets.  He was booked and released with an appearance ticket for city court.


City man arrested following suspicious situation involving two juvenile girls...
A Jamestown man has been arrested after allegedly harassing two juvenile girls in the city's downtown early Wednesday morning.  City police were called to an unidentified business shortly after Midnight for a "suspicious male."  When officers arrived... they quickly located the two girls... who positively identified 22 year-old Fernando Rivera, who was still at the scene... as the man who had been following them for about a quarter-of a mile.  The victims say Rivera was allegedly talking to them in a way that scared them.  Police took Rivera into custody without incident... and, found there was an order of protection to stay away from one of the girls.  He was taken to the city jail on charges of second-degree criminal contempt... two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child... and, two counts of second-degree harassment.  Rivera was jailed pending arraignment.


Fulton Street fire blamed on malfunctioning space heater...
A malfunctioning space heater is the apparent cause of Tuesday morning's fire that heavily damaged the front of a home on Jamestown's northside... and, killed two pets.  City Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Rousch says fire crews were called to 215 Fulton Street just after 6 a.m. by a neighbor.  Rousch says there was heavy fire coming from the front of the structure when crews arrived.  He says the blaze was brought under control within half-an-hour.  Crews were at the scene for several hours.  Rousch says crews were able to rescue four dogs from the structure... but, another dog perished.  There were no human injuries.


Ecklund announces two part-timers hired to replace retiring city assessor...
Jamestown Mayor Kim Ecklund has not wasted any time deciding on how she's going to replace retiring City Assessor Lisa Volpe.  Ecklund told City Council members at Monday night's work session that she has hired two part-timers... one who's very familiar with city government... to replace Volpe.  Ecklund says one will be getting more of the hours... and both are starting this week.  He says one was involved with the city's last revaluation with GAR Associates.  Ecklund says the two new part-timers will be Heather Young-Deyell... and, Annie Golley.  She adds they will also have a third person... Kevin Okerlund... who also worked for a while in the city assessor's office coming back on a contract basis when needed.  Ecklund says the fact none of them will receive benefits will provide a cost savings.  In addition... she says they've estimating the move to the two part-timers will save between $23,000 and $25,000 a year in salaries.  The first day for the new hires will be Thursday.


City woman arrested on drug charge after walking in middle of street...
A Jamestown woman faces a drug possession charge after she was spotted walking in the middle of the road in the 600-block of Prendergast Avenue early Tuesday morning.  City police say a patrol was in that area of Prendergast shortly before 3 a.m. when they conducted a street check on 35 year-old Laura Deering and another person.  After further investigation... officers found that Deering had an active arrest warrant out of city court.  She was then taken into custody without incident.  A search of Deering turned up a quantity of methamphetamine in her possession.  She was taken to the city jail... where she was additionally charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of controlled substance.  Deering was then jailed pending arraignment.


Ticket sales for CSHOF Banquet Feb. 19 going well...
Ticket sales for the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2024 induction dinner Monday, Feb. 19 at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club have gone very well.  Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson says more than 300 tickets have been sold... but, there are still some available through the end of this week.  Anderson tells our Dennis Webster that each year's class is special... and, this one is no exception... with five women being inducted... and, four men.  That's the first time there have been more female athletes than males in the class.  They include 97-year old master swimmer, Judy Young.  Anderson says they're also inducting their first "Special Olympian" in the late Danny Bryner.  The Hall of Fame will also be honoring the accomplishments of several local high school teams and players... including the State Champion Chautauqua Lake Class-D Girls Volleyball.  Anderson says they'll also be recognizing the three all-state members of the Clymer/Sherman/Panama Class-D Football team.  For ticket information, call Chip Johnson at 485-6991.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 6, 2024

Accidental fire damages Fulton St. home in Jamestown, and kills two dogs...
Flames have extensively damaged the front part of a home on Jamestown's northside... and, killed two dogs.  City Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Rousch says firefighters were called to 215 Fulton St. just after 6 this morning by a neighbor.  Rousch says there was heavy fire coming from the front of the structure when crews arrived.  He says the blaze was brought under control in about half-an-hour.  Crews were at the scene for several hours.  Rousch says crews were able to rescue four dogs from the structure... but, two perished.  There were no human injuries.  Fire investigators say a problem with a space heater was the apparent cause.  The Department of Development has ordered an emergency demolition of the home.


City man sentenced to 10 years in state prison for Home Invasion burglary... 
A Jamestown man convicted of first-degree burglary in connection wit a home invasion in the city the day after Christmas of 2022 will spend the next 10 years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt reports that 48 year-old William Buckley received the sentence for the Class-B Violent Felony Monday in County Court.  In addition... Schmidt says Buckley will also spend five-years in parole supervision once released from prison.  Schmidt says "Mr. Buckley was convicted of, and has now been sentenced on, the top count of our indictment.  No reductions or offers were made to resolve the case.  We could not have achieved this end-result without the hard work and dedication of the Jamestown Police, and the resilience and bravery of the victim in this matter."  Buckley was one of three people initially arrested in the case. 


Chautauqua County beginning renewed effort to get commercial air service back to Jamestown Airport...
A renewed effort to bring commercial air service back to the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown is underway... with an Air Service Recovery program.  The initiative was announced during last night's Jamestown City Council work session by County Legislature Majority Leader David Wilfong... and, County Airports Manager Shannon Fischer.  Fischer says the recovery program will mainly study what kind of support there is locally for bringing the service back.  Fischer says the data will help them make the case for restoring Essential Aif Service to the airport.  The Jamestown airport lost it's EAS designation in January of 2018 after ridership on the carrier at the time -- Southern Airways -- fell to about four passengers a day.  The EAS program required 10 a day.  However... Southern also cancelled several flights during the latter days of service... and, that helped further drive down passenger numbers.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says... while there have been a number of studies done on the airport... this is the first one designed to fully gauge interest.  Fischer says the survey will find out where people are traveling to... and, why they are going elsewhere for air service.  Wilfong noted, though, that the Essential Air Service subsidies are key to keeping airfares down... and, affordable to the general population.  


With Jefferson Project report in hand, Wendel says next steps are to develop comprehensive action plan for Chautauqua Lake...
Chautauqua County officials want to be more proactive in dealing with both weeds and algal blooms on Chautauqua Lake this year.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says he was very impressed with the detail of the more than 60-page report presented by the Jefferson Project to the legislature recently.  Wendel says one of the next steps will be to meet with federal officials about getting the Army Corps of Engineers to come in.  He says... in discussions he's had with state and federal leaders... the best action will likely be dredging out strategic areas of the lake.  Wendel says he's talked with the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation about that.  Wendel says one person -- Glen Sullivan -- and two of the lake groups will be developing a comprehensive plan to "attack" the weeds and blooms this year.  He says they're also keeping an eye on Albany because there's 16-million dollars in the governor's budget proposal for the Jefferson Project... and, the work being done in Chautauqua Lake.  Wendel made his comments for last weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


City man arrested following alleged domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly threatening harm to another person during a domestic incident Sunday afternoon on the city's northside.  City police were called to the unidentified location just after 1 p.m. for a "disorderly person."  Officers say their investigation showed that 45 year-old Adam Ciccarella violated an order of protection.. and, threatened to physically harm the victim physically.  Ciccarella was arrested for second-degree harassment and second-degree criminal contempt.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Doing "final mix" on Swift's Grammy-winning album nets Falconer native a sixth Grammy...
A Falconer native has won another Grammy... this time for doing the "final mix" on Taylor Swift's Grammy winning Album of the Year: "Midnights."  Randy Merrill is the son of Don and Pam Merrill... and, has now won six Grammys.  During Sunday night's 66th annual Grammy Awards on CBS... Swift thanked her producers and sound engineers and mixers for their work... naming Randy Merrill as "mastering engineer."  Retired Jamestown Community College Music Department head Mike Kelly says Randy Merrill "cut his engineering teeth" as a student assistant at JCC. 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 5, 2024

Jamestown woman shot and killed during confrontation with Hamburg Police near Buffalo...
Buffalo-area media are reporting the sister of a Jamestown woman shot and killed during a pair of burglary investigations last Friday morning in the Buffalo-area was arrested for allegedly assaulting another Jamestown woman later that day.  City police say their Violence Interdiction Unit and Nuisance Officer were called to the unidentified location about 10 p.m. on a reported assault with a knife.  On arrival... officers say they found the victim inside with a severe cut to her face.  Police say their investigation showed that 33 year-old Brandi Haight had kicked open the victim's door... and, then grabbed the knife.  Haight then used the knife to stab the other woman in the face.  She then reportedly left the scene before police arrived... but, she was later found inside a car at a different location.  Haight then ran from the vehicle... and, allegedly resisted arrest.  She was eventually taken into custody on charges including first-degree assault... two counts of first-degree burglary... third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... resisting arrest... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, petty larceny.  


Older sister from Jamestown killed in police-involved shooting after two break-ins in Hamburg, NY...
The older sister of Bradi Haight was identified last weekend as the person shot and killed by a Hamburg Police officer following the two alleged burglaries last Friday morning.  WGRZ-TV in Buffalo says 36 year-old Lisa Haight was declared dead at the scene on Willett Road after police were called in about 10:30 a.m. to investigate the first burglary.  Hamburg Police then say Haight allegedly broke into the second home on McKinley Parkway... which is where the shooting took place.  The TV station reports officials also say they are looking into a "violent attack on a private transport van" that happened on the State Thruway.  Police claim that Haight, before the Friday morning police shooting, "repeatedly and without provocation stabbed a passenger in that van, causing extensive serious physical injuries to the victim."  Police say the stabbing victim received emergency treatment for her injuries.  Hamburg police say officers encountered Lida Haight in the bathroom of the second house.  There was reportedly a struggle, and she was shot dead.  Police also say they recovered a knife at the scene.  


