Holly Graham–Chautauqua’s Got Talent 2015

Home And Auto Fire/6 Fire Companies/211 E James Falconer

Update: A neighbor reported hearing an explosion shortly before 4 a.m., and believes it was related to the car fire. Officially, no cause reported pending investigation.

FALCONER-Fire destroyed a car and heavily damaged a home at 211 E James St. early Monday.

No injuries were reported as of 5:15 a.m., according to volunteers on location. Falconer was called at 4:01 a.m., and five other departments were quickly summoned.

211 E James St, Falconer-Image by Dave O'Connor

211 E James St, Falconer-Image by Dave O’Connor


Vehicle was fully ablaze when firefighters arrived. Image by Dave O’Connor


$142-Billion NY Budget Agreement Reached By “3 Men In A Room”

ALBANY-Details are expected later today for the proposed $142-Billion NYS budget approved by the governor, senate and assembly leaders, often called “three men in a room.”

It is known that Gov. Cuomo’s $10.50 minimum wage bit the dust as did proposed property tax relief.

Suspected Local Meth Cook Caught Way Down Yonder

MAYVILLE- Christopher Swanson, 44, last of 41 Summit Ave., Lakewood, wanted for allegedly making methamphetamine in Jamestown, Busti and Westfield was nabbed in Orleans Parish, LA., early Saturday and will be extradited to Chautauqua County,

Christopher Swanson-Image by Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.

Christopher Swanson-Image by Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.

according to a joint police media release  Sunday evening. Swanson wa

Fire at this Prendergast Avenue home was started when an attempt to manufacture methamphetamine resulted in an explosion.

Fire at 824 Prendergast Ave. was started when an attempt to manufacture methamphetamine resulted in an explosion.

s reportedly involved in a meth cook that caused an explosion and fire at  824 Prendergast Ave. last November.

Swanson is a suspect in an eleven-pot methamphetamine operation reported in a Busti mobile home shown here.

Swanson is a suspect in an eleven-pot methamphetamine operation reported in a Busti mobile home shown here.

Swanson also has an outstanding arrest warrant in Alaska, according to police.

Welfare Cheating: A CAT Weekend Special Report

This interview segment curtesy of 95.3 The Lake, where it was first heard on “NY-PA Today” with Ryan Hedrick. The person being interviewed remains anonymous for obvious reasons.

“Whiplash” At The Reg

Media release:

JAMESTOWN-Oscar-nominated film, Whiplash will show at Reg Lenna Center for The Arts on Wednesday at 7pm.

It was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. J.K. Simmons won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. All seats are $5. In Whiplash, Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory.

Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher (Simmons), an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity. Whiplash is rated R and is 106 minutes long.

Auto Insurance Complaint Ratings/NYS Dept of Financial Services

ALBANY-Most auto insurers, especially the billion-dollar underwriters, do very well in NY’s so-called “Auto Complaint Ratios” method of measuring general consumer satisfaction. In fact, 68 of the 169 auto insurers rated had zero complaints so far as the state’s Dept. of Financial Services is concerned.

However, most of the zero-complaint insurers wrote very little coverage in New York. Two, Kemper Independence and Progressive Northwestern did write $56-million and $43.5 million respectively, and were number one and two in the ratings.

GEICO General Insurance Co. wrote $1.4 Billion on average in 2010 and 2011, the years used for measurement, and had .0107 complaints per million dollars of coverage. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. underwrote $1.087 Billion and had a complaint ratio of .0226 per million dollars written.

Allstate Insurance Co. underwrote $1.127 Billion and had a complaint ratio of .00861, according to the state figures.

Complaints measured are only those that were submitted to the Dept. of Finance. Complaints made directly to the insurer were not measured unless escalated to the finance dept.

Three Months Of “Aggravation”-A Neighbor Speaks Out

JAMESTOWN-A neighbor at 600 W. 5th talks to Ryan Hedrick in this video report:

Meth Bust Nets Four Arrests

Front entrance at 600 W. 5th St. following police entrance. Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director, 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9

Front entrance at 600 W. 5th St. following police entrance. Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director, 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9

imageJAMESTOWN-Four people are under arrest after a police raid on a suspected crystal methamphetamine operation at 600 W. 5th Street between Monroe and Murray Thursday night. (Note: Initial report of 6th and Monroe was incorrect.)

Arrested include Beau K.C. Jones, 30; Rocco Beardsley, 29; Brandon Smith, 29 and Aimee Hogg, 29, according to the Jamestown Metro Drug Force which along with the JPD SWAT Team conducted the raid.

