Community Spotlight, the area's longest running local public affairs radio program, airs on all six Media One Radio Group stations each weekend and is also available to hear in our Podcast Section.  Each week we sit down with a community leader or another special guest to talk about issues within our community.  


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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 28,2023

Air Quality Alert continues through Midnight tonight... Air Quality Advisory in effect for Thursday...
Our current Air Quality Alert for Western and Central New York remains in effect until Midnight tonight... but, poor air quality will remain with us for at least another day.  That from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation... and, the state Health Department... which has now issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for tonight at Midnight until Midnight Thursday.  Again... the Canadian wildfires and "fine particulate matter" at leading to today's alert... and, tomorrow's advisory.  Thursday's advisory is for the entire state of New York.  Today's alert was for Western and Central New York and the Eastern Lake Ontario region.  The DEC says tomorrow's air quality is expected to be "unhealthy for sensitive groups."  The general public will not likely be affected.


City Council approves outside counsel to negotiate final deal with firefighters to accept SAFER Grant and hire eight new firefighters...
Another step has been taken toward the Jamestown fire department being able to hire eight new firefighters to bring the department up to full-staffing and to take on a second ambulance.  The City Council Monday night approved the hiring of an outside, third-party law firm to review, and approve the final agreement with the firefighter's union.  City Council President Tony Dolce says the firm of Bond, Schoeneck, and King of Garden City, New York has experience in such negotiations.  Dolce says they are familiar with both the SAFER Grant program, and working with the city's fire and police unions.  The need for outside counsel to sign off on the agreement that allows the city to move ahead with accepting a $1.8-million federal SAFER Grant is one of five stipulations lawmakers and members of Jamestown Professional Firefighters Local-137 agreed to last month.  Dolce says council members hope to have the final agreement in place by early August at the latest.  Other key stipulations in the tentative agreement include the union agreeing that the additional eight firefighters will not mean a new "minimum staffing requirement."  That current number was set in October of 2002. 


Two significant primary results reported in Chautauqua County... 
A couple of primary results of interest from last night in Chautauqua County.  The Board of Elections reports that Benny Karlson won the North Harmony Highway Superintendent's Republican primary over Kory Stevens... 126-to-62.  For the Mina Town Council... Richard Cooper and Christine Craffey won GOP primaries to run for those seats in November with 119 and 81 votes respectively.  However... there may be a recount on the second seat... as Stephen Burmaster received 74 votes.


Ribbon cut on Grandview Stormwater Project in Lakewood...
The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance has announced the newest project to slow stormwater and sediment from getting directly into the lake.  Members of the Alliance, along with county and Lakewood village leaders, this morning outlined the $310,000 Grandview Stormwater Project.  The location will be off Davidson Lane -- behind the Grandview Estates -- in Lakewood.  Alliance Project Manager Taylor West explained the project... noting it will create about 100,000 cubic feet of stormwater storage through detention ditches and other structures, along with wildlife habitat... and, a stormwater nature park.  In recent times... there have been significant run-off and flooding issues downhill from the Grandview area.  That's especially the case in the low-lying Conrail viaduct on Fairmount Avenue -- just east of the Sav-A-Lot Plaza.  Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb says he's pleased to see the project starting soon.  Environmental Engineer Andy Johnson with Ecostrategies is working with the Alliance on designing the project.  He says they have four goals... improve the quality of the water getting into the lake... reduce downstream flooding... create new wetland and wildlife habitat... and, create a nature park for village residents to enjoy.  


Domestic incident leads to arrest of man and woman in Jamestown...
A man and woman have been arrested on outstanding warrants... and, for violating an order of protection following a traffic stop in Jamestown last weekend.  City police say they stopped a vehicle for numerous traffic violations in the area of 21 South Main St. shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.  Officers say they found 25 year-old Darius Franklin and the unidentified 27 year-old woman inside... and, that there was a valid order for Franklin to stay away from the victim.  They also found the woman was sought on a City Court warrant... and, both were arrested without incident.  Franklin is charged with second-degree criminal contempt... and, the woman was issued traffic tickets and arraigned on the arrest warrant.


Gasoline prices in Jamestown-area remain stable heading into July 4th holiday...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area remain unchanged ahead of the Fourth of July holiday... as does the national average price.  That from the AAA East Central Gas Price Report for this week... which shows the local average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded remains just over $3.69 a gallon.  AAA says the national average... with oil prices remaining low... remains $3.57 a gallon.  That's $1.32 less than last year's $4.90.  AAA says gas demand increased slightly the past week from about 9.2-million barrels a day to 9.3-million.  However... gas stocks increased by 500,000 barrels.  The price for a barrel of oil was just below $70 to begin the new week.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 27, 2023

City fire, police and other first responders busy with flooding, and storm damage...
It was a busy afternoon and early evening Monday for first-responders in the Jamestown-area with power outages... and, flood waters on streets and in basements.  Deputy Jamestown Fire Chief Matt Coon says his crews responded to nearly three-dozen calls between 1:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. when some powerful thunderstorms passed through the region.  Coon says they responded to 32 calls... 24 of which were for flooded basements.  He says there were two roadways that saw significant flooding: the first was the intersection of Allen and Tiffany Streets, which was still closed last night after about 18 inches of rain collected in that area.   Barricades were also put up on Jones and Gifford Avenue due to flood waters there.  Coon says they responded with the Board of Public Utilities to a report of a possible lighting strike near Center Ice Launderette at Third and Jefferson Streets.  He says that fire was put out quickly... and, adds a handful of off-duty firefighters were called in to assist.
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BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says there was a pole-transformer issue and fire at the corner of Dunn and Second Streets.... and, a tree and power lines were down at McKinley and Norwood.  Robbins adds that a feed for lighting into the 100 Acre lot on Curtis Street had to be disconnected, and will be repaired later.  And.. a power line was reported down at 101 West Main St. in Falconer.  The problems were first reported about 1 p.m., and power was restored by mid-afternnoon.


City Council approves project to improve and add lighting to downtown railroad viaduct...
The Jamestown City Council has approved the first-phase of a project to improve safety... and, the appearance of the viaduct under the railroad bridge on North Main Street.  Lawmakers approved an amended measure... allocating $45,000 to the project as a matter of public safety.  The city council agreed to hold off action on what would have been another $105,000 to further improve that area.  City Council President Tony Dolce says they're looking at a number of concepts right now... but, they wanted to deal with the public safety aspect first.  Following a pair of public hearings... city lawmakers also approved the city's $1.54-million Community Development Block Grant and HOME program Action Plan... along with the sale of city-owned property on Lafayette Street.  That parcel is being purchased by JMI Properties for $4,000.


Jamestown man arrested for drug possession, and outstanding warrants...
A city man has been arrested for alleged drug possession after his car was stopped by the Jamestown Police Department's Violent Crime Unit on multiple arrest warrants.  City police say the unit stopped 25 year-old Sharef Corely in the area of North Main and Kingsbury Streets just before 8 p.m. Sunday.  Upon seeing that Sharef was in the car... he tried to run off... but, he was taken into custody a short distance away.  Officers say they found him in possession of 6.5 grams of fentanyl and 1.8 grams of cocaine that was packaged for sale.  Corely was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, resisting arrest along with the outstanding warrants.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Wendel among county leaders in NYS pushing for meeting with Hochul, and NYC officials on migrant issue...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel is pushing for a meeting of Governor Kathy Hochul, the mayor of New York City and county officials to discuss the issue of relocating migrants to upstate counties.  Wendel says lack of discussion on how to deal with the matter led to him deciding to extend the State of Emergency recently.  In addition... he says local agencies and other organizations who help migrants can't accept anymore of them.  On another issue... Wendel says he was concerned about the Assembly’s delay in passing home rule legislation extending the county's 5% bed tax and the 8% sales tax... and, credits local Assemblyman Andy Goodell with getting it through because the item had been lingering in the legislature's lower chamber.  The county's home rule legislation was approved during the Assembly's special session last week. 


There will be no Republican mayoral candidate on the ballot in Fredonia this November...
Then Fredonia-Pomfret Republican Committee will not be fielding a candidate for the mayoral election in November.  That from current GOP Mayor Doug Essek... who is not running for re-election.  Essek says the committee was unable to come up with a candidate.  However... he says the committee was able to come up with candidates for the three village trustee races.  Two are incumbants... and one is a newcomer.  With no Republican mayoral candidate... the only name on the November ballot will be Democrat Mike Ferguson.  Essek says the only way a Republican, or any other candidate, would be able to run is through a write-in candidacy.


Widow of Jim Roselle pleased with how new patio named in his honor looks at Prendergast Library...
Several members of Jim Roselle's family were on hand for last Saturday morning's patio dedication at the Prendergast Library in Jamestown... including his widow, Kathy.  She was very pleased with how the new patio and community gardens turned out... and, congratulated the library's board for giving them the honor of naming the patio after him.  Kathy Roselle says her husband always called the library a "gem" of the community... and, often promoted it while using it's resources to get information for his interviews.  The patio dedication took place right before the Prendergast Library held it's second-annual Block Party.


 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 26, 2023

City man arrested for leading scene of property damage accident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident on the city's eastside early Saturday morning.  Jamestown Police say a patrol on Crescent Street stopped a vehicle that was operating without any lights on shortly after 2 a.m.  Officers say the driver, 69 year-old Douglas Smith, had apparently struck a parked car about 100-yards away... and, was leaving the scene.  Smith was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage accident... and other vehicle and traffic offenses.  He was released with traffic summons.  Pooice say no one was hurt... and, the owner of the parked vehicle was notified.


Pair from Jamestown arrested after 2-year-old found wandering unsupervised...
Two people face child endangerment charges after a two-year old child was found wandering in the middle of a Jamestown street late last Friday afternoon.  City police were called to the unidentified location on the southside shortly before 4 p.m. on a report of the two-year old being found by a resident.  Dispatchers say they did not receive any calls regarding a missing child... and, no guardians were around.  After almost 20 minutes... officers who were walking the neighborhood located a guardian... 42 year-old Noel Luciano... frantically yelling inside her home.  She hadn't called police for help in finding the child.  Police say their investigation showed that the missing child was being watched by 52 year-old Thomas Badgley when the child went missing.  He and Luciano were both arrested... and, Luciano was also found to be wanted in another state, and was also charged with being a fugitive from justice.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


DeAngelo urges JHS graduates to "find a way to fall up from falling down..."
‘Find a way to fall up from falling down.’  That’s the path to success outlined by local attorney Chuck DeAngelo for the Jamestown High School Class of 2023 during commencement Friday night.  He said he’s used that strategy many times since finishing 219th in the JHS Class of 1973...  including in May of 2022 when he was diagnosed with terminal leukemia.  After chemotherapy failed, he was given the option of an experimental therapy called ‘Car-T' where they take cells from the patient's body to California, reengineer them, and transplanted them back into his body.  They gave me "life back within 12 minutes at Roswell" Cancer Institute.  He also told graduates they will feel "depression and anxiety in your life... don't let it take you over."  He's a managing partner at the law firm Fessenden, Laumer & DeAngelo in Jamestown.  He addressed the 265 graduates of the Jamestown High School Class of 2023 at Chautauqua Institution’s Amphitheater.