With favorable weather, "Doors Open Jamestown" a big success...
Near Spring-like weather helped to bring out the crowds for the 20th annual ‘Doors Open Jamestown’ this past Saturday.  The event was organized by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber Coordinator in Jamestown... Carrie Swanson... said the community response was great.  Swanson says she spoke with most of the 18 attractions taking part... and, she says they all saw a lot of new faces who had never been there before.  Roger Tory Peterson Institute Chief Executive Officer Arthur Pearson was particularly delighted with the number of children visiting.  Pearson says they were doing a lot of wood cuts with the children that are similar to what's in the museum.  Similarly, Kristan McMahon, President of the Robert H. Jackson Center, enjoyed watching two and three year olds make their first visit to the center with their parents.


Jamestown man arrested for breaking into restricted area of Northwest Arena...
A city man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into a restricted area of the Northwest Arena on West Third Street... and, stealing money from a tip jar.  Jamestown police were called to the location at 319 West Third about 7:45 p.m. last Friday... and, found that 35 year-old Dustin Pickett had been able to get into that part of the building to steal property.  Officers say there was $15 inside the tip jar that had been taken.  Police were able to locate Pickett a short time later... and, he was arrested for third-degree burglary, and petty larceny.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel discusses upcoming State of the County Address...
The county's top-elected leader has begun crafting his annual State of the County Address to be given before the end of the first-quarter.  Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel briefly discussed the address on Media One's "Community Spotlight" Program last weekend.  He says he'll be focusing on at least one new initiative for the new year... and, that's called "Vision '24" which will address space and building needs for county government.  He says his administration is eyeing more efficiency.  Another major emphasis of improvement will be to the area's housing stock... and, making it more affordable.  Regarding economic developement... Wendel says he'll look back on a record amount of total industrial investment the past year.  CCIDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise recently announced the agency's board had approved and/or assisted 34 projects, which will result in a total investment in Chautauqua County of $842 million.  He adds those projects helped to create 574 permanent jobs... and, retain just over 2,300 jobs.


Jamestown man accused of drug, and weapons possession...
A city man is accused of being in possession of a variety of illegal drugs, and a billy club, after he was arrested by Jamestown police following a recent traffic stop.  City police say they stopped 25 year-old Dale Linkous, Jr. in the area of West Fifth and Jefferson Streets early Thursday morning, Jan. 26 for alleged traffic violations.  Officers say they found that Linkous was driving while his drivers license had been revoked.  Officers conducted an investigation... and, first spotted drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.  They say a further search turned up quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine.  Police also found numerous scales, packaging material and cutting agents... as well as the billy club.  Linkous faces numerous charges including:  two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

WJTN News Headlines for Fri-Sat.., Feb. 2-3, 2024

Local man indicted on nine-counts of sexual criminal sex acts against juvenile...
A Jamestown area man has pleaded not guilty after being indicted by the Chautauqua County Grand Jury on multiple counts of criminal sexual acts against a juvenile.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt yesterday announced the unsealing of the nine-count indictment against 37 year-old Jacob Feldt... who is accused of committing the acts against a 16 year-old girl.  Schmidt says Feldt pled not guilty to all nine counts... and, bail was continued at $250,000 cash bail... $500,000 property bond.  He says the case first came to his office's attention last Fall... and involved a number of local police investigation.  At that point... Schmidt says they decided to pursue charges.  Feldt's next court date is Mar. 4.


Woman arrested on Felony warrants, and drug charges in Jamestown...
A Lakewood-area woman has been arrested on outstanding Felony arrest warrants... and, drug possession... following a traffic stop on the city's southside.  City police say their Violence Interdiction... and, K-9 Units... conducted a traffic stop in the area of Hazeltine Avenue and Colfax Street shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday night.  Once they made contact with the people inside the vehicle... police say they spotted 37 year-old Aimee Hogg as one of the passengers.  Hogg was taken into custody... and, was later found with a quantity of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.  Police say she's charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, tampering with physical evidence... in addition to her outstanding felony arrest warrants.  Hogg was jailed pending arraignment.


Gillibrand announces new PFAS Accountability legislation...
A new piece of federal legislation would make it easier for victim of significant Per- and Poly-Fluoroalkyl Substances contamination to hold PFAS manufacturer's accountable.  On Thursday... U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced the PFAS Accountability Act during a video conference call with statewide media outlets.  She says it would help ensure that people who were or are being exposed to high levels of PFAS have legal recourse... and make it easier to bring claims against those people who make PFAS chemicals.  Gillibrand says the bill would also incentivize companies to fund PFAS safety research... so it can be better understood.  PFAS chemicals are found in a variety of consumer products, various industrial applications, and firefighting foam.


Shoplifter has to be pulled out of Chadakoin River...
Jamestown police and firefighters had to rescue a woman from the Chadakoin River after she allegedly walked into the river to keep from being arrested for theft.  City police were called to the Big Lot's store in Brooklyn Square shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday for a shoplifting in progress.  When officers arrived... they spotted 23 year-old Huntyr Swanson behind the store and on the river's embankment.  They say Swanson then walked into the river... and, she was swept away by the strong current.  Police say she began yelling for help, and said she was freezing.  Police tried to rescue Swanson by going into the water... but, were unable to.  Jamestown firefighters were called in... and, were able to throw a rope to the woman, who had already made it to the bridge on Institute Street.  Swanson grabbed the rope and was pulled out of the water.  She was then taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for an evaluation and later released.  She was then taken to the city jail on charges of petty larceny and resisting arrest.  She was then given an appearance ticket for city court and released.


JBC announces closing, but, will help current students complete coursework, and graduation requirements...
Jamestown Business College has announced that it will stop enrolling new students... and, eventually close once current students complete their coursework... and, meet graduation requirements.  The "very difficult" decision was announced on the college's website... and, officials say the eventual closing was made due to the college's size... and, expanding government regulations.  The statement also reads that JBC is -- "100-percent committed to helping all of our current students complete their programs.  The college will be reaching out to all enrolled students to discuss their schedules.  Admissions will be reaching out to all applicants to assist them with other college options."  The statement adds that "for the foreseeable future... it will be business as usual at JBC." 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 1, 2024

Three arrested in Wednesday morning drug raids in Dunkirk...         
Three Dunkirk residents face drug-related charges following two simultaneous raids in the north county city Wednesday morning.  Dunkirk Police were joined by Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Narcotics investigators... and, Jamestown police in conducting the raids at 408 Plover St., and, 54 East Sixth St. shortly before 8 a.m.  Police say they seized just over 15-grams of crack cocaine... scales and packaging material for the distribution of narcotics... and, $1,921 in cash.  Investigators say 31 year-old Chastity Martinez and 19 year-old Antony Alvarez-Luna were both charged with third-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia... and, first-degree criminal nuisance.  Police add that 41 year-old Alejandro Gonzalez-Virola was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, first-degree criminal nuisance.  All three were jailed pending arraignment in Dunkirk City Court. 


Jamestown man arrested as fugitive from justice for alleged kidnapping...
A city man has been arrested during an overnight street check as a fugitive from justice for an alleged kidnapping in Warren County, Pennsylvania.  Jamestown police say they were conducting the check shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday in the area of Harrison and North Main Streets when they stopped 38 year-old Michael D. Johnson.  Officers say their investigation revealed the warrant out of Warren for interference with custody of children... concealment of whereabouts of a child, and kidnapping of a minor.  Johnson was taken into custody without further incident.... and, was charged with being a fugitive from justice.


City Development Director outlines plan for creating new Comprehensive Planning and Zoning Code for Jamestown following vote to hire contractor...
City lawmakers in Jamestown have approved hiring a firm to update and develop the city's first new Comphrensive Plan and Zoning Code in more than 25 years.  The City Council this week approved contracting with C-&-S Companies for the drafting and delivery of the new plan for $200,000.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk says the process will take about 18 to 24-months to complete... and, says the current plan played a lot into developing the city's riverwalk.  Surdyk says a lot has been done with the riverwalk, and the plan played a key role in the city's Urban Design Plan.  The last comprehensive plan in Jamestown was done in 1998... but, Surdyk says it was also the basis for the first Urban Design Plan in 2006... and, the updated one in 2018.  As for the Zoning Code... she says after a number of years... the code becomes kind of a hodgepodge that needs to be dissected and updated.  Surdyk says the main people involved will be meeting soon... and, will develop an agenda for meetings, and public sessions on the proposal.  Some of the $200,000 for development of the new comprehensive plan and zoning code is being provided through the city's $28-million American Rescue Plan Act allocation.


Maryland man arrested following Jamestown domestic...
A man from Maryland has been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection following a domestic incident in Jamestown early Wednesday morning.  City police were called to a downtown residence shortly after Midnight for an "in-progress" domestic.  Officers say when they arrived... they located the female victim... and, 28 year-old Thomas Diggs of Frederick, MD.  Police say they found the woman had a stay-away order against Diggs... and, he was arrested without incident.  He ws taken to the city jail pending arraignment on one count of second-degree criminal contempt.


