Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., May 7, 2021

One person reportedly hurt in car-pedestrian accident in Jamestown...
Details are sketchy... but, Jamestown police responded to a reported car-pedestrian accident Thursday evening on the city's southside.  County Fire Dispatchers and the city Fire Department confirm the call to the intersection of Foote and Cole Avenues occured about 7 p.m.  A medivac helicopter was called in... but, no other information has been released at this time.  Efforts to reach JPD have been unsuccessful.


Jamestown woman pleads guilty to allowing home to be used for drug trafficking...
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty to allowing a known-drug trafficker to use her home to deal heroin and methamphetamine from three-years ago.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 29 year-old Chelsey Hunt entered the plea to maintaining a drug-involved premisis before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Schroeder, Junior.  Prosecutors say between January and February of 2018... Hunt was accused of letting Douglas Beardsley live in her attic... and, he used it to traffic drugs.  They add that Hunt took an active role in assisting with the operation, including helping Beardsley’s customers and telling them about any police activity in the area.  She's also accused of sellng small amounts of narcotics for Beardsley, and purchased narcotics for her personal use.  Charges are pending against Beardsley.  Hunt faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and $500,000 fine.


City man sentenced for burglary... 
A Jamestown man will spend 2 1/2 to 5 years in state prison for third-degree burglary.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt's office reports that Mark Barnhart received the sentence this week in County Court.  Schmidt says the Jamestown Police Department made the arrest, and assisted with the investigation.


Wendel touts new Chautauqua Lake MOU for simpler approach to lake issues...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel and members of his staff have unveiled a new Chautauqua Lake Memorandum of Understanding for all lake stakeholders groups.  Wendel says the previous, 2-year Memorandum of Agreement expired last month... and, a new agreement was needed.  However... the Lakewood Republican says this one is more simple... and, says the groups will work together... and, will not attack or sue others who are part of the MOU.  However... he says the right to sue cannot be taken away from anyone.  Wendel says the MOU does not address the typically contentious use of herbicides to knock down invasive weeds in the lake.  He says the state Department of Environmental Conservation has the final say, and juridiction over use of herbicides.  Wendel says he's hopeful the vast majority of stakeholders sign the MOU by the end of the month.


Wendel expresses disappointment over decision to cancel Chautauqua County Fair for 2021...
It's both disappointing and frustrating to see the Chautauqua County Fair cancelled for another year due to COVID restrictions.  However... County Executive P.J. Wendel is hoping to see some kind of change in the next few days that may allow some kind of activity at the Dunkirk Fairgrounds this year.  Wendel is reacting to the Fair Board's announcement earlier this week to call off the week-long event in late July.  He hopes there may be some reconsideration of the decision because the nation may see some "dramatic change" in the COVID situation in the next month.  Wendel says, after learning about the decision, he spoke with both Fair Board President Dave Wilson... and, officials with the Western New York COVID-19 control room.  He says he was surprised the state did issue guidance for the State Fair in Syracuse... but, nothing for county fairs.  Wendel says he plans to bring up the matter at the next control room meeting... because the county fair is one of the most anticipated Summertime events in the county.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Radio Grouip stations.


County reports 14 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday...
There are 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County over the past day... and the number of active cases has again dropped.  The county Health Department reports that five of the new cases were in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and there have now been 9,022 total cases.  Officials say nine people are currently hospitalized... but, there were no new deaths.  A total of 8,763 cases have now recovered.


County announces Water Restrictions for Mayville Water System due to upgrades to new well...
A mandatory water conservation order has been issued by Chautauqua County for all users of the Mayville Village Water System now through May 13.  The county's Department of Health issued the order Thursday... and, urged residents to cut their water usage by 50-percent.  Officials say this will allow the village to complete critical upgrades to their new well, which is the only well now in use.  The village began installation of a permanent water pump for Well-#4 Tuesday to replace a temporary one installed last December during a water emergency.  During the replacement process... if the water in the village storage tank falls below a safe level, the village will be forced to use one of the PFNA-contaminated wells to supply emergency water to the system.  If that happens... officials say a “Do Not Drink Order” will be required.  If you have any questions about the order... call the Mayville Public Works Superintendent at 269-4801... or the County Health Department at 753-4481. 


 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., May 6, 2021

Fire destroyed garage in Kennedy...
Flames have destroyed a garage in an overnight fire on Page Road in the town of Poland.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene about 1 a.m., and, they were joined by firefighters from Frewsburgh, Falconer, Kiantone and Ellington at the scene.  Officials say crews reported heavy smoke and fire on arrival.  In addition... crews reported a nearby home sustained some exposure damage to one side.  No one was hurt.  Crews were at the scene until about 4:30 this morning... and, county fire investigators are at the scene looking for the cause.


Investigation continues into fatal car crashed in West Ellicott...
The investigation is continuing into what ended up being a fatal, one-car crash on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott Tuesday night.  Ellicott Town Police say witnesses told them the vehicle appeared to cut across a couple of parking lots -- including the one for Brigiotta's Farmland Store -- near the city line -- just before 7 p.m.  Officers say the car, driven by a 65 year-old man from Lakewood, then crossed Fairmount and struck the parked vehicle.  Police say Fairmount from Chicago Avenue to the city line was closed for about two hours while the scene was cleared and investigated.  No one else was hurt in the incident.  The identity of the person is being withheld pending notification of family.


Jamestown woman indicted on drug trafficking charges...
A city woman faces at least 10 years in prison and a $10-million fine after being indicted on federal charges for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine from her home when three small children were present.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says a federal grand jury handed up the indictment against 28 year-old Antasia Babcock Wednesday for narcotics conspiracy...  possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine... maintaining a premises for drug use and distribution, and possessing with intent to distribute meth on premises where an individual under 18 was present and resided.  Prosecutors say the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided Babcock's home on Wescott Street last year and found her, with the children... and seized one pound of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, drug paraphernalia, and approximately $62,000 in cash. 


Vaccinations still increasing, but, officials would like them to improve more...
The number of COVID-19 infections in Chautauqua County and New York State as a whole, continue to improve.  However... officials are still pushing to get more adults vaccinated.  There were 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county over the past day... putting the total since the pandemic began to over 9,000 to 9,008 cases.  However... there were no new deaths.  Statewide... Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the infection rate dropped to 1.4-percent for the first time since last October.  Cuomo says the vaccines are helping... but, more people need to walk-in to a local clinic or pharmacy and get one.  He says all adults can now go to any mass vaccination site and get the shot.  Cuomo says about 45-percent of the eligible population is now fully-vaccinated... while 58-percent have had at least the first shot.  In Chautauqua County... the Health Department reports just over 47,000 adults... or 45-percent of those eligible... have received at least one dose of the vaccine.  Just over 40,000... 38-percent... are now completely vaccinated.


Cuomo announces 100-percent MLB stadium capacity in NYS for people who are vaccinated...
The Toronto Blue Jays are returning to their home away from home -- in Buffalo -- starting in June.  However... this time they'll have a limited number of fans in attendance.  Forced from Canada by that government's coronavirus travel restrictions, the Blue Jays will be back at Sahlen Field, the regular home of the Blue Jays' AAA farm team.  The announcement comes on the same day that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the lifting of the 6-foot social distancing requirement at Yankees and Mets games where everyone has been vaccinated.  Cuomo says there will be special seating for those people.  Where people are unvaccinated... Cuomo says the 6-foot distancing requirement remains in place.  As for Buffalo... which is a smaller stadium, officials said yesterday that -- with the 6-foot distancing requirement -- they can hold 24-percent of their capacity.  Toronto will play it's first three homestands at it's spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Florida... then come north to Buffalo.


Rosas disappointed there will be no Chautauqua County Fair this year...
The mayor of Dunkirk is expressing his disappointment over the decision to cancel this year's Chautauqua County Fair.  It's the second straight year the fair has been called off due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Mayor Willie Rosas adds, though, that he understands why it was being postponed.  Rosas says the event takes a lot of planning, and coordination with vendors, acts, and groups like 4-H.  Meanwhile... Rosas says the city is moving ahead with plans for several summer events, including the Fourth of July fireworks display.  He says it will all depend on the state.... and what's allowed at that time.  Rosas is also encouraging area residents to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.


North County man arrested for alleged robbery... 
A Fredonia man is facing charges after a robbery occurred on Howard Street in the north county village late Tuesday night.  Fredonia Police say that 28-year-old Philip Whitfield allegedly confronted two men while they were walking on Howard Street around 11:30 p.m.  Police says Whitfield reportedly made demands, and a brief struggle occured.  However... one of the victims was able to call 911.  After an investigation... police charged Whitfield with second-degree robbery... second-degree menacing... and, fourth-degree grand larceny.  He was arraigned and is being held in the Chautauqua County Jail.

 


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., May 5, 2021

Man dies in car crash in West Ellicott...
Ellicott Town Police are still trying to determine why a car cut through a pair of parking lots near the city line... crossed Fairmount Avenue...and, struck a parked car last night.  The driver, identified only as a 65-year-old man from Lakewood, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Town Police were called to the scene in West Ellicott shortly before 7 p.m., and, Fairmount from Chicago Avenue to the city line was closed for about two hours.  Officers says witnesses told them the car had "cut across" a couple of parking lots... including the one for Brigiotta's Farmland Store before hitting the parked vehicle.  No one else was hurt.  The identity of the person is being withheld pending notification of family.


Borrello says state GOP lawmakers still pushing for complete repeal of Cuomo's emergency powers...
Republicans in the New York State Legislature continue to push for a clean repeal of Governor Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers.  State Senator George Borrello says the latest move by Cuomo to ease COVID-19 restrictions is another example.  The Sunset Bay Republican says the changes in the capacities of various businesses is leaving many people confused.  Borrello says we're nearing the start of the Summer tourism season, and there's not enough clarity in what the changes mean.  Cuomo announced the changes slated for May 19 during a news briefing on Monday... but, he indicated that six-foot social distancing requirements will remain unless people are vaccinated or undergo testing.


Former Assembly Speaker Silver released on Furlough...
Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been released from a federal prison on furlough, while he awaits potential placement to home confinement.  That's according to a person familiar with the matter... who spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday.  Silver was serving his more than six-year sentence at a federal prison in Otisville, New York, in a corruption case.  The person says he's been released on furlough while awaiting potential placement to home confinement to serve his sentence at home.  The 77-year-old Silver began serving his sentence in August after years of fending off going behind bars.  Prosecutors say they opposed the furlough.


Chautauqua County 4-H looking at alternatives now that County Fair has been cancelled again this year...
Chautauqua County Four-H is looking at the cancellation of this year's county fair as 'a unique opportunity' to consider hosting their own event.  Kate Ewer is the Four-H Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Ewer says they are working out plans to hold an event where their youth members can show their livestock, and celebrate their projects.  She says the event could well happen sometime this summer at the Dunkirk Fairgrounds, but would most likely be closed to all but Four-H members and their families.   The cancellation of last year's fair took down nearly all summer Four-H activities, and leaders are anxious to do something this year.  Still in limbo is this year's 'Meat Animal Sale'... a traditional feature on Friday of fair week.  Last year's sale was held exclusively on-line.  


County reports 17 New COVID-19 cases Tuesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county over the past day... but, no new deaths.  Health officials say 5 of the new cases were in Brocton... and, 4 in Jamestown.  There are now 8,995 total cases... and, 111 are active.  Officials say 10 people are hospitalized... and, 8,732 cases have now recovered.  The Health Department says the seven-day infection rate is now 2.1-percent. 


Cattaraugus County reports 100th COVID-19 related death...
A 91-year-old woman has become the 100th person to die in Cattaraugus County from the COVID-19 pandemic.  County health officials say the woman developed respiratory failure and could not overcome the virus.  Officials extended their "deepest condolences" to the woman's family.  Health officials add there were 13 new COVID cases reported yesterday... bringing Cattaraugus's total to 5,443.  There are 153 active cases... and, 18 of those are hospitalized.  Officials say 5,183 cases have now recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is 3.5-percent.


Four people file necessary petitions to run for Jamestown School Board on May 18...
One incumbant... and three newcomers... have filed the necessary petitions to run for the two Jamestown School Board seats up for a vote on May 18.  The Jamestown High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association will hold a "Meet the Candidates Night" on Thursday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Room at the Administration Building on Martin Rd.  Spokeswoman Cathy Panebianco says the forum will be live streamed at jpsny.org/election.  The candidates include incumbant Nina Karbacka... and, newcomers Frank Galeazzo... Gina Sink... and, Krysta Rives.  If a community member would like to attend the forum in person, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they should reserve a space with School District Clerk, Jaunita Walter at 483-4420 or jaunita.m.walter@jpsny.org by noon on May 13.


Former State Sen. Cathy Young will be JCC's graduation speaker...
Former State Senator Cathy Young will present the keynote address during SUNY Jamestown Community College's virtual commencement on May 14.  Young retired from the Senate in early 2019 after accepting the position of executive director for the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech.  The Olean native was raised on a family farm in Cattaraugus County... and, has been a long-time champion of agriculture and economic development. 

