Kwik Fill Robbed; Female Suspect Jailed

JAMESTOWN-Kimberly Ballinger, 25, is in custody, charged with Friday night’s robbery of Kwik Fill on Forest Avenue.

Ballinger fit the description of the robber and was picked up by a city police patrol as she was walking, according to JPD. She allegedly used an air pistol to rob the store sh

Kimberly Ballenger,25, charged with 2nd Degree Robbery and Menacing-Image from JPD

Kimberly Ballenger,25, charged with 2nd Degree Robbery and Menacing-Image from JPD

ortly before ten o’clock.

Police report the robbery proceeds were in her possession when she was arrested. Exclusive with Michael Garbin

More with Michael Garbin from


North Korea orchestrated the cyber attack on Sony Pictures, according to a digital New York Times report Friday afternoon based on FBI charges.

If correct, this would mark the first time a national government is directly held responsible for such an attack, according to the NYT report.


Kallie Swan Seeks A Match

Be the match for Kallie Swan and find out how to help Kallie Swan on

Tyler Chase Goes Missing; Still Not Found-Eighth Most Read/Viewed had recently partnered with Ryan Hedrick, News Director of KISS-FM 106.9 and 95.3 The Lake, when 25-year-old Tyler Chase was reported missing in mid-May. That partnership made a large difference on TheCAT’s readership and video views. In fact, until Ryan we did not have video-a medium that has been a potent builder of audience.

Ryan and I visited the home of Tyler’s parents in the Town of Charlotte to follow up on their missing son. While on the way we learned young Chase was in fact a wanted man, charged with multiple accounts of illicit sexual encounters with minors.

As of this report, we have received no official or unofficial word on the whereabouts of Tyler Chase. After he was initially reported missing tens of volunteers combed the Town of Charlotte seeking him.

Tyler Chase, 25, missing since Wednesday and facing a total of 20 morals charges, five of them felonies.

Tyler Chase, then  25, missing since May and facing a total of 20 morals charges, five of them felonies.

Frewsburg Elementary Teacher Charged With Pot Possession (With Note)

    Thomas O’Brien, 29,an Art teacher at Robert H. Jackson Elementary School in Frewsburg, was charged with illegal possession of marijuana late Dec. 9, according to New York State Police.

O’Brien, police reported, was driving on Rt. 60 in Cassadaga and was pulled over about 11:30 p.m. because of no registration plate light on his vehicle.The state trooper reported smelling marijuana smoke and also reported finding marijuana and a “multi-colored pipe” in O’Brien’s vehicle.

While the incident took place several days ago, it apparently was not immediately posted on the state police “newsroom” site, but is published there now.

(Editor’s note: We ordinarily do not publish straight pot possession police reports, that is where the possession is the only violation other than combined with a low-point traffic or vehicle infraction. Also, it is our personal opinion that marijuana should be (carefully) decriminalized. So why this report?

First, please keep in mind Mr. O’Brien is charged. We will attempt to determine the actual judicial outcome, and publish same particularly if the charge is dropped or he is found not guilty. Second, this report was published by the NYSP before we published it. It already was beginning to trickle out in the Frewsburg community. Frankly, in Chautauqua County we believe keeping any published report a “secret” or confidential is next to impossible.

Most importantly, Mr. O’Brien occupies a publicly-funded position of great responsibility. Also, he was charged with using, apparently while driving. And again, we will report the ultimate judicial outcome when we are able to obtain it.

Frewsburg Elementary Teacher Charged With Pot Possession

USA And Cuba Will “Normalize” Relations-NY Times Reporting

Both this country and Cuba have decided to move toward normal diplomatic relations, according to the digital edition of the New York Times Tuesday morning.

Home Invasion/Gun Battle-Ninth Most Read/Viewed Of 2014

JAMESTOWN-A home invasion replete with sordid sexual assaults,terror and an exchange of gun shots between at least one of the culprits and city police was’s ninth biggest report in 2014, according to our site statistics.

