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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 28, 2023

City Council tables action on $100,000-plus JLDC ARPA Grants...
The Jamestown City Council has tabled action on three Local Development Corporation grants to businesses that total over $100,000 each.  The grants would come from a $750,000 business assistance program using American Rescue Plan Act funding.  Council President Tony Dolce says most lawmakers didn't receive the information on them until late last week... and, had questions about them, including what the money is being used for and the amounts themselves.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk says she understands the concerns about -- in some cases -- some of the same businesses requesting help.  Surdyk says they want to see more businesses apply... but, understands that it can be difficult and time consuming to apply for grant monies.  She adds there's also a 25% match involved.  The smallest of the three grants... $108,000... would support a project at Summit Wealth Management.  Another for just under $115,000 would go to Labyrinth Press Company... and the third -- for $167,000 -- would go to Panache Salon and Day Spa.  Council will discuss the matter with JLDC members in mid-March.


Council approves applying for supplimental HOME ARPA Program funding...
The City Council last night also approved Jamestown's final plan to use just over $1.2-million in ARPA funding to rehabilitate rental properties.  The action came following a required public hearing.  Development Director Crystal Surdyk says the money will be doled out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a suppliment to the city's annual HOME funding allocation.  Surdyk says the grants can be used for a number of projects... including a new roof, new siding or foundation repairs.  She says owners can apply for up to $30,000 for three total units.  However... the funding doesn't need to be used for any specific units.  Surdyk says her department has been working on developing the program for over a year.


Man originally from Buffalo sentenced to 6 years in state prison on gun possession charge...
A man originally from Buffalo has been sentenced to six-years in state prison after pleading guilty last December to one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says Judge David Foley Monday also gave 21 year-old Joel Coleman five years post-release supervision on the charge... for having a loaded firearm.  Coleman was one of three people arrested in February of 2022 following an incident in which the trio allegedly exchanged gunfire with people in another car.  No one was hurt in that incident.  Coleman originally fled the scene... but, was later found with the gun... and, quantities of drugs in his possession.


Jamestown Community Chamber presents "Salute to the Finest" awards...
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce presented its annual ‘Salute to the Finest Awards’ at the Northwest Arena Monday night.  Chuck DeAngelo, longtime attorney at Fessenden, Laumer & DeAngelo, was given the ‘Pride of Jamestown’ award.  He’s currently in full remission from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  When he first received the diagnosis... it was like "getting punched in the gut."  However... he says the e-mails and text messages of support started coming.  DeAngelo says, “You won’t find another place like Jamestown”  The ‘Legacy Award’ was given to the Post-Journal.  Accepting for the newspaper’s 75 employees and 150 carriers was Publisher, Mike Bird.  Bird says they've worked through the years to provide news" that is credible... you can trust... and, news of your neighbors, and friends" as they have for 197 years.  The ‘Service to Humanity Award’ went to Patrick Smeraldo of Collaborative Children’s Solutions, organizers of the annual Labor Day Festival, the Christmas parade and many other events.  D & S Glass was named ‘Business of the Year.’ 


City Democrats announce endorsements for Fall elections...
The Jamestown City Democratic Committee has now announced it's slate of endorsed candidates for city council and the Chautauqua County legislature.  New Democratic Chairwoman Alyssa Porter says she's "really excited" about their line-up... headed up by incumbant Mayor Eddie Sundquist.  Porters says they want to "build on the success" that Sundquist has had in the past four years.  Porter says they have six people running for the nine-seats on council.  She and Isaiah Rashad are running for at-large seats.  The other candidates endorsed this past weekend include: incumbants Regina Brackman in Ward-Three and Marie Carrubba in Ward-Four.  Kaycee Colburn is running in the Fifth-Ward... and, former Councilwoman Vanessa Weinert is running for the Sixth-Ward seat.  Porter says that leaves one at-large candidate... and, candidates for Wards One and Two they're trying to fill.  Democrats also announced they have endorsed incumbant County Legislator Billy Torres in District 9... Julie Jackson-Forsberg is seeking the District 10 seat... and, former legislator Fred Larson in District 12.  Democrats are also endorsing the recently-appointed Tom Nelson in District 13.  The committee also endorsed City Court Judge John LaMancuso to seek another term on the bench.


Wendel says NYSAC leaders in Albany expressing concern over Hochul's proposed budget...
The organization that represents counties across New York State is expected to take a strong opposing view of Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed 2023-24 budget.  Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel is attending the New York State Association of Counties Legislative Conference that got underway in Albany Monday.  The Lakewood Republican says most county officials from across the state are unhappy -- especially with a proposal to intercept enhanced FMAP 'Medicaid' funding to benefit the state.  Wendel also pointed out that Hochul will not be attending the NYSAC during the three-day conference... which he called "very disappointing" because she has in the past. 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Feb. 27, 2023

City man arrested for allegedly starting several altercations inside northside apartment building...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly brandishing a knife during several altercations with people Sunday morning at a northside apartment complex.  City police were called to the scene just before 10:30 a.m., and, found that 29 year-old Isaiah Pearson had locked himself inside his apartment... and, refused to comply with officers.  He eventually came out of the apartment and became combative with officers.  Police say they had to deploy a taser to subdue Pearson and take him into custody.  He's charged with two counts of second-degree menacing... first-degree robbery... second-degree assault... third-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and second-degree harassment.  Pearsons was on parole after being convicted of attempted murder, and assault for an incident several years ago... and, was jailed pending arraignment.


Three arrested in Jamestown after traffic stop uncovers drugs...
Three people were arrested last weekend on drug-related charges during a traffic stop on Jamestown's northside.  City police say a patrol stopped the car on Van Buren St., near Prendergast Ave., shortly before 8 a.m. last Saturday... and, soon after found illegal drugs inside the vehicle.  Officers say they found 21 year-old Joshua Waygood in possession of 5.9-grams of methamphetamine... and, half-a-gram of Fentanyl.  Police say 23 year-old Damion Carlson was allegedly found with less than a gram of methamphetamine and 0.5 grams of Fentanyl... and, 31 year-old Rebecca Blue was found with one-gram of meth.  All three are charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Police say Waygood is also charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... while Carlson is accused of giving police a false name after being questioned numerous times... and, was also charged with second-degree criminal impersonation.  All three were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


City man arrested after allegedly damaging door to a business early last weekend...
A Jamestown man has been arrested after city police responded to an alarm... and, found a damaged door at a westside business late last Friday night.  Jamestown officers were called to the scene just before Midnight... and found that the suspect had fled the scene on foot.  Police were able to get a description of the suspect from witnesses... and, later found 21 year-old Andrew Webber.  Webber was taken into custody on a third-degree criminal mischief charge... and, was taken to the city jail.  He was later booked and issued an appearance ticket for city court.


Jamestown GOP announces full-slate of council, and legislature candidates...
The Jamestown City Republican Committee has endorsed a full-slate of candidates for City Council... and, the Chautauqua County Legislature.  City Chairman Brent Sheldon says the council candidates feature current Council President Tony Dolce... who is seeking re-election in Ward-2.  Sheldon himself is running again in the First-Ward... and, he says the GOP is "very excited" to again have candidates for each seat... and, adds most are "long-time" Jamestown residents.  In the Third-Ward... Sheldon says Robert Reedy is running again for the seat this year.  In Ward 4... SKF employee Joseph Paterniti is seeking election.... while in Ward-5... Bill Reynolds is running for re-election after winning a special election last year.  In the Sixth-Ward... incumbant Andrew Faulkner is seeking re-election.  At-Large incumbants Jeff Russell, and Randy Daversa are seeking re-election... while retired city Public Works labor crew chief Russell Bonfiglio is running for the seat currently held by Kim Ecklund.  Ecklund recent announced a run for mayor this year.  Sheldon says they're pleased that Ecklund is at the top of the ticket... because of her finance credentials.  The GOP Committee also endorsed a full slate of county legislators... including incumbants Jamie Gustafson in District 10... David Wilfong in District 11... and, Elisabeth Rankin in District 12.  In District 9... newcomer Phillip Landy is seeking election... and, in District 13... Joseph Tickle is running.  Sheldon says the 2021 election "gave Republicans a super majority on City Council after getting a majority in 2019 for the first time in many years."


Larson announces run for Chautauqua Co. Legislature...
A past long-time Chautauqua County Legislator who gave up hist seat in 2014 to become a Jamestown City Court Judge is running again this Fall for his old seat.  Democrat Fred Larson was first elected to the legislature in 1985 in District 12... representing the city's northside.  Larson says his "passion" is economic development, and jobs for the people of Chautauqua County" in light of the huge job and population losses of the past 10 years.  Just over a year ago... Larson had to retire after getting to the state's mandated retirement age of 70.  He says there is "no one on the county legislature now with his record of commitment to economic development.  He was on the legislature's Economic Development Committee from 1985-to-1993... and, later co-chaired the Route 17 Advisory Committee with late legislator Al Jones to get the funding to complete it as a four-lane highway... which soon after became Interstate 86.  From 1998-to-2005... Larson served as Chautauqua County Attorney... and, was a member of the Industrial Parks Task Force that started in 1998... and, planned the expansion of the Mason Industrial Park near Jamestown which attracted Serta Mattress and the county's Stoneman Industrial Park in Busti which attracted Southern Tier Brewing.
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We'll have the full story tomorrow on Democratic nominees from Jamestown tomorrow.


 

WJTN News Update for Sat., Feb. 25, 2023

**Update on accident story in Lakewood involving car in two accidents and police pursuit...

A Lakewood woman faces more than a dozen charges after being involved in two vehicle accidents... and leading police on a high speed chase through the village last Thursday night.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they were initially called to the Chautauqua Mall on East Fairmount Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. on a complaint of a car leaving the scene after that vehicle had stuck another car.  Officers say they got a description of the suspect vehicle, and later located it on East Summit Avenue... and, pulled over the driver.  When they approached the car... police say they noticed a strong odor of intoxicants, and, that the woman driver's speech was slurred.  They add that 34 year-old Robin Rivera failed to produce a driver's license before she drove off at a high-rate of speed.  Police pursued... and, Rivera wound up crashing into two parked vehicles and a utility pole on Fairdale Avenue.  Rivera tried to fun off... but, was taken into custody a short time later.  She was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  She's charged with third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer... driving while intoxicated... and, 12 other vehicle and traffic violations.  Rivera was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.

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

Single-car accident in Lakewood last night takes down utility pole, and power lines...
Lakewood-Busti Police expect to release more information later today or during the weekend on a single-car crash on Fairdale Avenue -- near the intersection with Summit Avenue -- early last evening.  Officials confirm the one car crash when a speeding car apparently missed a curve... and, slammed into a utility pole across from the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club... just after 6 p.m.  The accident reportedly took down some power lines... and, a crew from National Grid was called to the scene.  Traffic was shut-down in that area for a few hours.  No other information is available.  