American Scandinavian Heritage group celebrates "Midsommar..."
At the Tree of Life Church on Forest Avenue last Saturday morning... members of the American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation gathered, for the first time since COVID 19.  They planted a flower-covered ‘maypole’ and dance around it.  The foundation’s president, Jeff Kroon, explained -- saying that Midsommar -- is a celebration of mid-year... a time where we see the most day-light during the year.  Saturday was a preview of what’s to come.  The full Scandinavian Folk Festival returns to the Northwest Arena, July 15-16.  The coordinator for that event is Don Sandy... who says the city provided some additional support for the week to bring back the Viking ship for the event.  Admission to the festival in only $5.  More information at scandinavianjamestown.org.


New patio at front of Prendergast Library dedicated to memory of WJTN Radio legend Jim Roselle...
The rain held off... and, a large gathering of family, friends and former co-workers of the late Jim Roselle were outside the  Prendergast Library last Saturday morning to dedicate the new patio in his honor.  Library Director Anne Green spoke first... and, thanked those involved in helping to raise funds for the project... including the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System in helping obtain the grant to help finish the project, and the Sheldon and Lenna Foundations.  Library Board President Dan Hickman discussed the project... and, adds that Jim Roselle's name kept coming up as someone they should dedicate it to.  Hickman says the board felt it was appropriate because of his love of, and passion for the Prendergast Library.  He also noted that Jim would often come to the library to research for the guests he would be interviewing on WJTN Radio from Chautauqua Institution.  Many people encouraged Jim to write a book about his six decades of experience... but, he would humbly decline.  However... local author and Jamestown Gazette Publisher Walt Pickut managed to convince Jim to allow him to write a book... but not about him.  It wound up being mainly about 40 of Jim's most notable interviews he had done at Chautauqua.


Celoron man arrested for alleged hitting person with car after fight...
A Celoron man is accused of intentionally hitting another person with his car in the Ashville-area following a fight late last week.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a location on Waltonian Road in the town of Harmony about 6 p.m. last Friday... and, their investigation showed that 33 year-old Nicholas Reeves had gotten into fight with the unidentified victim before Reeves struck the person with the vehicle.  Reeves was arrested for second-degree reckless endangerment.  He was issued an appearance ticket for Harmony Town Court.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 23, 2023

Jamestown fire officials say Westburgh Electric Fire was intentionally set....
Jamestown fire officials now say the fire inside a long-vacant, three-story commercial building on the city's eastside early Thursday afternoon was intentionally set.  City Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Rousch says crews were intially called to the former Westburgh Electric Company at 16 Scott St. -- near Winsor -- at 12:30 p.m.  While it was earlier reported that there were a couple of fires involved... Rousch says it wound up being a fire started on the second-floor with extension to the third floor.  Rousch says a second-alarm for an off-duty shift was called in a short time after initial responders arrived on scene.  He says there is a lot of debris inside the building... and, that made for a smokey blaze that was hard to find, and put it out.  Rousch says crews were at the scene a couple of hours... and, the investigation into the cause is continuing.  He says damage was mostly to the contents... and, adds there was minor structural damage.  No injuries were reported.


Goodell says State Assembly has acted on Chautauqua County bed and sales tax requests...
The New York State Assembly has wrapped up a two-day, special session in Albany to finish up work on some pieces of legislation.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says among the items that were approved during the session, two local bills that impact the funding of Chautauqua County Government.  One is an extension of the 5% bed tax... which is used for tourism-related activites, and maintenance of Chautauqua Lake.  Goodell says lawmakers also approved an extension of the additional 1% sales tax for the county.  The Jamestown-area Republican says that's important to holding property taxes down in Chautauqua County.  The added one-percent tax keeps the local sales tax to 8%.


Early primary voting in Chautauqua County continues through Sunday...
Early voting in Chautauqua County for the June 27 primary continues through this weekend.  However... the one polling location in the county has not been very busy.  Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says turnout has been "very light" at the County Fairgrounds for the first five days.  Abram says the early voting period ends this Sunday.  Abram says only 12 people have taken advantage of early voting as of Thursday morning.  Primary contests are taking place in a handful of towns, including the city of Dunkirk.  For voting hours... go on-line to VoteChautauqua.com.


Sundquist explains Bird Bike e-bike and e-scooter program, and delay in implementing...
The effort to get a new e-bike and e-scooter rental program up and running in the city of Jamestown has been delayed pending the hiring of someone to run the program.  City Council members got an update during a recent work session about the status of the pilot "Bird Bike" program... which was first introduced to lawmakers this Spring.  On a recent Community Spotlight program... Mayor Eddie Sundquist explained the program... noting they plan to begin with a small number of vehicles at designated drop-zones.  He says there would be about 20 bikes and 20 scooters available.  Sundquist says the city could start up the e-scooter program now... but, adds his administration doesn't want to risk a poor implementation of the electric bike and scooter program... resulting in a “much worse” situation for the community than originally expected.  He feels it would be better to wait for the full implementation of the program.


Erie, Pa. man arrested for DWI after "suspicious vehicle" investigation...
An Erie, Pennsylvania man has been arrested after being found slumped behind the wheel of his car... with the engine running... in town of Clymer driveway.  Sheriff's officers were called to a residence on Bailey Hill Road shortly before 5 a.m. last Saturday for a "suspicious vehicle" parked at the end of the resident's driveway.  Deputies made contact with the driver... who was identified as 25 year-old Martin Winkler.  Their investigation found that Winkler had been driving while intoxicated... and, he then pulled into the driveway.  He was arrested and charged with DWI and DWI Per Se... and, is to appear in Mina Town Court at a later date.


JHS Graduation set for tonight...
It's graduation night for most Jamestown-area school districts... as the Class of 2023 prepares to receive diplomas.  There's always a lot of anticipation for local seniors... and none more-so than those at Jamestown High School.  The Class of 2023 were Freshmen when the COVID-19 pandemic hit... and, had to distance learning for a while.  They then alternated days in school, and others by remote learning.  JHS Principal Dana Williams says, though, this year was "pretty normal" compared to the previous three.  Williams says the Class of 2023 was very much able to meet the challenges caused by the pandemic... and, exceed expectations.  He says this year's class numbers between 260 and 270... which is lower than earlier in the decade.  He says there were a number of factors involved... one being that some families left the area.  JHS Graduation will again be held at Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater beginning at 7 p.m.  Williams advises graduates and their families to get there early because there's a bit of a walk from the parking area across Route 394 to the amphitheater.  He also asks those attending to be respectful of all the speakers.  Tonight's main speaker is Jamestown-area attorney, Charles DeAngelo... a member of the Class of 1973.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 22, 2023

Fire damages mainly contents in blaze at former Jamestown commercial building...
The investigation is continuing into a "suspicious" fire inside a long-vacant, three-story commercial building on Jamestown's eastside early Thursday afternoon.  City Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Rousch says crews were intially called to the former Westburgh Electric Company at 16 Scott St. -- near Winsor -- at 12:30 p.m.  While it was earlier reported that there were a couple of fires involved... Rosch says it was one -- with extension to the top floor.  Rousch says a second-alarm for an off-duty shift was called in a short time after initial responders arrived on scene.  He says there is a lot of debris inside the building... and, that made for a smokey blaze that was hard to find.  Rousch says the smoke condition in parts of the building made it hard to bring under control.  He says crews were at the scene a couple of hours... and, the investigation into the cause is continuing.  He says damage was mostly to the contents... and, adds there was minor structural damage.  No injuries were reported.


Rolison pleads guilty to federal gun charge...
The Jamestown man who recently pled guilty in two cases of vehicular manslaughter has now pleaded guilty to being a Felon in possession of a firearm.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 60 year-old Randall Rolison entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Junior Wednesday to being in possession of both firearms and ammunition.  Prosecutors say Jamestown Police and the FBI began investigating Rolison in January of 2022... after he struck and killed 15 year-old Lexy Hughan just days before with his car carrier... for allegedly buying firearms outside of New York state... and, selling several through-out the Southern Tier Region.  Rolison was accused of being in possession of a firearm at the time of the fatal crash.  However... prosecutors say he was prohibited from buying guns and ammunition after he was convicted of a Felony in Michigan in 1997.  Ross says the charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced next Dec. 19.


Council Republicans response to Sundquist on crime figures, claims statements are "wrong..."
Majority Republicans on the Jamestown City Council are disputing Mayor Eddie Sundquist's pronouncements of violent crime being reduced in the past year... and, the three years he's been mayor.  During a press event to announce a new, five-part Public Safety initiative... Sundquist said that arguments that crime has been on the rise in the city this year are wrong.  Sundquist said JPD stats showed that crimes against persons were down in 2023 by 1.2%... gun-related incidents were down by 45%... and shootings were down by four incidents.  However... Council Republicans say there were actually 24 confirmed shooting incidents last year alone.  During the year prior to Sundquist taking office... they say JPD records showed only 11 shooting incidents recorded.  Sundquist also stated that domestic violence cases have decreased by 9%.  However... Republicans say -- since he took office -- those numbers have increased by 12%.  In addition... they say violent crime on the mayor's watch has increased by 28% since he took office.  GOP lawmakers say city residents "recognize that laws without consequences simply result in criminals continuing to victimize and destabilize our community."  They question why the mayor is now taking a more proactive stance on public safety."
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We did reach out to Republican Mayoral Candidate, City Councilwoman Kim Ecklund for comment... but, have not heard back.  Late Wednesday... Sundquist responded to GOP lawmakers... noting that "the Safer Jamestown N.O.W. initiative highlighted the verified statistics from our police department in 2023, as compared to 2022."  He adds "we are halfway through the year and there is positive momentum to keep our community safe.  It is sad my Republican colleagues would undercut the incredible work our police department has done to employ community driven policing and reduce crime.  Politics should not be put before public safety."


Small residential fire in Dunkirk ruled accidental...   
A homeowner and Dunkirk firefighters made quick work of an outdoor fire that spread to a house about mid-afternoon Wednesday in the north county city.  However... there was reportedly very little damage to the house.  Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say Dunkirk crews were called to 110 Lincoln Ave. just before 2:30 p.m., and, got the flames out fairly quickly with the help of East Dunkirk firefighters.  Officials say no injuries were reported.  


Prendergast Library to dedicate new patio Saturday in honor of Jim Roselle...
The Prendergast Library will officially open its new front door patio this Saturday morning.  Executive Director Anne Green says it will be dedicated in honor the late Jim Roselle, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  Green says Jim would always say the "most important card in his wallet was his library card."  Jim Roselle announced on WJTN radio for more than six decades, right up to the time of his death in 2016.  He would frequently mention the importance of the library to his listeners.  Following the dedication, the library’s 2nd annual block party will unfold... with lawn games... summer reading signups... and music.  The block party will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Green says they’ll move everything inside if the weather is rainy.  


 

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 21, 2023

Smoke alarm overnight leads to response by Frewsburg firefighters to Frewsburg Middle-and High School...
Firefighters from Frewsburg and several other departments responded to the Frewsburg Middle-High School just after 2:30 this morning for a smoke alarm.  After an extensive search, an overheated power strip was determined to be the source of the smoke.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers report no fire, nor structural damage.  Once the source of the smoke was identified the scene was 'cleared quickly.'