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News Bulletin for Tues., May 4, 2021

(Bulletin) Fair Board decides to postpone Chautauqua County Fair again for 2021...
The Chautauqua County Fair will not be held this July for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Fair Board of Directors announced Monday night that the fair "is postponed until July 18th through the 24th, 2022."  Fair Board President, Dave Wilson, says they held the decision off for a month in hopes of more information from Governor Andrew Cuomo... but, none has come forth.  Wilson says the governor outlined perameters for the State Fair, and outdoor amusements... but nothing for local fairs or festivals.  He adds the fair board is heartbroken for all the people who rely on the fair for income and exposure.  He says they can't put together a respectable fair for residents, and "time is running out" to get one together.  The only other time the fair has not been held since it began in 1881 was during World War Two, when they took three years off while the fairgrounds were being used to house prisoners.

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., May 4, 2021

Dunkirk man killed after Train slams into his truck...
A Dunkirk man has now been identified as the person killed in a collision between a CSX Train and pick-up truck in the town of Dunkirk late yesterday morning.  State Police in Fredonia were called to the scene shortly before Noon on a report of a collision on Temple Rd. between Route 5 and Willow Rd.  Authorities found the pick-up driver, 63 year-old William Miller, dead inside the vehicle.  A Chautauqua County Coroner was called to the scene... along with the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.  The investigation is continuing.


County reports 40 New COVID-19 cases, and three deaths Monday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 40 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 from the past weekend... and three new deaths.  The Health Department reports the most new cases in one community was 11 in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  There have now been a total of 8,978 confirmed cases... and, 112 are now active.  Officials add that 10 are hospitalized... and, 8,714 have now recovered. 

Cuomo announces NYS reopening on May 19...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says capacity restrictions for most types of businesses will end statewide in mid-May as COVID-19 infection rates continues to decline.  The Democratic governor made the announcement yesterday... noting that the state's "Smart Reopening" is being coordinated with neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut.  However... Cuomo added one caveat... the 6-foot social distancing requirement remains in place.  He says retail stores, food services, gyms and fitness centers, family entertainment, and offices can all open with no capacity limits on May 19.  Many restaurants in New York City are fairly small... and, social distancing will be an issue.  But, Cuomo says until the Centers for Disease Control changes it's 6-foot guidance, the state will continue to keep that in place.  However... a waiver can be issued if those events and places require proof of either a vaccination, or negative COVID test.  A number of capacity changes... announced last week by Cuomo... take effect either May 17 or May 31.  The outdoor food and drink curfew will be lifted on the 17th... while indoor restrictions will be lifted on the 31st.


Jamestown receiving more road and street repair funding from NYS... announcement on projects coming...
The city of Jamestown is in line for a significant increase in the amount of funding it receives from New York state for road and street projects this Summer.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist told lawmakers during last night's City Council work session that he and Public Works Director Jeff Lehman will announce their list of projects either later this week or next what those projects will include.  Sundquist says they're getting the bulk of the money from three sources.  He says their Consolidated Highway Improvement Program -- or CHIPS funding -- is up 23-percent, while the Extreme Winter Recovery funding is up 53-percent, and PAVE-New York funding will be up 49-percent.  In addition... Sundquist says there is a fourth source this year -- the "State Touring Routes" fund -- to help improve roadways designated for dual use by bicycles. 


NJ woman receives five-year sentence for Meth Trafficking in Jamestown...
A New Jersey woman found to have been part of a drug trafficking ring in Jamestown has been sentenced to five-years in federal prison.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Monday announced that 26 year-old Alexis Hall of Harrison, NJ received the sentence from District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five grams or more of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say that, between March of 2017 and October of 2018, Hall conspired with 15 other co-defendants to operate a drug trafficking organization, primarily involving the distribution of meth in the Jamestown area.  During raids... law enforcement officers recovered 10 firearms and multiple rounds of ammunition, over 20 cellphones, drug paraphernalia, and cash.  Kennedy says all 16 defendants charged in this case have been convicted. 


Ellington will have scaled-back Picnic this year...
It'll be scaled back, but the 108th Ellington Town Picnic will take place on Friday, August 6th through Sunday, August 8th at the Town Square in Ellington.  Some events are already in place, according to President Mat Pickup of the Town Picnic Association.  Pickup says they'll have music each night, and the fire department will host it's chicken barbecue.  The group 'Happy Days' will perform Friday night.  'Country Memories' will be onstage on Saturday.  Pickup adds, some of the regular features will NOT take place... namely rides because they would have to be wiped down constantly.  The horseshoe pitching contest and the baby show are also not likely for this year's picnic.  Other parts of the schedule are still being firmed up.  Pickup emphsizes they will follow all COVID guidelines in place when picnic time comes in August.


Borrello names former Reed staffer as new Chief of Staff...
A long-time staff member for local Congressman Tom Reed has been named as State Senator George Borrello's new Chief of Staff.  Borrello Monday announced that Alison Hunt... who most recently had been Reed's District Director... succeeds Michael Ellison, who served in the role since Borrello won a special election for the seat in 2019.  Borrello says Hunt "brings a wealth of governmental experience to the Chief of Staff role after serving for the past 10 years on the district staff of Congressman Tom Reed, the last six as his District Director."
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mon., May 3, 2021

City man arrested twice over the past weekend now arrested 11 times since start of 2021...
A Jamestown man has now been arrested 11 times in 2021 -- nine times in April -- following a pair of arrests over the past weekend.  In the first instance... city police were initially called to the CVS Store on South Main Street about 7:30 last Friday night for a disorderly person.  Officers say Patrick Blakemore was causing a disturbance inside the Brooklyn Square location... and, told to leave.  However... he returned less than 10 minutes later, and again caused a disturbance.  Police say Blakemore resisted as they tried to arrest him... but, he was taken into custody for trespassing, obstruction... and, resisting arrest.  After being released due to bail reform... Blakemore then allegedly shoplifted merchandise at the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street.  Police were called to the scene about 6 p.m. Saturday... and, arrested Blakemore for petty larceny.  He was held pending arraignment.


Jamestown man arrested following Domestic Violence incident...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly pinning a woman down in a bed and holding her against her will during a domestic violence incident.  City Police say they were called to location on Jamestown's westside last week... and, on arrival spoke with the victim.  Officers later found the suspect, Christopher Toole, and he was taken into custody.  Police later found the victim had an order of protection against Toole and there was to be no physical contact with her.  He was jailed pending arraignment on charges of first-degree criminal contempt, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and aggravate Family Offense.


Corry, PA man convicted of trafficking Methamphetamine gets 10 years in prison...
A Corry, PA man will spend the next 10 years in federal prison following his conviction for trafficking 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in Chautauqua County.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that 43 year-old Jerry Roneker, Junior received the sentence in federal court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Roneker was pulled over by a sheriff's deputy in the town of Chautauqua on March 9, 2019 for a traffic infraction.  They add that they spotted a smoking pipe, and when they asked Roneker to get out of the car... they noticed two large chunks of suspected methamphetamine.  Officers also found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in his possession.  They then searched the vehicle... and, found just over $10,000 cash... ecstasy pills, packaging materials, a digital scale, drug paraphernalia, Xanax pills, MDMA pills, Suboxone strips, and two hypodermic needles.


City Council okays shared serviced agreement with JCC for a grants writer...
The city of Jamestown and Jamestown Community College have joined forces to create a shared Grant Writer position.  The City Council has now approved creation of the position, which will be funded equally by the college and city.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says consolidating the position would allow both entities to go after grants with someone experienced... and, knowledgeable of how to do it.  Sundquist says they're finding many of their departments are having to spend extra time writing grant applications -- in addition to their regular day-to-day operations.  JCC Foundation Director Maria Kindberg says the college has been in the same boat... and, has looked for a grants writer... but, can't offer what other entities do.  Sundquist says a joint City-and-College Committee will go through a search for candidates, do interviews... and, make a recommendation to both entities. 


Week 12 Chautauqua County COVID-19 Heroes named...
One group of employees and seven other individuals have been recognized by the Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response Team as COVID-19 Heroes.  County Executive P-J Wendel announced the Week 12 nominees for April 26--30... which include the Lutheran Nursing Home staff... which he says had worked hard to keep their residents safe during the pandemic.  In addition... Tamara Racino of GX Warehouse Fitness and Wellness was also recognized.  Brooks Hospital Registered Nurse Kenneth Long-the-second was recogized for his work with COVID Patients at the north county location.  Others include Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Director Mary Ann Spanos... and Stephanie Kelly and Charlene Burch... who both work at Heritage Village Nursing facility in Gerry.  Also being honored were Rosie Digirolamo, and Brigid Wonderly.  Wendel says "our heroes this week continue to reflect the important theme of those caring for the wellbeing of others."


Village of Lakewood calls off July 4th Summerfest due to COVID pandemic...
The Fourth of July is still a couple of months away... but, officials in Lakewood have decided to pull the plug on the annual Summerfest for a second straight year due to the COVID pandemic.  The village board recently decided to cancel the event... but, held off on opening Lakewood Beach.  Mayor Randy Holcomb says it's a disappointment... but, having so many people in one place is still an issue.  Holcomb says they remain hopeful of having the event back -- as it would normally be held -- in 2022.  Summerfest has been an annual event on the Fourth of July in Lakewood... and, features a 10-K Firecracker Run... music, games and food... and concludes with a huge fireworks display.  Holcomb made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., Apr. 30, 2021

Winning TAKE 5 Ticket sold at Wegman's in West Ellicott!...
One of the two winning tickets in the New York State Lottery's TAKE 5 game was sold at the Wegman's Supermarket on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott.  The New York Lottery announced today that the other winning ticket was sold at a Manhattan newsstand in New York City.  Each ticket in last night's drawing is worth $30,511.  Lottery officials say the TAKE 5 numbers are drawn from a field of one through 39.  Drawings take place every evening at 10:30 p.m. 


Gov. Cuomo in Buffalo urges young people, and anyone else who hasn't to get a COVID-19 Vaccine...
New York state has now administered 15-million COVID-19 vaccinations to residents... but, the rate of vaccination has slowed across the state.  That's a concern for Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says 45-percent of New Yorkers have at least received one shot of one of the three vaccines being distributed.  Early on in the vaccine's roll-out... it was very difficult to get an appointment.  However... as time has gone on, Cuomo says getting the vaccine is easier, but, not as many people are getting it.  He says the state was distributing 175,000 shots in 24-hours until recently, as the numbers have now fallen to 115,000 a day.  Cuomo says one of the hardest groups to get vaccinated is young people between the ages of 16 and 25.  With that in mind... he announced a new initiative while he was in Buffalo Thursday.  A first of it's kind clinic for that age group will be held at a Buffalo school for students.  They're also arranged for free transporation to and from the clinic.


County reports 31 New COVID-19 Cases, and one new death Thursday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 31 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus over the past day... along with one new death.  Health officials say 11 of the new cases were in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, four were reported in Sherman.  Officials say there have now been 8,914 total cases... and, 116 are now active.  There have now been 149 deaths... and, 13 people are currently hospitalized.  The number of recovered cases is now 8,649... and, the infection rate is 1.6-percent.


Cuomo's executive order on having to order food when purchasing alcohol among those repealed by legislature...
New Yorkers will no longer have to buy a jelly sandwich, chips or other snack with their beer under an executive order that state lawmakers have repealed.  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order last summer requiring food to be sold with alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants.  At the time, COVID-19 rates were low and the state had begun allowing New York City bars and restaurants to re-open.  State lawmakers passed resolutions Wednesday to repeal the directive, which restaurant owners have blasted for months as nonsensical.  Cuomo had said chips or fruit alone couldn't count as "food," which led to a Saratoga Springs bar offering "Cuomo Chips and Salsa."


County recognizes two heroes during legislature meeting...
A pair of real life Chautauqua County heroes were recognized for what they did... one to save a man who fell into the cold waters of Lake Erie... and, the other to rescue two people from a burning building.  County Executive P-J Wendel Wednesday night issued commendations to Westfield's Mia Goot... and Jamestown's Joe Pollaro.  Wendel says Goot saw the elderly man fall into Barcelona Harbor last March 29, and held him out of the water until rescuers could arrive.  He says acts this this "inspire kindness and solidarity across Chautauqua County.  Goot was on during the Zoom legislature meeting... and, thanked Wendel and the legislature for the recognition.  Pollaro, an employee of the Jamestown Public Works Department... helped two people jump from a second-floor window to escape an apartment house fire the morning of March 23.  He was driving his city dump truck when he saw the fire at 703 Washington St., and cries for help.  He spotted the two victims trapped on the second-floor, and urged them to jump to him.  He caught each as they jumped... and, they each fell to the ground.  However... they all escaped injury.


Ellicottville man faces DWI charges after rollover crash...
A single-car rollover accident in the Cattaraugus County town of Little Valley has led to drunk driving charges against an Ellicottville man.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to the scene on Route 242 around 8:30 p.m. last Tuesday... and, investigated the accident.  Deputies fouind that 56 year-old Nick Ingerra had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, and he was arrested for Aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI, failure to maintain lane, and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.  He was issued appearance tickets for Little Valley Town Court.


