Heroin’s History: Available Over The Counter For 50 Years (Article First Published June 20, 2014)

Note: We republish this because of the current situation, and we now have 25 times the readers as we had last June. It was shortly afterwards our readership started to rapidly increase due to partnering with 95.3 The Lake, KissFM 106.9, Tween Broadcasting and the addition of frequent video reports.

Heroin’s history starts in, of all places, Germany; and not so long ago. It was in Deutschland  where a chemist first synthesized morphine diacetate and the trade name Heroin was picked. [Read more…]

No Jail Time For Ulster County Court Clerk

ALBANY-From a media release from the NYS Comptroller:

As a result of an audit and investigation by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the former clerk of the town of Rosendale justice court will make full restitution after admitting to stealing nearly $6,000 in cash from bail collections.
The clerk, Trudy Harper, 40, was arrested in June and charged by Ulster County District Attorney D. Holley Carnright. After pleading guilty earlier this year, she was sentenced in Saugerties Town Court on March 4. Harper was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay full restitution. She was also fired from her position as clerk.

Local Opioid Over Dose Deaths 10X USA Rate-News/Opinion/Analysis

Note: Would like comments, ideas etc. on why our area is so powerfully affected by addiction.

CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY- Death due to Opioid drug overdose locally is ten times more common than the national experience: 27 deaths per 100,000 compared to 2.7 per 100,000. (You can see the local computation math at the end of this article.)

And, it likely is worse than that since we shaved our anecdotal estimates to allow for error and avoid overstating the problem if that’s possible. [Read more…]

Only Diacetylmorphine AKA Heroin In Fatal Overdose

JAMESTOWN-Only Heroin (Diacetylmorphine) was found as an active substance in the pink packaged narcotic that caused Friday’s overdose death in Falconer.

Lab analysis findings Wednesday ended speculation that 23-year-old Christin Tibbetts died as the result of a dose of Heroin mixed with fentanyl or another more potent opioid. (Note: Please also read the comment. It makes a very important point: We know what the pink package contained, not what was in Ms Tibbett’s system at the time of her death.)


ALERT-Sheriff Issues Winter Driving Advisory With Video

MAYVILLE-Because of slick roads caused by mixed precipitation Sheriff Gerace issued a winter driving advisory at 2 p.m. Tuesday until further notice.

Drug Overdose: A Very Serious Problem Here

CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY-Alstar EMS was dispatched 31 times for accidental and intentional drug overdoses in January and February. That number does not include dispatch of fire and police, and does not count overdoses in which the stricken person was dead on arrival.

Alstar reports 15 of the OD’s involved opioids-drugs based on natural or synthetic opium. Naloxone or Narcan was administered in all 15 cases: ten  in the south county, five in the north. This compares to 13 last year, and again does not include other responders or persons who died before help arrived.

Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9, and I are seeking a complete statistical picture and will publish such when we have it either complete or more complete than just the Alstar experience.

We estimate, based on anecdotal records that adding non-Alstar EMS, fire and police responses plus fatalities add four to six more overdoses per month, and that is a conservative estimate.

If you use five as an average you get roughly 20 OD’s of all kinds a month or 240 annually.



Group Plans Mass “Spam” Attack, Phony “Reviews” To Damage chaucat.com

CASSADAGA – A group, apparently angry about coverage of Heroin overdose victim Christin Tibbetts and her jailed boy friend, plan to use “a few hundred people” to employ so-called “Spam” and phony Facebook “reviews” to damage chaucat.com’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

One of the group, Justin Valle, described part of the effort, “Gonna get the Twitter spam rolling through that account (@chaucatdotcom).

“Not sure how ugly it’s gonna get, but I have a few hundred people that will do justice to this man. (Twitter spam justice of course, no violence here.) But he needs to see the error of his ways.

“Small fame deff (sic) come with a cause and effect…and he won’t like it.” [Read more…]

Coggins Given Fifty Years To Life For Skinner Murders

MAYVILLE-Davide Coggins will spend all or most of the rest of his life in prison for the April, 2013, torture-murders of Gordon and Joyce Skinner in their Town of Carroll home. Coggins Monday received two 25-year to life terms to be served one at a time, 50 years to life total.

The sentences were imposed by Chautauqua County Court Judge John T. Ward, who also presided over Coggins’ trial.

Christin Tibbetts Boy Friend OD’d, Nearly Died Last July

ELLICOTT-Christin Tibbett’s boy friend, Zachary Ellis, now 31 and in Cattaraugus County jail, was “unresponsive” when NYS Police found him in a vehicle on Rt 60 around 6:30 p.m. July 8, 2014.

Troopers applied an automatic external defribilater (AED), but received a “no shock” message. They then found a syringe with alleged Heroin in the vehicle and administered Naloxone which brought Ellis to consciousness, according to the report. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can quickly  reverse an opioid overdose.

