NYC MD Has Ebola-NY Times

Update: There are confirmed reports that Dr. Spencer was socially very active before becoming symptomatic. He rode in cabs, the subway and went bowling Wednesday night.

NEW YORK – A doctor recently returned from Africa is in isolation after testing positive for Ebola, according to the digital edition of the New York Times late Thursday.

Dr. Craig Spencer was rushed to Bellevue Hospital for treatment, and health care workers are attempting to trace people he contacted during the past days, according to the report.

3rd Meth Bust In 24 Hrs!

JAMESTOWN-A third raid in less than a day’s time was conducted by police at an alleged methamphetamine source at 115 Wilton Ave. Thursday.

ONE SKINNER PLEA DEAL RECANTED! can exclusively report that one of the three plea deals in the murder of Gordon and Joyce Skinner has been recanted! This is from a reliable source.

However, that source would not reveal, for the time being, which of the three-McCormick, Todd or Knickerbocker, has chosen to set aside his plea agreement.

McKinley Ave House Burns Down


County Budget Passes 19-0

MAYVILLE-County Exec Vince Horrigan must sign it, and then the Chautauqua County 2015 budget will be completely official after the legislature gave a 19-0 unanimous thumbs up to the document Wednesday evening.

The evening meeting was a short one following an afternoon session mandated by the requirement of two separate public hearings for the fiscal-year budget.

According to the resolution the property tax levy next year will be $62,790,611 and the tax rate will be $9.14 per $1,000 of full value.

The tax rate proposed by County Executive Vince Horrigan was $9.17 per $1,000; changes to the plan dropped the rate, according to legislature majority leader Dave Himelien(R-Dist. 18) interviewed following the twenty-minute session.

O’Connor Threatened With Arrest By JPD-News/Opinion/Analysis-Exclusive Video


Taken from the corner of Sixth and Lafayette where I was sent by JPD. Note neighbors weren’t shooed even though they were much closer to the activities. Were they too in the invisible crime scene? Lesson: Don’t ask any questions.

JAMESTOWN-Begin please by looking at the image of the delineated crime scene at 607 Lafayette St.(below) That yellow tape is the way police investigators protect evidence and collect artifacts related to an alleged crime.

I have never crossed the yellow tape line for any reason, and I didn’t Wednesday evening when I strolled from my car to take a picture of the crime scene.

“Hey you,” a JPD officer shouted. “You’re in the crime scene.” Somewhat taken aback, I turned and informed the young man that I was media, taking a picture and beg pardon was not in or on the crime scene. Then Lt. Paul Abbott said I was in jeopardy of being arrested. I informed the lieutenant that I went to law school and acting pro se would file a civil suit if arrested.

I also asked if I was supposed to be a mind reader, and discern where the crime scene really was since I hadn’t crossed the marker of police jurisdiction indicated plainly by yellow tape.

I was told to go to the corner, which I did, noting that many neighbors were not being stopped from observing the action from a closer vantage point. (See image.)

If it turns out the suspects were making something illegal on the sidewalk, I stand corrected. Or, perhaps the yellow tape is in short supply and they used it all up.

Lt. Abbott knows me. A simple, “Hey Dave, we’re busy here. Please move away,” would have worked perfectly. Update: Note the P-J has an image of 607 Lafayette St. taken from about the same place I took mine.


Update: JPD reports Beau Jones,30,607 Lafayette St. and Richard Dean, 38, 238 Forest Ave. are in jail as the result of the Wednesday evening raids.

JAMESTOWN-Yellow tape surrounds 607 Lafayette St., the scene of an apparent meth lab bust.

There’s a similar scene at 238 Forest Ave. No audio.

Video from both locations available only here on TheCAT with Dave O’Connor reporting and Justin Gould behind the camera.


A variety of equipment in front of 607 Lafayette St., scene of an alleged drug operation. A NYSP vehicle blocked access from Sixth to Lafayette when the raid began about 6:30 p.m. according to neighbors.


Yellow crime scene tape (See related article) set up around alleged meth lab.

Prescription Drug Arrest In Hanover

From the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office:

HANOVER- Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Deputies on patrol report a driver allegedly committed  multiple traffic infractions on Alleghany Road in the Town of Hanover Tuesday shortly before 2 p.m. The operator was identified as Jessica L. Lawrie, 27, of Irving.

