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Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Sept 25, 2020

Residents concerned about possible COVID-19 outbreaks in New York state schools will now have more information about those numbers.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that they are adding a second set of data to the School COVID Report Card they started earlier this month.  Deputy Superintendent of Financial Services Gareth Rhodes says the Department of Health will now include direct reports from the testing labs... he says that will matche that address of the student with the school district....

[CLIP]  Rhodes-RCard-#2  "to this dashboard...."

Rhodes says this way... parents will be able to see all the data the state is looking at to track COVID Cases associated with schools.  Also on Thursday... Governor Cuomo expressed concern over the Trump Administration's rush to get a vaccine... and, says he's put together a panel that will review the safety of any vaccine.  ABC News reports four vaccines are now in Phase-Three testing.  Cuomo says... once a vaccine is available... the next issue is implementing the vaccines. 

There are 10 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County... with cases reported in most parts of the county.  The county's Health and Human Services Department reports one case in Lakewood, another in Falconer, and one in Bemus Point.  Two cases have been reported in the Stockton area.  Officials say that brings the local number of cases to 633... and 35 of those are active.  There are 588 that have now recovered.  Officials say 241 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there are 28 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."


One Chautauqua County Legislator immediately praised finance leaders, and county employees Wednesday night, for their efforts in holding down what was expected to be a big tax increase in 2021.  Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel  addressed the tentative spending plan at the end of Wednesday's meeting... thanking Wendel, legislators, and workers for what they've done in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  He praised the 150 workers who took voluntary furloughs, along with Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon, and others.  Including all spending lines... the 2021 budget totals about $293-million, with the general budget being around $260-million. 

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says 22 local governments in the state were designated as being in fiscal stress for 2019... and, there may be more as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out.  DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System reports that none of those 22 muncipalities are located in Chautauqua County.  However... one town -- Dayton -- is located in Cattaraugus County.  Dayton is one of 18 local governments in "Moderate Fiscal Stress."  There were four in "Signifcant Stress..." including Niagara Falls.  DiNapoli says the scores are based on evaluations and scoring municipalities on financial indicators such as year-end fund balance, short-term borrowing, and, operating deficits. 

A former Southern Tier Congressman is endorsing the Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional District seat in this November's election.  Democrat Stan Lundine has announced he is again backing Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano for the seat currently held by fifth-term incumbant Republican Tom Reed.  Mitrano accepted the endorsement in Jamestown... where Lundine was mayor... and later served at Lieutenant Governor.  She says she would serve in much the way Lundine, and the late Amo Houghton did.
On Wednesday... Mitrano was in Westfield for a town hall meeting... and, was in Lakewood earlier for a coffee house breakfast with residents.  She says many of the same issues were raised that had been previous talked about.  However... she says some brought up the need for improved rural broadband Internet access in the wake of the COVID Pandemic.  Her run against incumbant Republican Tom Reed is a repeat of the 2018 race for the 23rd District seat.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is reminding all residents that the theft of signs is a crime in New York State.  Deputies say there's been various reports of political signs being taken... and, as Election Day approaches, there will likely be an increase in signs being put out.  Anyone taking a sign without permission could be subject to criminal charges.  If you believe a sign is hindering visibility  for traffic or is illegally placed, call the municipality involved.

The Fenton History Center will have its 'Saints and Sinners' cemetery tours in early October.  Fenton board President, Rick Lundquist, says the programs at Lakeview Cemetery have been reconfigured to be safe, despite COVID-19.

Live actors throughout the cemetery will tell tales of what Lundquist describes as ordinary people with extraordinary stories.  The walking tours will be held Saturday, October 3rd and 10th from 1 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM.  The popular 'Mausoleum and More' tour will be back too, on Sunday, October 11th.  Face masks will be required.  While there will be no horse drawn tours this year because of COVID-19... organizers have added a new 'virtual tour' with different stories... to be offered through a Zoom link.  Those virtual tours will be offered Friday evenings, on October 2nd and 9th.  Contact the Fenton at 664-6256 for costs and reservations for all tours.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 24, 2020

Interim Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel has proposed what he calls a "very unique" 2021 budget plan that increases the tax levy... but, cuts the tax rate by 5-cents per thousand assessed value.  Wendel presented his tentative spending plan at last night's County Legislature meeting... and, thanked his finance team, and department heads for bringing in a budget that cuts about $4-million in spending.

Wendel says that's because the state's tax cap for next year will be 1.56-percent instead of the typical 2-percent.  With that... the legislature would have to override the cap to enact the budget, as is.  He says the tax levy would increase in the tentative budget by about $2.2-million. County Legislature committees will begin work on the overall, $293-million spending plan the first week of October.

  
New York's Lieutenant Governor has taken note of the doubling of coronavirus cases in Chautauqua County over the past month.  But, Kathy Hochul says 'we can handle this" because it's not "wide-spread."  Hochul says the state has supported the county in dealing with the two clusters at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... and, the SUNY College at Fredonia.  The current case count in the county is more than 600.  During a Media One interview Wednesday... Hochul also said that school districts who'd seen a 20 percent 'holdback' in state funding in the summer will have their aid restored. Without help from Washington, Hochul said the long term situation is 'rather dire'.  Regarding Halloween, Kathy Hochul says the state will allow parents and families their own discretion in deciding how to celebrate.  However... they are warning against any large gatherings... and, urging mask-wearing and social distancing.  

U-S Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was remembered as both 'tough and brave' during a private ceremony held in her honor Wednesday morning at the courthouse in Washington, D-C.  Ginsburg's body will lie in repose for two days at the court's Great Hall.  People from both sides of the political aisle are remembering Ginsburg for her tenacity and spirit. 

New York's Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul got to meet Ginsburg when the late Justice visited Buffalo last year... shortly after she had chemotherapy for her cancer.  The Democrat says she was "an extraordinary individual..." who was "very humble, but you could tell her sharp intellect."  Ginsburg served on the high court for 27 years and, before that, argued six cases for gender equality in the 1970s.  Thousands of people are expected to pay their respects during public viewing, which continues today outside the court.  

A Jamestown man wanted on felony warrants was arrested following a physical domestic incident last night. City police were called to a residence on East Fourth Street shortly after 9:30 PM... and, identified the suspect as 30 year-old David Payne-the third. Investigation revealed Payne allegedly struck the victim with a guitar several times, breaking the instrument and causing multiple injuries.  He was additionally charged with second-degree assault... third-degree criminal mischief and aggravated family offense. 


