Indictment Against Man Charged With Multiple Arson Counts Dismissed

first_imgROCHESTER – New York State’s Fourth Appellate Division ruled Friday that they’ve unanimously dismissed the indictment against Jonathan H. Young, 22, who was charged in connection with numerous fires in the Jamestown/Falconer area.The Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office previously appealed a decision from Judge David Foley dated Feb. 8, 2019 suppressing statements that Young allegedly made to Pennsylvania State Police. Young was indicted on 14 counts of arson and 11 counts of criminal mischief.Assistant District Attorney John Zuroski appeared before New York State’s 4th Appellate Division in December to argue the appeal of a ruling that suppressed evidence against Young.Zuroski told the court that Jamestown Police did not participate in questioning, but rather, observed Pennsylvania State Police interrogate Young. The troopers, according to Zuroski, were primarily focused on their case, not the case in New York. Kaixi Xu, who represented Young, argued that Pennsylvania State Police acted as “agents” of the Jamestown Police Department. Furthermore, Xu said that Young should have been re-mirandized when asked questions about New York’s case.When reached for comment, Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson declined.WNYNewsNow also reached Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone via phone for comment Friday evening Barone said that his office, along with Young, are “thrilled” with the outcome.“We’re extremely thrilled with the decision,” Barone said. “I know they took a little bit of extra time given the importance (of the case). I think the appellate division saw it for what it was.”“I think it’s a win for our fundamental rights (rather than for his office and Young)…Don’t forget, he spent over a year in jail on these charges.”Barone said that the District Attorney could refile charges if they so choose. The attorney added that Young was released from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon.WNYNewsNow will continue to follow the story. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more


Trump to suspend all immigration into US

first_imgThe move, which the Republican presidentannounced on Twitter, effectively achieves a long-term Trump policy goal tocurb immigration, making use of the health and economic crisis that has sweptthe country as a result of the pandemic to do so. WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump saidon Monday he will suspend all immigration into the United States temporarilythrough an executive order in response to the coronavirus outbreak and toprotect American jobs. United States President Donald Trump points to a reporter as he answers questions during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S. on April 20, 2020. REUTERScenter_img The decision drew swift condemnationfrom some Democrats, who accused the president of creating a distraction fromwhat they view as a slow and faulty response to the coronavirus. (Reuters)last_img read more


LA Dodgers draft pick Devin Smeltzer overcame pediatric cancer

first_imgFor a few years now, scouts have been impressed by the hard-throwing left-hander with the Chris Sale-like windup. Pitching for San Jacinto College in suburban Houston, Smeltzer struck out 20 batters in one game at the JUCO World Series on June 3. That game, and some other outstanding performances before it, probably nudged Smeltzer up a few teams’ draft lists. He might not be on the board at all if not for a life-altering detour to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children as a 9-year-old.“Without cancer I wouldn’t be who I am today,” Smeltzer said. “If I was asked to go through it again, as a 20-year-old guy getting drafted by the Dodgers, I’d say I would go through it again. It really taught me priorities and people in my life — who I need to keep around, who I need to get rid of. It was honestly a blessing in disguise. I wouldn’t change a thing.”‘I remember it like it was yesterday’The bad news emerged in the summer of 2005. Smeltzer was playing in a baseball tournament with other 9-year-olds when he kept running to the bathroom, needing to urinate. He’d been to the doctor multiple times before, each time being incorrectly diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. A photo sits above Tim and Christina Smeltzer’s television set in Voorhees, New Jersey, showing their son Devin with Cole Hamels, then a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. At a glance, it’s a typical photo. Hamels has probably posed with hundreds of children in the Philadelphia suburbs over the years.Look closer, however, and you’ll see that 10-year-old Devin has no hair on his head and no eyebrows. The photo was snapped during the longest year of Devin’s life, when he was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments for pelvic rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.“To look at that picture now,” Tim Smeltzer said, “you would never know that was the same kid.”Two weeks ago, almost 11 years after Devin Smeltzer was diagnosed with cancer, the Dodgers selected him in the fifth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft. He signed for $500,000 with the club on Wednesday. “One of the dads on the field who was a friend of ours told us we should seek somebody — he was a pediatric urologist, Dr. Eric Steckler,” Tim Smeltzer recalled. “He got us in the next day.”Devin Smeltzer was scheduled to pitch that night, a Friday. It would prove to be the rare occasion he couldn’t take the ball.After he was checked into St. Christopher’s, a bevy of tests followed. When it was revealed that Devin had a grapefruit-sized tumor pressing against his bladder — causing the frequent urination — there would be no baseball that night, or any night for a few more months. A biopsy confirmed the presence of cancer. “When you hear something like that with your child you’re trying to figure out why,” Christina Smeltzer said. “Is it where we’re living, something in the water, something we did?”The Smeltzers said there was no evidence of an environmental trigger, or any family history of cancer that would predict Devin’s tumor. Fortunately they were given favorable odds of beating the disease with an aggressive treatment plan that all but killed Devin’s appetite. Over many months of treatment, his weight dropped to 50 pounds.“I remember it like it was yesterday. It was tough,” he recalled. “I was very angry at first. Pulled the ‘why me’ pity card. One day I woke up and I looked around and realized I didn’t have it too bad compared to a lot of the kids in there. I realized I was going to beat it and continue on with my life, a normal one that.”Baseball as therapyDevin’s weight didn’t drop below 50 pounds because he was given an ultimatum: Start eating, or have the doctors insert a feeding tube to boost his weight. The feeding tube came with a drawback, though. Devin would not be able to play baseball with a tube down his throat. So, eating food with no taste became an acceptable alternative. No baseball was not an option.“It was the one thing he could do and still be a kid,” Christina Smeltzer said.Devin didn’t care much to obey the doctor’s orders to take it easy on the field and avoid physical contact, including getting hit by pitches. Frail but undeterred, Devin didn’t miss a season of youth baseball during his year-long treatment.Smeltzer’s cancer has been in remission ever since, to the point where it was not a concern by the time the Padres drafted him in the 33rd round out of high school (he opted to attend Florida Gulf Coast University his freshman year instead). His reputation as an all-out, all-the-time player outlasted his cancer. So did his friendships.Smeltzer met them at St. Christopher’s when he was 9. He made it out of the hospital; they didn’t. He wrote their names under the bill of his hat all through high school, then again during his freshman year at Florida Gulf Coast University, then during his sophomore year at San Jacinto College. Sweat blurred the ink over the years, to the point where it’s almost illegible, but Smeltzer has committed their names to memory.“I know who’s in there,” he said. “When I look up, I know who I’m looking to.”When he gets his first Dodgers hat, Smeltzer said he’ll write the same names under the bill again.Showcase fundraiserWhen Matt Hyde, the Northeast Region scout for the New York Yankees, sent out his standard questionnaire for high school prospects in his area a couple years ago, one answer on Smeltzer’s questionnaire intrigued him.“In response to ‘what are your goals away from baseball?’ he answered it, ‘he wanted to give back to the people who helped him through battling cancer,’” Hyde said. “That’s what prompted us to do this winter fundraiser that we call Swing For the Cure.”Smeltzer has helped Hyde and others produce the annual youth baseball showcase in Syracuse, New York ever since. Going on its third year this November, the showcase has raised $80,000 for various nonprofit institutions, including St. Christopher’s.There’s no easy way to teach what Smeltzer has learned in his short life: The same mentality needed to defeat cancer isn’t all that different from that of a successful professional athlete. (Smeltzer previously committed to Texas Tech for his junior year but is expected to formalize his contract with the Dodgers soon.)On Feb. 24, Smeltzer gave up 10 runs in two innings to Wharton County Junior College, a 12-9 San Jacinto loss. With an April 7 rematch looming on the schedule, Smeltzer asked for the ball against Wharton a second time. He got it and tossed a no-hitter, striking out 16 batters in a 6-0 win.For some, it might have been the victory of their life. But when Smeltzer talks about the perspective he gained through his battle with cancer, he means it. Baseball is just a game. Playing during the day and taking chemo treatments at night will teach you that, even at 10 years old.“I just looked and realized, I’m playing ball,” he said. “I may be sick as a dog but I have my health in a sense where I can walk, play ball, pitch, play center field. I just saw some kids who were just so sick that it was unbelievable. Words can’t describe some of the things you see up there.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Honoring those who fight the tough fight