Paterniti urges replacement of broken traffic light on Baker St. -- in front of Persell School -- once county begins project to improve the intersection with Hazeltine Ave....
Work is expected to be done to improve a major intersection near Persell Middle School in the city of Jamestown... and, it will hopefully include a new traffic light.  That from City Councilman Joe Paterniti... who recently brought up the on-going issues surrounding the intersection of Baker Street and Hazeltine Avenue.  Paterniti says he's been discussing the matter with Acting Public Works Director Mark Roetzer... and, highlight what the director said in a recent e-mail.  He said Chautauqua County is taking the lead on the project because Baker is a county road.  An even bigger issue... says Paterniti... is the fact the traffic light in front of the school on Baker Street is not working.  He says... once the county is ready to begin the project... they should look into that.  Since Baker Street is maintained by Chautauqua County... the county will be heading up any possible re-design that would hopefully make the road and intersecton safer.


Hochul nominates new State Police superintendent...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has nominated a 32-year veteran of the State Police to be its new leader.  If the state Senate agrees... Steven James would be the second Black person confirmed to hold the rank of superintendent and the third to lead the 5,000 member force, which has struggled for years to diversify its ranks.  It is not immediately clear when state lawmakers will vote on his confirmation, but for now, James will lead in an acting role.  Hochul says "I was very intentional in selecting a leader who understood, starting out from the very beginning, what it was like to be in the shoes of our state police.  Someone who rose to the ranks, someone who has led with integrity and dignity."  James, a graduate of SUNY Albany, has held various leadership roles over two decades, most recently as deputy superintendent for employee relations, according to the governor's office.  James replaces Acting Superintendent Dominick Chiumento.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Jan. 31, 2024

Jefferson Project leaders present first full report of findings on Harmful Algal Bloom issue...
Reducing the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen that gets into Chautauqua Lake is the key to reducing or eliminating harmful algal blooms in the lake.  That from researchers from the Jefferson Project... which was brought in three years ago to look at the problem... and, recommend solutions.  The two principles in the project... Technical Director Kevin Rose of Renssalear Polytechnic Institute... and, Harry Kolar with IBM Research... recently presented their findings to the county legislature.  Rose says dropping phospherous levels is especially important in cutting the toxicity of the blooms through annual management.  Rose and Kolar add that monitoring is also critical in preventing loss of oxygen at various depths of the lake which also contribute to creating cynobacteria... which also fuels the algal blooms.  Kolar says they're now putting in stream stations around the lake to monitor sedimentation coming into the lake.  The Chautauqua County Legislature last year approved using $1-million from American Rescue Plan Act funding for the Jefferson Project the past year.  Chautauqua Institution... and, the Sheldon Foundation are also involved.  Harmful algal blooms have wreaked havoc on the lake... forcing swimming areas to be closed once they appear. 


Dolce says East Second St. improvement project will move ahead without bike lane...
While the Jamestown City Council has nixed a plan to create a bicycle lane on East Second Street... the major project to upgrade the road from West Fourth Street to Tiffany Avenue will move forward.  That from City Council President Tony Dolce... who says the decision to reject creation of a bike lane was a very difficult one.  Following the panel's 3-to-6 vote... against the measure... Dolce said lawmakers had to make a decision on the proposal by Monday night so the design work on the project can go forward.  He went back to comments by fellow Councilman Bill Reynolds... who supported moving ahead with a bike lane as part of an effort to improve that stretch of East Second.  Reynolds felt council should trust what their public works, and transporation experts are telling them... about it improving safety.  However, Dolce says a lot of people "get frustrated by the changes" that get made.  He says the East Second Street improvement project will be moving forward over the next year or so... and, it's badly needed for vehicular traffic there... along with the residents and businesses there.


Hochul signs new law expanding definition of rape... (includes mature subject matter)...
New York state will expand its legal definition of rape to include various forms of nonconsensual sexual contact, under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Governor Kathy Hochul.  The state’s current limited definition was a factor in writer E. Jean Carroll’s sexual abuse and defamation case against former President Donald Trump.  The jury in the federal civil trial rejected the writer’s claim last May that Trump had raped her in the 1990s, instead finding the former president responsible for a lesser degree of sexual abuse.  The current law defines rape as vaginal penetration by a penis.  The new law broadens the definition to include nonconsensual anal, oral, and vaginal sexual contact.  Highlighting Carroll's case at a bill signing ceremony in Albany... Hochul -- a Democrat -- said the new definition will make it easier for rape victims to bring cases forward to prosecute perpetrators.  The law will apply to sexual assaults committed on or after Sept. 1.


Two Jamestown residents face drug charges following traffic stop...
Two people from Jamestown face drug-related charges after their car was stopped for a traffic violation on the city's northside.  Jamestown Police say a patrol pulled over the vehicle... driven by 35 year-old Andrew Cooley... just after 5 p.m. Monday.  Officers say they found that Cooley was under the influence of drugs.  Police say they found a quantity of methamphetamine inside the vehicle... and was in the possession of the passenger... identified as 37 year-old Karen Danson.  Both Cooley and Danson were taken into custody without incident.  Cooley was charged with driving while Ability Impaired by drugs... failure to signal within 100 feet of a turn... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance.  Police say Danson was also charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Cooley was held pending arraignment... while Danson was issued an appearance ticket and released.


Fugitive from Florida caught in Jamestown...
A 48 year-old man has been arrested as a fugitive from justice following a traffic stop Monday in the area of West Seventh and Lafayette Streets.  City police say they stopped the car for observed traffic infractions just after 2 p.m., and, found that a passenger, Selwyn Goodlow... had outstanding warrants from the state of Florida.  Goodlow was taken to the city jailpending arraignment on a Felony Fugitive from Justice charge.   


Buffalo man arrested for child endangerment in Cassadaga area...
A Buffalo man has been arrested for allegedly endangering a child during an incident earlier this month in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's offcers say their investigation of the Jan. 3 incident on Maple Avenue in Cassadaga led to the arrest of 41 year-old Ian Lewis.  Details of the incident were not released.  Lewis was charged with endangering the welfare of a child... and, issued an appearance ticket for Stockton Town Court at a later date.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Jan. 30, 2024

City Council rejects proposed eastbound bike lane on East Second St....
The Jamestown City Council has rejected a proposal to create an eastbound bike lane on East Second Street from East Fourth to Tiffany Avenue.  Lawmakers voted 3-to-6 against the "Complete Streets" plan that would include upgrades to the street, and new striping.  There were two major concerns... the first being safety.  Councilman Brent Sheldon said that's because parking would be eliminated on the eastbound side... and, if people can only park on the other side of the street that could create a "very dangerous" situation for people having to cross the street.  The other concern was over safety... and, Councilman Jeff Russell, who's a retired Jamestown police officer, witnessed a fatal accident on that busy street some years back.  Russell says he's also concerns about the safety of people going to The Resource Center's Clinic.  The Resource Center has on-street parking in front of it's East Second Street clinic that includes one handicapped space.  One of the three lawmakers who voted for the plan... Bill Reynolds... argued that their experts from the Public Works Department and the state Department of Transportation supported the proposal... which they believed would have a "calming effect" on motor vehicle traffic.  In addition to Reynolds... Joe Paterniti and David Daversa voted for the measure.


All but one member of the public who spoke on propsed bike lane opposed the project...
A handful of residents sounded off on the bike lane proposal prior to the council vote... with most opposing it.  One was East Second Street resident Denise Hutchison... who says the change would be a big inconvenience for her and her neighbors... as well as long-time business there.  Hutchison says she "doesn't want to park four blocks from my house.  I don't believe that's fair."  She adds there are a number of businesses on that street that would lose a significant amount of parking under the plan.  One resident... Andrew Dickson... who spoke in favor of the proposal during last week's work session... says he believes converting East Second to a "Complete Street" could be a "win-win" for that part of the city because bike lanes have lower vacancy rates, higher tax collection... and, maybe some homes will be reverted back to single-family homes.


Buffalo man arrested in connection with last week's homicide in Jamestown...
A Buffalo man has been arrested in connection with last Wedneday's alleged homicide that occured at the Parkview Apartments in Jamestown.  City police say they and several other agencies... including the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team... responded to the scene and were able to quickly identify a suspect.  Last Thursday... city police detectives were helped by the FBI and Buffalo Police in a search for the suspect... who was later found to be in possession of a loaded, 9-millimeter pistol.  The unidentified suspect was arrested by Buffalo Police and is being held on charges in Erie County.  Police officials say the investigation into the death of 28 year-old Marlon Clay of Buffalo is continuing... and, charges are expected.  Clay was found, unresponsive, on the floor of an apartment at 401 West Fourth St.  The Chautauqua County District Attorneys' Office is also assisting with the investigation. 


Jamestown-area drug trafficker's wife pleads guilty to aiding his drug dealing efforts...
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty to allegedly being involved in a local drug conspiracy with her husband from 2018 to early 2020.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Monday that 37 year-old Stacey Beardsley... also known as Stacey Peterson... entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge Michael Roemer to misprision of felony, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.  Prosecutors say that Beardsley's husband, Rocco, was involved in a drug trafficking conspiracy.  He bought and distributed large quantities of heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances in the Jamestown area.  They say Stacey Beardsley knew of these drug trafficking activities, financially benefited from them, and actively concealed and assisted in her husband's activities.  Following Rocco Beardsley's arrest in May 2019... he called her from jail and asked her to go to Erie, Pennsylvania to get his “stuff.”  She didn't notify any authorities about the request, and instead drove to Erie as requested to pick up his "stuff... including drugs.  On her way back to Jamestown... Stacey Beardsley was stopped by police, and they found quantities of methamphetamine and heroin during a search.  Two undercover drug buys were made from Rocco Beardsley in January of 2020... and, his wife again failed to notify authorities.


