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News Update for Fri., May 29, 2015

City man jailed for allegedly threatening victim with gun during domestic incident...

A Jamestown man is jailed without bail for allegedly forcing his way into his ex-girlfriend's eastside apartment... and, threatening her while holding a shot-gun.  City police were called to the scene at 111 Benedict Ave. about 3:20 a.m. Friday... and, learned that 26 year-old Allen Yarbrough got into the woman's apartment illegally... and, had armed himself with the gun.  Officers say the pair got into an argument... and, Yarbrough allegedly broke the woman's cell phone.  He later left the scene, and the woman called officers... who later caught Yarbrough.  He was arraigned on charges including second-degree burglary... second-degree menacing... and, first-degree criminal contempt.  He was then sent to the county lock-up.

Jamestown man accused of attacking woman, using knife during incident...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly attacking a woman... and, acting in a threatening manner with a knife.  City Police were called to the scene at 107 Barrett Ave. just before 3:30 p.m. Thursday... and, learned that 27 year-old Jesus Torres, Junior had allegedly grabbed the victim by the hair... and, pulled her off a couch.  Officers also found that Torres had allegedly stabbed a door... damaging it.  He was arrested without incident for second-degree harassment, and criminal mischief.  Torres was jailed pending arraignment.

Leathers says BPU "Mini Rate" case could be decided by later Summer...

It will likely be August or September before the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities knows whether or not it's push for a "mini-rate" increase is approved by the state.  That from BPU General Manager Dave Leathers... who says the board is going through the normal process for getting such an increase... which can be for up to 2.5-percent.  Such cases only take a few months to complete.  In fact... Leathers says state Public Service Commission officials were on site just recently to gather information on the BPU's request.  He says they put in formal information requests... asked questions, and, challenged the board during a 2-and-a-half day stay two weeks ago.  The board approved seeking the "mini-rate" case at it's March meeting.  Some have questioned whether the city taking a "divident payment" the past couple of years as a "new" revenue source led to the need for an increase.  Leathers says it's because expenses 'in general' have gone up for the electric division... including commodities, materials, labor and pensions.  Leathers says the approximately $475,000 "dividend" payment this past year was a factor in their asking for a rate hike... but, by no means the only reason.

Mains issues formal statement on JHS Vandalism case...

Disciplinary action has already been taken by the Jamestown School District against the six high school students who allegedly took part in the vandalism at the high school early last Tuesday morning.  However... School Superindent Tim Mains also says he is "disturbed" by the fact that a number of students who were not found to be involved have been "widely and inaccurately" portrayed as playing a role in it.  In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon... Mains said "I do not want our effort to protect the confidentiality of actual perpetrators to be used in order to continue to malign students who had nothing to do with this."  He adds that criminal charges will be filed against the six alleged suspects.

Fredonia native in Air Force killed in accident in Germany...

A north county native who served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Germany, died earlier this week in a traffic accident about 40 kilometers from the base.  Media One News has learned that Staff Sergeant Michael Klose of Fredonia was stationed at Spangdahlem Air Base since December of 2011.   A story posted on the air base’s website reports that the 24-year-old was posthumously awarded the rank of Staff Sergeant on May 24.  Michael was the son of Mark and Karen Klose of Fredonia... and, was a 2009 Fredonia High School graduate.

Reed calls Manufacturing Summit a big success...

Local Congressman Tom Reed's first Manufacturing Summit in Chautauqua County was a "great success."  Reed hosted the summit Thursday at Jamestown Community College... and, included more than 140 manufacturing companies and representatives from across the region... and, elsewhere.  The Corning Republican says the information shared by several panels and other presentations will "have a big impact on our manufacturing companies."  Reed says the main idea was to provide resources for local companies to help them succeed.  He says the summit brought together manufacturing industry leaders, government agencies and trade representatives to discuss the future of regional manufacturing.  The summit featured a number of informational panels which provided more information on opportunities to grow its businesses here, by exporting their products abroad.  He says the opportunity is there with 95-percent of the world's consumers outside the United States.

Street JAM gets underway Saturday...

There are 221 three-man basketball teams are set to play hoops on the streets of Jamestown this weekend.  The annual Street JAM Tournament hits the streets tomorrow.  Vicky Bardo is the tournament director... and, says "street ball" has now been a tradition in Jamestown the past 19 years.  Each 4-person team gets to play at least three games, and maybe as many as 10.  Action gets underway at 8 a.m. Saturday... with games until early evening.  That schedule is repeated on Sunday.  Bardo says teams from as far away as Buffalo... and even Las Vegas, Nevada are coming to play this year.  Spectators are welcome at any of the twenty courts, but the hottest action is expected on the top men's and women's courts... right in front of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.  The tournament is presented by The Resource Center and 'Filling the Gap'... which works with TRC.  Bardo adds, the tournament plays through all weather except thunderstorms.  Games may be shortened if the conditions are wet. 

Vets of Modern Warfare to host Chicken BBQ to benefit "Kallie's Krusade..."

A Chicken Barbeue Benefit has been set for this coming Sunday, May 31 for the Veteran's of Modern Warfare C-H 20 of Jamestown.  Spokesperson Melodie Paladino says it'll be held at Classic Cuts & Nails at 1285 East Second St. in Jamestown from  Noon to 6 p.m.  Paladino says they'll be serving chicken dinners will be $9 to include 1/2 chicken, 2 sides and a roll.  Pepsi products and water will be available for one-dollar each.  Paladino says there'll also be serveral activities... including a Chinese auction... 50/50 raffle... bake sale and games for the kids.  Classic Cuts is also doing hair extensions for $5 and haircuts for $10 each.  All proceeds from this benefit will go to Tara and Shane Swan, parents of Kallie Swan who passed away after a long battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  They established the non-profit Kallie's Krusade to benefit such children.



WJTN News Headlines

Chautauqua County is a step closer to having an 8 percent sales tax.  County lawmakers last night approved a resolution that supports state legislation that would allow the county to raise its sales tax from the current 7.5 percent to 8 percent along with a county property tax levy cut by at least 3 percent.  County lawmakers amended the resolution to include the language "will strive to adopt a budget for 2016 and 2017 with a tax levy decrease of 5 percent compared to the 2015 real property tax levy."  Dunkirk Democrat Keith Ahlstrom proposed another amendment that would have removed the words "strive to." But, Ahlstrom's amendment failed.  The final resolution was approved 17-1 with Ahlstrom voting no.  County Executive Vince Horrigan says the county legislation will now be sent to Albany. The language change made by the county legislature will not affect the bills being sponsored by Young and Goodell since they call for a county property tax levy cut by 3 percent.


Six Jamestown High School seniors have been arrested in what a city police official calls a "Senior Prank gone bad."  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the six males are accused of breaking into the high school about 1:30 AM Tuesday... and, damaging property through-out the building.  Samuelson adds they were in the building between one and one-and-a-half hours. Samuelson says the Felony charge is third-degree burglary... and, the misdemeanors are criminal mischief and criminal tampering.  He says papers were strewn around... and, furniture was moved from the basement to the third-floor.  There was also damage done to some doors... and, an office.  Samuelson says the investigation is continuing... and the students will be arraigned at a later date.  No names have been released.


A city man has been arrested for alleged Heroin possession... and, several traffic infractions after a vehicle pursuit through the city's eastside early Wednesday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol officer spotted the car... driven by 36 year-old Juan Velazquez... moving irratically at a high rate of speed in the area of Bowen and Bush Streets a few minutes after 12 Noon.  Samuelson says the pursuit lasted several minutes before the vehicle struck a dumpster... and, Velaaquez was taken into custody.  Further investigation uncovered some five bundles... or 50 bags of Heroin in Velazquez's posession.  In addition to number vehicle and traffic infractions... Samuelson says Velazquez is also charged with Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He's being held in the city jail pending arraignment.


The only birds at the Chautauqua County Fair this July will be frozen as per order by the state Ag and Markets Commissioner.  That from Chautauqua County Fair President Dave Wilson.  Wilson says it's due to concern over Avian Flu.  It's not been found anywhere in New York, but is spreading rapidly in other parts of the country.  Cornell Cooperative Extension's Emily Reynolds says Four-H members raising birds for show will have to keep them home.  For those who want to sell chickens at the Market Animal Sale... they've come up with a unique solution -- an off-site show. Twenty-four Four-H members sold chickens at last year's county fair.  This year's fair is set for July 27th through August 2nd at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk. 


Two members of the Chautauqua County Legislature have decided against seeking another term on the panel.  Lawmakers Keith Ahlstrom of Dunkirk and John Runkle of Stockton, will not be running in November.  Both announced their intentions Wednesday morning in the north county.  Ahlstrom has been a member for 18 years and recently retired as Dunkirk Fire Chief. Runkle, who currently serves as chairman of the Audit and Control Committee, says he wants to enjoy retirement from the Sheriff's Department.  He plans to spend time traveling to see family.  Both legislators are encouraging the public to become involved in their local government.  Ahlstrom says it can be a "headache" at times... but, it can also bring some fulfillment that you are helping your community.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are trending upwards towards the 3-dollar mark... increasing by 8-cents a gallon this week.  The Triple-A's Fuel Gauge report says the average price for regular, unleaded gas is now just under 2-dollars-94 cents.  The Fuel Gauge Report says the price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the Jamestown-area.  Triple-A says last week's price was just under 2--86 a gallon.  The national average is now up to about 2-dollars-74 cents a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge Report says the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline reached its highest price of the year on Memorial Day after rising for 39 of 41 days.  Despite the overall trend of rising averages... consumers paid the lowest prices at the pump for the holiday since 2010. Significant yearly discounts remain, due to relatively low prices for crude oil, with today’s national average representing a savings of 92 cents per gallon compared to this same date last year.  Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude oil... and, localized refinery issues -- especially in the Midwest and on the West Coast.  Crude oil is now up to just under 60-dollars a barrel.


A number of local baseball fans were on hand for yesterday's "Meet and Greet" for the new, Jamestown Jammers of the Prospect League.  Fans had their first chance to meet members of the Jammers before the team was to take the field for last night's season-opener.  The Gateway Train Station hosted the event... and, Station Manager Lee Harkness was excited about greeting the team.  Field and Business Manager Anthony Barone says he and the players are excited... and, adds tickets sales have been up in recent days. Barone is promising an "aggressive team" built on speed, defense and pitching.  He says their pitching staff is shaping up nicely.  As for the ball-park... Barone says the outfield wall has been painted blue for the new season... and, some other upgrades have also been made.  The Jammers were secheduled to play Butler last night before going on the road for two games.  For more information on the team... call the ball park... or go on-line to Jamestownbaseball-dot-COM.


Another poll says Governor Cuomo's favorability and job performance ratings have hit the lowest point of his tenure as governor.  Tuesday's Siena College survey put the Democratic governor's favorability rating at 53 percent, down from 63 percent in June 2014.  His job performance rating is 41 percent, down from 49 percent in June of last year.  The findings are similar to those in a Marist College poll earlier this month.  Ninety-percent of respondents in the Siena poll said Albany corruption remains a ``serious problem.''


New York's attorney general says he soon plans to submit broad and detailed legislation aimed at ending public corruption in Albany.  Eric Schneiderman said yesterday that lawmakers need to enact such legislation during a year when their leaders were both arrested on federal charges.  The Legislature is scheduled to end its session on June 17th.  Schneiderman says it's time to end ``the parade of prosecutions.''  His bill would give the state attorney general's office permanent jurisdiction to investigate official bribery and fraud, ban outside income by legislators while raising their pay and extending terms to four years, lower legal campaign contributions and close the loopholes for limited liability companies and make it easier to prosecute people who pay bribes.  It also would establish a public financing option for state candidates.