Seven men, some from Buffalo, stormed into 188 Falconer St. either very late June 30, or early July 1, according to JPD.

They terrorized the home’s occupants and forced two women to endure brutal acts of depravity, according to the elements of the many criminal charges lodged against them.

When the police were notified several hours after the men first invaded the residence, the invaders left anyway they could. At least one of them fired on police, and was wounded by police return fire.

Scroll back a few pages for our coverage of the invasion, ensuing manhunt and arrests.

Foote Ave Kwik-Fill Robbed At Knifepoint

Image provided by JPD

Image provided by JPD

JAMESTOWN-Area police are seeking a tall suspect who used a knife to hold up the Foote Avenue Kwil-Fill shortly after seven Tuesday night.

Police report the “tall, thin white male” ran from the business after taking an undetermined amount of money.

JPS: The Curtain Went Up At Love School-Opinion/Analysis

Chris Rielly said discipline problems "are through the roof" in JPS classrooms when he spoke Nov. 18, at Love School.

Chris Rielly said discipline problems “are through the roof” in JPS classrooms when he spoke Nov. 18, at Love School.

Energy of the negative kind buzzed through the Love School auditorium Nov. 18 when some 300 folks attended a board of education session. A curtain ,as it were, went up exposing a deep divide between a recently installed superintendent and many of the district’s veteran teachers.

We learned from Chris Rielly, president of the Jamestown Teachers Association, that the bargaining unit had filed a formal grievance Oct. 31, based on what members felt was the administration’s failure to enforce  classroom discipline.

Rielly said teachers were responding to a meeting between school administrators and teachers about increasing bad student behavior Oct. 20. A meeting, Rielly said, that failed to reassure teachers.

Eight days later, Nov. 26, at JPS headquarters on Martin Road it was revealed that some 2,000 instances of bad behavior have been filed in the first third of this school year in Jamestown High School.

Elementary and middle school principals outlined generally dismal reports of discipline problems including kindergarten and fourth-grade kids as some of the worst offenders.

Then at least two instances of police being summoned and emergency treatment required, the first at JHS, the second and most recent at Jefferson Middle School. Superintendent Tim Mains called the JHS fight an “incident,” and refused to make any comment on the Jefferson fight which saw an asst. principal sustaining a reported minor injury.

Teacher morale reportedly is in the tank, particularly at Fletcher school.

Christmas or “Holiday” (What holiday is that again?) break probably can’t come quickly enough.

Question for 2015: Can the divide be closed? Superintendent Mains counsels patience in a published opinion piece.

Stay tuned.



Mains P-J Opinion Piece Is Most Revealing-Opinion/Analysis

We refer readers to Sunday’s (Dec. 14, 2014) Post-Journal, p. A-5, “School Discipline…” This is an opinion piece by Tim O. Mains, Superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools.

Please take the time to read and perhaps re-read the entire essay. We note in particular the first full paragraph in the third column: “My schools and staff…” Really? This from a man who told Ryan Hedrick, News Director of 95.3 The Lake and KISS-FM 106.9, late last Thursday that Hedrick will “…respect me and the district-or not.”

Other questions aside, does Mr. Mains really believe that he is the personification of the Jamestown Public Schools? We hope not. Mr. Mains could argue that he meant “Our schools, not My schools and staff…” However, his P-J  essay was probably not a first draft, so the first person possessive pronoun is instructive especially when combined with his comment about respecting him and the district.

Here is another distressing tidbit from Superintendent Mains, this from the last column: “We want the public to understand that when someone complains that we are unwilling to describe the details of a behavioral incident, it is not because we are hiding anything. We must protect the confidentiality of our students-even when they do naughty things. So we will never give the particulars of any particular incident. Our first responsibility is to our students.” (Emphasis added.)

Mr. Superintendent is hiding behind the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or as it is commonly called “FERPA.”