Two city residents arrested after drug raid on Fairmount Ave. apartment...
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested during an early morning raid Wednesday on the city's westside for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine.  City police say members of the JPD SWAT Team helped the Metro Drug Task Force make entry to an apartment at 271 Fairmount Ave. about 6:15 a.m., and, arrested Kim Nutting and Timothy Blakemore -- both 48 -- at the scene.  Police say a search also uncovered 10.6-grams methamphetamine, packaging materials, and scales.  As a result... both Nutting and Blakemore were charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Police say they also called in the city's Department of Development due to the living conditions... and, the apartment was condemned.  Officers also took two dogs from inside...and, they were sent to "Pick of the Litter" boarding facility to be held.  The dogs appeared to be in good health.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's office narcotics investigation team along with both department's K-9 units also assisted at the scene.


Jamestown man arrested for DWAI during traffic stop...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs when his car struck at least one parked vehicle on Washington Street early Wednesday morning.  City police were called to the scene... near the intersection with Fluvanna Avenue... shortly after 5 a.m.  Officers found 45 year-old Howard McAvoy in the drivers seat with multiple injuries.  Police say McAvoy was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  They say further investigation determined he was under the influence of drugs... and, he was arrested for DWAI-Drugs... moving from lane unsafely... and multiple other traffic charges.  McAvoy was issued appearance tickets for a later date.


Nelson explains vote against Co. Legislature natural gas motion...
Chautauqua County lawmakers have passed a motion that opposes Governor Kathy Hochul's energy plan that moves away from the use of natural gas in New York State.  The motion supporting natural gas passed, although one legislator spoke against the measure.  Jamestown Democrat Tom Nelson says he stands with Hochul on the issue... noting that the ban on using fossil fuels to power homes is limited to just smaller, "newly-constructed" buildings by 2025... and, larger ones in 2028.  However... Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel says the state is not ready to phase out the use of natural gas... and, adds the state has an "abundance" of natural gas right now.  


Two people arrested in Jamestown on drug posession charges following traffic stop...
Two people face drug and other charges following a traffic stop on Jamestown's southside late Wednesday night.  City police say a patrol conducted the stop at the intersection of The Arterial and Prospect Street about 10 p.m., and, found 39 year-old Stephen Glover, Sr. of Jamestown inside the vehicle.  Officers say Glover was wanted on outstanding City Court warrants.  Police say they then spotted drug paraphernalia inside... and, a further search of the car uncovered 27-grams of of suspected methamphetamine in possession of the driver... 30 year-old Kaula Frank of Little Valley.  Officers arrested Frank on charges of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia.  Glover was arrested on the outstanding warrants.  Both were jailed pending arraignment.


RHJ Center President talks Russian war crimes on one-year anniversary of invasion of Ukraine...
The prosecution of Russia for crimes committed over the last 12 months in Ukraine could start as early as later this year... but getting convictions in an international tribunal will not be easy or simple.  The President of the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, Kristan McMahon, says the evidence of crimes of agression, crimes against humanity... and war crimes in general... has become abundant.  In fact... McMahon there is more than enough documentation right now of war crimes.  However... she says a major challenge is to get Russian President Vladimir Putin and others in a courtroom where justice could be meted out.  McMahon also points out that it is Ukraine itself that must conclude what is appropriately 'just' in any prosecution, not anyone else.  As chief prosecutor of the war crimes trials following World War II, Jamestown's Robert H. Jackson set the standard for the pursuit of justice in such cases.   


Langworthy announces Federal HUD Money for Jamestown and 23rd District...
The city of Jamestown is receiving a sizeable chunk of $8.1-million in grant funding from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Local Congressman Nick Langworthy says Jamestown is receiving $1.5-million in Community  Development Block Grant funding.  Langworthy says the funding "will benefit many communities across my congressional district.  Housing availability and affordability continue to be pressing issues for many municipalities and these funds will go directly toward helping to meet those needs.” 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 23, 2023

County Legislature approves motion calling on NYS to release funding for new Brooks Hospital...
Chautauqua County lawmakers voiced strong support behind a motion urging New York State's approval for building a new Brooks Hospital.  Dunkirk Legislator  Kevin Muldowney was among lawmakers who urged the state to release $70-million that has been set aside for the new facility.  Muldowney, a Republican, says if the county wants to draw new business and residents "we need a new state of art hospital."  Jamestown Republican Elisabeth Rankin says it’s important for county legislators to send a united message to both the governor, and "our state elected officials."  Legislators also passed two other motions.  One calls on the state to continue to pass-thru Federal Affordable Care Act Enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage -- or eFMAP funding.  A third motion urging the state to support natural gas also passed, but one legislator, Jamestown Democrat Tom Nelson opposed it.


Buffalo man arrested in Jamestown on drug charges, and warrants from multiple law enforcement agencies...
A man from Buffalo faces several drug-related charges following a foot chase with Jamestown police in the area of East Fourth Street late Wednesday morning.  Officers -- along with Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies -- attempted a street check on a man during a narcotics investigation.  When an officer tried to make contact with 33 year-old Brandon Wallace... he immediately began running away.  Police pursued Wallace... and, saw him throw an object onto a nearby roof.  He was later taken into custody... and, the object was recovered.  Police found it was a bag containing just over 9-grams of crack cocaine packaged for sale.  Officers say Wallace allegedly gave them a false name and other inaccurate information.  Further investigation confirmed it was Wallace, and that he was wanted on several warrants in Buffalo... as well as Erie and Niagara Counties.  He's sought on charges including: second-degree burglary... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Locally... Wallace is charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminal impersonation. 


Gasoline prices in Jamestown-area fall for the first time in several weeks Wednesday...
The price for a gallon of gasoline in the Jamestown-area is going down as we reach mid-week... with many stations now showing a 4-cent drop from last week.  The AAA East Central's Gas Price Report says the average cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded began the week at just over $3.69 cents a gallon.  Some locations are now charging just under $3.66 a gallon.  Last week's price was just under $3.70 a gallon.  AAA reports the national average for a gallon dipped a penny this week to $3.40 a gallon.  Officials say lower demand for gas and fluctuating oil prices are the primary reasons the average is stuck in neutral.  Today's national average is the same as a month ago, and 13 cents less than a year ago.  The crude oil price fell 47-cents to begin the week at $78.59 a barrel.  


BPU announces receipt of NYSERDA grant with JPS to study electric school bus conversion...
The Jamestown school district and the Board of Public Utilities have received a just over $95,000 state grant for a feasibility and planning study to convert the district's bus fleet to an all-electric operation.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says recent changes to the law require that public school districts begin purchasing electric buses by 2027... and, have an all-electric fleet by the year 2035.  The grant is being provided by the New York State Research and Development Authority to help develop the plan to fully evaluate the infrastructure needed to make the conversion to electric buses.  Leathers says... since the BPU is the sole provider of electric power in the community and district... the utility must provide the necessary infrastructure to maintain an electric fleet.  Leathers says two companies... Stark Tech Group and Emerald Alternative Energy will complete the project within a six to nine-month time frame.


Two arrested on drug, fugitive from justice charges during Jamestown traffic stop...
Two people have been arrested on drug and fugitive from justice charges following a traffic stop early Wednesday morning on Jamestown's eastside.  City police say a patrol stopped the car, driven by 58 year-old Kevin McCool of Jamestown in the area of East Fifth St. and Factory Al. just after 1 a.m.  Further investigation found that McCool was wanted on a city court warrant for failure to appear.  They also found that a passenger, 39 year-old Amanda Mcclellan of Bradford, Pennsylvania, was wanted for a parole violation in Pennsylvania for a parole violation.  Officers also searched the vehicle... and, found a quantity of Codeine.  Police arrested McCool for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... while Mcclellan is charged with being a fugitive from justice. 


City man arrested on menacing warrant after struggle with JPD officers...
A Jamestown man sought on a menacing warrant has been arrested after struggling with arresting officers Tuesday afternoon on the city's westside.  Jamestown police say officers responded to an undisclosed address shortly before 4 p.m. to check on the well-being of the subject.  Police made contact with William Groom... and, found that he was wanted on the warrant issued in city court.  When they tried to take Groom into custody... he became combative... and, would not obey the officers.  After a brief struggle... officers finally took him into custody without further incident.  He was jailed pending arraignment on new charges of second-degree obstructing governmental administration... and, resisting arrest.  He was also held on the warrant for second-degree menacing.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Feb. 22, 2023

MAST to take part in state legislature lobbying effort to boost workforce, slow conversion to electrification...
Manufacturers from across New York state will be descending on Albany next week to meet with state lawmakers.  Executive Director Todd Tranum with the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier says they will have a strong presence in the state capitol on Manufacturing Advocacy Day on Mar. 1.  Among their main concerns are finding new workers... and, Governor Kathy Hochul's energy policies.  Tranum says the push away from natural gas is being made too quickly in New York.  He says the reality is that natural gas should be "view as a bridge fuel" and not the enemy to the future.  Tranum says there will have to be "strong engagement with our manufacturers" to get there.  He adds that some manufacturers in Chautauqua County rely heavily on natural gas and are not able to make the conversion to electric power.  He says there needs to be a "realistic conversation" about how this can be done so it's "not disruptive to the state's economy, and to retaining and building new job opportunities."  Meanwhile... Tranum says MAST is gearing up for the annual STEM Wars event through the "Dream It, Do It" program.  It will held on Mar. 16 at the SUNY Jamestown Community College's Jamestown campus.  About 24 schools in the county have signed up for the event.


Gillibrand see increase in recruiting age by U.S. Navy as furthering diversified military...
Federal lawmakers are looking into why military recruiting numbers have fallen so much in recent years.  In response... the U.S. Navy is again reportedly looking at upping the age of recruits to 40 years old.  That's not surprising... but, is not the only reason the numbers are down.  That from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York... who is a member of the panel's Armed Services Committee.  During a recent video conference... Gillibrand was asked about the pending move... and, says the military is already "very diverse."  She says a lot of the problems they have in the military, including sexual assault, harassment disproportionally involves troops ages 18 to 24.  Gillibrand says... in some cases... younger service members don't have the maturity to handle all the responsibility they're given... and, that's seen in much of their research.  The Democrat adds that some have also decided they won't make enough money to deal with the "enormous service and sacrifice" that's required.  The U-S Navy recently raised it's maximum enlistment age from 39 to 41, as part of an effort to meet its quotas.


Jamestown man arrested on multiple warrants following Tuesday morning street check...
A city man has been arrested on multiple arrest warrants in Jamestown following a street check on the eastside Tuesday morning.  Jamestown police say officers were at 556 East Second St. shortly before 9 a.m. when they performed the check on 20 year-old Michael Connolly.  However... when they approached Connolly... he ran off.  Police told him to stop several times... but, he did not comply.  However... he was caught a short distance away and arrested for second-degree obstructing governmental administration... and, on the bench warrants.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Salamanca woman arrested following traffic stop for having revoked license...
A Cattaraugus County woman with a revoked driver's license has been arrested after allegedly being found to driving a motor vehicle late last week in Salamanca.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they stopped 34 year-old Shauna Jacobs on Clinton Street.  But... officers say she identified herself as Ashleigh White to avoid arrest.  Deputies later identified her as Shauna White... and, she was arrested for having the revoked license... and, multiple other traffic violations.  White was issued appearance tickets for Salamanca City Court.