Pennsylvania eyeing state college consolidations...
The board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is advancing a plan to merge six of its 14 universities into two new institutions... as the system struggles with sinking enrollment and stagnant state aid.  Wednesday's nearly unanimous board vote launches a 60-day public comment period.  A final vote could be scheduled for July, with implementation in time for the 2022-23 school year.  Under the plans, Bloomsburg, Mansfield and Lock Haven universities in northern Pennsylvania would merge into one institution and California, Clarion and Edinboro in western Pennsylvania would merge to become another.  All six campuses would remain open, with integrated faculty, curriculum and enrollment strategies.


 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 29, 2021

Retired county director of Mental Hygiene Services given commendation...
Chautauqua County's longtime Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services was honored by county lawmakers on Wednesday for her years of service to the county.  Legislators and County Executive P.J. Wendel presented Patricia Brinkman with a commendation during their monthly Zoom meeting.  Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon says Brinkman helped bring quality services to those dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues the past two decades... and, worked tirelessly to bring those services to those who need it.  Brinkman called it "an honor and a privilege" to serve the county, and told legislators that while her work was challenging, it was also exceptionally rewarding.  She retired earlier this month.  The county is in the process of finding a new department director.
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Also during Wednesday's meeting, county legislators approved resolutions authorizing the acceptance of two Airport Coronavirus Response Grants from the FAA.  The Dunkirk Airport and the Jamestown Airport will each receive $13,000 for costs related to operations, personnel, cleaning, and sanitization.


County records 18 New cases of COVID-19 the past day...
The Chautauqua County Health Department reports 18 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus over the past day... and the infection rate remains below 2-percent.  Health officials say 6 of the new cases were reported in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, that brings the overall total to 8,884.  There were no new deaths.  Officials say there are 97 active cases... and, 12 of those are hospitalized.  There have now been 8,639 recovered cases... and, the infection rate remains 1.4-percent.


County to host COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for residents in Findley Lake...
Univera Healthcare and the Chautauqua County Department of Health are teaming up to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic this Friday Apr. 30, in Findley Lake.  Officials say it's the first time a health insurer has hosted a clinic... and, it will be held at the Mina-Findley Lake Community Center, 2883 North Rd., in Findley Lake from 2 to 7 p.m.  The clinic will use the Pfizer COVID-19 first dose shot, distributed through Kinney Drugs.  All New York state residents ages 18, and older may attend.  Appointments are required and can be made online at kinneydrugs.as.me/Univera-ChautauquaCounty.  Attendees must be prepared to show identification and a health insurance card.  Transportation assistance is available for this clinic by calling NY Connects at 753-4582... or Community Connections at Findley Lake at 769-2473.


BPU officials discuss what to do with old Garbage Containers once new ones are delivered...
Since the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will be distributing new garbage containers... beginning the week of May 10... the question has come up about what to do with your old one?  During an interview on our Dennis Webster program on WJTN... the question was put to BPU Solid Waste Administrative Clerk Gloria Miranda.  Miranda says if you want to have it taken away... you can just leave it out and the BPU sanitation crews pick it up.  She says either mark it with a message to throw it away, or call the garbage hotline to alert them to take the can away.  Miranda says there will be no charge for taking them away.  Otherwise... Miranda says you can give or sell it to someone outside the city, if you prefer.  She adds there is one other option as well... and, that's to "re-purpose" your old can to use for yard waste when taking it to the BPU's yard waste site.  If you have further questions... Miranda says call the Garbage Hotline at 661-1651.  


Fire at Frewsburg church under investigation...
There was only minimal damage reported after a fire that was possibly sparked by a cleaning solution at a church in Frewsburg Tuesday afternoon.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Frewsburg fire crews responded to an alarm at Our Lady Of Victory Catholic Church on Institute Street about 2:45 p.m.  Officials say the fire was pretty much out by the time crews arrived.  Frewsburg volunteers were joined by Kiantone, Busti, Lakewood, Falconer and Kennedy crews... and, the county's Hazardous Materials Team.  No injuries were reported.


Borrello introduces legislation to put moratorium on Wind Turbine construction on Lakes Erie and Ontario...
Local State Senator George Borrello has introduced legislation to place a moratorium on the building or placing of wind turbines on bodies of freshwater in New York State.  Borrello says he drafted the bill to protect freshwater lakes from becoming industrialized, adding that Governor Andrew Cuomo and his allies in the state legislature want to allow such turbines in the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  He says that will disturb the lake beds, and threaten their ecosystems.  Borrello... a Republican from Sunset Bay... says most Western New York residents want to protect the region's natural resources, and that's why he's introduced the measure.


Midnight curfew on NYS bars and restaurants to be lifted next month...
New York state will be lifting it's Midnight curfew on food and beverage services beginning in mid-May.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's office made the announcement... just before the state legislature was expected to take up legislation to end the restrictions.  The outdoor dining curfew is to end on May 17... while the one for indoor dining areas will end on May 31.  The governor also announced on that the 1 a.m. curfew for catered events where attendees have provided proof of vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test result will be lifted beginning May 17, with the curfew for all catered events set to be lifted May 31.
  
 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., Apr. 28, 2021

Eleven new COVID-19 cases, with one death, reported in county Tuesday...
There are 11 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County over the past day... along with one new death.  That raises the number of deaths since the pandemic began to 148.  The county Health Department says there were three new cases in Jamestown and Fredonia... bringing the total number to 8,866.  Officials say that 98 cases are now active... and, 12 of those are hospitalized.  The Health Department adds that 8,620 cases have now recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is down to 1.4-percent.


County IDA distributes third and final round of CARES Act Loans...
The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has now doled out the remaining $2.2-million of the $10.5-million it received last year in federal CARES Act funding.  IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says the revolving loan fund was set up to provide capital -- in the form of low-interest loans -- to both businesses and non-profit organizations to help them through the pandemic shut-down.  Geise credited his staff's efforts to provide more than 50 entities with loans to help add upwards of 130 new jobs... and, retain more than 2,000 others.  He says the U.S. Economic Development Administration praised them for being able to dole out the funding in 9 month, because they wanted it completed within two-years.  Geise says this final round of loans helped "6 or 7" loans that were approved at Tuesday morning's IDA Board meeting.  Geise says the loans are given out at 2.2-percent interest... and, the terms are for seven-years and 10-years.  The $10.5-million was awarded early last September by the EDA to establish a new revolving loan fund. 


Lakewood lawmakers approve 2021-22 budget that includes 26-cent per $1,000 rate tax increase...
The Lakewood Village Board has a new budget in place that increases the tax rate by 26-cents per $1,000 assessed value over last year.  Mayor Randy Holcomb initially proposed a 22-cent increase... but, says two key factors boosted spending by another $11,000, bringing the final budget to about $3.86-million.  It was approved unanimously during Monday night's village board meeting.  Holcomb says the main reason is several assessments have been drastically reduced, or are gone because some property has become tax exempt.  The first-term Republican also says there are several pandemic-related costs that aren't going away soon.  With the changes... he says the new village tax rate will be $8.16 per $1,000 assessed value.


Fredonia Village Board approves budget with smaller increase...
The Fredonia Village Board has passed a revised 2021-2022 budget that features a significantly smaller property tax hike than what was initially proposed in March.  The revised spending plan, unanimously approved during a special meeting Monday of the panel... features a 1.4-percent tax increase that brings the property tax rate to $35.69 per $1,000, an increase of 50-cents. Trustee Roger Britz, Jr. applauded the board for reducing Mayor Doug Essek's initial proposed tax increase of 17-percent.  The changes also include a 38-percent cut in the salary for the fire chief, a smaller possible pay raise for the police chief, and a 16-percent increase for a new personnel specialist position.  Essek questioned those changes... saying most Americans don't want to see money taken away from police and public safety.  


Borrello blames loss of Congressional seat on "damaging policies..."
Chautauqua County's representative in the New York State Senate says Monday's report from the U.S. Census Bureau that the state will lose one seat in Congress is the result of "damaging policies and laws" passed by the state over the last 10 years.  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello says the report confirms that the state's outmigration is continuing.  Borrello is also accusing the state's Democratic leaders of trying to manipulate legislative seats on both the federal and state levels so they can force bad policies down the throats of state residents. 


NYS eases more COVID-19 restrictions...
The governor says more people in New York will be able to attend outdoor sports games, concerts, gyms, casinos and work offices starting in mid-May.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that large-scale outdoor event venues can operate at 33-percent of capacity starting May 19 for professional and collegiate sports and live entertainment events.  That's up from the current 20-percent.  Cuomo cited the state's progress in reducing COVID-19 infections as reason for lifting restrictions.  New York had among the nation's highest rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases this past Winter, and infection rates remained at high levels throughout February and March.  Cases and hospitalizations have been steadily dropping statewide in April.


RTPI plannig to reopen soon with work near complete on fire damage...
Work on rebuilding the fire damaged Roger Tory Peterson Institute is nearing a conclusion.  The Director of Development and Communications, George Harper, says the chandeliers and wood floor are back in the lobby... with only a few other things yet to finish before the scheduled reopening on May 29.  An electrical malfunction caused a fire on Dec. 3 that led to minor structural damage... and significant water issues... at the institute's distinctive home on Curtis Street in Jamestown. The building's been closed to the public ever since.  Harper promises a party when they open back up... with details to follow in a couple of weeks.  Harper spoke earlier this week in conjunction with the 87th anniversary of the first publication of Roger Tory Peterson's 'A Field Guide to the Birds.'

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., Apr. 27, 2021

Celoron man arrested for interfering with firefighters trying to put out fire in his house...
A Celoron man has now been arrested for allegedly interferring with firefighters while they were battling a mid-evening fire Monday that damaged the man's house.  Celoron Fire Chief Jordan Bailey says crews were called to the scene at 44 Duquesne St. around 8 p.m.  Bailey says they found heavy smoke coming from the eaves and back of the structure... and the Battalion Coordinator called in a second alarm.  He says they found fire in the basement and first floor, but, knocked the flames down fairly quickly.  Bailey says they called in five mutual aid companies to help with the fire and overhaul of the scene.  He says they had no major issues fighting the blaze.  However... he says the homeowner -- identified by Ellicott Police as 53 year-old Todd Rosendahl -- was arrested.  Police say Rosendahl entered the house while firefighters were trying to douse the fire... and, ripped off one volunteer's mask, and damaged the firefighter's equipment.  Police charged him with fourth-degree criminal mischief and obstructing firefighting operations.  He's to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date.  Celoron was assisted at the scene by Jamestown, Lakewood, Busti, and Kiantone at the scene... along with the Chautauqua County FAST Team.  No one was hurt.  County fire investigators determined the fire originated in and around an unmaintained wood stove that was surrounded by combustible material.  Due to the damage the house was condemned. 


City Council approves new, three-year, retroactive contract with firefighter's union...
The Jamestown City Council has unanimously approved a new, three-year agreement with the Jamestown Professional Firefighters Local 137.  That's the final city employees union to get a contract in place that runs through the end of 2020.  That from Mayor eddie Sundquist... who detailed the new agreement during last night's Council voting session.  Sundquist says there was a lot of "give and take" during negotiations... but, adds he's pleased the city has this behind it.  He says it brings the JPFF "in line" with what the rest of the city's unions receive.  However... Sundquist did say that his negotiating team was still working with each union to finalize agreements for 2021 -- and beyond.  He adds it includes 2-percent wage hikes each year 2018 through 2020... and, increases the employee contribution for health care from 19 to 21-percent.  However... he says that will be going forward.  The new contract... which was already approved by the firefighter's union... was approved 8-to-0.  Councilwoman Kim Ecklund abstained because her husband is a retired city firefighter.


Fredonia Village Board approves budget with only a 1.4-percent tax increase...
Fredonia village trustees on Monday passed a revised 2021-2022 budget that features a significantly smaller property tax hike than what was initially proposed in March.  The revised spending plan, unanimously approved during a special meeting of the Village Board, features a 1.4-percent tax increase that brings the property tax rate to $35.69 per $1,000, an increase of 50 cents. Trustee Roger Britz, Junior applauded the board for reducing Mayor Doug Essek's initial proposed tax increase of 17-percent.  Britz says he's proud of the work they did.  The changes also include a 38-percent cut in the salary for the fire chief, a smaller possible pay raise for the police chief, and a 16-percent increase for a new personnel specialist position.  Essek questioned those changes at a time where the majority of Americans don't want money taken away from police.  Trustees voted 4-1 in favor of creating the personnel specialist position, with James Lynden casting the lone "no" vote based on the salary of $52,000.


County reports 33 new cases of COVID-19 from past weekend...
There are just 33 new cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County from the past weekend... and, the infection rate is back below 2-percent.  The county's Health Department says 11 of the new cases were in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, six were in Dunkirk.  Officials say there have now been 8,855 total cases... and, 109 are currently active.  There are 12 people hospitalized... and, the number of deaths remains 147.  Officials say 8,599 cases have now recovered... and, the infection rate is 1.6-percent.


