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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 30, 2023

Man killed in crash involving two tractor-trailers on I-90 near Silver Creek exit...
A man was killed late Wednesday night after his tractor-trailer crashed into a parked rig on the shoulder of Interstate 90 in the town of Hanover.  State Police with the State Thruway say the accident occured about 10:45 p.m. in the eastbound lanes near the Silver Creek exit.  Troopers say an eastbound tractor-trailer had pulled off onto the shoulder to make a driver change when the second semi drifted into the shoulder area... and, hit the parked vehicle.  The moving rig then jack-knifed... and overturned multiple times before becoming engulfed in flames.  The driver of that vehicle died at the scene.  The two people in the parked rig were not hurt.  No names have been released.  The accident remains under investigation.


Sundquist has until end of week to sign or veto budget; Ecklund expressed concerns over spending plan she'll inherit...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has until the end of the week to sign... or veto the 2024 budget approved by the City Council this week.  Lawmakers Monday night approved the $40.15-million spending plan... which included 15 amendments to offset about a $250,000 loss in anticipated property tax revenues.  At this point... Sundquist says he's not inclined to veto anything... because most of the amendments don't seem to be major changes.  However... he does say he is concerned about the reductions in salaries for department heads.  He says says it's made it difficult to fill some positions.  Council Finance Committee Chairwoman... and, Mayor-Elect Kim Ecklund says those reductions still allow for at least a 2.5% increase that union workers got.  Ecklund says there are also some concerns over revenues in 2024... and includes projected sales tax revenues.  Ecklund is working with former City Comptroller Joe Bellitto on closing out the city's 2022 budget... and, reviewing this year's spending plan.


County has first “Code Blue” Warning of early Winter season...
Chautauqua County's first "Code Blue" warning of the Winter season was issued Wednesday by the county's Department of Mental Hygiene and Social Services since the temperature fell below the freezing mark.  That includes the wind chill... and, requires shelter access to anyone in need of assistance.  During normal businesse hours... Monday through Friday... county officials say people seeking emergency shelter should report to the Department of Mental Hygiene and Social Services offices -- including the one at 110 East Fourth Street in Jamestown -- where emergency shelter will be arranged.  After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, persons seeking emergency shelter or those who know of someone who is in need of emergency shelter or who is experiencing homelessness should contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office by dialing (716) 483-7536 or by contacting the nearest police department, and shelter assistance will be provided.  Among the agencies assisting with Code Blue placements in Jamestown are UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... the UCAN Mission for men on First Street.... and Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated.


Jamestown woman arrested fourth-time in the past few days...
A city woman has now been arrested for the fourth-time this week... this time for stealing multiple items from a store on Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to the Family Dollar store at 41 South Main St. on a larceny complaint shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday.  Officers say 38 year-old Jennifer Allen entered the store and stole candy... and decorative flowers from the business... despite knowing she was banned from being there.  Police also discovered that prior to the larceny complaint, Allen intentionally hit another person in the face at a downtown location earlier in the day.  She was arrested in the Family Dollar's parking lot and taken to the city jail.  While at the jail... Allen became disorderly and spit in an officer's eye.  She is charged with third-degree burglary... petty larceny... and two counts of second-degree harassment.  She's being held pending arraignment.
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This latest arrest comes after Allen was arrested for allegedly entering another person's home early Wednesday morning... and, pushing the victim into a table.  City police were called to the eastside location about 1:30 a.m., and, later arrested Allen at a different location after fleeing the area after the victim was able to forcefully remove her from the home.  She is charged with second-degree criminal trespassing... and, second-degree harassment.


Ribbon is cut at new location of Patient's Pharmacy in West Ellicott...
The ribbon has been cut on the new Patient's Pharmacy location in the Fairmount Plaza in West Ellicott.  The business had been long-established on North Main Street in Jamestown... but, made the move to West Ellicott last August.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was on hand as a long-time friend of Patient's Owner, Diane Matthews.  Sundquist he's happy for them... and, noted they still have a significant presence in the city... with one location they are renting out to Herbal IQ, a new cannibis-outlet dispensary.  They also have another business in the city.  Wednesday's ribbon cutting was hosted by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce... and, President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater praised Matthews for how the inside of the new location looks.  That includes a wall map of Chautauqua Lake in 1885.  In addition to Sundquist and Heitzenrater... City Councilman Bill Reynolds... and, Ellicott Town Supervisor Janet Bowman were also on hand for the ribbon cutting.  Patient's Pharmacy is in Suite 6 of the plaza... and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 29, 2023

Pair of drug busts in Jamestown early Tuesday morning net six arrests...
Six people from Jamestown have been arrested following two early morning drug raids Tuesday in the city.  Jamestown police say members of the Metro Drug Task Force and Chautauqua County Sheriffs office narcotics investigators executed search warrants at 13 Crossman St., and, a basement apartment at 15 Hazzard St. shortly after 6 a.m.  At 13 Crossman... officers say they located 41 year-old Jarvelle Leeper inside... along with 33.5-grams of fentanyl, scales, packaging materials, and a small amount of cash.  Leeper was arrested on two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, two counts of third-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Immediately following that raid... detectives raided the apartment on Hazzard St. with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Investigators found 36 year-old Amanda Penhollow, 45 year-old Monroe Wilcox, 38 year-old Christopher Haberberger, 34 year-old Amanda McKendree, and 36 year-old Luis Ruiz inside.  A search of the residence revealed a small quantity of fentanyl.  All five suspects were arrested... and, taken to the city jail pending arraignment on a charge of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  They say Penhollow is also charged with second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  If you have information about illegal drug or other criminal activity... you are asked to call the Jamestown Police Department's Tip line at 483-TIPS.. that's 483-8477... or the Sheriff's Office Tipline at 1-800-344-8702 or 664-2420.


With Winter Weather here, Co. Executive Wendel urges caution and readiness...
The county's top-elected official says says the county's fleet of snow plow trucks is ready to handle what is expected to be a prolonged lake effect snow event.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says he saw some trucks treating roadways while traveling around the county Monday morning.  He says early season snowstorms like this can be concerning... mainly because we're often just trying to re-learn how to drive when it's like this.  He adds the roads can often get slushly because some surfaces may still be warm... and that can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.  We've seen about 8 to 10 inches of snow up to now, and our Lake Effect Snow Warning runs until 7 a.m. Wednesday.


Anzalone sentenced to a dozen year in prison for drug trafficking... 
A city man has been sentenced to 12 years in state prison for his conviction on a charge of felony second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Chautauqua Count District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 50 year-old John Anzalone received the sentence... along with five-years post-release supervision Monday in County Court.  Schmidt says Anzalone was convicted during a jury trial last Sept. 19.  He says during sentencing... Assistant D.A. Erik Bentley argued that the defendent was "a piece of the illegal drug system that has taken countless lives."  He asked the court to send a message to the people who are a part of that system that the “endless cycle of addiction and destruction brought about by dealing drugs will not be tolerated in Chautauqua County.”  Schmidt thanked the Jamestown Police Department’s Metro Drug Task Force... JPD detectives... Ellicott Town Police... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s office for their hard work on the case. 


City Council approves heavily-amended 2024, $40.15-million budget...
The city of Jamestown's 2024 budget has been approved... but, work on the $40.15-million spending plan is not done.  That from Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund after lawmakers adopted the budget... which includes a slight tax levy increase... but, no increase in the tax rate.  Council approved 15 amendments before adopting the spending plan Monday night... in large part because of loss of taxable properties... and, the limit for seniors to have a tax exemption being raised to $22,000 a year of income.  Ecklund thanked panel members... and, the administration for their work on the budget which is being further reviewed by retired Comptroller Joe Bellitto.  At the end of last night's voting session... Council President Tony Dolce further explained what Bellitto will be doing... noting that he will further review the 2022, 2023 and next year's budget plans to make sure everything is properly accounted for, and balanced.  The biggest single offsets in the budget to deal with the changes are some reductions in management salary increases... along with eliminating $41,000 for a new, unmarked Jamestown Police car.  Three other cars -- including one unmarked vehicle -- remain in the spending plan.  Council also agreed to use another $113,000 from fund balance for the budget.
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Mayor Eddie Sundquist has five days to review the approved spending plan... and, sign... veto... or not sign the budget.  He did not indicate Monday night what he anticipates doing.  


Fire damages Dunkirk apartment house...
Dunkirk city firefighters braved wintry conditions while battling a fire at an apartment building Monday evening.  City Fire Chief Mike Edwards says crews were called to 85 East Second St. around 6:45 p.m., and, found the fire in the second-floor bedroom of Apartment B.  All occupants evacuated before crews arrived, and the flames were quickly extinguished.  The fire heavily damaged the apartment of origin.  No injuries were reported, and the cause is under investigation.  East Dunkirk Fire crews provided mutual aid.

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon-Tues, Nov. 27 & 28, 2023

Jamestown-area receives about 8 inches of snow overnight; more predicted...
The Jamestown-area has received it's first, real taste of Lake Effect Snow this late Fall... with about 8 inches of snow falling overnight across the region.  Several schools and other activities have been called off for today.... as the lake effect bands moved into the area.  The new snow made for some difficult driving until area plows were able to get out this morning.  Our Lake Effect Snow Warning continues until 7 AM tomorrow... and, Forecaster Jason Alumbaugh says that we're still expected to get 6 to 9 inches -- or more -- by Wednesday morning.  He says another front will move into the area, doing that.  Alumbaugh says the Chautauqua Ridge area to our north could see as much as 20 inches of snow by Wednesday morning.  Generally... he says our area will see about 2-4... or 3-5 inches of snow through later today.  Once the second front comes through... Alumbaugh says everything should clear out by later in the week... and, we'll see a warm up and some rain.