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is reminding all residents that the theft of signs is a crime in New York State. Deputies say there's been various reports of political signs being taken... and, as Election Day approaches, there will likely be an increase in signs being put out. Anyone taking a sign without permission could be subject to criminal charges. Officers says if you believe a sign is hindering visibility of traffic or that it is illegally placed, call the municipality where the sign is located.

For the first time in several days... there are no new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County.  Officials with the county's Department of Health and Human Services says there are now 31 active cases, that continue to recover.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there is just one person hospitalized, and there are now 582 recovered cases.  Wendel says there are 250 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, only 28 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine." 


A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of trafficking crack-cocaine... and, faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced next January.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced Wednesday that 27 year-old Shaquelle Coleman entered the plea in U-S District Court in Buffalo to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.  Prosecutors say Coleman and another man, Earl Stone, Junior, were arrested for violating terms of their parole when they were found at a West Seventh Street home in January of 2019.  During a search of the two men... police found $1,400  in cash... a quantity of suspected crack cocaine, a digital scale with white residue, and three cellphones.  Stone was already convicted... and both are awaiting sentencing.  


A group battling childhood hunger has joined with a major media company to help get meals to kids while schools are closed by the COVID pandemic.  "Turn Up, Fight Hunger" is an unusual collaboration between the 'No Kid Hungry' campaign and Discovery, Inc.  In less than a year... the partnership has helped connect kids across the country with more than 520-million meals.  And, with many schools closed, the task of getting food to kids has grown even harder.  According to Eleni Towns with the No Kid Hungry Campaign, since the pandemic began, as many as one in four face hunger. Towns says when schools first closed earlier this year, 'No Kid Hungry' invested more than $27-million in schools and community groups nationwide... and, they've committed to investing another $35-million this fall to help ensure that kids who have depended on school meal programs get enough to eat.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 23, 2020


A Jamestown man will spend the next dozen years in state prison following his sentencing Tuesday on drug and weapons charges in federal court in Buffalo.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 19 year-old Jacob Graham was convicted to possessing with intent to distribute five grams or more of actual methamphetamine, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Prosecutors say Graham was one of two people seen fighting with another person in the city in May of last year.  City police say Graham and the other man then got into a car and sped off.  They were later found two baggies of meth, and a loaded 12-gauge shotgun.

A 61 year-old man has serious lower leg injuries after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the street at the intersection of East Sixth and Pine Streets in Jamestown. JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the victim was hit by the dark-colored car -- believed to be a Chevy Impala -- that was turning left just before 5:30 Tuesday morning.  The vehicle may have sustained front-end damage.  The victim was reportedly knocked to the ground, and taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  Samuelson says although serious, his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.  Investigators say traffic camera footage shows the sedan traveling south on Pine Street from East Sixth... then turning onto several other streets.  A photo of the alleged vehicle is available on the Media One Radio Group Facebook Page... and, anyone with information is asked to call JPD at 483-7537, use the Tipline at 483-TIPS or via the TIPS 411 app. 
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In addition... Samuelson says Crime Stoppers of Western New York will be accepting tips as well for this case at 867-6161 or via crimestopperswny.org.  Tipsters could be eligible to receive a reward if there's an arrest and conviction.

City lawmakers in Jamestown are expected to vote next week on hiring a company to install more than 100 new, SMART Parking meters for nearly 473-thousand dollars.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says ID SignSystems, Incorporated had the lowest of two bids for the project... which will mainly be paid for by federal aid.  Sundquist says the meters, which have new technology... will be placed in the downtown area... but, won't replace all the meters there.

City Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says a local foundation is helping to pay most of the local match... which totals $122,000. Ecklund says the Gebbie Foundation will be providing $100,000 of that... and the city will put up $22,000 from it's contingency account.  Officials say federal aid will cover $350,000 of the project.  Sundquist says the new meters... which are part of the city's SMART Capital Projects approved last year... will allow motorists using those spaces to pay with cash, credit card... or their Smart phones.


There are 10 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... including one from Jamestown, and another from Falconer.  That from the county's Health and Human Services Department, which reports 36 active cases, which are recovering.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says five of the cases are in Fredonia... and, there are now 623 total confirmed cases... while 577 have now recovered.  He adds there are 252 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there are 27 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  Wendel says there have now been 41,435 negative test results to date.


A north county man faces numerous traffic tickets after a crash on Chautauqua Road in the town of Pomfret last (Monday) night that seriouly hurt one person.  State Police say 20-year-old Justin Edwards of Fredonia lost control of the vehicle while going around a curve.  Troopers say the vehicle struck a traffic sign, then a tree causing the vehicle to overturn striking multiple parked vehicles that were unoccupied.  Police say a 47-year-old passenger had possible internal injuries, and was flown by Mercyflight to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.


Officials in the village of Fredonia are hopeful that they can lift the boil order for the village's Water System by week's end.  Mayor Doug Essek gave an update during Monday evening's Village Board meeting... saying the Chautauqua County Health Department has been heading up the effort find the problem. The water system has been under a boil order since September 10th.  Essek says the village and county are trying to find, and get to the problem causing turbidity in the system.


The city of Dunkirk's attorney for the past three years is the Democratic candidate for Chautauqua County Executive in this November's election.  Richard Morrisroe came to Dunkirk a few years ago after working in various jobs and capacities in the city of Buffalo.  Morrisroe says he's been trained in leadership and management and led bank branches... to classrooms as a Spanish teacher.  He was also a partner at a legal firm in Buffalo... before moving on to other opportunities.

In addition to getting the county through the COVID-19 Pandemic... Morrisroe says the biggest issue in the county is reversing the loss of jobs and population.  He says he's a "people person..." with the ability to do that.  Morrisroe made his comments for last weekend's Community Spotlight program on the Media One Radio Group stations.  Current Interim Executive P-J Wendel, the Republican candidate, will be our guest this coming weekend.

Chautauqua County health officials are asking for help in finding anyone who may have come in direct contact with a stray, adult black cat on Clinton Street in the village of Westfield on or before September 16th.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says the cat was confirmed to have rabies.  She says it had a small, white patch on it's chest... and, was seen between Portage Road and Franklin Street.  If you may have come in contact with the cat... call the county Health Department at 753-4772.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 22, 2020


The New York state rapid COVID testing for Chautauqua County will be moving to the south county later this week for two days.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the testing is free and available to anybody who wants to be tested.  But... he adds that appointments are required.  That message was reiterated by Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says they are still seeing a rise in cases in the city.  Sundquist says, though, most testing is needed to get a better handle on where COVID-19 is.