Peterson Guide celebrates 87th Anniversary...
Today marks the 87th anniversary of the first publication of Roger Tory Peterson’s ‘Field Guide to the Birds.’  And George Harper, Director of Development and Communications at the Peterson Institute suggests what people should do to celebrate.  Harper says "grab your field guide" and go outside and see those birds in the guide.  The field guide was an instant hit in 1934, and remains popular in its 7th edition today.  Harper credits the guide’s success to the fact that it features Peterson’s distinctive art work… not photographs or wordy descriptions.  Weekly bird walks are held Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at the Peterson Institute on Curtis Street in Jamestown.  Register at the RTPI website. 


NY to lose one Congressional seat after Census numbers are revealed...
Census data released Monday means that New York will lose one seat in Congress as a result of national population shifts.  The state's delegation will shrink from 27 to 26 House members.  New York is one of seven states losing a member of congress as a result of the 2020 U-S Census.  ABC reports the difference between 26 and 27 representatives, though, was 89 people. 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., Apr. 26, 2021

City man jailed following alleged assault with a cane...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly hitting another person in the head several times with a metal cane on Fulton Street last weekend.  City police were called to the scene shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday... and, spoke with the victim and other witnesses.  They also viewed a video of the alleged incident... and, arrested 38 year-old William Morse for second-degree assault.  Morse was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


NYS among those states restarting J&J COVID vaccine use...
With a green light from federal health officials, many states -- including New York -- resumed use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine on Saturday.  Among the venues where it's being deployed is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where free vaccinations were available to anyone 18 or older.  Among the other states ordering or recommending a resumption, along with Indiana and New York... are Virginia, Missouri, Michigan, Arizona and Tennessee.  Those moves came swiftly after U.S. health officials said last Friday evening that they were lifting an 11-day pause on vaccinations using the J&J vaccine. 


Jamestown lawmakers to vote on second JPD officer going through drug recognition training...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will vote tonight on sending a second police officer to be trained as a drug recognition expert.  Last week... the Finance and Public Safety Committees approved moving the measure forward to allow Alexis Carlson attend DRE courses in Buffalo... now through the end of the month.  Police Chief Timothy Jackson says there are actually two parts to the training.  Jackson says the coursework is being done in Buffalo, and the practical training will be in Florida.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says the timing is right with the state now legalizing recreational marijuana use.  Ecklund says the training had previously been postponed due to the COVID Pandemic.  Currently... the Jamestown Police Department has one drug recognition expert amongst it's ranks.  Tonight's Council voting session begins at 7:30 p.m., and, can be followed on-line at Jamestownny.gov/live.


Quattrone says Sheriff's Office making adjustments in response to legalization of small amounts of marijuana...
Law enforcement agencies across New York state are having to "adjust on the fly" with the legalization of recreational marijuana.  That's especially the case when someone whose "high" drives a motor vehicle.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation on March 31... allowing anyone 21 or older to possess and use of up to three ounces.  However... Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says it's effects on drivers is still being looked at.  Quattrone says the drug can still have lingering effects for several days once the "high" is gone.  Right now... he says there are more questions about the new law than answers... and, adds they are still learning about everything that's included in this new law.  Some of those provisions won't take effect for another 18 months.  Quattrone says some of their changes include the approach taken to traffic stops involving motorists impaired by marijuana.  He says he has directed his department to focus on 'impairment indicators' when making arrests.  Quattrone says drug recognition expert officers are in short supply here... and the legislation does not provide funding to local departments to train more DRE's to help with enforcement.


Borrello and Goodell slam "incentives not to work" in NYS and nation...
How to get people past ‘incentives not to work’ was addressed late last week at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce ‘Zoom’ legislative breakfast.  Local State Senator George Borrello, a Republican, said, at the beginning of the pandemic extra federal unemployment assistance helped keep people safe.  But now... he believes those dollars are keeping people from trying for jobs.  He says Wells Enterprises in Dunkirk is offering $2,500 to $5,000 bonues to get people to be shift-workers.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell, also a member of the GOP, told the chamber the additional federal unemployment benefit of $600, now $300 a week… is having a profound effect on ‘entry level’ workers.  Goodell says "workers are smart... and, not really interested in taking a significant cut in what they're getting and leave their kids at home and work."  He adds the added federal help will fade away in September, and he’s working to establish a database of resources for what jobs… and training… will be available at that time.  


COVID19 Heroes announced for Week 11...
Eight people have been nominated as COVID-19 Heroes of the Week in Chautauqua County for the eleventh week of the program.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says they include Brenda Leone who has worked for 40 years at the WCA Home... Jennifer Phillips with Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation... and David Burlee from Cummin's Jamestown Engine Plant.  Others include National Guard Fire Lieutenant Malysa Battaglia... Sean Jones from the Mental Health Association... and, Barbara Block from Brooks Memorial Hospital.  The two remaining are Kathleen Webber who is a phlebotomist... and, Stacey Kucharski with Chautauqua County Children and Family Services.  While nominations have now closed... Wendel says "we continue to recognize the selfless work of people in our communities across Chautauqua County."


 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., Apr. 23, 2021

Former Ironworkers union treasurer pleads guilty to embezzlement...
A Celoron man who was once the treasurer for Ironworkers Local 470 has pleaded guilty to stealing funds from the union during a seven-year period... beginning in May of 2011.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced today that 40 year-old Scott Russell Merritt entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr. to theft from a labor union.  Prosecutors say during the time he was treasurer... Merritt embezzled $50,850, and wrote union checks to pay various personal expenses.  He's to be sentenced in August... and, faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 


Quattrone says efforts to recruit minorities for police officers slow to begin...
With the guilty verdicts in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin... area police agencies are moving forward with the plans they filed with the state under Governor Andrew Cuomo's State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative.  As a result, Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says many departments are looking to recruit more non-white officers.  But, Quattrone says it's been a difficult finding any candidates.  Quattrone says the "national backlash" is also making it hard to not only recruit, but, finding qualified candidates.  He says not many candidates have signed up for a Civil Service exam that will be given next month.  But he's hopeful recruitment efforts will yield more success as the area continues to re-open from the pandemic. 


County reports 27 New COVID-19 Cases, and one new death, Thursday...
There are 27 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County the past day... including one new death.  The county's Health Department says there have now been 8,809 total cases... and, 147 deaths.  Officials say 190 cases are currently active and 7 of those are hospitalized.  Six of the new cases were in Jamestown... and, 4 in Falconer.  The infection rate is 2.1-percent... and, 8,472 cases have now recovered.


BPU to begin distributing new garbage collection containers to customers starting May 10...
A major change that many customers of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' Solid Waste division have been calling for is being realized later this Spring.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says new, standard garbage containers will be delivered to residents homes... beginning the week of May 10.  Leathers says they are purchasing 14,000 containers at a cost of about $850,000 to $900,000 so all their customers have one.  He says the BPU will also putting tipping units onto their garbage trucks.  Leathers says the BPU's Solid Waste Division has been working on the program for about two-years.  He says it will allow customers to abide by the city code... which requires residents to put garbage curbside in a container with a lid on it.  He estimates about 60-percent of their customers don't have that.  Leathers says the city will defer some of the cost through a SMART City's grant.  He says the new containers will be able to hold about "7 or 8" 13-gallon tall kitchen trash bags.  The program officials begins July 1.  For more information... call 661-1680.  Leathers made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


City school district hands out NYSSBA Awards for two programs, board member...
Two creative programs put together by students and teachers in the Jamestown Public Schools have been given awards by the New York State School Boards Association.  The city School Boards representative on the state board... Christine Schnars, and Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... made the presentations at this week's board meeting.  High School Band Director Megan Murray... and three Middle School music teachers... were recognized for their Student "Taps" Performance last Veteran's Day.  Murray says the middle school trumpeters were recruited to play taps outside their homes, across the city, at the same time the high school trumpter played taps for the traditional program at Third and Main Streets.  The JHS Band traditionally plays the National Anthem and a trumpeter plays Taps at the city's Veteran's Day observance at Third and Main Streets.  Murray says, this year, middle school trumpeters played outside their homes so more residents could hear Taps being played... and, socially distance during the pandemic.  In addition to Marc Lentch, Carrie Pawelski and Gina Wakefield... NYSSBA also honored the Bush Elementary School's Parade Balloons Writing Initiative.  Fourth-grade teacher Christin Hockenberry and Technology Integration Specialist Jason Kathman were recognized for their work.  In addition... the state School Boards Association also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to board member Nina Karbacka.  She was recognized for her work on the board, and for taking part in NYSSBA's several leadership development programs.


Dunkirk man arrested after car hit's house on Urban Road...
A vehicle that State Police say was traveling too fast for conditions, struck a house on Urban Road in the town of Dunkirk Wednesday night.  Troopers say the car apparently went out of control about 8 p.m., and, struck a parked vehicle before hitting the house.  An occupant inside the house was not hurt.  The Observer reports the driver, 24-year-old Brandon Perry of Dunkirk, was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Perry has been charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator, speed not reasonable and prudent, failure to keep right, moving from lane unsafely and no seat belt.


 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 22, 2021

City firefighters able to confine fire on Myrtle St. to one room...
Quick work by Jamestown firefighters prevented serious damage to a one-family home on the city's southside... just a few blocks away from Tuesday afternoon's fire.  City Fire Lieutenant Shawn Shilling says crews were called to the scene at 62 Myrtle Street shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday... and, found fire coming from one room of the house.  Shilling says the lone occupant had returned home, and smelled smoke inside.  No one was hurt.  Shilling says the fire was knocked down within 20 minutes... and, crews were at the scene about an hour.  The cause is under investigation.  The scene was just a few blocks away from the call at 33 Myrtle St. on Tuesday.


Gillibrand says Chauvin verdict can be a turning point for racial justice...
New York's junior U.S. Senator says the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial can be a turning point for racial justice in the United States.  During a Zoom conference with media from across the state Wednesday afternoon... Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand the fact what happened was caught on video tape made it unmistakable what happened to George Floyd last May in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She says that trial represented a lot of "hope, fear and anxiety for the whole country..." and the jury verdict provided a small measure of justice and accountability.  Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts he had been charged with by the jury in the case.  However... while strides have been made in the past few decades... Gillibrand says there's still a long way to go.  She says this is "just the beginning of a very long march."


Head of Jackson Center weighs in on verdict in Chauvin trial...
A sense of relief is palpable across the United States after a jury found former Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in killing George Floyd.  But... when it comes to what's next, the reaction is more hesitant.  The exective director of the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown -- Kristan McMahon -- agrees this can be a first step in accountability.  McMahon says that's important, and was key to the Nuremburg War Crimes trials after World War II.  She says the system of policing in the nation that needs "serious consideration and serious review."  Some say they are "hopeful," pointing to the protests and sustained outcry as signs of change to come, in policing and otherwise.  Others are more circumspect, wondering if the one longed-for outcome will really be the start of something better in a country fraught with a history of racial injustice, especially when it comes to the treatment of Black people at the hands of law enforcement.


Justice Coalition working behind the scenes with local officials, and police...
The work of the Jamestown Justice Coalition has continued... often behind the scenes... since it was formed after the George Floyd murder nearly a year ago.  Coalition coordinator, Justin Hubbard, says the local effort has been marked by cooperation... not confrontation.  Hubbard says "we're all one community, we're all Jamestown... we're all Chautauqua County."  Hubbard is proud that no coalition events or rallies have degenerated into violence, vandolism, destruction or looting.  One of the main areas of focus today for the justice coalition involves the Jamestown Public Schools, and getting the Red Raider mascot changed in deferance to Native Americans.  Hubbard says that issue was brought before the city's new Human Rights Commission just last week.


Gillibrand introduces "End Outsourcing Act..."
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced legislation she says would use the U.S. tax code and federal grants, loans and contracts to stop companies from sending jobs overseas.  The Democrat announced Wednesday afternoon her "End Outsourcing Act..." which has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.  Gillibrand used the example of several companies... including one in the Southern Tier -- Siemens -- which is closing it's Olean plant and moving jobs or eliminating 500 jobs.  She says her plan would incentivize manufacturers to either keep jobs here... or move them back to the U.S.  She says the government would have to prioritize awarding federal grants and loans to companies that employ American workers.  Gillibrand adds the legislation would also require companies that have outsourced jobs within a five-year period to pay back federal tax incentives and grants from facilities closed due to outsourcing.  One reporter, though, questioned how the legislation would help, because many companies say they are having trouble attracting workers back because of how much they receiving on unemployment.  Gillibrand says she has heard that concern... and says she's "look into it."


Chautauqua County sees 26 New COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 26 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past day... but, officials say the number of active cases has fallen.  They say the new cases brings the total to 8,783... while the most cases reported Wednesday was seven in Fredonia.  Officials say there are now 188 active cases... and, 12 are hospitalized.  Officials say 8,449 cases have now recovered.  The number of deaths remains 146.