Jamestown man faces serious felony charges for alleged stabbing...
A city man has been arrested... while another person is recovering from several stab wounds following an incident on Jamestown's northside last Friday.  City police were called to the location shortly before 3 p.m., and, on arrival, officers found the victim in front of a home.  Police administered first aid to the victim.  Once other officers arrived at the scene... it was found that the suspect, 46 year-old Carlos Castro, was still there... and, he was taken into custody without further incident.  Jamestown firefighters and Chautauqua County EMS also arrived... and took the victim via helicopter to a regional hospital.  Castro was take to the city jail and was held pending arraignment on charges including first-degree assault... two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a Weapon... and two counts of second-degree menacing.


Two-car garage damaged by fire in Busti...
Flames have damaged a two-car garage at a home on Creek Road in the town of Busti.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say the flames were knocked down not long after arrival shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday.  County fire investigators were called to the scene by late afternoon.  No injuries have been reported.  There was no report on damage.


Storage/Out-Building in Carroll damaged in weekend fire...
A storage/out-building in the town of Carroll has been damaged by fire caused by hot embers coming in contact with nearby combustables.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called to the scene at 728 Warren Rd. about 8:30 a.m. Sunday to investigate the cause.  Investigators say the embers from a woodstove caused the materials on the floor to smolder for some time before finally igniting.  Frewsburg fire crews were initially called to the scene... with mutual aid being provided by Kiantone and Busti firefighters.  No injuries were reported.


Work on phase-one of new, Ripley "Shovel-Ready" industrial development site could begin in near future...
The first-phase of the $16-million project to create a 140-acre "shovel-ready" industrial development site in the town of Ripley could begin in the near future.  That from Deputy Chautauqua County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise... who says that's thanks to the recent $5.25-million state grant to help develop the new location.  Geise... who is also CEO for the county's Industrial Development Agency... says that money will go mainly for infrastructure at the site near the Shortman Rd. exit off Interstate 90.  He says they'll be putting a 3,000 foot long access road, and will also bring in water, sewer, and electric power to the location.  Geise says other funding is being provided through the county's American Rescue Plan Act allocation... totaling $4.8-million.  He adds there's also some IDA Capital Project monies that'll be used.  He says a recent study by Invest Buffalo-Niagara reports a dire need for new, "shovel-ready" sites in Western New York.  While it's going to take a while for the entire project to be completed... Geise say they can move forward on getting part of the westside of the property ready. 


Jamestown man arrested after allegedly trying to grab officer's gun to shoot victim...
A city man is accused of threatening to take an arresting officer's gun and shoot another person during a disturbance on Jamestown's northside last Saturday night.  City police were initially called to a report of a disorderly person about 7:30 p.m., and, while investigating... officers say 41 year-old Benjamin Preston threatened to beat up the victim... and, take a policeman's gun and shoot the victim.  Preston allegedly resisted arrest... but, after a brief struggle he was taken into custody on charges of second-degree harassment... and, resisting arrest.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Heitzenrater urge county residents to shop local during the Holiday Season...
The holiday shopping season is underway with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday taking place last weekend... and, shoppers are being urged to keep their attention on locally-owned businesses.  Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says this time of year is a huge part of their year because it's where a lot of them will get themselves "into the black" financially.  Heitzenrater calls it their "mini Super Bowl."  He says the county chamber is incentivizing local consumers to shop local by doing a check-in on social media. 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 24, 2023

City woman arrested for shoplifting-robbery arrested again for having drugs in jail cell...
A city woman accused of robbery in stealing merchandise from the TOPs Supermarket on Washington Street is now accused of trying to injest drugs she was trying to hide from police.  Jamestown police say they had arrested 27 year-old Nicole Grimm for allegedly stealing items from TOPs just before 4 p.m. Thursday... and, threatening employees with what appeared to be a "dangerous instrument."  As she was being taken to city court this morning... officers were advised that Grimm might be in possession of a controlled substance while inside her cell.  While in court... she was committed to the county jail.  And... while awaiting paperwork inside the holding room... Grimm allegedly took a clear baggie of cocaine out of her bra and tried to injest it in front of officers.  After a brief struggle... police confiscated the baggie.  Grimm was then taken to the county jail on her commitment paperwork.  She'll be returned to city court on new charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, tampering with physical evidence.  Grimm was jailed Thursday for first-degree robbery... third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, resisting arrest.


With election final, and certified, Ecklund sets sights on transition to Mayor's office...
With her election as mayor of Jamestown now secure... Republican Kim Ecklund can focus on her transition to the city's top-elected position on Jan. 1.  Ecklund defeated incumbant Democrat Eddie Sundquist, 2,443 to 2,247.  The final, certified vote posted by the Chautauqua County Board of Elections changed little from where it was on election night.  Ecklund now has to choose an administration... and, transition from her job at eSolutions to the fourth-floor of City Hall.  She says she's balancing closing up her current job, work on council, and moving into the mayor's office.  Ecklund will become the second-ever woman mayor of the city... and, the first Republican woman to do so.  The late Carolyn Seymour was the first.  However... Ecklund becomes the first woman elected to a four-year term.  Seymour served one, two-year term in the 1990s.  She's also the first council member to be elected since Dick Kimball in the 1990s.
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There were no signifcant changes from the counting of the absentee and affidavit ballots on any of the races in Chautauqua County.  There was a one-vote change in the county legislature District-1 race.  Dunkirk Democrat Marcus Buchanon had an 809-to-729 lead over incumbant Republican Kevin Muldowney after the initial count last Monday.  The final... certified vote gives Buchanon the nod, 809-to-730.


City announces start of "BusPatrol" initiative to get drivers to stop illegally passing school buses...
The city of Jamestown is officially launching it's new Bus Safety Initiative to protect children and prevent the illegal passing of school buses.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says "BusPatrol" is a joint, nationwide safety initiative with local law enforcement.  Earlier this month... he says the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation announced the rate of school bus illegal passing is at an "epidemic level."  Sundquist says state surveys show that an estimated 50,000 cars illegally pass stopped school buses daily.  He says the Jamestown Public Schools will be the first to implement the program locally... and, it will go into effect following a 30-day warning period.  Sundquist says "all cameras, installation, maintenance and program management are provided at no cost to city residents through our partnership with BusPatrol.  The program will be entirely and exclusively funded by violator revenue over a five-year term."  In addition to automated enforcement technology... the Jamestown schools will also have access to additional safety features such as GPS tracking, and emergency response solutions.  It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus in New York State. 


Woman arrested following domestic incident early Thanksgiving morning...
A woman is accused of breaking multiple items belonging to another person during a verbal domestic dispute on Jamestown's westside early Thanksgiving Day morning.  City police were called to the location shortly after 5 a.m. for a domestic dispute.  On arrival... officers spoke to a person who told them that 21 year-old Beyonce Acevedo broke the items.  After speaking with both parties... police determined that the items broke did belong to the victim.  Acevedo was arrested on two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, was taken to the city jail  pending arraignment.


Some PA state officials to receive automatic pay raises -- starting a week from today...
A Pennsylvania law that delivers automatic pay raises for state officials will pay dividends next year for lawmakers, judges and top executive branch officials.  The law will give more than 1,300 officials — including Governor Josh Shapiro, 253 lawmakers and seven state Supreme Court justices — a pay raise of 3.5% in 2024, matching the latest year-over-year increase in consumer prices for mid-Atlantic urban areas, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  And that's on pace to be more than what the average Pennsylvanian will get. The average year-over-year increase in wages for Pennsylvanians was 2% through the middle of 2023, according to federal data on private sector wages.  The new, higher salaries required by a 1995 law take effect next Jan. 1 for the executive and judicial branches... and on Dec. 1 for lawmakers. 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed. & Thurs., Nov 22-23, 2024

Pair from Jamestown arrested on drug and weapons possession charges...
A Gun-Involved Violence Enforcement detail led to the arrest of two people on Jamestown's eastside on several drug and weapons possession charges early Wednesday night.  City police say they and the Jamestown Fire Department and K-9 Unit were assisting probation with a "home check" just before 7 p.m.  They assisted in contacting Donovan and Sabrina Paquette -- both 27 -- at the location and while inside the residence... probation officers saw various indicators of drug activity.  Further investigation led to discovery of just over 104-grams of methamphetamine... 23 individual glassine envelopes filled with fentanyl, numerous digital scales, packaging materials, metal knuckles, cash... and, two loaded handguns.  It was found that one -- a Taurus 9-mm handgun -- had been reported stolen out of Warren, Pa.  The other handgun was an 1897 lever-action .22 caliber long rifle with the barrel sawed partially off into a single shot pistol.  It was also found that all the illegal contraband and drug paraphernalia in the residence was not properly secured... and, was readily accessible to an 8 year old child at the residence.  Police add that the Paquette's did not have pistol permits... and, had been previously convicted of numerous crimes. Both were arrested... while the child was turned over to a family member.  They were both charged with second-and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Both were jailed on those and other lesser drug charges pending arraignment.


Two drug traffickers are sentenced to significant time in federal prison...
Two men -- one from Jamestown -- face signifiant jail time in federal prison for their roles in a drug ring in the city more than three-years ago.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says 31 year-old Michael Murphy of Jamestown... and, 43 year-old Jarrod Adams of Erie, Pa, were sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.  Ross says Adams, who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more methamphetamine, was sentenced to serve 108 months in prison.  Murphy, who was convicted of narcotics conspiracy, was sentenced to serve 192 months in prison.  Prosecutors say between June 2019, and October 2020, Murphy bought, sold, and distributed quantities of meth, using Facebook to conduct his drug trafficking.  In July of 2019... U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement officers went to a Bishop St. home in Jamestown to apprehend Murphy... who was a federal fugitive at the time.  Murphy was taken into custody along with Adams.  A search warrant was executed, during which investigators seized a quantity of meth... more than $1,400 in cash... and drug paraphernalia.  During the conspiracy...Murphy, who got his supply from Adams and co-conspiratory Rocco Beardsley, also supplied large quantities of meth to other.  Another raid at Murphy's Newland Ave. home in late 2019 uncovered drugs... two guns... and, more than $1,600 in cash. 