Police report Jones was wanted for a previous meth-related offense, and now all four are charged with felony possession of a controlled substance as well as manufacturing methamphetamine.

$22 K’s For Kallie/JHS Fights Like A Girl-w video

JAMESTOWN-Kallie Swan continues to battle leukemia and her Kallie’s Krusade got a tremendous boost Thursday: a check for $22,089. from JHS students’ “Battle of The Classes” fund raiser.


Half Per Cent Sales Tax Increase Now Needs State OK

MAYVILLE-A proposed .5 per cent sales tax increase was approved by the Chautauqua County Legislature Wednesday evening.

Fourteen legislators voted in favor versus four against. Now the increase will be put in front of the state legislature, and if approved will require another local vote in favor to take effect no earlier than December.

The contemplated increase would raise the total sales tax to eight per cent.


Note: The following is a letter from Mark Eckendorf, CEO of the local YMCA. It has been edited for length. The edits do not change any point raised by Mr. Eckendorf:

You may have seen media reports about an altercation that took place at the Lakewood YMCA Saturday, as our annual 3-on-3 youth basketball tournament was winding down. I am writing to clarify the facts of what happened. [Read more…]

Was Our Lakewood Y’ Coverage Exaggerated?

This is the basis of our reporting along with an interview of LBPD Chief Bentley.

This is the basis of our reporting along with an interview of LBPD Chief Bentley.

Some connected with the local YMCA and the recent 3 on 3 basketball tourney feel our coverage was sensationalized. We disagree. 

We labeled it a “near riot,” The Buffalo News online called it a “small riot.”

Actually if you check United States Code 18 both TheCAT and The News are not precise: USC 18 would clearly label what happened a riot, and only three or more persons need be involved.



Take Notice Of Falling Ice Hazard

imageCHAUTAUQUA COUNTY-Ice buildups or “dams” were a common occurrence on roofs this past winter, and now with milder weather they are coming down. Many weigh fifty pounds or more and could cause both property damage or worse, serious injury. Please be mindful.

And, does insurance cover this. Might be worth checking with your agent/insurer.

Man Dies In Two Vehicle Accident On Rt. 62

One of two cars involved in fatal collision-Image by Ryan Hedrick

One of two cars involved in fatal collision-Image by Ryan Hedrick

Other car involved. Image by Ryan Hedrick

Other car involved. Image by Ryan Hedrick

KIANTONE-A Warren man is dead following a two-vehicle accident on Rt.62 between Riverside and Kiantone Roads Tuesday morning.

Authorities say Joseph Guiffre III, 57, Warren, died as a result of injuries suffered in what police say was a head-on collision about 7:45 a.m. Elsie Lund, 50, Russell, driving the other car sustained what were termed non-life-threatening injuries.

Crews required more than two hours to clear the wreckage and reopen Rt 62.



Lakewood YMCA-Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9 FM

Lakewood YMCA-Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9 FM

LAKEWOOD-A crowd of some 60 people in front of the Lakewood Y’ become more and more unruly Saturday night, attacked police officers, yelled obscenities and required the attention of multiple police agencies. [Read more…]


LAKEWOOD-Update at 10:04 a.m.: A toddler was left alone in a stroller in the shoe sales part of Walmart Sunday night, not in a box as confirmed with Mayville dispatch earlier. The child was left by the mother’s boyfriend who was with her even though she had previously filed an order of protection against him, according to police. Police say they were alerted by concerned on lookers after the boy left his stroller and began to wander through the big store.

Police say when they arrived they were contacted by the child’s mother and grandmother who reported the boy was missing, and also that the boyfriend had violated an order of protection.

Officers located Miguel Flores, 39, Jamestown, sitting in front of the store and attempted to arrest him, but he resisted, according to the report. (See video.) After subduing him he was led out of the store, but reportedly kicked an officer in the parking lot. He is charged with resisting arrest.
While the toddler’s mother reported Flores violated an order of protection, she “had no explanatin” when asked why Flores was accompanying the child and mother and grandmother in the cab ride to Walmart.
We regret reporting the baby was left in a box. Mayville dispatch apparently was told the infant was left in a shoe box rather than shoe aisle. However the baby was left without any adult present during “a significant amont of time,” according to police.






Suspect in the Lakewood Walmart Sunday night.


Missing Dunkirk Teen Found

Thanks to social media posts, Kaitlin has been located and is reported ok. She ran away from home, according to Dunkirk PD which alerted the public.

