Archives for August 2017

Juvenile Leads Deputies on 80 MPH Chase

He’s 15-years-old. He rides an ATV and the Cattaraugus County Sheriffi’s department says he can go as fast as 80 mph when he wants to. That’s the speed they say he was driving when they chased him through Randolph. A sheriff’s deputy says he tried to stop the driver of an ATV on Main street but the driver sped off and a chase ensued. The driver’s name was not released because of his age. He was issued an appearance ticket on a misdemeanor count of unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. He was released to his parents and was scheduled to appear in Cattaraugus County Family Court.
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If you’re ready for some football, the Gowanda Recreation Department will host a Punt, Pass & Kick competition on Saturday at Gateway Park on Palmer Street.
It’s free and open to all boys and girls ages 8-13. There will be prizes and awards along with a pizza party.

Heroin Suspect Pleads Guilty

He’s not fighting the charges anymore. 26 year old Giovanni Salmonson says he’s guilty of gun and drug charges that were brought after a foot chase by Olean police a couple of years ago. Salmonson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
On New Years day 2015 police chased Salmonson on foot after being called for a trespassing complaint.
They said he had 14 bags of heroin, six Suboxone pills and $851 in cash, and in a bag he threw over a fence, a gun.
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Fort Drum has an Olean connection that everyone who eats in the banquet room will see. The newly renovated dinning room has been named after Olean native Brian Blade who died a year ago from pancreatic cancer. Blade was a 1983 Olean High School graduate. The new facility is called Blade’s Bunker.”

Police Arrest Seven in Crime Spree

It was a crime spree that went on for a week from from Yorkshire, Machaias to Arcade. But it’s stopped there. Seven kids and two adults have been arrested. after a multi-agency investigation that included Cattaraugus and Wyoming counties.
Five juveniles – two girls and three boys – and two 18 year olds were arrested for a series of commercial burglaries. 18 year old Dyllian Taggart, of Delevan and 18 year old Chester Piwowarczyk of Springville will be charged as adults. The kids’ names and ages won’t be released. They’re accused of breaking into stores.
Taggart’s in the Cattaraugus County Jail and Piwowarczyk’s in the Wyoming County Jail.
The five juveniles were petitioned to family court.
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There’s an award winning nature photographer in Olean. Paul Barretta won the Audubon Community Nature Center’s 2017 Nature Photography Contest. His photo is called , “Two Birds on Perch,”
Entries came from 21 states and eight foreign countries.

Seneca Payments Half of Cattaraugus County Budget

How big a problem is it that the Seneca Nation isn’t making casino revenue payments to the state? Cattaraugus County says they’ve received the final casino revenue payments and it’s looking at a $636,950 deficit. that’s half of the county budget for 2017. Seneca Nation officials notified the state earlier this year that they would not be making their final revenue sharing payment to the state under the 14-year Seneca Gaming Compact. An automatic seven-year extension doesn’t say anything about the continued revenue sharing payments to the state.
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It started out as a disagreement. Then the gun came out. A Ulysses woman is accused of shooting he boyfriend in the leg. The victim told police that 43 year old Billie Jo Smith shot him with a small caliber handgun after an argument. He said the two struggled befor the handgun went off. The bullet grazed the victim’s right hand, then went into his his right thigh and came out behind his right knee.

Jamestown Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Murder

A 53-year-old Jamestown man has been sentenced to prison for stabbing his wife and stepson to death in their home.
Allen Witruke’ll spend 20 years behind bars for the murders. He was arrested in Olean in December 2015 after the killings. He pleaded guilty in May.
Sheriff’s deputies found 52-year-old Catherine Witruke and 34-year-old Eric Washburn dead when they went to Witruke’s home to hand him eviction papers.
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Cattaraugus County’s baseball field renovations are on hold
Plans by Cattaraugus County Legislature committees to approve $200,000 for renovations to three Forness Park baseball fields were put on hold Wednesday pending further information.
The questions centered on whether there would be enough of the original $550,000 in county funding left to take care of baseball fields in Allegany, Salamanca and Ellicottville and if other bids had been received.
The County Legislature’s Development and Agriculture Committee narrowly approved a motion to approve the funding despite the questions.