City resident voices concern over proposal by by JCC to take transfer of Diethrick Park from city for upgrades...
A city resident is calling on the Jamestown City Council to avoid a hasty decision to transfer Diethrick Park to SUNY Jamestown Community College to get a facility upgrade.  Scott Axelson commented during this week's budget hearing about the matter... calling on lawmakers to not proceed with the transfer unless it's not financially feasible to keep the baseball stadium.  JCC officials recently made the request so they could move foward with a $27-million to $30-million project to install a new, turf field there.  Axelson questions whether the proposal is worth that kind of an investment.  The proposal would seek 50% funding from the state... with Chautauqua County and JCC spliting the remaining 50% of the costs.  Axelson says he lived in Nashua, New Hampshire for 22 years... and, while it's a bigger city than Jamestown... it didn't have a stadium like Jamestown has now... but, did host Double-A baseball at one time.  The initial proposal would convert Diethrick Park into a 3-in-1 facility for baseball, softball and soccer for a cost of $30-million.  The second, and latest proposal would keep Diethrick Park a baseball stadium... and upgrade Stadium West for soccer and softball with a new turf field as well.


Goodell urges Dunkirk Common Council to sign onto letter calling on NYS to release funding for new New Brooks Memorial Hospital...
With more than $70 million in funding for a new Brooks Memorial Hospital still in the hands of the New York State Health Department... a local state lawmaker is calling on Dunkirk lawmakers to sign onto a letter urging Governor Kathy Hochul to have that funding released.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell, who spoke during a public portion of Tuesday's Common Council meeting, says he put together the letter with State Senator George Borrello. 


Terrorism not suspected after speeding car slams into toll barrier at Rainbow Bridge on U.S. side...
A vehicle speeding toward a U.S. - Canada bridge from the American side crashed and exploded at a checkpoint in Niagara Falls on Wednesday, killing two people and prompting the closing of multiple border crossings for hours.   Authorities weren't sure what spurred the wreck... but, say there were no signs it was a terror attack.  The FBI's Buffalo office said late Wednesday that it had concluded its investigation: “A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism nexus was identified,” it said in a statement. “The matter has been turned over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.” 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 21, 2023

Man accused in Oct. 2021 shooting death receives 20 years in prison...
A Jamestown man who pled guilty to shooting and killed another city man on Water Street just over two years ago has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 24 year-old Jonathan Camacho-Monge received the term... along with five-years post-release supervision... from County Court Judge David Foley Monday.  Camacho-Monge pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter -- a Class-B Felony -- last Sept. 5.  Schmidt says the defendent admitted to killing 46 year-old Angel Pacheco on the night of Oct. 19 of 2021.  The D.A. thanked Jamestown police for their hard work on the case... and, in particular JPD Captain Bob Samuelson... and, the department's Detective Bureau.


Absentee and affidavit ballots counted up in local "too close to call" races; certification to be done soon...
Chautauqua County Democrats appear to have won an additional seat on the county legislature with the final, unofficial tally of absentee and affidavit votes by the Board of Elections.  That from Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says with those ballots now counted up in Legislative District-1 in Dunkirk... Democratic challenger Marcus Buchanon holds an 809 to 729 vote lead over Republican incumbant, Kevin Muldowney.  Muldowney had a 10-vote lead on Election Night.  Republicans still will hold a 14-5 majority on the panel.  Election Night was a big one for Republicans in Jamestown, as well.  However... incumbant Third-Ward Democratic Councilwoman Regina Brackman held onto her seat.  In fact... Abram says Brackman increased her lead in that vote from 40 to 42 votes over Republican Robert Reedy.  Abram says he and Democratic Elections Commissioner Luz Torres still have to make sure that there is no "overvote" before certifying the election.  He says all write-ins need to be looked at to make sure that name isn't already on the ballot.  In the Dunkirk Mayor's Race... Abram says Common Council member Kate Wdowiasz held a slim lead over Republican Councilman At-large member David Damico on Election Night.  However... he says she added to that lead... which is now 1,289 to 1,213.  Abram says the board will perform it's final checks... and, certify the vote in the next few days.


Jamestown man arrested for allegedly trespassing in vacant home...
A city man is accused of trespassing inside a vacant house on Jamestown's eastside Sunday morning.  City police were patrolling in the area for a "suspicious situation" about 10 a.m. when they spotted 26 year-old Schuyler Coleman coming out of the house.  Officers detained him while police made contact with the home's owner.  The owner wanted to pursue charges... and, Coleman was arrested for third-degree criminal trespass.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City woman arrested after tying up drive-thru traffic at Brooklyn Square business...
A city resident has been arrested for allegedly standing at the drive-thru window of a Brooklyn Square business... and, preventing cars from moving.  City police add that when they arrived at the South Main Street location about 1 a.m. Monday... 30 year-old Jessica McAdoo also allegedly spit in an officer's face when she was told she wasn't welcome... and, to leave the premisis.  McAdoo was arrested for second-degree harassment... and, later issued an appearance ticket for city court.


Two speak during City Council budget hearing Monday; one speaks directly on spending plan..
City lawmakers in Jamestown are being urged to "claw back" some of the city's $28-million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to pay for more public safety measures and purchases.  Those were the feelings of one of the two members of the public who spoke during last night's public hearing on the 2024 budget.  Resident Doug Champ first called on council to better adhere to the city's charter on putting together a new spending plan.  Champ adds that domestic violence spiked during the pandemic... and, the city should use more ARPA funds to address it.  He also said the city should use that money to buy some or all of the new police cars that are in the budget.  There are currently four new police vehicles in the just over $40-million spending plan.  At-Large Councilman Jeff Russell noted he got a look last weekend at the City Hall roof... which needs to be replaced, or have major repairs.  Russell says it's leaking into the fifth-floor area now.  The spending plan includes a slight tax levy increase... but, also keeps the tax rate at $23.69 per $1,000.  Council will vote on the budget at next Monday night's voting session... along with any amendments that may be brought to the floor.


Borrello says groups he's part of will appeal court's overturning of isolation and quarantine order... 
A New York State appellate court has overturned a lower court's ruling from July 2022 regarding the establishment of isolation and quarantine procedures for people suspected of carrying a communicable disease.  State Senator George Borrello was one of four people who filed the lawsuit... charging that the State Department of Health's process violated separation of powers.  Borrello blasted Friday's ruling from the Appellate Division of the Fourth Judicial Department, which determined that they lacked standing.  He calls that "a ridiculous claim."  The original ruling from State Supreme Court Judge Ronald Ploetz was overturned on a technicality.  Borrello... a Sunset Bay Republican... says they will appeal the appellate court's decision to the Court of Appeals.  He says the decision basically says the governor and their administration has the ultimate authority to take people from their homes without due process. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 20, 2023

City man arrested for allegedly threatening two with imitation firearm...
A Jamestown man is accused of threatening two people with an imitation gun during an incident on the city's northside last Friday night.  Jamestown police were called to a report of a person with a weapon just after 8 p.m., and, on arrival... they found the two victims and the suspect outside of the residence.  The victims told officers that 19 year-old Brian Turk had pointed what appeared to be a rifle at both of them... and, said he was going to shoot both of them.  Police took Turk into custody on two counts of second-degree menacing... and, he was jailed pending arraignment.


Another Jamestown man accused of threatening woman with a machete...
A Jamestown man is accused of threatening a woman with a 10-inch machete during a domestic incident last Friday afternoon on the city's southside.  Jamestown police were called to the location just after 1 PM for an "in-progress" domestic dispute.  At the scene... officers found that during the verbal altercation, 36 year-old Daniel Galarza, picked up the machete and held it up at the victim in a threatening manner.  That caused her to fear for her safety... and, Galarza was taken into custody without incident.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree manacing.


City Council hears about two proposals to convert JCC outdoor sports facilities to turf fields...
There is now a second proposal that SUNY Jamestown Community College is looking at regarding it's outdoor sports facilities located at -- and near -- Diethrick Park.  During last week's City Council Work Session... lawmakers heard a presentation by JCC officials.  One of them... JCC Foundation Executive Director Maria Kindberg says the new proposal would put new turf down at Diethrick Park... but, it would remain unchanged otherwise.  Kindberg says there would also be a multi-purpose turf field created at Stadium West for soccer and softball.  Kindberg says the current soccer field on the main campus would also be upgraded.  The latest proposal would cost $27-million, while the original proposal to make Diethrick Park into a "3-in-1 field" would cost just over $30-million.  City lawmakers asked a number of questions... including how the state would react if the city transfers the property to the college... but, then says the city must replace the parkland.  Legal Counsel Stephen Abdella addressed the matter of what's called "Park Alienation..." noting that because both the college and city are public entities, that should pass muster with the state.  JCC President Daniel DeMarte says the upgraded facilities are needed to help retain and recruit new student athletes for those sports.  He says 50% of the costs would be picked up by the state... while Chautauqua County and JCC would split the other 50%.  In order for the project to be included in next year's state budget... DeMarte says they need all local approvals by Dec. 8.