News Update for Wed., May 27, 2015

Six JHS Seniors arrested for allegedly taking part in "Senior Prank gone bad..."
Six Jamestown High School seniors have been arrested in what a city police official calls a "Senior Prank gone bad."  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the six are accused of breaking into the high school about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday... and, damaging property through-out the building.  Samuelson says, while it was considered a prank it wasn't "very well thought out" because it's resulted in Felony charges of third-degree burglary... along with misdemeanor criminal mischief and criminal tampering.  He says papers were strewn around... and, furniture was moved from the basement to the third-floor.  There was also damage done to doors where the break-in occured, and an office.  The names of the six alleged perpetrators have not been released.

County Legislature to act on Sales Tax measure...

Chautauqua County legislators will likely be taking action on a revised plan to increase the county's sales tax when they meet this evening in Mayville.  Audit and Control Committee chairman John Runkle says the latest proposal ties the sales tax increase to a 3-percent cut in the county tax levy.  The Cassadaga Republican says he is among some legislators who would like to see a deeper cut made to county property taxes.  Runkle believes they could increase the cut in the levy from 1.9-million dollars to 3.1 million.  He says he concerned that the 3-percent cut would still leave a significant amount of surplus revenues.  It's not known whether there will be enough support to commit to a lower property tax levy.  Tonight's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in Mayville.

Runkle and Ahlstrom says they're not running for re-election to legislature...

Two members of the Chautauqua County Legislature have decided against seeking another term on the panel.  Lawmakers Keith Ahlstrom of Dunkirk and John Runkle of Stockton, will not be running in November.  Both announced their intentions Wednesday in the north county.  Ahlstrom has been a member for 18 years and recently retired as Dunkirk Fire Chief.  He says he also spent five years on the Dunkirk School Board before that, and is looking forward to retirement.  Runkle, who currently serves as chairman of the Audit and Control Committee, says he also wants to enjoy retirement from the Sheriff's Department.  Both legislators are encouraging the public to become involved in their local government.  Ahlstrom says it can bring about some headaches, but it can also bring some fulfillment that you are helping your community.

Gas pump prices jump 8-cents this week...

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are trending upwards towards the $3 mark... increasing by 8-cents a gallon this week.  The AAA's Fuel Gauge report says the average price for regular, unleaded gas is now just under $2.94.  The Fuel Gauge Report says the price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the area.  AAA says last week's price was just under $2.86 a gallon.  The national average is now up to about $2.74 a gallon.  The Fuel Gauge Report says the national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline reached its highest price of the year on Memorial Day after rising for 39 of 41 days.  Pump prices have recently trended higher due to an increase in the price of global crude oil... and, localized refinery issues.

News Headlines for Tues., May 26, 2015

Major donor comes forward to help Celoron pay for new Lucy Statue in Lucille Ball Memorial Park...

A major donation from a New England businessman -- who's also a big "I Love Lucy" fan -- has moved the village of Celoron closer to being able to replace the "Scary Lucy" statue in Lucille Ball Memorial Park.  Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost has announced that Norwood, Mass's Ernie Boch, Jr. has contributed $20,000 to the effort.  In a printed release... Boch says "Lucille Ball was so talented and Iconic that I'm delighted to give the village of Celoron... the best statue they deserve."  Boch is President and Chief Executive Officer of Subaru of New England.  Schrecengost says the village is "very grateful" to Boch for his generous donation.  He adds they are now forming a committee to review the many resumes of sculptors they have received to decide who will create the new one.  The village board voted earlier this month to retain ownership of the current statue... but, allow the new, National Comedy Center to have possession of it for display in the center.  However... that was contingent on a replacement statue being put in place.  Schrecengost says their campaign for donations is continuing at and, you can call the village offices at 487-4175.

Jamestown and Busti Memorial Day parades and observances tout attitude of sacrifice... 
It was a sunny, almost Summer-like day for Memorial Day 2015 across Chautauqua County Monday.  There were several parades... featuring marching bands.  The Southwestern Middle School Band joined the High School Band to perform in the annual Busti Memorial Day Parade and Service.  The Reverend Roy Ferguson of the Busti Church of God was Keynote Speaker for the Busti Memorial Day service... who talked about the attitude of sacrifice sevice men and women make.  The Memorial Day speaker at Soldier's Circle at Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown Monday was County Legislator Lisa Vanstrom.  The West Ellicott lawmaker says she drew inspiriation from the ancient Greek statesman Pericles, concerning the sacrifice military people make.

Kolb urges addressing ethics reform before end of current State Legislative session...

The leader of the New York state Assembly's Republican minority says legislators must pass ethics reforms before adjourning next month.  Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb says that recent corruption scandals have disrupted legislative work and damaged the public's trust in government.  Kolb wants lawmakers to OK a Constitutional Amendment that, if passed by the voters, would strip pensions from convicted public officials.  Kolb also wants to see eight-year term limits for legislative leadership positions.  Two top lawmakers have been arrested this year on corruption charges.  Former Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is accused of taking nearly $4 million in bribes and payoffs.  Ex-Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos is charged with extorting payments to his son from two businesses.  Both men say they are innocent.

Two arrested for allegedly Domestic Assault in Jamestown...

Two Jamestown residents are accused in a vicious attack on a woman on the city's southside last weekend.  City police were called to the scene at 195 Baker St. about 10:30 p.m. Saturday on a report of a domestic dispute.  They're investigation revealed that 23 year-old Nichodemius Tuttle and 24 year-old Kristie Zavala allegedly began punching and kicking the unidentified female until she fell unconscious.  Police say Tuttle and Zavala then allegedly fled the scene... but, quickly found them.  Both were arrested for third-degree assault... and, Tuttle was additionally charged with Felony criminal contempt because the victim had an order of protection again him.  He was also charged with Felony Aggravated Offense due to a prior conviction.  Both were arraigned, and jailed pending further court action.  The victim was not seriously hurt.

Samuelson puts out JPD plea for help in catching new Serial Arsonist...

Jamestown police are looking for another possible serial arsonist in the city... and, officials are asking for the public's help in building the case against the possible suspect.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they has a "person of interest" in this past week's arson at 420 Falconer St.  Samuelson says the house had been condemned, and was slated for demolition.  He says they are investigating the "pattern" of where and when these fires have occured.  Samuelson says they aren't releasing the "Person of Interest's" name.  Samuelson says city police and fire investigators have been looking into 15 arsons since the beginning of 2014... and, five so far this year.  Anyone with information on any of these fires is asked to call the JPD confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.



WJTN Memorial Day Headlines

The area's state Senator is calling on the Office of Children and Family Services to investigate allegations of prior abuse involving a Jamestown toddler who died more than a year-ago.  Olean Republican Cathy Young says the perpetrator of the deadly attack remains at-large... and, she's calling on OCFS Commissioner Sheila Poole to review the records of the State’s Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment regarding allegations or incidents of possible abuse involving young Nayla Hodnett.  Young adds that she is also putting forward several legislative efforts to improve the state’s existing child abuse reporting system.  She says "my heart breaks for this beautiful little girl and her family.  Young children like Nayla are the most vulnerable among us and her case truly pulls at the heartstrings."  In an effort to address cracks in the existing system... Senator Young has authored legislation that would require mandatory reporters take a free online "refresher course" offered by the state Office of Children and Family Services once a year to keep them up-to-date on signs of abuse or maltreatment and current reporting standards.  Anyone with additional information on the Nayla Hodnett homicide is asked to contact Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley at 753-4241.


A Lakewood man is jailed without bail on nearly 20 charges... including drug possession and speeding... after he tried to flee police early last Friday morning.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they responded to a report of a suspicious person on Hern Avenue shortly after 5 AM.  Officers says they saw 40 year-old Blake Smith of Third Avenue allegedly drive off... but, he failed to signal a turn onto West Fairmount Avenue.  Police then stopped Smith... and, says they saw illegal drugs in plain sight.  At that point... Smith allegedly sped off... leading police on a vehicle pursuit into the town of Busti.  Police say Smith abandoned his car... and, tried to run from officers... but, was eventually caught.  Police say he faces charges... including Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... driving while ability impaired by drugs... and two counts of speeding.  Smith was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.


It's Memorial Day 2015... a time to remember those members of the military who made the "ultimate sacrifice" during times of war and conflict.  In Jamestown... veteran's from World War-Two to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will be part of today's annual Parade in Jamestown... and, service to follow at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery.  Today's parade kicks off this morning at 10 AM on West Fourth Street... near Baker Park.  The parade will march east to Prendergast Avenue, then turn left, and head to the cemetary.  The Grand Marshall this year is retired U-S Marine, Dan Kell... who is urging ALL veteran's to take part... and, make this the biggest parade yet.  Veterans and others taking part are urged to be on hand for line-up... which begins at 9 AM this morning.


In other parades and events today... County Executive Vince Horrigan has been selected to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Memorial Day event on May 25th in the Town of Poland.  The ceremony... and, parade will step off at 11:45 AM from the Fire Hall and then proceed to Riverside Cemetery where the program to honor our veterans and loved ones will take place.  Horrigan -- a U-S Air Force veteran -- says "I look forward to meeting my fellow veterans and the residents of the Town of Poland as we remember those who have fought and died to preserve our liberties."
Also today... the annual Busti Memorial Day Parade will be held at 9 AM.  Line-up will be at the former Windrift Restaurant.  A service will follow that at the Busti Gazebo.


The annual Southwestern--West Ellicott Parade and service will begin about 10:45 AM Monday.  That follows the Busti Parade... and, steps off from Southwestern Central School...

In Celoron... the village and Herman Kent Post-#777 of the American Legion, will hold their Memorial Day service at the Veteran's Memorial in Lucille Ball Memorial Park at 9 AM.  Herman Kent Post, American Legion Commander Gordon Carlson... will deliver the main address.


New York traffic authorities say free inspections of child safety seats are available this year at locations across the state.  The inspections by safety technicians are intended to help parents and caregivers know if the seats are properly installed, used and the right size for their children.  State officials cite research showing a 71 percent decrease in the risk of fatal injuries to infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars from car seats.  A National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration survey says the most common errors include using the wrong safety harness slot to secure a car seat, chest clips improperly positioned over a child's abdomen, or unused, loose installations and loose harnesses.


Buffalo is among the top 30 cities in the nation when it comes to dog attacks on letter carriers.  That from a recent report by the U-S Postal Service.  It ranks Buffalo 26th with 14 dog attacks last year.  In Chautauqua County... there was one attack reported... in the Fredonia zip code-area.  U-S Postal Service Spokeswoman Karen Mazurkiewicz says many of the attacks occur in more populated areas. Mazurkiewicz says there are things that dog owners can do to help protect letter carriers.  She says it's best to put the dog in another room, and close the door.  Otherwise... Mazurkiewicz says it's good to keep the dog restrained or behind a fence.  If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose... the owner may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. 


Ongoing concern over the poor condition of Route 957... one of the main secondary roads connecting Warren and Chautauqua Counties... was the focus of a top-level meeting yesterday.  Lottsville, Pennsylvania businesswoman Wanda Johnson hosted the meeting with PENNDOT officials.  County officials, as well as state Representative Kathy Rapp, were on hand to reinforce local concerns.  However... a Regional PENNDOT official says only basic repair work is slated for the immediate future.





News Update for Sat., May 23, 2015

JPD official asks for public's help in dealing with increase in arson's in condemned buildings...