Jamestown man arrested on domestic violence charges...     
A city man faces several domestic violence-related charges after allegedly hitting, and, strangling a woman and threatening to kill her several times late Saturday night.  Jamestown police were called to an unidentified northside address around Noon Sunday... and, made contact with the victim.  Officers say she told them about the incident... which began with an argument before turning physical.  Police say 52 year-old Maurice Akins allegedly chased the victim into another room where he grabbed her around the neck... and, struck her multiple times in the face... injuring her.  After a brief struggle... the victim told police that Akins let her run from the home.  They add that a 16 year-old girl... who was present during the assault... had an order of protection against Akins... who had fled to his home.  During his arrest... officers were told by the victims that Akins had multiple firearms inside his home.  One was a loaded, semi-automatic pistol that Akins does not have a state pistol permit for.  He faces charges including: second-degree strangulation and unlawful imprisonment... third-degree assault... and, criminal possession of a firearm.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 29, 2024

Man confirmed dead in Kennedy house fire Sunday...
The investigation is ongoing into a fatal mobile home fire in Kennedy Sunday morning that claimed the life of a 68 year-old man.  State Police Public Information Officer Trooper James O'Callahan confirms the call came in just after 8 a.m. on the Poland Center Rd. in the town of Poland.  The man's name is not being released pending notification of relatives... and O'Callahan says the man was the only person living in the house.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were assisted by several other companies at the scene.  Many trucked water to the scene.  O'Callahan says the State Police Forensic Identification Team is investigating the death... and the Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation Team is looking into the cause of the blaze.


Jamestown man arrested following violent domestic incident on northside...     
A city man faces several domestic violence-related charges after allegedly hitting, and, strangling a woman and threatening to kill her several times late Saturday night.  Jamestown police were called to an unidentified northside address around Noon Sunday... and, made contact with the victim.  Officers say she told them about the incident... which began with an argument before turning physical.  Police say 52 year-old Maurice Akins allegedly chased the victim into another room where he grabbed her around the neck... and, struck her multiple times in the face... injuring her.  After a brief struggle... the victim told police that Akins let her run from the home.  They add that a 16 year-old girl... who was present during the assault... had an order of protection against Akins... who had fled to his home.  During his arrest... officers were told by the victims that Akins had multiple firearms inside his home.  One was a loaded, semi-automatic pistol that Akins did not have a state pistol permit for.  He was arrested on charges including for second-degree strangulation and unlawful imprisonment... third-degree assault... criminal possession of a firearm... and, endangering the welfare of a child.


City man again arrested for allegedly domestic incidents...
A city man arrested multiple times in recent weeks for domestic disputes was arrested again after similar incidents this past weekend.  Jamestown police were called to a southside address about 11:30 p.m. Saturday... and, found that 44 year-old Thomas Papaserge had violated an order of protection the victim had against him at that time... and, earlier in the day.  At 6 a.m., officers say they found that Papaserge had put his hands around the victim's neck... choking them.  He's then accused of grabbing the victim by the hair and holding them down when they tried to leave.   Papaserge is then accused of dragging the victim into an apartment, and preventing them from leaving.  Around 11 p.m. Saturday... police found the pair got into another dispute... and, this time Papaserge is accused of raising a pipe wrench towards the victim... and, threatening them with it.  He then punched the victim multiple times before trying to again choke them.  Papaserge was arrested on three counts of first-degree criminal contempt... second-degree menacing... two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing... second-degree harassment and unlawful imprisonment...third-degree assault... and aggravated criminal contempt. 


Langworthy non-committal on run for re-election...
Local Congressman Nick Langworthy says he's been so busy with work that he hasn't given much thought to next Fall's election.  The Buffalo-area Republican just finished up a chaotic first year... which featured a pair of Speaker fights... and, a committee investigation into the son of President Joe Biden.  Langworthy says don't expect a flashy announcement once he decides he's going to run again.  He says he is plenty busy with the job most days, and says there's plenty of time yet for a formal announcement.  Langworthy was at the Jamestown Board of Public Utlities late last week to tour the plant... and, push for New York to allow full natural gas exploration and production.  The stop at the BPU was one of several in the 23rd Congressional District he made while on a break that began Thursday morning.  Langworthy was in Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties... and, then was heading off to Corning and the eastern end of the district Friday.  The other variable involved with an announcement is the recent court decision to have the state's Independent Redistricting Commission take another crack at redrawing the state's 26 districts.  The commission has been given until late February to redraw the Congressional maps.


Jamestown man accused of breaking into ex-girlfriend's home last weekend...
A city man is accused of texting his ex-girlfriend... who had an order of protection against him... from inside her apartment while she was still at work.  Jamestown police say they received a call from the woman just before 11 a.m. last Saturday that she had received multiple texts from 28 year-old Patrick Fellows... and, feared that he may have gone to her home.  She told officers she tried to check her interior security cameras, but, they would not connect.  The woman added that she had the "stay-away" order against him.  Police responded to the woman's southside apartment... and, saw Fellows inside.  They called out multiple times for Fellows to come out... but he did not respond.  After a short stand-off... he came out peacefully... and, was arrested for second-degree burglary... third-degree criminal tampering... and, two counts of second-degree criminal contempt.  Fellows was jailed pending arraignment. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri-Sat., Jan 26-27, 2024

City man accused of texting ex-girlfriend, and breaking into her apartment...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly texting his ex-girlfriend, who had an order of protection against him, from inside her apartment while she was still at work.  City police say they received a call from the woman just before 11 a.m. Saturday that she had received multiple texts from 28 year-old Patrick Fellows... and, feared that he may have gone to her home.  She told officers say she tried to check her interior security cameras, but, they refused to connect.  She added that she had the "stay-away" order against him.  Police responded to the woman's southside apartment... and, saw Fellows inside.  Police called out multiple times for Fellows to come out... but he did not respond.  After a short stand-off... he came out peacefully... and, was arrested for second-degree burglary... third-degree criminal tampering... and, two counts of second-degree criminal contempt.  Fellows was jailed pending arraignment. 


Jamestown woman faces multiple drug-related charges following Thursday morning raid...
A months-long investigation into the trafficking of several kinds of narcotic drugs in the city of Jamestown led to one arrest during a raid Thursday morning.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, along with Jamestown and Dunkirk police executed a search warrant at 304 Hebner St., and, found 49 year-old Tanya Colburn inside.  Investigators say a search of the home led to the seizure of quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, Suboxone, prescription pills, scales and packaging material for the distribution of narcotics... and cash.  They say Colburn was charged with five counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and tampering with physical evidence.  Police say Colburn was issued appearance tickets for city court.  If you have any information on the illegal sale of drugs, other other crimes, call the JPD tip line at 716-483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  For the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators Tip line call 1-800-344-8702 or 716-664-2420.


Man and woman from Jamestown face multiple drug charges...
A man and woman from Jamestown have been arrested on several drug related charges following a traffic stop early Wednesday morning on the city's southside.  Jamestown police say they pulled over the car in the area of Newland Ave. and Myrtle St. just after Midnight after spotting a traffic violation.  Officers say their investigation located 15.3-grams of cocaine... along with other quantities of fentanyl... suboxone strips... clonazapam pills and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.  Police identified the driver as 38 year-old Brook Patterson... and, her passenger as 33 year-old Terry Kendall.  Kendall was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled Substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug parphernalia.  He was held pending arraignment.  Patterson is charged with second-degree criminally using paraphernalia... and, various traffic citations.  She was released with appearance tickets for city court.


Langworthy says new federal report shows weakness in NYS move away from natural gas...
A new federal report critical of Western New York energy readiness during Winter Storm Elliott in December of 2022 is being highlighted in a new push for an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy.  That was highlighted during a visit by local Congressman Nick Langworthy to the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Thursday afternoon.  Langworthy says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found New York's push to curtail or eliminate the use of nature gas exposed the region to a near catastrophic result -- especially in the Buffalo area.  Buffalo endured at least three consecutive days of blizzard like conditions that led to 47 deaths.  Langworthy says Gov. Kathy Hochul and other Democratic leaders would rather see a "Green New Deal" than help provide the natural gas that heat's most homes in the area... and, powers the BPU's Gas Turbine.  Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel agreed with Langworthy... noting that Chautauqua County was the state's birthplace to natural gas with the first ever well in the state.  Langworthy called on the governor and state legislature to lift the state's ban on fracking... which was first instituted several years ago by former Governor Andrew Cuomo.  He also announced that he was part of the effort to reintroduce House bill number-one from last year: the "Energy Choice Act" which he says would stop Democrats from banning natural gas production and use.  Jamestown Mayor Kim Ecklund was also on hand for the event.


Ribbon cut on new Chautauqua Art Gallery & Custom Framing location...
On the occasion of its sixth-anniversary, the Chautauqua Art Gallery became the Chautauqua Art Gallery and Custom Framing Friday... the ribbon was cut.  Owner Leslie Calimeri moved the business from Lakewood to 318 North Main St in Jamestown two years ago. Calimeri says she was able to purchase the former Custom Frame and Glass Shop... which had been across the street in Jamestown for 23 years.  That business had been run by Dan Gates.  Leslie Calimeri says they have hundreds of wood styles to choose from and ‘no limits’ as to what they can frame.  Many dignitaries attended the ribbon cutting, including City Council President Tony Dolce, who told the crowd he’d like to see similar grand openings every day.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President Dan Heitzenrater says this was their fifth ribbon cutting of the year so far, after 75 last year.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Jan. 25, 2024

Jamestown man arrested for trespassing at city establishment following alleged "physical confrontations...."
A city man has been arrested on a trespassing charge after allegedly entering a bar on Jamestown's northside bar early this morning and getting into "physical confrontations" with multiple customers.  City police called to the Wine Cellar at 309 North Main St. about 2:40 a.m., and, learned that 29 year-old Robert Cordero had earlier been told to leave the establishment.  He was also told not to return... but, he did.  Cordero was arrested without further incident... and, was arraigned on one count of third-degree criminal trespassing.  He was released pending a future court appearance.


