Brocton woman jailed on $30,000 Bail for allegedly running a Meth Lab...
A Brocton woman has been arrested for allegedly making Methamphetime... and, being in possession of an electric stun gun during a traffic stop earlier this month. Agents with the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force say they arrested 52 year-old Jodi Denmead of 5772 Ellicott Rd. on an arrest warrant at her home. Task Force members say they Denmead was initially arrested on a prior arrest warrant on Dec. 15 on East Main Street. A warrant was obtained to search the car... where authorities later found a "one pot" style Meth lab... along with the the material to make Meth. Task Force agents add they also found a digital scale used for weighing drugs, and the stun gun. Police say they arraigned Denmead on charges including third-degree Unlawful Manufacturing of Methamphetamine... and, Criminal Possession of a Weapon. She was arraigned in Brocton Village Court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on $30,000 bail.
City man arrested for allegedly being found in possession of stolen hand-gun...
A Buffalo man arrested earlier this month for allegedly trafficking cocaine in the Jamestown-area -- and free on bail -- has been arrested again for allegedly being found in possession of a stolen hand-gun. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says a patrol unit tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation on Crescent Street shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday. Samuelson says the driver quickly stopped and fled on foot... but, adds that 19 year-old Kori Robinson was apprehended following a short foot chase. He says Robinson allegedly discarded a gun during the chase... and, officers found the loaded, 9-mm. gun... which was reported stolen during a burglary in Jamestown last October. Samuelson says Robinson was arrested on charged including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, criminal possession of stolen property. He's in the county jail without bail. It's the third arrest in the past few weeks for alleged criminal possession of a weapon in the wake of a rash of recent shooting incidents in the city.
City man sentenced in connection with DWI fatal accident in Carroll last December...
A Jamestown man who was involved in a fatal crash last December has been sentenced in Chautauqua County Court to a year-and-a-half in jail. District Attorney Patrick Swanson has announced that 37-year-old John Hillman was sentenced by Supreme Court Judge Paul Wojtaszek on two counts to a definite sentence of one year in the County Jail and to a definite sentence of six months in the County Jail. They will be served consecutively for a total of 18 months he Hillman was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated. Swanson says he was satisfied with the sentence. He says 39-year-old Chalise Hebner of Pittsfield, Pa. died in the crash on Ivory Road in the town of Carroll. He says quite often, drivers involved in DWI related fatalities don't have a criminal history. Swanson says, though, such actions can completely change the life of the driver... and, the family of the victim.
Jamestown celebrates local Post Office's 200th Anniversary...
The first Jamestown post office opened on Dec. 30, 1816... and a special ceremony was held Friday at the Fenton History Center to commemorate the event. Current Mayor Sam Teresi told the audience getting a post office 200 years ago put Jamestown on the map... led by the first postmaster, and founder of Jamestown, James Prendergast. The 36th postmaster, Eugene Oyer, currently holds the position. Oyer says the 200th Anniversary is an exciting time for the Jamestown office. Norm Carlson, the Fenton's Collections Manager, noted that the post office much more primitive in 1816. Carlson says there were no stamps... envelopes... nor home delivery. A special 'hand cancellation' featuring Jamestown's 'old' post office on West Third Street was created for the celebration. It'll be available, by request, for the next 90 days at the downtown post office on East Third Street. In addition... Oyer told the audience at the Fenton the local post office handled 200-thousand parcels over the last four weeks, about five times the usual volume.
New York City ready for New Year's Eve Ball Drop...
Maybe a million revelers are expected to navigate through high security in the blocks around New York City's Times Square to cheer on the new year with entertainers including Mariah Carey. The annual minute-long midnight descent of the famed glittering crystal ball is the highlight of a celebration watched around the world. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will launch the ball with a press of a button. Security has gradually been tightened for the event over the last two decades. Recent deadly truck attacks in Germany and France brought about another security upgrade this year. Dozens of 20-ton sanitation trucks weighted with an extra 15 tons of sand will block off streets leading to the celebration zone. About 7,000 police officers will be there, too.
Three arrested for allegedly being found with nearly 25-pounds of pot, 1/2 pound of "Crystal Meth" in Jamestown...
Three men are jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking large quantities of marijuana and Crystal Methamphetime in the city of Jamestown. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the three suspects were arrested at different locations about 10 a.m. Wednesday. Samuelson says raids by the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force occured at 22 Spring Street Ext., 20 West Third St., and, 129 Fulton St. Samuelson says they found nearly 25 pounts of pot... and, half a pound of Crystal Meth. He says Meth is becoming more and more of a problem in the city, and they're trying to keep up the "the best we can." At Spring Street... Samuelson says police found about a pound of pot, and half-a-pound of Meth. Samuelson says, though, they seized about 23-and-a-half pounds of marijuana at 20 West Third... and, 129 Fulton. The three men arrested... Jamell Trapp... Luis Antonio DeLeon-Lopez... and, Raymond Jiminez-Valentin -- all 25 years of age -- face Felony charges. They were arraigned in city court, and sent to the county jail. Anyone with information on alleged drug trafficking in the city is asked to call the JPD Tips 4-1-1 App anonymously... or you can call the department's Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Head of Mental Health Association applauds Cuomo's announcement of new health insurance rules to help people with Heroin or opioid addictions...
One of the key people on the "front-lines" of the battle against the Jamestown-area's Heroin and Opioid drug addiction crisis says he's pleased to see a new law taking effect on New Year's Day. Director Rick Huber with the Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County says the new rules are intended to make it harder for health insurers to deny coverage for inpatient addiction treatment and medications used to fight addiction. Governor Cuomo signed the measure into law earlier this year. Huber is praising both Cuomo, and the state legislature... adding that Cuomo has been a "huge friend" in trying to get detox, and longer term rehabilitation in place. Late Wednesday... Cuomo announced the changes were "landmark reforms" that would remove barriers to care. Huber says the insurance issue has been a big one in getting people into short, and long-term rehabilitation. Cuomo says the new rules are part of a broader effort by the state to address heroin and opioid addiction. Other initiatives include expanded treatment services and tighter limits on first-time opioid prescriptions.
Huber again voices need for long-term drug rehab in Chautauqua County...
The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County is restating the need for a long-term treatment center locally to deal with the Heroin and Opioid Addiction issue. Rick Huber says the numbers of people his treatment coaches are dealing with continue to climb. Huber says that's why the state's move to supporting longer-term treatment is critical. He says insurance companies are going to want addicts in long-term treatment because it's cost effective, because if they only support 28-day programs, it's going to become a "revolving door" of treatment. Huber says... while the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene is getting three more social workers to help with the county's case-load it's not enough. He says -- in his opinion -- there needs to be a "re-allocation" of money to deal with the long-term consequences of addiction. While the county is doing more to address the problem in the new year... Huber says it's like "taking an eye-dropper to a 40,000 acre forest fire."
Lt. Gov. in Dunkirk for major announcement at Fieldbrook Foods...
New York's number-two in command brought some very good economic development news to the area during a visit to Dunkirk yesterday afternoon. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was joined by local, county and state elected officials to announce a $4-million expansion at Fieldbrook Foods Corporation. Back in August... she says they announced that there would be another 50 jobs added. However, there will be another 60 added to that. She adds there is also anticipation of even more jobs being created. The expansion will add two new production lines to manufacture specialty ice cream products. Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says he is pleased with the announcement... saying that he was proud to be a part of helping the ice cream maker expand. Rosas thanked all those involved with the effort. Hochul says the project is being assisted by $400,000 in Excelsior tax credits from Empire State Development. The company will add the 61 full-time jobs and retain 586 full-time jobs with the expansion. Fieldbrook Foods Chief Executive Officer Bob Charleston hosted the event held at the plant at One Ice Cream Drive.
Becker reflects on three decades at Chautauqua Institution...
After 32 years at Chautauqua... 13 as president... Tom Becker will leave the institution at the end of December. Becker announced his departure almost a year ago, and says for him... and his wife... it's the right decision. Bekcer says it's also good timing for Chautauqua. One of the things the outgoing president says he will miss is the collaborative connections he's had with other members of Chautauqua's senior staff... whom he says are "like family" to him. Much of Becker's tenure as president has been dedicated to the strengthening of Chautauqua's summer program... and its facilities, culminating in the building of the new Amphitheater. The new president of Chautauqua, taking office Jan. 1 is Michael Hill. Hill is in his early 40's, and most recently was president of Youth for Understanding USA, a student exchange program headquartered in Washington, DC.
Paladino called on to resign from Buffalo School Board, to face possible removal...
The co-chairman of Republican Donald Trump's New York presidential campaign who publicly insulted President Obama and his wife is being asked to resign from a local school board. Millionaire developer Carl Paladino told a Buffalo alternative newspaper last week he wanted to see Obama dead of mad cow disease and Michelle Obama living with a gorilla in Africa. He now says the comments weren't meant for publication but were nevertheless "inappropriate." The board passed a resolution calling for Paladino to resign within 24 hours... or face the board's effort to have the state education commissioner remove him.
**(New)Three arrested for alleged marijuana and crystal meth possession....
Jamestown police have arrested three people for allegedly trafficking a large amount of marijuana and a small amount of crystal methamphetime. JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the three were arrested at 22 Spring St. Extension, 20 West Third St., and 129 Fulton Street. Samuelson says the three were allegedly found with about 25 pounds of pot, and half-a-pound of meth. More on this story later.
Lake Effect Snow Warning in effect now for Chautauqua County...
The National Weather Service is continuing a Lake Effect Snow Warning that's underway now, and continues until 10 p.m. Friday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and southern Erie counties. Meteorologist Jeff Wood in Buffalo says the lake effect snow will kick in later in the day and will target mainly the higher elevations. Wood says the main event will be tonight after a cold front passes over Lake Erie, producing the necessary conditions for Lake Effect. Wood says storm totals of 7 to 16 inches are possible in the most persistent lake effect snows, mainly over the Chautauqua Ridge. He says there should only be about 3 to 6 inches along the Lake Erie shoreline.
One car, rollover crash send two to north county hospital...
A South Dayton woman and her young passenger were hurt when the car they were riding in yesterday morning went off a Chautauqua County road and overturned several times. Sheriff's deputies say 39 year-old Patricia Shear of Bartlett Hill Road was eastbound on Prospect Road in the town of Hanover about 8 AM. Officers say Shear's car slid on black ice, and went off the road before rolling over. She and her passenger... an unidentified 14 year-old boy... were both taken to Brooks Hospital in Dunkirk for treatment of their injuries. No charges were filed.
Huber pleased to see NYS health insurer's have to pay for Heroin, Opioid Addiction services...
The head of a local agency that's been on the front-line of the battle against the area's Heroin and Opioid drug addiction crisis is pleased to see a new law taking effect on New Year's Day. The rules are intended to make it harder for health insurers to deny coverage for inpatient addiction treatment and medications used to fight addiction. Governor Cuomo signed the measure into law earlier this year. The head of the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County, Rick Huber, is praising the governor and legislature for their action because it's been "so need for so long." Cuomo late yesterday... said the changes were "landmark reforms" that would remove barriers to care. Huber says the insurance issue has been a big one in getting people into short, and long-term rehabilitation. Cuomo says the new rules are part of a broader effort by the state to address heroin and opioid addiction. Other initiatives include expanded treatment services and tighter limits on first-time opioid prescriptions.
Reed says he and Collins having some influence over Trump transition appointments...
The Western New York region will have unprecidented influence on determining who is, and will be part of President-elect Donald Trump's administration. That's because local Congressman Tom Reed, and Buffalo-area Congressman Chris Collins, are involved as members of Trump's transition team... with Collins being on the executive committee. Reed was also Trump's campaign co-chairman in New York state. He says Collins' has been more "out-front" in what he's done... while Reed has been more behind the scenes....and, believes it bodes "very well" for the region. Another area where Reed and Collins could wield some influence is over the appointment of U-S Attorneys... and, federal judges. He says there will have to be a replacement for retired U-S Attorney William Hochul, Junior here in western New York. Typically... the state's U-S Senators have made recommendations to the president -- if they are from the same party. But, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are Democrats.
Paladino apologizes for inflamatory comments about the Obama's...
A businessman who co-chaired the Trump campaign New York state says his recent derogatory statements about President Barack Obama and his wife weren't meant for publication but were nevertheless "inappropriate" and a "mistake." In a statement first reported on WBEN in Buffalo... Carl Paladino said he intended his email response to a weekly alternative publication's survey to only go to a couple friends, not the newspaper itself. He says he mistakenly hit "reply" on his computer instead of "forward." The millionaire developer told Artvoice last week that he hoped President Obama would die from mad cow disease... and, that Michelle Obama would "return to being a male." Paladino is a member of the school board in Buffalo.
Gasoline prices up 2-cents a gallon this week...
Gasoline prices in Chautauqua County are up by about two-cents a gallon this week to just under $2.46. That from the AAA's weekly Fuel Gauge Report.... which says retail average prices have gone up for 28 of the past 30 days. Last week's price was just under $2.44. Nationally... the average price for regular, unleaded is $2.29 a gallon, which is five cents more than one week ago. That's also 16 cents more than one month ago and 29 cents more year-over-year. Most U.S. drivers are expected to pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.
Some strong wind gusts overnight Tuesday caused some scattered power outages across portions of the Lake Erie shoreline area. Meantime... there is now a Lake Effect Snow Watch for Chautauqua County beginning Thursday night through Friday night. Forecaster Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says it got quite gusty along the lake. A 49 mile an hour wind gust was reported overnight at the Dunkirk Airport and a 45 MPH gust at the Dunkirk Lighthouse. Hitchcock says more December-like weather is expected this week, with brief shot of arctic air later in the week. He says we're "back to reality today" with temperatures back in the low to mid-30s. We'll see colder air and some general and lake effect snow Thursday night and Friday. Hitchcock says it's still too early to tell about snowfall amounts, although the snow is expected to be mainly across the Chautauqua Ridge this time around.