CSHOF-Inductees thank family, friends and others for their support...
While there were 11 new inductees into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame... there were dozens of others who helped get them there.  That was pretty much a consensus among the inductees at Monday night's annual induction dinner at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  Several different sports were recognized... as many played -- and coached -- a number of sports in high school and college.  Sheldon Battle made his name locally in football and track before moving onto a track and field star in college and after that.  The Jamestown native has been back in the area the past few years... but, says it's great to see many familiar faces that he hasn't seen in a long time.  Bob Barlette was also involved in track and field... as well as football and basketball in Dunkirk.  He played football at Syracuse University... and, he says the friendships he made in sports helped get him to where he was.  Also inducted from the north county was long-time Dunkirk High School baseball coach, Frank Jagoda... who won several championships coaching baseball.  Frewsburg's Bruce Johnson still coaches the high school swim team there.  Jamestown Post-Journal Sports Editor Scott Kindberg called it a "thrilling and humbling" experience.  The other inductees include: Former Southwestern Football Coach Jay Sirianni...  former Jamestown High School running back David Hinson... who is co-director of College Scouting for the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs... Amy King-Swanson, Kirsten Green, Fred Larson, and Marty Nichols.


 

 

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

Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 inducted during ceremony in Lakewood Monday night...
The 11 newest members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame say they are "overwhelmed" and/or "humbled" by the honor.  They received their plaques during last night's induction dinner at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club, with several different sports recognized.  Former JHS Football star David Hinson is now Co-Director of College Scouting with the Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs.  But... he says being inducted is "special" because he remembered his grandfather taking him to the banquets as a kid.  Another inductee with Super Bowl ties is Jay Sirianni... who coached the Trojan's varsity football team to two state championships.  His younger brother, Nick, is head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, who were edged out by KC in the big game.  Others included long-time Dunkirk High School coach Frank Jagoda II... Assistant Athletic Director at Harvard University Kirsten Green... Amy King-Swanson... former JHS and college track and field stand-out Sheldon Battle, Bob Barlette, Bruce Johnson, Post-Journal Sports Editor Scott Kindberg, Fred Larson, and Marty Nichols.


George decides against running for Dunkirk mayor's seat...
Dunkirk City Democrats will have to consider another candidate to run for mayor.  In a news release issued late Sunday... Dunkirk Democratic Committee Chairman Ned Divine announced "with regret" that Bob George has withdrawn from running for mayor due to "family considerations."  George had been named to replace two-term incumbant Willie Rosas, who has decided not to run for re-election.


Borrello pleased Hochul is addressing mental health in 2023-24 budget, but, concerned about where money is going in general...
There's less than a month-and-a-half to go before a new budget is due in New York state... and, hearings and negotiations are well underway.  Local State Senator George Borrello says he's pleased that Governor Kathy Hochul included $1-billion more in the $227-billion spending plan to increase mental health care.  However... the Sunset Bay Republican says he told the state's director of the Office of Mental Health he wanted to know if Chautauqua County was getting more... and, what it'll be used for.  Borrello says the director said she, and the governor, were committed to making the money available to boost the number of mental health evaluation beds in Chautauqua County and the rest of the state.  He says he's also using the hearings to focus more on areas -- like mental health -- that need more funding -- including front-line health care, and law enforcement workers.  While there's no income tax increase in the governor's budget... Borrello says he believes where will be additional spending added by the more progressive Democrats from downstate.  Governor Hochul's budget increases spending by $5-billion.  The final spending plan needs to be adopted by Saturday, Apr. 1.  


City woman arrested for Felony DWI...
A Jamestown woman faces a Felony driving while intoxicated charge after being stopped for allegedly driving drunk for a third-time in the past 10 years.  City police say a patrol stopped the car, driven by 46 year-old Angel Ormsby, on Chandler Street just after 6 p.m. Monday.  Officers say Ormsby was arrested, and taken to the Jamestown City Jail for processing.  Police say she was charged with Felony DWI after being found to have the two prior convictions.  Ormsby was jailed pending arraignment in city court.


Final wrap-up on Mayville's Winter Festival...
It was a somewhat 'muted' Winter Festival in Mayville this past weekend.  The coordinator of the Mayville-Chautauqua Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Biekarck, says the absence of an ice castle and spring like conditions kept the crowds down.  Biekarck says "we can't control the weather..." but, added they appreciated everyone who came out.  There were some bright spots.  The polar plunge, pet parade and 5-K run all had good participation.  And the first ever ‘Winter Spike Fest Volleyball Tournament' drew eight teams and 50 players.  Event chairperson, Sorena Gilkinson, hopes people will continue to support the festival.  She says it's important to the entire region because they draw people from Pittsburgh, Ohio and other parts of the northeast.  Planning for each year's festival begins in October.  Anyone interested in helping out should contact the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.


 
 

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

Borrello has three goals as ranking minority member of Senate Ag Comm...
Local State Senator George Borrello says he has three goals for 2023 as the ranking minority member of the Senate's Agriculture Committee.  The Sunset Bay Republican says one of the biggest is overcoming the overtime threshold the state recently enacted for farm laborers.  Borrello says he's working with his Democratic counterpart, Chairwoman Michelle Hinchey of Eastern New York, on the committee to help farmers deal with those added costs.  He says they are working to make sure the credit "has no strings attached" to it.  Borrello says another goal for him is strengthening the Nourish-New York program... which was started by himself and Democratic Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to help residents in "food deserts."  He's pushing to have the annual program's funding increased from $50-million to $75-million.  Borrello says the third area he's concerned about is whether farmers will be exempt from the phase-out of natural gas being allowed to power machinery and appliances.  He says the wording of the final scoping plan by the state's Climate Action Council is not clear... and, is actually contractictory in some places.


City man arrested for giving false name to police, and being sought as a fugitve...
A Jamestown man accused of giving police a false name as they were doing a warrant check on the city's eastside has been arrested as a fugitive from justice.  Jamestown police say they were doing a warrant check in the area shortly before 6 p.m. last Saturday... and, stopped 50 year-old Curtis Snyder.  Their investigation found that Snyder gave them a phony name and date of birth in an effort to avoid arrest.  Police say there was also a valid parole warrant for his arrest in Pennsylvania.  Snyder was arrested for second-degree criminal impersonation... and, being a fugitive from justice.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Jamestown woman arrested for DWAI after well-being check...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly driving while under the influence of drugs early last Friday morning on the city's southside.  Jamestown Police say their DWI Unit was patrolling the area of Prather Avenue and Prospect Street around Midnight when they saw a woman slumped over the wheel of a running vehicle that was stopped.  Officers checked on the driver's well being and determinied that 42 year-old Victoria Cummings, was driving while under the influence of drugs.  She was taken to the city jail on a charge of DWAI-Drugs, and issued an appearance ticket for city court.


Winter Festival has lower than usual attendance, but, more participation in some areas...
Organizers of the annual Winter Festival in Mayville this past weekend made the best of it, but attendance was down.  Event chair, Sorena Gilkinson from the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce, said the reasons were obvious.  Gilkinson says there was no snow and no ice, due to our unusally mild Winter... and, that meant some activities had to be cancelled.  However... there were still some high points.  The spring-like weather brought out good numbers for the polar plunge and pet parade.  There were 50 people entered the 5-K run... 20 more than last year.  And another fifty people played in the first ever ‘Winter Spike Fest Volleyball Tournament.’  That event was organized by Kalee Halladay of the Glass Half Full Charity... who says they started with two courts.  However... she says one became very muddy, and they had to go with one court.  On Friday night... the festival kicked-off with the lighting of the wooden ‘castle replica’ used in parades... and Andy and Betsy Freay of Mayville were named king and queen for this year.


Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet is tonight...
The 11 newest members of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will be officially inducted during tonight's annual President's Day banquet at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.  A wide-variety of sports will be represented... with football among the highlights.  1995 Jamestown High School graduate, David Hinson, who led Jamestown to it's first ever state championship, is co-director of College Scouting for the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.  Former Southwestern High School Football Coach, Jay Sirianni led the Trojans to two state championships several years ago.  His brother, Nick, coached the Philadelphia Eagles to this year's Super Bowl.  Other inductees include: Former JHS and college track and field stand-out Sheldon Battle, Bob Barlette, Kirsten Green, Frank Jagoda-the second, Bruce Johnson, Post-Journal Sports Editor Scott Kindberg, Fred Larson, Marty Nichols, and Amy King-Swanson.


SUNY JCC cuts ribbon on new Building Automation Center...
The SUNY Jamestown Community College Workforce Development program has cut the ribbon on it's newly-renovated Industrial and Building Automation Center.  JCC officials add that a public open house was held at the location atop the Hultquist Library building following the ceremony.  Officials say funding for the project came from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority... and, the Sheldon, Carnahan Jackson, Hultquist, and the Ralph C. Wilson Foundations.  That allowed the entire area to be remodeled... and, the purchasing new furniture and equipment.  JCC officials says the funding will also help to cover program costs and wraparound services for students enrolled in these cohorts.  Classes for the Industrial Maintenance Technician program start Feb. 27... and, the Building Automation Systems program begins this summer.  For more information.. go on-line to Sunyjcc.edu/workforce-advanced-manufacturing.

 

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

First of two drug busts in Jamestown leads to seizure of meth and fentanyl, along with 6 arrests...
A pair of raids in Jamestown over the past day have led to the arrests of seven people... and, the seizure of quantities of Fentanyl and methamphetamine.  City police say the first drug bust occured early Thursday afternoon in the lower apartment at 47 Charles St. following an eight-month long investigation.  Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force made entry with the help of the JPD SWAT Team... and, following a search... located 10 grams of fentanyl... methamphetamine... packaging materials, scales, and cash.  Police arrested 43 year-old Sandra Pavlock for third, fourth, and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, first-degree criminal nuisance.  In addition... 24 year-old Larissa Pavlock was arrested for second-degree criminal nuisance... and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  The other four... Dontrel Buchanan, and Robin Hadley -- both 20... 30 year-old Savannah Gross, and 34 year-old David Lindsay, Senior... were all charged with for two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  All six were arraigned and released with appearance tickets per New York State Bail Reform.


Drug Bust on Broadhead Ave. lands seventh person in Jail...
The second drug bust occured shortly after 6 this morning at 284 Broadhead Avenue... with the JPD SWAT Team again assisting the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force in the raid.  Investigators located two adults and three children inside.  Detectives conducted a
search and found a quantity of fentanyl, methamphetamine, packaging materials, scales, and cash.  As a result... police arrested 37 year-old Heather Keeler for two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.  Anyone with information about illegal drug activity is asked to call Jamestown police at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department Tip line at 664-2420.