State DOT Commissioner in Chautauqua County to announce $78-million, I-86 bridge project, near completion of Washington Street reconstruction in Jamestown...  
Nearly $83-million in infrastructure improvements in Chautauqua County... mainly to rehabilitate the Interstate 86 bridges over Chautauqua Lake... have been announced by Governor Kathy Hochul.  Hochul also announced completion of the state's $4.7-million project to upgrade and repave Washington Street in the city of Jamestown.  State Transporation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez says it's proof of the governor's commitment to make infrastructure improvements statewide.  Dominguez says it all "came under her leadership" to improve roads and bridges across the state.  During a stop to announce the project in Bemus Point... Dominguez pointed out that $78-million is going for the project to rehabilitate the I-86 lake bridges in the towns of Ellery and North Harmony to better insure quick and safe travel.  In additon to the rehabilitating of Washington Street... Hochul says the $4.7-million dollar project in Jamestown also included rehabilitating State Route 394 -- Fairmount Ave. -- from McDaniel Avenue to the Sixth St. Bridge in the city.  As for I-86... Hochul says the project will extend the service life of the bridges by about 40 years. 


Sundquist annouces five-part Public Safety Initiative in the city...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has unveiled a five-part public safety initiative that he says uses community-focused policing to build on recent successes. During a press conference Tuesday afternoon... Sundquist announced the "Safer Jamestown N.O.W -- or Neighbors on Watch" program.  The announcement comes as Jamestown has been awarded a Gun-Involved Violence Elimination -- or GIVE Grant -- of about $261,000 from New York state.  Sundquist says the first part is providing more resources to create and reinvigorate the city's Neighborhood Watch programs.  He says while most of the programs are still operating, they have waned in recent years.  Sundquist says the plan to use much of the GIVE grant to create a youth diversion program that's focused on youth in the community to keep them away from violent crime.  Police Chief Tim Jackson says their recently hired "Community Service Officer" has already paid dividends... along with the just-filled "Quality-of-Life" officer.  Among the other steps that have been taken... says Jackson... are  more community-directed patrols and beat officers across the city to levels not seen in many years. 


Ribbon is cut on new exhibit for "Carolines on Broadway" at National Comedy Center...
The newest exhibit at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown has been officially opened.  The ribbon was cut Tuesday afternoon on the exhibit about the 40-year legacy of Carolines on Broadway comedy club in New York City.  The founder of Carolines on Broadway, Caroline Hirsch, joined Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson for the ribbon cutting.  Gunderson says it was great to have Hirsch, whom she considers one of the "greatest champions" of the art of comedy in the nation, on hand for the event.  Gunderson described what people will see when they view the exhibit... including Caroline's barfly stools... the iconic doors... and, the backdrop from the stage.  Hirsch got to meet Gunderson when the center director would travel to New York City to check out stand-up talent... and, the seeds were planted for what might happen if Carolines closed.  That happened when Hirsch's lease was up late last year... and, they didn't renew.  Gunderson says -- starting with Jay Leno in the mid-1980s -- comedians often promoted their shows at Carolines on late night TV.  Hirsch praised the Comedy Center for the work it's doing to preserve, and high-light comedy and it's history.


City man arrested following domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly grabbing a phone away from the victim in a domestic incident on the city's westside Monday night.  City police were called to the location about 9 p.m., and, determined the victim was trying to call 9-1-1 when 23 year-old Vincent Loveless had taken the phone away.  Loveless was arrested for fourth-degree criminal mischief.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Corwin named as new Deputy Director of county Office for Aging Services...
A registered nurse from Mayville with a long track record of caring for seniors across Chautauqua County has been appointed as Deputy Director of the county’s Office for Aging Services.  County Executive P.J. Wendel has announced that Dana Corwin... who first joined the Office for the Aging Services in 2008 as a registered nurse... will take on the new position.  Since that time... Wendel says Corwin has refined her skills and expertise to assist thousands of households across the county.  At the Office for Aging Services... Corwin has had a hands on role advocating for her clients and connecting them with vital services and providing an emergency response when needed.  She says "we help them stay in the community.  While the role is non-medical, I see life through a medical lens.  That’s helpful, especially when dealing with an aging population."
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 20, 2023

BRWS no longer will have team from China competing; Aruba remains in tournament...
One of the two international teams that were expected to be part of this year's 13-to-15 year-old Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown will not be coming.  That from local Babe Ruth Committee Vice-President Kim Ecklund... who says Babe Ruth international is now looking for a replacement for the Chinese team.  However... Ecklund also told our Dennis Webster and Russ Diethrick that there is good news as far as ball park "buy-out" days.  She says they were told the Chinese team was not available.  On the positive side, though, she says all but two days of the world series have been bought out... meaning fans will not have to pay admission to the ball park.  Ecklund tells us no reason was given for why the Chinese team is not coming to Jamestown.  However... she says the team from Aruba will still be coming to the series.  Ecklund says sponsors can buy out one full-day of games... that's four-games on Tues., Aug. 15 at a cost of $2,500.  There are then two championship round games on Thurs., Aug. 17 at a cost of $2,000.  Both are part of the Aug. 13-19 series.  Ecklund says they encourage any potential sponsors to team up with other entities if they want to co-sponsor a buy-out day at Diethrick Park.


Pair from Jamestown arrested on drug and weapons charges after their Uber ride is pulled over...
Two people being transported by an Uber driver have been arrested for drug possession following a traffic stop by Jamestown Police on the city's southside.  Officers say their violent crime unit stopped the vehicle for "numerous" traffic violations in the area of Baker Street and Prather Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.  Police say they identified the passengers as Ackykia Jester, and Jonathan Carlson.  Officers found that Carlson was wanted on outstanding City Court warrants... and, he was arrested without incident.  He was also allegedly found with multiple items associated with illegal drug use.  Police then searched the vehicle... and found nearly 23-grams of methamphetamine, 1.2 grams of Fentanyl, 1.6 grams of Crack-Cocaine, cutting agents, a digital scale, packaging materials... two metal knuckle knives and $313 cash believed to be proceeds from drug sales.  Further investigatiion showed the items found belonged to Jester... who was also arrested.  She is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession.... and on of seventh-degree criminal possession... along with three counts of second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Both Jester and Carlson were jailed pending arraignment.  The unidentifed Uber drive was issued several traffic tickets.


Investigation continues into now-triple fatal two-vehicle crash in Cattaraugus County...
A third-person has now died from their injuries suffered in last weekend's fatal, head-on crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom that also claimed two other lives.  State Police in Machias now say 24 year-old Dahlia Klink... who was driving a small sedan that was struck by a pick-up truck driven by her brother... died from her injuries at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.  Troopers say 21 year-old Evan Klink of Freedom was westbound on Freedom Road just after Noon Saturday... when he apparently drove into the on-coming lane -- on purpose -- then lost control of the truck and it hit the car head-on.  Police say two girls inside his sister's car, 17 year-old Havanah Lopez of Java, and 6 year-old Molly Kibler of Freedom, died at the scene.  A 4 year-old passenger in Dahlia Klink's car was also taken to a regional hospital with serious injuries.  Evan Klink was treated for minor injuries and taken to the State Police barracks in Warsaw for an evaluation.  His passenger, 19 year-old Cameron Klink, was also hospitalized with serious injuries.  The investigation is continuing.


City man arrested for allegedly pulling fire alarm at DoubleTree Hotel in Jamestown, triggering false alarm...
A Jamestown man is accused of pulling a fire alarm at a downtown hotel for no reason early this morning.  City police were called to the Doubletree Hotel on a report of an "unwanted male" shortly after Midnight.  On arrival... officers say they could hear the alarm going off inside the building... and, staff told them that 48 year-old Dante Croft had pulled the fire alarm for no apparent reason.  The Jamestown Fire Department had to respond to re-set the alarm... and, a large number of hotel guests had to exit the hotel for a brief period of time.  There was no fire or emergency found... and, Croft was arrested without incident... and, later found with a quantity of methamphetamine in his possession.  He was charged with second-degree falsely reporting an incident... and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.


Jamestown man arrested following alleged domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly holding a woman against a wall by her throat during a domestic incident early Sunday morning.  City police were called to a Fifth Street location just before 1:30 a.m., and, their investigation showed that 46 year-old Rudy Ryen held the female victim against the wall during an argument.  Officers took Ryen in to custody without
incident... but, while escorting him to the patrol vehicle, he spat at the victim in front of officers.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on a charges of second-degree harassment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing/blood circulation.

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 19, 2023

Third person now dead from injuries in tragic, Cattaraugus County two-car fatal...
A third-person has now succumbed to their injuries from last weekend's fatal, head-on crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom that claimed two other lives.  State Police in Machias now say 24 year-old Dahlia Klink... who was driving a small sedan that was struck by a pick-up truck driven by her brother... died from her injuries at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo.  Troopers say 21 year-old Evan Klink of Freedom was westbound on Freedom Road just after Noon Saturday... when he apparently drove into the on-coming lane -- on purpose -- but, then lost control of the truck and it hit the car head-on.  Police say two girls inside his sister's car, 17 year-old Havanah Lopez of Java, and 6 year-old Molly Kibler of Freedom, died at the scene.  Dahlia Klink and a 4 year-old passenger were taken to a regional hospital... and the 4 year-old is still hospitalized.  Evan Klink was treated for minor injuries and taken to the State Police barracks in Warsaw for an evaluation.  The passenger in his truck... 19 year-old Cameron Klink was also taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.  Police say the investigation is continuing.


NTSB releases preliminary report on double-fatal plane crash at Jamestown Airport; says pilot was training for upcoming examination...
The pilot of the small plane that crashed earlier this month at the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown was going through training when the fatal accident occured.  That's the finding in a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board on the Tues., June 6 accident... in which the both the pilot and his passenger were killed.  The report states that the pilot -- 52 year-old Roger Ryall of Toronto -- had just finished performing the second of two "touch-and-go" landings at the airports Runway 31 shortly before 2 p.m.  It says the plane climbed to about 100 to 200 feet when it banked steeply to the left... then banked right... and, it's Cirrus Aircraft Parachute deployed.  The plane then crashed in a field near a wooded area on the airport grounds. 


Very successful Juneteenth Celebration in Jamestown wraps up Sunday night...
The Buffalo based gospel group ‘Deliverance’ brought the 2023 Juneteenth festival to a powerful conclusion Sunday evening with a strong revival theme.  Chairperson Regina Brackman called this year’s event one of the biggest ever... and, the outpouring of support from all parts of the community "had been outstanding."  Brackman, who is also a city councilwoman, extended a big thank you to Love School principal Cynthia Johnson for allowing the Juneteenth committee to meet there and for a banner the school made.  She says they had each student make a handprint for the banner that was on display during the celebration.  Brackman adds they need more volunteers are needed to make Juneteenth happen.  Anyone who’d like to help should contact her through social media, or the Jamestown City Hall.