Jamestown man arrested following domestic violence incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly holding a woman down on a bed, and not allowing her to leave a southside home during a domestic violence incident.  City police were called to the unidentified scene about 7 p.m. last Thursday for a "physical domestic incident."  Their investigation found that 36 year-old Michael Hallowell held down the female victim... and, he was arrested.  Hallowell is charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, he was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City man arrested for allegedly making multiple calls to person with order of protection against him...         
A Jamestown man currently being held at the Chautauqua County Jail is now charged with criminal contempt for allegedly calling someone from the jail multiple times... violating an order of protection.  Sheriff's officers say they received the report this past Thursday and investigated.  They arrested 22 year-old Robert Owens for first-degree criminal contempt... who is being held to answer to the new charge pending centralized arraignment.


Pair arrested following alleged trespass in Gerry...
Two people from Gerry have been arrested for allegedly trespassing inside an East Road home last Saturday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to an "in-progress trespass" shortly after 7 a.m.  Deputies investigated... and, say they found that 40 year-old Jason Koch, and 32 year-old Elizabeth Yusczyk both unlawfully entered a house on the property.  Both were charged with second-degree criminal trespass... and, were issued appearance tickets for Charlotte Town Court.


Schmidt announces sentencing for Jamestown woman for violating probation...
A Jamestown woman has been sentenced to one-year to one-year and nine-months in state prison for violating her probation.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt Friday announced the sentence for 32 year-old Toni Schnars.  Schmidt says Schnars had been sentenced to five-year probation this past June for third-degree attempted burglary.  However... he says she failed to comply with the terms of her probation and was re-arrested. 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 17, 2023

More than 150 Falconer residents sign petition calling on county to reconsider using village hotels for temporary and transitional housing...
More than 150 residents of the village of Falconer have signed a petition calling on local leaders to reconsider having transitional and temporary housing at two hotels there.  During Wednesday night's county legislature meeting... resident Kerry Chase, who oversees the recently-established Neighborhood Watch program...  addressed lawmakers about the clientele at the Budget and Quality Inns.  Chase submitted the petition that had 156 signatures on it.  However... she adds that people are also asking what can they do to help the situation.  Chase says residents are thinking more about "what can we do to help the situation" because "this is everywhere."  Chase says some didn't want to sign fearing retribution from that clientele... or who felt it wouldn't do any good.  She says residents are trying to get more educated, and find ways to better deal with the problem... which she says has been exacerbated by the recent fire at The Colony Motel in West Ellicott where some homeless people were being housed.  In the petition and other information... residents say they have "endured an increase in theft in our businesses and our residences for way too long."  It adds the village has lost two businesses because of the activity coming from the Budget Inn.


Overheated antenna amp blamed for Forestville house fire...
An overheated antenna amplifier located in the attic of a Forestville home triggered Thursday morning's fire that damaged the house.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team was called in to look for the cause after the blaze at 11165 Mixer Rd. was out.  County fire dispatchers report that Forestville firefighters responded to the scene about 9:15 a.m. and received mutual aid from Hanover Center, Irving, Sheridan, Silver Creek, Sunset Bay and East Dunkirk.  There were no reports of any injuries.  The Red Cross was called in to help the victims.


Schumer calls new U.S.-China deal to stem Fentanyl trafficking "good news..."
New York's Senior U-S Senator is praising the new high-level agreement to stem the flow of materials used to make fentanyl from China to drug traffickers and into our country.  Democratic Majority Leader Charles Schumer called the new agreement between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi "good news."  Schumer says they now have to hold China accountable to "make sure these commitments are kept."  He says there was an agreement during the first Fentanyl crisis several years ago... but, China backed off on that starting in 2019.  He says this one is public... at a higher-level... and, more comprehensive.  Schumer says there will be joint counter-narcotic efforts between Washington and Bejing.  He was part of a bi-partisan delegation to China a short time ago that got to meet with President Xi... and, they laid much of the groundwork for the new agreement jointly announced late Wednesday by Xi and President Biden.  The senator calls the new agreement a "great first step..." but, adds it "must" be enforced.


Wendel says decision to cancel "Strong Starts Chautauqua" program not made lightly...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says the decision to cancel the county's contract with the Health Community Alliance for the Strong Starts Chautauqua program was "not made lightly."  In a printed statement Thursday... Wendel says the decision to cancel the contract was due to "an internal concern over proper policy and procedures, which is being review by external counsel."  The Strong Starts program had been approved by the legislature to receive over $370,000 in American Rescue Plan Act money to implement universal screenings for newborn children.  Wendel says county government is "unable to comment further at this time as the investigation continues."


City of Jamestown Christmas Tree is up for holiday season...
On a day that felt more like early Fall... the city of Jamestown's official Christmas Tree was harvested... and, put up on Tracy Plaza for the season.  Parks Manager Dan Stone supervised a parks, public works and BPU crew in harvesting the tree on a sunny, 60-degree morning.  Stone told our Dennis Webster that the Norway Spruce was donated by Jeff and Connie Muntz who live on the eastside.  He says putting up the tree isn't all they've been doing.  They've also been putting up decorations on Third St.  City crews will put about 3,000 lights onto the tree... which will be lit for the Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 2.  Stone says the 60-foot tall tree is really full... and, has a good shape.  He adds they cut it to about 45-feet tall to be put on the Plaza.  


Comedy Center receives Don Rickles archives...
The National Comedy Center in Jamestown is now the home of an archival collection from the late Don Rickles' estate... showcasing the comedy legend's six-decade long career.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they will celebrate the legendary comedian -- known as "Mr. Warmth" -- with rare artifacts on display and signature “Insults” for visitors.  Gunderson says the collection from the 1950s to 2000s, will chronicle his storied life in comedy through rare photographs... correspondence... creative papers... and wardrobe — all of which will be preserved at the center.  She says the centerpiece of the collection is a "remarkably thorough and intimate documentation of Rickles’ career in comedy in more than 40 photo and memorabilia albums assembled by the comedian and his wife, Barbara." 


 

WJTN News Headlines from Wed., Nov. 15, 2023

Two men -- one from Jamestown -- face new indictments for operating alleged narcotics ring...
Two men -- one from Jamestown and the other from Buffalo -- have been indicted by a federal grand jury on additional charges for allegedly running a norcotics ring in the city.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that the panel has filed a second superseding indictment charging 39 year-old Joseph Zaso of Buffalo... and, 31 year-old Kyle Lewis of Jamestown.  Ross says Zaso is charged with brandishing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and document concealment of material fact... for allegedly lying on his monthly probation reports while under the supervision of U.S. Probation... and, he now faces a mandatory life sentence.  Lewis is now charged with narcotics conspiracy and faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life.  Zaso is accused of conspiring with Lewis and others to sell heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine, utilizingtwo homes in Jamestown and one in Buffalo for their drug trafficking activities.  Zaso is also accused of selling heroin to an individual that caused serious bodily injury. 


Lutheran announces it's nursing and rehabiltation facility will close by early 2024...
A long-standing nursing and rehabilitation facility in Jamestown will be closing at the beginning of 2024 in the wake of lower resident numbers during and coming out of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  In a statement issued earlier today... Lutheran Social Services of Upstate New York announced the move... which officials say will impact 49 residents... and, 106 full and part-time employees.  Lutheran President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Holt says, though, the decision "does not impact current housing and care at either Hultquist Place Assisted Living or Edgewood Communities."  Holt says the closure has been filed with the state Department of Health.... and, will include the permanent closing of the Warner Place Adult Day Care.  He says local skilled nursing facilities have been running at an average 65% occupancy rate... which is "significantly lower" than the optimum 90% to 95% needed to maintain financial sustainability.  Four years ago... Holt says Lutheran was operating at this optimum occupancy rate, but, that's no longer the case.  Lutheran’s Home and Rehabilitation Program capacity is 148 beds.  Holt says the closure date is next Jan. 2, or earlier pending the discharge date of the last resident.  Holt adds that they are working with the state Health Department "to ensure that this transition is as smooth as possible.  Our top priority is to work with every resident, their families and our valued employees, to secure new housing options, care and job placement."


Schmidt says he's still awaiting lab testing results before taking Burham case to Grand Jury...
Now that murder suspect Michael Burham has pleaded guilty to felony kidnapping and escape charges in Pennsylvania... it's now being asked how soon will he be tried in Chautauqua County in the shooting death of a Jamestown woman.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says he is still awaiting the result of an FBI crime lab analysis of evidence in the case against the 35 year-old Burham.  Schmidt says they rely on the state crime lab in Albany, as well as the lab in Erie County.  He says they will also rely on the FBI lab as well, sometimes.  Schmidt adds that he would like to begin presenting the case to a grand jury "soon."  He says he's concerned that he hasn't yet received some of the lab analysis he need's to move forward.  Burham, who is a native of Ashville, is the primary suspect in the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Kala Hodgkin at her home on William Street in Jamestown last May.  Burham is also accused of setting another person's car on fire around that time before fleeing to Warren County, Pa.  Last week... he pled guilty to six felonies stemming from the kidnapping of an older couple from Sheffield... and, his later escape from the Warren County Jail.


Comedian Tom Segura to perform in Jamestown next June...
A funny man is coming to Jamestown for a performance next June.  The National Comedy Center has announced Tom Segura will perform at the Northwest Arena on Thursday, June 13.  Segura has played to 300 sold out performances in a recent world tour, and has been a hit on Netflix as well.  His 2024 global tour is titled, "Tom Segura: Come Together."  He describes himself as a 'sarcastic, observational storyteller.'  Tickets for Comedy Center members went on sale Wednesday... and, the general public may buy tickets Friday, Nov. 17th.  You can learn more at ComedyCenter.org/Segura.