City police in Jamestown are asking for the public's help in solving some five arson fires in vacant, condemned buildings this year... and, 15 since January of 2014.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson issued the request in the wake of the recent arson at 420 Falconer St. earlier this week.  Samuelson says the house had been condemned, and was slated for demolition.  He says they are looking at the "pattern" of where and when these fires have been occuring... and, are asking for the public's assistance.  Samuelson says the homes are easy to spot by the big, orange squared "condemned" signs nailed to the front of the building.  He says they're especially looking to see if anyone is hanging around these buildings between Midnight and 6 a.m.  Samuelson says they do have a "person of interest" in the Falconer Street arson... and, others where there are similarities.  However... he says they've gotten very little cooperation from that person.  Anyone with information on any of these fires is asked to call the JPD confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

Gerace talks road and boat safety as "unofficial start" to Summer season gets underway...

Just over 37-million motorists are expected to travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day Holiday Weekend... the most in a decade.  That from the Triple-A's East Central Office... which calls that a 4.7-percent increase over last year's 35.5-million motorists.  The weekend is considered the "unofficial start" to the Summer Driving Season.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace urges drivers to think safety... and, turn off those electronic devices -- namely cell phones.  Gerace says the Sheriff's Office is seeing "more and more" accidents being caused by people responding to calls... or texts.  He says you should also make sure your tires are properly inflated... and, that your windshield wipers are in good working condition.  He adds that anytime your wipers are on... your head-lights should be also.  As for boaters... Gerace says safety is again the watch-word.  He says make sure your equipment is in good working order... and, make sure you have "Coast-Guard approved" life-vests on board.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.

Final preparations made for city of Jamestown's annual Memorial Day Parade Monday...

The call is going out for all current and former members of the U-S Armed Forces from the Jamestown-area to take part in the city's annual Memorial Day Parade... and service to follow at Lakeview Cemetery.  That from United Veteran's Council President Mike Russell... who says the annual parade kicks off next Monday morning at 10 a.m. on West Fourth Street... near Baker Park.  The parade will march east to Prendergast Avenue, then turn left, and head to the cemetary's Soldier's Circle.  The Grand Marshall this year is retired U-S Marine, Dan Kell, who says he's both "privledged and honored" to be named.  Kell says they want to make this year's parade the biggest one ever.

More people taking advantage of NYS Motorcycle Safety Courses...

New York state officials say more motorcycle permit holders are taking a state-sanctioned safety course.  The Department of Motor Vehicles says 70 percent of motorcycle permit holders in New York last year took motorcycle safety courses, up from 51 percent in 2010.  The courses are offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation under an agreement with the DMV.  They allow motorcycle permit holders to waive the basic road test required by the DMV for a license.  The waiver program has resulted in 70-thousand fewer road tests over the past five years.  There are between 36,000 and 44,000 motorcycle permit riders in any given year statewide.

Cuomo to end practice of automatic deleting of e-mails after 90 days...

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration is ending its practice of automatically deleting emails after 90 days following criticism that it was an affront to open government.  The administration announced the change Friday at a meeting with representatives of the state comptroller and attorney general.  Under the new policy... administration staffers will manually delete emails as they choose, though emails containing certain records will be retained for longer.  Friday's meeting was prompted by criticism of the old policy.  Cuomo's office also wanted to discuss closing a loophole that largely exempts legislators from open records laws.  Legislative leaders ignored the invitation, a decision that top Cuomo aide William Mulrow says amounted to a ``boycott.''  Cuomo's administration plans to submit a bill to make the Legislature fully compliant with open records laws.

Schumer calls for improvements to safety following deadly Amtrak Train crash...

U-S Senator Charles Schumer says a railway safety system that could have prevented the deadly Amtrak crash in Philadelphia must be installed quickly on dangerous railroad curves throughout New York state.  The New York Democrat said Thursday that he is urging the Federal Railroad Administration to work with Amtrak and rail freight lines to add the speed-control system, known as automatic train control.  Schumer says a more sophisticated speed-control system known as positive train control is expected to be activated soon on downstate rail lines; upstate railways will likely have to wait five years for the technology. 

WJTN News Headlines

An exhausive, one week search in the north basin of Chautauqua Lake has led to the discovery of a dead fisherman from Wyoming County.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says members of the Bemus Point Fire Department found the body of 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg in an area not far from the beach house at Long Point State Park about 6:45 Thursday morning.  Gerace says it's in close proximity to where Spink's unoccupied boat was found when the search began one week ago.  He says they're not sure why the body hadn't turned up until now.
Gerace says Spink apparently went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 PM on Wednesday, May 13th.  Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up a friend.  He was reported missing the following day by family members.  In addition to the Sheriff's Office... state Police and some local fire departments -- including Bemus Points -- were involved in the search.


A Warren County, Pennsylvania man has been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly exposing himself to female students on East First Street -- not far from the high school.  City police say they arrested 53 year-old David Scott Kuzminski of Russell, Pennsylvania after witnesses confirmed that he had exposed himself to them about 7:30 AM Thursday.  City police quickly found Kuzminski shortly after they had been called to the scene.  He was charged with public lewdness... arraigned, and sent to the county jail on 15-hundred dollars bail.


The request by Chautauqua County to increase it's sales tax from 7.5 to 8-percent is now under consideration by the State Legislature.  That from the chairman of the County Legislature's Audit and Committee, John Runkle.  Runkle says committee members got an update at their meeting yesterday. Runkle says the committee is looking at the possiblility that the county tax levy could be reduced by more than 3-percent.  During their brief discussion... he says members came to the conclusion that they could cut as much as 5-percent from the tax levy next year... if the full half-a-percent increase were approved.  Runkle says if state lawmakers do pass the request in time for next week's county legislature meeting... the local panel could take action in the form of an emergency resolution. 


County clerks across the state are concerned about a network news report that the State Department of Motor Vehicles is selling personal information taken from drivers licenses and car registrations.  The Chautauqua County Clerk's Office is following developments, but Deputy County Clerk Tracie Kaminski-Haskin says they want to find out more about the issue before taking a position. Haskin says county clerks from across the state will be meeting next month.  She says the group will make a formal request... and, send it to the DMV.  A report by CBS News indicates the State DMV made nearly 60-million dollars last year from the sales.  Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs says he has written to the governor and the DMV Commissioner asking that the practice be stopped.


New York state lawmakers plan to skip a summit called by Governor Andrew Cuomo to discuss open records and his administration's policy of purging emails.  As of late Thursday... only one lawmaker hoped to attend today's meeting with Cuomo's chief counsel.  The Democratic governor initially proposed the meeting in March following criticism of his administration's policy of deleting most emails after 90 days.  Cuomo said he was willing to consider a new, uniform retention policy for all state officials, and suggested lawmakers should consider changes to their open records policies, too.  Top lawmakers ignored the invitation and said Cuomo can change his email policy without their input.  A Senate Democratic spokesman called the meeting a ``hastily arranged public relations stunt.''  A lone Republican lawmaker says he hopes to attend.


New York's comptroller reports state tax collections in April totaled 8.6-billion dollars... an increase of more than 21 percent from April last year.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the increase comes mainly from personal income taxes, but says the outlook for the coming months is a more moderate increase.  He says continued strength in the stock market last year was one important factor in the April increase.  The comptroller's cash report for shows the month's personal income tax receipts totaled 6.7-billion dollars, up more than 25 percent from the same month in 2014.  The report also shows total spending of $7.8 billion for the month.


The head of the New York state School Boards Association says he's "elated" to see that nearly all school budgets that went before voters this week were approved.  Association Executive Director Tim Kreamer (Creamer) says... you can't do much better than a 99-percent rate of passage for the state's 674 budgets.  Kreamer says the biggest factor in that huge approval rating was that any tax increase was a small one. Kreamer says school districts were helped a lot by a boost in aid in the final state budget.  He says that allowed district's to hold down the need for a larger tax increase.  Some district's locally also used additional fund balance to hold down the tax levy.  However... Kreamer says the amount dropped from 1.2-billion dollars used last year... to 1-billion this year.  He hopeful that trend continues.  Kreamer says a number of school officials he's talked to in recent weeks also indictated that... after several years of cutting teachers and other staff... they are hiring a few more people to preserve current programming, or add some. 


Newly-released documents about the 1971 Attica prison riot contain accounts from two National Guardsmen and a doctor who said they saw injured inmates beaten with clubs.  They add that others had wounds indicating they'd been tortured as authorities retook control.  The documents note that several eyewitnesses to brutality against prisoners weren't contacted or interviewed by criminal investigators.  However, the 1975 report by Judge Bernard Meyer found no intentional cover-up, only serious errors in judgment, omissions in evidence gathered and an imbalance in the prosecution.  That conclusion has been public for 40 years.  The new 46 pages detail some of the basis for Meyer's finding.  State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought the disclosure about events where 32 inmates and 11 prison employees died in the nation's bloodiest prison rebellion, most shot by authorities.


The United Veterans Council of Jamestown began this year's Memorial Day observance Thursday night... with the placement of flags at Lakeview Cemetery. Retired Marine Dan Kell, addressed the more than 100 people who assembled to make sure every veterans grave at Lakeview was marked by a flag.  Joe Paladino, Cemetery Chairman for this year's observance, announced a new procedure for the flag placement. Some four thousand flags were placed by the volunteers.  Organizers encouraged the public to attend the annual service at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery... Monday, following Jamestown's Memorial Day Parade.








News Headlines for Thurs., May 21, 2015

Varysburg man, missing in boating accident more than a week, reportedly found dead...

Authorities have now recovered the body of a fisherman from Wyoming County who has been missing since a week ago yesterday.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace's office reports that Bemus Point Fire rescue crews found 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg dead in the northern end of Chautauqua Lake about 6:45 this morning.  Gerace says Spink went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13th.  Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend.  He was reported missing the following day by family members.  Offices say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park.

Salamanca woman charged with manslaughter in death of one-year-old daughter...

A 24-year-old woman from the Cattaraugus County city of Salamanca has been arresed in connection with the death of her one-year-old daughter last month.  Police officials say they arrested Leslie Finch late Tuesday and charged her with manslaughter... reckless endangerment... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Officials say they were called to Finch's home last month for a report of an unresponsive child.  Her baby, Mila Whipple, was flown to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, where she died from her injuries on April 26.  Police say the baby's death was likely the cause of severe abuse.  Finch was arraigned Tuesday night... and, is being held on $100,000 bail. 

Karbacka looks forward to serving on City School Board...

The newest member of the Jamestown School Board says she wants to use her experience... and, educational background to continue the "excellence" of the city district.  Those are the feelings of retired music teacher Nina Karbacka.  Karbacka was elected to the school board for the first time Tuesday.  She and incumbant Dan Johnson ran unopposed for the panel.  Karbacka... who received 570 votes... taught music for 40 years in the elementary, middle and high school levels.  During her tenure... Karbacka also helped found the Suzuki Strings program.  She says she would like to find a way to bring in members of the community to help the district solve it's current challenges.  Karbacka says she didn't run because she felt anyone on the board was "doing a bad job..." She just felt she had something to offer.  Johnson... who was elected to a second-term... received 528 votes.

Bourne named Volunteer of the Year at WCA Hospital...

A Cattaraugus County man known for making people laugh with his "crazy" clothing combinations has been named WCA Hospital's Volunteer of the Year.  Hospital staff gathered for the hospital's annual Volunteer Recognition and Awards Luncheon yesterday afternoon.  WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright says the recipient -- Randolph's Larry Bourne -- has volunteered there nearly 10 years... and, "exemplifies" their vision and mission.  Bourne is most know for his crazy ties... but, adds he added something else this past Winter -- a "Goofy" hat he bought at Disney World in Florida.  Bourne also will wear different colored shoes at times to get a laugh.  Wright says volunteers play a special role at WCA... fostering a sense of community and caring to patients and their families.  Bourne says he appreciates the honor... adding that he began volunteering at WCA shortly after his wife passed away less than a decade ago... but, says she was always well-cared for at WCA.  With that... he wanted to "give back" to the hospital.  For more information about volunteering at WCA... contact Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth DeRosa at 487-0141.