And he, like many education admin types, is grossly twisting both the actual federal statute and related judicial case law. FERPA protects many of what it terms and describes as “education records.” It does not, repeat it does not, protect information about student activity that contains elements which may be criminal. The courts are unanimous that this kind of information is not an “education record.”

Note also that he jumps from student confidentiality to “the particulars of any particular incident.” That is a completely unwarranted leap. Student confidentiality can be maintained while other information about an incident is given. Please note too that we have never requested a student id in the recent “incidents.”

Mr Mains is not alone in either misunderstanding FERPA or deliberately twisting it. The misuse of FERPA is a very common concern on professional journalism websites. Some districts have claimed that school lunch menus are protected!

In any event, Mr. Mains plays hopscotch with words when he claims that disclosing details of incidents of school violence can not be released because student privacy must be respected. He is certainly alert enough to know the remedy for this is to edit out the student(s) identity, a process called redacting.

Mr. Mains would have us swallow as Gospel that an asst. principal requiring emergency room treatment is covered by FERPA and is an “education record.” And we’ll let the superintendent’s characterization of sending an adult male to the emergency room as “naughty” speak for itself about how serious Mr Mains is about safety in city public schools. We wonder if he would be so blasé if he had been kicked as hard as Mr Williams.

More, much more on this as this week progresses. Next: Can Mr Mains and the Board of Education survive collapsing support from teachers, school support staff, parents and residents?

Search Reveals Cocaine/ $10K Est “Street” Value

JAMESTOWN- Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force officers executed a search warrant Friday morning at 500 E. 5th St. the reported residence of Luis N. Martinez.


The 42 year old man was taken into custody when investigators say theydiscovered 3.8 ounces of powder cocaine inside the apartment. Martinez is now facing many criminal drug charges which include the use of drug paraphernalia.

Police estimate that the street value of the cocaine seized is about $10,000. They ask anyone with information to call their confidential tip line 483-8477.

Mains Claims Jefferson Reports Contain Inaccuracies; Refuses To Give A Single Example

The following is News/Opinion/Analysis

So we’ll give you one: UPDATE @ 7:25 p.m. Friday- We have information that the young assailant attacked the Asst. Principal Mr. Williams first, not the Principal Carm Proctor.

JAMESTOWN-Tim Mains, Superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools, Thursday evening turned down an invitation to get behind the mic on ” NY-PA Today” , the 8 a.m. weekday offering hosted by Ryan Hedrick at 95.3 The Lake.

Mains told Hedrick his reporting on the Thursday morning threats and fights at Jefferson Middle School contained inaccurate information. Hedrick asked him to come on and detail the alleged errors,

Fair enough? Well not fair at all according to Mains. To do so he said would be to play into Hedrick’s hands. Hedrick’s reporting, according to Mains “was a deliberate effort to spread misinformation.” He made it plain that, to Hedrick at least, he will have nothing to say for the foreseeable future.

Hedrick, Mains said, “was either going to respect him and the district-or not.” The choice the superintendent added, is Hedrick’s to make.

I am not making any of this up.

So in Mains view Ryan should have not followed up when he received a tip abou t what had happened at Martin Road. In fact when Ryan called me we discussed the validity of the account he had been given.

First, the report came from a person in a position to know. Still we both worked our phones to corroborate the report, and if it checked, to enlarge upon it. Those calls I made included three different members of the JPS hierarchy. (None of them took my call, and none to date returned my call.)

We quickly learned more details from two police sources. We both published with that confirmation. As the afternoon progressed we learned more: for example a member of the Jefferson staff required treatment for what were termed minor injuries sustained as he and another staffer subdued the unruly student.

We didn’t invent any details, no matter how minor. There never was any “deliberate effort ” to report falsehoods. And, let’s be very sober, no one we reached out to at the administration, has given any specific information whatever, disputing our reporting. They have had and continue to have every opportunity to do so. The decision to not specify anything is theirs not ours. If we got it wrong, show us where and we’ll correct what needs to be corrected or clarified.