Officials say you can make an appointment by calling 1-866-604-6789... but, walk-in testing will not be available.  Testing is planned for Wednesday, September 23rd from 3 to 7 PM, and Friday, September 25th from 9 AM to Noon.  Sundquist praised city residents... who for the most part... are observing social distancing requirements, and wearing face masks.  Wendel says the testing site location will be provided when you make your appointment.  He says rapid test results will be available in about 15 minutes.  Sundquist made his comments during last night's City Council work session.


There are 11 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County since last Saturday... including seven over the past day.  That from the county's Department of Health and Human Services... which now reports a total of 613 confirmed cases since last March.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 29 active cases, and they continue to recover.  There are also 8 active cases associated with the outbreak at the SUNY College at Fredonia... while 90 others have recovered.  Wendel says 574 cases have now recovered... while 258 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, another 28 are under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's keeping the "caution flag out" for the Western New York region... although the COVID-19 infection rate appears to have stabilized at this time.  

Statewide... Cuomo says the infection rate remains below one percent, with one death to COVID-19 being reported on Sunday.  Cuomo says the Sunday numbers were the lowest number of deaths since the start of the pandemic.


A house fire Sunday night in the city of Jamestown has been ruled accidental, due to an unattended coffeemaker that overheated.  That from Jamestown Fire Deputy Chief Matt Coon, who says crews were called to 218 Barrett Avenue at 6 PM.  Coon says flames could be seen from the second floor of the house.

Coon says the occupants were not home at the time the fire broke out.... and, they are currently being assisted by the American Red Cross. No injuries were reported by three pet Parrots perished in the blaze. In addition... Chief Coon is reminding residents to be mindful of electrical appliances in their homes... and heed the UL Warnings to avoid overloading electrical circuits.  He says firefighters had the flames under control in 15 minutes and extinguished in 30.  Crews were assisted at the scene by Jamestown Police... Alstar EMS.... and, the Board of Public Utilities Electrical Division. 


A city woman was jailed after being arrested for driving while intoxicated... then allegedly biting in police officer while in custody Sunday night.  Jamestown police say they stopped a vehicle near 824 East Second Street... and, identified the driver as 37 year-old Lindsey Ulrich.  During the investigation, officers say Ulrich became extremely belligerant and combative being being charged with DWI.  While in the city jail... police say she allegedly continued to be combative with officers and bit one, causing injury.  She was further charged with felony second-degree assault and is jailed pending arraignment. 

A national group dedicated to helping people with dementia and their families has created new online tools to help them decide what kind of care they will want -- including end-of-life care.  Monday was World Alzheimer’s Day, and research shows a rising wave of dementia in the wake of the COVID pandemic.  Without an advance directive on care... doctors are likely to prolong a patient’s life for as long as possible.  But... Kim Callinan with Compassion & Choices... says they provide a series of questions to give a person the chance to think about and decide for themselves what types of medical care they want when they are no longer able to make their wishes known.

Callinan says the tools allow users to create a Dementia Healthcare Directive that empowers health-care proxies to implement informed decisions on the patient’s behalf.  She adds the tool also is important for the adult children of seniors who may be faced with making those decisions... and, they may want to encourage their parents to use the tools, as she did with her own parents.  For more information... go on-line to 'compassionandchoices.org.'

Celoron officials say Dunham Avenue between Boulevard Avenue and Chautauqua Lake and the parking lot in Lucille Ball Memorial Park are closed for reconstruction.  Village Clerk Shirley Sanfilippo says, as a result, the Celoron boat launch is closed until further notice.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 21, 2020


A two-car crash at the intersection of Route 39 and Hanover Road in the town of Hanover last Saturday afternoon sent one person to the hospital.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene about 12 Noon... and, found that 47 year-old Dana Herman of Angola, had stopped at the intersection, but, she did not see a second vehicle approaching.  Officers say Herman pulled out in front of that vehicle, and both cars collided.  Deputies say an unidentified 64 year-old man driving the other car was taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.  Herman and her 16 year old passenger were not hurt... but, she was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way.  She'll appear in Hanover Town Court on a later date.


Federal lawmakers get back to work today with a number of issues to deal with leading up to the November election... including a continuing resolution that's due in coming days to keep the government running.  That could complicate matters in getting a fourth, COVID-19 stimulus bill approved.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who co-chairs the Problem Solver's Caucus... which recently announced agreement on a $1.5-trillion package called the "March to Common Ground" plan.  Reed says it's a 50/50 chance the COVID bill, and continuing resolution may be acted on at the same time.

Reed says the Problem Solver's bill inclues a number of items that most federal lawmakers want... including stimulus checks and extended unemployment insurance for individuals, along with help for small businesses, and local and state governments.  It could have funding added to it... or taken away... depending on how long the pandemic goes.  Reed made his comments during his recent press conference call with regional media.


Chautauqua County's Congressman has introduced bi-partisan legislation to restore the Essential Air Service Program, which is needed at smaller regional airports like the one near Jamestown.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says the “Restoring Essential Service to Small Airports Act”, would help smaller, but economically essential airports across the country, rejoin the EAS program.  He says the bill would also provide a much-needed boost to local economies while guaranteeing access to commercial air service.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel thanked Reed for introducing the measure... adding that restoring the EAS to the Jamestown Airport is "not only important for corporate and business travel, but having commercial service available offers a local, no-hassle flying opportunity for our residents and visitors."

The region's state Senator says he's sponsoring legislation that would divide New York State into three regions to allow more regional control on issues important to residents.  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello says the regions would include, upstate, the five boroughs of New York City, and Long Island.  Borrello says that New York would remain one state... but, adds the regions would have more autonomy.  However... he doubts any action will be taken on it this year.

Borrello says the state has been taking away local control, something he believes the proposal can help address.  He says that's been seen with Article 23... which was part of the 2020-21 State budget, and takes away local control on the siting of renewable energy projects.  