New Tarp Skunks Field Manager introduced Wednesday...
The stadium facilities, and a strong fan base is why new Jamestown Tarp Skunks Field Manager Ben Julian was drawn to the team... and, the city.  Julian was formally introduced as the teams new, on-field leader, Wednesday... and, he says when he left the Auburn Doubledays... coming to Jamestown appealed a lot to him.  He says... even as an opponent... playing in Jamestown was fun and exciting.  On our Dennis Webster Show Wednesday morning... Tarp Skunks General Manager Christian Dolce says he was "pleased and proud" to announce that Julian has been hired.  Dolce says Julian brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in collegiate baseball coaching to the local team.  He adds that Julian has an impressive coaching career that includes leading the rival Auburn Doubledays to a 74-59 record -- a .556 winning percentage -- over the last three seasons. 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 13, 2023

Flames damage two-family house on Water St. in Jamestown...
A structure fire last weekend damaged the first and second-floors of a house near Brooklyn Square in Jamestown early Sunday morning.  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 110 Water St. about 3:30 a.m., and, they found fire on the first floor that was moving to the second-story.  Coon says an off-shift of 12 firefighters was called in... and, crews were able to bring the flames under control in about 20 minutes.  He says no one was hurt in the blaze... and, the cause is under investigation.


House in Dunkirk damaged in Friday fire...
Chautauqua County fire investigators are looking into the cause of a structure fire in the city of Dunkirk.  City firefighters were called to the scene at 88 East Second Street just after 3 p.m. last Friday... and the county's Fire Investigation Team was called out once the blaze was extinguished.  No injuries were reported... and, there was no word on damage.


Gillibrand somewhat optimistic about getting new CR in place by the end of the week...
With a possible partial government shut-down coming this Friday... House Speaker Mike Johnson has unveiled a two-part proposal that would extend government funding for some agencies and programs until Jan. 19... and, continue funding for others until Feb. 2.  The approach is unusual for a stopgap spending bill.  U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she's doubious about what may happen... given Johnson's previous positions... including the decision to take funding from the IRS to fund aid to Israel.  She says that's a bad idea because you're hampering the ability of the IRS to collect taxes.  However... Gillibrand also says Johnson's recent statements have given her some optimism.  Generally... in the past lawmakers extend funding until a certain date for all programs.  Johnson decided to go with the combination approach, addressing concerns from GOP lawmakers who want to avoid being presented with a massive spending bill just before the holidays, as has often occurred in the past.


Three men arrested on drug and other charges in Westfield...
Three men face several drug-related and other charges after the vehicle they were in was stopped by sheriff's officers in the village of Westfield.  Deputies say Narcotics Investigators spotted 35 year-old Mark Baker of Westfield getting into the car outside a business on Main St. last Friday afternoon.  Officers say Baker was known to have a felony arrest warrant for selling and possessing narcotic drugs. Westfield Police assisted and stopped the car on Academy Street.  Baker fled from the vehicle... but, was quickly caught.  Officers also found 31 year-old Brandon Echevarria of Cassadaga and 39 year-old Christopher Harding of Stockton inside the vehicle.  A record check revealed that Echevarria was wanted for petty larceny... and Harding had a suspended driver’s license.  A search of the vehicle and the trio led the seizure of 16.48 grams of fentanyl, 13.65 grams of methamphetamine, two vials of testosterone, 14 amphetamine pills, a quantity of Clonazepam pills, one-gram of ketamine, drug paraphernalia and about 85-dollars in cash.  Baker, Harding and Echevarria all face multiple counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance charges.  Harding is also charged with aggravated unlicensed operation and second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Baker is also charged with resisting arrest.  All three were taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment.


Veterans Day services held across Chautauqua County; Carlson speaks at St. Luke's Church...
The contribution of America’s veterans was recognized and honored at a number of locations across the Jamestown area this past Saturday on Veterans Day.  The speaker at the annual service at St. Luke’s Church was retired Air Force Major, Greg Carlson, the Director of Veterans Services for Chautauqua County.  He said veterans have paved the way for a very special kind of peace.  Carlson says "to have true peace, you must have liberty and opportunity -- the freedom to achieve in life whatever you are willing to work for."  He also noted that Nov. 11 is a day to recognize all who have served.  The service concluded with prayers and local bugler, Rick Lundquist, playing Taps.  There was also the annual program at Veteran's Park on Logan Avenue... and the traditional rifle volley at the corner of Third and Main Streets in Jamestown.


City woman faces vehicle, traffic and drug-related charges following traffic stop...
A Jamestown woman faces a number of vehicle and drug-related charges following a traffic stop on Chambers Street late last Saturday night.  City police say they stopped the car... driven by 39 year-old Alisha Crouse... shortly before 10 p.m., and, found that she was driving with a revoked license.  Officers add the plates on the vehicle had been switched... there was no insurance... and, the car was not registered.  After further investigation, and a search of the vehicle... it was found that Crouse was in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.  She was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... failure to stop at a stop sign... having an unregistered motor vehicle... improper plates... unsafety tire and operating without insurance.  Crouse was taken to the city jail... and, later released with an appearance ticket for city court.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri-Sat., Nov. 10-11, 2023

City man arrested for damages at UCAN Mission, and illegally possessing a loaded gun...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly causing $1,600 in damages to the UCAN City Mission on First Street in Jamestown.  City police were called to the location for a "criminal mischief complaint" just after 9 p.m. Wednesday... and saw a broken window and security cameras at the scene.  Officers say the suspect... identified as 37 year-old Max Thompson... left before police arrived.  The next morning... Thompson came to the JPD reception area to make a complaint that the mission would not let him back in.  He was quickly arrested.  Upon his arrest... he was allegedly found in possession of a loaded handgun which was reported stolen from a location in Erie County.  Thompson was charged with second-degree criminal mischief... second-degree criminal possession of a Weapon... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of Stolen Property.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


After pleading guilty to Pa. charges, no word yet on when Michael Burham will face charges in Chautauqua County...
The Jamestown-area man accused of shooting and killing a city woman this past May has pleaded guilty to six criminal counts related to kidnapping and escape in Pennsylvania.  The Warren County District Attorney's Office says 35 year-old Michael Burham entered the pleas in Warren County Court Thursday afternoon.  Burham was charged in connection with the kidnapping of a couple from Sheffield after he allegedly shot and killed 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin... and, forced them to accompany him to South Carolina where he was later captured.  He pled guilty to five charges in that case... including kidnapping, recklessly endangering another person... terrorist threats... theft... and burglary.  For last Summer's escape from the Warren County Jail... Burham pled guilty to one count of escape.  The D-A's office says a tentative sentencing date has been set for next Jan. 5.  There has been no word yet on when he will face charges in Chautauqua County.  We do have a call into District Attorney Jason Schmidt's office.


Four people arrested in Jamestown on major drug charges...
Four Jamestown residents face felony charges following a drug raid on a house on the city's northside in which two city police detectives were exposed to Fentanyl.  Police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force and the Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigators executed a search warrant at 36 Vanburen St. just after 4 p.m. Wednesday... and, found the four people inside with a child.  However... while trying to clear the apartment... the suspects allegedly scrambled around -- trying to destroy or hide evidence.  During that time... police say a large quantity of fentanyl went airborn, exposing the detectives.  Two of them were treated at the scene by Jamestown firefighters... with one later being treated and released from UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  Officers add that evidence was thrown out a window, on the floors, attempted to be burned, and a large quantity of fentanyl was also dumped  into a bucket of water.  After the residence was secured, detectives searched the apartment... and found just over 19-pounds of a fentanyl/water compound... 296 baggies of fentanyl... 58 Clonazapam pills... and, $1531 in cash.  All four adults... 48 year-old Santos Santiago... 51 year-old Anabell Santiago... 40 year-old Hiram Calderon-Donato... and, 40 year-old Edward Martinez-Pagan were charged with first... third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... tampering with physical evidence... criminally using drug paraphernalia... second-degree assault... and endangering the welfare of a child.


Postal worker from Dunkirk pleads guilty to federal child porn charge in Buffalo...
A former postal worker from Dunkirk has pleaded guilty in federal court to receiving child pornography from the daughters of a female acquaintance.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 38 year-old Michael Fratini entered the plea in U.S. District Court Thursday to attempted receipt of child pornography.  Prosecutors say Fratini used his cellphone to solicit nude photos and videos of the pre-pubescent daughters of the woman... whom he met in October 2021 through a dating app.   After meeting in person... they say the woman did not hear from Fratini again for several months.  In March 2022... they spoke over the phone and Fratini told her that he had a "mother/daughter" fantasy.  He then sent a follow-up text message asking for videos and/or pictures of her daughters to fulfill his fantasies.  After receiving the text... the woman reported it to the Sheriff’s Office.  At their direction... she continued text message conversations with Fratini.  Later that month... investigators surveilled Fratini leaving his workplace at the time... the U.S. Post Office in Buffalo... and travel to an Amherst hotel where he was expecting to meet the female acquaintance.  After arriving at the hotel, Fratini was taken into custody.