Lawrie was charged with operating the vehicle while her New York driving privileges were suspended. Further investigation found that Lawrie was allegedly in possession of a quantity of Suboxone strips, narcotic pills, and prescription controlled substances in improper containers.

Lawrie was charged with 2 counts of criminal possession of controlled substance 7th degree, aggravated unlicensed operator 3rd degree, possession of controlled substance outside original container, failing to signal a turn, failure to keep right, and no/improper seatbelt.

She was arraigned in the Town of Hanover Court, and remanded to the Chautauqua County Jail with bail set at $1000 cash / $2000 property bond.

Manning Sets Record!

DENVER-Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has passed Brett Favre for the most career touchdown passes with 509. The ex-Indianapolis Colts signal caller has three touchdown passes in the first half tonight against the 49ers, and 18 on the season. (Update: Manning tossed four TD’s making his career total 510 as the Broncos blew out the 49’ers 42-17 in the Sunday night game.)

W is for Watkins!

ORCHARD PARK- Rookie Bills receiver Sammy Watkins was hit for a 2 yard TD pass from quarterback Kyle Orton in the final seconds, and the Bills (4-3) pulled out a 17-16 win at home over the Minnesota Vikings (2-5). The TD occurred as a result of a 15-play, 80 yard drive. Orton made  key throws on the drive, with conversions on 4th and 20 and  3rd and 12. A 28-yard reception by Chris Hogan set up shop for the decisive score at the Vikings 2. Orton overcame another mediocre day in which he threw an INT, had a lost fumble and was sacked six times for a 31-43 for 283 yards and 2 TD finish. Both TDs were to Watkins, who finished with 9 catches for 122 yards and the 2 TDs.  This marks Orton’s second last-second victory in 3 starts for Buffalo, who was forced to overcome injuries to Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller in the backfield. The Vikings defense forced 4 turnovers, 2 of them when Buffalo had drives deep in Minnesota territory and the other two deep in Buffalo territory. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went 15-26 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in defeat. Minnesota has now lost its third in a row. The Bills will travel to AFC rival NY Jets (1-6) for a 1:00 showdown next week, while the Vikings will be on the road against the 1-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also at 1:00.


NFL Week 6 Scores

Sunday, October 19th

Buffalo 17-Minnesota 16

Jacksonville 24-Cleveland 6

Indianapolis 27-Cincinnati 0

Baltimore 29-Atlanta 7

St. Louis 28-Seattle 26

Miami 27-Chicago 14

Washington 19-Tennessee 17

Detroit 24-New Orleans 23

Green Bay 38-Carolina 17

Kansas City 23-San Diego 20

Dallas 31-NY Giants 21

Arizona 24-Oakland 13

Denver 42-San Francisco 17

Monday, October 20th

Pittsburgh 30-Houston 23

Thursday, October 16th

New England 27-NY Jets 25

BYE: Tampa Bay, Philadelphia 


Bills RB Duo Out

ORCHARD PARK- Bills running back Fred Jackson will not return after an injury to his groin occurred in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings.  Jackson, 33, remained down on the field after he was stopped on 3rd and 1 short of the first down marker. He was eventually helped up and to the sidelines by center Eric Wood and a trainer. Hands over his face, Jackson was taken to the locker room on a cart. RB C.J. Spiller was carted off with a shoulder injury. He has been ruled out (Update: Spiller broke a collar bone, and is scheduled for surgery Monday. Indications now are he will miss 6 to 8 weeks.)Boobie Dixon is the only available running back left for Buffalo.


Advertising: TheCAT Moves Forward

JAMESTOWN-Our full copyrighted name is after all The Chautauqua county Advertiser&Transcript-TheCAT.

The advertising part, we are happy to report, is coming along-and earlier than originally planned in our business model which expected a springtime 2015 start for more than a few ads.

We now are approved by Google AdSense and also our videos on YouTube loaded by Tween Broadcasting Network. In addition we are distributing our media kits to potential local advertisers telling, we think, a compelling story about the economical and effective opportunities offered at

So for those who have asked about the business side of TheCAT, it’s coming. Content first always-that is what brings page views and advertisers benefit.


Arrest: Forceable Entry In Ellery

BEMUS POINT- Lionel Wescott Jr., 26, Bemus Point, is charged by Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Deputies with making a forceable entry into an Ellery residence along Rt. 430 and shoving a resident in the home shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday.