Perhaps Superintendent Mains believes we just shouldn’t have published the report. That’s a non-starter; an attack by a student, a youngster at that, on school staff is news. A school administrator is certainly a quasi-official.

All of the local media receives news releases almost daily from the district. Almost all of it gets published somewhere.

It is virtually all the good kind of news. And that’s fine. I doubt Mr Mains knows or cares if TheCAT exists, but if he looked any day the week following the JHS championship he couldn’t have missed our Header image.

It showed the entire team and over on the right was the superintendent smiling and waving the number one with his index finger.

That was doing our job, just as we did it Thursday.

Respect, respectfully, Mr Superintendent , is a two-way street.








UPDATE @ 9:30 p.m. Friday: One reliable administration source reports Thursday morning’s attack was initially on Asst. Principal Williams, not Principal Proctor. It was Williams who was injured as reported in Thursday’s 5:20 p.m. update.
 UPDATE @ 5:20 p.m.: A JPD source confirms one of the men who intervened to aid their school’s principal required emergency room treatment for “minor injuries” at WCA Hospital.

JAMESTOWN-A student described by a JPD source as “out of control” assaulted a student, principal, Carm Proctor, injured Asst Principal Williams.The ruckus brought two police cars to Jefferson Middle School Friday morning, learned from two reliable sources. (Since this report was published two more reliable sources have come forward with additional details. See our updates. The district has not returned calls, and remains silent.

The student reportedly had dragged another boy into a room and was “beating the crap out of him,” according to a staff member.

Cries for help brought school principal Carm Proctor who then was threatened in turn. Two more staff members, including the school’s guidance counselor, finally pulled the attacking student away from the principal.

Chris Rielly, president of the Jamestown Teachers Association, learned of the double assault not from the school administration, but from a video posted by Ryan Hedrick on the KISS 106.9 and 95.3 The Lake’s Facebook platforms. “This shows the need for an ‘alternative school’, ” he commented during a brief phone interview Thursday afternoon. Rielly had warned the administration and school board about collapsing discipline and related problems during a standing room only special board session Nov. 18, at Love School.

Rielly also revealed the teachers’ bargaining unit filed a formal grievance Oct 31, after, according to Rielly, a meeting between the administration and teachers’ union on student discipline problems did not satisfy the union.

Meanwhile, no response whatever from various administration members. An attempt to ascertain the condition of Ms. Proctor was derailed by her secretary who wouldn’t even say if her boss was in the school building. Attempts to ascertain a good time to call back were labeled “badgering.”

In spite of the district apparent desire to avoid comment or public acknowlegement of the double assault the video below garnered just a shade under 11,000 views as of 4:15 p.m.- about two and a half hours after it was posted. (Update: As of 9:30 p.m. more than 26,500.)

(Note: We will have an opinion piece on the repeated attempts by the JPS administration and school board to keep secret the unsavory and dangerous conditions in many school class rooms and hallways.)

Tenth Most Read/Viewed Report A Sad One

(Note see report below for details of 2014’s Top Ten)

A sad discovery on Lake Erie State Park’s beach front was’s tenth most read and viewed report: A six-inch long human fetus reported August 28.

A medical examiner determined the fetal remains indicated a probable miscarriage about four and half to five months into the pregnancy.

This was an example of videos also posted on our Facebook page drawing many more views than our written report. One of the video reports was the work of Tween Broadcasting’s Justin Gould, the other by 95.3 “The Lake” ‘s News Director, Ryan Hedrick.

It was our partnership with Tween and The Lake/Kiss FM 106.9 along with learning to “link” to social media, notably Facebook, that accounted for a dramatic reader/viewer increase beginning last spring.

2014’s Top Reports-Based On Actual Reader Views

CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY- One of the many advantages of being an online news, sports and weather source is the near instant feedback provided by Google Analytics and a proprietary statistical analysis provided by our Word Press partnership.