Ellis was taken by ambulance to WCA Hospital, evaluated and then handed back to police. He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, aggravated unlicensed operation, criminal possesion of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic syringe.

Police reported finding Ellis’ vehicle in a ditch on the east side of Rt. 60 near Tompkins Road.

Tibbetts Facebook page says she was “in a relationship” with Ellis since 2011. Ellis reportedly was told of her death by a social worker.




Christin Tibbetts-An Unsolved Murder

Christen L. Tibbetts

Christin L. Tibbetts

Note-This report and opinion is receiving an unprecedented amount of views and comments. We feel no well-intended comment is right or wrong. It’s a debate about what is a big and growing problem in our midst. And this is just one obituary of a young person who “died unexpectedly,” certainly not always indicating an overdose, but too many times…yes.

The following probably should have been part of this report from the time it was first published. My error.

From NYS Penal Code 125.25- “A person is guilty of second-degree murder when..2-Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes the death of another person.” 

FALCONER-We now know who died Friday as the result of using Heroin-Heroin apparently mixed with something designed to make its narcotic effect more powerful; in this tragic case, fatal.

Twenty-three year-old Christin L. imageTibbetts (June 2, 1991-February 27, 2015) died in her father’s home after taking Heroin packaged in pink, the same stuff that caused at least two other OD emergencies in Lakewood touching off a public health alert.

Our surmise, only that, is that fentanyl was added to the Heroin. Known on the street as “China White” or more to the point, “Murder 8,” fentanyl is a synthetic form of opium and extremely powerful.(Also see about “Cheese” in comments.)

No matter, in some back room somewhere, a batch of Heroin was mixed with something nasty. It killed a beautiful young woman. We call that murder.

Pick Up Explodes And Burns Outside Bull Frog Saloon

Image by Ryan Hedrick

Image by Ryan Hedrick

JAMESTOWN-A woman, unidentified, reported that her pick up “exploded” and began burning when she started it upon leaving the Bull Frog saloon shortly after midnight Saturday.

The woman reportedly left the E. 2nd St scene in another vehicle.

Hockey? Uh Yeah..Only Hockey? Uh No.

Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena  hosts a 24-hour hockey event with all the option boxes checked!


Shown are actual pink packages which contained a so-called "hot dose" of Heroin-Image provided by JPD

Shown are actual pink packages which contained a so-called “hot dose” of Heroin-Image provided by JPD

Note: We will update whenever necessary. All updates will be plainly labeled in the report below.

Update: Sat.,10:28 a.m.-Jamestown police are waiting for an analysis of substances found in the deceased user of the pink-packaged heroin.

JAMESTOWN-Heroin packaged in pink is a “hot dose,” and claimed a life  Friday, according to authorities who believe the drug has been sold in Jamestown, Falconer ,Lakewood and as of Friday night-possibly Dunkirk where an overdose patient experienced cardiac arrest.

Update: Falconer Fire Emergency volunteers were dispatched about 10:30 a.m. to 107 Merriam in Falconer to treat a reported overdose which proved fatal.

Update: One OD in Falconer, two in Lakewood, and one in Dunkirk possibly also the “pink” Heroin.

Update: Now three unidentified persons have overdosed on pink Heroin including the fatality; two more being  treated. Condition unknown.

Authorities emphasize that any Heroin  in pink wrapping must not be used, and preferably turned over to police or medical personnel. Police are hunting for the dealer/source.

More as we learn more.

Area’s Illegal Drug Situation Continues To Challenge Police

JAMESTOWN-“I don’t think its slowed down much,” Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings said Friday morning when asked about local illegal drug trafficking.

Shown are some of the toxic and caustic chemicals commonly used to home brew crystal methamphetamine. These were removed after a recent bust.

Shown are some of the toxic and caustic chemicals commonly used to home brew crystal methamphetamine. These were removed after a recent bust.


Snellings  pointed to “additional challenges this year with the uptick in methamphetamine and “shatter.” Shatter is a particularly potent marihuana derivative that Snellings said is a recent addition to area drug dealers’ offerings.

“We continue to plug away and try to address it as it comes across our desks and tip line,” the chief said about the local police effort to enforce drug laws.

Drug arrests  increased sharply across the county in 2014 highlighted by a massive coordinated series of raids dubbed “Operation Horseback” that involved dozens of simultaneous busts at separate locations.

Many of those arrested in Horseback and numerous smaller actions were back on the street very quickly-a continuing frustration for local law enforcement.



But many suspects do remain in jail either awaiting a trial or serving a sentence. This has grown the prison population beyond the county jail’s capacity, and forced the county to pay rent for available prison space in other counties-a costly side effect of drug use and trafficking.