Salvation Army in Jamestown to begin Red Kettle Campaign next Monday...
The needs are great in the immediate Jamestown-area... and, that's why the Salvation Army in Jamestown has upped it's Red Kettle Campaign goal for this year.  That from Major Kim Merchant with the Salvation Army... who says they annual campaign gets off to an early start next Monday morning at a couple of locations.  Merchant says they need bell ringers... both individuals and groups... and, she says families can do it again now with pandemic restrictions having been eased.  The number to call is 664-4108.  Merchant says their goal this year is $125,000... which is $10,000 more than last year due to inflation -- and to keep food in their pantry.  This year... with Christmas Eve on a Sunday... Merchant says they'll close the campaign on Saturday, Dec. 23.  She says you can give to the campaign by scanning the QR code on the kettles... drop in your change... or write-out a check to The Salvation Army.  You can mail that to 83 South Main Street in Jamestown. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 9, 2023

Burham pleads guilty to kidnap and escape charges in Warren Co., Pa...
The Jamestown-area man accused of shooting and killing a city woman this past May has pleaded guilty two six criminal counts in Pennsylvania related to kidnapping and escape.  The Warren County District Attorney's Office says 35 year-old Michael Burham entered the pleas in Warren County Court Thursday afternoon.  Burham was charged in connection with the kidnapping of a couple from Sheffield after he allegedly shot and killed 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin... and, forced them to accompany him to South Carolina where he was later captured.  He pled guilty to five charges in that case... including kidnapping, recklessly endangering another person... terrorist threats... theft and burglary.  For last Summer's escape from the Warren County Jail... Burham pled guilty to one count of escape.  Burham initially faced 35 charges... including more than a dozen felonies.  The DA's office says a tentative sentencing date has been set for next Jan. 5.     


Jamestown man indicted on drug-related federal charges...
A city man has been indicted on five federal charges for allegedly trafficking drugs... and, being in possession of firearms.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury returned the indictment against 45 year-old Zaid Mendoza -- also known as "Diamond" -- for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and methamphetamine... possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes... and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Prosecutors say between October and December of 2022... Mendoza possessed fentanyl and methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it in the Jamestown area.  That month... investigators raided his Jamestown home and recovered $1,800 cash, about 36 grams of fentanyl and a quantity of methamphetamine... along with a 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol, drug packaging paraphernalia, and cell phones.  Mendoza was also found with another 36 grams of fentanyl in his possession while being taken into custody.  Ross says the charges carry a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of life and a $1,000,000 fine.


Another city man also indicted in federal court on drug and weapons charges...
A Jamestown man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on drug and weapons charges for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine the past year.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced Wednesday that the panel returned the indictment against 39 year-old Steven Glover for being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of methamphetamine.  Last December... prosecutors say a city police officer initially pulled Glover's car... and, he told the officer that he had a pipe.  That pipe was later found to have meth residue on it.  Glover was detained and a search of the vehicle recovered a digital scale with white crystal residue and a pistol.  He was charged in court, and released on bail.  This past February... Glover was seen in the passenger seat of another vehicle, and the policeman involved and was aware of his outstanding charges.  The officer stopped the vehicle and saw drug paraphernalia... and, a plastic bag containing suspected meth... and, Glover was again taken into custody.  In 2019, Glover was convicted of a felony in County Court and is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Ross says the charges carry a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.


Abram says Election Day went relatively smooth, but, is disappointed by low turn-out...
Election Day has come and gone... and, while there were some minor issues at Chautauqua County's polling sites, it was a "very good day" overall.  Those are the feelings of County Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram, who says there were no major issues to report.  For the most part... he said there were some paper ballot jams, and such, but, no "major issues."  However, Abram adds that he was somewhat disappointed with the voter turnout, which is projected to be under 30%.  He says they were hoping to see at least 35% to 37% turnout.  Meanwhile... Abram says there are a few races that may be decided by absentee and affidavit ballots, including two in the Dunkirk area.  Kate Wdowiasz holds a 57-vote lead over David Damico in the city's mayoral race, while Kevin Muldowney leads Marcus Buchanan by just 10 votes for Legislature District-One.


Gillibrand puts push on to get veteran's exposed to toxic burn pits, and other toxins to take advantage of PACT Act...
This Saturday is Veteran's Day... and, U-S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is urging any veteran exposed to burn pits... Agent Orange... and other toxic substances during their service to apply for health benefits through the PACT Act.  The New York Democrat hosted a video press conference Wednesday to announce that half-a-million veterans nationwide have signed up for the program.  However... she adds an estimated 3-million more still have not.  She says you can do so at the VA website at va.gov/pact... or call their helpline at 1-800-698-2411.  Gillibrand was part of the effort to pass the PACT Act... which provides expanded health care and benefits to veterans suffering from illness caused by exposure to burn pits and other toxic substances while serving abroad.  These burn pits-related medical conditions are presumptively service-connected, meaning that veterans no longer have to provide proof that their disease is service-related in order to receive benefits.  So far... Gillibrand says more than 26,000 New York veteran's have filed claims... but, thousands more could be eligible for benefits. 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 8, 2023

Ecklund becomes second woman to win Jamestown Mayoral election...
There will be a new mayor in the city of Jamestown come Jan. 1... and, for only the second time, it will be a woman in the position.  Republican At-Large Councilwoman Kim Ecklund was elected by just over 200 votes over Democratic incumbant Eddie Sundquist.  Ecklund tallied 2,413 votes to Sundquist's 2,204.  Ecklund says she felt good on Election Day-Tuesday... but, never assumed anything.  She says she ran like she was "20-points behind..." and, tried to stay away from dirty politics.  Ecklund will be the first Republican woman, and woman to win election to a four-year term.  The late Carolyn Seymour, a Democrat, served for two years in the 1990s.  Sundquist was disappointed by the loss... but, was satisfied with his campaign.  He says, as mayor, it's been the "honor of his lifetime" to serve his hometown.  Sundquist was first elected in 2019 after receiving the Democratic endorsement after former Mayor Sam Teresi decided not to run for another term.  He then won a three-way race for the mayor's post.  Ecklund is completing her 20th year as an At-Large City Councilwoman.


Few surprises and upsets in City Council, and County Legislature votes...
There was a local "red wave" in the city of Jamestown on Election Night... with Republicans adding to their supermajority on the City Council.  With Tuesday's results... the GOP has eight of the council's nine-seats... and, that was exciting news for incumbant Council President Tony Dolce... who ran unopposed for the Second-Ward seat.  Dolce called it "historic" in what's been a predominantly a Democratic city.  The lone Democratic winner appears to be incumbant Regina Brackman in Ward-Three... who led Robert Reedy by 40 votes when the night was over.  Other winners in ward races were Brent Sheldon... Joe Paterniti... Bill Reynolds... and Andrew Faulkner.  Incumbants Jeff Russell and Randy Davera won At-Large Seats... along with newcomer Russ Bonfiglio.
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There were some mixed results in races for the Chautauqua County Legislature... However... Republicans appear to have retained a 15-4 majority on the panel.  One race will come down to absentees.  In that one... Dunkirk Republican Kevin Muldowney leads Democratic challenger Marcus Buchanon in District-One by 10 votes... 721-711.  In the immediate Jamestown-area... Republican newcomer Phil Landy defeated Democrat Billy Torres, 571-481.  Republican Jamie Gustafson won in District 10 over Julie Jackson-Forsberg.  In District 11... Republican Dave Wilfong won over Democrat Bob Whitney.  Former Legislator Fred Larson won back a seat... as the Democrat defeated District 12 Repubican Elisabeth Rankin.  In District 13... Democrat Tom Nelson held onto his seat over Republican Joe Tickle, 391-325.  Republican Lisa Vanstrom won handily over Democrat Kurt Gustason.


Bowman wins Ellicott Supervisor's race...
Among the key town races... Republicans kept a hold of the supervisor's seat and the town board in Ellicott.  Incumbant Janet Bowman won over Democratic challenger Todd Beckerink, 977-822.  Republicans also won three of the four town council seats... with only Democrat Jim Rensel winning in Ward-One. 


City fire officials still investigating origins of three fires that broke out within minutes of each other...
Two condemned homes... and a car and one side of a home were damaged during three separate fires in the city of Jamestown late Tuesday morning.  City Fire Battlion Chief Shawn Shilling says crews were initially called to a Barrett Avenue home on the southside to deal with the vehicle fire -- which had begun spreading to the nearby home... shortly before 10:30 a.m.  Shilling says the car was fully-involved in flames.  However... they got the blaze under control fairly quickly.  He says they then learned about the second fire at 49 Broadhead Ave., and sent a crew there.  However... firefighters soon learned of the second fire on Broadhead at another condemned home at 55 Broadhead.  Shilling says a full off-duty shift of 12 firefighters was called in to deal with the three different scenes.  He says crews were at the Barrett Avenue location until about Noon... while firefighters were at 49 and 55 Broadhead until about 2:30 p.m.  No injuries were reported... and, the cause of all three fires are under investigation.


Whitaker says no one was hurt, and no weapons were involved in JHS cafeteria fight...
There were "no weapons... no injuries... and no blood" during that large fight late Tuesday morning in the cafeteria at Jamestown High School.  That from School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... who says there was an argument that broke out between two students that led to the fight.  Whitaker says it escalated to a few students on each side... but, he says staff and security were able to get them separated quickly.  Dr. Whitaker says it was a 'highly personal matter' that apparently triggered the initial confrontation.  A statement issued Tuesday said 'maximum disciplinary action' would be pursued against those involved.  Whitaker says he's also "concerned" about the amount of misinformation that circulated through the community after the altercation.  He says the district will always act "to keep kids as safe as we can keep them."  As for the massive police response to JHS after the first call... Whitaker said it was appropriate for additional backup to be summoned just in case it would have been needed.   


 

WJTN News Update and Headlines for Tues., Nov. 7, 2023

Jamestown Fire and Police Departments busy late Tuesday morning...
It's been a busy morning for Jamestown firefighters... and, police.  City fire crews were called to three fires.... the first was a vehicle fire on Barrett Avenue -- near a house -- shortly before 10:30 a.m.  Fire crews then were called to two fires on Broadhead Avenue.  The first was at 49 Broadhead just before 10:30... and, the second was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. at 55 Broadhead.  No other information was available at airtime.  
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Jamestown police and several other agencies were also called to a report of a "large fight" at Jamestown High School.  County dispatch reports the fight apparently took place in the cafeteria just after 11 a.m.  The situation was reportedly brought under control within minutes.  No other information is available on those incidents right now.  No significant injuries have been reported.