We don’t have to guess what interests you because you clearly indicate that by what you chose to read and watch.

We now have a data base of more than half a million viewing and reading choices for 2014.

It’s been a learning experience for sure. When TheCAT began in the fall of 2013 I covered events that might be termed “conventional”-mostly meetings at all levels of government. For better or worse, that is generally, and to me surprisingly, not what interests you. There are exceptions of course: public school issues are one.

Many of the Top Ten are of a continuing nature: The growth of illegal drug trafficking and addiction is a prime example. I doubt if it’s a spoiler alert to write that particular topic makes the cut.

Starting Thursday Dec. 11’s 2014 Top Ten as decided not by an editor, but by you. And oh, by the way, we continuously take down certain ads we regard as objectionable. These include Asian dating, sexual “helpers,” Black Magic and others. It’s a kind of whack a mole, but we are now blocking certain ads by category rather than a specific URL. Hopefully, the results will be better.

Drug Raid In N. Harmony

Scene of Wednesday afternoon raid in N. Harmony. Authorities say pot and other drugs were sold here.

Scene of Wednesday afternoon raid in N. Harmony. Authorities say pot and other drugs were sold here.


UPDATE @ 5:15 a.m. Thursday- Under arrest for growing an estimated 50 marijuana plants at his Fox Road mobile home is 50 year-old Edward Blake. He is also accused of stealing electric power from National Grid, according to the sheriff’s office.

NORTH HARMONY-Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday afternoon led a raid on a mobile home they say was a distribution point for marijuana.

El Azteca Resturant Fire Caused Total Loss


El Azteca Resturant, 12 W. Fairmont, Lakewood, on fire Friday. Firefighters report the blaze reignited after apparently working up an interior wall into the attic.

imageLAKEWOOD-A fast moving blaze heavily damaged El Azteca Resturant Friday morning. Authorities believe the fire originated in the basement and worked its way to the attic sending flames and smoke through the roof. (See accompanying images.)



Piles of trash including many two-liter soda bottles litter the floor in the mobile home that was raided Friday morning. Neighbors reportedly had complained about odors and an unusual amount of traffic at the location.

BUSTI- An eleven so-called “one-pot” methamphetamine operation in Bosko (misspelled “Bosco” in police report.) Mobile Home Park, 611 Busti-Sugargrove Rd.,was the target of federal and local authorities Friday. (Note: Our first report, based on police sources indicated separate operations instead of what authorities now confirm was an eleven one-pot chain in a single trailer.)

Update: Police have arrested a woman and continue to look for a man in connection with this illegal operation. The man is also a suspect in a meth cooking operation gone wrong two weeks ago at 824 Prendergast Ave., Jamestown, where an explosion and fire caused extensive damage. (Methamphetamine manufacture commonly employs white phosphorus which is a dangerous substance that can ignite if mishandled-called auto-ignition. Virtually all of the chemicals used to make illegal meth are risky.)

The squalid mobile home on Lot #6 in the park was littered inside and out with trash of every kind including many two-liter plastic bottles commonly employed in “shake and bake” or “one-pot” manufacture of methamphetamine in a form commonly referred to as “Crystal Meth.”

The video below has poor sound quality:

Rally at RHI

Meth Lab Cleanup on Allen Street

Dog Mending After Reported Cruelty

JAMESTOWN-Ryan Dietz, 21, faces several charges after Jamestown police officers arrested him Monday night for allegedly throwing his white pit bull down a flight of stairs as w

Ryan Dietz-Image from JPD

Ryan Dietz-Image from JPD

ell as leaving a toddler unattended.

Dietz at first denied the dog was his, according to police, who were called to 116 Newland Ave. because the injured dog was loose. Officers also said Dietz left his two-year-old son alone while Dietz visited a neighbor.

The dog suffered a leg injury, and was  taken to a Vet for treatment, JPD reported.