A Falconer man arrested in Jamestown recently in connection with an domestic incident has been arrested again for allegedly burglarizing a home on the southside. City police were called to the scene at 38 Barrows Street shortly before 5 PM Monday... and were told that 41 year-old James Houser had entered the home -- violating an order of protection. Officers say Houser was also supposed to stay away from the female victim. He was arrested without incident a short distance away from the house. Houser is charged with one count of second-degree burglary... and, two counts of second-degree criminal contempt. He was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
A Jamestown man has been arrested on a warrant for allegedly running a methamphetime lab in the city. Sheriff's officers say they executed the arrest warrant for 22 year-old Alexander Jankowiak of Sampson Street at his home shortly before 4:30 PM Monday. Deputies say they arrested Jankowiak without incident on one count of third-degree unlawful manufacture of Methamphetime. He was arraigned, and sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail.
Jamestown city lawmakers will further review proposed fees that have been increased -- or be new in 2017 -- for local sports teams using city parks. That after the City Council tabled action on the changes before the panel's year-end meeting. Acting Council President Tony Dolce says there is no great urgency to approving them in place right now. Councilwoman Kim Ecklund... who is an official with the local Babe Ruth World Series Committee... first expressed concern after seeing the fee for hosting a world series would be one-thousand dollars. Dolce says they want to allow the leagues involved to have time to offer input on the proposals. He says City Comptroller Joe Bellitto told them this would have little immediate impact on the 2017 budget. Dolce adds that most of the leagues involved don't start until next Spring... so that will give them time to make whatever changes they feel need to be. City officials say they're trying to cover their costs for getting the parks ready and maintained.
It's now official: The village of Sherman will remain going forward after the Chautauqua County Board of Elections opened absentee ballots from the December 20th dissolution vote. Election's Commissioner Norm Green says the final vote was 117 votes in favor of keeping the village... while 115 voted to dissolve the government. Green says 232 of the 472 registered voters in Sherman voted. He says the final certified result is also available for public viewing at Votechautauqua-dot-COM.
A change in the leadership of the County Legislature will be coming next month. Ashville-area Republican Frank "Jay" Gould will not seek re-election as chairman, although he will remain in the legislature. Gould received a commendation from the legislature at last week's meeting, the final session for the year. He praised the work of the last two legislatures. County Executive Vince Horrigan thanked Gould for his work as chairman for the last five years... and, his efforts to "get things done." Horrigan says he believes that's the key to good government. County legislators will elect their next chair when they hold their reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, January 3rd.
The annual Red Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army of Jamestown will be 20-thousand to 25-thousand dollars short of it's goal. However... the campaign will be left "open" through the end of the year to make up as much of that gap as possible. That from Salvation Army Captain Kim Merchant... who says their final count as of Christmas Eve night was between 91-thousand and 96-thousand dollars. Merchant tells our Dennis Webster that... while the Red Kettles aren't out... they are still accepting donations for the program. This year's goal for the Jamestown chapter is 116-thousand dollars. Merchant says they're looking for 20 to 25-dollars donations... which she says add up quickly. She adds someone writing a big check has happened in the past... but, that happens only rarely. Merchant says you can make checks out to "The Salvation Army..." and put "Red Kettle Campaign" in the memo area. Checks should be sent before the end of the week to The Salvation Army, 83 South Main Street, Jamestown. For more information... call 664-4108.
Church on Jamestown's eastside destroyed by overnight fire...
An overnight fire has destroyed a church on Jamestown's eastside. City Fire Battalion Chief Sam Salemme says fire crews were called to the scene at the First Church of God at 291 Falconer St. about 2 this morning... and, found heavy fire at the back of the structure. Salemme says there was heavy smoke and fire at the back of the building. Salemme says firefighters were unable to get inside the structure due to the intense heat... and, the roof had collapsed. He says it took about an hour-and-a-half to get the flames under control. Crews were at the scene for several hours. An off-duty shift was called in. No one was inside when the blaze broke out... and, no firefighters were hurt. The cause is under investigation.
City police chief discusses crime issues on northside with proposed development...
While it appears to be a good project... some Jamestown residents are concerned over whether a proposed housing development on the northside may end up attracting more crime to that area. Some of the residents on had for the City Council's year-end voting session expressed such concerns for the people who would be living in the Jackson-Spring development. City Police Chief Harry Snellings says the four most recent shooting incidents are related to the one in which a Buffalo man was killed on Thanksgiving morning. Snellings called them a "very unique situation..." adding that all of those shootings were "targeted." He adds they were completely unrelated to the Keith Robbins murder case in which Robbins was charged with murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife, Sheri, in early November. Snellings says with one of the "targeted" shootings on Prendergast Avenue... it remains a "high-crime" corridor area that also includes Spring Street. But... Snellings says Spring Street -- specifically -- is not a high-crime area. City police are still looking for the suspect or suspects involved with the Thanksgiving morning incident at 129 South Main St.
Officials with UMPC-Hamot, and UPMC Chautauqua WCA discuss WCA-UPMC merger...
WCA Hospital's recent merger with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was a logical progression from the five-year strategic partnership the two has previously. That from the president and Chief Executive Officer of the new, UPMC Chautauqua-WCA Hospital, Betsy Wright. Wright says their initial affiliation began nearly 5 years ago.. and, she says the partnership and merger has already provided a lot of help with recruiting new doctors. She says that led to obtaining the services of ENT Doctor Mark Steele. On this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program... we also spoke with UPMC Hamot President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Fiorenzo about what to expect with the new agreement. Hamot went throught it's merger in 2011. Fiorenzo says there have been many benefits... including expanded resources. He says new programs and services -- such as new Cancer treatments -- are another plus they have seen at UPMC Hamot. WCA Hospital first signed it's Strategic Affiliation Agreement with UPMC in August of 2012.
It's looking less likely there will be a Special State Legislative session...
Talk of a special holiday session focused on a possible pay hike for state legislature members has sputtered in recent days. State Senate Leader John Flanagan said late Friday night that talks between lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have not "borne fruit." Many lawmakers had hoped to return this month to increase their $79,000 dollar salary. They must do so by December 31st, for the raise to take effect in 2017. Lawmakers were also expected to consider funding for hate crimes investigations, government ethics reforms and a proposal to allow Uber to expand upstate.
Reed looks back on 2016, an health bill to help with Opioid Crisis...
The County's Congressman says he is proud of the work he and his staff were able to complete in 2016 and he's looking forward to 2017. Tom Reed spent some time reflecting on the past year during a conference call with area media this past week. Among the highlights... Reed says they were able to leverage a lot of money to deal with the opioid addiction problem in the latest "continuing resolution" to fund the government. He says some $500-million dollars to help people in dealing with the opioid crisis. Locally... Reed says he is pleased that the NRG repowering project is moving in the right direction. He says there were a number of "ups and downs..." but, he says he will remain a "strong voice" in the new year to make sure the project stays on track now. Entergy Corporation recently withdrew it's lawsuit against the state that put the project in limbo.
Most of the funding is coming together... but, the new National Comedy Center in downtown Jamestown will not be ready for this year's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. After breaking ground on the project on West Second Street during the festival in August of 2015... officials said they hoped the project would be completed in time for the 2017 festival. However... Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the date has been pushed back. Gunderson spoke following this week's announcement that Jim Gaffigan will be headlining next year's festival.
Gunderson recently told us that she was "hopeful" about a Spring of 2018 opening. Ideally... she says it would be best to open in the Spring once nice weather arrives in the area. She says they are working right now to get a small amount of "gap funding" for the 50-million dollar endeavor. Gunderson says they are seeking 2-million dollars of that from the city's 10-million dollar, Downtown Revitalization Initative grant from the state. She says they have "the lion's share of funding" in place for the comedy center. Work on the project is underway.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trying to flee from police who were trying to arrest him on a Felony warrant Wednesday morning. Jamestown police say officers on patrol spotted 23 year-old Cody DiDomenico near 207 Foote Avenue... but, add he ran into UPMC Chautauqua-WCA when confronted. Police say DiDomenico led officers on a brief foot chase inside the hospital before he was taken into custody. Officers say that... in addition to the warrant... he is charged with resisting arrest. DiDomenico was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
Two Jamestown residents have been arrested for allegedly stealing a number of items from a store in the Warren Mall near Warren, Pennsylvania Wednesday. Sheriff's officers say they were contacted by Warren County authorities about the shoplifting of more than 13-hundred dollars worth of merchandise from The Bon-Ton in the Mall. Police say the vehicle was traveling north on Route 62 towards the Jamestown area. Deputies say they located the car in the CVS parking lot in Brooklyn Square in the city... and, arrested 42 year-old Miguel Soto and 29 year-old Kelly Sherlock -- both of 601 Lafayette Street... about 12 Noon. Officers say both were arraigned on one count each of Felony criminal possession of stolen property... and, sent to the county jail without bail. More charges are pending.
The new labor agreements and 20-year retirement plans approved at the Chautauqua County Legislature meeting this past Wednesday night should benefit both taxpayers and the Sheriff's Office. That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who is pleased that county lawmakers approved the agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association. Gerace says it will not only benefit current deputies and supervisors, but it will also help with recruitment efforts. Gerace adds, though, that there is a downside... and, that's a "little bit of a brain-drain" as deputies and other department leaders retire... and, take that experience with them. But, overall... Gerace says he's pleased with the outcome. He says it’s rare to see the county benefit economically from such a labor agreement.
U-S Senator Charles Schumer has once again completed his tour of all of New York state's counties. The Democrat visited the Columbia County city of Hudson on Wednesday, the final leg of this year's 62-county tour. Schumer has visited each county in the state at least once for 18th straight years. This year Schumer's travels took him to Long Island 47 times, Rochester and the Finger Lakes 26 times, the Hudson Valley 27 times and western New York 19 times. He says he keeps the tradition going because the visits teach him so much about the state he serves - and because he enjoys it. Schumer isn't giving up on the tour now that he is serving as Senate minority leader. He plans to start his next 62-county tour in January.
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities is offering extended hours at its Customer Service Office during a previously scheduled closed holiday period. According to BPU Spokesperson Christy Cuifilo (Shoe-fuh-low)... limited service at the Customer Service area at 92 Steele Street will be offered from 12-to-4 PM on Monday, January 2nd. Payments and simple account assistance will be available. Christy Cuifilo says -- as always -- in the case of any Jamestown BPU utility trouble outside regular business hours, customers may call the emergency number at 661-1640. The BPU will also be closed for the holiday today... and, on Monday, December 26th for Christmas. They will also be closed on Friday, December 30th, for New Year's.
A Pennsylvania man accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old runaway and giving her drugs has been sentenced to six to 12 years in prison. The Erie Times-News reports Devonne Jordan was sentenced on Tuesday. He must also register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. The 32-year-old Corry man had pleaded guilty in October to statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors. Police say Jordan picked the girl up after she ran away from home in May. They say he took her to an Erie residence, sexually assaulted her and gave her alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.
Chautauqua County lawmakers have approved two tentative labor contracts during their final meeting of 2016 in Mayville last night. Legislators gave their backing to proposed agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association by 12-7 votes. They also approved proposals providing a 20-year retirement plan for both unions, also by 12-7 votes. County Executive Vince Horrigan was pleased with the outcome and says it should provide savings to county taxpayers. While a number of legislators spoke in favor of the new contracts and the 20-year retirement plans for the two bargaining units, Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzarro has concerns. In other action, legislators approved the appointment of Kitty Crow as the county's new Finance Director 19-0. Wednesday night's meeting marked the final meeting for Jay Gould as Legislature Chairman. Gould, who will remain in the legislature, received a special commendation from lawmakers for his years of service as chairman.
A Gowanda Man is dead following an early morning blaze Wednesday in the village of Gowanda. The Gowanda Police report that an unidentified 56 year old man suffered second degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body. Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the fire at 23 West Main Street around 1 AM. The 56 year-old man, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started. Gowanda Police say one of their officers and a Perrysburg firefighter were able to locate the victim laying face down on the floor. He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center. The apartment had extensive damage, but the adjoining apartments were not severely damaged other than by smoke. Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments. The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking for the cause.
An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation. The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century." He says it was later transformed into an elegant residential street. The effort is being undertaken by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. We have a call into JRC Executive Director Greg Lindquist... but, have not heard back from him. City Development Director Vince DeJoy tells us the designation would be another "very good tool for rehabilitation and restoration" in that part of the city. Getting on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.
A need for nice, clean and affordable housing is the reason a local not-for-profit organization is proposing a new development on Jamestown's northside. That from Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality Executive Director Pat Morris to City Council this week during public comment on the 12-million dollar Jackson Spring Housing project. Morris was asked to speak when several questions and issues were raised about the proposal. He says the housing would be modeled after CODE's successful Euclid Gardens -- also on the northside. Morris says Jackson Spring would be located just south of Euclid Gardens... and, between North Main and Spring Streets. He says CODE conducted it's search in line with what city officials had laid out in the new Neigborhood Revitalization Plan. He says they hope to serve two purposes. One is to provide housing for the people in the city that need it, and he says many are living without full complete plumbing and kitchens. The other is they are tearing down eight dilapitated homes in that part of town. Morris says roughly half of the city's residents would be eligible to rent at Jackson Spring. Several people spoke at Monday's night's council voting session in favor of the Jackson-Spring proposal... while a few others spoke against it. Some of the concern was voiced for the people who would rent housing there because they could be vulnerable to crime issues seen in that part of the city.
Authorities say a teenage boy being arraigned on a trespassing charge in a Cattaraugus County town courtroom managed to break free from a state trooper while handcuffed, get ahold of the trooper's handgun and fire off a shot. State police say no one was injured during the incident Tuesday afternoon in the town of Machias. Police say 17-year-old Gavin Haynes of Machias was cuffed behind his back when he broke free from the trooper's grip and ran. The trooper tackled him to the ground, but officials say the trooper's sidearm was dislodged from its holster. Troopers say Haynes grabbed it and fired once into a snowbank. He's now facing other charges. Haynes is being held in jail without bail. His public defender wasn't available for comment.