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News Bulletin for Wed., Apr. 21, 2021

Measurable snow reported on April 21st in WNY, and Chautauqua County...
The overnight snow storm that moved through western New York and Chautauqua County didn't produce as much snow as predicted... but, did force one school district to close today.  That was in Silver Creek... where just over 2-and-a-half inches of the white stuff fell.  That was the most in the county... while there was an inch-and-a-half reported in both Gerry and Fredonia.  The most snowfall in the region was in Williamsville -- near Buffalo -- which reported 5 inches of snow.


McMahon says verdict in Chauvin trial is good first step in accountability...
A sense of relief is palpable across the United States after a jury found former Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murder and manslaughter in killing George Floyd.  But... when it comes to what's next, the reaction is more hesitant.  The exective director of the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown -- Kristan McMahon -- agrees this can be a first step in accountability.  McMahon says that was the major underpinning of the Nuremburg War Crimes trials after World War II.  However... she also feels there's a "long way to go."  McMahon says the system of policing in the nation that needs "serious consideration and serious review."  Some say they are "hopeful," pointing to the protests and sustained outcry as signs of change to come, in policing and otherwise.  


Head of Jamestown Justice Coalition agrees verdict is a step forward...
The coordinator of the Jamestown Justice Coalition, Justin Hubbard, was ‘filled with emotion’ as the verdicts were announced Tuesday in trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer, Derek Chauvin.  Hubbard says when you go through a year like we saw, there are a "lot of emotions connected to it."  The death of George Floyd in May of 2020 led to the creation of the local justice coalition... and, a series of rallies at Dow Park downtown.  Hubbard emphasizes that the jury’s decision in the Chauvin trial is just a single step forward... because it's up against dozens and hundreds of other names that did not see justice. 


Two new COVID deaths, 13 new cases reported in county Tuesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting a drop in the number of new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus... but, also report two new deaths over the past day.  Health officials say that brings the number since last Friday to 4 after going several weeks without any.  There have now been 146 total fatalities from the virus.  Seven of the new cases are from Jamestown... and, there are now a total of 8,757.  Officials say there are 192 active cases, and 12 are hospitalized.  They add there have now been 8,419 recovered cases.


Child Care entities hoping federal funding comes quickly to help keep them going... 
The availability of affordable child care has been severely impacted by the pandemic, but federal funds will be directed through the new state budget to help address the issue.  Beth Starks, Early Childhood Education Coordinator in Chautauqua County, says the funding will help in a couple of ways.  Starks says families will be able to obtain the child care credit to help them find, and afford the care.  Starks, an assistant Professor at Jamestown Community College, says that some of the funding is also being directed for child care facilities, many that were adversely affected by the pandemic.  She says the industry wasn't that well funded before the pandemic.  State officials say the new budget will be directing more than $2-billion in federal child care resources to expand availability, quality and affordability of child care across New York.


Two treated for smoke inhalation after Myrtle Street fire in Jamestown...
An apartment house fire on Jamestown's southside Tuesday afternoon extensively damaged the structure... and, sent two residents to the hospital.  City Fire Battalion Chief Roger Sigular says crews were called to the multi-unit home at 33 Myrtle St. about 12:15 p.m.  On arrival... he says firefighters had to rescue an occupant from the second-floor apartment... and, two others on the first-floor needed to go to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of some smoke inhalation.  Sigular says there were a number of items that hampered firefighters from finding the door to the basement.  But... he says they got the blaze knocked down fairly quickly once they did.  An off-duty shift was called in to assist... and, crews were at the scene until about 3 p.m.  No firefighter injuries were reported.  The cause was a malfunctioning gas heater in the home's basement.


City of Jamestown now looking at budget surplus...
After staring at a potential $1-million shortfall for nearly a year... the city of Jamestown is now looking at a nearly $1-million budget surplus.  That from City Comptroller Ryan Thompson... who told City Council Monday that Jamestown took in nearly $607,000 less in revenues in 2020.  However... Thompson says they also saved $1.6-million in expenses.  He says one exception, though, was in salaries for the city's two biggest departments -- police and fire.  Until approval of the federal American Rescue Plan... the city was looking at a 20-percent loss of state aid.  However... with funding coming to New York state... local governments have now been made whole on their aid payments.  Thompson says the city was also helped by $310,000 more than was anticipated in sales tax revenues.  Spending in city government was cut about $1.1-million early last year when the COVID-19 shut-down began.  The unaudited surplus is $975,000.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., Apr. 20, 2021

Western New York under Winter Weather Advisory starting late tonight...
There could be some significant snowfall in Chautauqua County from late night through mid-day tomorrow as a late April storm system makes it's way north and east.  That from Forecaster Aaron Reynolds from the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says we're under a Winter Weather Advisory, starting at Midnight tonight.  Reynolds says low pressure is moving in, and that will push colder air into our area, and change the rain we've been receiving to all snow.  He says that advisory will continue through 2 p.m. tomorrow... and we will see the most snow of anyone in the region -- some 3 to 6 inches.  Reynolds says most of the snow should taper off by 11 a.m.  The expected high tomorrow will only be 35-degrees.  However... there will still likely be some snow falling through mid-day Thursday.  The complete forecast follows our News.


Brackman confirmed, sworn-in as new member of City Council...
A long-time member of the Jamestown Planning Commission has been sworn-in to represent Ward-Three on the City Council.  Democrat Regina Brackman was given the official oath of office by City Clerk, Jennifer Williams after Council voted unanimously to confirm her appointment.  After taking her oath, Brackman was welcomed by council members.  She was appointed by Mayor Eddie Sundquist, to fill the vacancy left by the untimely death of third-term Councilwoman Vickye James.  James died suddenly at her home late last month.  Brackman will also fill James' seat on the Council's Housing Committee, which will now be chaired by Councilwoman Marie Carrubba.


County reports 93 New confirmed cases of COVID-19 from last weekend...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 93 new cases of the COVID-19 virus over the past three-days... along with two deaths.  Those deaths are the first in the county in several weeks.  With the new cases... officials say there have now been a total of 8,744 cases... and, 144 deaths.  The health department reports there were 36 confirmed cases in Jamestown, and 10 others in Dunkirk.  There are currently 209 active cases... and, 12 of those are hospitalized.  There have now been 8,391 cases that have recovered... and the infection rate is up to 2.4-percent.


Cuomo points out that Western New York has highest COVID rate in the state...
Western New York has had the highest overall infection rate over the past few weeks in the state... and, the start to this week is no different.  While Chautauqua County is still under 2.5-percent... the region's rate is 4.78-percent.  That drew the scrutiny of Governor Andrew Cuomo during today's COVID-19 update.  Cuomo says there's a simple answer to why... and, that is individuals not following protocols and health guidelines.  Cuomo noted that while Western New York's infection rate is 4.78 percent... next door... the Southern Tier counties are at .86%.  He says indivdual, family, and community infection rates are all intertwined... and, will impact local infecton rates.  In addition... with the state-wide COVID Infection rate below 3-percent now... Governor Cuomo has announced the further reopening of a number of venues in the near future.  During his COVID Press briefing... Cuomo said the biggest is the further reopening of two different entities... one being museums and the other, zoos... opening at 50-percent beginning next Monday.  He says they also plan to allow movie theaters to reopen at 33-percent starting next Monday, Apr. 26.  He says large indoor sports arenas can reopen to 25-percent starting on May 19.


DiNapoli's office calls for Cuomo book deal investigation...
New York's comptroller has asked the state attorney general's office to launch a criminal investigation into whether the governor used state resources to write and promote his book on leadership in the COVID-19 pandemic.  State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office released Monday the April 13th letter, which authorized State Attorney General Letitia James to investigate whether the process of writing and promoting the book violated state laws.  James' office said it received the referral letter from the state comptroller but didn't comment further.  The governor said Monday that he asked some people who he mentioned in the book to ``review'' it.


Dunkirk fire, and police respond to natural gas leak late Monday morning...
Dunkirk fire crews, with the help of local police, responded to a report of a large natural gas link leak in the area of Brigham Road and Veterans Drive late Monday morning.  Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano says Dunkirk High School and several nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution after the call came in about 11 a.m.  Orolano praised the teamwork involved with police, fire, the Public Works Department, National Fuel, and the school district.  National Fuel Gas crews were able to shut off the break, and made repairs.  Fire officials say a third-party contractor hit the line while digging.  There were no injuries.  Brigham Road between Lucas Avenue and West 6th Street was closed several hours while repair work was completed.

 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., Apr. 19, 2021

Clymer man faces DWI charges following head-on crash in town of Clymer...
A Clymer man faces drunk driving charges following a two-car, head-on crash late last Friday night at an intersection in the town of Clymer.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene at the intersection of Routes 426 and 474 shortly before 11 p.m.  Deputies say they interviewed all the occupants... and, found one passenger involved had minor injuries.  She was taken to Corry Memorial Hospital for treatment.  Officers say they found that 25 year-old Zane Tucker -- one of the drivers involved -- was intoxicated.  Tucker was arrested on charges including Aggravated DWI, DWI, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.... and, failure to stop at a stop sign.  He was later released with appearance tickets for Mina Town Court at a later date.


City woman arrested for alleged Meth possession during traffic stop...
A woman from Jamestown is accused of being in possession of methamphetamine following a traffic stop on Lakeview Ave. last week.  State Police in Jamestown say 29 year-old Sarah Fowler was a passenger in the car, which was pulled over last Wednesday.  Troopers say they found a container of meth in Fowler's possession, along with tin foil with burnt meth on it, and a scale that had white powder residue.  Fowler was issued appearance tickets for City Court on charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... and, second-degree criminally using Drug Paraphernalia.


Cuomo highlights legislation providing low, and no-cost Internet access to low-income New Yorkers...
The "Connect New York" bill signed late last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo is designed to bridge the digital divide for New York's poor families.  During a signing ceremony in Buffalo Friday... Cuomo said those families, who are receiving some form of public assistance, will be able to get Internet service for $15 a month from their provider.  The governor says the legislation covers all providers doing business in the state... including Spectrum, Windstream, and Verizon, to name a few.  Cuomo announced that the COVID-19 Pandemic had revealed how many families are unable to obtain broadband internet service for school, telemedicine... or finding a job.  He also announced a public private partnership that will allow families that can't afford the $15 monthly cost to get it free.  Cuomo says up to 50,000 students and their families will be eligible for the free Internet... which will be funded through Schmidt Futures and the Ford Foundation.  Cuomo also announced Friday that he was appointing a commission to study places where lack of broadband is a problem.


Friday's signing ceremony in Buffalo Cuomo's latest with no press allowed...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has lately shied away from coming face to face with reporters as sexual harassment allegations against him have mounted.  The Democratic governor gained national attention last spring for televised news briefings at which he answered barrages of questions from journalists.  But... the Democrat hasn't had an in-person news conference since December.  That's when he switched to interacting with the media only via telephone and Zoom conference calls.  The governor's sudden refusal to allow reporters to freely question him has rankled media outlets.  The governor says it is a needed pandemic safety precaution.


Fredonia man announces his candidacy for Chautauqua County Clerk...
A political newcomer from Fredonia has announced that he is running for Chautauqua County Clerk this Fall as a Democrat.  David Salley is a computer science professional... who says he has the skill and experience to work with current employees to meet customer demands at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Mayville, Jamestown and Dunkirk... direct efficiencies at the County Court House... and, work with the Department of Weights and Measures.  Salley says "it's all about the employees we have working now and me providing full time support and leadership so they can each deliver the best services possible."  He says he's done a wide variety of programming applications... and, started with "Y2K" programming for Plantrol Systems of Westfield and, most recently, database report writing for the Seneca Nation Medical Center. 


County's Office for Aging goes through name change, getting back to more normal operations during COVID...
The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging had to curtail it's programming for local seniors during the pandemic... but, beginning to do more as people get vaccinated.  The department also has a new name: the Office for Aging Services.  Director Mary Ann Spanos says it better fits their mission.  Spanos says they didn't want to change the name too much, but, it emphasizes the fact that they and their partner agencies provide services to the county's aging population.  During the height of the pandemic... Spanos says a number of activites... including Chautauqua Adult Day Services had to shut-down.  They also worked with Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown area to put protocols in place to allow meals to be delivered to shut-ins.  Spanos made her comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Prude Grand Jury told by expert that officers didn't do anything wrong...
Newly released transcripts show that prosecutors overseeing a grand jury investigation into the death of Daniel Prude last year in Rochester, undercut the case for criminal charges with testimony from a medical expert who said police officers who held Prude to the ground didn't do anything wrong.  The grand jury voted 15-to-5 not to charge the three officers involved in Prude's restraint.  Prude stopped breathing as officers held him down with a hood over his face.  New York Attorney General Letitia James had said in February, in announcing the grand jury's decision, that the state had put on the best case it could.