A lot of people have been going downtown on Saturdays this summer to buy produce.  That from Jamestown Public Market's Director Linnea Carlson... who says the Public Market will continue to run Saturdays from 10 to 2 on Cherry Street through October.  The Mobile Market, which takes fresh produce to various points in the community, has its last day this Wednesday (September 23th).  Linnea Carlson says there is a fundraiser to help the Mobile Market this evening, beginning at 5:30 PM.  The 'Jamestown Public Market' Facebook page has information on buying 'market to your table bags.'  Prices for the bags start at $35.00. The pickup will be at St. Luke's Church at 4th and Main.


The city of Rochester, New York, is dealing with more trauma after a shooting at a backyard party killed two teenagers and injured 14 others.  Police Captain Frank Umbrino said 19-year-olds Jaquayla Young and Jarvis Alexander died in the shooting that began just after 12:30 AM Saturday.  The others wounded have injuries not considered to be life-threatening.  No arrests have been announced.  Police believe Young and Alexander were not the intended targets.


There were four new cases of the COVID-19 Virus reported in Chautauqua County over the past weekend... bringing the local total to 606.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there were three new cases reported on Saturday... and, one on Sunday.  Both are much smaller number than seen in recent days.  The county's Health and Human Services Department will report other figures later today.


Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel has announced a new Probation Director for the county... and, he's now been on the job for two days.  Wendel says says Gilbert Taylor has served as the department’s Deputy Director of Probation since April 2019.  Taylor has been with the department for 12 years serving as a probation officer from 2008 to 2014, and probation supervisor from 2014 to 2019.  Prior to working for the probation department..., Taylor worked for nine years in the county's Department of Social Services where he was promoted to a Supervisor of a Child Protection/Services Team before redirecting his career and becoming a probation officer.  Taylor called it an "honor" to be chosen.


President Donald Trump's homestretch push to repeat his razor thin victory in Pennsylvania four years ago won't happen without white evangelicals.  They're a critical component of his coalition, and there are signs they haven't lost faith in the Republican incumbent. While some born-again voters had misgivings about him in 2016, they helped him eke out a 44-thousand vote margin of victory in the pivotal swing state.  This time around they sound eager to repay him for supporting their policy agenda on issues such as anti-abortion judicial nominees, and religious liberty.

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 19, 2020

Eight new cases of COVID brings Chautauqua Countys' number to more than 600...
Chautauqua County has reached another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic... with the total number of confirmed cases now exceeding 600.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... who says there are eight new cases the past day... bringing the total to 602.  Wendel says there are currently 56 active cases, and they continue to recover.  He says there have now been 536 recovered cases.  Wendel says there are 279 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... while there are now 28 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  He adds there have now been 40,344 negative test results to date.


One student test positive for COVID-19 in Cassadaga Valley district...
The Cassadaga Valley Central School District says it has been notified of a positive COVID-19 student in the district.  Superintendent Chuck Leichner stated in an announcement to CVCS families on Thursday that the positive case involves a student who is enrolled at Sinclairville Elementary School, but has not been in the building or on the campus so far this school year.  Leichner says the child has been following the county's quarantine/isolation guidelines and will not return to school until they have completed the procedures.


Reed announces $1-million federal grant for Chautauqua Center project...
A health care provider with locations in southern and northern Chautauqua County has received another federal grant... this one totaling $1-million.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says the money will be used to help construct the Chautauqua Center's new project in Dunkirk.  Reed says the funding is coming from the Department of Health and Human Services's Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts program.  He says he's "a big believer in the Chautauqua Center..." which looks at return on investment for the community."  Chautauqua Center Executive Director Michael Pease says the funding will be used "to build in systems to help the center in its preparation for future emergencies.  We hope to have the new facility open and serving the community by July of next year.”  Reed says the Capital Assistance for Disaster Response and Recovery Efforts funding provides health centers impacted by various natural disasters and crises with aid to help the response to and recovery from emergencies.  He says it also helps increase those center's capacity and ability to respond to those emergencies.


County receives $110,000 Census Grant...
Chautauqua County has been awarded a $110,389 grant through Empire State Development to do a Census 2020 Complete Count Outreach program.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the grant will support community outreach and awareness efforts to engage and encourage residents to complete the 2020 Census.   He says "these grant funds will help further our action plan of having an accurate count for our County in the 2020 Census."  If you have yet to respond to the Census... you must do so by September 30th.  For more information... go on-line to my2020census.gov.


Jamestown hosts first ever "Parking Day" downtown...
Some unusual things popped up in parking spaces near Third and Pine Streets in downtown Jamestown Friday... upholstered chairs, yard games... even vegetables.  Jamestown's Director of Development, Crystal Surdyk explained it as the city's first ever embace of 'Parking Day.'  Surdyk says it's an effort to "reclaim" some space in the downtown area for people and the public at large.  'Parking Day' occurs in cities all over the world on the third Friday of September, and allows anyone who feeds the meter an opportunity to put whatever they'd like in the space.  The Market Director for the Jamestown Public Market, Linnea Carlson, brought fresh produce for her space, and says she's "thrilled" to see the city taking part this year.  Fringe Salon also took a space.  Surdyk says today's event is in stride with the city's efforts to help local restaurants better use the street space near their businesses.  She expects even more participation for 'Parking Day' in 2021.


Tim Horton's selling "Smiley Cookies" this weeked to raise money for Maternity Ward at UPMC Chautauqua...
The Tim Horton's '2020 Smiley Cookie' is back at the five Jamestown area locations, but only for a limited time.  Owner Blake Tarana says all the proceeds taken in from the cookie's sales will benefit a unique department of UPMC Chautauqua Hospital -- it's Maternity Ward.  Tarana says he and his family have pledged $25,000 to help them obtain equipment that will track and record newborns vital signs without having to take them separately, and write them down.  As of Friday morning... Tarana says they've sold almost 9,000 of the double-chocolate chunk smiley cookies in four days.  They are available at all five Tim Horton's locations in Lakewood and Jamestown through Sunday.  Tarana says you can call ahead for large orders today. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 18, 2020


This week's fourth, COVID-19 relief bill being proposed by a bi-partisan group of House members is getting a lot of attention from the key players in trying to get a new deal in place.  Local Congressman Tom Reed... who co-chairs the Problem Solver's Caucus... says the 50 members of the panel were hoping their $1.5-trillion agreement would "jump-start" the stalled talks.  Reed says he talked today with some Senators... and, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is definately interested.