Cameron County Man Sentenced for Murder

A $162K gift just fell out of the sky to restore the entrance to Olean’s Oak Hill Park.
The Common Council approved the gift Tuesday evening through the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation. The city engineers already have prepared designs for the entrance to the park and work could begin shortly. The area originally served as the city’s cemetery, but near the end of the 19th century was converted into building lots and a three-acre park, with the graves relocated to Mount View Cemetery.
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A 35-year-old Cameron County man will serve at least 18 years in prison, maybe as many as 36 years for slashing a woman to death with a box cutter in a role-playing game. Michael Fuller Courtney pleaded guilty to third degree murder. Deborah Lynn Gerlach was killed in her home in October 2016. The were playing a game called “Tit for Tat,” that involved the players copying each other’s acts.

U.S. Rep. Reed Offers to Mediate Seneca Casino dispute

A referee has offered his services to bring Governor Andrew Cuomo together with the Seneca Nation.
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed of Corning, says id Tuesday his office has already reached out to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to meet with the Seneca Nation over their differences. Reed says he’s already started to encourage the governor to meet with the Seneca Nation and he’s ready to act as a quasi mediator. The Senecas say under their gaming contract, they’re not obligated to share any more money with the state. The state takes another position. Cuomo and Seneca President Todd Gates have had a couple of meetings over the disagreement scheduled and cancelled.
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The newest Olean city employee is not a new city employee. Olean’s bringing back Bob Ring Jr to the department of public works, only this time, he’s leading the department. Aldermen unanimously agreed to hire Bob Ring Jr. to replace Tom Windus. Ring’s salary will start at $89,000 a year.

Meeting Between Seneca Nation and Gov. Cuomo Cancelled Again

The meeting between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Seneca Nation President Todd Gates is off again. Gates says that Cuomo abruptly canceled a scheduled meeting about casino profit payments to the state. The state had expected to receive more than $110 million in revenue sharing from the three Seneca casinos in Salamanca, Buffalo and Niagara Falls this year. But Seneca officials say their obligation is over and a seven-year extension to the 14-year compact made no mention of continuing to make the revenue sharing payments. This is the second meeting between the two leaders that has been cancelled.
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Cattaraugus County lawmakers are expected to okay a request to continue legal services to the poor.
Under a request from Public Defender Mark S. Williams, members of the Public Safety and County Operations Committee agreed to apply for continued funding through the state Office of Indigent Legal Services. It now goes to the full County Legislature for a vote.

Olean Man Found Not Competent for Murder Trial

Ppsychiatrists say the Olean man accused of murdering his wife is not competent enough to stand trial. Instead, Edward Smith will be sent to psychiatric facility until they decide if he is fit for trial.
Smith’s had two mental health evaluations since his arrest last May. His wife Kathy was stabbed to death in their apartment. Police say Smith made the 911 call and told them that he murdered her.
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A helicopter crash Sunday in St. Marys is under investigation. According to Police, at about noon on Sunday they received a report of a helicopter that had crashed. A report on the Elk County Office of Emergency Services Facebook page says there were no injuries.
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And police in smethport say they’ve arrested an Olean man on allegations he was carrying about a pound of marijuana under the spare tire of his vehicle in Liberty Township. 51 year old Robet Stuckey was charged after he was pulled over for minor traffic violations.

One Dead in Rollover Accident

One person is dead and two more hurt in a one-car rollover crash in Little Valley early Sunday morning.
Cattaraugus County sheriff’s deputies said the victims were taken by emergency medical personnel to a nearby hospital, No condition update was available. The crash occurred on Route 242 at about 1:25 in the morning. The names of the victims until their families are notified of the accident.
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Six homes will be torn down in Cattaragus County and three more will be rehabbed under the Land Bank’s first actions. The Cattaraugus County Land Bank Corp was created by the County Legislature in December 2014 to remove blighted homes across the county. For two years, it worked wihtout money, but earlier this year it got a $764,000 grant fom the state. Three of the properties are in Olean. The other three are in Mansfield, Hinsdale and Ashford. There are 10 more blighted properties to get to after these.