Death of man found unresponsive on apartment floor being investigated...
Jamestown police are confirming that they are investigating the "suspicious" death of a man found inside a westside apartment complex Wednesday.  However... details are very sketchy at this point.  The Post-Journal reports that Jamestown firefighters were initally called to the Park View Aparments at 401 W. Fourth St. shortly after Noon for an unresponsive person spotted on the floor of an apartment.  A county coroner was called to the scene.  City police are calling the death suspicious, and it remains under investigation.


Craft beer company in Warren, Pa. purchasing former Jamestown Brewing Company...
A craft brewing company in Warren, Pennsylvania has now purchased the former Jamestown Brewing Company's location on West Third Street in Jamestown.  The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency board Tuesday approved a $950,000 low-interest loan to Wicked Warren's to purchase the building at 115-121 West Third.  IDA officials say the business will be operated by Robert Roth, who is also majority owner of the first Wicked Warren’s, already in operation in Warren, Pennsylvania.  IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says Roth will serve as president of the Jamestown operation... and, has 27 years of experience running his own business.  In addition, the proposed Jamestown business will include a vice president and head brewer with over 15 years of brewing experience, along with a front of house and banquet manager with 12 years of experience, both of whom currently work at the Wicked Warren’s location in Pennsylvania.  The opening date is planned for March of this year.


Man from Sherman arrested after damaging property during altercation...
A Sherman man faces several charges following an altercation in which he damaged another person's property... and, threatened others at the home.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the unidentified location in the village of Sherman just after 6 p.m. Tuesday on a report of some kind of dispute.  When they got there... deputies say their investigation showed that 24 year-old Trevor Kneer damaged the property... and, the incident occured in the presence of a young child.  Officers later arrested Kneer on two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... second-degree aggravated harassment... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Kneer was taken to the county jail... where he's being held pending centralized arraignment.


County Legislature approves added funding for safety and security equipment for eclipse viewing...
Chautauqua County lawmakers... after some debate... have approved taking nearly $200,000 out of reserve funds to purchase safety equipment for the viewing of the Total Solar Eclipse.  The request was made in committee by Director of Emergency Services Noel Guttman to purchase disaster computer software, medical supplies... back-up communications... and, two large message signs.  During Wednesday night's meeting... Fredonia Democrat Susan Parker opposed the measure... especially the two signs.  Parker also opposed using undesignated fund balance to fund it -- especially after the legislature denied allowing $1-million to be used from fund balance to lower taxes.  Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel later offered a compromise amendment to get the funding from the county's 3% occupancy -- or bed tax.  Since the eclipse viewing will draw visitors... he believed that might be a better way to go.  However... Majority Leader Dave Wilfong of Jamestown noted use of the bed tax was discussed... and, the county was told by some state leaders to not do it.  Neibel's amendment failed... and, the original resolution was approved in a straight party-line vote, 13-5.  Chautauqua County is considered to be one of the prime viewing areas for the Total Solar Eclipse on Mon., Apr. 8.


Jamestown School Board approves "Superintendent's Day" on Apr. 8th to allow eclipse viewing...
Students in the Jamestown Public Schools will have the entire day on Monday, April 8 to be able to witness the once in a lifetime Total Solar Eclipse.  The Jamestown School Board this week approved making that Monday a "Superintendent’s Conference Day" with no student attendance.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the decision was made following guidance regarding the expected influx of tourists and visitors to Chautauqua County due to the eclipse... which is to take place around dismissal time at 3:15 p.m. that day.  Whitaker says Apr. 8 was originally to be the first day back to school after the Spring Recess... which runs from Apr. 1-5.  He says the administration spoke with other districts... which are also planning to not be in session that day.  Whitaker says the district will be distributing viewing and safety information.  He says those items will be passed out to students and staff prior to the break.  He says NASA says viewing any part of the bright Sun without proper protection can instantly cause severe eye injury. 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues-Wed., Jan. 23-24, 2024

Two city men arrested during back-to-back drug raids in Jamestown...
Two Jamestown men have been arrested following two early morning drug raids today on the city's northside.  Jamestown police say members of the Metro Drug Task Force... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators executed the first search warrant at 850 Prendergast Avenue... and located 45 year-old Ramon Nieves-Fagot inside along with a woman and a juvenile.  During a subsequent search... detectives found 75 vials of fentanyl... 26 vials of cocaine, a small quantity of methamphetamine... and, a small quantity of crack cocaine.  Nieves-Fagot was arrested and taken to the city jail where he was also found with 170 baggies of fentanyl... and, just over 16-hundred dollars in cash.  He's charged with two counts each of third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Immediately following the first raid... the JPD SWAT Team... and, narcotics detectives raided the home at 13 Crossman Street.  They found 41 year-old Jarvelle Leeper... and a woman inside.  Detectives say they found 4.9-grams of fentanyl and packaging equipment used for the distribution of narcotics.  Leeper was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  He was also jailed pending arraignment.


Wood stove piping issue apparently triggers Busti house fire late Sunday night...
Chautauqua County fire investigators say the Monday overnight fire at a home on Forest Ave. Ext. just outside Jamestown "started in or around the wood stove piping."  No one was hurt in the blaze at 1619 Forest that began around 11:15 p.m. Sunday.  Firefighters from Busti and a dozen other departments battled the blaze through the night and into the morning.  Damage was extensive.  The Jamestown Post-Journal reports the home was owned by Dave and Kris Paterniti, longtime volunteers for the Jamestown High School Marching Band.  The band is encouraging support for the family through Kris Paterniti's Venmo account.


City council committee approves putting in eastbound bike lane on East Second St...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will vote next week on creating an eastbound bicycle lane on a large portion of East Second Street.  The City Council's Public Works Committee approved the move after receiving a lot of resident... and, other input since the proposal first came up on Jan. 8.  Jamestown native Andrew Dickson, who now lives just outside the city, spoke in favor the move.  Dickson adds more can be done on others as well that will help "calm traffic" in places downtown.  Dickson says he's seen bikes traveling on East Second between Fourth Street and Winsor Street -- even in recent days.  There is still some concern over residents who live on that side of East Second... and, would no longer be able to park there.  That was voiced earlier this month by Finance Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon... who says it could be a problem for children, and people having to carry items across that busy street.  However... Sheldon's committee did not act on the proposal since there were no financial implications involved.  The eastbound bike lane on East Second Street would run from East Fourth Street to Tiffany Avenue... and would be part of the city's "Complete Streets" resolution of 2012.


City man arrested for stealing items from Big Lots store...
Jamestown police were able to track down and arrest a city man last Saturday after he allegedly stole several items from the Big Lots store in Brooklyn Square.  City police were called to the scene just after 12 Noon for a reported shoplifting.  Officers were able -- soon after -- to track down 33 year-old Jacob Carr on a trail just off North Main Street.  Police say they also recovered all of the stolen items, and returned them to the store.  Carr was arrested for petty larceny... and, on an unrelated warrant... and, taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Wendel approves of having no new unfunded mandates in Gov. Hochul's new budget proposal...
While he'll continue to review Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed 2024-25 budget in the coming days... Chautauqua County's top elected official says the "most critical" aspect of her spending plan is the county will not have to deal with any new unfunded mandates.  County Executive P.J. Wendel received a briefing from the New York State Association of Counties on many of the budget details.  He says they also got a brief from the state's County Executive's group about it.  Meanwhile... Wendel says the county will also benefit from $16-million in state money to fund the Jefferson Project, a program for water quality and harmful algal bloom research at Chautauqua Lake.  He says they want to use that to support a new SMART Lake program to help those areas.  


Salary Review Commission to present findings to county legislature Wednesday night...
The Chautauqua County Legislature will soon consider recommendations to increase salaries for elected officials... which in some cases would be the first increases in 22 years.  That from Salary Review Commission Spokesperson Frank Beach of Dunkirk... who was joined by six other members of the panel in looking at salaries for the county executive, county legislators, the county clerk and sheriff.  Beach says none of those positions has seen an increase in a long time... with the last commission meeting 10 years ago, and none of the recommendations were adopted.  Beach says they were able to get information from several other counties across the state to provide salary information... and, how comparable the positions are to what's in Chautauqua County.  Beach says county executives in those other counties averaged about $144,000... and, with that recommended $127,000.  The current pay is $111,000.  The county clerk would go from $66,853 a year to $84,733... while the sheriff would increase from just over $100,000 to just over $110,000.  Legislator's pay would go from $9,000 a year to just over $14,000.  Beach will present their findings to the legislature tonight.  

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Jan 22, 2024

Fire leaves town of Busti home a total loss...
A town of Busti home is reportedly a total loss following an overnight fire that heavily-damaged the structure on Forest Ave. Ext. in the town.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say Busti fire crews were called to 1619 Forest about 11:15 p.m. Sunday... and, found the structure heavily-engulfed in flames.  Mutual aid was called in from over a dozen local departments... mainly to truck water to the scene.  Dispatchers says crews battled the blaze for several hours... with hot spots being doused until later morning.  They add that Forest Avenue remained closed for several hours between South Avenue and Mitchell Road.  No injuries were reported.  The county's Fire Investigation Team was called to the scene to look for the cause.  