Reception held for new Artscape works to be displayed in downtown Jamestown...
The Chautauqua Art Gallery on North Main Street in Jamestown was packed with people Friday evening for the opening reception of the ‘Artscape Banner Project.’  Gallery owner, Leslie Calimeri, got onto a chair to get the crowd's attention.  Calimeri says they had 248 pieces submitted... and, juried.  She says 53 were selected to be put up.  Calimeri says the 53 works include paintings, photographs, sculptures -- and, even jewelry.  The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is a co-sponsor of the Artscape Project.  Executive Director, Frank Bessey, talked about the show’s significance -- saying that both art and the downtown area are important -- and combining them will help.  In a few weeks the banners will be up and printed guides will be available showing where each banner is located. 


Four city residents arrested on drug and weapons charges during late week traffic stop...
Four people from Jamestown are accused of drug and weapons related charges following a traffic stop early last Friday morning on the city's westside.  Jamestown police conducted a traffic stop just before 2:30 a.m. with their violent crimes and K-9 units at the intersection of North Main and West Ninth Streets.  While investigating... police noticed that one of the occupants... 26 year-old Nicole Grimm... was drinking alcohol inside the vehicle.  She gave officers a false name... and, she was allegedly found in possession of a small amount of cocaine.  Officers say a further search led them to find a loaded handgun with a extended magazine that none of the four had legal possession of.  Police then found cocaine in possession of 33 year-old Kayla Slagle... and, as 38 year-old Dion Carr was being taken into custody... he tried to hide some cocaine in the back of a police car.  Those three... along with 31 year-old T'anna Robinson... were charged with second and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Other charges were also filed against Slagle and Carr.


Yassou! Festival wraps up Saturday...
At the Yassou festival this weekend, there was music inside St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church... as well as outside.  Father Soterios Rousakis talked to the large crowd Saturday afternoon about the two unique aspects of the festival.  The first is being able to share their Greek heritage, including food and dance.  He adds the other is being able to share their faith with them.  Rousakis became priest at St. Nicholas in October 2019, just prior to COVID-19... so the first two years they weren't able to hold the festival.  
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 16, 2023

Borrello says concerns over gaming compact with Seneca Nation still an issue in Albany...
There is still a lot of concern about the renewal of the Seneca Nation of Indian's gaming compact with New York State.  Local State Senator George Borrello says the Senate passed the bill authorizing Governor Kathy Hochul to sign a new gaming compact once an agreement is worked out.  However... he says there have been some issues raised about the proposed legislation in the Assembly.  Borrello says there are concerns about the exclusivity clause, and it's impact on current facilities like Batavia Downs.  However... with the current clause in the compact, there have been no issues with those other locations.  Borrello says he's hopeful that a final agreement can be worked out.  He says the Seneca Nation deserves a fair compact... and he says that was not the case under the Cuomo Administration... and, it hasn't improvement much under Governor Hochul.  


Two arrested in recent Ripley drug raid...
Two people face several charges each following a drug raid last week in the town of Ripley.  Sheriff's officers say they concluded a month-long investigation into the alleged sale of narotics in the Ripley area by executing a search warrant at 6271 Barnes Rd.  Deputies say their narcotics investigators... along with Dunkirk and Jamestown Police assisted.  Inside... police found two people sought on the warrant... identified as Seth Munson and Jaelyn Kuczynski.  As a result of the search... investigators seized 2.42 grams of fentanyl, 17 dosage units of LSD, and scales and packaging material for the distribution of narcotics.  Munson was charged with third- and seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  There was also a warrant for his arrest... and, he was taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment.  Kuczynski had a federal arrest warrant and was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agents.


Jamestown mother and daughter hurt in single-car accident...
A city woman and her young daughter suffered non-life threatening injuries in a one-car crash Thursday afternoon on Route 394 in the town of North Harmony.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene -- near Ashville -- shortly before 2 p.m., and, say 36 year-old Ricki Degolier and her daughter had to be taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  Officers say the investigation into the accident is continuing.


NY Prosecution of Burham is delayed to allow Pa. kidnapping case to go to trial first...
Prosecution of the man accused of murdering a Jamestown woman last month and fleeing the state has been delayed locally to allow his kidnapping case to move forward first in Warren County, Pa.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says that the federal and local charges against 34 year-old Michael Burham have been dismissed while Burham is extradicted for allegedly kidnapping, and forcing an elderly Sheffield couple to help him flee to South Carolina.  Schmidt says that will give him time to assemble the case against Burham for the death of 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin.  He says they are "mindful" about what it takes to prosecute a homicide case, and that there have been changes to discovery regarding evidence, and related matters.  In addition to a condensed discovery time... Schmidt says Burham might have been eligible for release until the state's bail reform law through the third-degree arson case against him.  Burham is accused of setting a vehicle on fire later the morning of May 11... after he had allegedly killed Hodgkin.  Schmidt says he's been coordinating efforts with the U.S. Attorney's Office... and, Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene in Burham's case.  Greene was on the Zoom press conference with Schmidt... but, declined comment on the case.  


Gillibrand announces legislation to establish new crisis hotline for farmers and agricultural workers...
U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced legislation she believes will help stem a suicide rate 3 1/2 times higher than the national average on the nation's farms.  New York's junior U.S. Senator has introduced the National Agricultural Crisis Hotline Act... which creates a new hotline... similar to the national suicide prevention hotline at "988."  Gillibrand adds that it's designed to provide "desperately needed mental health support to New York’s 55,000-plus agricultural workers and their families."  She says the farmers and workers she's met are "some of the most dedicated and hard-working people that I've ever met."  Gillibrand says the hotline would establish a 24/7 national crisis hotline to provide real-time live assistance catered to the unique needs of farmers, ranchers, and their families.  Gillibrand is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee... and, is pushing to make the legislation part of the new five-year Farm Bill.  She says cost for the program would be about $4-million a year. 


Pine Valley Schools cut ribbon on new elementary school playground...
The kindergarten class at Pine Valley Elementary School got to cut the ribbon on the school’s enormous... new playground Thursday evenin.  After that... dozens of children immediately rushed in to give it a try as parents and school officials looked on.  Pine Valley Superintendent, Bryna Moritz, says they worked with the firm ‘Parkitects’ to create a ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ feel to the new facility, which includes areas where children can lay down, rock structures, and a giant butterfly climber.  One first grader... named Kierra, told our Dennis Webster it was ‘fun.'  Moritz says they received funding from several sources, including some COVID relief funds to cover the cost... which was just under $1-million.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 15, 2023

Burham back for federal court appearance to allow prosecution to move forward in Pa...
The Chautauqua County man accused of killing a Jamestown woman in the early morning hours of last May 11 will first be prosecuted in Pennsylvania on kidnapping charges.  That from District Attorney Jason Schmidt late this morning... who says he's been coordinating efforts with the U-S Attorney's Office... and, Warren County District Attorney Rob Greene.  Schmidt says that's because 34 year-old Michael Burham abducted an elderly couple from Sheffield, Pa., and, used their vehicle to flee to South Carolina... where he was caught on May 24.  He says that was done -- "so that we could coordinate our respective efforts in the most effective and sensible way possible to ensure that Mr. Burham is held accountable for his actions."  In addition... Schmidt says the delay gives his office more time to gather evidence and testimony in the murder of 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin... and, a later arson fire that destroyed a vehicle in another part of the city.  


City man pleads guilty to federal drug trafficking charges...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to being part of a drug trafficking operation in the city in May of last year following a traffic stop.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 37 year-old Richard Philbrick pled guilty in District Court in Buffalo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 400 grams or more fentanyl.  Prosecutors say Philbrick bought and sold heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine for profit and his own use... and, used Facebook for his drug trafficking activities.  They add he also used and maintained residences on Newland Avenue for trafficking his drugs.  During the investigation... agents conducted multiple controlled purchases from Philbrick.  On May 4, 2022... police conducted a traffic stop and recovered drugs and drug paraphernalia... nearly $1,100 cash... and a Pellet Gun during a search.  Ross says Philbrick faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison... a maximum of life, and a $10-million fine when he's sentenced next Oct. 2.


Jamestown man sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison for operating drug trafficking operation...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to nearly 15 years in prison after being convicted on major drug and weapons possession charges in federal court in Buffalo.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Wednesday that 38 year-old Douglas Beardsley... who had been convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine... and being a felon in possession of firearms... received the 176 month sentenced from U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say their investigation showed that... between September 2018 and January 2019... Beardsley bought, sold, and distributed heroin and methamphetamine for profit in the Jamestown area.  They says he used several co-conspirators, associates, and runners as well as Facebook and various electronic devices to operate his drug trafficking activities.  Investigators say they also found that Beardsley used homes on Linden and Forest Avenues in Jamestown for his drug trafficking.  One was raided in January of 2019... and, they recovered two firearms, ammunition... cash, quantities of crystal meth, a digital scale, and other drug paraphernalia. 


Early Primary voting begins this Saturday in Chautauqua County...
Early voting will get underway this weekend with Primary Day set for June 27 in New York State.  Chautauqua County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Brian Abram says there will be one location for the nine days of early voting in the county.  He says that's because there a few races that are more concentrated in the north county area  Voting will be at the County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  The city of Dunkirk is one of six local municipalities where primary contests will be held.  Contests will also be held in the towns of Arkwright, Dunkirk, Mina, North Harmony, and Ripley.  The county Board of Elections says hours for Saturday and Sunday voting will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information... go on-line to VoteChautauqua.com.


Rabid Fox found in Bemus Point leads to county Health Dept. warning...
The Chautauqua County Health Department has received notice of a rabid fox in the Bemus Point area that reportedly bit multiple people last Friday, June 9.  County Director of Environmental Health Jessica Wuerstle says her office received notice the fox had bitten the people in an area near Route 430.  Wuerstle says the county Health Department is following-up with the people involved to ensure that they receive proper medical attention.  A New York State Encon officer responded to the situation and killed the grey fox later in the day last Friday.  It was sent for testing and was determined to be positive for rabies.  The Health Department says if you believe you had physical contact with this fox and have not seen a medical provider... call the county Health Department at 716-753-4783.


Three-day Juneteenth Celebration in Jamestown se to begin Friday...
This weekend’s Juneteenth celebration in Jamestown will be one of the biggest ever.  City Councilwoman Regina Brackman, chair of the Juneteenth committee, says last year’s declaration of a federal holiday has helped build awareness... and, more recognition.  Brackman says it's also brought in more sponsorship for their programming.  She says there will be a free preview concert at 7 p.m. Friday night at the Winter Garden Plaza featuring 'The Breeze Band' from Erie, Pa.  Recording artist Marsha McWilson will perform at the Spire Theater at 7 Saturday night.  Tickets for that event are $5.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., June 14, 2023

(Update**)Burham back in New York State...
The Chautauqua County man accused of killing 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin of Jamestown back in mid-May... and, then kidnapping a Pennsylvania couple and forcing them to take him to South Carolina... is back in Western New York.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 34 year-old Michael Burham made an initial appearance in federal court in Buffalo Wednesday after being extradicted from South Carolina.  He had been held there since he was caught during an extensive manhunt on May 25.  Burham faces several local and federal charges for Hodgkin's death... and, the kidnapping.  A status update on the case is expected Thursday.