 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., Apr. 16, 2021

City parolee arrested after allegedly firing shot-gun inside apartment...     
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly firing off a gunshot inside his eastside apartment, and the round went through the floor into another apartment.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to 509 East Fifth St. about 10:30 a.m.  Wednesday for a gunshot complaint.  Police say they called 37 year-old Anthony Camarata, a New York State Parolee, out of his apartment, and a search warrant was obtained by police, and the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force.  Police began searching for the shot-gun involved... and, used surveillance video in the area to locate the weapon on a neighbor's porch.  Camarata was arrested for first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and third-degree criminal mischief.  He was take to the city jail pending arraignment. 


Washington Middle School student being evaluated after "despondent student" incident...
No one was hurt during a "despondent student" situation at Jamestown's Washington Middle School yesterday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson confirms that officers were called to the scene on Buffalo Street just after 9 a.m., and, located the troubled student.  Samuelson says no one was hurt... and, officers were able to secure the student safely.  Jamestown School officials say the situation was under control by shortly before 10 a.m.  Samuelson says the student was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for a mental health evaluation.  He says the school district notified parents and staff about the incident.


Wendel addressed vaccine hesitancy in the wake of COVID case uptick...
There appears to still be come hesitancy about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Chautauqua County.  County Executive P-J Wendel was recently asked about the issue... and, he confirmed there are some groups that are resistant to getting the vaccine.  With that, Wendel says they are stepping up their outreach into those communities.  He says some people may be waiting for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but that version remains on pause.  The county official says Moderna has been in greater use in Chautauqua County than the other vaccines.  The county Health Department says there were 49 new, confirmed cases of the virus over the past day... with 19 of those in Jamestown.  That brings the local total number to 8,621.  Officials say 212 cases are now active... and, 13 are hospitalized.  The infection rate is now at 2.3-percent.


Cuomo says bars and restaurants will be able to stay open until Midnight, starting next Monday...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York will push back closing time at bars and restaurants an extra hour to midnight... starting next Monday.  It's the latest change as the state continues to relax coronavirus-related restrictions.  The governor also announced during a telephone briefing Wednesday that auto and horse racing events will be able to accommodate spectators at 20-percent capacity starting April 22.  Restaurants had pleaded for the 11 p.m. curfew to be lifted, saying that pandemic restrictions were hurting their business. 


JCC's Workforce Development Program gets $541,000 grant to boost advanced manufacturing training...
The Jamestown Community College Foundation is one of four not-for-profit organizations to receive funding from the third round of the Western New York Workforce Development Challenge.  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office says the grant will be administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.  Cuomo says the $541,000 award will fund SUNY JCC's short-term advanced manufacturing training program to prepare individuals for jobs in advanced manufacturing.  The Vice-President of JCC's Workforce Readiness Program, Holgar Ekanger, says the focus will be on two programs.  The first is CNC Machining, and the other is Maintenance for middle-skill/technician.  Ekanger adds the program will also provide for transporation, and child care... if the students need it.  The programs are being offered in Chautauqua, Cattaragus and Allegany Counties.  Ekanger says the 8-to-10 week programs will being shortly... and, include immersive training and trainee supports, preparing individuals for immediate entry into the workforce.  Empire State Development and the Ralph Wilson Foundation are also involved in the workforce challenge.


Jamestown receiving additional $1.22-million in HOME Funding from HUD to help deal with affordable housing, and homeless issues... 
The city of Jamestown will be receiving $1.22-million dollars from the American Rescue Plan to help increase affordable housing... and, address homelessness.  The U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development announced late Thursday afternoon that the city would be getting that money from New York's allocation of $464-million.  HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge says this supplimental funding... known as HOME-ARP... will be provided through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program to 651 grantees, including states, insular areas, and local governments.  The largest entity in New York state receiving funding is New York City at just under $270-million.  Nationally... nearly $5-billion is being allocated.


Marvin House in Jamestown reopening...
Jamestown’s historic Marvin House is re-emerging from the pandemic shutdown.  For the first time in over a year, several dozen people gathered for a ‘COVID safe’ lunch at the house Thursday.  They heard about new, original research into the Marvin family, and their home done during the ‘hibernation’ period by architect Marlin Casker.  That information’s been digitally recorded and will be accessible by ‘QR code’ for self tours of the house.  Marvin House member Dottie Maitland… a tour professional… says that kind of event, in a small community, is what tour operators are looking for right now.  The Marvin House will preview the new experience on Saturdays, beginning May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at $10 per person.

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., Apr. 15, 2021

"Despondent" student removed from Washington Middle School...
No one was hurt during a "despondent student" situation at Jamestown's Washington Middle School this morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson confirms that officers were called to the scene on Buffalo Street just after 9 a.m., and, located the troubled student.  Samuelson says no one was hurt... and, officers were able to secure the student safely.  Jamestown School officials say the situation was under control by shortly before 10 a.m.  Samuelson says the student was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for a mental health evaluation.  He says the school district notified parents and staff about the incident.


Jamestown teen arrested for allegedly setting fires at city restaurant, behind JHS...
A city teen has been arrested for allegedly starting fires inside a northside restaurant... and, behind Jamestown High School last weekend.  City police and fire investigators were called to Fifties Grill and Dairy at 1514 Washington St. this past Sunday night for a fire that started in a bathroom, and partially burned a wall.  Investigators found an incindiary device, and reviewed surveillance video, and identified the suspect as 19 year-old Xavier Guadarrma.  Investigators are also probing a separate incident where a similar device was found on the lawn behind the high school.  Police believe it was left there between last Friday and Monday morning.  That fire caused minor damage to the outside of the building, and a grassy area behind the school.  Guadarrma was also captured on surveillance video during that incident.  He was arrested Tuesday afternoon for first, third and fifth degree arson.  More charges are pending.


Uncle of Jamestown drug trafficking kingpin pleads guilty to helping nephew...
A relative of a known Jamestown drug-trafficking ring-leader has pled guilty to charges for helping his nephew sell large amounts of methamphetamine, and other drugs, in the area.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Wednesday announced that 53 year-old Garland, also known as "Charlie" Beardsley, entered the plea to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in Federal Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Charlie Beardsley is the uncle of Rocco Beardsley... and the older Beardsley was an "associate" of his nephew in trafficking meth, heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, cocaine, and hydrocodone in the Jamestown area from 2018 through last October.  They add that Rocco Beardsley stored, distributed, and made meth... as well as dealing heroin-and-fentanyl, and other controlled substances at the defendant’s Newland Avenue home.  Earlier this year... a person working with federal investigators bought crystal meth from Rocco Beardsley at the defendant’s residence.  Charges are pending against Rocco Beardsley. 


City officials discuss NYS Recreational Marijuana program, legislation...
City lawmakers in Jamestown will have to decide by the end of the year whether to opt out of New York state's new Cannibus Distribution legislation.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist discussed the new law approved as part of the state's recent budget agreement.  Sundquist says... if the city decides to allow for dispenseries and on-site consumption establishments... they wouldn't have to do anything.  He says if lawmakers decide to opt-out, they would then have to hold a public, permissive referendum before the end of the year as well.  Sundquist says he's already received multiple inquiries about the city opting in or out of the recreational marijuana program.  However... Councilwoman Marie Carrubba warns that setting up dispensaries is not a small proposition.  Police Chief Timothy Jackson says their big concern is people driving while high on marijuana.  Jackson says JPD currently has one officer who is a trained "Drug Recognition Expert..." and they plan on training another person soon.  Under the legislation... Sundquist says marijuana sales would be taxed at 13-percent... with 9-percent going to the state.  He says the municipality involved would receive 3-percent, and the county, one-percent.


NYSUT weighs in on state's new guidance on 6 to 3-feet social distancing...
New York state's largest teachers union is now weighing in on new social distancing guidelines approved for use by the state Health Department.  In March, the Centers for Disease Control revised its federal pandemic guidelines... and, now New York’s Department of Health has clarified how those guidelines should be applied in the state.  While the C-D-C recommends reducing social distancing requirements from 6 feet to 3 feet in classrooms, the new state guidance specifies circumstances when six feet of distance should be used.  New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta adds the new state guidance goes a step further... in mandating the wearing of masks.  Pallotta says, before, it was only a guideline.  While NYSUT is supportive of the new guidance... Pallotta believes the state should do more to help control outbreaks and identify students and staff who may be infected but asymptomatic.  He believes the best way to do that is with a stringent testing requirement, which is not being done right now.  Pallotta says only 57 of the 700 districts in the state are doing any kind of COVID testing program.  He emphasizes teachers and school staff agree with parents that the best place for students to learn is in the classroom.


 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., Apr. 13, 2021

City Council briefed on resolution to purchase new body cameras for JPD...
The Jamestown City Council will vote in two weeks on an agreement with a new company to provide 63 new body cameras for the police department.  City Information Technology Director Mark Dean outlined the proposal to have Axon Enterprise of Scottsdale, Arizona, provide the cameras to replace the current ones... which are 3-years old.  Dean says many of the current ones have failed, and officers are sometimes having to share cameras.  He says they agreement will also allow them to store the video and information in Axon's cloud services.  Dean says the five-year agreement will allow them to have two spare body cameras... and, he says the turn-around time on repairs with Axon is much quicker than the current provider.  He says he's heard good reviews from another local agency that uses the Axon cameras -- the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.  Dean and Chief Timothy Jackson noted that the $70,000 cost is for each of the next five years... so the total would be $350,000.


Brackman named to replace the late Vickye James as Ward-Three Councilwoman...
A good friend of the late Vickye James has been chosen to take her seat on the Jamestown City Council.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist Monday announced the appointment of Regina Brackman to fill the remainder of James' term.  Sundquist says her resume is impressive... and, she is "no stranger to the work that we do here in the city of Jamestown."  He says she's been a member of the city's Planning Commission for more than 20 years.  Brackman is a lifelong resident of Jamestown, and has been employed by Truck-lite for 37 years.  She has also been active with Blackwell Chapel AME Zion Church, the YWCA and the Child Advocacy Program.  Sundquist told City Council members last night that he will put Brackman's name up for a vote at a special council meeting April 19th at 7 p.m.  He says that would only take a few minutes, then they could move right into their work session.  Brackman has also agreed to run for the Third-Ward council seat in November.


County reports 86 new COVID Cases from past weekend...
There's been a small spike in the COVID-19 infection rate in Chautauqua County over the past week.  That as 86 new cases were reported last weekend... bringing the total number to 8,520.  The county Health Department reports the most cases... 23... were reported in Jamestown.  There were 19 in Fredonia.  Officials say there are currently 159 actives cases, and hospitalizations are up to 7.  There are now 8,219 cases that have recovered... and, the infection rate is now 2.6-percent.


Primary Election Day set for June 22 in Chautauqua County...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is gearing up for Primary Day on June 22.  While there will not be any county-wide contests... Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says there are a handful of local contests, including two county legislature contests.  Abram says there will be a Republican primary for the race in District 18, and a Democratic primary in District 4.  He says there are also some contests in three towns... including a GOP Supervisor's race in the town of Carroll between incumbant Russ Payne, and Laura Smith.  Abram says the board is planning for in-person voting, similar to how the general election was handled in November.  He says they will do "everything" to make for a safe experience using masks and social distancing.


Concern voiced over lower than usual Chautauqua Lake levels...
The owner of Shore Acres Boat Yard near Bemus Point, Dick Sparling, says he has a problem with Chautauqua Lake -- namely that the lake level is at least a foot lower than it should be.  Sparling adds that he's concerned it's going to be low all summer.  While a light snow pack and scarce spring rains have contributed to the problem right now, Sparling says the ‘low level lake’ has been causing issues for his business for a long time.  He says they're having boaters go elsewhere to launch their boats.  Sparling believes the complicated formula used to regulate how high the water is needs to be looked at anew.  Doug Conroe, Executive Director of the Chautauqua Lake Association, agrees because the current plan is 40 years old.  Conroe believes different weather patterns have changed and we are getting fewer storms that produce the water needed, and that's changed water runoff patterns.  That 40 year old plan dictates how much water flows through the Warner Dam in the Chadakoin River in Jamestown.  County Executive PJ Wendel is looking into the problem. 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., Apr. 14, 2021

Uncle of Jamestown drug trafficking pleads guilty in case against his nephew...
The uncle of a Jamestown drug-trafficking ring-leader has admitted to helping his nephew with selling large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs in the area.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Wednesday announced that 53 year-old Garland, also known as "Charlie" Beardsley, pled guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say Charlie Beardsley is the uncle of Rocco Beardsley... and the older Beardsley was an "associate" of his nephew in trafficking methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, crack cocaine, cocaine, and hydrocodone in the Jamestown-area from 2018 through last October.  They add that Rocco Beardsley stored, distributed, and made methamphetamine, heroin-and-fentanyl, and other controlled substances at the defendant’s Newland Avenue home.  Earlier this year... a person working with federal investigators bought crystal meth from Rocco Beardsley at the uncle's residence.  Kennedy says charges are pending against Rocco Beardsley.  Sentencing will be held at a later date.