City receive's $1.8-million SAFER grant to hire eight more firefighters...
The Jamestown Fire Department will be able to bring on eight new firefighters thanks to a $1.8-million federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency -- or SAFER Program -- grant.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist announced the city got word of the grant award Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency... which will fully cover the cost of the eight new hires for the next three years.  In a press released... Sundquist said the city will not have to provide matching funds for the new firefighters.  U-S Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand say Jamestown, Fulton and New Rochelle were the only three communities in New York state awarded SAFER Grants from the 2021 funding cycle. 


Sundquist talks with Hochul about changes to Bail Reform law...
Jamestown's mayor had the chance to speak directly to New York Governor Kathy Hochul during the recent State Conference of Mayor's about making changes to the bail reform law.  During his Mayor's Report to the City Council this week... Sundquist talked about discussions at NYCOM... with the governor... about at least giving discretion back to local judges on setting bail across the state.  He says it's a "pretty big thing to Jamestown, as well."  Sundquist did not give any details about what that conversation entailed.  However... the mayor's likely had a receptive ear... given the back Hochul talked about the need to change the law because of the number of people who re-offend once their given appearance tickets and are freed.  From early on after the new bail reform law was enacted... police agencies -- including those locally -- talked openly about the problems they were having with people re-offending... sometimes within just hours of their release.


Whitaker talks pros and cons of year-round school...
The jury is still out on whether there should be school year-round in the United States.  However... there are a lot of considerations that need to be taken into account.  Those are the feelings of Jamestown School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker just days before many New York schools take their mid-Winter break.  On our Dennis Webster Show Thursday morning... Dr. Whitaker said sometimes it depends on whether both parents work... and, there's a need for child care.  Whitaker says there's also Summertime maintenance schedules that have to be considered.  Most districts will use the break for the Summer as times to do various construction projects so they don't interfere with classes.  He adds many districts would have to also install air conditions for the hotter Summer months inside.  Whitaker adds another consideration is that many teachers do work a second job... or a "side gig" in the Summer to help suppliment their income.  In Virginia... the A-P reports that some districts are going to a "12-month calendar."


City man arrested after stealing cellphone during domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a domestic incident on the city's southside in which he allegedly stole the victim's cellphone.  Jamestown police were called to the location just after 2 p.m. Tuesday... and located the suspect -- 23 year-old Christopher Johnson -- a short distance away.  Johnson was taken into custody... and, taken to the city jail pending arraignment on a charge of fourth-degree Grand Larceny.


 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 16, 2023

UPMC Chautauqua receiving nearly $30-million in state funding for new surgical services...
UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown is receiving nearly $30-million in funding from New York state to Make capital improvements... and, expand and consolidate surgical services.  Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that the hospital is receiving just over $29.8-million of the $658-million being allocated through the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program.  A total of 127 projects and initiatives are being funded through the program... with UPMC's the largest one.  The program is administered by the State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of New York.


Fire Department says fire at The Bullfrog Hotel on eastside accidental in nature...
Jamestown Fire investigators say the apartment fire that damaged a decades-old three-story business on the city's eastside was accidental.  City Fire Battlion Chief Ryan Rousch says the blaze... which was mostly confined to a second-floor dwelling in The Bullfrog Hotel... resulted from carelessly discarded smoking materials.  Rousch adds the department has also received no update on the condition of the lone person taken to the hospital with burns.  He says that person was later transferred to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for further treatment.  City firefighters were called to the East Second Street location shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday... and, found light smoke coming from the second-floor area.


Ecklund announces run for Mayor in Jamestown...
The Jamestown City Council's current finance committee chairwoman says she's running for mayor this November.  Republican Kim Ecklund has also been unanimously endorced by the city GOP Committee.  That from City GOP Chairman, and Councilman Brent Sheldon.  Ecklund was first elected to the city council in 2004... and, has served as an at-large councilperson since.  Ecklund says "It's an honor to serve the residents of Jamestown in my capacity as a Council member at-Large... and, being chosen by the City of Jamestown Republican Committee to run for Mayor."  Ecklund adds that financial concerns over the city led her to decide to run.  She has worked at eSolutions Furniture/Bush Industries since 1989... serving in many different positions in finance, including: cost estimator, senior data management and costing analyst, as well as cost accounting supervisor. 


Rosas announces he won't run again for Dunkirk mayor...
Two-term Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas has decided not to seek a third term.  Reached for comment early Wednesday... Rosas, who became the first Hispanic mayor in New York State in 2016... said it was a difficult decision to make.  He says term limits were a factor.  Rosas says he's enjoyed the job, but it involves a lot work, including meetings in surrounding communities, and trips to Albany.  The decision by Rosas comes just weeks after a visit by Governor Kathy Hochul... who announced the state was awarding $10-million to the city in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding.  Rosas feels it was a major accomplishment for his administration.


UPMC Chautauqua receiving nearly $30-million in state funding...
UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown is receiving nearly $30-million in funding from New York state to UPMC make capital improvements... and, expand and consolidate surgical services.  Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that the hospital is receiving just over $29.8-million of the $658-million being allocated through the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program.  A total of 127 projects and initiatives are being funded through the program... with UPMC's the largest one.  The program is administered by the State Department of Health and the Dormitory Authority of New York... and, is used to improve patient care by supporting high-quality facilities serving the inpatient, primary care, mental health, substance use disorder and long-term care needs of communities throughout the state.  


Langworthy visits Barcelona Harbor to see need for dredging...
Windy conditions greeted local Congressman Nick Langworthy Thursday when he visited Barcelona Harbor to see first-hand the impact that erosion is having on the harbor's viability.  Langworthy says he's working with County Executive P.J. Wendel and town officials to address their concerns.  The Erie County Republican says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs to not only address the "crisis" that's affecting the harbor, but also develop a long-term plan.  A contractor is expected to begin dredging work in July, but local officials would like to see begin earlier.  Wendel says the erosion problem has worsened in recent years... after a major storm in 2019.  Westfield Town Supervisor Martha Bills says the historic harbor is important to the local community... and, it need attention.  


Mayville Winter Festival, sans ice castle, to be held President's Day Weekend...
There hasn't been much Winter weather... but, there will be a Winter Festival in Mayville this weekend.  It's put on by the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber Coordinator, Shannon Biekarck, says there'll be a substitute 'centerpiece' this time around... which a wooded replica of the castle being installed.  She says it's disappointing not to have an ice structure, but, the weather didn't cooperate this year.  The castle lighting is set for 6 p.m. on Friday at Lakeside Park in Mayville.  And while many of the snow related events can't go on this year... Biekarck believes there are some positives because the weather will be "more enjoyable."  The Noon Saturday 'polar plunge' will still go on, with a chili cook-off and pet parade later that day.  On Sunday at 8:30 a.m., Biekarck says they'll have their first ever volleyball tournament... outdoors near the basketball courts.  A full schedule is available at chautauquachamber.org, under the 'community chambers' tab.


 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Feb. 15, 2023

Ecklund to run for Mayor of Jamestown... 
The Jamestown City Council's current finance committee chairwoman has announced that she's running for mayor this November.  Republican Kim Ecklund has also been unanimously endorced by the city GOP Committee.  That announcement by City GOP Chairman, and Councilman, Brent Sheldon.  Ecklund was first elected to the city council in 2004... and, has served as an at-large councilperson since then.  Ecklund says "It's an honor to serve the residents of Jamestown in my capacity as a Council member at-Large... and, being chosen by the City of Jamestown Republican Committee to run for Mayor."  Ecklund has worked at eSolutions Furniture/Bush Industries since 1989... serving in many different positions in finance, including: cost estimator, senior data management and costing analyst, as well as cost accounting supervisor. 


Gendron has to be taken from Buffalo courtroom after being rushed by man, makes brief statement apologizing...
The white supremacist who killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo supermarket was taken out of a courtroom for a time today after someone in the audience rushed at him and was restrained by a court officer.  It happened as victims' relatives began expressing their loss and anguish at the sentencing of 19-year-old Payton Gendron.  Gendron's sentencing resumed about 10 minutes later.  He pleaded guilty in November to charges including murder and domestic terrorism motivated by hate.  He made a brief statement apologizing to the victims and their families.  The terrorism charge carries an automatic life sentence.  Gendron shot 13 people and three survived the May 14 attack, specifically seeking out Black shoppers and workers.


Winter Festival to be held despite lack of snow, and ice for a castle...
Ther hasn't been much winter, but there will be a Winter Festival in Mayville this weekend.  It's put on by the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber Coordinator, Shannon Biekarck says there'll be a substitute 'centerpiece' this time around.  Biekarck says they're "disappointed" that they won't have an ice castle... but, they do have a wooden replica that will be on display at Lakeside Park.  The castle lighting is set for 6 p.m. on Friday at Lakeside Park... and, while many of the snow related events can't go on this year... Biekarck believes there are some positives because it'll be more enjoyable for patrons with slightly warmer than usual temperatures.  The Noon Saturday 'polar plunge' will still go on, with a chili cook-off and pet parade later that day.  On Sunday at 8:30 a.m., they'll have their first ever volleyball tournament... outdoors near the basketball courts.  A full schedule is available at chautauquachamber.org, under the 'community chambers' tab.


Sundquist says state budget proposal includes $5-billion to help with migrant surge in the area and NYS...
There's $5-billion allocated in New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's 2023-24 budget proposal to help local communities deal with a major influx of migrants into the state.  However... where that ends up in the final spending plan is unknown at this time.  That from Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who told city council members at Monday night's work session that after an influx last month that included 35 people from Columbia... there has been no big migration here in recent days.  Sundquist says they are currently working with local and federal agencies... including the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.  He says he's hopeful that the city and local organizatiions helping the migrants can get some of the money the state finally agrees to.  He says the issue has already cost New York City about $2-billion. 


Chautauqua Rural Ministry also seeing surge in migrants in north county...
The city of Jamestown is not the only place seeing an influx of migrants in recent weeks.  In the north county... Chautauqua County Rural Ministry says there continues to be an increase in the number of people utilizing emergency food services from them.  Bridget Majka of CCRM says the Emergency Food Pantry has seen an influx of people over the past several months.  Majka says food has been taken out of their emergency food pantry in large numbers.  She says many of the people have come other countries. 


Humane Society hold's "Sweet Commotion" program at Tanglewood Manor on Valentine’s Day...
The Chautauqua County Humane Society created some ‘sweet commotion’ Tuesday afternoon at Tanglewood Manor... featuring some puppies and kittens.  As a Valentine’s Day treat, the society brought four cats and four dogs for the Tanglewood residents to get to know.  Jeri Ryan was one of them who was able to hold and enjoy one of the kittens.  She says she had a cat when she was living at home.  The Humane Society’s Director of Fundraising and Communications, Brian Papalia, came up with the idea to make a "special" Valentine's Day for the residents.  Tanglewood's Regional Director of Community Outreach, Zac Hnatyszyn was thrilled with the effort -- and the joy it brought to many of their residents. 