Gas prices holding steady in run-up to Memorial Day Holiday weekend...

For the most part... gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady heading into the long, Memorial Day Holiday weekend.  That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge report... which says the average price is now up to about $2.86 a gallon.  However... some stations in the area are now charging about $2.90 a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  The average price is based on reports from 19 service stations in the area.  The price was $2.85 last week.  The national average for regular unleaded is now $2.70 a gallon.  As of now... AAA says the national average has increased on 32 of the past 34 days.  Despite the national average continuing to register new highs for 2015... drivers are still experiencing significant yearly savings at the pump.

News Alert for Thursday, May 21, 2015

Missing boater found dead in Chautauqua Lake...

Authorities have now recovered the body of a fisherman from Wyoming County who has been missing since a week ago yesterday.  Sheriff Joe Gerace's office reports that Bemus Point Fire rescue crews found 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg dead in the northern end of Chautauqua Lake about 6:45 this morning.  Gerace says Spink went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 PM on Wed., May 13.  Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend.  He was reported missing the following day by family members.  Offices say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park.  We have a call into the Sheriff for more details... and, hope to hear back from him later this morning.

WJTN News Headlines

One of the biggest turn-outs in recent years for a Jamestown School Budget vote produced a large margin of approval for the 77.6-million dollar spending plan.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says he's very pleased with both the turn-out and the result.  The budget approved Tuesday included a modest, 1.5-percent tax increase... or 219-thousand dollars.  However... Mains says the spending plan was approved, 466-to-196. Mains says keeping academic programs and standards in place has been difficult... especially because the city district doesn't have the resources they should.  He says the students deserve it.  Mains says -- thanks to several retirements -- they're able to retain all teachers.  But... he says some will likely have to be moved to fill all positions before the start of the new school year in September.  Mains adds, though, he would like to keep all "teams" at each school in place.


Jamestown residents Tuesday re-elected a school board incumbant... and, a newcomer.  However... the newcomer to the board is very familiar to people in the district.  Nina Karbacka retired a short time ago after a 40-year career of teaching music in the Jamestown public schools.  Karbacka received the most votes of the two board candidates Tuesday with 570 tallies.  She says she ran because she "believes in public education..." and, "give every child the opportunity to succeed."  Karbacka replaced Laurel Lucas on the ballot.  After 13 years... Lucas decided it was time to step down from the panel... and, will finish her term on June 30th.  The other incumbant... Dan Johnson... was re-elected.  The retired Jamestown Police Officer recieve 527 votes in Tuesday's vote.


Voters in the Southwestern Central School system approved their budget... but, it was closer than most other districts.  Still... residents approved the budget by a better than 2-to-1 margin, 284-to-136.  The budget includes a "slight" tax increase.  A proposition to establish a 950-thousand dollar Building Capital Reserve Fund over 10 years was also adopted.  The vote was 223-to-65.  All four people running for the school board were elected.  The top vote getter was Edward Brooks with 295 tallies.


Voters in the Falconer School District have approved a 21.6-million dollar, 2015-16 budget overwhelmingly.  District officials say the vote was 130-to-29.  Falconer Superintendent Steve Penhollow says the school board and administration did their best to 'balance' a budget that's responsible both fiscally, and educationally.  Penhollow says the spending is up about 25-thousand dollars... or point-12-percent.  He adds there were no staff or teacher cuts this year.  There were no other propositions this year.  Two incumbant school board members... Robert Carpenter and Gordon Black... ran unopposed and were re-elected.


 - It was a day in which most propositions passed in a big way in Chautauqua County.  However... one proposition was defeated -- handily.  That was a proposal to reduce the Pine Valley School Board from 9 to 7 members.  It was defeated 202-to-70.  One to add a student representative to the board was approved, 238-to-35.  The budget was approved, 192-to-80... and, two transporation propositions were also adopted.
   There were also five people running for four school board seats at Pine Valley.  Nancy Stock received the most votes with 198... David Kohler was second with 197... Adam Lukasik was third with 195... and, fourth was Jeffrey Chase with 175 votes.

 - At Cassadaga Valley... voters overwhelmingly approved a 20-million dollar, 2015-16 budget, 172-to-30.  They also approved a transportation proposition for two buses and two new minvans for 371-thousand dollars, 176-to-27.  Daniel Pavlock ran unopposed for the school board, and was elected to a five-year term.

 - Voters in the Brocton School district approved the district budget by a wide margin, 172-to-21.  Douglas Walter ran unopposed for one board seat.

 - Residents of the Bemus Point School District overwhelmingly approved a 13.3-million dollar spending plan Tuesday.  The vote was 167-to-50.  A 245-thousnd dollars bus proposition also passed, 173-to-42.  The three people running for the school board... Cari Auer... Randy Oste... and, John Novotny... were unopposed.

 - In Panama... residents approved a 12.75-million dollar budget by a nearly 4-to-1 margin.  The vote was 115-to-31.  Residents also returned James Mistretta to the school board.  He ran unopposed.

 - Westfield voters approved their budget, 477-to-31.  Four people ran uncontested for the school board.

 - We also understand that Frewsburg's budget was approved... but, have not received results to confirm that yet...


The state Power Authority's board has approved allocations of low-cost hydropower to three Western New York companies... one in Chautauqua County.  Governor Andrew Cuomo adds they also approved Western New York Power Proceeds awards for three other firms in the region.  Together... Cuomo says they'll support nearly 100-million dollars in capital investments and 363 jobs -- including 157 new positions.  The governor says Cummins Engine Company will receive 700 kilowatts of Hydro-Power to convert 40-thousand square feet of warehouse space into a new engine machine line.  The heavy-duty engine maker... which has operated it's Jamestown Engine plant since 1974 in Ashville... and, employs more than 14-hundred people.  Cummins produces three diesel engine platforms, along with blocks and heads, camshafts and crankshafts. The firm will invest about 47-million dollars in the new line... and create 10 jobs.  Cummins is also working with Empire State Development, which has offered up to 2-million dollars in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for Cummins job creation and investment commitments.


WCA Hospital will celebrate it's 130th birthday this coming Saturday... but, got an early start in celebrating at yesterday's annual Meeting of the Corporations.  WCA President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright reported on new programs, and upgrades in technology as part of the 20th meeting at the hospital.  Wright says... despite the fiscal challenges in recent years... they've made great strides in robotic surgery.  There have now been 500 such surgeries.  Wright says they've also been able to make other investments. Despite on-going cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements... Wright reported the hospital finished the past year in the black.  She says a "lot of hard work" by a lot of people made that happen.  In addition to the hospital... Wright says there were also reports given by the WCA Foundation... WCA Services... Starflight Helicopter... and, Alstar Ambulance.  Again... WCA's 130th birthday will officially be celebrated this Saturday.


Most local police agencies are taking part in the statewide "Click it or Ticket" campaign which got underway yesterday (Monday).  Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace says the Sheriff's Office will among the local police agencies participating in the safety operation. Gerace says air bags help... but, you still need to buckle up.  He says air bags are only good for "straight-on collisions."  Gerace adds that if the car were to go off the road, and rollover, or be hit from the side or side... airbags don't really help.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that seat belts saved more than 12,000 lives across the nation in 2013.  The campaign will continue through May 31st.


The New York state Senate has voted to create a public list of those convicted of violent felonies similar to the existing sex offender registry.  The proposal is intended to prevent future crimes, in particular domestic violence, by allowing people to check if a new acquaintance has a violent past.  Local Senator Cathy Young cited the case of the late Shannon Pepper in voting for the bill.  Pepper... who died in an accidental fire this past February... was victimized by one of the most brutal domestic violence attacks ever in Cattaraugus County.


The Drug Enforcement Administration says it has seized a record 154 pounds of heroin worth at least 50-million dollars in a New York City investigation.  However... it's not known what kind of impact the seizure may have.  The DEA called the heroin seizure it's largest ever in New York state.  Officials said late Tuesday that most of the drugs were found in an SUV in the Bronx following a wiretap investigation.  Agents also made two arrests... and, recovered 2-million dollars in cash.


President Barack Obama has signed into law a measure to create a nationwide alert system to help catch anyone who hurts, kills or makes credible threats against police officers.  The new system would be similar to the Amber Alerts used to find abducted children.  The bill is named for New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu (WEHN'-jihn loo), who were shot in Brooklyn days before Christmas by a man who later killed himself.  Families of the slain officers were on hand to see Obama sign the bill in the Oval Office.  Obama says it's important for communities to do everything possible to ensure the safety of police officers.  He says the alerts could help warn officers when there is an active threat against them.






News Update for Mon., May 18, 2015

Overnight arson fire in Jamestown under investigation...

Arson is the apparent cause of an overnight blaze that's destroyed a vacant apartment house in Jamestown's eastside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Don Woodfield says fire crews were called to the scene at 420 Falconer St. -- near Curtis -- just after 12:30 this morning.  Woodfield says someone called in the blaze... which they found had a big head start when they arrived.  He says the entire back of the building was fully-engulfed in fire, and the back part of the roof had partially failed.  Woodfield says the house was listed as a two-story building... but, a third-story had been added some years ago.  He says it took some time to knock the fire down.  In fact... he says they pulled several hand-lines to get water on the structure quickly.  Woodfield says the building had been vacant since a fire occured in the house last year.  He says the city has begun tearing down the structure due to it's condition.  He says an off-duty shift was called into assist at the scene, and, to man the City Hall station.  Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  Most fire crews were back in station by 4 a.m.  However... one crew remains at the scene while the building is being torn down.

State Seatbelt Enforcement period begins today...

Police throughout New York state are cracking down on motorists who fail to buckle up as part of a national seat belt enforcement campaign.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that the stepped-up enforcement will be in effect today through Sunday, May 31.  During the initiative... state and local police will be aggressively enforcing state seatbelt laws.  In addition, the state will set up message boards alongside highways to encourage drivers and their passengers to obey the law.  Cuomo's office says that 91 percent of New York motorists regularly use a seatbelt, which is higher than the national average. Nevertheless, Cuomo's office says there's more work to do.  New York adopted the nation's first law requiring seatbelt use in the front seat.


WJTN News Headlines

A routine traffic stop for a traffic and noise violation in downtown Jamestown early Saturday morning led to the arrest of two Buffalo men for alleged drug possession.  City police say officers spotted the car... driven by 21 year-old Maurice Cheatom... eastbound on West Third Street about 1 AM.  Police say Cheatom was allegedly playing loud music in the car... and, was seen making an unsafe lane change on East Second Steet as he was turning onto Foote Avenue.  Police pulled the car over... and, found that Cheatom had an suspended driver's license... and, that he and his passenger -- 19 year-old Markel Hilson -- were on possession of 4 ounces of cocaine.  Futher investigation found that Hilson was also in possession of marijuana.  Both were arrested on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, unlawful possession of marijuana.  They were also allegedly in possession of more than 16-hundred dollars in cash.  Cheatom also faces various traffic violations.  Two other people were not arrested.  Hilson is jailed without bail.  Bail was set at one-thousand dollars for Cheatom.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown is asked to call the JPD Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Two people... one an alleged drug trafficker... have been accused of stealing more than 400-dollars worth of food and other items from the Lakewood Wal-Mart SuperCenter.  Lakewood-Busti Police say 34 year-old Zulenka Fuentes-Cruz... and, Angel Cruz... allegedly took 417-dollars worth of merchandize from the store about 4 PM last Saturday afternoon.  Officers say both allegedly damaged more than 184-dollars worth of meat and seafood because it was out of the cooler for a long-period of time... and, could not be resold.  Zulenka Fuentes-Cruz was arrested in Jamestown back on May 6th after she was found in a Winsor Street home being used to traffick Heroin.  Both she and Angel Cruz were issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court. 