Dietz is charged with Over Driving, injuring  an animal and endangering the welfare of a child.

State Football Champs Given Key To City


SYRACUSE-Jamestown’s Red Raiders climbed up the mountain and claimed the NY state AA football championship Saturday in the Carrier Dome. Final was 41-20 versus the Newburgh Goldbacks.

Jamestown’s fourth state championship title was won with a quick strike offense and a defense that corralled the Goldback’s fleet backfield.

MVP was Zach Panebianco.


Randolph Three-Peats As Champions!!!

Randolph overcame a 21 point deficit at halftime to defeat Chester  48-41 Saturday afternoon for their third consecutive Class D Championship victory.

With 26 seconds left, RB Bryce Morrison scored an eight-yard touchdown run for the victory. A TBN Video Digest Of Special JPS B of E Session

Todd Absolutely Reneged On His Plea Deal; No “Misunderstanding”-None

"What? Great Caesar's Ghost! I edited the Todd report. It was correct in all details. - Opal (A.B. Harvard; Editor-in-chief of TheCAT

“What? Great Caesar’s Ghost! I edited the Todd report. It was correct in all details. – Opal (A.B. Harvard; Editor-in-chief of TheCAT exclusively published on Oct. 23, the can exclusively report that one of the three plea deals in the murder of Gordon and Joyce Skinner has been recanted! (Emphasis added.)

Today’s Post-Journal (Nov. 26, 2014) carries a report that some “media outlets” (i.e., TheCAT since it was our report.) were operating on a “misunderstanding” when reporting on the renege.

Checking the published record it is 100 per cent clear Todd did in fact break his  plea deal with the prosecution:

Here is WRFA’s April 22, 2014 report: “Chautauqua County District Attorney David Foley tells WRFA that 19-year-old Steven Todd of Elmira has pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree manslaughter and as a result, he will testify against the other defendants. (Emphasis added.)

“He pleaded about a month ago,” Foley explained. “We had been in negotiations (i.e.. working out a deal) regarding the potential of [Todd] turning state’s witness – becoming a prosecution witness – and we were able to work out a plea arrangement and he’s going to be cooperating with us now.”  (Emphasis added)

Plain enough, no other understanding possible than Todd gets a reduced plea in return for “cooperating”…”he’s going to be cooperating with us now.” How? “He will testify..become a prosecution witness,” that’s how. (Emphasis added)

Did Todd keep his bargain?-his deal? Did he testify? No, he did not. He reneged.

Wednesday’s P-J report quotes Todd’s attorney Lyle Hajdu about his client: “Todd never recanted his plea or changed his story, and that other media outlets reporting such were under a “misunderstanding.” Recanted his plea? Very different than recanting his plea deal. We never reported he changed or recanted his plea. Changed his story? Once again, we never reported Todd changed his story. In fact, we don’t know “his story” because he hasn’t told it publicly so far as we know.

Further Hadju admits, according to the daily, “We know the original sentence promised is no longer on the table.” And why? Because the deal announced last April in a variety of “media outlets” was breached when Todd reneged on his part of the bargain.

And again, according to The Post-Journal, DA David Foley said, “It was my option to either reinstate the indictment or proceed to sentencing.” Once again, no “plea deal” now exists.

JPS Behavior Woes-Video Report

FULL HOUSE! JPS B of E Workshop


28,661 Specific Views Of “Incident” Video

JAMESTOWN-As of 10:55a.m. Tuesday’s “Incident” video (scroll down for it.) has been specifically sought for 28,661 views on all our platforms including our Facebook page according to our site statistics.

This does not include thousands more who read and also checked out the video report. Nor does it include thousands (total) of specific requests for our print reports on Friday afternoon’s thuggery at Jamestown High School.

We report this not to crow about the number of our readers/viewers, but rather to offer good evidence that the community sees this report as “news,” not just a routine report about a shoving match or the mundane schoolyard scuffle.

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