Wescott is in Chautauqua County Jail without bail charged with 2nd degree burglary, 3rd degree criminal mischief and harassment.

Wescott allegedly forced his way into the home, shoved a resident to the ground and damaged property, according to the sheriff’s office.


“Rob” Taglianetti Is In Great Meadow Prison

COMSTOCK-Convicted murderer Anthony “Rob” Taglianetti is an inmate at Great Meadow Prison, a maximum security state institution north of Albany near the Vermont border.

Taglianetti was committed there in March shortly after receiving his maximum sentence for the shooting death of former Clymer school superintendent Keith Reed Jr in September 2012.


Sect VI Local Scores 10-17-14

Friday, October 17th

Jamestown 19-Orchard Park 0

Southwestern 17-Falconer/CV 3

Portville 42-Frewsburg 12

Fredonia 50-Dunkirk 48  F/4OT

Randolph 56-Westfield/Brocton 6

Silver Creek/Forestville 28-Catt/LV 7

Maple Grove/Chautauqua Lake 50-Allegany Limestone 3

Gowanda 30-Akron 6

Saturday, October 18

Panama 7-Sherman 6




Update: Drug Raids Net 6 Suspects

JAMESTOWN-Six persons are charged after two drug raids Thursday afternoon. (See initial report below.)

Laura Dubois, 24, and Lawerence Gary, 45, both of Jamestown, were arrested along with Ollie Alford, 32, of Buffalo, at 108 Crescent St.

Torry Knight, 46, of Jamestown and Ervin Mitchell, 31, and Rayquan Brooks, 18, both from Buffalo, were arrested at 165 Barrett Ave.

All six face 3rd degree Criminal Possesion of a Controlled Substance charges stemming from about one ounce of crack cocaine found, police said, at each location.

In addition, Alford and Gary, both convicted felons were charged with possesion of a loaded rifle.

Police said the arrests were the result of an investigation of crack cocaine trafficking in the city by the Metro Drug Force which included JPD and Town of Ellicott PD.





Reed “Likely Winner”- Sabato Predicts

From the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics:

Rep. Tom Reed(R)is likely to retain his NY-23 seat in the US House of Representatives, according to the latest election outlook posted by “Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball”

Sabato had the race against Ithaca’s Martha Robertson as “leaning GOP,” but Thursday changed it to “likely.”

Also the national Democrat Congressional Committee has ceased spending for Robertson who is already badly behind Reed in media spending.




imageimageJAMESTOWN-Raids at 108 Crescent and 165 Barrett Thursday netted “lots of drugs, money and at least one gun,” according to JPD Capt. Robert Samuelson shortly before 6 p.m. Crack Cocaine was the drug seized, Samuelson said. He expects a full media release later Thursday night.


Fire In Skinner Murders Was Set

MAYVILLE-The fire that badly burned Gordon Skinner and his wife Joyce was deliberately set and its intensity indicated “accelerants” were used, Chautauqua County Fire Investigator Lance Hedlund testified Thursday as the Davide Coggins double murder trial continued.

Hedlund said the fire in a basement room was “hot, fast and localized,” and likely originated in the wooden rocker where Mr. Skinner’s charred remains were located.  Nearby, Hedlund said were gasoline cans both inside and outside the basement door.

Earlier in the trial Dr. Tara Mahar, Erie County Chief Medical Examiner, testified Mr. Skinner’s cause of death was either smoke inhalation or multiple stab wounds. Mrs. Skinner did not have any evidence of smoke inhalation indicating she was dead due to multiple stab wounds before the fire started.

Afternoon testimony in Day Six of the Coggins trial was taken up with a string of Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Deputies testifying about their custody of the general crime scene and identifying photos of what appear to be bloody and sooty footprints and other artifacts collected during the first day of the investigation at the Skinner’s Wheeler Hill home near Frewsburg.

Among the artifacts- a pair of “brown slippers,” one found on the deck, the other on the ground.

Coggin’s trial is set to resume Friday at 9 a.m.


Monofrax Strike Continues

FALCONER-Pickets continued their 24/7 presence outside the main gate to RHI Monofrax Wednesday night.

imageUnion members denied there was a recent negotiation to end the strike. They characterized the latest meeting between labor and management as informational only.