Most local elections in Chautauqua County on this Election Day are contested...
Voters head to the polls today to decide a number of races in the Jamestown-area... with a city mayoral election and the entire city council up for election.  Incumbant Democrat Eddie Sundquist is running for a second-term as mayor... and, he's being challenged by long-time At-Large Councilwoman Kim Ecklund.  
As for City Council... all but one ward seat is being contested.  That race is in the second-ward where Council President Tony Dolce is running unopposed.  In Ward-One... incumbant Republican Brent Sheldon is being opposed by Democrat Travis Knight.  In the third-ward... incumbant Democrat Regina Brackman is being opposed by Republican Robert Reedy.  In Ward-Four... incumbant Democrat Marie Carrubba is being challenged by Republican Joe Paterniti.  The Ward-Five race is being incumbant Republican Bill Reynolds... and Democrat Kaycee Colburn.  In Ward-Six... incumbant Republican Andrew Faulkner is being challenged by former Councilwoman Vanessa Weinert... who is a Democrat.
The At-Large seats are being contested by incumbant Republicans Randy Daversa and Jeff Russell... as well as newcomer Russ Bonfiglio.  Democratic challengers include: Alyssa Porter... and Isaiah Rashad.  The top three vote getters will win seats.
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There are also contested races in the town of Ellicott... led by Republican Supervisor Janet Bowman... who took over the position when Pat McLaughlin resigned.  She's being challenged by Demcrat Todd Beckerink.  There's also a race for the new mayor of Dunkirk, since incumbant Willie Rosas decided against running for another term.
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There are a majority of Chautauqua County Legislature seats being contested this year.  In Jamestown... Republican incumbant Elizabeth Rankin is being challenged by Democrat Fred Larson in District 12.  Larson is a former legislator who served as a City Court Judge the past several years.  Incumbant Democrat Billy Torres is being challenged in District 9 by Republican Phil Landy... Republican incumbant David Wilfong is being challenged in District 11 by Democrat Bob Whitney.  In District 13... Democrat Tom Nelson is being challenged by Republican Joseph Tickle... and, in District 10... Republican Jamie Gustafson is being challenged by Democrat Julie Jackson-Forsberg. 


Voting today runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at all 47 polling sites in the county.  Our coverage of Election Night 2023 on WJTN begins about 8:30 p.m. with our Terry Frank anchoring.


City Council concludes detailed budget review Monday night...
The Jamestown City Council has completed it's review of individual department spending plans that are part of the just over $40-million, 2024 budget.  Lawmakers last night looked over the Department of Development and Fenton History Center budgets to complete the review.  Council President Tony Dolce says they'll next hold a public hearing next Monday night on Mayor Eddie Sundquist's proposal.  Dolce adds any amendments need to be submitted by this Friday.  He says they have no meeting scheduled for Nov. 20, and that could be used for further review and discussion.  At this point... Dolce says there have been no surprises... and, no big changes being looked at.  One likely one is a proposed increase on the property tax exemption for seniors from $19,000 to $22,000 to take cost of living increases into consideration.  Dolce says the local law will be voted on at the Nov. 27 voting session, as well.  The mayor's $40.15-million spending plan does increase the tax levy slightly in the city... and, keeps the current tax rate of $23.69 per $1,000 full value.  Lawmakers need to approve a budget by Dec. 1.


Lawmakers hear Police and Fire Budget presentations, and proposals for new vehicles...
During last week's budget talks... the City Council looked at vehicle and equipment purchases for the police and fire departments.  Police Chief Tim Jackson noted they need four new cars -- two marked and two-unmarked patrol cars.  He says their Domestic Violence Officer is driving a 2009 model vehicle, and it needs to be replaced.  Jackson added their detective vehicles also haven't been replaced in several years.  As for the fire department... Deputy Chief Matt Coon noted the need for a new transport vehicle... and, a ladder truck.  Coon says the department usually retires vehicles every 30 to 35 years.


Schmidt announces pair of County Court sentencings Monday...
A Jamestown man will spend the next 3 to 6 years in state prison after pleading guilty to a third-degree robbery charges early last September.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 29 year-old Isaiah Pearson received the sentence Monday in County Court from Judge David Foley.  Schmidt days Pearson was arrested last Feb. 26 by Jamestown police for a robbery incident in which he had threatened the victim with a knife, and stole their property.  Pearson was also sentenced to 2 to 4 years after being convicted of second-degree attempted assault for injuring a corrections officer while he was an inmate at the county jail.  Schmidt says the sentences will run concurrently.
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In addition... a Westfield man was sentenced in County Court to 6 years in prison after pleading guilty to a third-degree drug possession charge.  D.A. Schmidt says 45 year-old Shawn Conway received the sentence Monday from Judge Foley after pleading guilty to the Felony charges last Aug. 28.  He says Sheriff's officers conducted a raid on a town of Mina home in October of 2021 where Conway was found... and, he was arrested on drug-related charge.  Schmidt says Conway is already serving a sentence of 10-to-15 years in state prison on a drug conviction from April 2023, and, this sentence will serve concurrently to the April conviction.  


Russ Diethrick receives NYS Exemplary Volunteer of the Year award...
A long-time member of our Media One family has been honored with New York's Exemplary Volunteer Service Award for his more than 50 years of volunteer service in Jamestown.  The city's "Mr. Baseball" Russ Diethrick... learned about receiving the Governor's award during a phone call with state Office for the Aging Director Greg Olson... who says Diethrick has provided 61 years of overall service to about 40 local organizations.  Olson says one of the things that stood out about Russ was his life-long passion for baseball... and, dedication to Babe Ruth Baseball.  Russ still co-hosts WJTN's "The Times of Your Life..." and appears with our Dennis Webster on Tuesday mornings at 8:40 a.m.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 6, 2023

79 year-old Cattaraugus County man arrested for armed robbery...
A 79 year-old Cattaraugus County man has been arrested after allegedly taking property from some neighbors in the town of South Valley at gun point.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to the scene on Sawmill Run Rd. about 7 p.m. last Saturday for a report of an armed robbery.  Deputies say Matthew Yuschick of 12354 Sawmill Run was found to have confronted the victims and pointed a pistol at the victims while taking the property.  Yuschick was arrested for first-degree criminal use of a weapon... criminal possession of a weapon... and, fourth-degree grand larceny.  He was taken to the Little Valley Jail with bail to be set.


Three people from Jamestown -- including two that were arrested earlier in the weekend on similar charges -- have been arrested on drug-related charges following a traffic stop early Sunday morning.  City police say their Violent Crime and K-9 Units conducted the stop just after 2 a.m. in the area of Lincoln and East Sixth Streets.  Officers say 49 year-old Kim Nutting, 48 year-old Patrick Patterson, and 37 year-old Joshua Warner, were found with a quantity of methamphetamine.  Nutting and Warner had been arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance almost exactly 24 hours prior to the Sunday incident.  Police say Nutting and Patterson were also found to be in possession of digital scales.  Warner is charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle... and, two counts of making an improper turn without signaling.  Nutting and Patterson are each charged with one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree crimally using drug paraphernalia.  All thre were taken to the city jail, booked and released in compliance with the state's Bail Reform Law.
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Both Nutting and Warner were arrested first just after Midnight Saturday.  City police say they conducted the stop on Allen St. -- near Institute -- and found that both were in possession of methamphetamine, digital scales, packaging materials and a quantity of cash. 


Quattrone says investigations continuing into recent fires...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate incidents involving recent fires at both ends of the county.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says fire investigators have found the origin of the massive fire that destroyed the Colony Motel in West Ellicott late last month.  Quattrone says the blaze originated in one room at the motel, and are still looking into the cause.  Meanwhile, Quattrone says they are still trying to find a person of interest in connection with fires that were set on October 16th near two churches in the Village of Brocton.  He says investigators believe that the subject, who was last seen in the county at a business in Ripley, is no longer in the area.  He's not been identified.  Quattrone adds that it's believed the subject started the fires in order to keep warm.


Early vote finishes with more than 3,500 voters in Chautauqua County...
About 3,500 people cast ballots during early voting in Chautauqua County during the nine-day period that ended yesterday.  Voting was still reported as "steady" over the weekend at the county's four different polling locations.  Heading into the weekend... the most ballots had been cast at the County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  County Democratic Elections Commissioner Luz Torres says there's no voting today to allow the Board of Elections to set up at it's nearly 50 different polling locations for tomorrow's vote... which runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  In addition to the local and county races... Republican Commissioner Brian Abram says there are two statewide propositions on the ballot this year. 


City man recently arrested is arrested again on several charges early last weekend...
A Jamestown man recently arrested during a traffic stop has been arrested -- again -- on a number of charges following another traffic stop last Friday night.  City police say officers conducted the stop on Prendergast Ave. -- near Crossman St. -- just after 6 p.m.  They identified the driver as 25 year-old Dale Linkous, Jr., and, found his driving privileges were revoked and that he was required to have an Ignition Interlock System installed.  However... the car was not equipped with one.  Officers say they found Linkous in possession of a small quantity of Methamphetamine... and, a metal Kung Fu Star, which is illegal to possess in New York state.  He was arrested for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation... operating a Motor Vehicle without an Ignition Interlock System... and, an equipment violation for non-transparent side windows.  Linkous was jailed pending arraignment.