City man at county jail faces contempt charge after "video visit..."
An inmate at the Chautauqua County Jail has now been arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection during a "video visit" with an unidentified woman.  Sheriff's officers say jail officials were tipped off about the possible violation of the order involving 33 year-old William Tilyou of Jamestown.  Their investigation determined that Tilyou did take part in a video visit this past Jan. 23 with a woman who had a valid order of protection against him.  Tilyou was charged with second-degree criminal contempt... and, is being held pending arraignment on the new charge.
 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 14, 2023

Apartment fire at The Bullfrog Hotel damages two apartment on upper floors... one sent to the hospital...
Flames have damaged two apartments... and, one person was taken to the hospital to be treated for burns following a mid-morning fire at a long-time business and apartment building on Jamestown's eastside.  City Fire Capt. Nate Alm says crews were called to The Bullfrog Hotel at 1414 East Second St. shortly after 8 a.m... and, found light smoke coming from the building.  Alm says the blaze started inside a second-floor apartment... above the bar.  The blaze damaged both the room and contents before extending into a third-floor apartment.  The one victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  No one else was hurt.  An off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The second-floor apartment was gutted... and, there was some fire damage to the third-floor apartment.  The cause remains under investigation.


South County man and woman arrested for drug possession during traffic stop...
Two south county residents have been arrested on multiple drug-related charges following a traffic stop in Jamestown early this morning that led to seizure of more than 5-ounces of methamphetamine.  City police say they conducted the traffic stop on Prather Ave. -- near Prospect -- about 12:20 a.m., and, saw drug paraphernalia in plain view inside the car.  Officers say they then searched the vehicle and found 5.58-ounces of meth... along with packaging materials... and, two digital scales with drug residue.  Police arrested the driver... 28 year-old Amanda Whitford of Celoron... and, her passenger... 34 year-old Aaron Monroe of Gerry... without incident.  During a search of Monroe... officers found 15.5 grams of Fentanyl in his pocket.  Both Monroe and Whitford were taken to the city jail... where Whitford was found with another 2.2-grams of meth concealed inside her bra.  Both are charged with second and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and two counts of second-degree Criminally Using Drug Parahernalia.  Monroe and Whitford were both jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown city lawmakers receive "good news" in Fourth-Quarter Sales Tax revenues...
For the first time in it's history... the city of Jamestown has taken in more than 8-million dollars in sales tax revenues for a calendar year.  That from Acting City Comptroller Katie Maycock... who delivered fourth-quarter, and final sales tax receipts for 2022.  During last night's City Council work session... Maycock reported the city received just over $2-million for the final three-months of the year... and, that brings the total amount to $8.137-million for the year.  She says that's 100.1% of their budgeted amount.  City Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says... after a lackluster third-quarter... it was good news.  aycock noted that the total sales tax for 2022 was $179,000 more than in 2021... when the city received $7.95-million. 


JPD hiring two new officers beginning in eary March...
There'll be two new police officers joining the ranks of the Jamestown Police Department next month if all goes as expected.  That from City Council Public Safety Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon... who says the two, probationary officers would bring the total number to 61 rank-and-file officers.  Sheldon says the hires were reported to the committee by Police Chief and Public Safety Director Tim Jackson... who said the officers will begin their field work after wrapping up with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Academy on Mar. 7 and 8.  Sheldon says the two new officers are among three that the police department could hire to become officers.  The Jamestown Police Department has been at 60 officers in recent years... and, the city avoids IMPACT payments when staffing is at least 60.  JPD was given the go-ahead recently to hire five new officers... one of which would deal with nuisance issues.  The other four would be put into gun and drug-involved details.  Those hires had been on hold until now because there was no one to hire from the Civil Service list.  


Man arrested in Dunkirk in connection with stabbing incident...
Dunkirk Police have arrested a man for allegedly stabbing another man during an incident last Saturday morning at 37 North Ocelot Street.  Officers in the north county city say the call came in about 8 a.m., and they located a male victim on scene.  Police say the victim was transported to the Hamot Medical Center in Erie due to the seriousness of his injuries.  They arrested 29-year-old David Texidor on felony charges of second-degree assault and first-degree burglary.  Texidor was arraigned in Dunkirk City Court and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.  Dunkirk Police were assisted at the scene by the Chautauqua County District Attorney's office... and, Dunkirk Fire Department.


City man arrested for breaking into eastside home, and menacing woman and two children...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into an eastside home... and, threatening a woman with a knife while she was holding her two children.  City police were called to the undisclosed location about 2:30 Sunday afternoon... and, found that 37 year-old Eric VanGiesen had broken into the home through a window... and, menaced the unidentified victim.  Officers say VanGiesen used the knife to kep the woman from leaving the residence.  Police say they found VanGiesen in a nearby residence... and, he was arrested.  Officers say they charged him with first-degree burglary... second-degree menacing... three counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment... and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  VanGiesen was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


 

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

City fire investigators looking into cause of Sunday afternoon fire on Flagg Ave....
The investigation is continuing into an apartment fire on Jamestown's eastside that damaged a room... and, sent a tenant to the hospital.  City fire crews were called to 12 Flagg Ave. shortly after 5:30 p.m. Sunday... and officials say they made quick work of the blaze.  That allowed them to work to get a woman inside the home out safely.  The unidentified woman was taken for an evaluation at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  Fire damage was confined to the one room... and, a small part of the attic.  An off-duty shift was called in.  Crews were at the scene until about 8:30 p.m. 


Jamestown man arrested following physical, domestic incident on city's northside...
A city man has been arrested after allegedly injuring a woman during a physical domestic incident on Jamestown's northside last Saturday night.  City police were called to the undisclosed location just after 8 p.m., and, on arrival made contact with 28 year-old Claude Wine, Jr., and the female victim.  Their investigation determined that Wine had injured the woman... and, that the incident occured in the presence of two juveniles inside the home.  Police also found that Wine had valid orders of protections against him filed for the female victim and the two children in the residence.  He was arrested for third-degree assault... two counts of second-degree criminal contempt... aggravated criminal contempt... aggravated family offense... and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  Wine was jailed pending arraignment.


Sundquist expresses concerns of mayor's over Gov. Hochul's budget proposal...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he... and, his fellow mayor's across New York state... have two major concerns about Governor Kathy Hochul's 2023-24 budget proposal.  Sundquist recently attended the state Conference of Mayor's annual legislative session in Albany... and, says the fact there is still no increase proposed in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities, and highway funding are the biggest concern... because neither has changed for at least two decades.  Sundquist says the city is still slated to receive about $4-million in AIM funding.  Another concern this year is Governor Hochul's proposed "Housing Compact..." which is to add some 800,000 new homes in the state over the next decade.  In addition to the cost... Sundquist says there's also the potential impact the proposal would have on local zoning laws.  He says Hochul's making the proposal because with new manufacturing -- including the Micron plant in upstate New York -- new housing will be needed.  While the mayor's have no problem with a big increase in aid going to schools in New York state... the smaller cities feel they're being left behind.  


Little Theater's first play of 2023 "The Play That Goes Wrong..." goes right for attendance...
The comedy ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ was a huge hit at the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown.  The total audience was the biggest for a play at the theater in over 20 years.  After the final curtain Sunday, director Lindsay Russell said she was elated because they had an average of 200 people attend each of the six night's they hosted the performance.  ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is a madcap comedy about a local theater troupe that tries put on a murder mystery, but it falls apart at every step.  Jim Foley is a past President of the Little Theater Board of Directors and an actor in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong.’  He says after the last three pandemic disrupted years, it’s great to be back, and hearing patrons enjoying themselves and laughing.  The next show at the Little Theater will be a stage presentation of the classic ‘Little Women.’  It’s set to open at the end of March.


City man arrested for allegedly threatening woman, and damaging property...
A Jamestown man has been arrested after allegedly threatening to hit a woman... and, damaged some of her belongings during a domestic incident early last Saturday night.  Jamestown police were called to an address on the city's southside shortly before 7 p.m., and, found that 27 year-old Andrew Crawford has gotten into an argument with the victim before it escalated.  Officers add the incident occured in the presence of a one-year-old child.  Police later took Crawford into custody... and, he was charged with second-degree harassment... fourth-degree criminal mischief.... endangering the welfare of a child, and aggravated family offense.


Valentine's Day first day of "matching" donations to Chautauqua County Humane Society...
The Chautauqua County Humane Society's first major fund-raiser -- the Pennies 4 Paws Campaign -- got underway Sunday... and, with a new twist.  The campaign's goal this year is again 2-million pennies... or $20,000 to benefit the animals at the Humane Society.  However... the society's Director of Fundraising and Communications, Brian Papalia, says they will have the first of several special days tomorrow on Valentine's Day.  Brian says donations made those days will be matched by two anonymous donors, who are putting up to $6,500 towards the campaign, and they're encouraging local groups to do those kinds of fund-raisers.  For more information... watch the Humane Society's social media and Chqhumane.org website for updates.  

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 10, 2023

Bail revoked for Rolison after release from hospital for second, fatal accident involvement within a year...
The Jamestown man now accused of being the driver involved in two fatal accidents within the past 13 months has now been jailed without bail following his release from the hospital.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 59 year-old Randall Rolison was discharged early Thursday afternoon from UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie... where he had been treated since the Dec. 5 crash that took the life of Linda Kraemer, and seriously injured her husband, Gary in the town of Arkwright.  That accident occured just under a year after Rolison allegedly struck and killed 15 year-old Lexy Hughan of Jamestown with his car carrier at the corner of Washington and West Sixth Streets.  After the December accident... Schmidt says his office applied to the County Court to revoke Rolison's bail.  Judge David Foley agreed... and, issued a warrant for Rolison's arrest once he was released from the hospital.  He then granted the motion revoking Rolison's bail. 


Quattrone guardedly encouraged by Hochul's push to change Bail Reform law...
Chautauqua County's top-elected law enforcement official says he's encouraged by Governor Kathy Hochul's renewed call for changes to the Bail Reform Law.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says that the proposed changes would give local judges more discretion to set bail for a defendant who is considered "dangerous."  However... Quattrone says he doesn't believe there's enough support in the state legislature to do it.  He says the New York State Sheriff's Association fully supports her proposal, though.  Quattrone, who was recently elected 2nd Vice President of the state Sheriff's Association, says the organization has been pushing for such changes.  Hochul first called for state lawmakers to consider discussing changes during her State of the State message back in January.  She renewed that call during her budget message delivered last week.