Mark Meadows is Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump... and, has been one of the point people for the administration on talks.  The Problem Solver's Caucus announced their "March to Common Ground" plan earlier this week... noting it includes a number of items that most federal lawmakers want... including stimulus checks and extended unemployment insurance, funding to boost COVID testing, and aid to state and local governments.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


Two new, confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported the past day in Chautauqua County... bringing the total number of cases to 594.  Health Department officials say there are now 51 active cases, and four of those are hospitalized.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says 532 people have now recovered... while 285 cases under quarantine or isolation orders.  He says 31 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  Wendel says there have now been 40,092 negative test results to date.


A reporting glitch apparently led the Dunkirk City School District to contest two confirmed cases of the coronavirus on New York state's COVID Report Card Wednesday.  That from Dunkirk Superintendent Mike Mansfield... who initially said this (Thursday) morning that there was human error in the submission, because they had no confirmation from the Chautauqua County Health Department. However... in discussions held this afternoon... the reports were found to be accurate... but, the two students at Elementary School 7 were not on site, but, were learning remotely.  Mansfield says the data remains on the dashboard.  He apologized for the confusion caused by the reporting mix-up.


The governor's budget director said Wednesday it's "premature" for some school districts to have laid off workers, and said New York will wait until after the November election to decide whether to slash state spending.  Budget director Robert Mujica told The Associated Press that the state has withheld $300-million in education funding -- which is a fraction of $26.4-billion in total school funding.  Mujica said the state won't be withholding school aid due at September's end. 


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is reporting 199 Vehicle stops, arrests and or summonses being issued over the long Labor Day Holiday period.  That from Sheriff Jim Quattrone... who says those took place during the New York State STOP-DWI Labor Day Enforcement Crackdown held August 19th through Labor Day, Monday, September 7th.  Quattrone says his department works with local and state agencies to reduce the number of impaired driving injuries and deaths.  He adds that "removing intoxicated drivers from Chautauqua County roadways is one of our top priorities."


A U.S. District Court judge has blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide.  The judge Thursday called them "a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service" before the November election.  Judge Stanley Bastian in Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service.  The states challenged the Postal Service's so-called "leave mail behind" policy, where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load.  They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as First Class mail.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 17, 2020


There are two cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in the Jamestown Public Schools... but, they are siblings who were doing coursework on-line.  That from School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... who says they were notified yesterday by the Chautauqua County Health Department about the positive tests.  Whitaker says they are working closely with health officials on contact tracing of any confirmed cases.  He says "we appreciate our community's efforts to work together to keep our students and staff safe by wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing and continuing frequent hand washing while on any school property."
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The Dunkirk City School District says that a report regarding two positive cases COVID-19 at an elementary school was "erroneous."  That from Superintendent Mike Mansfield... who says it was reported on New York's COVID-19 Report Card... that two students from School 7 had tested positive for the virus.  However... Mansfield says the report was inaccurate due to human error in creating the report submission. 

A reporting error has has led to a change in the number of new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County the past day.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there were four new cases on Tuesday, instead of eight.  Wendel adds there were six new cases Wednesday... making the overall total now 592.  He says there are now 50 active cases... with 521 having now recovered.  There are 313 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there are 30 persons under the 'domestic traveler quarantine.'


The head of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce says there is a definate need for a fourth COVID-19 stimulus plan... and is encouraged by the new package proposed by a bi-partisan, Congressional caucus.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum says he believes the Problem Solver's Caucuses "March to Common Ground" package will help residents... as well as county and local governments.

Tranum says "we need some continued stimulus in this economy."  He adds that there are unemployed workers, and businesses that have been unable to reopen, or have just partially opened, that need the help.  The proposal... announced by Problems Solvers Caucus Co-Chairman, local Congressman Tom Reed... comes on the heals of the U-S Department of Economic Development's announcement of 10.5-million dollars in federal funding to help local businesses dealing with the COVID Shut-down.

 The smoke from the immense wildfires in the northwestern United States has reached Western New York.  Meteorologist Liz Jurkowski with the National Weather Service in Buffalo says there's little else to block the sun right now.

Jurkowski explained the mechanism for transmitting the smoke all the way across the country... saying the smoke gets up into the winds "aloft," and, those usually go from west to east.  She  says the smoke may cool the high temperatures a few degrees over the next several days, but have no other major impacts on our weather. 


It was a unique way to kick-off the 2020 United Way Campaign in Chautauqua County for both the Southern and Northern county organizations.  That from United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Executive Director Amy Rohler on Wednesday afternoon's on-line start to both campaigns.  Rohler says the south county group wanted to make it special for their 100th anniversary.  She says they worked with 25 different businesses and organizations to make a video, passing a sign with this year's theme -- United We Rise -- on it.

Rohler says both United Ways have taken a number of steps in these unprecidented times to provide those running campaigns at local industries and businesses with what they need.  She says -- if it can be done safely -- they may do an in-person presentation -- but, that's not likely.  However... Rohler says their website has everything you need on a "virtual tool kit."  She says the goal is 1.2-million dollars... and, for more information... go on-line to UWaysCC.org or call 483-1561. 


A man has been arrested in Jamestown for allegedly burglarizing a property in the town of Kiantone yesterday morning... and, leading city police on a vehicle pursuit.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to assist a citizen who was following the vehicle about 9:40 AM... driven by 41 year-old Stephen Dean.  Samuelson says police tried to stop Dean once he came into the city... but, he failed to comply... and, sped on.  The car continued through the downtown area passing several red lights... and, then drove onto Potters Alley... then East Fifth Street where it collided with an eastbound vehicle.  Police say Dean then tried to run off, and was arrested in parking lot of the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street.  The occupant of the other car was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries.  Dean was not hurt, and faces multiple charges.


A city man faces petty larceny charges for allegedly stealing road race apparel from Hector's Powersports Tuesday afternoon. Jamestown police responded to 1200 East 2nd Street to investigate... and, found 30 year-old Justin Anderson shoplifted the merchandise before fleeing on foot.  He was found a short distance away and sent to the city jail pending arraignment. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 16, 2020


Chautauqua County is closing in on 600 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus after eight more cases were reported over the past day.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says most of those are in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area... and brings the local total to 590 cases.  He says there are 59 active cases, which continue to recover.  There are now 521 recovered cases.  Wendel says there are 3 active cases among employees at Fieldbrook Foods... while there are now no active community contacts associated with that outbreak.  He says 82 cases have recovered.  Wendel adds there are currently 18 active cases among SUNY College at Fredonia students, and 75 people have recovered.  He says there are now 329 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and being monitored.  Thirty persons are under the "domestic traveler quarantine."