An early morning blaze Wednesday in the village of Gowanda has left a man with second degree burns over more than 80 percent of his body. Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the fire at 23 West Main Street around 1 AM. The 56 year-old man, whose name has not been released, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started. Gowanda Police say one of their officers and a Perrysburg firefighter were able to locate the victim laying face down on the floor. He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center. The apartment had extensive damage, but the adjoining apartments were not severely damaged other than by smoke. Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments. The Cattaraugus County Fire Investigation Team is looking for the cause.
Landing big named comedian Jim Gaffigan is another feather in the hat of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown... and, one official's worked at for some time. That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says Gaffigan is one of her favorites... and, a name they had been trying to get for a Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for several years now. Gunderson says they expect to add more comedic stars to the August Weekend as we enter the new year. Gaffigan will appear at the Northwest Arena on August 3rd. In addition... she says the Comedy Center is teaming up with Chauauqua Institution to put on a special week during the 2017 season. Gunderson says Week-Six on "Comedy and the Human Condition" will be featured from July 29th through August 5th. She says Lewis Black... who was in Jamestown for last year's festival... will be the featured speaker on that Monday, July 29th.
Federal authorities allege that a former official at the pension fund for New York state public employees took bribes that included prostitutes, strippers, cocaine and a 17-thousand dollar wristwatch. An indictment issued Wednesday accuses Navnoor Kang of accepting bribes totaling about 100-thousand dollars in exchange for steering millions of dollars in business to two brokerage firms. It says other bribes included travel; a ski trip; and tickets to Broadway shows, the U.S. Open tennis tournament and a Paul McCartney concert. Kang's attorney declined to comment. The state comptroller's office, which administers the fund, had no immediate comment. The pension fund serves more than one-million retirees and other beneficiaries.
County lawmakers approve new labor contracts for Sheriff's deputies and supervisors....
The Chautauqua County Legislature approved two tentative labor contracts during it's final meeting of 2016 in Mayville last night. Lawmakers gave their backing to proposed agreements with the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Supervisors' Association by 12-to-7 votes. They also approved proposals providing a 20-year retirement plan for both unions... also by 12-7 votes. County Executive Vince Horrigan was pleased with the outcome and says it should provide savings to county taxpayers. Horrigan says they looked at higher-deductable insurance, and lower wage increases. He says they also found a 20-year retirement plan would "create additional savings." While a number of legislators spoke in favor of the new contracts and the 20-year retirement plans for the two bargaining units, Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzarro has concerns over the length of the contracts. Nazzaro adds that while there are savings with "high-deductable" health care plans... premiums still increase. In other action, legislators approved the appointment of Kitty Crow as the county's new Finance Director 19-to-0. Wednesday night's meeting marked the final meeting for Jay Gould as Legislature Chairman. Gould... who still has a year on his term... received a special commendation from lawmakers for his years of service as chairman.
Man severely burned in Gowanda apartment fire dies...
A Gowanda man has died after being seriously burned early yesterday morning in an apartment house fire in the village of Gowanda. Gowanda Police and Fire units responded to the blaze at 23 West Main St. around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Officials say the 56-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was trapped in his apartment where the fire started. Police say he suffered second-degree burns over 80-percent of his body. Officers and a Perrysburg firefighter found the victim laying face down on the floor. He was rushed to Lake Shore Hospital and later flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment. The apartment was extensively damaged. Gowanda firefighters were assisted at the scene by the Collins, Perrysburg, and Dayton Fire Departments. The cause is under investigation.
Morris further explains Jackson-Spring proposal, and reason behind decision on site...
An on-going need for clean, nice and affordable housing in the city of Jamestown is the reason a local not-for-profit organization is proposing a new development on the northside. Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality Executive Director Pat Morris told that to city lawmakers at this week's council meeting during public comment on the $12-million Jackson Spring Housing project. Morris was asked to speak when several questions and issues were raised about the proposal. He says most Jamestown residents would be eligible to live there. Morris says -- looking at the city's population -- more than 50-percent of the people living in Jamestown would be eligible to live in the apartments. He says the housing would be modeled after CODE's successful Euclid Garden's -- also on the northside. He says the apartments aren't necessarily for senior citizens, though they are welcome. There would also be housing for people with disabilities. The Jackson Spring development would be located just south of Euclid Gardens... and, between North Main and Spring Streets. He says CODE conducted it's search in line with what city officials had laid out in the new Neigborhood Revitalization Plan. He says they hope to house people who need it... and, adds they are tearing down eight dilapitated homes in that area.
Several people spoke at this past Monday's night's council voting session in favor of the Jackson-Spring proposal. However... a few others spoke against it citing concerns mainly regarding crimin in the area.
Jamestown street among nominees for state and national Historic Place designation...
An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation. The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century." Landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.
Outcome of Sherman Dissolution vote comes down to absentees...
We'll have to wait until the Tuesday after Christmas to find out the final results of the dissolution vote in the village of Sherman. The Chautauqua County Board of Elections reports that a total of 226 votes were cast during Tuesday's vote... in which 112 voted yes... 114 no. However... there are nine absentee ballots that were issued with six being returned as of Tuesday. Two affidavit ballots were also issued. The absentee and affidavit ballots will be counted next Tuesday, December 27th at 11 AM. The board is expected to certify the election later the same day.
Gaffigan will be headliner at Lucille Ball Comedy Festival...
Another well-known stand-up comedian will be headlining next Summer's annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown. National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson announced Tuesday afternoon that Jim Gaffigan will be delivering his "unique brand" of humor during the three-day festival on Aug. 3 at the Northwest Arena. Gunderson says they are "thrilled" to have landed one of the "greatest comedic voices of all-time" to this year's line-up. She says he's most well-known for his TV show, "The Jim Gaffigan Show," which features him raising his five children in New York City. Gaffigan's performance will be among those starting the annual comedy festival... which will run Aug. 3-6. Gunderson says he's a "multi-platinum selling artist..." and, he performed before one-million people prior to Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia. She adds he's also one of just 10 comedians who have sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. Gunder says tickets go on sale to Comedy Center members and sponsor next Jan. 19... while tickets go on sales to the public on Jan. 26. For more information... go on-line to LucyComedyFest.com... or call 484-0800.
Gunderson says NCC had been trying to land Gaffigan for many years...
Landing big named comedian Jim Gaffigan is another feather in the hat of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown... and, one officials worked at for some time. That from Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson... who says Gaffigan is one of her favorites... and, a name they had been trying to get for a Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for several years now... but, says the "stars hadn't aligned until now." Gunderson says he joins a list that includes Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, and Joan Rivers who have appeared in Jamestown for the festival... and, lended their support to the comedy center. Gunderson says they expect to add more comedic stars to the August Weekend as we enter the new year. In addition... she says the Comedy Center is teaming up with Chauauqua Institution to put on a special week during the 2017 season. Gunderson says the Comedy Center will have more information soon on the Week Six topic "Comedy and the Human Condition." She says comedian Lewis Black, who has appeared in Jamestown, as well, will kick off Week Six will take place at the Chautauqua Amphitheater July 29-Aug. 5.
Jamestown BPU approves Electric and Water Division budgets -- Water to see 2.5-percent rate hike...
The two largest budgets for the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities are now in place... but, the head of the utility says they'll be staying on top of what happens in 2017. BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the Electric and Water Division spending plans were adopted by the board Monday. Leathers says the Electric budget was approved with no rate increase... and, says they had some challenges from 2016 to overcome to prevent a requested increase. He says the warmer than normal temperatures cut into revenues because less electricity was used during those months. Leathers says those lower revenues were due mainly to a warmer than normal Winter in 2015-16. As for the Water budget... he says it includes a 2.5-percent rate increase. Regarding the Water Division... he says the $5.5-million budget includes several cost increases... including administration and general expenses Leathers says those increases are about $112,000. Back to the Electric budget... it totals just over $40-million dollars... and, includes an increase of $960,000 in production expenses.
Dolce commends residents for asking "valid questions" about Jackson Spring project...
Jamestown residents and others are asking "valid questions" and have strong passions both ways regarding a proposed housing development on the city's northside. That from Acting City Council President Tony Dolce following Monday night's year-end voting session regarding the Jackson Spring Housing development. Several members of the public spoke on the proposal. Dolce says he understands the concerns voiced, given the recent rash of shootings that have occured. He says those concerns are being made "justifiably so." Some members of the public urged city lawmakers to wield whatever influence they may have over the nearly $12-million project. However... Dolce says the project will not come before them. He says the city's Planning Commission would have to approve a site plan... but, they don't vote over whether they "want it or not." He says it has to be whether the project fits the zoning, and other requirements. Dolce says residents who feel strongly one way or the other should probably contact the state Housing agency involved. Initial plans were not approved for funding. The project is being developed by NRP of Buffalo... and, locally by Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality.
Gas prices up this week to almost $2.44 a gallon...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have increased about four-cents a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the price is now just under $2.44 per gallon. Last week... the price was $2.39 a gallon. Nationally... pump prices have risen for 20 of the past 21 days, rising a total of 11-cents during this span. The national average price for regular, unleaded gasoline now sits at $2.24 a gallon, which is the highest mark since October. Today’s average is three cents more than one week ago, nine cents more compared to one month ago and 24 cents more than the same date last year.
Cuomo announces 26 nominations for Historic Place designations, including Lakeview Ave. in Jamestown...
An historic street in Jamestown is one of 26 properties in New York state that has been nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the nominations of the properties, resources and districts by the New York State Broad of Historic Preservation. The sites also include the Lakeview Avenue Historic District... which Cuomo says encompasses 219 properties... primarily residences... stretched along what was once "a rough, rural road in the early 19th Century." He says it was later transformed into an elegant residential street. Also nominated was the Woodstock Music Festival site in rural Sullivan County, where some 400,000 fans gathered on rolling farmland for three days of rock music in August of 1969. Landing a place on the registers can help property owners and organizations secure preservation grants and historic rehabilitation tax credits from the state and federal governments.
The National Comedy Center has announced that stand-up comedian, Jim Gaffigan, will be delivering his unique brand of humor during the 2017 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. His national tour will visit Jamestown, NY for a performance at the Northwest Arena on Thursday, August 3. Jim Gaffigan is a Grammy nominated comedian, actor, New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Last year, Gaffigan became one of only ten comics in history to sell out Madison Square Garden and few months prior, Gaffigan had the honor of performing for Pope Francis and over 1 million festival attendees at the Festival of Families in Philadelphia. Additionally, streaming site Pandora recently announced that Jim is the most popular comic among its users with over 647 million spins to date. Tickets for this show will go on-sale January 26. Members of the National Comedy Center and Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum will be able to participate in an exclusive pre-sale period beginning January 19. Additional information, tickets, and membership options are available at LucyComedyFest.com & 716.484.0800. The 2017 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will take place August 3-6, 2017.
A slight majority of the several people who spoke at last night's Jamestown City Council meeting support a new housing development proposed for the northside. NRP of Buffalo, and Citizen's Opportunity for Development and Equality, have submitted revised plans to the state to approve the nearly 12-million dollar Jackson Spring Housing project between North Main and Spring Streets. Spring Street resident Don Payne says he supports CODE, and the project. County Legislatore Dave Wilfong -- who lives in that area -- also supports the plan to construct a 36-unit building, and seven separate townhouses. However... some residents... including Mike Loren... are concerned about safety -- especially with Love Elementary School being a block away. Loren believes adding such housing will hurt an already low-cost, low-demand market is not the answer. Wilfong also pointed out that eight dilapitated homes would be torn-down as part of the project. He adds that two local agencies in the area... the Southwestern Independent Living Center... and, the Chautauqua County Blind Association... would locate their headquarters at Jackson Spring.
City lawmakers did approve a few new fee packages for Jamestown... but, held off on action regarding any increase various fees. These would mainly be for local sports team organizations -- that use city parks and facilities. Council members discussed the proposal for several minutes last week... and, raised concerns over whether instituting new fees for the local Babe Ruth Committee to host state and regional tournaments will diminish those efforts. Acting Council President Tony Dolce says lawmakers will take up those proposals in the new year.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's already looking ahead to 2017. The Corning Republican is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee... and, the 24 members met last week in Washington to discuss up-coming issues including tax reform and health care. Another key issue Reed says he'll be keeping close watch on will be the new administration's trade agenda. He believes changes in trade policy could benefit area manufacturers... including Cummins Engine near Jamestown. He says Cummins has been able to get into new markets... including South Korea. Reed says we "want to build off those successes." He spoke about some of his goals during a conference call with Southern Tier Media Monday afternoon.
New York's 29 members of the Electoral College have cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton, who won the state despite losing the presidential race to Republican Donald Trump. Among the electors gathered Monday in the state Capitol's Senate chambers was former President Bill Clinton... who says he's never been prouder of any vote. Others in attendance included Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats. In a rebuke to Trump... the electors agreed to donate their $15 compensation to the New York Immigration Coalition, an advocacy group for immigrants and refugees. Dozens of protesters gathered outside to oppose the president-elect and to urge electors in other states to vote for Clinton or another candidate, even if their states voted for Trump.
Quick response from firefighters in the Mayville-area yesterday morning prevented major damage to a medical office in the village. Mayville and Chautauqua Fire Departments responded shortly after 8 AM to the blaze at Family Health Medical Services at 95 East Chautauqua Street. Mayville Fire Chief Ron Trippy says his first assistant chief was among the first on the scene. Trippy says firefighters were able to douse the flames fairly quickly... and, confine the blaze to what was a "rest-room area" of the building. He adds they looked for further extension, but, fortunately found none. He says office staff was there... and, everyone got out safely. Trippy says they used heavy duty fans to clear smoke from the building. He says they were at the scene about two-hours. No one was hurt. Trippy says county fire investigators are looking for the cause... which appears to be accidental. A portion of Route 430 was closed due to the blaze... but, it re-opened by late morning.