Workers say the work stoppage is because of company proposals to cut back health insurance and pension benefits. (For more background see the exclusive video report below)


Coggins Trial Resumes

MAYVILLE-Key witnesses against accused double murderer Davide Coggins are likely to testify sometime this week as Coggin’s trial on two 1st degree murder charges resumes Wednesday morning with a scheduled 9 a.m. start.

Those important witnesses are three of the four suspects who have copped to lesser pleas stemming from involvement in the April 17, 2013, brutal slaying of Gordon and Joyce Skinner in their Wheeler Hill home near Frewsburg. The Skinners were both repeatedly stabbed, then burned and left in a basement room.

Steven Todd, 19, Ricky Knickerbocker,19, and Josh McCormick,22, all accepted plea bargains rather than face trial for murder leaving 35-year-old Coggins as the only suspect to stand trial in Chautauqua County Court. [Read more...]



FREDONIA-A 68 year-old Portland woman is dead after her vehicle was struck by a train at the Walker Road crossing in the Town of Pomfret, according to a NY State Police source.

Phyllis Poloncarz was pronounced dead after her vehicle was struck by a westbound freight train and dragged for more than a mile while the train slowed to a stop.

Investigators are waiting for video from the locomotive’s front camera to learn more.

Meth Bust-Superior St.-2 Jailed


130 Superior St. which police report is now cleansed of any dangerous chemicals following a 24-hour scouring.

Kristen Nelson-Image provided by JPD

Kristen Nelson-Image provided by JPD

Joseph Casel-Image provided by JPD.

Joseph Casel-Image provided by JPD.

JAMESTOWN-A man and a woman are charged after a raid on an alleged meth lab at 130 Superior St. Saturday. Police, fire and haz-mat equipment were still at the site early Sunday afternoon.

Joseph Casel, 43, and Kristen Nelson, 34, were arrested at their Superior Street apartment Saturday afternoon following a larceny complaint from a Fairmont Avenue motel which reported the theft of a “4-wheeler” Saturday morning.

JPD, working with Ellicott PD, report tracing a van to the address, and finding it contained a “4-wheeler” reported stolen. Officers also observed what they suspected were ingredients used to make methamphetamines, and obtained a search warrant for the residence where they report there were indications the illegal drug was made there.

Both suspects are charged with felony manufacture of methamphetamine, and endangering the welfare of two small children in the home. Both children are now reported to be with relatives.

Brady Conquers…Again!


Tom Brady leaves Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday. Brady’s bullseye accuracy, ability to throw every kind of pass and find open receivers netted him a 4-TD day. Image by Ryan Hedrick, News Director, 95.3 The Lake.

ORCHARD PARK- New England Patriots (4-2) QB Tom Brady  again defeated (feasted on?) the Bills (3-3) , this time 37-22. Brady threw for 361 yards and 4 TDs on the afternoon,  2 of them to WR Brandon LaFell in the 4th quarter.

All but 50 of the Pats 396 offensive yards came via the pass as Brady showed the Ralph crowd what a premier quarterback can accomplish.

The Pats running game was stalled all day long, but it didn’t matter. LaFell, TE Rob Grankowski and WR Julian Edelman all had huge days receiving, each surpassing 90 yards. Bills QB Kyle Orton  had a mixed day with 299 yards in the air, 2 TDs but a costly INT, and took what appeared to be two unnecessary sacks. Buffalo  also gained  fewer than 100 yards on the ground. The last game Buffalo was able to eclipse the century  mark was Week 2 against the Dolphins.

Ebola Update:

From the digital New York Times:

A health-care worker in Texas is quarantined after a positive test for the Ebola virus.

Drug Raids Continue In City

Ezequiel Villafane-Rodriquez, 20, 10 Winsor St., charged with possession of a "quantity of Heroin and cash.

Ezequiel Villafane-Rodriquez, 20, 10 Winsor St., charged with possession of a “quantity of Heroin and cash.

Zuleyka Fuentas-Cruz, 33, 6 Winsor St., charged with possession of prescription pills.

Zuleyka Fuentas-Cruz, 33, 6 Winsor St., charged with possession of prescription pills.

Angel Ortiz Rodriquez, 37, 563 E. 2nd St., picked up on a warrant issued in Warren, Pa.