North county man arrested for allegedly assaulting worker at UPMC Chautauqua...
A man from Dunkirk is accused of hitting and biting an employee at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital during an incident at the Jamestown hospital late last Friday night.  City police were called to the scene at 207 Foote Ave. shortly after 11 p.m.  Officers say they found that 23 year-old Armando Hernandez-Tirado had struck and bit the employee for an unknown reason.  Police found Hernandez-Tirado a short time later inside the hospital, and he was arrested without incident.  Officers charged him with second-degree assault... and, he was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City woman accused of assaulting two women at Wine Cellar...     
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly punching two women in the face during a fight inside the bathroom at a northside bar early Saturday morning.  City police were called to the Wine Cellar at 309 North Main St. just before 1 a.m. for a reported fight turned assault.  Officers say 27 year-old Brianna Mercado punched both vicitims... multiple times... inside the bathroom.  One of the victims had to be treated for an injury... while the other did not.  Officers were able to locate and stop the vehicle that the Mercado fled in... and, she was taken into custody without incident.  Mercado was charged with third-degree assault... and, second-degree harassment.  She was jailed pending arraignment.


Langworthy introduces new Defense of Property Right's bill...
Chautauqua County's Congressional representative is taking up a renewed effort to protect property owners rights -- if New York state seizes their land to prevent natural gas development.  Buffalo-area Republican Nick Langworthy introduced the new Defense of Property Right's Act in December, and says it's gaining a lot of support early in the new Congress.  The measure was first introduced by retired Congressman Tom Reed in 2017... and, says several property owners in the region who had lease arrangements with natural gas companies were waiting for approval to go ahead with exploration when the state changed the rules.  Langworthy says he and others argue -- including fellow New York Republican Claudia Tenney -- that that violates the Fifth-Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  He says the measure would establish "a more uniform and efficient federal process for protecting a property owners rights."  Langworthy says the property owners should have the ability to weigh-in on such decisions.  He argued that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state exceeded their authority by prevented those landowners from being able to lease their land for natural gas exploration.  The first term Republican says the measure will be on the docket for the House Judiciary Committee.


CVS Pharmacy employee accused of stealing 120 Hydrocodone pills...
An employee at the CVS Pharmacy in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square has been arrested for allegedly stealing dozens of hydrocodone pills from the store last weekend.  City police were called to the location at 19 South Main St. shortly before 5 p.m., and, their investigation found that 28 year-old Jessa Sardina had stolen 120 of the pills.  Officers arrested Sardina for petty larceny... and, she arraigned and issued an appearance ticket for city court.


City man faces DWI charge after his car hits house...
A Jamestown man is accused of Felony drunk driving after his car struck a house on the city's southside last week.  Jamestown police were called to the scene shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday... and, found 57 year-old Carlos Pagan -- still in the driver's seat -- and the vehicle still running.  Officers found that Pagan was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and he was taken into custody.  Police also found that Pagan had been convicted of DWI three separate times in the past ten years.  Pagan's driving privileges were also revoked due to the DWI convictions.  He was charged with Felony Driving While Intoxicated... first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... reckless driving and several other traffic violations.  Pagan was jailed pending arraignment.


North county man arrested following DWI crash...
A Dunkirk man is accused of driving drunk after his speeding car crashed in the town of Pomfret late last week.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the unidentified scene... and, found the crashed vehicle.  Officers identified the driver as 27 year-old Sergio Bautista-Ramirez.  Officers say a brief investigation found that Bautista-Ramirez was intoxicated... and, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated... speeding, and moving from lane unsafely.  He was processed, and issued appearance tickets for Pomfret Town Court.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs-Fri., Jan. 18-19, 2024

Westfield Academy student arrested for making alleged bomb threat again school...
A Westfield Academy and Central School District student has been charged by village police with a felony for allegedly makng a bomb threat against the school earlier this month.  Westfield Police say the threat that was reported on Jan. 9, and, caused the school to go into a "shelter-in-place" as a precaution before the district was evacuated.  The investigation by Westfield Police... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office found that the bomb threat was written on a bathroom stall in the middle school.  Police say the threat indicated that there was a bomb inside a specific locker, which was found to not be assigned to any student in the district.  A search was performed by a K-9 Unit and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad.  An isolated search of the building confirmed that the threat was not credible.  The juvenile was arrested Thursday and charged with Felony making a terroristic threat.  The juvenile was issued an appearance ticket for Family Court at a later date.


County Jail inmate who tried to escape from work detail earlier in week now formally charged...
The inmate who escaped from a Chautauqua County Jail work detail in the town of Ellery earlier this week has now been charged in the case.  Sheriff's officers say 44 year-old Ralph Patterson was officially charged with third-degree escape.  Deputies say the charge stems from the incident in which Patterson escaped custody during a work detail this past Monday.  He was caught quickly by officers with the help of several other police agencies.  Patterson was returned to the county jail on the charge.


More on Hochul's budget proposal that includes slight increase in school aid...
Governor Kathy Hochul says her 2024-25 budget proposal is making a new, record investment in New York state's public schools.  Last year... Hochul and the legislature agreed to a just over $34-billion allocation for the state's roughly 700 school districts... and, this year... she's adding another just under one-billion dollars.  She made her comments during Tuesday's presentation of her proposed $233-billion budget plan.  Hochul says the $825-million increase will "cement" an increase to the highest level of education aid funding at $35-billion.  She is also calling for training some 20,000 new teachers in going back to the basics education... namely boosting literacy by using phonics.  She also highlighted three areas of crime she's putting additional money into.  She's calling for $40-million to combat retail theft... and, another $40-million to deal with domestic violence.  There's also $25-million to help investigate hate crimes


City man arrested on active warrants following one-hour standoff...
A Jamestown man sought on multiple warrants was arrested late Wednesday night following a one hour stand-off with police at an address on the city's southside.  Jamestown police say members of their Violent Crime Unit responded to the unidentified location shortly before 11 p.m. to do a warrant check on 36 year-old Lucas Smyczek.  They say Smyczek was also wanted on an active New York State Parole Warrant.  During the investigation... officers spotted him inside the residence... directly violating orders of protection for two people inside the home.  After the stand-off... Smyczek was taken into custody without further incident on two counts of second-degree criminal contempt... along with the active warrants.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Borrello expresses concern over possible loss of state aid for local rural school districts in Hochul's budget plan...
While Governor Hochul's 2024-25 budget proposal includes another increase in school aid... one part of her plan is causing concern for local State Senator George Borrello.  Hochul and the legislature agreed last year... for the first time ever... to fully fund Foundation Aid for districts.  However... Borrello says a provision in the budget may lead some rural districts to lose funding... that's elimination of the "Save Harmless" provision that keeps districts from losing Foundation Aid.  Borrello says his biggest concern is over the continued funding for New York City to deal with the migrant crisis.  The current $1.9-billion allocation would be increased to $2.4-billion with the use of $500-million in reserve funds.  The Sunset Bay Republican adds there is also an "alarming" proposal to close five prisons... which he says will exacerbate the crime crisis. 
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Meanwhile, the Sunset Bay Republican does support initiatives dealing with improving water quality in lakes and waterways, which he says would benefit Chautauqua County.


Kennedy man arrested for alleged child abuse...
A man from Kennedy man now faces accusations of physically abusing a young child late last year at his home on Waterboro Hill Road.  Sheriff's deputies say the child was seriously hurt in the incident... which occured around Thanksgiving.  Sheriff's deputies say they investigated... and have arrested 62 year-old Clifford Hickok in connection with the Nov. 24 incident.  Officers say the child needed immediate medical attention.  Hickok was arrested Tuesday for endangering the welfare of a child... and, issued appearance tickets for Poland Town Court.


Geise named to Business First "Power 250" economic development listing...
The man who heads up many of Chautauqua County's economic development programs and initiatives has been named to the 2024 edition of Buffalo Business First's prestigious “Power 250” listing.  In a printed release... the county's Industrial Development Agency announced that Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise, is on the list published in the Jan. 10 edition of the trade paper.  The news staff at Business First makes the decision after three months of research, reporting, and debate.  Geise was first appointed as Deputy County Executive for Economic Development... and, IDA CEO in March of 2018. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues-Wed., Jan. 16-17, 2024

Hochul unveil's $233B, 2024-25 Budget proposal to deal with crime, housing and migrant crisis...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed $233-billion budget for the next fiscal year focuses on three main priorities with a $6-billion increase in spending.  However... Hochul says it does not include an increase in the state's income tax.  The Buffalo-area Democrat presented her 2024-25 budget plan in Albany Tuesday morning.  She proposed continuing the now $1.9-billion to help New York with it's migrant crisis... along with $500,000 more from increased state reserves... which are now just over 15% of the spending.  So far... Hochul says the state has been helping to house and feed 69-thousand migrants and asylum seekers from the southern border.  She also proposed more measures to deal with crime... including the rise in retail crime.  She says $40-million will be going to local police and prosecutors to better deal with that.  Hochul also focused on the need for added mental health services in the state... including $45-million to meet the need for more services in schools.  She also touted funding to help train 20,000 new teachers in "back to basics" education... such as using phonics to help teach literacy across the state. 


Propane leak leads to blaze that destroys several campers, and out-buildings in town of Chautauqua...
A propane gas leak inside a camper led to an early morning blaze that destroyed several campers and out-buildings in the town of Chautauqua.  The Sheriff's Office reports that the Mayville Fire Department was called to 71-27 Beaujean Rd. just after 12:30 Wednesday morning for a reported camper fire.  Several mutual aid companies were also called to the scene.  No injuries were reported.  The county's Fire Investigation Team was called into to look for the cause and origin of the blaze.  The Jamestown Post-Journal says neighbors of the property have complained to the town that the structures have been used as "drug houses."