New York's health commissioner says the state will begin allowing visitors to see loved ones at nursing homes that have been coronavirus-free for 14 days.  That's down from 28 days under previous rules.  Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says the policy will go into effect Thursday.  Visitors must present a verified negative test result within the previous seven days, and staffers must refuse anyone who doesn't.  Staffers must also turn away people who show symptoms or don't pass screening questions.  Visits will generally be limited to outdoor areas and prohibited in resident rooms or care areas.


A bi-partisan group of House members -- including local Congressman Tom Reed -- has proposed a fourth, COVID-19 stimulus bill focused on the "big issues" facing Americans.  Reed, who co-chairs the "Problem Solvers" Caucus, announced Tuesday afternoon announced what the 50 members are calling the $1.5-trillion dollar, "March for Common Ground" plan.

Reed says the package will increase to $2-trillion if the pandemic worsens... and, will fall back to $1.3-trillion if it doesn't.  The Corning Republican says the plan includes a new round of stimulus checks, and more unemployment insurance. In addition to stimulus checks and unemployment insurance... Reed says the package also includes funding for COVID-19 testing, worker and liability protection, small business and non-profit support, food security, schools and child care, housing, and state and local aid.  The Problem Solver's Caucus includes 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats, and is co-chaired by New Jersey Democrat Josh Gottheimer.


A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly stealing merchandise from Hector's Powersports yesterday afternoon.  City police were called to 1200 East 2nd Street shortly before 5 PM... and, using the store's security system... learned the suspect took road race apparel and fled on foot. Officers were able to locate the suspect a short distance away and identify him as 30 year-old Justin Anderson. He was charged with petty larceny and sent to the city jail pending arraignment. 

The Jamestown City Council will consider instituting a one-month parking ticket amnesty program next month when it hold's its voting session at the end of this month.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says it would allow people with old tickets to pay them off without penalty.  However... there would be a caveat.  You would have to bring in a donation of school supplies, canned goods, or items for the elderly.  That caveat was the focus of much discussion at Monday night's meeting... namely what kind of donation would be appropriate. 

Sundquist says the City Council recently approved a contract extension with the company that does their collections... and, he says when they send out their letter to scofflaws... they will include a flyer about the program.  Sundquist says they will include how many items need to be donated to allow the violator to pay off their unpaid tickets in a revised resolution to be considered at next week's work session.  Jamestown's last parking ticket amnesty program was held in 2016.  This one would be held October 1st through 31st.

 
Quick work by Jamestown firefighters prevented serious damage to a two-story apartment house on the city's southside about mid-morning Tuesday.  Fire Lieutenant Shaun Shilling says crews were called to 254 Prospect Street about 8:45 AM... and, found flames in the first floor living room.  Shilling says crews had the small blaze under control in 5 to 10 minutes... and, damage was confined to the living room, and part of the kitchen area.  He says no one was home at the time... and, no one was hurt.  Shilling says they also found some pets that were inside the house and got them out safely.   An off-duty shift was called in to assist.  The cause is under investigation.


Two members of the Jamestown City Council, and Mayor Eddie Sundquist, are asking for the public's help in finding a location for a new mural that highlights local leaders of the African-American community.  Sundquist said Tuesday that he is working with the council's two African-American members, Vickye James, and Tamu-Graham Reinhardt, on finding a location, and who should be on the mural.  Graham-Reinhardt says while "this idea would specifically focus on African-Americans... we do believe that other murals in other parts of town can and should focus on Jamestown's rich diversity of Swedish and Italian individuals as well as other notables in addition to our local economic achievements over the decades so that individuals visiting Jamestown can learn about our vibrant history.”  Sundquist is encouraging anyone "who may have an appropriate space on their building to host a mural honoring our local leaders to contact my office."  For more information... call the Mayor's Office at 483-7600.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 15, 2020


A Ripley man is jailed after allegedly being found drunk when his car was stopped for traveling 103 miles an hour in a 55 mile zone last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies say they stopped 33 year-old Skyler Miller on Route 20 in the town of Ripley last Saturday night.  Officers add they also found that Miller was wanted in Erie County, Pennsylvania.  He was arrested for Felony driving while intoxicated, first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, reckless driving, consumption of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle... and, Fugitive from Justice.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


A Dunkirk man is jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail after allegedly hitting another person on the right side of the head with an axe during an incident on Central Avenue in the north county city last Saturday.  Dunkirk Police say they were called to the scene about 2:30 PM... and, arrested 33-year-old Brian Nowak on the felony charge... and, he was remanded to the Chautauqua County jail with bail set.  The victim was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.


The Chatauqua County Fire Investigation team is looking for the cause of a mobile home fire in the Village of Brocton this morning.  The Post-Journal reports crews from Brotcon, Portland and West Dunkirk were called to the residence on Route 5 shortly before 7:30 AM.  Firefighters are reported to have had the flames under control within 20 minutes. 

A north county man faces felony driving while intoxicated charges following a two-vehicle accident involving a tractor-trailer Monday morning. Sheriff's Officers were called to the intersection of Washington Street and Central Avenue in the VIllage of Silver Creek... and, investigation revealed a pick-up truck allegedly struck the tractor-trailer shortly before 6:30 AM.  Prior to their arrival, deputies the occupants of the pick-up allegedly fled the scene on foot.  During a canvas of the area.... Deputies allegedly found and identified the driver as 41 year-old Paul Farnham, of Dunkirk.  He was sent to county jail pending arraignment. 

Jamestown city lawmakers are still discussing a possible residency requirement for new police officers.  However... after about 20-minutes of discussion last night, there is no final proposal.  Former JPD Officer, Councilman Jeff Russell, proposed the idea at recent meetings... and, lawmakers have been considering somewhere between a 5 and 10-year requirement.  However... the policemen's union is opposed to the idea... and, Russell says he would like to see a requirement negotiated.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund also clarified that the requirement would be for new hires only.

Ecklund also said that new hires should be given a year to move into the city because rank-and-file officers have to go through a probationary period before they are made permanent hires.  Lawmakers initially looked at a six-month period.  The most recent police contract expired... and, the city is dealing with a court ruling awarding the union pay raises they had sought.  In addition... Russell says there was also a misconception that a potential JPD hire would already have to have lived in the city for 5-years.  He says anyone would still be able to apply.