She was believed to be in the Jamestown area but now she is back home in Dunkirk.


“Run All Night”- TheCAT At The Movies

“Run All Night,” like TV’s “24,” compresses its gangster versus gangster tale into a ten or twelve hour rainy evening, dark overnight and foggy morning with a very high body count.

Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) and Sean McGuire (Ed Harris) are thuggy buddies in weary middle age-ruthless but with a soft side. Not particularly believable, but the pace and frantic film editing don’t allow much time to ponder the likelihood of two old pals who are trying to murder each other while sharing an occasional fond memory of days past when they just killed other people.

But McGuire’s nitwit son gets involved with “Albanian” bad guys and solved the ensuing mess by knocking off the two top Albanian honchos who just happened to catch a ride on the fatal night in a limo chauffeured by, of all people, Conlon’s son.

No plot spoilers but some very uh shall we say unfortunate and may we add unlikely twists and turns very soon have mob boss McGuire ordering all hands on deck to wipe out his best friend and his best friend’s son ASAP.

And this is no simple task for Conlon is a tough, experienced and cool customer who shoots straight and doesn’t miss. The action is nearly non stop.

So this is what used to be called a melodrama though there is nothing mellow about it. Not for the under 12 folks for sure. But as violent crime sagas go “Run All Night” delivers 114 minutes of well..violent crime with a back story of redemption that attempts to add a bit of heft to a shoot’em up.

The movie does impress with vivid, contrasty atmospherics and its relentless variety of shooting angles and use of cuts to visually hammer the viewer. Well done I thought

It’s playing at Lakewood Cinema Eight. Check their website for show times.


A Stolen Pick Up Runs Out Of Gas-What Do You Do?

CLYMER,JAMESTOWN,KIANTONE-One alleged thief’s solution, according to local police, was to steal another vehicle.

Daniel Craker, 48, Cornish Hill Rd, Bear Lake, Pa, reportedly told police he spotted a pick up in a driveway on Weeks Rd. in Clymer very early Saturday. Craker said the keys were in the ignition so he started the truck and drove it until the fuel tank was empty.

Police say Craker soon discovered an unlocked door on a home along Frissell Rd. in Jamestown. He allegedly entered the residence and pilfered keys to a 2011 Honda Element parked in the garage.

He again, police say, began driving around until apprehended on N. Main Street about 7:45 a.m. Craker was taken to the NYSP sub-station in Kiantone where police say he voluntarily described his early morning activities.

He is charged with multiple counts of burglary, grand larceny of a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Craker was arraigned in Town of Kiantone court and then taken to county jail with no bail set at this time.


The Meth Epidemic-Nearly Five Years After A Special Police Conference


The orange “condemned” notice on 57 Spruce St. is just one social cost of the methamphetamine trade. Poisonous ingredients often linger in homes where “one pot” and more ambitious “labs” manufacture the highly addictive substance.

We republish two related articles as background to the continuing and growing problem of methamphetamine addiction and criminal activity.

From Oct. 29, 2013 when TheCAT was six weeks old:

JAMESTOWN–Methamphetamine was the subject of a conference of Chautauqua County law enforcement officials in August 2010. Their concern appears  borne out by a series of recent arrests involving the alleged manufacture of the drug in Jamestown.

City police records show an arrest April 6, 2012, in connection with an alleged meth cooking operation at 10 Winsor St. Less than a month later on May 3, police used a search warrant to enter a Collins Avenue home where they suspected so called “crystal meth” was being created. Information at the Collins Avenue host led police to a residence at 144 Broadhead Ave. where they reported another meth operation. [Read more…]

Alleged Small Meth Operation In Randolph Raided-With Updates


Shown is 210 Spring St., Randolph, where state police say crystal meth was concocted. Image provided to TheCAT by NYSP.

Updated at 2:58p.m.
RANDOLPH-NY State Troopers said Saturday morning they arrested two suspects in connection with a “small” crystal methamphetamine operation and  felony possession of an estimated four pounds of marijuana.

Juan DeJesus and Rachael Maynard, no age given for either, 210 Spring St., are both charged with 2nd degree criminal possession of marihuana, 3rd degree illegal manufacture of methamphetamine  and endangering the welfare of a child, according to state police.


The Battle Is On!-Fun In Falconer

Justin Gould reports from the Falconer Middle School battle of the classes. A high energy event with proceeds going to a great cause!