Angel Ortiz Rodriquez, 37, 563 E. 2nd St., picked up on a warrant issued in Warren, Pa.


Angel Cruz, 20, 6 Winsor St., charged with possession of prescription pills.

JAMESTOWN-Three search warrants resulted in four arrests on drug related charges Friday morning, according to a news release from JPD. (See details with images provided by JPD.)



David Coggins, 35, on trial for two counts of 1st degree murder in the deaths of Gordon and Joyce Skinner. Image provided by Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office

MAYVILE-“We ended up killing the couple”-that was what Jordon Blake testified he heard when he met three of the four accused in the double murder of Gordon and Joyce Skinner. Blake said Steven Todd, Josh McCormick and Ricky Knickerbocker were “teary eyed and nervous” when he pulled his car over after spotting the trio walking on Maple St. in Elmira about 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2013, the day the Skinners were murdered in their Wheeler Hill home in the Town of Carroll.

Blake also testified Friday, day four in the murder trial of Davide Coggins, that he had warned against the planned burglary of the Skinner home  just days before: “I could tell by Mr. Coggin’s demeanor it was going to get ugly.” Blake, himself a convicted felon, said was his reaction when told of the plot in the Elmira apartment of Lindsay Brown, then  Todd’s girlfriend.

Blake read the “killing the couple” comment from a sworn deposition he made, and read it as instructed by Public Defender Ned Barone. However, when re-examined by DA David Foley, Blake read an extended version of the comment which implicated Coggins as the murderer. The 35-yrear-old Coggins “drug the man” down the stairs (from the main floor to the basement) and “strangled and stabbed him,” Blake read from his deposition about what the other suspects related to him following the slayings.

Barone’s examination of Blake was designed to cast doubt on the prosecution witness’s testimony by establishing Blake is still a member of the “Bloods” gang, and has served time in prison, including at least one maximum security facility. Blake also said Josh McCormick, one of the three suspects who has cut a plea deal, was a close friend, “like a brother.”

Blake’s recounting of the “strangled” comment appears to explain a prosecution attempt to bring up the topic during the examination of Erie County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Tara Mahar. Mr. Skinner’s hyoid bone, located in the front of the neck just below the chin, was fractured, something, according to forensic texts, that can indicate strangulation. However, Mahar’s autopsy clearly states the fracture was apparently the result of a knife blade striking and passing through the bone.

Because of this Barone very strenuously objected to the line of questioning as irrelevant. Judge John Ward read through the autopsy cause of death finding and sustained Barone’s objection. Ward also told the jury to disregard the questions. (Please see “No Mistrial for Coggins” below for more details on the issue of strangulation.)

Coggins trial will continue Wednesday at 9 a.m., according to Judge Ward, who said he decided to start proceedings a half-hour earlier and “go a little longer” starting next week.




Skinner Home Was Torn Apart

MAYVILLE-Criminals from out of town tore apart the residence of murder victims Gordon and Joyce Skinner apparently seeking hidden money, according to Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Lt. Vince Gerace who was the only witness Thursday-day three of the trial of Davide Coggins on two counts of 1st degree murder.

Lt. Gerace gave an extremely detailed account of the through ransacking of the home, often aided by photos and diagrams to help jurors understand the layout of the residence and what the forensics team, led by Gerace, found.

Gerace will continue his testimony Friday when the trial resumes a half-hour early at 9 a.m.

No Mistrial For Coggins

MAYVILLE-Davide Coggins defense team asked Judge John Ward to declare a mistrial Wednesday afternoon, a request the judge denied. All of this was revealed after the jury in the double-murder trial had left for the day.

In a near empty courtroom shortly after 5 p.m. Judge Ward had a conversation with lead defense attorney Ned Barone about a so-called side bar earlier in the afternoon after Barone twice objected to prosecution attempts to introduce strangulation during an examination of Erie County Medical Examiner Dr. Tara Mahar.

Ward sustained Barone’s objection both times, and instructed the jury to ignore the questions.

Ward told Barone that the sustaining of his objections and his instructions to the jury were the proper remedy, not a mistrial.

Autopsy findings indicated that Gordon Skinner’s hyoid bone, located in the neck below the chin, was fractured, which according to forensic texts can indicate strangulation. However, Dr. Mahar’s autopsy said a stab wound in the neck was the cause of the fracture, and there was no mention of strangulation.


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