Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., May 25, 2023

Burham caught in South Carolina, concluding two-week manhunt for alleged killer...
A multi-day search of two counties in South Carolina has led to the capture of the fugitive wanted in the murder of a Jamestown woman two weeks ago.  A Charleston TV station reported late Wednesday that 34 year-old Michael Burham was found fleeing from behind a shed in rural Berkeley County.  Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis says they received a call from a resident Wednesday afternoon that they had spotted Burham on their property.  He was captured soon after... much to the relief of Jamestown Police.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they followed developments on a scanner app., and were glad to hear authorities take Burham into custody without further incident.  Samuelson says Burham is being held in the Berkeley County Jail... and, may he be arraigned on charges there as soon as today.  He says the man accused of killing 34 year-old Kala Hodgkin in the early morning hours of May 11 will face multiple federal kidnapping charges for forcing a Sheffield, Pa. couple to take him from Pennsylvania to South Carolina.  The Pennsylvania charges would be next in line... then Chautauqua County will be able to bring charges... which will include murder, arson, and rape. 


Falconer man arrested for theft of cargo trailer, bail revoked on other cases...
A Falconer man has been arrested for allegedly stealing an 18-foot cargo trailer from a business in the village... and, then trying to flee by jumping into the Chadakoin River.  Ellicott Town Police say they received a report Tuesday that the trailer had been taken... and, that a man had been seen on video driving a four-wheeler... pulling the trailer... along the railroad tracks towards the town of Poland.  Officers recognized the four-wheeler as belonging to 31 year-old Blaydon Niles... and, they later found the trailer in a wooded area behind Niles' home on Hartson Road in Poland.  Niles had fled the scene... and, a warrant was obtained for his arrest.  He was later seen riding a bicycle in Falconer... but, he rode towards the river to avoid capture, and, then jumped in.  He was later found downstream and arrested for Grand Larceny.  Justice Marilyn Gerace revoked Niles bail for previous cases... and, set new bail at $100,000 cash, $200,000 property bond.


County Legislature approves renewal of current sales and occupancy taxes...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved two resolutions that allow the county to retain it's current occupancy tax and sales tax percentage amounts.  There was only debate on the 5% occupancy -- or bed tax -- after Fredonia-area Democrat Susan Parker tried to amend language in the resolution.  Parker said she felt the state was being somewhat "dictatorial" in setting guidelines for how the tax is to be used... and, the amendment would allow the county more discretion.  However... Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin... who works for State Assemblyman Andy Goodell... says that kind of language is not unusual for the state to hand down because New York signs off on it.  The amendment failed, 3-14.  The original request was ultimately approved, 17-0.
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Lawmakers also voted unanimously to request the state allow the county to continue it's additional one-percent sales tax.  Final state approval would allow that rate to remain 8%. 


Two arrested during drug raid on Westfield home...
Two people from Westfield have been arrested following a drug raid on a home in the north county village early Wednesday morning.  Sheriff's deputies say drug agents from several agencies... with the help of the Sheriff's Department SWAT Team... executed a search warrant at 31 Cottage St. about 6 a.m., and, seized quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine... and, prescription Clonazepam.  Officers arrested 54 year-old Richard Young and 49 year-old Kelly Briggs on three counts each of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  They say both Briggs and Young were issued appearance tickets for Westfield Village Court.


Jackson Center honors "Ladies of Legend" Wednesday...
The Robert H. Jackson Center honored ‘Ladies of Legend’ in a special program Wednesday.  ‘Ladies of Legend’ refers to local women who have been pioneers in law and justice.  Long-time Chautauqua County Historian, Michelle Henry, told the story of Busti’s Kate Stoneman.  She went to Albany Normal School in the 1880’s to become a teacher.  While there... Stoneman took an interest in the law.  At that time... Henry says Stoneman wasn't allowed, by law, to practice law in the state.  Also in attendance was Grace Hanlon, the first woman from Chautauqua County to become a New York Supreme Court Justice.  Being a ‘pioneer’ is not something she things about all the time, because a lot of people helped her get to where she is today.  Wednesday’s program was held in conjunction with the Town of Busti Bicentennial being celebrated this year.   


WJTN's Dennis Webster honored by Chautauqua County School Boards Association...
WJTN's Dennis Webster has been given the 2023 'Friend of Education' award by the Chautauqua County School Boards Association.  The President of the association, Sylvester Cleary, made the presentation at the group's annual meeting at the Harbor Hotel in Celoron on Tuesday night.  Dennis has been an announcer on WJTN for over four decades and done many stories and programs in conjunction with the public schools.  He said he was honored and humbled by the recognition because he enjoys reporting on the students and their achievements.  

  


 

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Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., May 29, 2023

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