JHS announces Charles DeAngelo to be June 23 Commencement Speaker...
A long-time Jamestown attorney who is also a graduate of Jamestown High School will be this year's Commencement speaker for the JHS Class of 2023.  Charles DeAngelo is a member of the school's Class of 1973... and, is a partner in the local law firm of Fessenden Laumer and DeAngelo.  JHS Principal Dana Williams says they're "very pleased" to have DeAngelo as their speaker for the Fri., June 23 graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. at Chautauqua Institution's Amphitheater.  Williams says DeAngelo is "a Jamestown native, is well known and respected around the city, and has supported young people throughout his career.  Mr. DeAngelo is a firm believer that kids from Jamestown can do anything they want to in this world, and says he’s living proof of that.”  DeAngelo has been practicing law since 1981... and represents clients throughout the Western New York region.  Prior to joining Fessenden, Laumer, and DeAngelo in 1984... he was an attorney for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Washington, D.C. 


Jamestown school board okays transition timeline for Mascot Name Change...
The Jamestown school board has approved the district's transition timeline for getting a new mascot nickname in place.  High School Athletic Director Ben Drake says -- quote -- "recently the JHS Mascot Committee met to discuss the issue of the JHS Red Raiders nickname.  This plan will allow us to meet the deadline set by the New York State Education Department."  With that... the community is being invited to provide feedback... and, suggestions for the new mascot name by going on-line to jpsny.org/mascot.  Drake says the survey will be open until June 30. 


Search continues for woman who phone in threat to Westfield Academy and Central School...
Westfield Police are working with multiple agencies to try and locate a woman who allegedly made a phone call to an employee of the Westfield Academy and Central School District last Friday... and, threatened violence towards students and staff.  Village police say Brenda Horr is accused of making the call.  In coordination with the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office, an arrest warrant has been issued for Horr.  Anyone with information on her whereabouts is being asked to contact Westfield Police at (716) 326-3375 or the county Dispatch Center at 753-2131.


City of Jamestown looking to move ahead with improving lighting in North Main St. viaduct...
City officials in Jamestown have begun looking at a project to better illuminate... and, improve the looks of the viaduct under the railroad tracks on North Main Street.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk discussed the need for better lighting in that area where public safety became a concern when the underpass area drew several homeless people in recent months.  Surdyk says they are expecting the total project to cost up to $150,000.  Surdyk says that's because, when they first looked at the project last year, the cost was estimated at $100,000.  However, she says that'll increase because the city will have to put conduit into the viaduct for the lighting and that will increase the cost.  Right now... Surdyk says they just have conceptual drawings of the project.  She says she recently met with Police Chief Tim Jackson and Board of Public Utilities General Manager Dave Leathers about moving forward with focusing on just lighting as part of a "Phase-one" project.  Surdyk says... while they would like to move ahead on the entire project... priority should be given to the lighting part of it.  She says the initial cost for the lighting work was estimated at $32,000. 


Ripley man arrested for harassment and criminal mischief...
A Ripley man has been arrested on harassment and criminal mischief charges for allegedly damaging another resident's property and physically threatning them.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a Ross Street home in the hamlet shortly after 8 a.m. Monday on a report of a disturbance.  Officers say their investigation led to the arrest of 24 year-old Cody Wood for second-degree harassment and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Wood was taken to the county jail for pending arraignment.


Forty-first edition of Yassou! Festival to be held this weekend at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church...
The annual immersion into Greek culture known as the Yassou Festival returns to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church this weekend.  Festival spokesperson, Alexis Singleton, says they’ll once again have Greek food, beverages, music, dance, and authentic Greek wares.  But, the real reason for the festival goes deeper.  Singleton says the purpose is to do something to extend friendship to both neighbors and strangers.  The Yassou! Festival will run Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the church on Mt. Vernon Place at the top of Sprague hill.  Singleton says tours of the church will be available at 2 and 4 p.m. both days.  She adds that the music will be performed live by an authentic Greek band, with the St. Nicholas dancers performing at 1, 5 and 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.  Admission to the festival is $3.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 13, 2023

City's nearly-completed DPW Fleet Maintenance Building looking at $390,000 overrun...
It appears that once all costs are considered... the new Jamestown Public Works Fleet Maintenance Building on Washington Street will be just under $390,000 over budget.  That's according to a report given to City Council last night by retired DPW Director Jeff Lehman... who is still overseeing that project.  Lehman says the city was slated to receive a half-million dollar grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Administration for heating with electric.  However... the city was not approved for that, so Lehman says they decided to go back to heating with gas, and that will save about $290,000.  The original budget... which also included a $1-million state grant... was projected to cost $5.3-million... because it was going to be built new.  However... the city acquired the former Hartley Buick dealership building... which is being renovated.  Lehman says one of the remaining items -- not originally in the plans... is a $150,000, 5-ton crane.  He says that was not in the original budget, but, he says city leaders may want to consider adding that to any further borrowing "because it's never going to be cheaper" for that piece of equipment.  Lehman says there's also $170,000 for one new lift, and moving two existing lifts at the DPW building at 155 Steele St.  He says the total, current budget is $5.1-million with remaining work items totaling $577,000.


Man arrested after allegedly leading Lakewood-Busti Police on high speed chase...
Police have arrested a man following a high-speed chase early Monday morning that began near Ashville... went through the village of Lakewood before ending in West Ellicott.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they saw Izaiah Clark run the stop sign at Route 474 and West Fairmount Ave. shortly after 2 a.m., and, tried to make a traffic stop.  However... officers say Clark sped off east on Fairmount reaching a "very high rate of speed."  Police continued with the pursuit until Clark stopped at the corner of Woodworth and Chicago Avenues -- near the Jamestown City line.  He was arrested on several charges...including: third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle... reckless driving... speed in zone... unsafe turn with no signal... and, speed unreasonable and purdent.  Clark was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.


Ribbon is cut on completion of Phase-One of Chaut. Lake Westside Sewer Extension project...
The first-phase of the nearly $17-million dollar Chautauqua Lake Westside Sewer Extension project has been completed... and, the ribbon was cut on it Monday.  The project is the culminiation of many years of effort by several people to stop sewage from getting into the lake... and, local residents water wells.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says it's just the start to completing the entire project... and, adds favorable weather helped contractors to help complete the project on time.  Former South and Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer District Board Chairman... and, current Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon... recalled the efforts of late North Harmony Town Supervisor, Sally Carlson, to get closed sewers on that side of the lake. Current and long-time sewer district board member Tom Erlandson also spoke... adding that he did a survey around 1980 of home owners with water wells and septic systems... and, found that 41% of the homes on the westside of the lake with septics had well water contaminated by those septic systems.  Among those on hand for the ribbon cutting were former State Assemblyman Rolland Kidder, and former Legislature Chairman Lance Spicer... both long-time proponents of the extension.


Borrello gives mixed review to just-concluded end of NYS legislative session...
Chautauqua County's representative in the New York State Senate has a mixed reaction to this year's legislative session... which wrapped up in Albany over the weekend.  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello believes additional measures that passed during the session will only further hurt public safety.  As an example... he cites is the recently-approved "Clean Slate Act," which will automatically seal certain convictions from a New Yorker's criminal record when they become eligible.  He says that way, anyone interviewing such a person for a job, or to rent an apartment, would have no knowledge of that person's criminal past.  However... at the same time, Borrello says a key achievement was the recent conceptual agreement on a new 20-year gaming compact between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians. 


Jamestown woman arrested after allegedly leaving her young child wandering outdoors...
A city woman has been arrested for allegedly allowing her 3-year-old son to wander unsupervised outside their home on Jamestown's westside Monday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene to check on the well-being of a child shortly before 3 p.m., and, found the toddler had been located by a Good Samaritan on a busy roadway.  Officers took custody of the child... and a short time later found the mother... identified as 32 year-old Brandi Haight.  They found that the child had apparently been gone from the residence for more than an hour before Haight realized he was gone.  Police say they turned the child over to a family member and Haight was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.  She was jailed pending arraignment.

 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 12, 2023

Jamestown man arrested for allegedly firing off shotgun near woman...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly firing multiple rounds from a shotgun at a Jamestown woman during an incident last Friday night.  City police were called to a report of "multiple gunshots" in the area of 713 East Second St. shortly before 10 p.m.  On arrival... officers say they saw 25 year-old Darius Franklin and another man fighting in the roadway.  Police took both men into custody.  The female victim then told officers that Franklin had fired several shots at her.  They were able to locate the shotgun used in the incident behind a vehicle in a parking lot next to a business.  They also found that Franklin had damaged two vehicles belonging to a neighboring business that were struck by the gunfire.  He was arrested for first-degree reckless endangerment... fourth-degree criminal possession of a Weapon... second-degree menacing... and, several City Code violations.  Franklin was jailed pending arraignment.


Two people arrested on drug charges following traffic stop in Gerry...
A man from Buffalo and a woman from Jamestown have been arrested for drug trafficking after their car was pulled over for speeding on Route 60 in the town of Gerry last Friday night.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped the car, driven by 22 year-old Megan Leeper of Jamestown, shortly after 11 p.m.  Deputies noticed a plastic bag with a white powdery substance in the vehicle.  Officers searched the car... and, seized nearly 10 ounces of cocaine... more than 17 grams of fentanyl... a digital scale and packaging material for drug sales... and, $135 cash.  Both Leeper and 25 year-old Kori Robinson were arrested for first- and second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  They were jailed pending arraignment.


Lexi Hughan Memorial dedicated at Washington and W. Sixth in Jamestown...
A six-month effort to create a permanent memorial to the Jamestown teenager tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver on New Year's Eve of 2021 culminated last Saturday morning.  Family and friends joined with several city leaders to cut the ribbon on the Lexi Hughan Memorial bench and picnic table in Dow Park.  The memorial... which is located next to the intersection of Washington and West Sixth Streets... was spearheaded by city resident Melissa Paterniti.  She took on the project with Lexi's mother, Sarah Rafolowski.  Paterniti says she saw the markshift memorial across the street... and, the fact the weather was taking it's toll.  She says that's when she started talking to city officials, and others about a more permanent memorial.  Rafolowski, says having the dedication on Pride Day in Jamestown was important to her, and would be for Lexi as well.  She says it's a "little difficult" having the memorial next to where Lexi was killed, but, expressed her appreciation to the city for allowing it in part of Dow Park.  Lexi Hughan was 15 when she was struck and killed when she was struck by a car carrier, operated by 60 year-old Randall Rolison of Jamestown at that corner.


D.A., Rafolowski react to Rolison agreeing to plea deal of vehicle deaths...
Chautauqua County's top-prosecutor says the plea deal for the Jamestown man accused in two fatal accidents the past year-and-a-half was the "best he could do" for the victim's families.  However... the mother of one of the victims says she's satisfied with the pleas... and, that there won't be a trial.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 60 year-old Randall Roilson will receive the maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Jamestown's Lexi Hughan on New Year's Eve of 2021.  Lexi's mother, Sarah Rafolowski, was in the courtroom to hear the pleas... and, says she's relieved that there won't have to be a trial, and detailed testimony about what happened.  Rafolowski made her comments after last Saturday's dedication of a memorial to her daugher in Dow Park.  The other victim was 71 year-old Linda Kraemer... who died in two-car crash in the town of Arkwright last Dec. 3.  Rolison is charged with second-degree aggravated vehicular homicide for that accident.  Schmidt says Rolison will be sentenced on both charges Aug. 28, and, adds that Rolison will receive 13 1/3 to 40 years on the combined charges.