A 1966 graduate of Jamestown Community College's nursing program returned home to address this year's graduates at the school. Carol Johnson says she'd never given a commencement speech before now. In her remarks, Johnson reflected on her start at JCC and how it got her established what she still considers a great field to work in. Johnson retired in 2011 after a 47 year career at Parkview Health System in Indiana, and has just written her first book, "What Would Florence Do? A Guide for New Nurse Managers."  Some 576 spring graduates were honored at the Jamestown Commencement Saturday, in addition to about 250 others who'd earned their degrees last summer and fall.


Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi has resumed his schedule of Neighborhood Walking Tours from now through mid-Fall.  The mayor was on the city's southside last Tuesday night to talk with residents on Howard Street.  Teresi says the walking tours were an out-growth of his first Mayoral campaign in 1999... when a number of people said they only time they saw elected officials was when they were campaigning for office.  At that time... Teresi says he decided to make the walks a priority... and, he says the vast majority of residents appreciate them. Teresi says he's received a number of ideas from residents during the walks that have been implemented -- in one way or another -- by his administration.  He says one was the police "crackdown" on the illegal drug trade when the city's Heroin epidemic began just over two years ago.  Teresi says he heard both general and "specific" concerns.  For more information on the walking tours... contact Mayoral Assistant Matt Hanley at 483-7600.  Teresi made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.


A Westfield man is jailed on 250-thousand dollars bail for allegedly being found in possession of child pornography following his arrest last week.  Sheriff's Deputies say they, and Westfield Village Police, executed a search warrant on the residence of 31 year-old Eric Brown of East Second Street last Tuesday.  Officers say they arrested Brown without incident on 28 counts of criminal possession of a sexual performance by a child.  He was arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.


The search resumes this morning for a fisherman from Wyoming County who was reported missing after he failed to stop and pick up a friend in his boat on Chautauqua Lake last Wednesday night.  The Sheriff's Office reports that 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 PM Wednesday.  Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend.  He was reported missing by family members last Thursday.  Officers say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park Thursday night.  An air and water search has been underway.  Anyone with information that may help in their search is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.


Local, north county governments involved in the process of a forming a North County Water District have now received copies of a draft municipal agreement.  The copies were handed out by County Executive Vince Horrigan during a meeting of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation on Thursday evening.  He wants the municipalities to review the documents... and, he discussed the next step involved in the process. Some local leaders have indicated that the toughest hurdle will be the intermunicipal agreements.  Horrigan remains optimistic that they will be approved.  Horrigan says there have been a lot of individual meetings, but, now it's a matter of making sure are in proper "legal" form.  All but two local leaders attended the meeting.  Horrigan expects the County Water Authority to meet next month to work on a final draft agreement.


Governor Cuomo has already made more than half-a-million dollars on his recently published memoir and now a recently filed financial disclosure suggests he can expect at least 150-thousand dollars more.  The disclosure, filed last Friday with the state, shows the Democratic governor expects to make between $150,000 and $250,000 this year off the book.  The memoir, entitled ``All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life,'' was published by HarperCollins last fall.


A ban on brush burning remains in effect through Thursday for New York state... but, campfires are OK.  The state Department of Environmental Conservation has downgraded the fire danger rating in the state from ``high'' to ``moderate'' amid milder temperatures and rain the forecast.  So campfires, recreational fires and outdoor cooking fires are being allowed.  Still... state officials ask that campers reduce risks by using existing campfire rings and building fires away from overhanging branches or dry grass.  Crews have battled wildfires around New York state this month during the dry spell.





News Headlines for Friday, May 15, 2015

Three arrested for allegedly operating four "one-pot" Meth. Labs in Busti...

Three Busti residents have been arrested for allegedly being involved in an extensive Methamphetime operation.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they raided two location at the Bosco Trailer Park at 611 Busti-Sugar Grove Road last night.  Task Force agents say they found two people they were looking for in the trailer at Lot-#6.  Task Force members say they arrested 23 year-old Edward Olsen... and, 23 year-old Sarah Deering there.  They also found two working "one-pot" Meth Labs... and, about 55 ounces of Meth Oil.  Task Force members say they also found precursors for making Meth... and, five shotguns and rifles. At Lot-B-#2... agents say they found 23 year-old Sarah Deering... more shotguns, and ammunition... Meth and marijuana.  They also arrested 29 year-old Brian Olsen on an outstanding warrant from the town of North Harmony.  Police also found two young children in the home.  Edward Olsen and Deering were arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and two counts each of endangering the welfare of a child.  Child Protective Services was called in along with the Lakewood Code Enforcement Officer... who condemned the two residences after finding they were uninhabitable.

City man arrested for receiving Marijuana through mail...

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking a significant amount of marijuana from California through the U-S postal service.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided a home at 3-and-a-half Winsor Street about 11 this morning, after receiving information that a "large quantity" of the drug was being shipped there.  Task Force members say they found the pot... and, 55 year-old Gary Billquist, inside.  Billquist has been charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana.  He's being held pending arraignment.  The street value of the marijuana is estimated at about $1,500.  Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is asked to call the JPD Anonymous Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.

Varysburg man missing in Chautauqua Lake...

A Wyoming County man has been reported missing after failing to show up, and pick up a friend in his boat on Chautauqua Lake Wednesday night.  Sheriff Joe Gerace says 64 year-old David Spink of Varysburg went missing after he was seen leaving Camp Prendergast about 7 p.m. Wednesday.  Deputies say Spink planned to launch his boat from Prendergast Point... and, pick-up the friend.  He was reported missing yesterday by family members.  Officers say his unoccupied boat was discovered on shore at Long Point State Park Thursday night.  An air and water search of the north basin of Chautauqua Lake has been underway... but has now concluded for the day.


Chautauqua County Best Tasting Drinking Water Contest to be held Saturday...

Three previous state titleists will take part in Chautauqua County's annual Best Tasting Water Contest tomorrow at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.  County Water Resource Specialist Bill Boria says the contest always runs in conjunction with National Drinking Water Week... and, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  While bragging rights are a big part of the water contest... Boria says it's also important because it calls attention to a resource we often take for granted.  He says one reason for holding it is to promote the hard work the water system operators do, and that many things we do -- especially outside -- affect the drinking water supply... including gardening and farming.  He says this year's contest features three ground water well systems:  Jamestown... Frewsburg... and Mayville.  There are no contestants from the north county this year... as Fredonia currently doesn't have a full-time operator.  Boria says they'll have a lot of information about the local water supply as well.  He says this year's winner will be determined by the most votes between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.  He says this year's contest is being co-sponsored by the county's Department of Health and Human Services... the county's Water Works Association... and, the Water Quality Task Force. 

JCC holding graduations at Olean and Jamestown campuses this weekend...

It's graduation days for students at Jamestown Community College this weekend... with two ceremonies -- culminating with the major ceremony at the city campus tomorrow morning.  As per tradition... a past graduate of JCC has been selected to deliver the commencement address at both the Olean and Jamestown campuses.  JCC's Vice President of Enrollment, Marketing and Communications, Kirk Young, says retired nurse Carol Johnson graduated from JCC's highly-touted nursing program nearly 50 years ago.  Young says Johnson had a 47-year career -- mainly in nursing research -- at the Parkview Health System in Indiana.  He says they the college's board of trustees discuss their ideas for a speaker... and, then confer with the President's cabinet.  He's concluding his first year as an administrator at JCC... but, Young says he's heard the Class of 2015 was especially strong with regards to "Engaged Learning..." where they take classroom learning, and apply it in their internship or workplace.  Jamestown Community College's city campus will hold it's commencement ceremony at 10 Sat. morning.  The Olean campus's was this evening.

SUNY at Fredonia holds graduation Saturday...

The State University of New York at Fredonia is gearing up for a big day on Saturday... with two Commencement ceremonies set.  The two ceremonies will be held under the cover of the Steele Hall Arena.  SUNY College at Fredonia Spokesman... Mike Barone... says the graduation speaker will be Alumnus James Douglas... who is now Human Resources Director for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.  Barone says Douglas is a 1971 Fredonia graduate who is a Dunkirk native.  Barone says Douglas is a Dunkirk native.  He says they hold the two ceremonies... at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to make sure they can honor all the graduates.  Depending on his schedule... Barone says U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is also expected to attend the afternoon ceremony.

WJTN News Headlines

A 15 year-old student at Jamestown High School faces drug possession charges after he was allegedly found in possession of three bags of Heroin and a quantity of marijuana.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the JHS School Resource Officer was approached by the teen shortly after school opened at 8:05 AM Thursday on an unrelated matter.  However... Samuelson says the SRO smelled a strong odor of marijuana on the student... and, pulled him aside. It's the first time since the current Heroin epidemic started three years ago that a student at JHS has been found with the narcotic drug.  Samuelson says the student is being charged as a juvenile... and, the case will be petitioned to Family Court.  He says it's not known yet if the student was a drug user... or looking to sell them.  However... he says they have no information at this point to suggest he was a "dealer."  Anyone with information on this case... or others involving illegal drugs... is asked to call the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force Tip-Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential.


Regarding the removal of the drug contraband at the High School Thursday morning... Jamestown School Superintendent Tim Mains says the student will also face disciplinary action from the district.  In a printed statement... Mains says "we do not tolerate the presence of dangerous contraband in our schools."  He added that they will "not allow any individual to place our students in danger."  He praised SRO Melody Peach... and other officials for the quick actions.


The 15 most recent graduates of the city of Jamestown's Drug Court were honored with a ceremony this week in the courtroom.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was among those on hand for the event... which also commemorated the 15th year of the drug court's existance.  Teresi says while the City Police Department has done a great job getting drug dealers off the streets... they've also had to try to deal with stemming the demand... and, getting treatment for those who are addicted to drugs. Teresi says 163 people have now graduated through Drug Court... and, most have gone on to lead good, productive lives.  He says a number of agencies have been involved in the effort... including the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County... The Resource Center... and, WCA Hospital.  Teresi says he was first approached about the concept by City Court Judge John LaMancuso in 2000 after he had only been in office for two weeks.  He says he thought it was a "terrific idea" then.. and, still does.  Teresi made his comments for this week's "Community Spotlight" program.


New York state's highest court says the 2009 revisions in the tough Rockefeller-era drug laws also apply to parolees, who can seek shorter sentences.  The Court of Appeals... divided 5-to-2... has upheld lower court rulings that Jarrod Brown was eligible for resentencing.  Prosecutors argued that the amendments to the sentencing laws applied only to people in prison.  The law applied to those convicted of a Class B felony and in the custody of state correctional services.  The court majority says state custody includes parole.  Brown was originally sentenced in 2002 to a sentence of six to 12 years in prison and three years' post-release supervision for selling cocaine.  His sentence was reduced in 2012 to a seven-year prison term and three years supervision.  That set him free from both.


Three people have been arrested for an allegedly robbery in Venango County, Pennsylvania... and, then trying to flee police in the Warren County boro of Youngsville.  Media One's Ron Smith reports that police learned the trio --  two men and a woman -- were driving through Youngsville shortly before 10:30 AM Thursday.  He says police were initially able to capture one man... and, were trying to find the other man and woman off of Route 6.  The woman was first spotted by a State Police helicopter that was already in the air.  Warren County Sheriff's officers and Youngsville Police assisted at the scene... not far from Youngsville Elementary School.  However... police say the school was never threatened.  After about 20 minutes... police searching the area brought out a woman in handcuffs from a wooded area.  Ron Smith says the woman surrendered... and, a short time later... the second man was arrested.  State Police in Warren are heading up the investigation.