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan identified the increasing cost of incarcerating prisoners as a budget buster when he described the state of the county Wednesday evening.

Horrigan wants so called half-way houses as one lower-cost alternative to jail. Since a large number of inmates are serving time for drug violations the executive also wants to address addiction with a variety of programs designed to decrease the demand for illegal drugs.

Meantime drug raids continue to be a weekly and sometimes a near daily occurrence.




Heroin Seized By JPD Early Friday

Melvin J. Ingram, 37, 607 Washington St.- Image provided by JPD

Melvin J. Ingram, 37, 607 Washington St.- Image provided by JPD

JAMESTOWN-A raid at 607 Washington St. resulted in the confiscation of more than 20 “bundles” of Heroin and one arrest early Friday, according to JPD chief Snellings.

Police report the suspect, Melvin Ingram, 37, attempted to flush packaged Heroin down a toilet when police executed a search warrant.

Ingram is charged with Criminal Possesion of a Controlled Substance and evidence tampering.


Cheddar (R)-"Look. The sunlight goes through my ear." Opal (L)-That's real interesting...Not."

Cheddar (R)-“Look. The sunlight goes through my ear.”
Opal (L)-That’s real interesting…Not.”


Cocaine Bust By JPD On English St Nets One Arrest

Ricardo O. Ramos, 27, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance following entry into 143 English St. Image provided by JPD.

Ricardo O. Ramos, 27, charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance following entry into 143 English St. Image provided by JPD.

JAMESTOWN-One person is under arrest and both powder and “crack” cocaine totaling about nine grams were seized after a police raid at 143 English St. Thursday afternoon, according to  a media release on behalf of the Jamestown Metro Drug Force.

Please also see attached image and caption.

“Soaring Costs For Addiction And Incarceration” State Of The County

MAYVILLE-“The tentacles from drug addiction reach into every corner of our communities and must be addressed in a comprehensive way,” Chautauqua County Executive declared Wednesday evening as he outlined the state of the county.

Addiction costs the county in human and financial ways, Horrigan said, citing the cost of incarceration-jail, as an example. Presently many prisoners are sent to other counties resulting in what the executive termed, “huge taxpayer costs.”

Since 2006  public safety spending has risen 32 per cent-“driven primarily by the costs of the jail.”

As a possible antidote Horrigan recommended what he termed Alternitives to Incarceration to include work programs. half-way houses and “effective supporting services for drug addiction and substance abuse.”

County Exec Requests 8% Sales Tax

MAYVILLE-Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan will ask the county legislature to approve raising the county sales tax to eight per cent at its March meeting.

Horrigan’s request, made Wednesday during his state of the county message, asks legislators to pass a resolution seeking New York State’s permission to raise the sales tax from the current seven and a half per cent to eight per cent on or anytime after December first.

He said the additional revenue would take the pressure off property tax rates which now are higher per thousand than the average for other western New York counties.

chaucat.com will have additional reports on the 29-page state of the county address later Thursday and on Friday.

Eleven Of 39 Panama Students On School Bus Reported Hurt In Mishap

PANAMA-Eleven children were hurt, two with possible concussions, when a Panama school bus left Eddy Road and partially rolled into a ditch about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, according to New York State Police. Panama superintendent Bert Lictus said 39 children from different grades were on board when the mishap took place.

Another bus was summoned and transported all 39 children to the school while an 8 a.m. robo-call informed parents about the incident. Reportedly 13 parents chose to take their children home, and three reportedly sought a doctor’s advice about various hurts including two possible concussions.

Cause of the mishap is being investigated by police.

Bus left the road Wednesday morning. Reports indicate no serious injuries resulted. Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director, Kiss 106.9 FM and 95.3 The Lake.


Ellery Court Scandal: Many Unanswered Questions-News/Opinion/Analysis


Town of Ellery Administration, 25 Sunnyside Ave., Bemus Point.

BEMUS POINT-Not a single  Town of Ellery official (Is public servant carrying it too far?) will comment for the record about the recently released state audit which found a shade under $64,000 in missing funds, apparently “misappropriated” by fired town court clerk Sharon Thompson. We do know the matter is under investigation in the county DA’s office and the investigation is focused on one person. We know that because DA David Foley told us last week.


Ellery court clerk’s office. Sharon Thompson sat at this desk for 24 years while unadjudicated tickets piled up and tens of thousands of dollars went missing.

Who is that one person? Our guess is the same as your’s-ex-clerk Sharon Thompson. In spite of this obvious guess, obvious to anyone who reads the audit, everyone in Ellery government has decided to clam up on the basis that “there is a criminal investigation.”