Borrello blasts state legislature approval of moving local elections to even years...
A bill approved by the New York state legislature to mandate local governments move their elections to even-numbered years is being blasted by local State Senator George Borrello.  The Sunset Bay Republican says... putting those elections alongside elections for Senate, Assembly, statewide offices, Congress and president is part of "continual efforts to rig the political system in (Democrats) favor."  Borrello says "every session since they took full control of New York State government has seen them scheming to maximize and cement their political power by changing the rules of the game.  The 2023 Session has been no exception." 


Give Big CHQ a big success...
The 6th annual ‘Give Big CHQ’ was a great success.  The joint fundraiser put on by the Chautauqua Region and Northern Chautauqua Community Foundations was held last Thursday.  Tory Irgang is the Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and, says they raised nearly $300,000 for all 120 organizations involved in the on-line fundraiser.  Irgang says the foundations will add another $30,000 in ‘incentive’ or ‘prize’ money early this week.  She says that while all non-profit organizations can benefit from ‘Give Big,’ the dollars and recognition gained by the smallest ones are a big help to their missions. 


 

WJTN News Bulletin for Sat., June 10, 2023

(**Update)Lexi Hughan Memorial dedicated in Dow Park...
A six-month effort to create a permanent memorial to the Jamestown teenager tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver on New Year's Eve of 2021 culminated this morning.  Family and friends joined with several city leaders to cut the ribbon on the Lexi Hughan Memorial bench and picnic table in Dow Park.  The memorial... which is located next to the intersection of Washington and West Fifth Streets... was spearheaded by city resident Melissa Paterniti.  She took on the project with Lexi's mother, Sarah Rafolowski, whom she worked with at The Resource Center... and, she also worked with Jeff Hughan, Lexi's father.  While she never knew Lexi, she kind of knew her through her parents.  She says understood how devastating her loss was to her parents.  Paterniti says she saw the markshift memorial across the street... and, the fact the weather was taking it's toll.  She says that's when she started talking to city officials, and others about a more permanent memorial.  Lexi's mother, Sarah Rafolowski, says having the dedication on Pride Day in Jamestown was important to her, and would be for Lexi as well.  Lexi Hughan was 15 when she was struck and killed when she was struck by a car carrier, operated by 60 year-old Randall Rolison of Jamestown at the corner of Washington and West Fifth Streets.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 9, 2023

Rolison pleads guilty to manslaughter, vehicular homicide in fatal accidents...
The Jamestown man charged in connection with two fatal traffic accidents in Chautauqua County the past year-and-a-half has pleaded guilty to charges in both.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt announced the pleas entered by 60 year-old Randall Rolison in County Court before Judge David Foley.  Schmidt says Rolison pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the New Year's Eve 2021, death of 15 year-old Lexi Hughan in Jamestown... and, to aggravated vehicular homicide for the December 3, 2022, death of Linda Kraemer in the town of Arkwright.  Hughan was a 10th grader at Jamestown High School when she died.  Kraemer was 71.  As part of the pleas... Schmidt agreed to drop weapons possession charges in a third case.  Rolison faces up to 15 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and up to 25 years on the aggravated vehicular homicide charge.  Sentencing is set for Aug. 28 in County Court.


City man arrested on drug and weapons-related charges...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine... and a loaded, high-capacity magazine during a traffic stop.  City police say they pulled over 57 year-old Tarik Salik near 25 South Main St. about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, and, found he had an active warrant for his arrest.  Officers say they soon after found Salik with the drugs, and the ammunition magaine.  He was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, seventh degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Salik was jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown pair arrested in drug raid...
Two people from Jamestown have been arrested on drug and weapon's possession charges following a drug raid on the city's westside late Thursday morning.  Jamestown police say members of the city's Metro Drug Task Force... and, Sheriff's Department Narcotics investigators... executed a search warrant at 114 West Seventh St. shortly before 11 a.m., and, found 37 year-old Heather Crilley... and 54 year-old Ronald Mesler inside.  Detectives conducted a search and found a small quantity of methamphetamine... along with suboxone, scales... and, a loaded .44 Magnum revolver.  Both Crilley and Mesler were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Crilley is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weaspon... and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Mesler faces one count of criminal possession of a firearm.


NYC suing 30 upstate counties -- including Chautauqua -- over States of Emergency...
New York City leaders say they are suing 30 update counties -- including Chautauqua -- that have issued what they call "unlawful" states of emergency prohibiting asylum seekers from staying in private hotels within their jurisdictions.  Those officials say this would be at the city of New York’s expense -- amidst a major humanitarian crisis and statewide emergency.  Mayor Eric Adams says the 30 counties have filed the states of emergency to "wall out asylum seekers."  While not commenting specifically on the litigation itself... Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says they are aware of the lawsuit... and, says the county "objects in the strongest possible way to the defamatory comments that the actions taken by the county are xenophobic bigotry.” 


Gillibrand again pitches call for U.S. Forest Service to help with wildfires in Canada...
Air quality in and around the region has improved since early afternoon Thursday... when conditions due to the Canadian wildfires were still hazardous.  There was another Air Quality Alert for Friday that expires at Midnight, however, the AQI is much lower than the past two days.  Chautauqua County Interim Public Health Director Dr. Michael Faulk recommended all outdoor activites be either postponed or cancelled Thursday... and, some -- including the Jamestown Tarp Skunks baseball game -- were postponed.  In addition to calling on the U.S. Forest Service to assist Canadian firefighters if called upon... U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also called on fellow lawmakers to agree to appropriate $5-million to improve the northeast's air monitoring systems.


Lost child in Jamestown by passerby, stepfather charged...
Jamestown police have arrested the step-father of a 4 year-old child found wandering alone during a search on the city's northside Wednesday night.  City police were called to a report of a missing child in the area of North Main and Buffalo Streets just after 8 p.m., and, made contact with a passerby who saw the child in the area.  After further investigation... it was determined that there were no adults looking for the discovered child... and the police didn't receive any calls for a missing child.  Officers checked the nearby area and were able to locate the stepfather, 35 year-old Harry Stauffer, Jr, and he was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.


Celoron Ribfest underway through Saturday...
The annual Celoron Ribfest is underway in the village... with a large number of ribbers... and, others selling food during the four-day event.  It's put on by the village as a fund-raiser for local non-profit organizations.  Mayor Scot Schrecengost says they have some long-time favorites among the rib-makers back this year... and others.  Schreckengost says they also other food available for people that don't want ribs... or want something a little different...  including pulled pork and chicken sandwiches.  He says it's all excellent.  Schrecengost says they also have soft drinks... and, the beer tent and wine garden back this year.  Schrecengost says they'll have plenty of music each night.  As for the hours... they're until 10 tonight.... and, on Saturday they'll be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Schrecengost thanked their several sponsors... but, in particular, their presenting sponsor -- The Shults Auto Group.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thursday, June 8, 2023

State DEC to discontinue Air Quality Alert for most of NYS, including Chautauqua County...
The region's Air Quality Alert due to the Canadian wildfires will expire at Midnight tonight by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.  Chautauqua County health officials Wednesday night issued an advisory recommending that any outdoor activities today be either postponed or cancelled.  Interim Director of Public Health Dr. Michael Faulk said the Air Quality Index did reach 160 in the county about mid-day.  A few activities were postponed... including the Jamestown Tarp Skunks baseball game at Diethrick Park.  Air quality becomes an issue when it rises above 100 for particulate matter -- in this case mainly smoke.  However... forecasters say conditions were already improving by early Thursday evening.


Schumer warns wildfires are part of accelerating effects of climate change...
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer spoke on the floor of the Senate late Wednesday morning... warning his colleagues that the poor air quality in the Northeast is being exacerbated by climate change.  The Majority Leader predicted that this dramatic shift... due to the Canadian wildfires....is only the beginning.  The New York Democrat says positive changes need to be made, and quickly because it's "making these disasters worse."  Schumer says the smoke and fog over New York City... and, the rest of the Northeast is a warning from nature that we have a lot of work to do to reverse the effects of climate change.  Officials say 85% of the wildfires in Canada are caused by lightning... and, that's being accelerated by dry, warmer conditions.
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In response to the hundreds of wildfires in Canada... New York's other U.S. Senator... Kirsten Gillibrand, has sent a letter to the U.S. Forest Service.  Gillibrand is calling on them to be ready for any request by Canada to help suppress the fires.  The New York Democrat... who is a member of the Senate's Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, sent a letter to the head of the Forest Service, calling on them to "stand-ready" to assist Canadian fire crews under the Northeastern Forest Fire Protection Compact.


Two Falconer residents arrested on drug possession charges at town of Ellicott hotel...
Two Falconer residents are accused of dealing drugs following a raid on a hotel room just outside the village.  Sheriff's deputies say their narcotics investigators... along with those from the Jamestown and Ellicott Police Departments... executed a search warrant on Room 133 at the Quality Inn about 8 p.m. Tuesday.  Officers say they found 38 year-old Jason Swan and 39 year-old Kylene Hellriegel inside... along with nearly 27-grams of methamphetamine... 7.49-grams of fentanyl... scales... packaging materials and $95 in cash.  Hellriegel and Swan were each charged with two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and one count of second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia.  Both were taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.  Police urge residents who see or know of suspicious or drug-related activity to call the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators Tip line call at 800-344-8702 or 664-2420).


Sheriff says Jamestown Airport plane crash scene one of the worst he's seen... 
Chautauqua County's top-cop says the scene of Tuesday afternoon's fatal airplane crash just north of the Jamestown airport is one of the worst crash scenes he's ever seen.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone described the location in a field off a wooded area as having a "small debris field" meaning the aftermath was condensed into a small area.  The crash... shortly after take-off just before 2 p.m., killed 52 year-old Roger Ryall of Toronto... and, 52 year-old David Hughes of British Columbia.  Quattrone says Ryall was the pilot of the ill-fated plane... which appeared to have crashed quickly, and it was a difficult scene for first-responders to see.  During a press conference at the airport late Tuesday... Quattrone noted that airport firemen were soon after joined by Fluvanna, and Gerry fire crews.  Other mutual aid and first responders were also called to the scene.  Quattrone says the plane had left Erie, Pennsylvania for Waterloo, Ontario when Ryall stopped in Jamestown to refuel.  However... he says something cause a "catastrophic failure" just after take-off. 


Borrello hopes to see changes in Nourish NY to better distribute funds to local food banks...
One of the key sponsors of the bill to make the Nourish NY program permanent two years ago is now pushing legislation that would fix a problem regarding the distribution of funds to regional food banks.  Local State Senator George Borrello says the error involves the way the state is administering the program... and, lumping it with another program under the state Department of Health.  Borrello says he's working with other key lawmakers who backed making of Nourish NY permanent.  They include Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman, Michelle Hinchey... and, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, in taking corrective action.  Both are Democrats.  