Firefighters from five departments battled a fully-involved house fire... which destroyed the structure... in the town of Stockton Sunday afternoon. County Fire Dispatchers says crews from Stockton, Brocton, Cassadaga, Fredonia and Sinclairville responded to the blaze at 40-90 Bruyer (Brewer) Road around 3:30 PM. Chautauqua County Emergency Services also assisted at the scene along with county Fire Police. The flames caused heavy damage to the structure... and, it's been called a total loss. The house belonged to the Degolier family, which was not home at the time of the blaze. Some family pets perished in the fire. No official cause has been determined.
Todd DeGolier and his 10-year-old daughter Morgan lost all of their belongings in the fire including their pets. Morgan is a cancer survivor and the family's house was recently remodeled by Special Spaces. An account has been set up at Go Fund Me.
The busiest day of the year for the U-S Post Office was yesterday. Postal Service Spokeswoman Karen Mazurkiewicz in Buffalo told us Monday that post offices across Western New York were very busy... and, she adds time is running out to get that package to a loved one. Mazurkiewicz says they still deliver a lot of letters, but there is a sizable increase in the number of packages being sent across the nation. She says... normally...it would be the final two weeks before Christmas. But, she says people shopping on-line early in the season has made this year "outrageous." In addition... due to the return to Winter weather, Mazurkiewicz is reminding residents to keep paths to and from mail boxes clear of ice and snow. The U-S Postal Service is anticipating to process about 611 million letters, cards and packages nationwide.
An Erie, Pennsylvania man faces a drunk driving charge after his car crashed and rolled over on Route 20 in the town of Ripley last Saturday afternoon. Sheriff's officers were called to the scene about 4 PM... and, made contract with the driver, 52 year-old Wayne Sowers, who apparently had only minor injuries. Sowers signed off with Emergency Medical Service crews. He was allegedly found to be intoxicated while driving... and, was arrested for DWI, Failure to Keep Right... and, consuming alcohol in a motor vehicle. Sowers was arraigned in Ripley Town Court and sent to the County Jail with bail to be set.
Two city men arrested for allegedly trafficking Heroin in Jamestown...
Two Jamestown men are accused of dealing Heroin following their arrests during a drug raid just across the street from city Police Headquarters. City Police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on two apartments at 212 East Second Street about 11:30 a.m. Friday. Task Force members say they arrested 21 year-old Luis Cintron-Rosario... and, 25 year-old Juan Aponte-Sierra. The Post-Journal reports that Aponte-Sierra was previously arrested for trafficking Heroin back in April of 2015. Cintron-Rosario was also previously arrested on a Felony drug charge in May of this year. Both men were allegedly found this time in possession of a quantity of Heroin and cash. Police say both men were charged with Felony third-degree criminal possession of a controlled-substance... and are jailed pending arraignment. If you have an information on illegal drug activity in the city... you're asked to call the JPD 4-1-1 app... or the tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
City man arrested for allegedly robbing woman during domestic incident...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trying to steal money from a woman during a domestic incident on the city's eastside early Friday morning. Jamestown police were called to the scene at 38 Barrows St. about 12:30 a.m., and, the female victim told them that 41 year-old James Houser had left the scene before they arrived. JPD K-9 Mitchell was brought to the scene, and used to track Houser. He was found behind Connell's Bar at the corner of Winsor and Allen Streets and arrested without incident. Houser was arraigned on charges including third-degree attempted robbery... and, forcible touching... and, sent to the county jail without bail.
Jamestown-area deals with more snow, and rain Friday night and Saturday...
The Winter weather "roller coaster" is continuing today... this time after a general 3 to 5 inch snowfall wrapped late this morning in Chautauqua County. Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said late yesterday that a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through 1 this afternoon. Hitchcock says... unlike with the Lake Effect Snow of the past couple of days... this will impact the entire region. He says there'll be more snow in the higher terrains and inland from Lake Erie. Hitchcock says... before it becomes a rain snow and sleet mix... we'll see about 2-to-3 inches along the Lake Erie Shoreline and at least 3 to 4 inches inland. Hitchcock says some locations may also see a thin coating of ice today. The widespread snowfall will bring slippery travel conditions across the area.
Peek 'n Peak opens Friday, officials say conditions are "great..."
Chautauqua County's major ski resort is now open... and, conditions at Peek 'n Peak near Findley Lake are "great" to begin the new season. That from Director of Mountain Operations, Brad Gravink, who says they were open at 8:30 a.m. Friday... with a good, natural snow base... and, 16 of their 27 trails open. Gravink says they're making snow on the remaining 8 trails, which they hope to open by Christmas Week. He says the Peak is open until 10 o'clock tonight... and, will again be open all day Sunday. As for snowmaking... he says they're already well ahead of where they normally are... and, in very good shape compared to last year's "off-season." In fact... he says they've already made about half of what they usually do in an entire season the past 8 days. Gravink says the rain predicted for today should be nothing more than a blip on the radar... because we're back into the snow early next week. He says the tubing area also opened Friday afternoon. For more information on Peek n' Peak... call them at 355-4141... or go on-line to pknpk.com.
No one hurt when large part of former Falconer Agway feed mill collapses under heavy snow...
The heavy snow of the past week or so has claimed it's first building collapse in the Jamestown-area... as the old Agway feed mill building partially collapsed about mid-morning yesterday. That from First Assistant Falconer Fire Chief Bryce Webster... who says no one was hurt in the collapse... which was called to the scene at 47 East Everett St. about 8:45 a.m. Webster says the old structure was also weakened... but, adds the front-office area was not affected. He says utility companies, and the Falconer Code Enforcement Officer were called. Webster told us shortly before 10 a.m. that there was no threat of fire... nor threats to other buildings when they arrived. Webster says fire crews finished their work at the scene right about that time. He says the area of the building where the collapse occured was apparently being used for storage. No mutual aid was called in for the collapse.
A mid-evening blast of Arctic air brought some additional lake effect snow to the Jamestown-area... but, the bitterly cold temperatures and wind continued through the overnight hours. The frigid air will remain through today. That from Forecaster Dave Zaff with the National Weather Service... who said we would see about another 1 to-3 inches of the white stuff overnight... bringing the total to about 9 to 13 inches since the warning took effect. Zaff says the strong winds remain a concern for everyone... and, will cause blowing and drifting snow through mid-morning He says temperatures will still be quite cold today... but, adds that we'll see a warm-up early Saturday. The high Saturday will reach the low 40s to about 45 degrees. Zaff there was a wide range of snowfall from overnight and early Thursday morning. He says they had a report late yesterday morning of 10 inches of new snow near Jamestown... and, 7 inches in Randolph and Little Valley.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly entering an eastside apartment, and stealing jewelry and other items inside. City police were called to the scene at 20 East Fifth Street about 4 PM Wednesday... and, found 19 year-old Charles Thomas, Junior inside. Officers say the victim told officers that she was returning home when she saw Thomas leaving her apartment with the stolen items which belonged to her. Police say they later found Thomas -- still inside the building -- with the stolen items. He was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, and petty larceny. Thomas was arraigned and sent to the county jail without bail.
While Democratic lawmakers in other states are focused on presenting a united front against President-elect Donald Trump... those in New York have been mired in a debate over raising their own salaries. State legislators in New York now make $79-thousand-500 dollars, the nation's third-highest legislative salary. They haven't seen an increase in 17 years, and many say the salary hasn't kept up. Top lawmakers may call a lame-duck session this month to authorize an increase, with figures of 100-thousand dollars or more under discussion. Governor Andrew Cuomo says lawmakers should do more by addressing corruption or funding a new hate crimes task force. Democrats elsewhere are focused on Trump. California Democrats huddled to talk strategy a week after their party's big defeat, and lawmakers are crafting bills aimed at protecting immigrants from deportation.
Our frigid weather led to a slow-start for the fourth-annual Community Holiday Haul at the Jamestown Cycle Shop in Brooklyn Square. Jamestown Community College Athletic Director Keith Martin is again holding his annual food and money drive for the Christmas Season to benefit the St. Susan's Center. Martin tells us late yesterday that he'll be back in his tent at the Cycle Shop from 6 AM to 7 PM tonight... and, 7 to 3 on Saturday. Despite the tough conditions... Martin is very optimistic about this year's effort. Martin says he'll be back in the tent at 6 AM tomorrow... and, be there until 7 PM. He says the people stopping by to make donations helps the time go by... and, keep him warm. Martin says he does this because the need is so great each year, and this year is no exception. He says there are some items St. Susan's needs in particular... including 100-percent fruit juices, and healthy cereals for breakfast. Martin adds that money is important because St. Susan's can buy seven-dollars worth of food with just a dollar. In the first three-years of the Community Holiday Haul.... Martin says the effort has raised just over 30-thousand dollars... and, generated just over 11-tons of food.
Manufacturers in New York state expanded more quickly this month than in November, driven by a big jump in new orders. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says its Empire State index rose to a reading of 9 in December... that's up from 1.5 in the previous month. Anything above zero signals that factories are doing more business. The figures add to other evidence that manufacturing is rebounding after a rough 18 months. Businesses have been clearing out their stockpiles of unsold goods and spending less on machinery and equipment, which have lowered factory output. Yet nationwide surveys in the past two months suggest manufacturing is growing again, if slowly. Still, a gauge of employment fell to minus-12.2, from minus-10.9, which means factories cut jobs last month.
The American Red cross is joining forces with the north county city of Dunkirk to install free smoke detectors. Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas and Fire Chief Mike Edwards were joined by representatives of the Red Cross for an announcement of the free program at Dunkirk City Hall late this week. Rosas says the program will save lives.
Edward says members of the fire department will help install the smoke detectors and provide important fire safety information to families. He says the fire department will visit the families that want it... and, help install them in the home. They'll also help in developing a fire escape plan. It's part of an effort to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent over five years. City residents can sign up online at redcross.org.
A meeting between state and federal highway officials regarding New York's "I Love NY" highway signs ended with no resolution to the dispute. Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau met with state Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll in Washington on Tuesday to discuss New York's refusal to take down the 514 tourism signs. Both parties opted to create a "working group" that will examine the issue at some undetermined point in the future. FHA officials say the signs don't comply with federal regulations. The agency wants New York state to remove the tourism promotion signs. The state has also been asked to cease all over-the-counter sales at its new rest stop on the Long Island Expressway. State Department of Transportation officials contend that both the signs and the store's sales are legal.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says 59 vehicles crashed in a snowy pileup along a western Pennsylvania super-highway, and three people were hurt. PennDOT spokesman Jim Carroll says 22 tractor-trailers and 37 cars are involved in the crash on Interstate 80 near DuBois in Jefferson County. The county's director of emergency services, Tracy Zents, says the three suffered minor to moderate injuries and were transported to hospitals. The crash was one of three that shut down different stretches of I-80 in the western part of the state. Lake effect snow bands were being blamed for slick roads and poor visibility. A jack-knifed tractor-trailer caught fire in Mercer County near the Ohio border. Another crash closed a separate stretch of the highway.
National Weather Service continues Lake Effect Snow Warning through Friday morning at 7 a.m....
The lake effect snow is continuing to accumulate across portions of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties today... but, much of the activity has been here in the south county. Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says that will change later today when an arctic cold front crosses the area... so everyone will get some more snow later into the evening. Hitchcock says the strong winds are a concern for everyone, causing blowing and drifting snow. Hitchcock says there a wide range of snowfall from overnight. The National Weather Service has a report of 10 inches near Jamestown... to 7 inches in Randolph and Little Valley... and 4 inches in Perrysburg. There was only light snow along the Lake Erie shoreline, totaling about 2.5-inches.
Two city men arrested for allegedly being in possession of two, loaded pistols as police investigate rash of shooting incidents...
An investigation into "suspicious" activity on Jamestown's northside has led to the arrest of two city men who were allegedly in possession of two, loaded hand-guns. The arrests come as city police are investigating five shootings that have occured since last Thanksgiving Day morning. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson would not say if Monday afternoon's arrests are part of that investigation. However... Samuelson does say they're pleased to have the two hang-guns... one of which was allegedly stolen in Florida... off the street. He says it makes the community "that much safer." Samuelson says police did a street check into the suspicious activity allegedly involving 23 year-old Jose Santiago... and, 22 year-old Eddie Ortiz. He says a ballistics check will be on both guns. Samuelson says both Santiago and Ortiz were arrested in the lot at 811 North Main St. as they were getting out of a vehicle about 2:30 p.m. Monday. He says officers impounded the vehicle... and, then got a search warrant for the car. Inside... police say they found the two hand-guns. Both men are charged with criminal possession of a weapon... and, Santiago is charged additionally with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property. Both are now in the county jail without bail. If you have any information on illegal guns in the city... call the JPD 4-1-1 app... or the confidential tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Buffalo man arrested during traffic stop for alleged possession of "crack" cocaine...
A man from Buffalo is jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking crack cocaine in the Jamestown-area after being pulled over for an alleged traffic infraction. City police say officers pulled over the vehicle... driven by 19 year-old Kori Robinson... at Peach and Bowen Streets -- shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday. Police say they found that Robinson was driving without a license... and, he was taken to the city lock-up. Officers say a subsequent search turned up a quantity of "crack" that was packaged for sale. Robinson was also allegedly found with a large sum of money in his possession. He was arraigned on one count of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, sent to the county lock-up.
City man arrested for allegedly burglarizing apartment...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly entering an eastside apartment, and stealing jewelry and other items inside. City police were called to the scene at 20 East Fifth St. about 4 p.m. Wednesday... and, found 19 year-old Charles Thomas, Junior inside. Officers say the victim told officers that she was returning home when she saw Thomas leaving her apartment with the stolen items which belonged to her. Police say they later found Thomas -- still inside the building -- with the stolen items. He was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, and petty larceny. Thomas was being held pending arraignment.