Simultaneous drug busts in Dunkirk nets 16 arrests...
Sixteen people have been arrested following two major drug raids that took place on East Courtney St. in the city of Dunkirk Wednesday night.  Sheriff's officers say members of their Narcotics Investigation Team... and, several other agencies... executed search warrants at 31, and 45 East Courtney St. shortly before 7:30 p.m.  Dunkirk Police SRT made entry to the lower apartment at 45 East Courtney... while the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team made forced entry to a lower back apartment at 31 East Courtney.  At 45 East Courtney... investigators say they seized 9.63 grams of crack cocaine... 4.73 grams of fentanyl, a quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine, scales and packaging materials... a .38 caliber revolver, and just over 14-hundred dollars cash.  Fourteen people were arrested there including: Martin Wisniewski, Darryl Watkins, Alisha Scinta, David Corsi, Octavia Brown, Heather Payne, Alex Santiago, Sonia Mosley -- all of Dunkirk... Jahnie Hamilton of the Bronx... Wade Pfleuger of Forestville... Delani Williams of Buffalo... Carrie Haas of Fredonia, Kristian Wright of Sinclairville, and Andre Thomas of Buffalo.  They face charges including third and fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  
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At 31 East Courtney... investigators seized about 14-and-a-half grams, and, 54 bindles of fentanyl... 23-grams of crack cocaine... 48 dosages of suboxone... an electronic stun gun, scales and packaging materials... a 25-caliber handgun and 3-thousand-546 dollars in cash.  Arrested there were: Preston Lawrence of Rochester and Haley Greenawalt of Jamestown... who face four counts each of third and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, second-degree Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia.  All 16 suspects were jailed pending arraignment... and, police say more charges are pending.


Whitaker waiting to see details of gov's UPK proposal...
Officials with the Jamestown Public Schools are waited for more information about what Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed expansion of Universal Pre-K will entail for local districts.  However... Jamestown School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says they would like to expand their program for 3-year-olds.  Whitaker says research shows that when children have a head start as 3 and 4-year-olds... they do much better in Kindergarden.  Right now... he says they have a pretty good UPK 4 program... with a sizable 4 year-old group.  Dr. Whitaker made his comments on our Dennis Webster Show Thursday... and, says boosting their program for 3 year-olds would be important because of the social and learning impacts of the COVID pandemic and shut-down.  Governor Hochul has included an additional $125-million in her 2023-24 budget proposal... which is now being reviewed by the state legislature.


Health care workers walk picket line in Dunkirk... 
Workers at a local health care facility say they are fighting for better working conditions.  1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East held an informational picket Wednesday afternoon at the Dunkirk Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Lake Shore Drive West in the city.  1199 Vice-President Grace Bogdanove with the Western New York Nursing Home Division says the union has been bargaining with Personal Healthcare Management, LLC for months for a new contract.  Bogdanove says their contract expired in December.  She says workers at the Dunkirk facility say they have been short-staffed every day and are not getting any help from management... and, feel they can't spend the time they need to with residents.  Bogdanove adds that the workers are prepared to go on strike if the union does not see "significant" improvement.  1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is seeking improvements for approximately 200 workers at facilities in Dunkirk, Eden, Salamanca and Houghton.

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

Rolison's bail revoked after being released from hospital after second fatal crash involvement...
The Jamestown man now accused of being the driver involved in two fatal accidents within the past 13 months has now been jailed without bail following his release from the hospital.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 59 year-old Randall Rolison was discharged early Thursday afternoon from UPMC Hamot Medical Center... where he had been treated since the Dec. 5 crash that took the life of Linda Kraemer and seriously injured her husband, Gary in the town of Arkwright.  That accident occured just under a year after Rolison allegedly struck and killed 15 year-old Lexy Hughan of Jamestown with his car carrier at the corner of Washington and West Sixth Streets.  After the December accident... Schmidt says his office applied to Chautauqua Count Court to revoke Rolison's bail.  Judge David Foley agreed to issue a warrant for Rolison's arrest once he was released from the hospital... and, he granted the motion revoking Rolison's bail.  Schmidt adds that his office is now preparing for trial on the two sets of pending charges against Rolison... and, will be moving forward with a new set of charges from the Dec. 5 accident.   


Jamestown man reported missing Wednesday is located safe and sound...
Jamestown police now say they have located the 34 year-old city man who was missing for more than a week, and, was considered an "endangered missing person."  City police say Aaron Chase was located late Wednesday after being last seen on Tuesday, Jan. 31. 


City man arrested for allegedly violating three orders of protection...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly violating three court orders of protection to stay away from three other people in the same car with him.  City police say they stopped a vehicle on Jones and Gifford Avenue Tuesday night for an observed traffic violation.  Officer found that the passenger, 40 year-old Khalif Swanson, Junior, was violating the orders of protection.  Swanson was arrested on three counts each of second-degree criminal contempt... and, aggravated family offense.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


NYSSBA official says local school districts have "lots to be happy about" with NYS budget proposal...
There's "lots to be happy about" in New York Governor Kathy Hochul's 2023-24 budget proposal for local school districts.  That from New York State School Board's Association Director of Governmental Affairs, Brian Fessler, who says the more than $3-billion increase in school aid funding is much welcomed... especially the increase in general purpose, or 'Foundation Aid."  Fessler says that added $2.7-billion would fully-fund Foundation Aid for the first time ever.  The increase in combined aid brings the total to $34.5-billion dollars in the governor's proposal.  However... Fessler says not all the Foundation Aid can be used for "general purposes."  He notes that some of that additional $2.7-billion is restricted to "high-impact tutoring" to help students most impacted by the loss of in-person learning during the COVID-19 shut-downs... which Fessler says has a lot of value.  However... he says it would be better if districts had more leeway for use of those monies. 


Langworthy gives GOP view on Biden's State of the Union speech...
Local Congressman Nick Langworthy feels President Biden had an opportunity to speak "truthfully" to the American people last night... but, says "we heard was the same hollow rhetoric of the last two years."  Langworthy says the nation is "is hurting -- people are struggling to make ends meet under crushing food and energy costs, lawlessness is gripping our cities and communities are being destroyed by the scourge of fentanyl pouring through our open borders."  The 23rd District representative says "our weak and feckless foreign policy has had devastating impacts on the world stage."  Just days ago... the Buffalo-area Republican says China broke international law by violating our air space... and the president didn’t devote a single sentence to this act of aggression.


Gillibrand says Congress needs to act -- soon -- on debt ceiling...
While there were some calls for bi-partisanship in Congress during Tuedsay night's State of the Union Address... there's been little compromise so far on raising the nation's debt ceiling.  Hardline House Republicans, who have enormous sway because of the party’s slim majority, have demanded that lifting the borrowing cap be tied to spending reductions.  Last month... the White House countered that it will not offer any concessions or negotiate on raising the debt ceiling.  During Tuesday's Zoom Conference with state-wide media... New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand reiterated that the government has always paid it's bills, and it's not something that's typically something that's debated.  The U.S. Treasury last month took extraordinary measures to keep the government paying it's bills and escalating pressure on Capitol Hill to avoid a catastrophic default. 


Gasoline prices in Jamestown-area hold steady...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area are down about half-a-penny this week... while the national average has fallen 3-cents a gallon for regular, unleaded this week.  That from the AAA's East Central Gas Price Report this week... which says the local average is just over $3.69.  Nationally... AAA says the average price is down from $3.50 a gallon to $3.47 this week as crude oil prices dropped.  Officials say last week's decision by OPEC to maintain current production levels... and, not make any cuts led to lower oil prices.  Oil prices account for as much as 60% of the cost of a gallon of gas. 

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

Jamestown police looking for missing man...
Jamestown police are asking for the public's helping in locating a missing, 34 year-old city man who is considered an "endangered missing person."  City police say Aaron Chase was last seen on Tuesday, Jan. 31... and, is a white male with brown hair.  If you have seen Aaron since... you're asked to call JPD at 716-483-7537.


State Police report uptick in heroin overdoses in WNY...
There's been a notable increase in the number of in heroin overdoses in western New York over the past 12 days through Tuesday.  During that time... state police say there were 94 overdoses reported in the region... including six deaths.  Troopers say of the 94 overdoses and 6 deaths... 20 overdoses and three deaths occured in the southern area including Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.  State Police add that Narcan was administered 57 times during this time frame.  Troopers say rural areas have a longer medical response time than the urban areas, which can contribute to the overdose being fatal.  They say the public should be aware that a more lethal strand of heroin is being distributed here.  If you or a loved one struggles with opiods... call the HOPE Line at 877-846-7369... or go on-line to CombatAddictionCHQ.com.


Rushdie says "considering what happened, I'm not so bad" in first interview after stabbing incident at Chautauqua...
Almost six months after being stabbed repeatedly as he prepared to deliver a lecture at Chautauqua Institution... Salman Rushdie is blind in his right eye, struggles to write and at times has ``frightening'' nightmares.  However... Rushdie said during his first interview since the stabbing on the amphitheater stage, he still has a feeling of gratitude. ``Well, you know, I've been better,'' he told The New Yorker's David Remnick. ``But, considering what happened, I'm not so bad.''  The interview appeared on the eve of the publication of his new book, ``Victory City,`` which he completed before the attack.  Rushdie called his attacker an ``idiot'' but otherwise said he held no anger.


Gillibrand pleased that Biden tries to promote bi-partisanship in State of Union speech...
New York's junior U.S. Senator was pleased to see President Biden striking a bi-partisan tone early on... and, through-out parts of his State of the Union address last night.  Mr. Biden exhorted Republicans across the aisle to work with him to "finish the job" of rebuilding the economy... and, uniting the nation.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says working together... many of the significant bills passed were done in a bi-partisan manner.  Gillibrand believes that can continue -- even with a divided Congress.  She says there have been numerous "shared commitments" in several areas.  Mr. Biden delivered his address last night... aiming to reassure a country beset by pessimism and fraught political divisions.  He offered a positive assessment of the nation's condition rather than rolling out flashy policy proposals.  He declared that America is "unbowed, unbroken" in the face of the pandemic and economic threats.  It was Biden's first speech to Congress since Republicans took control of the House in the midterm elections.


Gillibrand expects to be among the lawmakers briefed on alleged Chinese Spy Balloon...
As a member of the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee... New York's Kirsten Gillibrand says she expects to learn more soon about the suspected Chinese spy balloon shot down by the U.S. military last weekend off the South Carolina coast.  The Democrat says the committee and others will likely be briefed sometime in the next week or two.  On first blush... Gillibrand believes the Biden Administration did the right thing in shooting it down after it had cleared land because "we can't allow countries just to spy on us in the open... in a way that undermines our national security."  At the same time... Gillibrand says she believes it was an "intentional" provocation... and, the Chinese were "testing" the U.S.  Congressional Republicans have accused China of deliberately surveilling sensitive U.S. military sites with that balloon.


Organizer of Lexy Hughan Memorial says fundraiser was a huge success...
A major fund-raiser in Lakewood to raise money for a new, permanent memorial honoring the Jamestown teenager killed in a truck-pedestrian accident on New Year's Eve of 2021 was a big success.  Organizer Missy Paterniti recently told the City Council that the program at the Lakewood YWCA Lake Lodge raised $5,072.  Paterniti says that is enough for the new picnic table and park bench for Dow Park... not far from the place where Lexy Hughan was killed by the hit-and-run driver.  Prior to the event... Paterniti said she was looking to have 30 to 40 gift baskets to raffle off.  She says they wound up with 80 baskets... or more than double the amount expected.  She adds 60 were donated.  Fifteen-year-old Lexy Hughan died when she was struck by a car hauler at the intersection of Washington and Sixth Streets in Jamestown. 