City man accused of sex trafficking arrested on federal charges...
A Jamestown man has been arrested by federal agents on sex trafficking charges in connection with forcing two girls into prostitution in exchange for drugs earlier this year.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. says 30 year-old Anthony Burris was charged by criminal complaint with sex trafficking and enticing travel to engage in sexual activity.  Prosecutors say back in January... a mother contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office about the possible sex trafficking of her daughter... and, that her daughter was getting drugs in return for being a prostitute.  She claimed Burris was also physically abusing her daughter... and, the daughter was taken for medical treatment to a clinic in Erie, Pennsylvania.  An undercover agent was brought in and set up a "car date" through Burris, with the victim.  Police then moved in and Burris was arrested... and, they seized a number of items including just over $2,200 in cash.  He was later released... but, then caught again in a similar operation involving a second victim.  Burris faces a minimum of 15 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.


JPS Board approves 2021-22 budget plan to be voted on next month...
The Jamestown School Board has approved an $89.8-million, 2021-22 budget for the public to vote on May 18.  School Board President Paul Abbott says it will also include no tax increase... and, adds "critical positions that will directly help our students’ and their families’ social and emotional needs during this difficult time, especially as students start to transition back to attending school in person.  I am proud of the efforts and thankful to the JPS administrative team and the Board of Education Budget and Finance Committee, who put our students’ and families’ needs first and foremost.”  Abbott says the proposed budget includes a new Community Navigator... two new school psychologists... an increase in contracted social workers, music and athletic equipment upgrades, and technology equipment. 


County has 52 new COVID Cases the past two days...
After reporting a decrease in the COVID-19 infection rate Tuesday in Chautauqua County... the health department is reporting a slight increase today.  Health officials report 32 new cases Wednesday, after 20 new ones Tuesday.  They say there are now 180 active cases, and 12 people are hospitalized.  The Health Department says there have now been 8,572 total cases.  The seven-day infection rate is now 2.4-percent.


County officials closely following J&J Vaccine situation... 
Elected and health officials are closely following developments after the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA issued a statement recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after a small number of people developed blood clots shortly after receiving their shots.  Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel was asked if this might have an impact on local COVID-19 vaccination clinics.  However... he says they haven't seen a lot of places using the J&J Vaccine.  As for vaccine hesitancy, Wendel says there had been some of that in certain populations.  He says he's hoping to have 50-percent of the county's population vaccinated by May 1.  
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Late Tuesday... County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said the county has "received and administered 807 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  Of those doses, 135 have been administered since Mar. 23.  We do not have access to data from other vaccine providers but encourage anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last 3 weeks and develops the (troubling) symptoms to contact their health care provider.”  She adds that the county Health Department is holding COVID-19 vaccination clinics this week with the Moderna vaccine at the SUNY College at Fredonia. 


Memorial Day ceremonies and services to be scaled-back in Jamestown this year...
There will be a couple of Memorial Day ceremonies in the city of Jamestown... but, there won't be a parade again this year due to the COVID Pandemic.  City officials responded during Monday night's Council work session to a constituent question about that situation asked by Councilman Tom Nelson.  Council President Tony Dolce says it's the city's Veterans Commission, and Veteran's Council that makes the call on the parade.  Dolce adds the city does permit the parade for those groups.  Parks Manager Dan Stone says the ceremony at Soldier's Circle in Lakeview Cemetery would also have COVID restrictions.  Stone adds the Blue Star Mothers will also have a scaled-back ceremony the Saturday prior to Memorial Day.  He says they'll build in some "social distancing" for that event.  That Blue Star Mother's ceremony at Veteran's Park off West Third Street has become an annual part of Memorial Day Weekend. 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., Apr. 12, 2021

Man armed with Machete arrested following alleged domestic incident...
A Jamestown man police say was armed with a machete has been arrested following a domestic incident on the city's southside early Sunday morning.  City police were called to the scene at 111 Barrett Ave. just after 4 a.m., and, the door was answered by Angel Figueroa.  Officers say Figueroa had a confirmed order of protection to stay away from the home, and the victim inside.  Police say he had the machete with him, and wouldn't allow anyone else to go to the door.  Figueroa was arrested for second-degree criminal contempt, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


County Court Sentencings reported...
A Jamestown man has received 2 to 6 years in state prison after pleading guilty to third-degree burglary.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt's Office says Benjamin Catalino received the sentence from Acting County Court Judge John Lamancuso.  Schmidt says his office was assisted by Jamestown police in the investigation.  In addition... a Salamanca man has been sentenced to one-and-a-third to 4 years in jail for second-degree attempted assault.  The Chautauqua County District Attorney's office reports that 35 year-old Brennin Reynold received the term from Acting County Court Judge Stephen Cass.  Reynolds pled guilty to the charge.  He has previously been arrested for third-degree assault in another case in the city of Salamanca back in January of last year. 


NYS okays easing social distancing requirements in schools...
New York state is easing reopening restrictions on schools to allow most students to sit closer together, as long as they continue to wear masks.  The change released late last week is expected to allow schools to bring more students back in to buildings, and reduce their reliance on distance learning.  That's good news for local districts, who were waiting on the state to clarify what needed to be in place before allowing the decreasing their distancing from 6 to 3 feet.  Jamestown Superintendent Kevin Whitaker recently said that conflicting infection rates was the big issue because the coding was different between the federal and state governments.  President Joe Biden has made it a priority to full reopen Kindergarten through 8th grade schools by the end of April.  However... superintendents in New York had been frustrated by the state's delay in acting on revised federal CDC guidelines that say students wearing masks can safely sit just 3-feet apart in the classroom instead of 6 feet.


Reed, Gaetz both subjects of new House Ethics probes...
The House Ethics Committee is investigating sexual misconduct allegations involving two Republican members... and, one of them is local Representative Tom Reed.  The A-P and other news outlets reported confirmation of the probes late Friday into allegations against Reed, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.  Reed was accused of being drunk when he rubbed a female lobbyist's back and unhooking her bra without her consent at a networking event in a Minneapolis pub in 2017.  The Corning Republican apologized to the lobbyist, Nicolette Davis, shortly after the story became public.  He said the incident occurred "at a time in my life in which I was struggling."  A spokesperson for Reed said in a brief statement that he was cooperating with the investigation.  Reed also recently stepped down from his position as Co-Chairman of the bi-partisan Problem Solver's Caucus.  Gaetz has denied any wrong-doing after the New York Times reported he was the subject of a federal investigation.  That investigation centers around whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him.  The Times also reports that investigators are looking into whether Gaetz violated sex trafficking laws.  He has not been charged with a crime.


NYS Legislature approves legislation requiring Nursing Homes to spend more on patient, resident care...
After a deadly year in New York's nursing homes, state lawmakers have passed legislation that could potentially force facility owners to spend more on patient care.  Rules passed in recent days as part of a state budget deal would require for-profit homes to spend at least 70-percent of their revenue on direct patient care.  Home operators will also face limits on their profit margins.  The nursing home industry has blasted the new revenue requirements. 


Jamestown City Parks opening this week...
The city of Jamestown's parks system has been getting some early use with the nice weather... but, they were to officially open this Friday.  The parks were essentially shut-down last year due to the pandemic.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says they have added the necessary Summer help to open the parks up... and, he says they are ready to go -- without a playground program this year.  Sundquist says there wasn't enough time to get a playground program in place for the Summer... so that won't take place again until 2022.  If you are planning a group outing or activity... Sundquist says contact the Parks and Recreation Department first to obtain a permit to hold an event or tournament. 


New Parks Manager busy with crews working to get parks open...
It’s been a busy first six weeks for the Jamestown’s new Parks Manager, Dan Stone.  A fast breaking spring has lead to the early opening of all the city’s parks.  Stone is happy to give the opportunity to people who’ve been penned up in the pandemic.  He says people should still wear masks and socially distance outside their own family unit, and they will keep "things as clean as possible on our end."  Stone adds the city is renting pavilions this year, and they are filling up quickly. 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., Apr. 9, 2021

Sherman woman killled in train-pedestrian accident in Westfield...
A fatal train-pedestrian accident in Westfield has claimed the life of a Sherman woman.  Westfield Village Police say they were called to the CSX crossing at North Gale Street about 3:15 p.m. Thursday on a report of a person being stuck.  Officers say they found 62 year-old Dixie Smith of Osbourne Street dead under the train.  Witnesses tell police they had seen her talking north across the tracks a short time before she was struck by the eastbound train... which was headed to Buffalo.  Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police say the investigation into the accident is continuing.


Overnight house fire reported in town of Portland...
Several fire departments responded to an early morning house fire in the town of Portland. The fire on Ellicott Road was first reported shortly before 3:30 this morning.  That from the Chautauqua County Emergency Dispatch Center... which reported there were no injuries.  Brocton firefighters had assistance from a number of surrounding departments.  Chautauqua County fire investigators will be sent to the scene to determine the cause of the blaze.


Two men involved in Cattaraugus County Plane Crash identified...
The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department has now identified the two men on board the plane that crashed yesterday afternoon north of Salamanca.  However... they are not identifying which was the pilot.  Deputies say the man killed was 80-year-old William Mandelare of Brockport... while the man seriously hurt was 72-year-old Raymond Groetsch... also of Brockport.  The crash occured as the plane had a problem on take-off from the Great Valley Airport shortly before 2:30 p.m.  The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board... and, the FAA.  An NTSB investigator was expected on site today of where the Cessna 177 plane crashed.


Buffalo among NYS cities that beat record high temperatures Thursday...
It was a day of record warm temperatures for April 8th... as the record high was smashed at the Buffalo Airport Thursday afternoon.  As of 4 p.m., the National Weather Service reported 84-degrees -- smashing the previous high of 75 set in 1921 and 1971.  The Dunkirk Airport reached 79 by 11 a.m., and, the Jamestown Airport had 78 at 4 p.m.  Forecaster Bob Hamilton at the National Weather Service's Buffalo office expected several locations to easily exceed their record highs... especially across the Lake Erie plain.  Along with the unseasonably warm weather, there's been a lack of rainfall in recent weeks.  Hamilton says the dry conditions in Western New York were not helped by below normal snowfall. NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System has placed nearly all of Western New York... including Chautauqua County... under a moderate drought.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office warned Thursday that the dry conditions were helping to spark brush fires in the area.  They said an open burn ban remains in effect until May.


New confirmed number of COVID-19 cases Thursday total 17...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the county... with most of those -- 10 -- being reported in Jamestown.  Health officials say there have now been 8,411 total cases... and 155 of those are currently active.  They say there are 6 people hospitalized.  Officials say 8,114 cases have now recovered.


Goodell says new state budget includes "massive increase" in spending and taxes...
New York state will be spending billions of dollars in federal funds over the next year on schools and relief for struggling businesses, tenants and landlords under the new $212-billion 2021-22 budget.  The State Assembly held a marathon session Wednesday that ended about Midnight Wednesday night.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says the big take-away from this spending plan is it's "massive increase" in spending and taxes... totalling nearly $20-billion.  Goodell adds income taxes will be going up by about 4-billion dollars.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he'll sign the budget.  Goodell says Cuomo did have some "moderating" influence this year because his operations budget was "very tight" and modest.  However... Goodell says Cuomo basically "threw in the towel" on other bills due to all the scandals he's facing.  In past years... Cuomo helped moderate the budget because he would press for no spending increases above the state's 2-percent property tax cap.  The state Senate passed the budget legislation Wednesday morning.  Goodell says he voted for some bills... and, against others... during their session. 


Memorial service to honor late City Councilwoman Vickye James held at her home church...
There was a small, private gathering for a memorial service to remember the late Vickye James in Jamestown Wednesday night... but, hundreds of others watched on-line.  The service was held at the Emmanuel Baptist Church... the long-tme church home of the late Third-Ward City Councilwoman.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was among those attending in person... and, he says the number of people on line was not surprising.  James died unexpectely at her home on Saturday night, March 27.  It was just two days before the Council's voting session, that was held out of necessity.  Sundquist was joined Wednesday night by several City Council members, and former Mayor Sam Teresi, who knew James for better than 30 years.  Sundquist says he will make a decision soon on who he'll appoint to replace James... and, city's Democratic Committee will decide on someone to run in this November's election.


 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., Apr. 7, 2021

Mayville man dies in fatal car crash in the town of Ellery...
A 21-year-old Mayville man lost his life in a single car crash on Interstate 86 Tuesday afternoon.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department says Joseph Zatyko was eastbound on the road when his vehicle veered off the south shoulder and struck the bridge of the Westman Road overpass.  When officers investigated, they found Zatyko had succumbed to the injuries suffered as a result of the impact.  The man was the lone occupant of the vehicle.  The accident occurred around 3:10 p.m.