JPD hires new Nuisance Officer...
Several months after officially creating the position... the Jamestown Police Department now has a "nuisance officer" in place -- and out in the community.  Members of the Jamestown City Council were given a report by Public Safety Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon about the officer's early days of dealing with loud noise and other nuisance complaints... with 10 people being cited for noise complaints, and one other for littering.  The hiring for additional police officers... and, the nuisance officer... were approved by City Council last year.  However... it's taken time to fill positions due to lower civil service numbers.  The department is authorized to have up to 65 police officers... including the nuisance officer. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 7, 2023

Two Canadian men identified as victims of small plane crash near County Airport...
Officials believe that some kind of "catastrophic failure" led to a fatal, small plane crash just north of the Chautauqua County Airport near Jamestown Tuesday.  During a press conference late Tuesday at the airport... Sheriff Jim Quattrone said the tragic accident occured shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday just minutes after the plane took off for Waterloo, Ontario Canada.  Quattrone at the time confirmed there were two people on board who were killed.  Late last night, the men were identified as 52-year-old Roger Ryall of Toronto, Canada -- who was the pilot -- and, his passenger was 52 year-old David Hughes of British Columbia.  Officials say the plane had arrived in Jamestown shortly after Noon... and, refueled.  He says the plane was cleared for take-off and crashed and caught fire moments later.  Quattrone says there's nothing left intact on the plane... just pieces and parts in the field.  He noted the plane likely had a full fuel-load of 92-gallons.  He says the plane was fully-engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived... and, it took about half-an-hour to bring the fire under control.  He praised the several local fire departments and police agencies that responded to the scene.  The Jamestown Airport was closed about 2-and-a-half hours... and, reopened at 6 p.m. last night.  Quattrone says both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are expected to be at the scene today.


Canadian wilfires sending smoke into northeastern U.S....
Intense Canadian wildfires are blanketing the northeastern United States with a dystopian haze, turning the air acrid, the sky yellowish gray and prompting warnings for vulnerable populations to stay inside.  The effects of hundreds of wildfires burning across the western provinces to Quebec could be felt as far away as New York City and New England... blotting out skylines and irritating throats.  U.S. authorities issued air quality alerts.  Much of New York state... including Western New York... is under Air Quality Alerts through Midnight tonight.  Hazy conditions and smoke from the wildfires were reported across the Great Lakes region from Cleveland to Buffalo.
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Meanwhile... here's a closer look at what's happening and some suggested precautions for dealing with the haze: Smoke from Canada's wildfires has been moving into the United States since last month. The most recent fires near Quebec have been burning for at least several days. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said hazy skies, reduced visibility and the odor of burning wood are likely, and that the smoke will linger for a few days in northern states.

Air quality alerts are triggered by a number of factors, including the detection of fine-particle pollution — known as “PM 2.5” — which can irritate the lungs. “We have defenses in our upper airway to trap larger particles and prevent them from getting down into the lungs. These are sort of the right size to get past those defenses,” said Dr. David Hill, a pulmonologist in Waterbury, Connecticut, and a member of the American Lung Association's National Board of Directors.

Exposure to elevated fine particle pollution levels can affect the lungs and heart.  Officials says it's a good time to put off that yard work and outdoor exercise. If you go out, consider wearing an N95 mask to reduce your exposure to pollutants. 


City of Jamestown now overbudget on new Fleet Maintenance building...
The new Jamestown Public Works Fleet Management building on Washington Street will cost significantly more than expected when the project first began.  That from City Council Public Works Committee Chairman Randy Daversa... who told fellow lawmakers Monday night that the matter was discussed by the committee.  However... there was no firm figure given for the amount originally budgeted for the new facility.  Daversa said it was his understanding that the original price was $2.8-million... and, the cost to date has been $3.9-million.  However... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says that $2.8-million figure was actually the amount borrowed for the project... and, they were being conservative at that time.  Sundquist said he would get that originally budgeted cost for lawmakers.  Daversa says retired DPW Director Jeff Lehman... who is still helping with the project... will hopefully be able to come before the committee next week.  At least one lawmaker... Marie Carrubba... was criticial of planning for the project and whether American Rescue Plan monies should have been used.  Sundquist pointed out there is $1.7-million in ARPA funding left that could be used.


Falconer man sentenced to three-years in prison for drug possession...
A Falconer man convicted of being in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine one year ago will spend three-years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 41 year-old Justin Meacham received the sentence Monday... plus three years post-release supervision from County Court Judge David Foley.  Meacham had been previously convicted of Felony fourth-dgree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Schmidt says Meacham was arrested in Jamestown in May of 2022 when he was found in possession of a quantity of meth.  He led guilty to the charge back in March.


Hanover man arrested for menacing...
A man from the town of Hanover is accused of theatening another person in the presence of children during an incident Monday night.  Sheriff's deputies say they were called to a report of an unwanted person at a home in the town just before 7 p.m.  Officers say their investigation showed that 25 year-old Jacob Altweis had menaced the other person with children present.  He was arrested for second-degree menacing... and, endangering the welfare of a child. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., June 6, 2023

City Council discusses CDGB and HOME Program Action Plan to be voted on in late June...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will vote later this month on the city's annual Action Plan for it's Community Development Block Grant... which totals $1.14-million.  In addition... the City Council will also vote on a just under $400,000 HOME Program.  The Finance Committee approved the plan Monday night... and, City Development Director Crystal Surdyk says there are a few minor changes to this year's allocation... but, adds the amount for "targeted" demolition of dilapitated housing is at the maximum of $110,000.  Surdyk says that's one of their anti-blight initiatives, which also include their "Hands-On Neighborhood" clean-up programs.  The largest area of funding is $210,000 for rehabiliation of publicly, or privately owned, commercial or industrial properties.  Surdyk says the city will also hold it's annual Amnesty Days as part of the program... where people can dispose of large bulk items... as well as recycle electronics, and tires this year.  City leaders say the formal public hearing on the 2023 CDBG-HOME Program Action Plan will be held prior to the council's June 26 voting session.


City man arrested for allegedly leading police on chase with Dirt Bike...     
A Jamestown man faces multiple charges after leading police on a short vehicle chase with his dirt bike on the city's eastside yesterday morning.  Jamestown police say they spotted the unregistered dirt bike with two riders passing through the intersection of East Second and Winsor Streets about 11 a.m.  Officers activated their emergency lights and siren as the bike was traveling on the wrong side of the street.  The operator of the dirt bike, later identified as 24-year-old Bracken Warren, led officers on a short pursuit violating multiple vehicle and traffic laws.  The pursuit ended in the new portion of Lakeview Cemetery... where Warren and a female passenger... abandoned the bike and ran into the woods.  However... both were found a short time later... and, Warren was arrested for unlawfully fleeing a Police Officer and reckless driving.  He was later arraigned and issued appearance tickets for City Court.


City police ask public's help in solving "suspicious situations" case in Brooklyn Square...
Jamestown police are looking for the driver of a dark-colored pickup truck involved in two separate suspicious situations in the Brooklyn Square of the city.  Jamestown police say the black or dark-colored truck has a red or blue fishing sticker in the back window... and, has been seen in the later evening hours in recent days.  Police say the pick-up truck is believed to be an extended cab truck and the drive may act like he's working on the truck.  The operator of the truck is described as a white male in his 50’s, approximately 5' 7" tall with with brown and gray hair and a mustache.  Anyone with information about this person or vehicle – or anyone who sees the vehicle – is asked to call the Jamestown Police Department at 483-7537... of their confidential tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Borrello says work continues on session-ending bills in state legislature prior to conclusion on Thursday...
New York state lawmakers will be busy passing bills in the remaining days of the legislative session that wraps up on Thursday in Albany.  State Senator George Borrello of Sunset Bay was asked about the legislation he has been working on in recent weeks... including some extenders for the county's occupancy and sales taxes.  Among the remaining bills... says Borrello... is one that would help the Dunkirk Fire Department with recruiting candidates from outside the city.  He says there's also a measure designed to let local communities work together more on joint ventures to save money.  Borrello, a Republican, says he is working other bills that will allow local communities to work together before legislative leaders adjourn the session.


Jackson Center to host U.S. Supreme Court, "Barnette" case seminar...
The so-called '303 Creative' case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court... and a landmark case decided 80 years ago will be the subject of seminar Wednesday at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown.  Center President, Kristan McMahon says their Jackson authority, John Q. Barrett will lead the discussion.  McMahon says the "303 Creative" case involves a woman who says, due to her religious beliefs, doesn't want to create websites for same-sex couples.  However, the woman says she hasn't been asked to do one yet.  The case from 80 years ago is 'West Virginia versus Barnette.'  Robert H. Jackson wrote the majority opinion in that decision involving mandatory rituals in the classroom... and, that the students First Amendment right as Jehovah's Witnesses allowed them to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  The seminar on the connections among 'Barnette', '303 Creative' and other current First Amendment challenges will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Jackson Center.  The program is free and open to the public.


PA State house narrowly approves new State budget...
Pennsylvania state lawmakers returned to session Monday for a weekslong slog to the budget deadline, as House Democrats advanced a spending plan that could test whether Governor Josh Shapiro can manage a politically divided Legislature in his freshman year.  It could also set the tone for how the Democratic governor will boost his agenda while balancing the demands of an entrenched Senate Republican majority with those of a one-vote House Democratic majority that took power this year.  Within hours... House Democrats unveiled and passed a spending plan, 102-101, that goes well beyond what Shapiro requested for the year starting July 1. 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., June 5, 2023

Air Quality Alert issued for Chautauqua Co. due to smoke from Canadian forest fires...
High pressure in the region is bringing smoke from forest fires in eastern Canada into our area today... and, likely into early tomorrow.  The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Alert now through Midnight tonight.  National Weather Service Forecaster Liz Jurkowski in Buffalo says -- so far -- the smoke has produced high-level haze in the sky.  Jurkowski says it could be pushed to lower or ground-level, but, adds that's not likely.  With that haze... there won't be as much sunshine today... which will keep temperatures in the low to mid-70s.  Jurkowski says the haze may continue through early tomorrow... but, it should be pushed out later tomorrow when a cold front moves in.  She says it's comparable to last month when smoke from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, reached our area. 


A dozen fire departments respond to House and Shed Fire in Carroll late Saturday...
A two-alarm fire in the town of Carroll had firefighters from a dozen area departments busy late Saturday night into Sunday morning. The call came in at about 10 p.m. to a reported fire across the street from 563 Ivory Rd.  The Falconer Fire Dept., one of the responding departments, stated on its Facebook page that the fire started in a shed and had spread into a house.  Other responding departments included Frewsburg, Kiantone, Busti, Kennedy, Ashville, Gerry, Lakewood, Ellington, Randolph, East Randolph and Cold Spring... along with the Chautauqua County FAST Team and Chautauqua County EMS.  There were no injuries reported... nor cause of the fire.  Crews were on scene for more than six hours.