Inmate at Chautauqua County Jail captured after brief escape from work party...
A Chautauqua County Jail inmate was recaptured Monday morning shortly after he escape from a work detail in the town of Ellery.  Sheriff's deputies say several law enforcement agencies responded to the area when the male inmate escaped in the late morning.  The agencies used coordinated efforts... and, the inmate was quickly located.  Officers say he was taken back into custody.  No one was hurt during the escape nor capture.  Police say the incident remains under investigation and charges are pending.  The Sheriff's Office say more informaiton will be released at a later time.


City man charged with arson after allegedly starting fire inside an apartment stove...
A Jamestown man is accused of setting fire to a pile of wood inside an electric stove to try and heat an apartment that had the utilities shut-off late Monday afternoon.  City police and firefighters were called to the northside address just before 2 p.m., and, found 43 year-old Jared Leroy and a woman who had a stay-away order of protection against him.  However... it was apparent that the female was willing in his company.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze... but say the flames melted the stove... and, there was smoke damage to the residence.  Leroy was arrested for third-degree arson... and, second-degree criminal contempt.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  No one was hurt in the fire... but the apartment was condemned by the city's Department of Development.


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly pointing rifle at another man...
A city man is accused of pointing a rifle at another man during an argument on Jamestown's westside last Thursday night.  City police were called to the unidentified location shortly before 9 p.m. for a person with a weapon.  Officers say their investigation found that 43 year-old Cody Cogdell had pointed the rifle at a male victim.... and, he was arrested without further incident.  Police charged Cogdell with second-degree menacing.  He was taken to the city jail... arraigned, and later released with an appearance ticket.


Dunkirk hold's annual MLK Luncheon at Clarion Monday...
The annual tradition honoring late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was held Monday in Dunkirk.  More than 140 people turned out for the Dunkirk Juneteenth Committee's MLK Luncheon at the Clarion Hotel.  Committee Chairperson Loretta Torain says the theme for this year's event was one of Dr. King's famous phrases: "The time is always right to do what is right."  It's a theme that has been used before, but Torain says the committee needed to remind those in attendance to do the right thing.  Torain believes the guests in attendance received the message very well.  Several local elected officials were on hand for the event, including new Dunkirk Mayor Kate Wdowiasz, Fredonia Mayor Mike Ferguson, Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel, Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone, and New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell.
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The traditional Martin Luther King, Junior commemoration and service at Jamestown's Emmanuel Baptist Church that was to be held Sunday afternoon was postponed due to the inclement weather.  The church's Facebook page says it will be rescheduled at a later date. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Jan. 15, 2024

 

City man arrested for threatening another man with rifle...
A Jamestown man has been arrested after allegedly pointing a rifle at another man during an argument on the city's westside late last week.  Jamestown police were called to the unidentified location shortly before 9 p.m. last Thursday for a person with a weapon.  Officers say their investigation found that 43 year-old Cody Cogdell has pointed the gun at a male victim.... and, he was arrested without further incident.  Police charged Cogdlll with second-degree menacing.  He was taken to the city jail... arraigned, and released with an appearance ticket.


Dunkirk man arrested during drug raid in north county city...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested during a drug raid on his apartment following a one month-long investigation into significant drug trafficking from that location.  Sheriff's deputies say Dunkirk Narcotics Investigators, along with those from the Sheriff's Office and Jamestown Police Department executed a search warrant at the lower apartment at 178 West Second St. last Friday afternoon.  Officers say they found 43 year-old Fernando Martinez, Jr. inside the home... and, seized just over 12-grams of fentanyl... 26.15 grams of crack cocaine... nearly 11-grams of methamphetamine, scales and packaging material for the distribution of narcotics.  Police also found a shotgun and more than $6,000 in cash.  They say Martinez was charged with three counts third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... first-degree criminal contempt... and, tampering with physical evidence.  Martinez was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court... and, sent to the county jail on $10,000 cash bail.  If you have information on drug or other suspicious activity... call the Sheriff's Department Tip line at either 800-344-8702 or 716-664-2420... or the Jamestown Police Department Tip line at 716-483-8477.


Jamestown woman arrested for DWI for going wrong way on one-way street...
A city woman has been arrested on multiple Felony drunk driving charges after she was allegedly seeing driving on the shoulder of the road on North Main Street.  Jamestown police say they pulled over a car during a traffic stop shortly after Midnight Saturday because the car was not maintaining it's lane.  Officers say the driver... identified as 50 year-old Robin Smith... failed standardized field sobriety testing.  Smith was taken into custody for Felony DWI... Felony Aggravated DWI... driving with a blood alcohol content of more than point-18 percent.... and, for driving when her license had been revoked for a DWI conviction over the past 10 years.  She was also charged with failure to maintain lane, and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.  Smith was jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel speaks more about Hochul's State of the State Address...
Local government and school leaders will be paying attention to New York Governor Kathy Hochul's 2023-24 budget presentation tomorrow from Albany.  Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel is among them... and, while he liked many of the initiatives in Hochul's State of the State message... he wants to see how they're addressed in her budget.  The governor will present the budget during an address in Albany... and, Wendel is looking to see how she addresses concerns like retail theft... agriculture... and, mental health.  He adds he also is concerned about the move from holding local elections from odd to even-years.  Wendel says it's a "home rule" issue that... according to the state constitution... rests with the county governments.  Gov. Hochul's 2023-24 spending plan totaled about $229-billion... which was a record.  However... during her State of the State Address... she noted "we can't spend what we don't have." 


NYSSBA sounds off on education in State of the State Address...
The organization that represents school board's across New York state say they are "optimistic" that that districts will receive the aid they need in the new state budget.  Those are the feelings of New York State School Boards Association Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Dave Albert.  Albert says... with districts receiving full Foundaton Aid the past year... they're looking forward to the governor's budget message on Tuesday.  Albert says... with the mental health of students a significant concern... they're hoping to get the resources they need.  He says the U.S. Surgeon General's report on that found that 40% of students were dealing with some kind of mental health issue... including depression, and low self-esteem.  In her State of the State Address... Governor Kathy Hochul said that any district that felt they need a "school-based" mental health clinic should be able to get one.  However... Albert says finding counselors and social workers has been a challenge in some cases. 


City police arrest wrong way driver for DWI... 
A Jamestown woman faces multiple drunk driving related charges after she was spotted going the wrong way on a one-way street on the city's eastside.  City police were patrolling in the area of East Sixth and Spring Streets shortly before 2 p.m. last Thurday when they saw the car... driven by 61 year-old Kelly Hodges... going the wrong way.  Officers pulled her over near Prendergast Avenue... and, found that Hodges was under the influence of alcohol.  She was taken into custody... and, taken to the city jail... where she was found to have a blood alcohol content higher than point-18-percent.  Hodges was charged with DWI, Aggravated DWI... and, multiple vehicle and traffic violations.  She was processed and issued appearance tickets for city court.


 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri-Sat. Jan. 12-13, 2023

Multiple weather warnings and watches remain in effect through early Sunday...
It's going to be a "busy weather weekend" in Western New York... and, Chautauqua County.  However... the worst of the weather so far has stayed mainly to the north of Jamestown.  So far on Saturday... temperatures have been very cold... but there's only been a half-inch to an inch of snow generally.  A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 7 a.m. Monday... and a High Wind Warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Sunday.  Forecaster Kirk Apfel with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says... once we get past late morning Sunday, our chances of lake effect snow diminish greatly.  By Sunday... our highs will only be in the upper teens to about 20 degrees... and, the coming week will be cold as well.  The highs on Monday through Wednesday are only expected to be in the mid to upper-teens.


City man sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatal shooting during feud between rival groups... 
The Jamestown man recently convicted of shooting and killing another man in broad daylight on the city's northside during a feud between two rival groups will spend the next 10 years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says Kevin Roldan-Pantojas received the sentence Friday from County Judge David Foley after being convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Jesus Batista-Perez on Aug. 19, 2022.  Schmidt says "the conviction and sentence is not a cause for celebration."  He adds that more than 20 gunshots from two separate groups were fired in a residential neighborhood on Prendergast Avenue... a few feet from where children played and families socialized outside their homes.  Schmidt says it was "a miracle" that no one else was hurt.  He says Jamestown Police detectives responded immediately and, with assistance from the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team, processed a crime scene which spanned hundreds of public roadway feet and encompassed two separate shooting events."  He says city police spent months "developing and arranging for the testing of evidence, identifying the shooters and reconstructing the order of events; their work and dedication was impeccable and exceptional."


Four arrested during drug raid on Jamestown's northside...
Four people have been arrested following a drug raid on Jamestown's northside for allegedly trafficking crack-cocaine... cocaine... and, Fentanyl.  City police say members of the JPD Metro Drug Task Force... and, Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators executed a search warrant on the lower apartment at 618 Spring St. just after 9 a.m. Wednesday with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Police arrested 47 year-old Wilfredo Castrillo... 24 year-old David Santiago, Jr., and 26 year-old Morgan Ryder inside the residence... as well as 53 year-old Charles Cummins... who was found in the backyard.  Detectives say they found 5-grams of crack cocaine... a small amount of fentanyl... and, power cocaine... as well as scales and a small amount of cash.  Police say Castrillo, Ryder, and Santiago were each charged with third... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  They add that Santiago also faces a second count of seventh-degree criminal possession... since a small amount of cocaine was found in his possession.  Cummins was also charged with seventh-degree drug possession.  Anyone with information about drug or other criminal activity is asked to call the Jamestown Police Tip Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  For the Sheriff's Office Tip line call 800-344-8702 or 664-2420.