City Development Director pleased with latest meeting on Downtown Revitalization Initiative meeting...
Nearly 50 community members in Jamestown favored several downtown projects at the most recent meeting on the city's $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The state recently announced the city was receiving one of the DRI grants to back economic development and infrastructure efforts. Tuesday night's session was hosted by the state's consultant for the process... H-R-and-A Associates of New York City. City Development Director Vince DeJoy says H-R-and-A began with a list of 36 potential projects... and they provided a matrix about how the projects should be viewed: feasibililty, sustainability, and transformative. DeJoy says the 44 people on hand were broken up into smaller groups that looked at all the projects... and, ranked the National Comedy Center high. He says they also ranked the proposed Double-Tree Hotel to be located two blocks away on the westside is as important to that area. DeJoy says H-R-and-A also discussed the projects in detail during an earlier planning meeting before the community session at the Robert H. Jackson Center. He says the consultants will now go back and look at both sessions, and come back with a more refined list in January.
Up to 15 inches more of Lake Effect Snow is on the way to Jamestown-area...
Another round of lake effect snow is on the way... along with a shot of real arctic air. The National Weather Service has issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 7 o'clock tonight through 7 a.m. Friday for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties. Forecaster Tony Ansuini with the Weather Service's Buffalo office says the lake effect snow will develop with the arrival of the coldest temperatures of the season. Ansuini says the snow will begin in the Buffalo-area this afternoon... then move southward by evening. Accumulations of 8 to 15 inches of snow are possible in the most persistent lake snows. Winds with gusts up to 45 mph may produce significant blowing and drifting snow. We'll have the latest forecast in just a few minutes.
Second Meth Lab bust in Dunkirk -- Fredonia area reported within a week...
The discovery of another Methamphetime Lab has led to three arrests in the city of Dunkirk for the manufacturing the narcotic drug. Dunkirk Police say they received information around 11:45 Monday night that 39-year-old Jeremiah Haas of Dunkirk, who was wanted on a Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office warrant, was located at 27 Leming Street. After reaching the scene... officers say they located Haas, and 23-year-old Torry Kenny of Westfield in a bedroom belonging to 18-year-old Lydia Franklin. After observing evidence of drug activity... police obtained a search warrant from Dunkirk City Court... and, found a quantity of meth and materials for manufacture of meth. A 10-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy were in the home at the time. Haas, Kenny and Franklin face charges of third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetime... and second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, endangering the welfare of a child.
Reed believes Tillerson will be a good Secretary of State...
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is confident that President-elect Donald Trump's choice of ExxonMobil's Chief Executive Officer will represent the U-S "well" overseas. The Corning Republican says he doesn't know Rex Tillerson personally... but, he says he likes the fact Tillerson is an outsider. Reed adds that he believes the nominee will not only be able to represent the U-S diplomatically, but, economically, as well. Trump officially reveled that Tillerson is his choice for the nation's top diplomatic post Tuesday morning. The President-elect says Tillerson is ``among the most accomplished business leaders and international deal makers in the world.'' The senate must confirm the nomination and questions are likely to be asked about his connections to Russia.
Salvation Army of Jamestown behind in Red Kettle Campaign...
With only 10-days left in the annual Red Kettle Campaign... the Salvation Army of Jamestown has only been able to raise slightly over a third of it's goal. Captain Kim Merchant says the weather has been very challenging in recent days with more than three-feet of snow falling in some spots late last week... and, they're only raised $40,000 of their $116,000 goal. Merchant says the kettles were out again Tuesday for people to leave donations... and, she says that's still the best way to do it by dropping in even their pocket change. She says you can also mail a check to them at their 83 South Main St. address in Jamestown. Merchant adds, though, that they need a few more good days with the kettles. The problem is there is more cold and snowy weather coming over the next couple of days. Merchant says they effectively lost a couple of days late last week due to the heavy lake effect snow. She says they have plenty of bell-ringing opportunities available most every day at Tops Markets, and Wal-Mart, for example. She says the red kettles will be out through Christmas Eve Day, Saturday, Dec. 24. She says you also call 664-4108 for more information on the drive.
Merchant says Salvation Army also wrapping up annual Angel Tree program...
The Salvation Army is also wrapping up it's annual Angel Tree gift program for needy children in the Jamestown-area. That from Captain Kim Merchant... who says they are missing some tags for gifts to be bought for boys or girls that have not been returned. Merchant says... if you took a tag for a gift... please return it by this Friday. She says there are still tags on the Angel Tree at the Lakewood Wal-Mart SuperCenter. Merchant says... for whatever reason... there are people who take a tag -- and forget they have it with them. She adds they may have also bought the gift, but, forgot it in the trunk of their car. She says they need those gifts by this Friday for next week's distribution. That distribution will take place next Tuesday, Dec. 20, and, Wed. Dec. 21.
Gas pump prices up slightly this week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are up about a penny a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says gas prices are up to $2.39 this week. Last week... the price was about $2.38.5 a gallon. Nationally... Triple-A says the average price has increased for 14 days in a row following the OPEC oil production agreement on November 30. Today’s average of $2.21 per gallon is up three cents per gallon on the week... and, two cents per gallon on the month. The national average is up 20 cents a gallon compared to the same date last year.
Plow crews in the city of Jamestown have been working around the clock to get all side streets cleared... and, further clean-up main thorough-fares. That from Mayor Sam Teresi as he updated the City Council on snow-fighting efforts... which he says began in earnest early last Thursday morning. Teresi says there is always "room for improvement..." but, adds that few communities can deal with "constant, heavy snow" over the course of four days like the area has. The immediate Jamestown-area received anywhere from about 37 to 41 inches... in many cases it depended on the elevation. Teresi adds that dealing with heavy snowfall in a more densely-populated city is much different than in suburban and rural areas, due to street congestion, hills, and narrower streets. Teresi says, years ago, city leaders had the good sense to put Alternate Parking rules in place during the Winter months to allow plows to get down streets that might otherwise be unpassable. He praised the work of the Public Works... and, Parks Departments... as well as residents, who were generally very patient while waiting for crews to get to their streets.
The Jamestown Fire Department is urging residents to clear their sidewalks and fire hydrants after our huge snowfall since last Thursday afternoon. Fire officials say keeping sidewalks clear will aid them with fire and rescue calls... and, keeping hydrants cleared of snow will also save time for firefighters.
Temperatures warmed to above freezing yesterday... and, much of the snow from a passing weather system ended by late morning. However... we're not done with winter and another arctic blast on the way. The National Weather Service says the latest storm brought a 3 to 6 inch general snowfall, after a lake effect storm that produced nearly three-feet of snow in some locations. Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan says the storms have kept plow crews busy around the county. Forecaster Kirk Apfell with the National Weather Service says a shot of real arctic air is expected to reach the area by mid-week. Apfell says this will be the coldest air of the season... and, the coldest we've seen since the height of last Winter. He says the colder air will also bring more lake effect snow... but, he adds it's still too early to predict how much snowfall will hit the area.
The House Intelligence Committee will look into cyber threats such as the hacking of the Democratic National Committee... and, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. However... Speaker Paul Ryan says any investigation ``should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election.'' Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's seen nothing definative showing the Russian's interfered with the election. However... he echoes Ryan's sentiments... adding he supports a bi-partisan look into the allegations. The Obama Administration has already ordered it's own investigation... and, Reed says the investigation should be given time to find all the facts. Reed says he would also have no problem with naming a special bi-partisan panel to look further into the matter, if need be. However... he says those should not be "politically charged" hearings. Speaker Ryan's statement came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate the matter. Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.
An Ashville man who is a registered sex offender on parole has been arrested for allegedly using social media when he should not be. Sheriff's officers say 35 year-old Joshua Glover was arrested late last week for failing to register, or notify the registry of a change in status. Deputies say Glover was found to have been using a Facebook account since August of this year. Officers say that using Facebook account is a violation of the registry... and, conditions of his parole. Glover was previously in the Chautauqua County Jail for a parole violation. The Sheriff's Office has filed a warrant as a detainer at the jail for this new charge. Glover will appear in Chautauqua Town Court at a future date on this new charge.
No one was hurt after a Norfolk-Southern freight train struck a car that became stuck on the tracks near the Franklin Avenue railroad crossing this past Sunday night in Dunkirk. This is the third train related crash in the city since last September. Dunkirk Police and Fire units responded to the crash involving the westbound train around 9:45 PM. Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says the car apparently got hung-up on the tracks. Ortolano says the first accident involved a train-and-pedestrian back on September 28th near the Middle Road crossing. It claimed the life of a 37-year-old woman. In addition... a motorcycle was damaged after an encounter with a train near the Route 60 crossing on October 6th.
The organization operating New York's electrical grid says holiday lighting is expected to add 750-800 megawatts of energy use this season. The New York Independent System Operator says the electricity used by holiday lighting is approximately 4 percent of the New York's average hourly demand for electricity. The organization says the statewide impact of holiday lighting is equal to powering up to 800,000 homes. But the usage is significantly lower in recent years thanks to more energy-efficient LED lights. The Environmental Protection Agency says Energy Star certified decorative lights feature LED technology that uses 75 percent less energy than conventional incandescent lights.
Work continues on the Athenex project in northern Chautauqua County... although much of it is going on behind the scene. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he took part in a conference call about the project last Thursday... and, it included representatives from the company that plans to locate the pharmaceutical manufacturing plant on a site off Route 5 in the town of Dunkirk. Horrigan says Athenex... a high-tech pharmacutial company... is currently going through the permitting process. He says they have resolved an issue involving some power lines that will be required for the plant that will employ nearly 900 employees. The top county official doesn't expect ground-breaking to occur until sometime next year. His best guess... possibly next Summer.
The Jamestown Public Schools have closed for the day. School Superintendent Tim Mains explains that the decision wasn't made based on the current weather conditions, but on the aftermath of those conditions. As of early this morning many roads and sidewalks in Jamestown were still snow covered and slippery. Mains says he's putting the kids safety first. The Greater Jamestown area has received an unprecedented 41 inches of snow since last Thursday afternoon. Find the closings and cancelations at Radiojamestown.com.
With Chautauqua County's Budget Director being promoted to be the county's new Finance Director... the search is now on for a new Budget Director. Kitty Crow will take over for the retiring Susan Marsh next February 1st after leading the Budget Office for the past 10 years. County Executive Vince Horrigan made the announcement last Friday... and, says the search is already underway for a new Budget Director. Crow will be working with Marsh through January 31st... which will be Marsh's last day. Horrigan says Crow brings 24 years of experience with finance and budgeting to the position... and, in-depth knowledge of county government, and it's finances. Since April of 2012... Horrigan says Crow has also served as the county's Health Insurance Administrator. As Budget Director... and, Health Insurance Administrator... he says Crow has managed the development and delivery of 11 county budgets, administered the county’s health insurance plans for active employees and retirees.
Finding a new budget director isn't the only department head search for the county executive as 2016 winds down. Vince Horrigan says he is looking for a new Airport and Parks Manager with Bill Tucker having left county government as of last Friday. Horrigan says Tucker... who was hired in October of 2014... is moving onto the private sector locally. The executive praised Tucker... who was previously the director of the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Horrigan credits Tucker with doing a lot of positive work in reducing the county's local share of cost for it's two airports in Jamestown and Dunkirk. Until a new manager is found... Horrigan says the airport duties will fall to Public Facilities Director George Spanos. Horrigan says they have received a few applications for the Airport and Parks Manager... and, says they are looking to receive two or three more before making a decision.
New York state has published a "bill of rights" for home owners facing foreclosure. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move late this past week. It's one piece of a broader effort to help New Yorkers struggling to stay in their homes. The bill of rights reminds residents that they have the right to stay in their home and the duty to maintain it during the foreclosure process. It also lets residents known they have a right to be properly notified before a foreclosure suit is filed. The state's Department of Financial Services also completed new rules designed to address a wave of abandoned properties left in the wake of the recent housing crisis. The regulations include a requirement that lenders report vacant properties to the state.
State police are warning New York residents of an identity phishing scam. Troopers say several people have received calls from individuals claiming to be members of the New York State Police. They've been told their identity has been stolen, or that they're being investigated. Authorities say the ruse is an attempt to "phish" for personal information, or to solicit money. State police say the phone number that's been displayed on caller IDs during these calls is 1-(518)-897-2000. That's a number for State Police in Ray Brook, outside Lake Placid. Troopers say the calls are not originating from that substation, and warn that they do not solicit donations from the general public.
A big boost by workplace campaigns has helped put the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at 82-percent of it's 2016 General Campaign goal. That from Executive Director Tori Irgang... who says the effort had reached one-million-70 thousand dollars by late last week. The goal by the end of the year is 1.3-million dollars. Irgang says many of the workplace efforts wrapped up over the past two to three weeks. Irgang says they still have to raise just over 200-thousand dollars to reach this year's goal... and, she says they want people who still plan to give yet to, make sure they do that. She says they've been helped by three areas in particular, during this campaign. Irgang says the Industrial, and Individual giving have been "very good." Campaign Co-Chairs Paul and Anne Hedin say they hope to "build a stronger community" through and during the campaign. The effort supports 42 programs at 25 partner agencies. For more information on the United Way campaign... call 483-1561... or go on-line to UWayscc-dot-ORG.
A Miami, Florida, resident who was caught at the northern U.S. border with 73 forged credit cards has pleaded guilty. Prosecutors in Buffalo, New York, say 36-year-old Deladier Benitez faces up to seven years in prison following his arrest as he tried to enter Canada from the United States in October. He pleaded guilty late last Friday to criminal possession of a forged instrument. Authorities say they found the forged credit cards and a forged Ohio driver's license during a search at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo. Benitez is a Cuban national.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 13th.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says hunters have reported taking about 5 percent more deer during the Southern Zone regular season so far than the same period last year. Statewide across all deer seasons, hunters have reported about 9 percent more deer than 2015. All deer hunting in the Northern Zone and the regular season in the Southern Zone ended on Sunday. DEC says many hunters typically make a last push to secure some venison during the final days of the season, and they're expected to take 15-thousand to 20-thousad more deer. The regular firearm season ended yesterday.