State Budget agreement reached late Tuesday... budget bills acted on today...
The late New York State budget will probably be finished before tomorrow.  Chautauqua County Assemblyman, Andy Goodell, says that chamber was in session until 2 this morning, and will resume working on the remaining four bills sometime today.  According to the Goodell, the budget increases education aid for the whole state by a record $6-billion, with half of that coming from the federal government.  He says Chautauqua County schools will receive another $24-million in state funds... and, $66-million from the federal government.  Goodell says there are other increases as well... including $100-million more for Consolidated Highway Improvement Program -- or CHIPS funding.  Goodell, who is the 'floor leader' for the minority Republicans in the Assembly, decried what he called 'huge increases in taxes and debt' in the new budget.  He believes the tax increases, aimed at the highest earning New Yorkers, will drive rich people out of the state and eventually lead to higher taxes for everyone. 


Fredonia man receives 12 year sentence for trafficking crack cocaine...
A Fredonia man has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison following his conviction for possessing with intent to distribute, and distributing, 28 grams or more of crack cocaine.  The U.S. Attorney's Office says prosecutors say the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating the drug trafficking activities of 47 year-old Nathaniel Gates, Junior in April of 2015.  During the investigation... investigators made three controlled purchases of narcotics from Gates. Investigators also executed a search warrant at the defendant’s Brigham Road apartment in Fredonia and recovered illegal narcotics and items commonly used in drug distribution.  The 84-month sentence was handed up today in U-S District Court in Buffalo.


Parolee arrested following Vehicle Pursuit, crash in Jamestown...
A Jamestown man on parole faces several charges following a high speed chase, and later an accident, on the city's westside and downtown areas.  City police say officers tried to stop a car, driven by 40 year-old Michael Newman, shortly before 10 p.m. last Friday night in the area of West Eighth and Washington Streets.  However... they say Newman drove off on West Eighth before turning onto Locust Alley.  Police say Newman struck a parked vehicle before the car eventually went behind several businesses around West Third and Clinton Streets.  It then went down a steep embankment between Second and Third Streets... and, crashed onto the railroad tracks.  Officers say Newman then led police on a short foot chase before he was arrested.  Newman was arraigned on several charges... including third-degree unlawfully fleeing police in a motor vehicle... obstruction... criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, speeding.  He was held pending arraignment.


County's Office for Aging Services joins with Rite Aid to provide COVID Vaccines at senior housing facilities...
The Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services has partnered with local Rite Aid pharmacies to help senior housing residents in Jamestown get their COVID-19 vaccines.  Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos says "while all pharmacies have been focused on vaccinating seniors over the last few months, on-site clinics like these bring vaccines to people who need it most, where they are."  County Executive P-J Wendel says they were excited to hold the clinic... adding that "these residents are a priority, because of transportation and computer issues and shared spaces in these buildings."  Nearly 200 people were vaccinated during the first, on-site clinic at Covenant Manor on West Third Street.  Another one will be held at Covenant Manor on Apr. 9 for those getting their second dose.


Cuomo opens up vaccine eligiblity to residents 16 years of age and older...
New Yorkers aged 16 and older are now able to make appointments for getting a COVID-19 vaccine.  However... Governor Andrew Cuomo is concerned about rising positivity rates -- especially in Western New York -- where the positivity rate reached 4.72-percent last Sunday.  He attributes it to people letting their guard down, and engaging in "bad behavior."  Chautauqua County's positivity rate was 1.9-percent on Sunday, but that's lower that the Western New York average.  Cuomo expanded eligibility to 30 and over last week and announced that people aged 16 to 29 would be eligible starting Tuesday. 
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The county Health Department reported only 9 new COVID cases on Tuesday... bringing the local total to 8,373.  The most cases was two each in Silver Creek, Stocton, and Frewsburg.  However... the county's Health Department reports 165 active cases, and three are hospitalized.  


Schumer high-lights Infrastructure Bill during Jamestown visit...
Democrat lawmakers on the federal level are now beginning to focus on a "big and bold" infrastructure bill recently laid out by President Joe Biden.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer visited the National Comedy Center in Jamestown yesterday to tout several parts of the American Rescue Plan.  However... he also talked about the approxmiately $2-trillion infrastructure proposal.  Schumer says there are two key parts to that bill... one is rebuilding our infrastructure, and he says it will provide thousands of new jobs in the county.

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., Apr. 6, 2021

Green confirms run for Chautauqua County Executive...
The long-time chairman of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee says he plans to formally announce later this week that he's running for county executive.  Norm Green says he has the management experience that's necessary to run the office... with 40 years of experience with Brand Names, and, he was County Democratic Elections Commissioner for 22 years.  However... he admits to having some challenges with a party that's split over who will replace him as commissioner.  Green says he's been supported by his fellow officers, and some of the committee in general.  He hopes to bring the committee together to support his run.  On the race itself... Green says he questions the management of the county, especially in the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic.  He says the handling of the outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods... and, lack of weekend reporting are troubling.  Green recently resigned from his position as Elections Commissioner after that break in the party on who should replace him became public. 


Chautauqua County says there were 119 new confirmed cases of COVID from Easter weekend...Chautauqua County recorded 119 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the Easter holiday.  In its first report since last Thursday... the county's Health Department announced 46 newly diagnosed cases in Jamestown and 15 in Fredonia.  There are currently 168 active cases, with five people in the hospital.  The total number of deaths from the disease remains at 142.  The seven day positivity rate is 1.5-percent.  Vaccine eligibility in New York expands to everyone 16 and over starting today.


Jackals set to begin the season -- with no place to call home... 
The Jamestown Jackals are set to begin their sixth season of professional basketball… with no place to call home.  Team owner, Kayla Crosby, says COVID related issues mean no gym in the Jamestown area is available to rent right now.  The Jackals have been practicing at the newly-constructed gym at Park United Methodist Church in Sinclairville… and will play their first two games this weekend at the YMCA in Warren, Pennsylvania.  Beyond that... Crosby says they only have one more home weekend set -- possibly in Erie, Pa for week-two.  After that, the schedule is open.  This weekend’s games will be Friday at 7 p.m. against the Tri-State Admirals from New Jersey, and Saturday at 5 p.m. versus the Syracuse Stallions.  Two-hundred tickets are on sale for each of this weekend’s contests in Warren at $10 apiece through jamestownjackals.com.  Five of the twelve roster players have been with the Jackals before.  Their new coach is Brandon Lesovsky, who has coached in the Jackal’s league previously, as well as the Canadian Basketball League.  


NYS has only recovered just under half the jobs it lost during the COVID-19 shut-down...
New York State has recovered less than half of the 2-million jobs that evaporated when the coronavirus pandemic hit just over a year ago.  Statistics from the State Labor Department, released Monday morning by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli show only 3,700 non-farm jobs added in February, down dramatically from 45,300 jobs added in January.  Overall, the 'leisure and hospitality'  sector has added back the most jobs since May of 2020... some 260,000.  'Construction' is getting healthier, regaining 74-percent of the jobs lost from February to April last year.  The areas of 'educational services', 'government', and 'financial activities' have all continued to lose jobs, despite the recovery in other sectors.  


Schumer says independent art venues can now apply for PPP, and "Save Our Stages" funding...
"Help is on the way...." and it's coming in many forms from the new, federal American Rescue Plan.  That from New York's Senior U-S Senator Charles Schumer... who was at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown Monday to tout areas that will help Chautauqua County coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Schumer says the "Save Our Stages" program will help non-profit arts-related businesses, in addition to the extended Payroll Protection Program.  He says you can apply for PPP through June, and can also apply to "Stages" through September.  Schumer says the Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications for that program this year.  The New York City Democrat also promoted other, lesser known parts of the $1.9-trillion program, including the Child and Income Tax Credit programs, which are designed to help lift children out of poverty.  He says eligible families will receive 250-dollars a month for each child per month for a year... starting in July.  Monday's visit to the county by Schumer was his first since being named Majority Leader.


City man arrested for DWAI-Drugs after driving more than 100 mph, and crashing stolen car...         
A Jamestown man faces several charges his car was clocked at more than than 100 miles an hour, and crashed on Interstate 86 in the town of Sherman late last week.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene about 10:30 p.m. last Thursday... and, say they also found that 21 year-old Johnathan DeJesus-Godineaux was under the influence of drugs.  Officers accuse DeJesus-Godineaux of intentionally veering off the roadway after telling his two passengers that he was going to kill them.  Deputies say they found the car he was driving had been stolen from a Jamestown dealership earlier that evening.  DeJesus-Godineaux was also found to be in possession of other items stolen from the dealership.  Deputies say he, and his two passengers were taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown for treatment of minor injuries.  DeJesus-Godineaux faces charges including two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, and second-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., Apr. 5, 2021

Schumer touts federal American Rescue Plan during visit to National Comedy Center in Jamestown...
New York's Senior U-S Senator was in Chautauqua County today for the first time since being named Majority Leader to tout the many parts of the American Rescue Plan.  That's the $1.9-trillion COVID Relief bill recently approved by federal lawmakers... and, signed by President Biden.  At the National Comedy Center this morning... Schumer proclaimed that "help is on the way" in the way of $1,400 stimulus checks to most residents of the county, more vaccines, and to help get schools opened "quickly and safely."  In fact...Schumer says there is about $75-million in total going to Chautauqua County from the ARP... including funding for non-profit arts-related venues... like the Comedy Center.  He says he worked hard to include the "Save Our Stages" program... which willbenefit the Comedy Center, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, and Chautauqua Institution to name a few.  Schumer says the American Rescue Plan is providing more than $100-billion to all of New York state.  Schumer also detailed the expansion of the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  He was joined by Comedy Center Director Journey Gunderson... and, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas during this morning's visit.


Clarendon, PA woman arrested for speeding, DWAI-Drugs...
A Warren County, Pennsylvania woman is accused of being under the influence of drugs while driving at a high rate of speed last Friday afternoon in the town of Kiantone.  Sheriff's officers say they spotted the car, driven by 28 year-old Donna Burton of Clarendon, shortly after 3 p.m. on Route 62... and performed a traffic stop.  After an investigation... they found that Burton was operating the vehicle in an impaired state.  She was arrested fro driving while ability impaired by drugs... and, traveling more than 55 miles an hour in a speed zone.  Officers say Burton issued appearance tickets for Kiantone Town Court at a later date.


Frewsburg man arrested following domestic dispute...
A man from Frewsburg is accused of getting into a verbal altercation with another person while his three children were present last Saturday morning.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Frew Run Street in the town of Carroll for a reported domestic dispute about 10:30 a.m.  Officers say 33 year-old Edwin Clover-the-second created an unsafe environment for his children when he got into the altercation in their presence.  Clover was arrested on three counts of endangering the welfare of a child... and, taken to the County Jail pending centralized arraignment.


Jamestown DPW employee honored by city for saving two residents from burning building...
The Public Works employee that rescued two people from the second-floor of a burning building on Jamestown's northside has been given special recognition by the city.  The City Council last Monday night approved a commendation for Joe Pollino... a 15-year veteran of the DPW.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says Pollino was driving his dump truck the morning of March 23rd... when he saw the fire at 703 Washington St. and, calls for help..  Sundquist says Pollino helped them jump from a second-story window safely, and get away from the fire.  When each jumped, both they and Pollino fell to the ground.  However... no one was seriously hurt.  Pollino calls what happened a "life-changing" experience.  He says he was happy he was in the right place at the right time.  When city firefighters first arrived... they were told someone was still upstairs... but, they later learned that everyone had gotten out safely.  The March 23 fire heavily-damaged the two-story apartment building.  Officials say the first-floor apartment at the back of the building was fully-engulfed in flames when they arrived.


Vaccine Passports latest controversial item being looked at...
Vaccine passports being developed to verify COVID-19 immunization status have become the latest flash point in America's perpetual political wars.  Supporters say the passports would allow inoculated people to more freely travel, shop and dine.  But Republicans portray them as a heavy-handed intrusion into personal freedom and private health choices.  Vaccine passports currently exist in only one state - a limited government partnership in New York with a private company.  But that hasn't stopped GOP lawmakers in a handful of states from rushing out legislative proposals to ban their use as a tool to restrict what people may do.


County Farmers urged to look out for invasive weed this year...
Farmers are being asked to keep a close eye out for an agressive, herbicide resistant weed called ‘Palmer amaranth.’  Josh Putman, the Field Crop Specialist for the Southwestern New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops program says while it looks like many other common pigweeds, it can grow up to three-quarters of an inch a day… even in a dry July.  Palmer amaranth is most likely to affect dry beans and soybeans, but can hurt corn and other crops.  While it’s only been found in Steuben, Wayne and Seneca Counties in New York so far, it is in many Northern Pennsylvania counties and likely to creep north.   If farmers think they see Palmer amaranth this growing season, they’re urged to send a picture to swnyteam@cornell.edu for confirmation.  


Lakewood man found with several hypodermic instruments during trespass arrest...
A Lakewood man sought on Felony warrants by multiple police agencies in the area has been arrested following a trespassing call in the village last weekend.  Lakewood-Busti Police were called to a location on East Summit Avenue about 12:40 a.m. Saturday... but, the suspect, 24 year-old Braxton Achterberg, had fled the scene.  Police say they found Achterberg on the back porch of a different residence, and he was found in possession of eight hypodermic instruments.  He was also found to be wanted by Lakewood-Busti and other agencies.


 

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