It appears that the frost that hit parts of Western New York yesterday morning won't have a major impact on the local grape crop.  That from Luke Haggerty, a Viticulture Extension Specialist with the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program in the town of Portland.   Haggerty says he's checked local weather monitoring stations... and, it appears the frost was not a major problem. Haggerty says there may some isolated locations where it may have reached the freezing mark, but he believes any damage would be minimal.  Meanwhile... local growers are still assessing the damage from the brutal winter.  Haggarty says early indications are that damage was not widespread.  He says they cut about 15-thousand buds... and, found some damage across the region.  However... Haggerty says it was not prevalent.  He says they have been in touch with state and federal representatives who are monitoring the situation... including Congressman Tom Reed.  Haggerty says there may also be some assistance in the federal Farm Bill that was passed by Congress last year.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the state's ban on residential brush burning until May 21st due to dry conditions across the state that have heightened the risk of wildfires.  The burn ban also prohibits outdoor fires such as campfires and recreational fires, and open fires used for cooking.  The eastern, central, southern and far northern regions of the state are rated as having a high risk of fire.  The Southern Tier, Lake Ontario, and Adirondack regions are rated as having a moderate fire danger.  This year, 110 wildfires have burned nearly 3,600 acres.


One of the seven people killed in the Amtrak train derailment in Philadelphia was a former teacher in the Rochester public school system who received a master's degree in education from a college in the upstate city.  WHEC-TV in Rochester reports that Derrick Griffith taught at the city's Wilson Magnet High School in the late 1990s.  Officials at the University of Rochester tell WXXI Radio that he received his masters in 1995 from the college's Warner School of Education in Teaching and Curriculum.  Griffith was living in Brooklyn where he served as dean of student affairs and enrollment management at Medgar Evers College.  In 2003... Griffith founded the City University of New York Preparatory Transitional High School.





WJTN News Headlines

The top three officials of New York state government have gathered behind closed doors for the first time since the Senate picked a new leader.  Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says Wednesday morning's meeting with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie... and, Governor Andrew Cuomo focused on priorities for lawmakers before their annual session ends next month.  The Senate picked Flanagan to be its new leader on Monday following the resignation of Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, who is keeping his Senate seat while he fights federal corruption charges.  Big issues facing lawmakers before they adjourn include the renewal of New York City's rent regulations and its local control of public schools.  Lawmakers will also consider extending a tax break for real estate developers created decades ago to spur development in Manhattan.

State regulators have released the final version of an environmental impact review of shale gas development that's expected to lead to a state ban on fracking.  Last December... Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would defer to the judgment of his health and environmental conservation commissioners, who said they'd recommend a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.  Under state law... a formal decision on whether to allow or ban fracking will come 10 days after the environmental review's release today (on Wednesday.)  The environmental review was launched in 2008.  A state health study released in December found ``significant uncertainty'' over whether safety measures could adequately protect public health.


A final 2015-16 budget for the village of Lakewood could not be approved by the board... so, the new spending plan defaults to the original plan offered by Mayor David Wordelmann.  The village board recently voted 2-to-2... with Wordelmann and Sue Drago voting yes... and, board members John Jablonski and David DiSalvo voting no.  With that... Wordelmann says the just over 3-million dollar budget holds the tax levy where it's been for the past three years.  He says that's good news. Wordelmann adds that while they have room under the state's 2-percent property tax cap... he didn't want to see a big increase in spending... or the tax levy.  Property values are up in the village... so he says there will be a corresponding 36-cent per thousand drop in the tax rate to 7-dollars-12 cents.  He says total assessments, due to additional development, and a reval, are up another 12-million dollars.  Wordelmann says there were a few spending increases in the village...but, nothing major.  The new budget took effect on May 1st.


The village of Lakewood will have a new disposal company collecting garbage beginning the first of June.  That after the village board this week approved the hiring of Best Way Disposal of Fredonia to pick-up trash for the next three-years.  Mayor David Wordelmann says village officials decided to seek bids after current contractor, Casella, instituted a major, 50-percent rate hike three years ago.  Wordelmann says Best Way had the lowest bid... one that will save taxpayers 10-thousand dollars a year. Wordelmann says the fact there was more competition for the contract this time around helped hold down the price.  Village officials say more information will be circulated prior to the date Best Way takes over.  Service is slated to begin on June 1st.


Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County have held steady after jumping by 11 cents a gallon about a week ago.  That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price is now 2-dollars-85.4 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  Triple-A says the price is based on reports from 19 local service stations.  The price was 3--85 last year at this time.  The Fuel Gauge reports the national average is now about 2-dollars-66 cents a gallon.  The Triple-A says the national average price has increased for the past 26 days... and, the current average is the highest it's been so far in 2015.  Relatively low crude costs continue to translate to significant savings at the pump for consumers.  Today’s national average is about a dollar less than a year ago... and is at the cheapest level for this date since 2009.  With that... Triple-A predicts that travel by car this Memorial Day holiday will be up 5.3 percent over last year’s holiday weekend.  That would be the highest volume in ten years.  The price of crude has moved higher since the middle of March due to slowing U.S. production... and, speculation of demand growth from China. 


One incumbant and one newcomer will be running for two open seats on the Jamestown School Board next Tuesday.  The incumbant is first-term board member Dan Johnson.  The retired Jamestown Police Officer says he loves working with the board... teachers... and, staff in the district.  Johnson adds that he feels three-years is not enough time to completely learn the job. However... the other incumbant... 13 year member Laurel Lucas... won't be seeking re-election.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says he's saddened by that news.  But... he also thanked Lucas for her service.  She says... for the most part... it's all been good.  Lucas adds the board has been doing a good job, and she believes they'll "do a good job going forward."  She just wishes they had more "a little more help" from the state.  Lucas also praised the district's educators for making the "roll-out" of Common Core as smooth as it was.  She will be replaced on next Tuesday's ballot by Nina Karbacka.    


Food television star Sandra Lee says her surgery for breast cancer has been postponed until next week because of an upper respiratory infection.  Lee says in a Twitter message Wednesday that her doctors decided it would be best to delay the double mastectomy until early next week.  The procedure had been scheduled for today.  The 48-year-old lifestyle personality and live-in girlfriend of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shared the news of her breast cancer on ABC's ``Good Morning America'' this week.  In her message Wednesday... Lee thanked those who offered prayers and messages of support.  Cuomo plans to take some personal time to be with Lee following the procedure.  She and Cuomo share a home in Westchester County.


The union representing about 120 workers... including registered nurses... at Brooks Memorial Hospital will have a new contract.  Members of the New York State Nurses Association approved a four-year contract extension by a unanimous vote according to union officials.  Terms of the agreement have not been released... but, the contract will run through June of 2018.


Pennsylvanians would see billions in lower school property taxes under a proposal that made it out of the state House and into the hands of the Senate.  The House voted 105 to 86 on Wednesday for what supporters call the most significant action in decades on relief from the state's widely reviled property taxes.  The legislation would increase the sales tax rate in most of the state from 6 percent to 7 percent and the personal income tax rate from 3.07 percent to 3.7 percent.  Opponents warn that short-term savings will eventually be lost when schools return property taxes to current levels.










News Headlines for Wed., May 13, 2015

New State Senate leader meets with Heastie, Cuomo, for first time...

The top three officials of New York state government have gathered behind closed doors for the first time since the Senate picked a new leader.  Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says Wednesday morning's meeting with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie... and, Governor Andrew Cuomo focused on priorities for lawmakers before their annual session ends next month.  The Senate picked Flanagan to be its new leader on Monday following the resignation of Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, who is keeping his Senate seat while he fights federal corruption charges.  Big issues facing lawmakers before they adjourn include the renewal of New York City's rent regulations and its local control of public schools.

"Default" budget takes effect in Lakewood after board fails to adopt spending plan...

A final 2015-16 budget for the village of Lakewood could not be approved by the board... so, the new spending plan defaults to the original plan offered by Mayor David Wordelmann.  The village board recently voted 2-to-2... with Wordelmann and Sue Drago voting yes... and, board members John Jablonski and David DiSalvo voting no.  With that... Wordelmann says the $3.3-million budget holds the tax levy where it's been for the past three years.  He says that's good news, because it keeps the tax levy at $1.7-million.  Wordelmann adds that while they have room under the state's 2-percent property tax cap... he didn't want to see a big increase in spending... or the tax levy.  Property values are up in the village... so he says there will be a corresponding 36-cent per $1,000 drop in the tax rate to $7.12.  He says total assessments, due to additional development, and a re-val, are up another $12-million.  Wordelmann says there were a few spending increases in the village...but, nothing major.  The new budget took effect on May 1st.

Assembly approves closing Campaign Finance loophole...

The state Assembly has voted to close the campaign finance loophole for limited liability companies.  The bill would stop treating LLCs like individuals who can give up to $150,000 annually while masking identities of those who establish them and instead treat them like corporations subject to a $5,000 limit.  The 120-to-8 vote followed questions by several Republicans about treating them... instead... like partnerships or urging broader legislation that would also set an aggregate limit on unions.

Eight on hand for public hearing on proposed JPS Budget; one addresses board...

Jamestown school officials got some rare compliments on their efforts to balance the needs of students, and taxpayers, in the proposed 2015-16 budget.  School Superintendent Tim Mains hosted a public hearing on the $77.6-million spending plan... which is up for a public vote next Tuesday.  One of the eight residents on hand spoke directly to the school board.  Doug Champ applauded them for their hard work... but, also asked them to look more into their capital budgeting.  Champ says... with it unlikely the state will give them any more help... he urged them to look at different ways to raise money for their projects using corporate involvement, or funding applications to outside foundations.  He says if you're counting on the state of New York to be "fair and equitable, it's not going to happen."  Champ says he has "no real problem" with the budget... and, it's 1.5-percent tax increase.  He says increased costs are sometimes unavoidable.  Two other people asked questions regarding the tax increase, and use of fund balance.  School Board president Joe DiMaio says it was nice to get some compliments... and, adds it validates the board's hard work.  The budget vote and school board elections will be held next Tuesday, May 19... from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Cuomo proposes Education Tax Credits...

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing tax credits of up to $500 for low-income families who enroll their children in private schools.  The Democratic governor announced the measure late Tuesday at an event on Long Island where he was joined by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.  Cuomo also wants the state to offer tax credits for private donations to public schools, and scholarships for students from low-and middle-income families who attend either private schools or public schools outside of their local district.  The governor says the measure is intended to help parents make the best educational decisions for their children.

Second JHS Red Raider state championship sign unveiled for football team...

Another sign has been put up at the city of Jamestown's four main entrances recognizing another New York State High School Championship.  City, and Jamestown school officials were on hand on North Main Street for yesterday afternoon's unveiling of the Red Raider football team championship sign.  It's next to the JHS Marching Band Championship sign.  Jamestown Head Football Coach Tom Langworthy says it's nice for both his 2014 title team... and, the three before it.  Langworthy says the sign will always bring back "great memories, and is always going to be something special."  Senior Stephen Carlson was one of the five captains on the Red Raider team... and, called it a special honor for a "special" group of players.  Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi says the signs represent the "Pride of Jamestown..." and, celebrates the accomplishments of all the district's youth.

Gas pump prices -- after big jump early last week -- hold steady this week...

Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have held steady after jumping by 11 cents a gallon about a week ago.  That from the AAA's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price is now $2.85.4 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA says the price is based on reports from 19 local service stations.  The price was $3.85 last year at this time.  The Fuel Gauge reports the national average is now about $2.66 a gallon.  The AAA says the national average price has increased for the past 26 days... and, the current average is the highest it's been so far in 2015.