Diethrick receives NYS Aging Volunteer Award...
A long-time member of our Media One family has been honored with New York's Exemplary Volunteer Service Award for his more than 50 years of volunteer service in Jamestown.  The city's "Mr. Baseball," Russ Diethrick, learned about receiving the Governor's award during a phone call with state Office for the Aging Director Greg Olson.  Olson says Russ has provided more than 61 years of service to 40 different organizations.  As is his custom... Russ was humbled by the award... noting that he's just part of a "team" that helps make those organizations go.  Russ still co-hosts WJTN's "The Times of Your Life..." and appears with our Dennis Webster on Tuesday mornings at 8:40 a.m. to talk sports, and community happenings.  


  

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 2, 2023

City man receives five-years in state prison for July robbery at Kwik Fill station...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to five-years in state prison after being convicted of second-degree robbery for a hold-up at a northside gas station.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says he's pleased that 33 year-old James Hayes received the sentence... and another five-years post-release supervision by County Court Judge David Foley.  Hayes was initially arrested following the July 31 armed robbery at the Kwik Fill station and convenience store on Fluvanna Avenue.  He was initially charged with first-degree robbery... second-degree Grand Larceny... and, second-degree menacing.  Police accused Hayes of pointing a handgun at the store clerk.  He pled guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree robbery in September.  Schmidt thanked the Jamestown Police Department for their hard work on the case.


Sheridan man arrested on Child Porn charge...
A north county man is accused of being in possession of child pornography following an investigation at his South Roberts Road home in the town of Sheridan.  Sheriff's officers initially responded to the location last July on a report that 43 year-old Michael Werts had the child porn in his home.  Deputies say their Criminal Investigation Division investigated... and, Werts Wednesday was issued an appearance ticket for Sheridan Town Court on a charge of possessing a sexual performance by a child.  


Sen. Schumer announces $983,000 for home energy efficiency program for Jamestown homes...
The city of Jamestown is receiving nearly one-million dollars from the federal Inflation Reduction Act to help lower utility costs for local residents... and, modernize homes in underserved neighborhoods.  That from U.S. Senator Charles Schumer... who announced the nearly 983-thousand dollar grant m from the Environmental Protection Agency’s "Environmental Justice Government-to-Government" to increase energy efficiency in homes.  The New York Democrat says "more energy efficient housing and lower utility costs will soon be heading to homes across Jamestown thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act."  The Senate Majority Leader says cities "like Jamestown" topped the list of places that could benefit from the funding.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says "the alternative energy upgrades provided to the selected homes through this initiative will serve as a valuable starting point in the city’s ongoing efforts to achieve environmental justice for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents.  These upgraded, weatherized homes will be offered through a non-traditional home buyers’ program that will not only lead to increased neighborhood renewal efforts, but also provide measurable results from both a public health and environmental perspective.”


Surdyk describes how 19A Homeowners program will market and sell homes under the program...
First-time homebuyers who take part in the city of Jamestown's new "19A" home program will have some requirements in order to purchase and keep their homes.  That from City Development Director Crystal Surdyk... who was on hand for Tuesday's announcement that four homes are now in line for rehabilitation work... and, be put on the market.  Surdyk also says the homes will be priced on a few factors... including one in particular -- that being the fair market value of the home.  She says they want the people looking to buy those homes to complete a "first-time homebuyer" program... and, adds that there are already people in the First-Time Homebuyer programs at Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation... and, Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc.  Surdyk says they'll also take into account the amount of rehabilitation work that needs to be done... and, it's cost.  City Council Housing Committee Chairwoman Marie Carrubba says "this is a true win-win for all parties involved.  This is an opportunity for new homebuyers to invest and own a home in Jamestown."


Gillibrand says she's "not optimistic" about new House Speaker working in bi-partisan manner...
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she's not optimistic about the direction the House of Representatives is taking with the election of new Speaker Mike Johnson.  The Louisiana Republican was elected last week after three weeks of acrimony among the GOP over who should lead their slim majority.  Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, says Johnson is already making waves by proposing taking $14.3-billion from the IRS and using to support Israel in it's fight against Hamas.  She says... given the chaos of the past month... and, the proposal he's made that "he wants to govern."  The measure also would not address the war in Ukraine... along with threats to Taiwan and the South Pacific.  Gillibrand echoed the White House's sentiment the proposal is a "non-starter..." and, added it's also a -- "stupid idea."  She says doing this would not support the spending because the IRS would not be able to fully do it's job.  Gillibrand made her comments during a recent video press conference with state-wide media.


Santos survives expulsion vote in the House...
Congressman George Santos has easily survived a vote to expel him from the House of Representatives as most Republicans opted to withhold punishment as both his criminal trial and a House Ethics Committee investigation proceed.  The effort to kick Santos out of the House was led by his fellow New York Republicans -- including local Congressman Nick Langworthy.  They are anxious to distance themselves from a colleague infamous for fabricating his life story... and accused of stealing from donors, lying to Congress and receiving unemployment benefits he did not deserve.  However... the vast majority of Republicans and more than 30 Democrats have voted against expelling Santos.  The final vote was 179 for expulsion and 213 against.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Nov. 1, 2023

The first identified "19A" homes in Jamestown set for rehab, and sale to first-time homebuyers...
The city of Jamestown now has four abandoned single-family homes it's acquired through it's Urban Renewal Agency to be part of it's new "19A" program to get those homes back into use.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and some members of city council joined with city Development Director Crystal Surdyk for the announcement in front of one of those properties at 177 Barker St.  Sundquist says the process of taking ownership of these commonly called "zombie" properties began about a year ago... and thanked council for it's support of the program.  He says this ties into the city's overall housing strategy that includes tearing down old and unsafe, vacant homes, and more aggressive code enforcement.  Sundquist and Surdyk say the city now has 11 properties that are ready to go through the rehab program, and then be put onto the market for first-time homebuyers.  Surdyk says these homes have to have at least one code violation... and at least one year of unpaid taxes.  She says the home at 177 Barker has been vacant for 12 years now... so it fits right into the program.  Surdyk says anyone taking part in the program must maintain the property as their primary residence for five-years... and, all code violations much be remediated upon purchasing the property.


Man arrested in Jamestown sought in Wisconsin on drug and weapons charges...
A 40 year-old man wanted on drug and weapons charges in Wisconsin has been arrested in the city of Jamestown for allegedly being in possession of fentanyl.  City police say Christopher Smith was a passenger in a car that was pulled over in the area of Ivy Street and Foote Avenue shortly after 12 a.m. Tuesday.  Further investigation led police to find Smith was wanted by the Brown County, Wisc. Sheriff's Department... and, he was arrested as a fugitive from justice.  Officers say they also allegedly found him in possession of one-gram of fentanyl.  He was sought in Wisconsin for possession of methamphetamine... possession of THC... drug paraphernalia... and, for carrying a concealed weapon.  Smith is being held pending arraignment in the city jail... and, pending extradication.


Price for a gallon of gasoline down in Jamestown-area, and nation...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have fallen another 2 to 3 cents a gallon for regular, unleaded fuel over the past week.  That from the AAA East Central Gas Price report... which says the price fell from just under $3.86 a gallon... to about $3.83 this week.  At some gas stations locally... the price is just under $3.83.  AAA says nationally... the price has fallen about 5-cents a gallon this week to $3.49.  Nationally... gas prices continue to trend downward due to lower demand and the cost of oil... which has fallen over the past few days to just over $80 per barrel. 


Jamestown man arrested on drug charge after being stopped on his bicycle...
A city man wanted by Fredonia Village Police was arrested the past weekend in Jamestown for allegedly riding a bicycle that had no bell... nor a red light on the back.  City police say they stopped 36 year-old Brandon Anderson on Barrett Avenue -- near Crown Street -- shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday... and, knew Anderson was wanted in Fredonia.  Officers took him into custody... and, during a search of the suspect... they reportedly found a quantity of methamphetamine.  Anderson was taken to the city jail on one count of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  He was also given traffic tickets for the equipment violations on his bicycle.


Two Brocton residents arrested in alleged burglary in Stockton...
Two people from Brocton have been arrested for allegedly burglarizing a camper last weekend... and, stealing a number of items from inside.  Sheriff's officers were calle to the scene on the Stockton-Harfield Road just before 10:30 a.m. Sunday on a report of a "larceny in progress."  Deputies say 44 year-old Season Brigham and 38 year-old Lawrence Alexander were found to have entered the camper, and removed the items.  Both were also allegedly found in possession of several items that were reported stolen.  Both were charged with third-degree burglary... criminal mischief... fifth-degree criminal Possession of Stolen Property... and, petty larceny.  Both Brigham and Alexander were issued appearance tickets for Stockton Town Court at a later date.

Gillibrand signs onto letter to federal authorities to help localities deal with anti-semitism, and anti-muslim threats and attacks...
New York's junior U.S. Senator has joined with several other members of Congress in urging federal authorities to assist states and localities in fighting alarming increases in the number of anti-semitic and anti-muslim threats and attacks.  During a video press conference this morning... Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand reiterated that there is "no excuse" for anti-semitism... or anti-muslim attacks in the U-S... and, says the number of incidents since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel have sky-rocketed.  One such incident took place on an 'on-line' message board at Cornell University in Central New York... and threatening statements were posted against both the college's Jewish Living Center and a Kosher dining hall.  Governor Kathy Hochul announced Tuesday afternoon that they have a "person of interest" in custody in connection with those messages.  Gillibrand also renewed her call for $500-million to help provide security through the Non-Profit Security Grant Program to help support security cameras, and paying for security guards if they are needed.  Governor Hochul was at Cornell Monday voicing her support for the Jewish population there.

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