Warrant Check leads to drug arrest on city's eastside...
A Jamestown man faces drug-related charges following a warrant check on the city's eastside that found the man in possession of methamphetamine and fentanyl.  Jamestown police say they conducted the warrant check shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday... and, found 28 year-old Anthony Spitalie inside the residence.  Officers took Spitale into custody on the warrant... and, also located quantities of the two drugs... and paraphernalia... in his possession.  He was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and two counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... in addition to the bench warrant.  Spitalie was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Mayville arrested for attempted assault...
A Mayville man has been arrested for allegedly trying to assault another person at an unidentified location in the village.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday to check on a person's well-being.  Deputies spoke with the suspect... 38 year-old Brian Little... and further investigation revealed a physical altercation between Little and the victim.  He was arrested for third-degree attempted assault... and taken to the County Jail pending centralized arraignment.


Dunkirk man arrested for multiple car break-ins in towns of Portland and Pomfre last month...        
Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department investigators have arrested a Dunkirk man for allegedly trespassing... and, breaking into several vehicles in the north county recently.  Sheriff's officers say the break-ins occured in the towns of Pomfret and Portland between Dec. 28, and Dec. 30.  Deputies investigated... and, found that 56 year-old Gary Lang was responsible for the crime spree.  Officers arrested Lang this morning on two counts of trespassing... two counts of petty larceny... and, second-degree burglary.  The Sheriff's Office also thanked the public for their help in the investigation.  Multiple members of the public were able to provide video surveillance footage and and information which lead to a successful conclusion to this investigation.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Jan. 11, 2024

County Humane Society announces closing of 2nd Chances Thrift Store...
The inability to fully-recover from the COVID Pandemic has led the Chautauqua County Humane Society to close it's Second-Chances Thrift Store in the coming weeks.  That from Humane Society Executive Director Kellie Roberts... who says it was a difficult decision for their board.  However... she says they've been reviewing their situation at the Fairmount Plaza location in West Ellicott for about the past two years... and the decision's been made to close the store.  Roberts says they were ready to make some changes to boost the operation right before the Pandemic shut-down occured in March of 2020... and, they "just haven't been able to recover "financially from that."  She says no firm closing date has been determined... but, she says it will likely be sometime in the next two to three weeks.  She says all Second Chances operations will be shut-down by the end of February.  Roberts adds that the Humane Society also needs to consolidate to meet New York's new Shelter Standards Act that's been in place for about a year now.


Wendel praises first responders on efforts during Tuesday Wind Storm...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel is praising local first responders and utility crews for their response to Tuesday's wind storm.  Wendel says he believes the county "dodged a bullet" in terms of severe damage.  At mid-day Wednesday... Wendel said there were still as many as two-thousand electric customers without power... mainly in the north county.  He urges people to not go near downed power lines because you can't be sure whether it may still be "live" or not.  He adds that if you come across them, call the local power company... or 911.  At the height of the storm... county officials reported about 12,000 customers of either National Grid and New York State Gas and Electric were without power.  Wendel says there was some significant damage to one county building.  He says that was a three-sided salt storage shed in the town of Sheridan which ended up losing one side.  Wendel says... if you come across any power lines on the road... or on the ground... do not approach them... call the local power company... or 911.


County, Fredonia and Pomfet open warming center at SUNY Fredonia...
With parts of the north county area still without power... Chautauqua County announced the opening of a warming center at the SUNY College at Fredonia Thursday.  The village and town of Pomfret are opening the center at the Williams Center at 301 Old Main Drive in Fredonia from Noon to 9 p.m.  Spokesman Justin Gould says additional days and hours will be broadcast on a needed basis.


Man accused of shooting and killing man during incident in Sinclairville pleads guilty...
The teenaged suspect in the July 2022 shooting death of a man in the village of Sinclairville has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the case.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt has announced that the defendant... who was under the age of 18 at the time of the incident.... entered the plea just before jury selection was to begin for his trial.  Schmidt says Joseph Misciagno was shot once in the back during a daytime street fight at the corner of Reed and Park Streets... just outside a baseball field where little leaguers and their families were present.  The defendant now faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on Mar. 1. Schmidt says there was no plea agreement involved... adding "one way or the other, whether by plea or conviction after trial, it was our intention to hold this individual responsible for the crime he committed."


City man arrested for calling in false stabbing report...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly reporting that he had been stabbed Wednesday night on North Main Street... but, it never occured.  City police were called to the Robo North store just after 9 p.m., and, made contact with the reported victim, 26 year-old Schuyler Coleman.  Officers say Coleman told them that he had been stabbed in the abdomen.  However... it was soon found that no stabbing had actually occurred... and, Coleman had no marks or stab wounds on his body.  He was arrested for third-degree falsely reporting an incident... and, was jailed pending arraignment.


New JHS Principal approved by Jamestown School Board...
An assistant principal at Jamestown High School will become the school's new principal... beginning next Tuesday.  The city School Board Tuesday night approved the appointment of Allyson Smith as the new JHS Principal... replacing Dana Williams... who will be phasing out of the position through the second-semester.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says... in addition to her "exemplary services to JHS... she did very well during the interviews..." and, has made many good connections at the school.  Dr. Whitaker says Smith "really stood out throughout the process with each of our stakeholders groups.  Her understanding of the challenges and strengths of Jamestown High School is quite deep and this understanding as well as the relationships that she has forged, will serve our high school staff and students well." Prior to joining the staff at JHS in 2019... Whitaker says Smith served for seven years as a special education teacher at Persell Middle School. 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues-Wed, Jan. 9-10, 2024

JHS goes back to roots with new nickname "Red & Green..." 
Jamestown High School's first known nickname will again be the JHS nickname going forward after a committee received feedback from students... and, the community.  The School Board last night officially signed off on the recommendation of the JHS Nickname Committee... which was "Red & Green."  Those taking part also considered the name "Catamounts" which fit in with the "big cat" logo the school had adopted.  The move was necessitated after the state Education Department mandated that the school eliminate any Native American imagery or connotations.  "Red & Green" are the school's long-time colors... and, was the school nickname from 1905 to 1935.  JHS Athletic Director Ben Drake says -- "following feedback forms and discussions with students and members of the community, the committee made the recommendation to continue a return to our roots."  The school district began the process of selecting a new name last Spring.  The district will begin phasing in the new nickname this coming Spring.


County's director of Emergency Services reports dozens of fire and rescue calls during wind storm...
The most significant damage has been mainly seen along the Lake Erie Shoreline from Tuesday's storm system that brought wind gusts of about 70 mph to the region.  One gust of 74 was reported at the Dunkirk Airport.  During a mid-afternoon briefing yesterday... Chautauqua County's Director of Emergency Services and Fire Coordinator Noel Guttman said local fire departments already had between 60 and 70 calls for damage and other issues by mid-afternoon... with four of those being tractor-trailers being blown onto their sides by the high winds.  Guttman says of the four tractor-trailers that overturned due to the wind... two were on the State Thruway... and, the other two were vehicles on Routes 5 and 20.  No injuries were reported.  As of mid-afternoon... Guttman said some 12,000 local customers of National Grid or New York State Gas and Electric were without power across the county.  The National Weather Service has reported some "extensive property damage" along the Lake Erie shoreline.  Guttman says they've seen a little bit of that on social media. 


Hochul touches on housing, crime, education, and AI research in State of State...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul hit on a number of themes she's laid out over the past week in her 2024 State of the State Address Tuesday... focusing on housing, crime and education policies.  Hochul also talked a lot about health care... including mental health care.  She also repeated her call for paid medical leave during pregnancy.  However... she touted a $6-billion investment from the federal government to boost overall health care through-out the state.  As for mental health... Hochul talked about boosting services for children coming out of the pandemic, and burdened by social media stigmas.  She says another major focus will remain to bring more affordable housing on line in the state... something that's been a tough sell with the legislature.  However... she says there are some moves she can make through executive action... by developing housing in places the state does have control, including SUNY properties.  Hochul is also calling for an overhaul of literacy education... and, there was also an initiative to combat retail theft.... a problem seen statewide... but especially in New York City.  


Borrello left "disappointed" by governor's State of State Address...
Local State Senator George Borrello says anyone hoping for Governor Hochul's message to be a "bold plan" for turning around the state's affordability and public safety crises has been left "disappointed" by the address.  In a printed statement... Borrello says -- "the worst-in-the-nation outmigration of our residents is a problem that threatens our future.  It requires more than new affordable housing units, as the governor suggests."  The Sunset Bay Republican adds that the state's combined state and local tax rates are the highest in the nation... and says several polls have found that the tax burden is the primary reason people are leaving New York.  He says he heard no plans to tackle that issue.  While Hochul praised a recent decrease in gun violence... Borrello says "the truth is that crime rates are still significantly higher now than they were before the reckless bail changes took effect."  He does say that proposals to combat retail theft, domestic violence and hate crimes are a step forward... but, says the "leftists in the legislature" will fight these proposals. 


Two council committees approve contracts, and funding for new ramp security measures...
Two Jamestown City Council committees have approved moving ahead with about a quarter-of-a-million dollar project to beef up security at the city's two parking ramps.  The Finance and Public Works Committees both approved one measure at Monday night's meetings to purchase security cameras for $70,770 from SHI International in New Jersey.  Finance Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon says the city is hoping to hear soon about a grant to cover the cost.  Sheldon says they also approved a resolution to hire a New York City-area firm to install the new cameras... and, lighting upgrades to the Cherry Street... and Spring Street facilities.  The installation will be handled for just under $179,000 by Nest Wireless Global of Flushing, NY.  Last year... several employees of the nearby South County Office building told city lawmakers that they were the victims of vandalism to their vehicles... and were being harassed by people who were in the ramps that had no business being there. 
 

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