Jamestown Woman Accused of Welfare Fraud

JAMESTOWN-Whitney Lindblad, 27, 21 Camp Street, was charged Friday afternoon in connection with alleged welfare fraud.

An investigation by the DHHS Integrity  Unit and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office resulted in Lindblad being charged with Welfare Fraud 5th degree, Petit Larceny and Fraudulent Receipt of Benefits, charges she is scheduled to answer in Jamestown City Court.

Investigators allege Lindblad failed to disclose income and received unentitled benefits in September and October 2014.

Pizza Cutter Allegedly Used In Mayville Threat

MAYVILLE-Joshua Reynolds, 20,  Morris Street, is in county jail because he threatened another person with a pizza cutter after damaging the victim’s cell phone, according to the Chautauqua County Sheriffs Office Thursday afternoon.

Reynolds is charged with 2nd degree menacing and 4th degree criminal mischief.

Thoughtful Essay Dept:A White Man’s Pain: The Fredonia Hillbillies

A modern “Liberal”- One who staunchly defends their right to insist on their way or no way ie- a petty tyrant.

Alright it’s time, it’s way past time to call out the Fredonia Central School District. And here at TheCAT the alarm bell keeps ringing.


If you’ve not seen it before, we apologize for placing this before you. White stereotype? Uh yeah.

Hillbillies? Are you kidding? Actually I know you are not. Your stereotype of a  northern Appalacian knuckle dragger is arrogantly displayed in your school.(Oh yes! I’ve personally seen white boys and girls slinking past “Clem” or “Bubba” or whatever “his” name is. How long will the shrinking forms of the white kiddies be ignored by a callous administration?)

Am I merely one outraged paleface? I think not! Look and learn (as if you didn’t already know, and as if you didn’t enjoy every decade)

From Wikipedia:

“Hillbilly is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas in the United States, primarily in Appalachia, but also parts of the Ozarks. Due to its strongly stereotypical connotations, the term can be offensive to those Americans of Appalachian or Ozark heritage. “Hillbilly” first appeared in print in a 1900 New York Journal article, with the definition: “a Hill-Billie is a free and untrammeled white citizen of Alabama, who lives in the hills, has no means to speak of, dresses as he can, talks as he pleases, drinks whiskey when he gets it, and fires off his revolver as the fancy takes him.” The stereotype is two-fold in that it incorporates both positive and negative traits: “Hillbillies” are often considered independent and self-reliant individuals that resist the modernization of society, but at the same time they are also defined as backward, violent, and uncivilized. Scholars argue this duality is reflective of the split ethnic identities in “white America.”

“…often derogatory…” Yes, yes indeed. As if we the people didn’t know that. Well, if you didn’t know whitey consider yourself now in the loop.


Alleged Meth At Scene Of Narcan OD Rescue-With Video

Cleaning team at 21 Sturges St. Thursday morning. Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9

Cleaning team at 21 Sturges St. Thursday morning. Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and Kiss FM 106.9

Here’s the video link: trim.jwz5IX

JAMESTOWN-Late Wednesday a drug overdose that required a Narcan administration; then the discovery of alleged crystal methamphetamine; all at 21 Sturges St. where a special hazardous substance cleaning team is working as of Thursday morning.

VandeVelde Re-Elected Westfield Mayor


Shown l-r: Alan Holbrook, Mike VandeVelde and Rob Cochran, winners of the county’s only contested elections Wednesday.

WESTFIELD-Mike VandeVelde (D) easily won re-election and will serve a second two-year term as Village of Westfield mayor, based on unofficial results Wednesday night.  VandeVelde received 324 votes, Rick Raynor (R) received 201, according to the initial tally.

Alan Holbrook (D-R) and Rob Cochran (D) were elected and re-elected respectively to the village board. Holbrook, endorsed by both major parties was the top vote getter with 428, Cochran garnered 373. Former mayor, Dave Carr, received 185 in a bid for one of the two available board seats.

There were 53 absentee ballots. They were not counted, but can’t change any unofficial result.


Mortgage Rates Remain Historically Low

Mortgages on private homes average 3.68 per cent for a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to Zillow, a real estate app and website.

Auto Insurance: NYS Rank Based On Upheld Complaints

NYS’s Department of Financial Services ranks the 169 auto insurers doing business in the state based on complaints upheld by the department divided by the insurer’s auto premiums.

During the next few days TheCAT will explain the ranking table and name names. Good news though: Most insurers including the biggies do well.