Man and woman arrested after traffic stop turns up drugs and handgun...
A man and a woman face drug and weapons possession charges after their jeep was stopped for a traffic violation on Jamestown's eastside last Friday night.  City police say they stopped the Jeep Wrangler at the corner of Tower and English Streets about 6:30 p.m., and, found both 33 year-old Demeatrice Maddox and 36 year-old Stephanie Armstrong in possession of a small amount of cocaine.  They also found that Maddox was in possession of a loaded handgun.  He tried to run off on foot... but, was taken into custody after a brief foot pursuit.  Maddox was also found to be a convicted Felon and was out on Parole.  He was arrested for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, unlawful possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device.  Both Maddox and Armstrong were charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Both were jailed pending arraignment. 


Structure fire in Ashville ruled accidental...
There were no injuries reported after a structure fire late last week in the Ashville-area.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say Ashville firefighters were joined by Lakewood crews in responding to a location on Rt. 474 just before 11:30 last Thursday night.  The fire was extinguished fairly quickly... and, investigators were called in.  Their probe of the blaze determined that the fire was accidental, and originated above a drop ceiling due to faulty electrical wiring.  


Jamestown pair arrested after stealing car with "significant amount of cash" -- and rabbits -- inside...
Two city residents are accused of stealing a car on Jamestown's southside with two pet rabbits... and, "substantial amount of cash" inside it.  City police say they got a report of the car being stolen from a parking lot shortly after 9 a.m. last Friday at the corner of West Eighth and North Main Streets.  The owner also told police about the cash... and, officers later found the vehicle in a parking lot at a southside business.  Police soon after found the two people allegedly involved... and, took 34 year-old Jennifer Conti, and 49 year-old Charles Thomas, Sr. into custody.  Conti was determined to be the driver... and, she was charged with second-degree criminal possession of stolen property... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after being found in possession of a small amount of narcotic drugs.  Police add she also had an order of protection against Thomas.  He was also charged with charged with second-degree possession of stolen property... and, second-degree criminal contempt.  Both were jailed pending arraignment. 


Wendel issues State of Emergency extention to deal with upstate influx of migrants and asylum seekers...
The State of Emergency put in place in mid-May by Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel to keep local entities from contracting with New York City to accept migrants and asylum-seekers has been extended another 30 days.  Wendel announced late Friday that the order... which had been put into effect on May 18, was being extended from May 30 to June 30.  During last weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio stations... he said the order is in response to New York City's intentions to send migrants and asylum seekers to other New York counties.  Wendel says -- specifically -- local towns, villages and cities are prohibited from contracting with New York City to take those people.  Wendel says the order was issued "due to the economic, health care, safety and security burdens this migration would have on the county."  He adds it also requires "any municipalities that might bring migrating or asylum-seeking people into Chautauqua County to ensure they will be fully cared for and paid for."  Wendel says he's talked with agencies that have helped migrants already here, and they have told him they can't handle at this time.

 

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., June 2, 2023

It's not "everything he wanted..." but, Langworthy votes for debt ceiling bill...
With only a few days to spare... the debt ceiling deal brokered by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has cleared the Senate.  Local Congressman Nick Langworthy says he supported the measure... but, also added that it's not everything he wanted.  However... he says what's happened is something that's never happened in the federal government where raising the debt ceiling was tied to cuts, or spending reductions.  Langworthy says a number of items in the debt ceiling deal do "set the table" for a "better, more responsible spending and appropriations process."  The Buffalo-area Republican says having some work requirements on social and welfare benefits were the "best deal we could get at this point."


Wendel addressed several issues, and concerns with county Chamber, including migrants and asylum seekers...
Jobs and economic development were among the topics discussed during Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel's annual breakfast with the county's Chamber of Commerce.  However... the issue of migrants and asylum seekers coming into New York State wound up being the most discussed.  During the program at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron this morning... Wendel defended the State of Emergency he recently declared to prevent New York City from literally "dumping" migrants here.  He says it prohibits villages, towns and cities... along with hotels and motels... from contracting with New York City to bring migrants here.  Wendel adds that Chautauqua is just one of 38 upstate counties -- governed by both Democrats and Republicans -- that have issued similar States of Emergency.  He says a big factor was discussions he had with local non-profits and other agencies who have already been working with migrants... and, they said "no, we can't handle anymore."


Wendel also talks budgeting, and hints at re-election bid during chamber event...
The county is in solid financial shape heading into the start of work on the 2024 budget.  That from Executive P-J Wendel, who says work really began after the current year's spending plan was adopted.  Wendel says the county finally has an adequate fund balance... but, adds there will be challenges.  He says, once the budget was adopted, he began thinking about the 2024 spending plan.  The 2023 budget totaled just over $270-million... but, did include a 30-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate decrease.  Wendel believes the future can be bright, and he's focused on the second-half of his first full-term in office.  He did add, though, that he intends to run for re-election in two years.


Connecticut man arrested in north county following high-speed pursuit...
A Connecticut man faces numerous vehicle and traffic violations following a high speed pursuit on Route 20 in the town of Portland Wednesday night.  Sheriff's officers say they were conducting a routine patrol when they spotted a car traveling at a high rate of speed.  Deputies say they immediately turned around... and, turned on their lights and siren to make a traffic stop.  However... they say the vehicle... driven by Oleksander Popadiuk of East Haven, Conn., continued speeding into the village of Fredonia.  Popadiuk was taken into custody on charges including:  third-degree unlawfully fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle... speed in zone... speed over 55 mph... improper passing... and, reckless driving.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment... and was issued appearance tickets for Portland Town Court.


Dunkirk man arrested during drug bust...
A two-month long investigation into narcotics sales out of a residence on Gazelle Street in the city of Dunkirk early this morning led to the arrest of city man.  Narcotics detectives from Dunkirk Police, the County Sheriff's Office... and Jamestown Police were involved in the raid about 6 a.m.  That from Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano... who says 40 year-old Angel Castillo-Cruz was arrested for third-degree criminal posession of a controlled substance, two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  Investigators say they found 13.3 grams of fentanyl, 1.42 grams of cocaine, scales and packaging material for narcotics sales, and $305 in cash.  Castillo-Cruz was jailed pending arraignment.


Panama woman arrested in Jamestown for violent assault...
A woman from Panama is accused of breaking into a home on Jamestown's northside late Wednesday... and, assaulted a person living there with a knife.  City police were called to the scene about 4:30 p.m. for a reported trespass... and, spoke with the victim once they were on-scene.  They learned that 41 year-old Margie Curry had unlawfully entered the victim's residence, and assaulted them... violating an order of protection.  A short time later... police located Curry in the upstairs of the home.  However... while trying to take her into custody... Curry resisted officers.  She was eventually taken into custody... and, jailed pending arraignment on charges including first-degree burglary... second-degree assault... and, resisting arrest. 


Tarp Skunks enjoy Summer-like night, win in season opener...
With sizzling sun and temperatures in the mid 80’s, it was easy to catch baseball fever Thursday night at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park in Jamestown... as the Tarp Skunks opened their season.  Greg Peterson, one of the principals in Jamestown Community Baseball LLC, franchise holder for the Tarp Skunks, was beaming because they had a "tremendous turnout" for the opener.  The fan group known as the ‘Pew Crew’ was back as well, in their usual place behind the home team dugout.  Their unofficial leader is Dennis Finnerty... who says they'll be in place for every Skunks home game this summer.  Jamestown won last nigh, 7-3 over Olean.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., June 1, 2023

City man arrested in Cattaraugus County in connection with drug-related death...
A Jamestown man has been arrested in Cattaraugus County for allegedly selling a dangerous drug to a 23 year-old woman last year... causing her death.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested 23 year-old Kyle Stilson in Salamanca about 9 a.m. Wednesday on an arrest warrant for an August 2022 incident.  Deputies say they found Stilson at a location on Broad Street Extension.  He was arraigned in Olean City Court on one count each of second-degree assault... and, third-degree criminal sale... and, third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Stilson was taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail without bail.


Missing Catt. Co. girl found safe in town of Ashford...
The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office was involved in a search for a 5 year-old girl... late Wednesday... who had been reported missing in the area of Beechtree and Watson Roads in the town of Ashford.  Deputies say the girl was reported missing just after 4 p.m.  However... she was found about half-an-hour later in that area.


Wendel says county still awaiting final word on county projects eligible for NYS Environmental Bond Act funding...
Chautauqua County government's top elected official says the county will be looking to get a share of the state's $4.2-billion environmental bond act for local projects.  County Executive P.J. Wendel was among the officials from across Western New York who attended Governor Kathy Hochul's kick-off of her statewide listening tour held in the Buffalo-area Tuesday.  Wendel says he spoke with a number of state officials who will be involved in the delivery of bond act funding... including state facilitie's Office.  He says they have a lot of information "going back and forth."  Wendel says one portion of the program outlined by Hochul could help several communities in the county... namely those that are "economically disadvantaged" including the cities of Jamestown and Dunkirk.  In referring to the bond act... Wendel says it seems like money is everywhere, but his concern is "how do we get there and how do we get it."  He noted that representatives from Dunkirk and Jamestown also attended the event.


Farmer's Market in Mayville already underway...
One of the earliest outdoor markets for the season is already open in Mayville.  The Mayville Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market is a project of the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce.  On opening day last Thursday, Coordinator Shannon Biekarck said they were looking forwards to having a "fun and successful" season through September 7.  In addition to the usual produce and baked goods... Bierkarck says one of the things that sets Mayville’s market apart is the variety of other products they offer... including clothing, embroidery, and several different things.  The Mayville Market is open every Thursday from Noon to 4 p.m., and will have food trucks on site as well.  


Man arrested in West Ellicott following violent domestic incident...
A town of Ellicott man has been arrested for allegedly beating a woman with a metal rod during a violent domestic incident at a West Ellicott motel.  Town Police say they were called to the Colony Motel on Fairmount Ave. about 10 a.m. Tuesday... and, found that 51 year-old Bobby Kastelic allegedly struck the woman... injuring her.  He also refused to let the victim use a phone, or leave the motel room.  Police say the woman was later able to get away... and, call police.  Officers also found that Kastelic had an order of protection to stay away from the victim.  He was arrested for second-degree harassment... third-degree assault... second-degree criminal contempt... and, unlawful imprisonment.  Kastelic was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Langworthy announces just over $5-million grant to COI for Head Start...
Local Congressman Nick Langworthy has announced a just over $5-million federal grant for Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated for local Head Start projects.  The Buffalo-area Republican says he's "proud to have championed, and secured" $5.1-million for those projects.  Langworthy adds that "this investment underscores our commitment to our community's children and early childhood development.  We are laying the foundation for a brighter future for generations to come by expanding access to quality education and providing critical resources for families.”  Langworthy says the funding will come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  


Tarp Skunks begin Perfect Game Collegiate season tonight...
The Jamestown Tarp Skunks baseball team opens its third season in existance tonight at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park.  Field Manager, Jordan Basile, thinks it’s going to be a great year for the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League entry.  Basile says... after winning the division two years ago... they had a somewhat down year in 2022.  However... he's hoping their third-year will be "the charm."  The team has just begun practicing together this week, but pitcher Evan Chaffee from the University of Alabama says there’s a good feel to this year's group.  Tonight’s game at 6:30 will be a non-league contest against Olean.  Pepsi will present a huge pre-game party in the stadium parking lot for an hour or so prior to the game. The players were introduced at a preview event Wednesday at the Robert H. Jackson Center.
  

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