Anyone hoping Pennsylvania's 20 "unbound" Electoral College members might turn against Republican president-elect Donald Trump is almost certainly going to be disappointed. The state's electors are expressing strong support for Trump ahead of the December 19th vote, despite being bombarded with calls, letters and emails urging them to change their minds. The onslaught led the Pennsylvania Republican Party to make a complaint to the state police, which has confirmed it's investigating.
Parts of Jamestown-area have two-feet plus of snow from Lake Effect Storm system...
Some places in the Jamestown-area are seeing more than two-feet of snow on the ground as southern Chautauqua County gets pounded by Lake Effect Snow. That from Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service... who says our Lake Effect Snow Warning continues until 6 p.m. tonight for both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. Hitchcock says this snow is definately being driven by the winds coming off Lake Erie. There was some influence from Lake Huron, which enhanced some of yesterday's snowfall. That won't be the case today. We've had one report of nearly 30-inches of snow this morning in West Ellicott... by early last night, we had a report of 26-inches in Mayville, and 22-inches near Frewsburg. Hitchcock says another weather system will bring a general snowfall to the area Sunday and Monday. That storm could be a tricky one... which could deliver several inches of snow depending on how cold the air is. In addition... another arctic blast is on the way for mid to late next week.
We do have a couple of road closings, and issues to report on. The state Thruway Authority was urging motorists last night to avoid unnecessary travel along a stretch of Interstate 90 south of Buffalo. And, Interstate 86 near the Bemus Point exit was closed for a while late this morning after a tractor-trailer crashed in snowy conditions.
Horrigan appoints Budget Dir. Kitty Crow to be new County Finance Director...
Chautauqua County's Budget Director for the past 10 years has been named as the county's new Finance Director beginning next Feb. 1. County Executive Vince Horrigan this afternoon announced the appointment of Kitty Crow to replace the retiring Susan Marsh... who is retiring next Jan. 31. Horrigan says Crow brings 24 years of experience with finance and budgeting to the position... and, in-depth knowledge of the county and it's finances. Since April of 2012... Horrigan says Crow has also served as the county's Health Insurance Administrator. As Budget Director... and, Health Insurance Administrator... he says Crow has managed the development and delivery of 11 county budgets, administered the county’s health insurance plans for active employees and retirees. He says Crow must first be confirmed by the county legislature... which he believes will happen later this month. Horrigan adds that there were two county legislature members of the search committee that named Crow as a finalist for the position. Crow says she's "very honored and grateful to be appointed as the next Finance Director for Chautauqua County."
Sherman student arrested for allegeldy makiing threats against school...
A student has been arrested for allegedly making threats against the Sherman Central School overnight and early Friday morning. Sherman School Superindent Mike Genestre says the school was put into a "lock-out" situation around 8:30 a.m. after someone saw a social media pots by the student... who also allegedly made a verbal threat. Genestre says a "lock-out" is where no one is allowed to enter, or leave the building. State Police in Jamestown were called in to investigate... and, the student was taken into custody about an hour later. Genestre says no one was hurt, and classes continued on as scheduled. The student was not identified.
NY provides help for homeowners facing possible foreclosure...
New York state has published a "bill of rights" for home owners facing foreclosure. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the move late this past week. It's one piece of a broader effort to help New Yorkers struggling to stay in their homes. The bill of rights reminds residents that they have the right to stay in their home and the duty to maintain it during the foreclosure process.
Election Recount in Pennsylvania decision to be made on Monday...
A federal judge in Pennsylvania says he'll rule Monday on a Green Party-backed bid seeking a recount of paper ballots cast in the state's November 8th presidential election. Judge Paul S. Diamond made the announcement Friday afternoon after listening to arguments in Philadelphia. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's lawyers argue that it's possible that computer hacking occurred, although opponents say they have presented no such evidence.
Due to snowfall, BPU Sanitation crews may not get all garbage colllected today...
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' garbage and recycling trucks are having trouble with some collection streets today due to the slippery road conditions. BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says employees will collect what they can today. If they miss your street today due to impassive streets, they will collect what they end up having to leave on Monday.
The Lake Effect Snow Warning has been extended for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties until 6pm Saturday. Kirk Apfell from the National Weather Service in Buffalo says some areas will see a lot of snow, but the storm is shifting to the south across Chautauqua and the Western half of Cattaraugus County, right to the Pennsylvania line. Our Lake Effect Snow Warning has been extended to 6pm Saturday. The typical snow belt areas got the most snow by early last evening... including 17-inches in Perrysburg in Cattaraugus County. There were also white-out conditions reported in and around Mayville... where snowfall rates were reportedly 2 to 3 inches an hour. Local police reported several accidents and cars off the road yesterday due to wintry conditions.
State Police in Pennsylvania say a crash involving upwards of 70-vehicles has shut down a snowy section of Interstate 90 just south of Erie... and, and at least 15 people have been taken to hospitals with injuries. Trooper Stephen Oler tells the Erie Times-News that emergency crews responded to the crash near Girard just before 1 PM Thursday. Snow started accumulating in the area earlier in the day. Injuries ranged from minor to severe. At least five tractor-trailers... and multiple passenger vehicles were involved. Those not taken to hospitals are taking shelter in a school bus. Keith Greiner of Buffalo tells the newspaper he and his wife were rear-ended and got out of the car. He says that's when a number of tractor-trailers smashed into it. He says his car is "buried" underneath the semitrailers.
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking "crack" cocaine after police tried to run a street check on the man... and, he ran off from officers. City police say officers spotted 20 year-old Maiker Anderson walking on Foote Avenue near Chandler Street when he fled to avoid being caught. Officers say they found Anderson with three small packages of "crack" cocaine that were packaged for sale... along with a large quantity of cash. They say Anderson was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, obstructing governmental administration. Anderson was arraigned in city court... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail without bail. Anyone who may have information on the illegal sales and trafficking of narcotics can leave an anonymous tip on the department's 4-1-1 Tips App or they can leave an anonymous phone tip at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. Police say all calls and tips will be kept confidential.
More than 20 economic development and infrastructure projects in Chautauqua County have been awarded nearly 4.8-million dollars from the state's Regional Economic Development Council program. That from County Executive Vince Horrigan... who says the funding is part of 62-million dollars awarded to 105 projects in the Western New York Region. Horrigan says the biggest allocation... nearly 1.5-million dollars... is going to the city of Jamestown's Tracy Plaza Green Renovations project. Horrigan says the National Comedy Center is actually receiving two of the 23 awards... totaling 834-thousand dollars. He says if you include the 10-million dollar Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant from earlier this year... the city did very well. Horrigan says some projects did not get funded... but, adds they'll keep looking. He says some of the wastewater and sewer applications around Chautauauqa Lake were not funded... but, Horrigan says they'll keep looking. However... he says the county's Regional Water project in the town of Portland is getting 270-thousand dollars.
Several residents and business owners turned out for a meeting the State Department of Transportation held on Wednesday about a proposal to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Routes 20 and 60. They expressed concerns about accidents, pedestrian safety, and the impact on local businesses. David Christopher, Regional Design Engineer, says public input is important. Attorney and Fredonia Resident Daryl Brautigam feels the proposed roundabout would hurt local businesses and would pose a safety threat... possibly making that intersection more dangerous. If the DOT plans to move ahead with the proposed 3.35-million dollar project... it will go out to bid in 2017 and is slated for completion in 2018.
A Salamanca woman has been found guilty in the April 2015 death of her 1-year-old girl. Officials say 26-year-old Leslie Finch was convicted Tuesday in Cattaraugus County Court on charges of manslaughter, reckless assault of a child and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors say Finch caused fatal injuries to her daughter, Mila Whipple, when she violently shook the baby on April 26th of 2015. Authorities were called to Finch's home following reports that a child had stopped breathing. Mila was rushed to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo, where she died. The Salamanca woman was charged in the death in May 2015. Finch was acquitted of second-degree murder and first-degree assault charges. She faces up to 25 years behind bars.
The Red Kettle Campaign for the Salvation Army of Jamestown is well-underway... but, is slightly behind last year's total so far... due mainly to a later start. That from Salvation Army Captian Kim Merchant... who says they were about one-thousand-500 to 2-thousand dollars behind last year's total earlier this week. Merchant says they have nine kettles out in the Jamestown-area this year, and adds the need is great. "Liz" is Liz Lopez... who is Emergency Basic Needs Coordinator who helps run the food pantry... and, other basic need areas. Lopez is helping to put together the organization's 600 Holiday Food Baskets for the needy individuals and families in the community. She says they need food and other items for those... including soup... spaghetti sauce... and, instant mashed potatoes. They also need personal hygiene items. The Red Kettle Campaign runs through Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24th... and, the goal is 116-thousand dollars... which stays local to help people here. For more information on giving, or ringing the bells... call 664-4108.
Jamestown-area under Lake Effect Snow Warning through Saturday morning with 18 to 24 inches predicted in snowbelt areas...
Some parts of Chautauqua County could wind up with more than two-feet of snow by Saturday morning from the first arctic blast of the Winter season... beginning this morning. A Lake Effect Snow Warning remains in place for Southern Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties from now until 6 a.m. Saturday. Forecaster Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service says the typical lake effect areas -- like the Chautauqua Ridge -- will see at least 18 to 24 inches. He says there will be less along Lake Erie, around 6 to 12 inches from Ripley to Dunkirk and Fredonia. Hitchcock told us Wednesday night that the heaviest of the lake effect will occur late this afternoon, through late tonight. During that time... he says the snowfall rate will be about 2 to 3 inches an hour before tapering off overnight. Hitchcock says snowfall in the more persistant bands will be 3 to 5 inches today... then 6 to 12 inches tonight. On Friday... we'll see 5 to 8 inches during the day... then 3-to-5 Friday night. Later in the weekend... he says there'll be some general snowfall... and, it'll remain cold.
Teresi discusses shooting incidents, support for police efforts to find, and arrest those who are involved...
All resources available to the Jamestown Police Department are being brought to bear in an effort to arrest those involved in a recent rash of shootings in the city. That from Mayor Sam Teresi... who is speaking for the first-time on the matter this week. Teresi says he has stayed away from the public spotlight to allow police to properly investigate the five shootings that have occured since early Thanksgiving Day. He says cracking this case his number-one priority right now... and, they're getting a lot of regional help from the FBI, state Police, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office. He says it's the "intensive police effort he has ever seen" in his nearly 17 years as mayor. Teresi says police are investigating a "certain number" of bad actors who appear to have been involved in what have been "targeted shootings." However... he shares resident's concerns over the possibility of stray bullets. Teresi says JPD Chief Harry Snellings and his department have his full support... and, he will help get him the resources he needs. If you have any information on the shootings... you can contact JPD confidentially at their 4-1-1 app... or the Tips-line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. Teresi made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the five Media One Group stations.
Two arrested for allegedly running Meth. Lab in village of Fredonia...
Fredonia Village Police have made two arrests for allegedly running a meth. lab in a home on Berry Road last Tuesday afternoon. Police officers were called to 15 Berry Rd. around 1:30 p.m. after a Chautauqua County Child Protective Services worker discovered what appeared to be some type of drug-making equipment during a visit. When police reached the scene, 32-year-old Krystal Hafner was allegedly in the process of disposing of the chemical solutions and equipment and caused noxious fumes to begin filling the home. Hafner and another resident, 39-year-old Christopher Miller, were charged with third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine -- a felony... and, endangering the welfare of a child. Hafner was also charged with unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material. Tha's also a felony. Police say four children lived in the home, ranging in age from two-months to 17 years. Fredonia Fire and the Chautauqua County HAZMAT team also assisted at the scene.
Gerace says Sheriff's Department getting early start on DWI enforcement during Holiday Season...
The number of driving while intoxicated-related arrests seem to be on the rise in recent days... but, a top law enforcement official says there is usually an increase this time of the year. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office made at least four arrests alone during the past weekend... and, Sheriff Joe Gerace says that's pretty typical for early December when there are Christmas parties and celebrations taking place, and they are drinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel. Gerace says that's one of the reasons another STOP-DWI crackdown will be held later this month. He says the period from Dec. 16 through Jan. 2 is being funded by the New York state STOP-DWI Foundation. Gerace says they do crack-downs periodically... and, they'll have extra patrols out at that time. He says the Sheriff's Office will be working with local law enforcement and the State Police during the crackdown, with special emphasis on driving while impaired by either alcohol or drugs.
Cuomo says Trump didn't win -- Democrats lost by not paying attention to middle class in 2016 election...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says Donald Trump didn't win the presidential election - but that Democrats lost by not paying enough attention to a fearful middle class. The Democrat told the audience at a New York City fund-raiser Tuesday night that the long campaign gave voice to a "frightening" amount of fear, anger and hate. He said New York state now must stand up against a "tide of negativity" and confront discrimination and intolerance. New York, he says, stands for what made America "strong in the first place:" brotherhood, acceptance and community. Cuomo has been mentioned as a possible White House contender in 2020 but has said he is focused on winning a third term in 2018. Tuesday's fundraiser was held on Cuomo's 59th birthday.
A total of 35 drinking fountains, sinks and other fixtures used for drinking and cooking in the Jamestown School System have been found to be over the state's "acceptable level" for lead. That from School Superintendent Tim Mains... who says all of those fixtures have been turned-off immediately until they can be fixed. Mains reported the findings of state-required testing last night to the school board... saying the good news is that there was no lead found in the drinking water itself. Mains says if a fixture was found to have a level above the "acceptable" level of 15 parts per billion in a kitchen... it was turned off... and, an alternate water source was used for food preparation. He says it will be an "easy fix" for the district... which he says had already begun testing before the final state regulations came out. However... Mains says they had to go back and test bathroom sinks, though. Mains says the most fixtures needing to be replaced -- 13 -- were found at Fletcher Elementary School. For a listing of the schools, and test results can be found at the district's website at Jamestownpublicschools-dot-ORG.