News Headlines for Tues.,, May 12, 2015

Trio allegedly involved in Pearl Avenue burglary now facing Felony Arson charges...

Two men from Jamestown -- and a Buffalo teenager -- have now been charged with second-degree arson for allegedly setting an apartment on fire late last month to cover up a burglary.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says they have now charged 30 year-old Jimmy Graves... and, 25 year-old Jonathan Fields... and, the 16 year-old from Buffalo... with second-degree ason.  Samuelson says an eyewitness says they saw the three leaving the house at 19 Pearl Avenue, just before the second-floor apartment bursting into flames.  City firefighters were called to the scene about 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, April 30.  Samuelson says the trio allegedly damaged the apartment... and, stole a number of items before setting the apartment on fire.  He says Graves, Fields and the 16 year-old -- who was not identified due to his age -- were caught by police a short distance away from the scene.  In addition to the new arson charge... Samuelson says the three are also charged with second-degree burglary... and, third-degree criminal mischief.  Graves is jailed on $150,00 cash bail... while both Fields and the 16 year-old are being held on $100,000 bail.

City fire department investigation allegedly arson involving condemned apartment house...

Jamestown fire investigators say a blaze that extensively damaged the upper floors of a condemned, two-story apartment house on the city's eastside was intentionally set.  Jamestown fire officials say crews were called to the scene at 842 Spring Street shortly before Midnight last night... and, they found the second-floor and attic fully-engulfed in flames.  Firefighters say it took some time to bring the blaze under control.  Officials say the blaze started in the front part of the second-floor and attic.  An off-duty shift of 12 firefighters... and, one shift commander were called in to assist.  Firefighters were at the scene until shortly before 3 a.m. today.  No injuries were reported... and, the blaze remains under investigation.

Flanagan unanimously chosen as new NYS Senate Majority Leader...

The newly-chosen New York Senate majority leader is being described as someone who has politics in his DNA.  John Flanagan is the namesake of a former state Assemblyman from Long Island who served from 1972 to 1986.  The younger Flanagan served 16 years in the Assembly before being elected to the Senate in 2002.  He has easily won re-election to the Senate in a district representing a portion of northeastern Suffolk County.  On Monday.. he was chosen to replace a fellow Long Islander, Dean Skelos, as majority leader. Skelos and his son are facing federal corruption charges.  Lawrence Levy of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University notes Flanagan has built his resume on education issues.  He has been chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Young issues statement, calls transition to Flanagan leadership "historic" for Senate...

State Senator Cathy Young says Monday's decision by the Senate GOP Conference was "historic" for residents of her Southern Tier district... and, New York State.  The Olean lawmaker says New York City-controlled Senate Democrats filed a resolution to seize control of the state Senate... and, the Republican Conference blocked them by unifying behind a new leader.  If the Democrats had succeeded... Young says it would have been a replay of the "debacle" in 2009-2010 when the Democrats were in control... and, hiked taxes by $14-billion.  She says "every single member" of the conference united behind Senator Flanagan "to ensure balance in state government and safeguard the future of the state."

Sandra Lee, TV Food Star, and Cuomo's girlfriend, has Cancer...

Food television star Sandra Lee says she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The popular lifestyle personality -- and live-in girlfriend of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo -- divulged the news on ABC's ``Good Morning America'' in an interview aired Monday.  The 48-year-old Lee says she found out she had cancer late last month in a phone call from her doctor just after she finished a photo shoot for People magazine.  She says she didn't cry but was ``stunned'' by the news.  Lee says she has had a lumpectomy and will undergo a double mastectomy this week. 

Celoron, National Comedy Center come to agreement on center having "Ugly Lucy" statue donated to center...

The so-called ``Scary Lucy'' statue of Lucille Ball in her hometown of Celoron may not be very flattering, but it is pretty funny.  It's made enough people laugh to earn a spot in the new National Comedy Center, which plans to break ground later this year in Jamestown.  Comedy Center Board Chairman Tom Benson says the center will embrace the statue -- not as a likeness of the late comedian -- but as a tribute to what she was about -- making people laugh.   Benson calls it a "good ending" for everyone involved.  He says if they are able to receive the statue before the new center is built... they will put it up in Comedy Center Park until the center open.  Benson says the Celoron Village Board voted Monday to donate the statue to the center.  However... the approved motion includes a stipulation that the village first have a bronze likeness of Lucy to replace the much-maligned one before it goes to the center.  The bronze sculpture was unveiled in 2009 in Lucille Ball Memorial Park... but, gained attention recently after a two-year old Facebook campaign caught on.



WJTN News Headlines

A Jamestown man is accused of robbing a woman early last Saturday morning on the city's eastside.  Jamestown Police say they were called to the scene in the area of Buffalo and Newton Streets shortly before 4 PM Saturday.  Officers say the alleged victim told them that she and 24 year-old Cody Mason of Palmer Street had gotten into a physical altercation about 2 AM.  The woman told police that Mason allegedly pushed her several times... and, kept her from calling officers.  She also said that Mason stole her cellphone... cash... and, pushed her into a wooden railing.  Mason was found at another address... and, arrested for second-degree robbery... third-degree assault... and, criminal mischief.  He was arraigned, and sent to the county jail without bail.


It was almost a record-setting weekend in Western New York with weather conditions that were closer to "mid-Summer."  The National Weather Service in Buffalo reports some later afternoon rain showers held down the high temperature Sunday to 81-degrees.  The record for May 10th was 86.  However... on Saturday... Buffalo not only set a new record, but, smashed it.  The high at the Buffalo-Niagara Airport reached 89-degrees.  Forecasters says the previous record was 82.  In Jamestown... the high both days was 85.  Most of western New York was in the 80s both Saturday and Sunday.  We'll see the low 80s again today before a cold front moves through tonight... and, drops our high for Tuesday into the upper 60s.


The latest training in how to adminster the anti-Heroin and opiate drug, Naloxone, will be held Tuesday afternoon in Jamestown.  That from Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says they received clearance to use the drug -- also known as "Narcan" -- last year through the county Health and Human Services Department.  Horrigan says they initially trained first-responders... and, law enforcement... in how to get the drug to people who had overdosed. Horrigan says the training will be held at the Chautauqua Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Council's headquarters in the Sprinchorn Building on West Third Street.  He says the training session begins at 4 PM.  Between first-responders and law enforcement... several dozen "saves" have been made using Narcan.  Jamestown Police recently had their first.  Horrigan says he learned at another training last week in Dunkirk with some former addicts that "relapse is part of recovery..." and, he fully-supports helping addicts have a "second-chance."  For more information on the free training... call CASAC at 664-3608.  Horrigan made his comments on this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.


A State of Emergency has been declared regarding the old McNally Building in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph.  Town officials last night said the building... located at the "Y" intersection in the former village... is in danger of "eminent collapse."  They say they have closed Route 394 and Main Street between Cold Spring and Weeden Roads until the structure has been secured.


Albany's latest corruption cases focus on New York City real estate interests seeking tax breaks from politicians.  Most notable is an exemption worth about one-billion dollars a year that legislators and the governor must now decide whether to extend.  Federal prosecutors allege Senate and Assembly leaders took hefty campaign contributions or other payments in return for laws benefiting the city's wealthiest landlords.  Real estate developers say without the tax breaks, rents would be higher and many tenants would have fewer options.  Advocates for the less affluent say the exemption amounts to a needless subsidy in a hot commercial real estate market.  They say it mostly helps build luxury high-rise apartments.  The tax breaks have been packaged with rent controls for a million city apartments, all scheduled to expire in June.


New York Senate leader Dean Skelos may be fighting for his political life in the wake of public corruption charges, but many folks back in his Long Island hometown are more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  They describe him as a ``pillar of the community'' and ``good guy.''  One Vietnam veteran walking into a barber shop this week was even more effusive.  The man said, ``If I have to go back to combat, I want him next to me.''  Skelos is under fire from Democrats and some fellow Republicans in the state Legislature to step down.  He and his son Adam have pleaded not guilty to charges they pressured Nassau County officials to award a contract for a storm water project to a company represented by Adam Skelos.

New York state is setting aside 2-million dollars to invest in new high-tech businesses owned by minorities and women.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the investment fund on Friday.  The Democrat says the goal of the initiative is to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds while promoting economic growth around the state.  The money will be managed by a venture capital firm based in Rochester.  Preference will be given to start-ups in the life sciences, green technology, advanced materials and other high-tech industries.  To be eligible for the funds, companies must be a certified minority- or women-owned business.


Two people from Warren, Pennsylvania were hurt... one seriously... when the motorcycle they were riding struck a deer early last weekend in Sugar Grove Township.  State Police in Warren say the bike's operator, 56 year-old David Armstrong, was eastbound on Route 957 about 10 PM last Friday.  Troopers say Armstrong's motorcycle struck the animal... and, tipped onto it's left side.  Armstrong was seriously hurt... and, was flown by Lifestar Helicopter to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie.  His passenger, 53 year-old Janice Armstrong, was taken to WCA Hospital for treatment of moderate injuries.  No charges were filed.





News Update for Fri., May 8, 2015

**(Corr.)North County man arrested for allegedly running pot growing, distribution operation...

A Dunkirk man has been arrested... and, about $50,000 worth of processed marijuana... and, growing pot plants was seized following a raid in the north county city.  Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they executed a search warrant at 35 West Third Street in Dunkirk just after 9:30 last night.  Task Force members say entry was made difficult because the entryways were "heavily-fortified."  They found a "very sophisticated" operation when they got inside... and, arrested 60 year-old Pedro Solares of 705 Monroe Street once inside.  A large number of plants were found and seized... along with a quantity of processed marijuana.  Task Force agents say they found an intricate lighting... and, watering system for the plants... along with dehumidifiers.  Solares has been charged with unlawfully growing marijuana... and, other charges are pending.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is asked to call the Task Force at 1-800-344-8702.

City man falls through second-floor railing to his death...

A Jamestown man has died from an apparent fall through a second-floor railing at a home on the city's southside.  City Police say they were called to the scene at 52 Charles St. about 10:30 last night on a report of an unconscious man laying on the sidewalk.  Officers say EMTs were unable to revive the 54 year-old man.  He was later pronounced dead by a County Coroner.  Police say their investigation shows the man was standing on the second-floor porch when he feel through the railing.  The death has been ruled an accident... and, no foul play is suspected.  The man's identity is not being released until the family has been notified.

Democrats in State Senate plan to try to oust Skelos again next week...

Democrat members of the State Senate will try again to oust Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos following his arrest on federal corruption charges.  A spokesman for the Senate's Democrat minority says that a motion has been filed to force a vote on removing Skelos, a Long Island Republican. The vote could come as early as Monday.  Skelos is accused of using his position to extort payments for his son Adam from a real estate company and an environmental technology business.  Skelos and his son say they are innocent.  Democrats want Skelos to resign as leader.


News Update for Tues., May 5, 2015

Second person wanted for allegedly passing counterfeit money at Warren Co. Fair arrested in Jamestown....

A Jamestown woman wanted in Warren County, PA for allegedly passing counterfeit $50 bills has been arrested in the city.  Jamestown police say they responded to a call at 246 Williard Street just before 10 p.m. Monday... and, found 35 year-old Christine Redding hiding in a bedroom.  Redding and 28 year-old Jordan Adams -- also of Jamestown -- were accused of passing the phoney $50 bills at last Summer's Warren County Fair.  State Police in Warren say the pair allegedly passed 27 of the fake bills.  Adams was recently arrested in Jamestown.  Redding was arrested as a fugitive from justice... and, send to the county jail without bail pending extradiction.