first_imgI’m not sure when awards season begins and ends anymore, with some kind of kudofest happening just about every week! But one event that stands out is the Ribbon of Hope Celebration that was presented Saturday night in North Hollywood by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The 11th annual edition of the show – which honors personal and professional commitment that continues to keep HIV/AIDS awareness in the forefront – drew some really cool celebrities, including Judith Light of “Ugly Betty,” Jack Coleman of “Heroes,” Gina Ravera of “ER,” Andrea Bowen of “Desperate Housewives,” as well as funnyman Bruce Vilanch, Jasmine Guy, Dee Wallace, Thea Gill, Julie Newmar, Wilson Cruz and “Star Trek” legend Nichelle Nichols, among others. It was no coincidence that the ceremony was held on World AIDS Day. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsMany of those in attendance spoke to me about the importance of talking about this horrible disease. And while treatments are certainly getting better in the U.S. and elsewhere, there’s still no cure, and new strains are developing in Africa and other places. “It gets off the front page for a while and people forget about it,” Jack Coleman said. “People think it’s a disease that’s been conquered, and that’s very far from the truth. “In this country alone, there’s 300,000 undiagnosed cases so it’s scary and it’s still out there and people really do have to be aware of it.” Judith Light, who was honored at the event last year for her decades of work for HIV/AIDS, presented the pioneering PBS series “In the Life” with a special achievement award. The Emmy-winning actress was one of the first celebrities, way back in the early ’80s, to step up and help raise money and awareness. She’s never stepped down. “I’ve been part of the really dark days,” Judith said. “How it feels now is it feels mildly better, but it’s not enough. I know that people are working really hard to make it be different, and that’s what we have to keep doing, and that’s why this is an important program for people to see so we do see that it’s out there and it’s not over.” The here! Networks, which will televise the ceremony in North America and throughout Europe sometime next year, was honored Saturday for its program spotlighting AIDS organizations around the country. “It’s an opportunity for everyone to realize what the face of AIDS is in 2008,” said here! founder and CEO Paul Colichman, who produced “Gods & Monsters” among other films. “The face has changed but it is probably more important than ever that people realize all of us have to play our part, whether it’s a dollar that you give, or an hour of time that you give, all of us together, each doing our small part, creates a mighty army of warriors.” Despite the serious nature of the topic, the event had its lighter moments, many of them provided by Bruce Vilanch, who can ad-lib better than just about anyone in town and is the first to poke fun at his less-than-svelt physique. “Well, I used to be a writer,” he told the audience during the show. “Now I’m a striking writer … and a stripper.” For more celebrity news, go to and local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more