New York parents of children who have missed out on free meals at school, because of the COVID pandemic, are receiving food assistance in the form of electronic benefit transfer cards.  Families receiving SNAP benefits or Medicaid should have already received food assistance added to their EBT or Benefit Identification cards.  The P-E-B-T cards being distributed this month are going to the parents of children who are in school districts with universal free lunch, or who receive pre-approved reduced-price meals but whose families don't receive those other benefits.  Chief Executive Officer Joel Berg with Hunger Free America says that's about two-million children statewide.

Qualified parents who have not received the cards by today should call the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 833-452-0096.  The program was funded by the Family First Act passed by Congress early this year. But unless new legislation is passed soon, it will expire at the end of this month.

There are seven new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County over the past day... bringing the local total to 582 cases.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... who says there are now 55 active cases compared to well over 100 in recent days.  Wendel says there have now been 517 recovered cases... but, there are now three people hospitalized.  He says there are 361 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and being monitored... while 220 persons are now under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  There are now 38,761 negative test results to date.


The boil order will continue until further notice for the Fredonia Village Water System.  That from Mayor Doug Essek, who says delays in water system projects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed the problem that led to boil order. Because of work at the pump house... Essek says the village has not been able to purchase water from the city of Dunkirk.  He says the pump house had not been operational for about eight years... and, there's still about four weeks of work yet to be completed there.  Essek also says he issued a State of Emergency in hope that some of the cost incurred by the village will be covered by the state. 

The union representing New York State Troopers has endorsed State Senator George Borrello in his run for re-election this Fall.  The State Troopers Police Benevolent Association say their backing of Borrello is in recognition of his steadfast support and appreciation of New York’s law enforcement community.  Borrello accepted the endorsement, acknowledging the often dangerous and increasingly difficult work that troopers perform.  The Sunset Bay Republican says "I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement of the New York State Troopers PBA.  Our state is stronger and safer because of the dedication of the police officers who put their lives on the line to serve and protect our citizens and communities."  The State Police PBA represents more than 6,000 retired and active uniformed members of the New York State Police.

The union representing most Chautauqua County workers has endorsed interim County Executive P-J Wendel for election this November.  Wendel says he has gotten the backing of both the Civil Service Employee Association, Chautauqua County Local 807, and from the CSEA Region-six Political Action Committee.  He says "I’m honored to receive the endorsement of our local and region CSEA, especially because they represent many of our county employees.  I care deeply about the concerns and especially the safety of our county workforce."  Wendel then thanked the CSEA for their endorsement, and the confidence they have in him.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 14, 2020

A man from Falconer man was arrested last Friday night for allegedly driving drunk in a single-car accident on Salisbury Road in the town of Ellery.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene about 6 PM, and found no one hurt.  They also found that 26 year-old Ryder Shaffer was driving with more than two-times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.  Shaffer was arrested and charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI, failure to stop at stop sign, second-degree unlawful possession of marihuana... and, multiple traffic violations.  He was released with appearance tickets for Ellery Town Court at a later date. 


A woman from Sheridan was arrested early last weekend after allegedly assaulting another person with a knife during a fight at a home in the north county town.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Route 20 about 2 AM Saturday... and, found the victim with a serious cut to their arm.  Officers later arrested 46 year-old Susan Snow after searching the area... and, finding the knife allegedly used hidden inside a vehicle's glove box.  Snow was taken into custody on charges of second-degree assault and second-degree menacing.  She was taken to the county jail for Centralized Arraignment Processing.  The victim was treated at the scene.


With hundreds of people in quarantine or isolation in recent weeks due to COVID-19 outbreaks at Fieldbrook Foods and the SUNY College at Fredonia... county officials are praising the volunteer efforts to help those people.  During last Friday's last weekly COVID-19 Press update... Public Health Director Christine Schuyler praised Father Luke Fodor at St. Luke's church in Jamestown for coordinating help for people who can't get out because they're infected.

Schuyler says... at this point... both outbreaks appear to be contained with mitigation work... and contact tracing.  She says there have been more than 80 students impacted at SUNY Fredonia. Schuyler says there were 82 cases of COVID related to Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... with 61 of those being members of the workforce.  She adds that 57 have now completely recovered.  In addition... there were 21 close contacts who came down with the coronavirus during the outbreak... but, all 21 have now recovered.
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The latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 grew by 17 over the past weekend... 10 of those were reported on Saturday.  That brings the county's total to 575 cases since the outbreak began in mid-March.


The Chautauqua County Board of Elections has already received a record number of nearly 7,000 absentee ballot requests for this November's General Election.  That comes with Election Day still eight weeks from tomorrow.  That from Elections Commissioners Norm Green and Brian Abram... who say no past presidential cycle has found much more than 4,000 absentees for the county.  Both commissioners expect that 70-percent of the county's voters will turnout this year.  The board is just one of five of the 62 counties statewide that prints its ballots in-house.  Those will be mailed out starting next Friday, September 18th, and every business day thereafter when a timely application is received before Election Day.  For more information, call the board at 753-4580.


The mentoring programs at Chautauqua Striders have adapted to the realities of COVID-19... while continuing to provide valuable relationships for young people.  Striders' Director of Mentoring and Advocacy, Erika Muecke says mentors can't have lunch in school like they used to, so they have found new places to meet... and are communicating more by text messages and face time.  In addition to running the program, Muecke is also a mentor... and has found increased use of technology to be a good thing.  Though she and her mentee can't have lunch, they are meeting more frequently via phone or apps.  Muecke adds Chautauqua Striders is always looking for new mentors.  Information is available at their website, or by phoning 489-3487. 


Dunkirk city officials say it appears repair work on the lake wall along Lakefront Boulevard could be underway soon.  That from Mayor Willie Rosas, who says Federal Emergency Management Administration officials have now agreed to the scope of work outlined by the city.  Late last week... Rosas said, all that's needed now, is final approval from FEMA. Rosas says the lake wall was heavily damaged by a storm that hit Western New York last Halloween.  The city of Dunkirk received help in its quest for funding from federal and state representatives who toured the wall earlier this summer.