Comedy Center to present live audience tapings with Comedian Paul Morrissey...
Acclaimed comedian Paul Morrissey will perform on stage in Jamestown this Spring as he records his new comedy album before a live audience.  The National Comedy Center will present Morrissey's program "An Evening of Comedy with Paul Morrissey: ICE CREAM vs. EVERYTHING on Mar. 24-25 at the Lucy-Desi Museum's Tropicana Room.  His four shows in Jamestown will take place at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. each night.  Tickets are available for purchase at ComedyCenter.org/events.

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Feb. 7, 2023

Rushdie gives first interview since stabbing on Chautauqua Institution stage...
Months after being stabbed repeatedly as he prepared to deliver a lecture at Chautauqua Institution... Salman Rushdie is blind in his right eye, struggles to write and at times has ``frightening'' nightmares.  However... Rushdie said during his first interview since the stabbing on the amphitheater stage, he still has a feeling of gratitude. ``Well, you know, I've been better,'' he told The New Yorker's David Remnick. ``But, considering what happened, I'm not so bad.''  The interview appeared on the eve of the publication of his new book, ``Victory City,`` which he completed before the attack.  Rushdie called his attacker an ``idiot'' but otherwise said he held no anger.


City man arrested after allegedly dousing another person with gasoline, and threatening to light them on fire...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly dousing another person with gasoline... and, threatening to set them on fire during an incident early Monday afternoon on the city's westside.  Jamestown police were called to the scene in the area of Washington and West Seventh Streets shortly before 2 p.m. for a disorderly person.  When they arrived... officers found the suspect... 42 year-old Nathan Strickland... a short distance away from the scene.  Strickland was arrested for second-degree menacing... and, he was jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown man sentenced to 2 to 4 years for illegal weapons possession conviction...
A city man convicted of violating his probation on a drug charge in early 2022 has received another 2 to 4 years in prision for illegally possessing a weapon.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 56 year-old Carlos Rivera of Jamestown was given the indeterminate sentence by County Court Judge David Foley Monday morning.  Schmidt says Rivera was convicted early last December of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... after being convicted on a charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in April of last year.  He says Rivera also received two more years determinate in state prison plus one-year of post-release supervision for his parole violation. 


City Council receives update on amount of ARPA funding allocated, and left...
Jamestown city leaders still have some hard decisions to make regarding remaining American Rescue Plan funding... with just over $25-million now having been spoken for.  That came out during lengthy discussion last night about how much ARPA funding has been allocated... and, actually spent.  City Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says much of the original $28-million has been allocated... and there's not enought left to deal with the remaining wish list.  Ecklund says the wish list is 4.85-million dollars, but she adds there is only $2.77-million left that hasn't been spoken for.  The city's ARPA Grants Coordinator, Tim O'Dell, says their residential roofing projects are moving forward, with about $215,000 allocated for 12 roof projects... and, several others are being bid on.  O'Dell adds that 21 businesses have taken advantage of more than $300,000 in ARPA Economic Development funds being dispersed.  He added that 119 jobs have been created by all the projects... and saved 341 others. 


Wendel says new Media Communications person would bring his office to five employees, not eight...
The Chautauqua County Legislature's approval of a new Media Communications person to the county executive's office did not create an eight employee for that office.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel in response to criticism of a local law approved at the January legislature meeting in a 13-3 vote.  The three "no" votes came from Democratic legislators... who said there were already seven people employed there.  However... Wendel says there are now four employees there -- including himself.  He says there's a resource assistant which is a CSEA position, an executive assistant, confidential secretary, and his position.  The Lakewood Republican says a compliance officer in his office is being moved into the county's Human Resources Office.  He adds another change is moving the Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise back under Planning and Economic Development.  Wendel adds the new position was already in the 2023 budget... and, lawmakers had already voted for it.  Wendel had requested the position as a new media "point" person to mainly handle social media accounts... as well as getting critical and immediate information out to the public.


City man arrested for allegedly stealing girlfriend's car...
A Jamestown man is accused of taking and driving his girlfriend's car -- without permission -- early Monday morning on the city's northside.  Jamestown Police were called to an eastside address shortly after Midnight... and, found that 28 year-old Najee Finley had taken the car ths past weekend... and, he was arrested for third-degree unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.  Officers say the car was located and returned to the victim... while Finley was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Many PA residents looking at loss of free health insurance with the end of pandemic moratorium against kicking people off Medicaid...
The federal government's pandemic-era prohibition against kicking people off Medicaid is ending... meaning that hundreds of thousands of people in Pennsylvania face losing free health insurance.  Many people who stand to lose Medicaid coverage have no idea that the changes are coming.  That's according to advocacy organizations who do outreach to the poor.  Enforcing the eligibility rules will be a massive bureaucratic task for the new administration of Governor Josh Shapiro. 
 

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

Early morning, 3.8-magnitude earthquake detected in Buffalo-area...
A small earthquake in western New York jolted people awake early Monday morning... but, apparently caused no significant damage.  The U.S. Geological Survey preliminarily reported a magnitude 3.8 earthquake centered east of Buffalo at about 6:15 a.m. in Orchard Park.  A seismologist says it was the region's strongest quake in at least 40 years.  The shaking lasted only a few seconds... but, sent residents unaccustomed to earthquakes to social media in search of an explanation. 


House fire in Stockton kills several animals...
A malfunctioning electrical receptical is listed as the cause of a fire that heavily-damaged a home in the town of Stockton Sunday afternoon.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Stockton firefighters were called to 7150 Route 380 about 1:20 p.m., and, mutual aid was called in from Cassadaga, Brocton, Sinclairville... and, county Emergency Services.... along with tanker trucks to bring water to the scene.  The county's Fire Investigation Team was called in to look for the cause.  No one was hurt in the fire... but, officials say several animals died as a result of the fire.


Reg Lenna's 100th Birthday celebration kicks off Sunday afternoon...
More than 100 people were on hand to sing "Happy Birthday" to the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts... the former Palace Theater... in downtown Jamestown Sunday afternoon.  The former Palace was mentioned during a scene of the old "I Love Lucy" Show in the 1950s in which Fred talks about his time in vaudeville, and tells Lucy and Ethel about what he did at The Palace in Jamestown, NY.  The center turns 100 in 2023... and, a special birthday celebration kicked-off a year of activites and events at the former Palace.  Current Reg Lenna Executive Director, Hillary Meyer, thanked past directors, board members and local foundations for their efforts to keep 'The Reg' going through renovation and revitalization of the old theater.  Several proclamations were presented by local elected officials... and, in-person reflections were also offered by Conty Executive P.J. Wendel and State Assemblyman Andy Goodell.  Refreshments were offered at the end of the program... and, it was followed by a special, free showing of the movie "School of Rock."  Meyer says this kicks off a year of activities at The Reg.


Jamestown receives $248,000 Safe Streets Grant...
The city of Jamestown has been awarded a more than $248,000 federal Safe Streets for All grant to create a Comprehensive Road Safety Plan.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the plan will include engineering and design work.  Sundquist says the city is receiving the grant through the U-S Department of Transportation... and, the Federal Highway Administration.  The Safe Streets for All program is part of the bi-partsian infrastructure law approved by Congress in late 2021.  During his recent State of the City Address... Sundquist said they are also looking for more grants to get this done to make the streets safer "for everyone."  Sundquist says the comprehensive plan will help form the blueprint to projects increasing pedestrian, bicyclist, and driver safety, with a focus on improving safe routes to school.  He adds the city intends to apply for a multi-million dollar implementation grant during the next round funding to carry out the plan.  The City Council recently approved a "Vision Zero" resolution, making it Jamestown’s goal to eliminate roadway deaths and serious injuries. 


Sundquist says city is also looking to bring back more planes and train travel opportunities in SOC...
In addition to making it safer for local motorists and pedestrians... the city of Jamestown is also working towards bringing back commercial air and rail service.  Mayor Sundquist highlighted this as part of the State of the City Address... noting they are looking for federal help in getting more rail service back, along with air service.  Sundquist says the city has been in touch with state and federal officials regarding restoring Essential Air Service at the Chautauqua County Airport just outside of Jamestown.  The Essential Air Service designation was taken away from the Jamestown Airport several years ago after a drop off in the number of passengers per plan to under 10 per flight.  County officials have pushed to get the designation restored so commercial air service can be restored to the Jamestown-area.


The Chautauqua Center merges with Tri-County Medical...
The Chautauqua Center in Jamestown has acquired the long-standing Tri-County Family Medical Practice in Gowanda... which officials say will allow them to better serve patients in northern Chautauqua County.  The Chautauqua Center's Chief Executive Officer... Michael Pease... says the move also expands their reach into southeastern Erie County, and northwestern Cattaraugus County.  Pease adds the transition is expected to be completed soon, and patients should not experience any disruption in service. TCFM continues to accept new patients.  For more information... call 716-241-7067.


Family of Ron Graham post tributes following his death...
A man who was the co-founder of both the Chautauqua Striders, and the Infinity Performing Arts youth programs has passed away from cancer.  Family members of Ron Graham posted tributes on-line early last weekend for Graham... who was in his mid-70s.  Graham and the late Dan Feather established the Striders in 1978.  Graham was honored during a program at the Robert H. Jackson Center last October.  He says helping to get the Striders and Infinity programs underway was a way to give back to the community he grew up in. 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Feb. 3, 2023

Goodell gives mixed review of Hochul's 2023-24 budget proposal...
Chautauqua County's representative in the New York State Assembly is giving Governor Kathy Hochul's 2023-24 budget proposal mixed reviews.  On the positive side... Jamestown-area Republican Andy Goodell says he supports Hochul's proposal to put nearly $1-billion more into in-patient mental health services... which he says is much needed.  Goodell says the deinstitutionalizing of seriously mentally ill patients has been on a dangerously downward trend the past couple of decades.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says that's needed in the north county where there are few if any such beds left.  Goodell says he's also pleased to see additional money going to provide youth employment to help keep kids out of trouble.  He's also pleased to see additional funding for transitional health care for new hospital construction.  Goodell says that should help Brook's Hospital build a new facility.  On the negative side... Goodell says he's concerned to see spending increase by $5-billion, bringing the governor's spending plan to $227-billion.  He believes the people should be able to spend more of their money "the way they want to."  Goodell also repeats a familiar refrain by local State Senator George Borrello that large numbers of New Yorkers are leaving the state -- or have -- because of taxes and the cost of living. 


Whitaker gives mixed review of Foundation Aid in Hochul's budget plan...
The head of the Jamestown Public Schools is offering a mixed reaction to news that New York state will fully fund local Foundation Aid for the first time.  School Superindent Kevin Whitaker says he's pleased to see Governor Kathy Hochul include full funding for the largest part of state school aid.  However... Whitaker says it's because a state court ordered it... and, likened it to a tenant who hadn't paid the full rent for the past 10 years.  He says the districts took the state to court, and the court issed the directive.  However... Whitaker says the governor is playing it like it's something they're doing on their own.  Hochul says she's adding $2.7-billion in Foundation Aid... which provides more flexibility to districts to use.  The battle for full Foundation Aid funding was headed up by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity... which represented schools in the matter.  Hochul adds her budget also boosts overall aid to schools to a record, $34.5-billion.  


