CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY – Strong thunderstorms, tornado warnings and high winds whipped through Chautauqua County last night, causing damage in several communities along the Lake Erie Shoreline and on into the central and eastern parts of the county.
Tornado warnings were also issued just before 5 p.m. until 7:15 p.m., and while there was no official conformation of a tornado, at least four structures were heavily damaged or destroyed in Westfield. Three of those buildings were barns, and the fourth was a house.
In Fredonia, trees and power lines were down, leaving as many as 2500 residents without power. Other power outages were scattered throughout Western New York, with the most in Allegany County. The national weather service planned to send a crew out today to survey damage.
VOTERS APPROVE BOTH JAMESTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROPOSITIONS
JAMESTOWN – Voters in the Jamestown Public Schools district approved two different propositions Monday night in a special district-wide vote. Residents approved the school’s purchase of 12 buses and also a capital project aimed at updating district infrastructure. Both projects passed with more than 70 percent approval of the estimated 500 votes that were cast. The $68 million capital project proposition was approved 355 to 144 and the bus-purchase proposal passed 380 to 140.
FOUR JAMESTOWN RESIDENTS CHARGED IN RANDOLPH HOME INVASSION
RANDOLPH – Four Jamestown men are in police custody in connection to an armed home invasion in Randolph that took place last Thursday. The Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office says 22 year-old D’Allyn Washington, 19 year-old Cameron Rives, 21 year old Derrick Williams Jr. and 24 year-old Samuel Rodriguez – all of Jamestown – have all been charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary for their alleged involvement into an incident that took place at 2408 Pine Hill Road in Randolph early last Thursday morning.
The four men are accused of entering the home and holding two residents at gunpoint. The four individuals then stole property from the home. The group also assaulted one resident, who was taken to WCA for treatment of injuries.
Washington and Rives were taken into custody Friday. Both were arraigned and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $25,000 bail. Judge Greely, Randolph Town Judge, also signed a warrant for Derek Williams, who is currently incarcerated in the Chautauqua County Jail. Rodriguez was taken into custody Monday, arraigned and taken to the Cattaraugus County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.
The Jamestown Police Department, Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and the Erie County Sheriff’s Office all assisted in the investigation.
PANAMA FIRE FIGHTERS CONTINUE TO RECOVER FROM INJURIES
PANAMA – The Jamestown Post-Journal is reporting today that two firefighters with the Panama Volunteer Fire Department who were injured in an incident Thursday have been taken out of intensive care, but still have a long road to recovery. Veteran firefighters David Dole and Adam Kester are currently at Hamot Medical Center in Erie and both have undergone extensive surgeries for their injuries. The incident happened Thursday when firefighters were dispatched to a barn fire on Route 474 near Blockville around 1:25 a.m.
The two were injured when a piece of the building came loose and struck them as they worked to battle the flames.Both men were hit by the pipe, causing injuries. Dole is a 19-year veteran of the Panama Fire Department, and Kester spent 11 years in the volunteer fire service.
The fire department is asking for help from the community in helping defer costs for the men’s medical treatments. Anyone interested in donating to help the men’s medical care can forward the donations to the Panama Fire Company, P.O. Box 57, Panama, NY 14767. Anyone interested in setting up fundraisers for the men can contact David Hinderer at 763-7494 or Tom Newton at 782-4953 to coordinate with the fire department.
SENECA’S SEEK TO WORK OUT INTERNAL DIFFERENCES
SALAMANCA – Seneca Nation of Indians leaders are trying to find a resolution to political turmoil that has plagued the nation in recent days. On Saturday, the nation’s governing body, the Tribal Council, voted 10 to 6 to remove President Robert Odawi Porter as chief executive officer and replace him with councilor Michael John. But Clerk Diane Kennedy Murth later voided the vote, citing the nation’s constitution and ethics law as the reasons. As a result, Porter directed all nation government agencies and employees to ignore orders from John. Porter said the matter reflects “political discontent” about policy directions made by his administration, alleging the removal was an effort of some formerly in power to hold on to that.
Although questions remain as to the power struggle within the nation, nation officials issued a press release Monday aimed at clarifying things. They said there would be no further comment from the president or councilors, with Porter saying all are committed to finding a resolution to the disagreements and agreed to meet again.
CHRISTMAS TREE GOES UP TODAY AT CITY HALL
JAMESTOWN – The city of Jamestown will put up its Christmas Tree on Tracey plaza later today. This year’s city Christmas tree is being donated by the Christensen family of 116 Sampson Street. The Colorado Blue Spruce will tower approximately 40 feet above its base on Tracy Plaza. The tree was set to be harvested at 8 a.m. this morning and will arrive at city hall at about 10 a.m.