Three more "name" comedians signed on to perform at 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...

There's already a buzz over the other comedic talent coming to Jamestown for the 2015 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August.  The National Comedy Center... and, Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy announced today that contemporary comedic stars Nick Offerman... Melissa Rivers... and, Kelly Carlin will be here for the July 30 through Aug. 2 event.  They join stand-up TV Star and comedian Jerry Seinfeld for the week.  Seinfeld's two shows on Saturday, Aug. 1, are sold-out.  Offerman... who is also known as Ron Swanson from NBC's hit TV Show "Parks and Recreation..." will perform his show -- for mature audiences only -- on July 31.  Carlin -- the daughter of Comedy Legend George Carlin -- will bring her "Carlin Home Companion" Show to town on Saturday, Aug. 1.  Melissa Rivers will take part in a special Comedy Roundtable with Rivers on July 31, as well.  Tickets go on sale for Lucy-Desi Comedy Center members on May 11... and, to the general public May 18.  For more information... go on-line to, or call 484-0800. 

News Update for Mon., May 4, 2015

Skelos surrenders to federal authorities in corruption case; proclaims innocence...

The state Senate Majority Leader has surrendered to face charges including extortion and soliciting bribes amid a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12-million contract to a company that hired his son.  FBI officials said Republican Dean Skelos of Long Island surrendered at the bureau's office in Manhattan at about 9:30 this morning.  Skelos said last month he was cooperating fully and wouldn't resign his leadership post.  He also insisted he was innocent of the charges.  Skelos has hired an attorney in response to the investigation, which focuses on whether Skelos influenced Nassau County's decision to award the 2013 contract to Arizona-based AbTech.  Skelos' 32-year-old son Adam worked for the company as a consultant... and, has also been charged.

Ambit Energy being investigated by state's Public Service Commission...

State officials are investigating a Texas-based energy company after a spike in complaints from customers over higher-than-expected bills.  Ambit Energy is an energy services company that supplies electricity and natural gas.  Consumers can choose to get their energy from their own utility or companies like Ambit.  The probe of Ambit Energy was prompted by a spike in complaints in recent months to the state's utility regulation agency.  According to the state's Public Service Commission, about one in five complaints against energy services companies filed this year have been against Ambit Energy.


News Update for Sun., May 3, 2015

Three arrested for fire on Jamestown's eastside...

Two men from Jamestown -- and a Buffalo teenager -- have been arrested for allegedly setting the upstairs apartment on fire at a house on the city's eastside Thursday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says investigators knew from the start that arson was the likely cause.  Samuelson says the three were spotted by a witness as they were leaving the home at 19 Pearl Ave. about 5:15 p.m.  He says the witness told them just a few moments later... the upper floors burst into flames.  Samuelson says responding police officers did a preliminary investigation... and, the trio was found fairly soon after.  He says the trio... 30 year-old Jimmy Graves... 25 year-old Jonathon Fields... and, the 16 year-old from Buffalo... are charged with second-degree burglary... and, third-degree criminal mischief.  Samuelson says second-degree arson charges are pending.  He says it appears the fire was set to cover up the burglary in the upstairs apartment.

Titusville, PA area man killed in car-pedestrian accident...

The daughter of a man struck and killed while walking in the middle of a rural northwestern Pennsylvania road says he had dementia and may have been trying to walk to visit relatives many miles away.  Kristen Swanson-Sauerland, of Titusville, says her 65-year-old father, Cecil Swanson, had family in Warren and was walking in that direction when a car hit him about 4:40 a.m. Thursday.  State police in Corry say Swanson was wearing dark clothes and was difficult to see in rainy conditions.  The driver who hit Swanson struck him from behind as he walked in the middle of the road's eastbound lane in Oil Creek Township.

JHS Marching Band gets championship sign at city entrances...

A big weekend for the Jamestown High School band program was kicked-off with a special sign unveiling on the city's northside.  The JHS Marching Band was honored yesterday afternoon by the city with a championship sign at the north entrance on Route 60.  The marching band won last Fall's New York state "Large School-2" Championship in Syracuse.  Marching... and, Concert Band Director Meghan Murray says she was proud... and, excited about this latest honor.  Murray says the sign also honors the band's past championships in 1991... and, 2002.  School Superintendent Tim Mains and JHS Principal Mike McElrath were also on hand for the unveiling.  Mayor Sam Teresi says they held the unveiling Friday to coincide with the concert band's special, 90th anniversary program this evening.  The signs were put up by the city's Public Works Traffic Division... with help from the district... and, were made by Hanson Signs.  Three other signs have also been put up at the city's other three "gateway" entrances. 

Caregiver program set to start this week put on by County's Office for the Aging, and Chautauqua Adult Day Care...

The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging is collaborating with one of it's community partners to put on a six-week program that helps caregivers with an aging spouse... or, people with elderly parents.  The six-week program, entitled "Powerful Tools for Caregivers," begins next Tuesday morning at the Westfield YWCA.  Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says the program runs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and, will cover a number of programs they provide that can help caregivers manage their lives.  Spanos says the program was developed at Stanford University to help caregivers get more "balance" in their lives.  She says they have teamed up with that program to provide a "break" for the caregiver so they can attend.  The Westfield YWCA is one of four locations Chautauqua Adult Day Care has in the county.  There is no charge for the program.  For more information... go to the county's website.. or call NY Connects at 661-7582.

WJTN News Headlines

A Baltimore man who has roots in Western New York... and, Chautauqua County... says the current situation in the riot-torn city is "really tragic."  Joe Twist also says the problems between Baltimore police and the black community have been "long-term.  Speaking Thursday with our Jim Roselle and Dennis Webster... Twist says the problems have become "systematic."  He says he has a number of friends who are African-American... and, they say they've been pulled over for what Twist calls 'DWB...' -- "driving while black...." Twist... who spoke to us from Peru where he's stopped on a business trip... says a former Congressman from the area believes the death of a black man who was in police custody was the "spark" that started the fire.  He adds the area of Baltimore where the riots and protests have taken place has a 50-percent unemployment rate.  Twist is also troubled by the fact there is a 10 PM to 5 AM Curfew for the ENTIRE city.  He says that could be lead to some economic hardship because many businesses will have to close early.


New York state lawmakers are taking a look at what can be done to address the state's heroin and opioid addiction crisis.  A bi-partisan Senate task force held the first of a series of statewide hearings Thursday in Yorktown in Westchester County.  Additional hearings are planned for Rochester, Lewiston and Albany.  Local Senator Cathy Young is a member of the task force.  The meetings are intended to allow lawmakers to hear from local leaders, residents and experts as they develop proposals to fight the addiction epidemic.  According to state figures... there were 91,000 medical admissions for heroin and prescription opiate abuse in New York state in 2013.  That's up from 76,000 five years ago.


New York education officials say they'll release some results of the statewide English and math exams earlier than usual, on July 1st.  The department says that making raw scores available at the start of summer will give schools and districts time to adjust summer lesson plans and prepare for fall.  Other information, including performance levels and results of individual schools and districts, will be released later in the summer.  One of the major criticisms of the assessments that New York gives to students in grades 3 through 8th each spring is that results are released too late to do any good.  Districts around the state say they had large numbers of students sit out this year's tests, which are also used in teacher evaluations.


The first event in a series commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nuremburg War Crimes trial following World War-Two is set for next Monday night.  A public showing... and, panel discussion on the documentary "Liberty Under Law..." will highlight the naming of local native Robert H. Jackson as Chief U-S Prosecutor for the trial.  Jackson Center Director Jim Johnson says the showing of the final, 90-minute film will be the kick-off to a series of activities over the next 18-months. Johnson adds that a Northeast, Pennsylvania couple put together a "director's cut" that was viewed locally a few years ago.  However... they ran out of money... and, the Jackson Center headed up an effort to finish it.  Johnson says several Jamestown-area foundations helped provide the money to finish the documentary.  They include the Johnson and Sheldon Foundations.  Monday night's program begins at 7 PM.  In addition... Johnson thanked the county legislature for recently approving 25-thousand dollars in bed tax monies to help put on the 70th anniversary commemoration.


New York's governor says the state's plan to end the AIDS epidemic by 2020 will put the virus on the same list as polio, smallpox and other largely vanquished killers.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's comments came late Wednesday, the day a panel created by the governor to recommend ways to combat the virus submitted its final report.  The plan focuses on expanded HIV testing, treatment and the use of pre-exposure drugs that can prevent new infections in high-risk groups.  The goal is to drop the number of new HIV infections to 750 per year by 2020, compared to the 3,200 cases identified in 2013 and down sharply from the 15,000 new cases reported in 1992.  Cuomo says 153,000 New Yorkers lost their lives to AIDS in the last 35 years.


The Jamestown High School Band will celebrate its 90th anniversary with a concert this Saturday night at the school.  Current director of Bands, Meghan Murray, says Director Emeritus, Lou Deppas, will return to narrate and be guest conductor... and, more than 50 alumni will be back to play. The band was begun by Arthur Goranson in the 1924-25 school year.  His sister, Ebba Goranson, founded the A'cappella Choir in that same year.  The JHS bands have won a number of awards through the decades, including a state marching band championship just last fall.  Meghan Murray says she's been sharing the band's legacy with current members... so they realize they are "part of history."  during the celebration, Rick Lundquist, Director of the Jamestown Municipal Band, will be entered into the JHS Band's Hall of Fame.  The 90th anniversary concert begins at 7 PM Saturday at the Merton P. Corwin Auditorium.  Tickets are $5 at the door. 


The Mormon church in Jamestown has organized a 'first ever' Family History Fest for this Saturday.  Members of the public are invited to come... at no charge... and learn how to explore their family history.  Lou Rosinski is the festival director. The festival runs from 9 AM to 4 PM Saturday at the church at 851Forest Avenue.  Rosinski adds it's a 'Bring Your Own Device' event.  Wi-fi will be available for laptops, phones, and tablets to access the church's extensive genealogical records.  Other computers will be provided to connect to  Rosinski belives there are good reasons to explore family history... the main one being we "get to know our ancestors better."  The full schedule of classes is available at  People can attend one class or spend the entire day.  Rosinski emphasizes while the church sponsors the fest... it is NOT a 'proselyting event'.  


The mayor of Celoron has won this year's third-annual Chautauqua Lake Association's Ice Pick competition.  Chairman and Founder of the Ice Pick competition... Peter Sullivan... says the pick fell through the ice on the lake at 1:59 PM on Friday, April 10th.  Each year... since it began... residents have entered to guess what day... and, time the ice pick will fall through the ice.  The pick is a wooden tripod that has a clock on it.  It's placed in a particular spot each year... and, people guess when it will break through the ice.  The winner was Celoron's Scott Schrecengost... who was within 12 minutes of the time the pick fell through the ice.  Second was Philip Brunskill... and third was Laura Stetzko.  The Ice Pick has become the "signature" fundraising event for the CLA... and, Sullivan says more than 500 people entered this year. 


Governor Andrew Cuomo's 1.5-billion dollar upstate economic development competition is starting.  The contest, dubbed Cuomo's `Hunger Games,' pits upstate regions against each other in a battle for one of three 500-million dollar prizes.  Officials in the seven eligible regions have until October 5th to submit their proposals for how they'd use the money to improve the local economy.  The Democratic governor announced the start of the competition on Thursday.  He says he hopes it brings out each region's best ideas for how to revitalize their local economy.  The seven eligible regions are the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier, central New York, the Mohawk Valley, the Capitol Region, the mid-Hudson Valley and the North Country.  Western New York isn't eligible because of Cuomo's previous ``Buffalo Billion'' initiative.





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