City woman arrested for ATV thefts in Stockton...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly stealing two all-terrain vehicles from a Fenner Road residence in the town of Stockton.  Sheriff's officers say they received a burglary complaint early last December... and, investigated.  That probe led to the arrest of 29 year-old Shannon Boardman... who is accused of entering a garage unlawfully... and, took the two ATVs.  Boardman was jailed pending arraignment on charges of third-degree burglary and fourth-degree grand larceny.

Carey, AAA provides tips to avoid dead car batteries during cold snap...
AAA is preparing for an increase in call volume due to the falling temperatures early this coming weekend.  Spokesperson Elizabeth Carey with AAA of Western and Central New York says dead batteries can be a problem... especially for cars with older batteries.  If it's more than 3-years old... Carey says you need to drive that car at some point to keep the charge in that battery.  She adds that, if possible, park inside a garage where it's warmer.  If you need help getting your car started... she says AAA is calling in extra crews for the weekend.


4-H Green Tie Affair to be held in late February...
For the first time since 2020... Chautauqua County 4-H will hold its ‘Green Tie Affair’ fundraising dinner.  The event will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26 at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville.  4-H Program Lead Educator, Lindsey Crisanti, says they hope to raise $25,000... and, she says "all the money will go directly towards programming for the children."  She says presale tickets are $25 each... and available from Cornell Cooperative Extension at the Carnahan Center at Jamestown Community College.  Full table sponsorships are also being offered at $275.  Crisanti says... following the dinner... there’s the famous ‘pie auction...' where hundreds of dollars are offered for the pies.  This year’s ‘Green Tie Affair’ has a 1950’s theme.  Guests are encouraged to come in costume.


Dunkirk Dave doesn't see his shadow, indicating early Spring...
Ground Hog Day has brought some conflicting predictions from two well-known ground hogs.  The more famous Punxsutawney Phil from Western Pennsylvania saw his shadow Thursday morning, meaning six more weeks of winter, according to folklore.  But Dunkirk Dave also ventured out from his warm home around sunrise... and, he predicted an early spring.  Bob Will, Dunkirk Dave's handler, explains what took place after Dave had some pie around 7:30 a.m., and he says Dave stayed outside, and that means he wasn't scared off by his shadow... which Will says means "early spring weather!"  The Ground Hog Day tradition on Farmlane Road in the town of Dunkirk has been going on for several years.  Will says the event received some special recognition this year... with special certificates from State Senator George Borrello, and Congressman Nick Langworthy.  About three dozen people turned out for the annual event.

 

 


 

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

Hochul presents $227-billion, 2023-24 budget proposal...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has released a 2023-24 budget proposal that would increase state school aid by 10%... hike tuition for public universities... and raise cigarette taxes to a nation-high $5.35 per pack.  Hochul touted her $227-billion dollar spending plan during her budget address in Albany Wednesday... saying her plan takes into account "affordability, livability, and safety and includes groundbreaking proposals in housing, mental health... and public safety."  In addition... Hochul's budget... which includes no income tax increase... will include a record investment in public schools... and other areas -- including mental health.  She says the budget also includes new public safety initiatives... but, also boosts the state's Gun-Involved Violence Elimination -- or GIVE -- Program.  The Jamestown Police Department has been part of the GIVE program for several years now.  Hochul's spending plan also includes a proposal to yet again revise the state's bail reform law, which is expected to be resisted by liberal state lawmakers.  The proposal kicks off weeks of negotiations with state legislative leaders as they try to agree on a finalized budget by the April 1 deadline.


Borrello finds Hochul's budget has "much of the same" policies, ete...
Details still have to be fleshed out... but, local State Senator George Borrello says his initial takeaway from the governor's budget proposal is that "we are looking at more of the same policies and approach that got us where we are."  However... it did include one "non-financial" item that he wanted to hear something about... and, that was revising the state's bail reform law.  Governor Hochul called on lawmakers to have a discussion about taking "contradictory language out of the law."  While there is no income tax increase in the budget... Borrello says New York still has some of the highest income taxes in the country.  He also says there was no mention of the state's ongoing population loss... which he says is the highest in the nation.


Wendel concerned that federal aid that's to go directly to countys to pay Medicaid costs will be taken by NYS in new budget plan... Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel was keeping tabs on the governor's 2023-24 budget presentation... and, has several concerns about it.  Wendel says he's mostly concerned about a proposal that would take away local counties Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government.  The Lakewood Republican says that would be a $4.3-million hit to the county budget.  Wendel says the status of that was unclear Wednesday morning... because the person involving in dealing with that in the budget has left the governor's office.  He says they're hoping that Hochul and or the legislature will take that out of the final spending plan.  Wendel says the move would likely be because the state has spent a lot of money dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  He says another concern is how the additional $1-billion in funding to boost mental health services will be used... and, says mental health beds are needed in the north county.  Wendel says county officials would like to see more state funding to protect and maintain Chautauqua Lake.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

Jamestown man arrested for obstruction following burglary investigation...
A city man is accused of failing to comply with Jamestown Police while they were investigating an alleged burglary on the city's westside early Tuesday evening.  Officers were called to the unidentified location about 5:30 p.m., and, on arrival, tried get someone to answer the door of the apartment involved... but, no one came.  Police were able to get a neighbor to contact the tenant... who returned with the maintenance manager.  Police were let in through a common hallway... and, told 26 year-old Dakota Morse to come out from a back room several times... but, he refused.  Morse was taken into custody on one count of obstructing governmental administration... and, issued an appearancet ticket for city court.  He was not charged with burglary because he's known to the tenant of the apartment... who did not pursue charges for him being on the premises.


City man arrested for illegal firearms possession during domestic call...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a domestic incident during which police found him with a loaded, modified flare gun.  City police were called to an eastside address just after 2 p.m. Tuesday... where the male suspect allegedly brandished a firearm.  When they arrived... officers detained 43 year-old Michael Melendez-Bane who allegedly possessed the modified flare gun that had a 20-gauge shot gun shell inside.  Police say their investigation found that Melendez-Bane had threatened to shoot the vicitim while in the presence of a juvenile.  He was arrested for second-and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... second-degree menacing... and, endangering the welfare of a child.  Melendez-Bane was jailed pending arraignment.


Rosas touts $10-million DRI Award to Dunkirk during State of the City address...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas delivered his 2023 State of the City message via video message late Tuesday.  The nearly 20 minute video highlighted projects and events from 2022.... and, looks ahead to 2023.  Rosas says one of the biggest accomplishments was the recent announcement of the city receiving a $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award from New York State... and, the planning for DRI projects that will get underway this year.

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

(**Breaking) Hochul presents 2023-24 state budget proposal...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has released a $227-billion 2023-24 budget proposal that would increase state school aid by 10%... hike tuition for public universities and raise cigarette taxes to a nation-high $5.35 a pack.  Hochul touted her plan... which she says includes record investment in public schools... and other areas... but, includes no income tax increase.  Her spending plan also includes a proposal to yet again revise state bail law, which is expected to be resisted by liberal downstate lawmakers.  The proposal kicks off weeks of intense negotiations with state legislative leaders as they try to agree on a finalized budget by the April 1 deadline.


City police and other drug agents raid two apartments, and conduct traffic stop...
Two city residents have been arrested -- so far -- following a pair of simultaneous drug raids... and, a traffic stop in Jamestown Monday afternoon.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed two search warrants... one at 144 Park Street and the other at 116 Park... about 2 p.m.  At 144 Park... investigators found two people inside... along with 11 grams of Fentanyl... and, a large amount of packaging materials.  At 116 Park... detectives found two more people... 22 year-old Karielys Reyes, and a two-year-old child.  Detectives also found 505-grams of cocaine... and, some cash.  Police also found the apartment was in deplorable condition... and Reyes was taken to the city jail where she's being held pending arraignment on one count of Endangering the Welfare of Child.  The child was turned over to a family member.  City police also stopped a vehicle on Foote Avenue in the area of Jamestown High school... and, found 21 year-old Jamere Maisonet... who's name was on the search warrant.  He was arrested and faces federal charges in connection with the investigation.  City police were assisted by Sheriff's Department Narcotics investigators... and, the JPD SWAT Team.


Ecklund responds to Sundquist's State of City Address...
There has been some "great progress" in the city of Jamestown coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic... but there are a couple of concerns.  Those are the feelings of City Councilwoman Kim Ecklund... who was able to watch Mayor Eddie Sundquist's mid-day State of the City Address that was again videotaped this year.  Ecklund says she felt the city council didn't get enough credit for working with the mayor in a number of areas... including the doling out of the $28-million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.  She admitted to being kind of surprised over Sundquist's comments about the city's "budding" cannibus industry... with the city's "level of involvement," and why council hasn't been updated on that.  Sundquist noted that the cannibus production and distribution industry will "not only create hundreds of new job opportunities in the city... but, will also see recently purchased and often unutilized spaces re-purposed and back on the tax roles."  He added that this would be done propertly... and, within state regulations. 


Even with some glitches, Dolce pleased with how videoconferencing went at Monday night's meeting...
There was a first at Monday night's City Council voting session with one member attending via Zoom Conferencing.  At-Large Republican Jeff Russell was out-of-town visiting family... but, was able to take part in the meeting via computer link.  Council President Tony Dolce admitted there were a couple of glitches along the way... but, it worked out in the end.  Dolce says there was a slight delay at times.  He says the city council voted back in December... through a local law... that allows them to do that.  They also approved a resolution prior to the meeting to allow Russell to join in via Zoom.  


City man accused of attacking staff and others at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital sentenced to four years in prison...
The Jamestown man who attacked several people at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in October of 2020 while he was a patient will spend the next four-years in state prison.  That from Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt... who says 40 year-old James Morris was convicted last December of second-degree assault after attacking several UPMC staff members.  In addition to the four-years behind bars... Schmidt says Morris will also spend three-years in parole supervision.


City woman arrested in eastside domestic incident...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested for allegedly kicking a man in the face during a domestic incident on the city's eastside late Monday night.  Jamestown Police were called to the undisclosed location shortly before 11 p.m., and, found that 29 year-old Katelyn Burgstrom had kicked the man... injuring him.  Officers say they also learned that Burgstrom had left her two kids unattended at her residence with no supervision.  She was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on charges including third-degree assault... and, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.


Woman from Gerry arrested in allegedly Portland trespassing...         
A Gerry woman has been arrested for allegedly trespassing at a town of Portland home where she was trying to steal a catalytic converter... and, was found in possession of methamphetamine.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Webster Road shortly after 2 p.m. Monday... and, found 36 year-old Amanda Sendall in possession of a small quantity of meth.  Deputies add that she was also found to have tried to cut the catalytic converter off a vehicle on the property.  Officers charged Sendall with trespassing... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Sendall was also found to have active warrants for her out of Hanover Town Court for seventh-degree criminal possession of drugs... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  She was arraigned... and held pending further court action.

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