The first arctic outbreak of the season is expected to trigger the lake effect snow-making machine later this week. The National Weather Service has now issued a Lake Effect Snow Warning from 6AM Thursday morning through 6AM Saturday for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and southern Erie counties. Forecaster Bob Hamilton in Buffalo says some locations along the Chautauqua Ridge could see up to 2 feet of snow. The weather service says some parts of the region could see upwards of three feet. But... Hamilton adds that areas along Lake Erie... with higher amounts along the Chautauqua Ridge. He expects the snow to develop over the Buffalo area Thursday morning and move southward by late in the day. Much of the activity will remain over the Chautauqua Ridge through early Saturday.
A Cattaraugus County man has been arrested for allegedly setting several small fires inside a Jamestown-area manufacturing plant late last week. Ellicott Town Police accuse 23 year-old Michael Rucker of Salamanca of setting the fires inside TitanX on Allen Street Extension last Friday night... then fleeing the scene. Officers say they apprehended Rucker a short distance away, and investigated further. Falconer fire crews were able to douse the flames fairly quickly. No one was hurt. Rucker was arraigned in Ellicott Town Court on charges of second-degree arson... and, sent to the Chautauqua County Jail on 40-thousand dollars cash bail.
Democrat Carl Heastie has been re-elected Speaker of the New York state Assembly. The Bronx lawmaker was re-elected by the Assembly's Democratic majority on Tuesday during a gathering in Albany. Heastie was first tapped to be speaker last year when he replaced long-time Speaker Sheldon Silver following Silver's arrest on corruption charges. Silver was later convicted. Heastie is the first African American to hold the powerful position. The 2017 legislative session gets underway next month. Heastie says Democrats will focus on improving education and housing programs, protecting vulnerable populations, defending civil rights and helping working families. Lawmakers are now in talks about convening a special session this month focused on a possible pay raise for lawmakers, who now make $79-thousand-500 dollars a year.
Jamestown Community College Athletic Director Keith Martin will again be holding his annual Community Holiday Haul this Christmas Season to benefit the St. Susan's Center. Martin tells us he'll be in a tent outside of the Jamestown Cycle Shop a week from beginning on Thursday, December 15th... though that following Saturday... collecting money and non-perishable food. This is the fourth-year that Martin has conducted the drive. Martin says he pleased that... in the first three years of the fund-raiser... the effort has raised just over 30-thousand dollars, and, generated just over 11-tons of food for St. Susan's. Soup Kitchen Director Jeff Smith applauded Martin for undertaking the endeavor for another year... and, the local businesses and community members who support it. Martin says... while there's typically one cold, "tough day" during the three-day event... there are also many other times that make it so worthwhile. He says he has seen people who were helped by St. Susan's at one time... giving back during the Community Holiday Haul.
Gas prices in Chautauqua County are holding steady this week... down about a tenth of a penny. That from the Triple-A's Fuel Gauge Report... which says the average price for regular, unleaded fuel is 2-dollars-38.8 cents this week. It was 2-38.9 last week. Nationally... Triple-A says the average price has increased for seven straight days... reaching today’s price of 2-dollars-18 cents per gallon. Today’s average price represents an increase of five cents per gallon compared to one week ago... four cents less than one month ago... and, 14 cents more than the same date last year. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) elected to cut its collective production when the group met last Wednesday in Vienna, Austria, in an effort to rebalance the global oil supply and raise prices. Markets reacted quickly to the production agreement with crude oil gaining 12% and leading to increased retail prices. The deal is set to take effect in January 2017.
A new Siena College survey suggests New Yorkers are evenly divided over Donald Trump and what the Republican president-elect will mean for the state. The poll released Monday found that 49 percent of respondents are optimistic about the next four years, while 48 percent are pessimistic. The opinions reflect party lines, with 83 percent of Republicans saying Trump will be good for the state, while 64 percent of Democrats say he will not. The poll also found that the percentage of New Yorkers giving Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo a favorable rating is unchanged at 56 percent, although Cuomo's job performance is up slightly and more people say they're prepared to re-elect him in 2018. The November 27th throught-December 1st telephone survey of 807 registered voters has a 3.8 percentage point margin of error.
Water in the Randolph Water District will be turned-off on Upper Larkin Street, Messenger Road and Bowen Road starting at 9 AM TODAY. Town Clerk Kathy Sickles says the water will be off for about 3 hours while repair work is being done on the systems.
Jamestown police are continuing their on-going investigation in the most recent shooting incident... which occured Sunday afternoon on the city's eastside. That from Police Chief Harry Snellings... who updated the City Council on what progress has been made in the probe into the five shootings that have taken place since Thanksgiving morning. While the pace of leads has picked up... Snellings says they aren't getting much cooperation from the victims involved because there is a criminal element on both sides of the equation. Snellings says that's the biggest frustration with what's taken place... and, he understand the concern over the possibility of someone getting caught in the cross-fire. However... he assured lawmakers that ALL 60 members of his department are working on this in some way or another. He adds that includes himself. Meantime... JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the victim in Sunday's shooting at East Eighth Street and Prendergast Avenue is now in stable condition. City police say the incident occured about 2:15 PM, and the unidentified man was shot multiple times by someone in a blue-colored car. The car then sped off east on East Eighth.
With the recent rash of shootings... Jamestown police are urging residents to be viglilant... and, keep their eyes open for suspicious activity. Captain Bob Samuelson says if you see an incident... you can provide valuable, confidential information to police. Samuelson says anyone with information on this shooting or has information on any of the other recent shooting incidents, can contact JPD anonymously by using the department's Tips 4-1-1 App... or through their Anonymous Tip Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
A passing weather system brought some light snowfall to the area earlier this morning... but, a real taste of winter weather is expected to hit the area later this week. Forecaster Bob Hamilton with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says a shot of much colder, Canadian air will pushing into the area by Thursday. Hamilton says it still way early to determine the timing and the exact locations of the snow... but, he says the more favorable areas will be from southern Erie County... south to the Pennsylvania state line..." Due to the colder air... and, the possibility of lake effect snow... forecasters say it may be a good idea to finish preparations for the Winter season over the next couple of days.
President-elect Donald Trump's recent phone call with the head of the government in Taiwan has drawn some heat. However... local Congressman Tom Reed says he didn't have any problem with it. During his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media... Reed says he believes it's nothing more than looking at different ways to deal with ongoing issues. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says the President-elect's interactions with foreign leaders is important... and, could have consequences for the country and the world. However... Reed says he doesn't see it that way. The Corning Republican says it's more a recognition of the "reality of the situation" in that part of the world. Reed, who was recently selected as a vice-chair on Trump's transition team, also indicated he supported the President-elect's choices of Ben Carson for Housing Secretary and General James Mattis as Defense Secretary.
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says there's no decision on whether lawmakers will return to Albany for a special session focused on a legislative pay hike. The Bronx Democrat told reporters Monday that it "remains to be seen" whether the Assembly and Senate will reconvene. Heastie and other Assembly Democrats gathered in Albany Monday amid discussions between top lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding a possible special session. Lawmakers make 79-thousand-500 dollars... and, haven't had a raise in nearly two decades. If they do return... Cuomo wants lawmakers to consider new ethics rules including term limits. Heastie says Assembly Democrats oppose term limits and won't subject legislative pay to political horse trading. Lawmakers must return before Dec. 31 in order for a pay raise to take effect next year.
New York is relaxing some restrictions in its nearly year-old medical marijuana law to boost patient access. But... to the dismay of some pot advocates, there is no sign the state is in any hurry to join eight other states in embracing full legalization. And... New York Governor Andrew Cuomo remains a skeptic of recreational use with no compromise in sight. The state's medical marijuana law is one of the most restrictive in the nation, with less than 11-thousand patients certified to receive the drug for medical purposes. To boost patient access, the state will soon allow nurse practitioners and physician assistants to certify patients. Officials are considering authorizing home deliveries and this past week announced plans to add chronic pain to a list of 10 qualifying conditions.
A local organization dedicated to making sure our troops overseas have as nice a Christmas as possible is sending out nearly 700 care packages this year. President Sue Rowley with the Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie NY-#4 says hundreds of people turned out this past Saturday to help package up non-perishable goodies... letters... cards and other items to be sent out. Rowley says they have sent out 690 packages... and, more are pending. Rowley says the turn-out of individuals and groups and organizations to help them fill the packages was "amazing." She says members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department, and local military members were among them. Rowley says this was the most successful Christmas Care Package program they've had in the nine-years they've been doing it. She adds that postage for sending out the packages cost 12-thousand dollars... which was completely paid for by donations. Rowley thanked everyone who donated, and helped to pack the boxes.
Firefighters in the north county made quick work of a fire near a barn last Saturday afternoon in the Town of Pomfret. Crews from Fredonia, Sheridan, East Dunkirk, and Cassadaga responded to 9488 Route 60 just before 2:30 PM. On arrival... firefighters found smoke coming from inside the barn. According to Fredonia Fire officials... a resident started his meat smoker, but the fire inside the smoker get large than expected... causing it to overheat. Fire crews had the blaze out in about 15 minutes.
State Police in Warren, Pennsylvania are investigating an alleged anti-Muslim note that was left in the mailbox of a family in Pine Grove Township. Troopers say someone left the note inside the box at an undisclosed location back on November 29th. Police say it was apparently left for a 16 year-old boy living at the residence. Troopers say the person who did it faces a possible charge of "ethnic intimidation." If you have any information on the incident... call Warren County Crimestoppers at 1-(800) 83-C-R-I-M-E.
City police, other agencies investigating latest shooting incident in Jamestown Sunday afternoon....
Jamestown police are again investigating what appears to be another "targeted" shooting since early Thanksgiving Day -- this one on the eastside. Jamestown Police say a man was shot several times as he was walking along Prendergast Ave. -- near East Eighth St. -- about 2:15 p.m. Sunday -- when someone in a blue colored sedan drove by and opened fire. Police say the suspect vehicle then reportedly drove away eastbound on East Eighth Street. Officers say the victim is being treated for multiple gun-shot wounds at an area hospital... and, his condition is not known at this time. Anyone with information on this shooting or has information on any of the other recent shooting incidents, can contact JPD anonymously by using the department's Tips 4-1-1 App... or through the Anonymous Tip Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.
Move to merge WCA with UPMC seen as very positive move in keeping "world-class" health care in the Jamestown-area...
It's a move that hospital officials say will keep "world-class" health care available in the city of Jamestown and surrounding area for years to come. President and Chief Executive Officer of the "new" UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital, Betsy Wright, announced the merger of WCA and UPMC during a press conference last Friday afternoon... and, says "everything" about the move is positive... including the fact that UPMC is ranked by U-S News-&-World Report as one of the nation's Best Hospitals. Hospital Board President Steven Kilburn says this is a far cry from what's happening at many other rural hospitals. Kilburn says many of them have been facing major service cutbacks, and others, closure. He adds many have to merge just to keep the lights on. Wright says the final approvals for their partnership agreement with UPMC came late last Thursday. She says this culminates a year-long process to formally make WCA part of the UPMC Health Care Network. With that signing... she and Kilburn say their new parent organization paid off WCA's long-term debt... which totaled $25-million. UPMC Officials have announced there will be no changes to management and staff at WCA.
Schumer says many upstate hospitals are now faced with possibly having to pay back millions in federal funding due to change in reimbursement calculations...
Rural hospitals across upstate New York are facing the prospect of having to pay back millions of dollars in federal funds that already have been distributed. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently decided to change a calculation used to determine certain funding for sole community and Medicare-dependent hospitals. Schumer says it is retroactively seeking to recoup federal funds based on a new formula. He is vowing to challenge the move, which could cost 16 hospitals between $15 million and $20 million dollars. The hospitals provide a critical service to their respective communities, which have large senior citizen populations, receive a high percentage of Medicare beneficiaries, and often suffer from declining patient volumes. Federal funding helps them stay afloat.
DOT Official says roundabout is believed best way to deal with traffic hazards at Routes 20-and-60 intersection...
Officials with the state Department of Transportation believe a roundabout is the best design choice to improve safety at a major north county intersection near Fredonia. That from DOT Regional Spokeswoman Susan Surdej... who is encouraging area residents to attend a public information meeting on the proposal set for this Wednesday from 4 until 7 p.m. at the Fredonia Village Hall. Surdej says roundabouts aren't new... and, may help reduce a 'high accident rate' at Routes 20 and 60 -- due mainly to multiple driveways there. She admits they don't work everywhere... but, adds DOT officials believe this is "the best option for Routes 20 and 60." Surdej they want local residents and businesses to attend the meeting so they have plenty of information to make a final decision... especially on any possible "tweaks" to the design. Some have already questioned if a roundabout will work with the heavy tractor-trailer volume there. Surdej says individuals can arrive at any time from 4 to 7 p.m. to discuss the proposed project with DOT representatives. A formal presentation will be given at 6 p.m.
Snowmobile clubs cut ribbon on Dredge Snowmobile Bridge...
The ribbon has been cut on a new, snowmobile bridge that connects Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties that has been named after the biggest advocate for the span. The Cherry Creek Snogoers and Randolph EliBomwons clubs Saturday dedicated the new, 80-foot span over "The Dredge..." a man-made, 13-mile stream between the two counties. Cherry Creek's Clyde Rogers helped oversee the bridge project...which was dedicated to the late Dan Schimak, who passed away from Cancer two years ago. Rogers says the span was specially made with a basic steel frame... and, pressurized wood -- most of which was donated to the two clubs for the project. He really didn't have a dollar figure for the small amount that may have been needed for the effort... which began last Summer. Rodges says the project has been very well received by all the local snowmobile clubs... and, ties two current snowmobile trails -- including the one that goes through Cherry Creek -- together. He says the two clubs will maintain the span.