Even the town attorney Neil Robinson used the investigation rationale when we contacted him last week. (We invited Robinson to comment further for this article via email Feb. 19, but we haven’t a reply as of late Monday.) Robinson did help our video crew gain entry to the town courtroom last week with a call to town supervisor Arden Johnson who, until he heard from the town attorney, would not grant entrance to an empty courtroom. [Read more…]

Twofer 10th St Fire/No Injuries Reported

image imageUpdate: A check with the city fire department Tuesday afternoon confirms the cause of the fire was neither BPU nor criminal related. The exact cause, however is still undetermined.

JAMESTOWN-Fire caused extensive damage to adjacent homes at 5 and 9 10th St. Monday morning, but no injuries were reported. Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and Kiss 106.9 FM, was there and provided these images.

Lakewood Woman Faces Felony Driving Charge

ELLICOTT-Carla Lapaglia, 42,  Lakewood,was charged early Sunday with 1st degree aggravated unlicensed driving, a felony carrying penalties that include 1 to 4 years imprisonment. In addition police say she was legally intoxicated when pulled over for inadequate headlights on Tiffany Avenue around 3:10 a.m.

Lapaglia faces the most serious charge of driving without a license because her driving privilege was previously revoked for DWI, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office media release.

Lapaglia will appear in Town of Ellicott court to answer the charges.

Dunkirk ConAgra Plant Bought By Industrial Development Agency

JAMESTOWN-ConAgra’s food processing facility on Talcott Street in Dunkirk is now owned by the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.

Late Friday afternoon the IDA  announced the completion of the $2-million purchase. Funds for the transaction were supplied last fall when the county bought a bond issue from the agency to cover the sale amount.

ConAgra is winding down operations locally leaving several hundred employees without a job.

Hidden Jewels of Jamestown (7 of 7)

Hidden Jewels of Jamestown (7 of 7)
The final Hidden Jewels of this season! This week Justin investigates Allan Park’s hidden secrets. We have dramatized portions of this report so be advised! The Hidden Jewels series spotlights the hidden attractions of our area. Originally a segment that appeared on The Justin Show during the summer of 2014. Hidden Jewels will return this summer. Enjoy!

Two In Jail/Heroin, $10K Seized

JAMESTOWN-More than $10,000 cash and 100 doses of Heroin along with the arrest of a pair of suspects resulted when Jamestown police raided 609 E. 8th St. late Wednesday afternoon.

JPD “…examining our next step..” In Baby’s Murder

JAMESTOWN-Nayla Hodnett, 16 months old, was savagely beaten to death 10 months ago, and Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9, reports Thursday morning that JPD is “..examining our next step,” in the homicide.

“We have all requested evidence and documentation from outside agencies in hand,” Chief Harry Snellings texted Hedrick. Snellings made it clear from the start of the investigation that city police would examine every detail before making any arrest.

That, he said, included “complete forensics” from the state police lab in Albany and tying together cell phone calls among suspects.

Angel Hodnett, the baby’s mother, and her then boyfriend, Tyler “Cash” Perez, are “persons of interest” in the murder according to JPD Capt. Robert Samuelson. Perez, who has a long criminal record, is now in a Pittsburgh jail for parole violation and weapons charges.

Little Nayla was brought to WCA Hospital by her mother last April. The baby died in a Buffalo Hospital the next day. A medical examiner’s report labeled the death homocide.

Fired Ellery Court Clerk Is Focus Of DA Office Investigation / Supervisor Mum – Now w Video


25 Sunnyside in Bemus Point, the home of Town of Ellery administration.

BEMUS POINT-Sharon Thompson, long-time Ellery court clerk until she was fired a year ago, is the object of a district attorney’s investigation, chaucat.com learned from a reliable source Wednesday morning.

Thompson “apparently misappropriated” more than $60,000 of justice court collections, according to a NYS Comptroller’s audit now available on line. She was fired on Valentine’s Day 2014 after the town board learned that the audit revealed systematic manipulation of the court’s financial records designed to hide alleged theft of cash payments.

Tuesday, DA David Foley confirmed his office has the auditor’s findings and believes “$63,000 to $64,000 was stolen,” but also is concerned about the auditor’s discovery of more than $460,000 in uncollected fines from a back log of thousands of tickets dating to 1983.

Meanwhile, Arden Johnson, town supervisor, said he will not comment “because of a criminal investigation,” now underway. However his terming the investigation “criminal” indicates the serious nature of the DA’s inquiry.

DA “Looking Into” Ellery Court Missing Money, Unpaid Tickets

MAYVILLE-A copy of the Town of Ellery Court audit was passed to the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s office “seven to ten days ago,” according to DA David Foley who was briefly interviewed Tuesday late afternoon while vacationing in Florida by Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and Kiss 106.9 FM. “We’re looking into it,” Foley confirmed.

Foley said the investigation is funded by a state grant called CARP for Crimes Against Revenue Program, designed to recoup money withheld because of various forms of tax evasion and financial fraud.