(12/4/16)MEDIA RELEASE - SHOOTING INCIDENT - E. 8th St at Prendergast Ave.
The Jamestown Police are investigating a shooting that occurred today at E. 8th St at Prendergast Ave at about 2:14 pm. A male victim was shot several times as he was walking along Prendergast Ave at the intersection of E. 8th Street. Witnesses at the scene state that a blue sedan drove up to the intersection where an occupant then fired upon the victim. The suspect vehicle then reportedly drove away east on E. 8th Street. The victim is currently being treated for multiple gun shot wounds at an area hospital and the condition of the victim is not known at this time. Anyone with information on this shooting or has info on any of the other recent shooting incidents can contact the JPD anonymously via the departments Tips 411 App or through the Anonymous Tip Line at 483-Tips (8477). All calls and tips will be kept strictly confidential.
WCA Hospital is now UPMC Chautauqua WCA...
Final state regulatory approvals have been given... and, with that... WCA Hospital now has a new name. The announcement was made by WCA Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Betsy Wright Friday afternoon. From this point forward, the hospital will be known as UPMC Chautauqua WCA. Wright says the final approvals for their partnership agreement with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center came late Thursday. Wright says this culminates a year-long process to formally make WCA part of the UPMC Health Care Network. She adds that UPMC is also making a $25-million dollar commitment to improving services at the hospital over the next several years. UPMC Officials have announced there will be no changes to management and staff at WCA. UPMC Hamot President and CEO Jim Fiorenza was at the Erie, Pennsylvania hospital when it partnered with UPMC. He says they've kept their commitments... and, have enhanced Hamot's job situation in "a positive way." The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is one of the country’s largest provider-led integrated health care delivery and finance systems. It's also a leading academic medical center that is consistently ranked in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals.
Three jailed during separate traffic stops for alleged Methamphetime drug trafficking...
Three city men are jailed without bail for allegedly trafficking significant amounts of crystal methamphetime in Jamestown. City police say they pulled over a vehicle... driven by 32 year-old Beau Jones... at the intersection of Newland Avenue and Sampson Street about 2:15 p.m. Thursday. Police suspected Jones was driving without a license... and, found a suspicious package inside. They called in the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, the state Police K-9 unit... and found more than a pound of Meth inside. Jones was arrested on Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance charges. Police say further investigation led them to pull over another vehicle, operated by Jones' 30 year-old brother, Matt. Officers say they found Jones and his passenger, 20 year-old Steven Crowl, in possession of a safe that contained another nearly 3-ounces of Meth packaged for sale. All three were arraigned... and, sent to the county lock-up.
Thousands on hand for Jamestown Christmas Parade, and Tracy Plaza tree lighting...
It was a nearly perfect night for a Christmas Parade... and, thousands jammed into downtown Jamestown for the annual kick-off to the holiday season. The big event came as the parade kicked-off with the lighting of the 40-foot tall Colorado Blue Spruce Tree at Tracy Plaza. Mayor Sam Teresi led the countdown, with two young helpers, to turn-on the tree's 2,500 blue and red lights. Teresi thanked several people for making the tree lighting program and parade a success... led by the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation... which again put on the parade again this year. The Grand Marshall for the parade was Jamestown Police K-9 "Mitchell..." who was wounded during the capture of accused murderer Keith Robbins last month.
Lake Effect Snow in Jamestown area leaves one to 5-inches in some areas...
Jamestown-area residents were greeted by about 1 to 2 inches of new snow early Friday morning... as Lake Effect Snow returned to the area. The precipitation began as rain Thursday night... but, in many places changed to a rain-snow mix... or just snow overnight. Forecaster David Thomas with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says another one to two inches brought about 2 to 4 inches in some places. Thomas says how much fell was both temperature and elevation dependant. Thomas says we could see some additional accumulation in spots during the day today, with snowfall totals reaching 2 and 5 inches. He says those higher totals will be in the usual locations... including ski country and the Chautauqua Ridge.
Thomas says "Fall Season" was third-warmest ever...
It was a near record Fall Season in western New York... which was one of the warmest ever in the region. That from Forecaster David Thomas at the National Weather Service... who says November ended up being the eighth warmest since records have been kept... dating back to the 1870s. He adds our three "Fall months" were nearly the warmest ever. Thomas says the average temperature from September through November was 51.5-degrees -- the third warmest ever. He says that average is about 4-degrees above normal... and, was helped by a very warm September, and well above normal November.
The Jamestown School District and the Jamestown Teachers Association are jointly announcing that they have reached agreement on a new, four-year contract. School Superintendent Tim Mains, and JTA President Chris Reilly say the contract runs retroactive to June of 2014... and, expires in June of 2018. The Jamestown School Board adopted the new contract at last night's Special Meeting... while the JTA ratified the agreement on Wednesday. Reilly says "we find the settlement to be a fair one and are pleased with it. I’d like to thank all the teachers who during the two-year negotiation process did not waver in their commitment to students." Mains thanked the teachers "for their dedication and continued efforts in the classroom everyday, even without a new contract in place. Throughout this process, the District has consistently looked for an agreement that honors, respects and values our teaching staff and all they do for the children in our district."
Local Congressman Tom Reed says he is "honored and excited" to be one of seven Vice-Chairmen for President-elect Donald Trump's transition team. During a special conference call with western New York media Thursday morning... Reed says he was called by Vice-President-elect Mike Pence about helping to lead the transition effort. The Corning Republican says he's looking forward to the opportunities to be part of the effort to shape policy in three areas mainly. Reed says a lot of what led to the appointment was his endorsement of Trump... who painted himself during the campaign as the "outsider" who will bring real change to Washington, D-C. He says he did not speak directly with Trump about the appointment... but, he understands there's a lot of work going on... and, yet to come. Reed says another factor is his ties with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence... who was a former collegue in the House of Representatives. The vice-chairs named... along with Reed... include Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee... and, Trump's new Deputy National Security Advisor... K-T MacFarland.
Financial cheaters and corrupt politicians beware: One of America's hardest-charging prosecutors isn't going anywhere. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (buh-RAH'-ruh) says he will stay on in the Donald Trump administration, signaling in at least one way that the president-elect may be serious about keeping his campaign promise to crack down on corruption. Trump invited Bharara to keep his high-profile post and he didn't hesitate. Bharara emerged from a midday meeting at Trump Tower on Wednesday to say he would be continuing a job he's held for seven years. Bharara initially became known as a Wall Street enforcer for winning convictions against dozens of defendants in insider-trading cases. More recently... he's built his reputation on fighting public corruption, which included the convictions of two of New York's most powerful politicians.
New York lawmakers could be returning to Albany for a special session focused on a legislative pay hike. A spokesman for Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Democratic governor and top lawmakers are discussing convening a session before year's end. Cuomo's spokesman said that while lawmakers want a raise, Cuomo wants them to consider government ethics reforms and funding for a new hate crimes task force. Lawmakers now make $79,500 and haven't had a raise in nearly two decades. A state commission recently balked at authorizing an increase. Lawmakers have until the end of the year to vote to give the commission more time to reconsider. Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie confirmed the discussions Wednesday but said the Assembly won't pass Cuomo's proposals just to secure a raise.
An area state lawmaker is encouraging area residents to attend a public information meeting next week on plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Route 20 and 60 in the town of Pomfret. The state Department of Transporation announced Wednesday that it has scheduled a meeting at Fredonia Village Hall next Wednesday. Assemblyman Andy Goodell says more details about the project will be announced at the meeting. One of his concerns is how the roundabout would affect nearby businesses. Goodell is encouraging any residents of the area who drive through, and use that intersection to be on hand for the meeting. The public information session by the DOT will run from 4 until 7 PM pn December 7th with a formal presentation at 6 pm.
A special "Giving Tuesday" program at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation "far, far exceeded" the expections of foundation officials. That from Executive Director Randy Sweeney... who says the eight-and-a-half-hour program to match contributions to local non-profit agencies, and charities was a huge success. Sweeney says they took in 38-thousand-848 dollars in contributions that day. Sweeney says they were hoping to reach the initial goal of 5-thousand dollars set by the foundation... but, he joked he should have "known better" during an interview with our Dennis Webster Thursday morning. Sweeney says every organization involved will benefit from "Big Match" Tuesday... among the biggest was Community Helping Hands. He says the Infinity program, Audubon... and, Prendergast Library all received some good donations. Community Helping Hands helps provide the less fortunate with items like clothes, furniture and appliances. For more information about the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... call 661-3390.
State officials are discussing hunting safety issues after a spate of accidents that killed four New York hunters and left an enforcement officer wounded. One of those was in the Jamestown-area this past Monday. Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos and other DEC officials held a news conference Thursday at the agency's Albany headquarters to remind hunters how to avoid accidents when hunting deer. 50 year-old Thomas Carlson of Jamestown died on Orr Street Extension this past Monday when his gun accidentally discharged while he was hunting. Carlson was overdue, and family members found him in a wooded area with difficult terrain.
The largest-ever class of inductees will be put into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame next Feburary 20th in Lakewood. That from Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson... who tells us there are 11 inductees this year... including some well-known in the Jamestown area. They include long-time Gerry resident... and, retired athletic coach Paul Cooley from Cassadaga Valley Central School. However... Anderson says Cooley has also made his mark in two other areas. There is one new sport being recognized by the Hall of Fame this year. That's bowhunting. Anderson says Jake Ensign is a graduate of Westfield Academy and High School... and, was an internationally acclaimed competitor... who has taken all 29 North American "big game animals" with a bow and arrow... a very rare feat. Anderson says the inductees also include Fredonia baseball player and coach, Charlie LaDuca... and, retired stock car racer Sammy LaMancuso of Jamestown. The Hall of Fame dinner will be held at the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club beginning at 5 PM. For more information... call induction Dinner Chairman Chip Johnson at 485-6991.
Local Congressman Tom Reed will play an important role in helping President-elect Donald Trump's transition into the White House. The Trump Transition Team has announced that Reed is one of several leaders named as "Vice-Chairs" of the effort. The Corning Republican says he's "both honored and humbled" to be selected as one of leaders of the effort. Reed will be joined as a Vice-Chair by Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee... and, Trump's new Deputy National Security Advisor... K-T MacFarland. MacFarland was previously an American national security analyst... and is a former "designated" government security official. Another Western New York Congressman... Republican Chris Collins of the Buffalo-area... will serve on the executive committee. Collins was the first member of Congress to come out in favor of Trump getting the Republican nomination to run for president.
Chautauqua County's Congressman says he's confident that the recount of Presidential ballots in three states from this month's election will not affect the outcome. Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments as the recount in Michigan was formally requested Wednesday by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The other two recounts... in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin... had already been requested. Reed says he's confident in the outcome of November 8th. Republican Donald Trump won all three states. He defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in Michigan by 10,704 votes out of nearly 4.8 million ballots cast. Stein alleges that irregularities and the potential for hacking into scanning devices call into question the results. The Michigan recount could start as early as Friday. The recount in Wisconsin is to begin later today.
The month of November will go down as one of the mildest November's on record. That's according to Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. Based on weather records kept in Buffalo since the 1870s... Hitchcock said Wednesday that November 2016 will wind up being in the top ten.
However... Hitchcock says enjoy the mild weather while you can. He says a pattern change is in the works. It appears much colder weather will arrive by December 9th or 10th. In the short-term... cooler temperatures will reach the area later this week, with slushy snow possible over the hilltops by Thursday evening.
Lakewood-Busti Police are asking for the public's help in tracking down several people who were part of a "flash mob" robbery at a store in the Chautauqua Mall. Officials say about eight people who appear to be African-American or had dark complexions... entered the Victoria Secret's store... and, took nearly 4-thousand dollars in merchandise. Officers have released a store surveillance video from the November 15th incident... and, say the alleged suspects apparently dropped a number of items while being chased by two store employees. If you have any information on the case... you're asked to call Lakewood-Busti Police at 763-9563... or you can leave a message on their Facebook page.
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he's "very optimistic" that the project to repower the NRG Plant in Dunkirk will begin moving forward shortly. County Executive Vince Horrigan says he was happy to see the Entergy Corporation agree to drop it's lawsuit against the state's Public Service Commission. That now allows the project to proceed. Horrigan says he took part in a conference call with all the major players -- including NRG itself -- shortly after the announcement. Horrigan says, because the NRG Plant remains "moth-balled" at this point... there will still be a reduction in the county's payment-in-lieu of tax agreement. However... he says the county is already talking with NRG about the status of that in the future. He says the state... led by State Senator Cathy Young... remains firmly committed to the project. Horrigan says he's not aware of any "hiccups" that could hurt that commitment. He says the state has also come through with about 5-million dollars in transitional aid to help the county... city of Dunkirk... and, Dunkirk School District with an 85-percent loss in PILOT Payments in 2017.
Is a roundabout -- or traffic circle -- in the future for the Routes 20 and 60 intersection? The State Department of Transportation will be hosting a public information meeting next week on an improvement project for the busy intersection. The meeting will be held next Wednesday, December 7th, from 4 until 7 PM in the Fredonia Village Hall, with a formal presentation at 6 PM. The DOT indicates that the safety improvement project involves the installation of A raised median barrier on the approaches to the intersection that currently have multiple driveways. Plans also call for replacing the existing, signalized intersection with a roundabout. The project is currently scheduled to be out for bid in fall 2017.
Two Warren, Pennsylvania men have been arrested for allegedly operating an active Methamphetime Lab in the city. Agents with the Warren County Drug Task Force tell the Times-Observer that they arrested Joshua Lambert and Joshua Wightman during a raid at 6 Terrace Street Tuesday. Task Force members say the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab was called in to assist. Police say Wightman and Lambert were charged with manufacturing methamphetime during their arraignment yesterday.