 
As many as 2-million unemployed New Yorkers are set to automatically receive their share of an extra $300 weekly assistance boost -- starting this week -- under a federal program that's running out of money.  State labor commissioner Roberta Reardon said Thursday that another 435-thousand people are eligible for the boost but must first submit additional certification so they can receive it.  But the temporary $300-a-week boost implemented by President Donald Trump is about to end, with no extension in sight.  It's unclear how exactly the fund running out of money will impact unemployed New Yorkers.


The Jamestown Public Works Department will be closing a portion of South Main Street for most of the day this coming Wednesday for paving work.  That from Public Works Director Jeff Lehman... who says the closure will begin at 5 AM that day... but, reopen late that afternoon.  Lehman says motorists should use alternate routes and expect delays.  On Thursday, September 17th, motorists should expect delays while the Traffic Department puts striping down.  For more information... call the Public Works Office at 483-7545.
 

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News Headlines for Sat., Sept. 12, 2020

Ripley man arrested on Felony kidnapping and assault charges in connection with late July incident...
A Ripley man has been indicted on multiple kidnapping and assault charges in connection with an incident in the town of Ripley last July 31.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to check on the well-being of a person who had been injured during an altercation.  When deputies arrived... they were unable to make contact with the victim.  Investigators were contacted and a search warrant was obtained for the victim's home... and, they found the victim there.  They also found 21 year-old Isiah Fuentes... and, learned he was responsible for the victim's "numerous significant injuries."  Officers took Fuentes into custody... and, the victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.  Further investigation found that Fuentes had unlawfully entered the victim’s home and held the victim against their will for several days.  The District Attorney's Office presented the case to a Grand Jury... and, Fuentes was indicted on several charges... including two counts of first-degree kidnapping, first-degree attempted assault, and, two counts of second-degree assault.  He was sent to the county jail on $100,000 cash bail.


City man arrested for failure to comply, and possessing several illegal drugs...
A Jamestown man was arrested after he surrendered to a Sheriff's Department K-9 Officer following a vehicle pursuit over Labor Day weekend.  Deputies say they attempted to pull over 50 year-old Thomas Kimbrough, Sr. on Main Street in the village of Falconer about 11:30 p.m. last Sunday, when he failed to comply and fled the scene.  The pursuit continued onto Quaint Road in the town of Poland, but Kimbrough's vehicle reportedly left the roadway and struck a tree before becoming disabled in a ditch.  Police say he took off on foot into the woods and K-9 Link was called in... and located Kimbrough... along with 19-grams of fentanyl....15-grams of cocaine....29-grams of methamphetamine... cash and various drug paraphernalia that Kimbrough allegedly discarded.  He was found and sent to the county jail without bail. 


Mayville holds annual "9/11" Anniversary ceremony, and includes calls for unity...
It was a day of somber rememberances on this 19th anniversary of the "9/11" Attacks in New York, The Pentagon in Washington, and Shanksville, PA.  Chautauqua County's annual "9/11" ceremony remembered that day... and, also included calls for unity at a time where the country is battling the COVID-19 Pandemic, and social unrest.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the "9/11" attackers wanted to change us for the worst.  However... Wendel says -- if anything -- it changed America for the better.  Local Blue Star Mother's President Sue Rowley spoke for the area's military families... and, has a son who has served several tours of duty overseas.  She says the country will come back from it's latest setbacks -- especially in dealing with the COVID-19 -- and urged people to become the people we were on Sept. 12, 2001.  Several others spoke during the annual cereony in front of the County Courthouse in Mayville... including County Emergency Services Director John Griffith... County Veteran's Services Director Greg Carlson... State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and State Senator George Borrello.


County officials report eight new cases of COVID-19 Friday, but, 26 recoveries...
There are eight new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County over the past day... bringing the local total since the pandemic began... to 558.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the big number today, though, is the number of cases that are no longer active.  Wendel says there are now 98 active cases, which meant 26 reported cases from Thursday have now fully recovered.  He says that brings the overall total to 450 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.  He also announced other changes... including reporting the number of cases by zip code instead of Fire Battalions.  Wendel says that will begin next Monday... and, will allow them to give more specific information on cases without violating health care privacy laws.  He adds there are now 470 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  There are now 252 persons under domestic traveler quarantine.  Wendel adds there have now been 38,013 negative test results to date.


Local Babe Ruth officials accept AED donation...
A youth league baseball umpire from just outside Boston, Mass., has donated an automatic external defibrillator for use at Russell E. Diethrick, Junior Park.  Jamestown Babe Ruth Committee Vice President and Public Relations Division Director Kim Ecklund announced the gift Friday afternoon.  The umpire’s name is Tim Mulgrew, and he gives away AED’s from fees he gets for umpiring Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball.  In this case, Mulgrew is doing so in the name of Russ Diethrick, the host President for every Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown since 1980.  Mulgrew’s inspiration came in 2010 when a high school football player from a nearby town was hit in the chest at a field that had no AED.  The player subsequently died.  The donated AED and accompanying patches are valued at around $1,500.  The 40th anniversary of the first ever 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series… postponed this year… is set to be played in Jamestown August 15th through the 22nd of 2021.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 11, 2020

A Jamestown man faces felony charges for allegedly leading police on a vehicle pursuit with a significant amount of drugs in his possession last Sunday. Sheriff's Officers say they attempted to pull over a car on Main Street in the Village of Falconer about 11:30 PM Sunday, but the driver failed to comply and fled the scene. Deputies say the pursuit continued onto Quaint Road in the Town of Poland, where the vehicle left the roadway before striking a tree and disabled in a ditch.  The operator allegedly took off on foot into the woods and the Sheriff's Office deployed K-9 Link.  While tracking in the woods K-9 Link allegedly found the man discarded 19-grams of fentanyl....15-grams of cocaine....29-grams of methamphetamine... cash and various drug paraphernalia. Deputies say K-9 Link was able to find the suspect hiding in dense brush. He was identified as 50 year-old Thomas Kimbrough-senior. He was arrested for felony fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree unlawfully fleeing police officer in a motor vehicle.... and, parole violations. 


There are another 16 cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County the past day... bring the county's total now to 550 since the outbreak began.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel adds that two of the new cases are students at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Wendel says there are 124 active cases... and, they continue to recover.  He says there are 485 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  There are also 235 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  Wendel says there have been 37,453 negative test results to date.

Jamestown's mayor says he's very pleased to see Chautauqua County be awarded $10.5-million in federal funding to help small businesses dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was unable to attend yesterday's Wednesday's announcement by the U-S Department of Commerce at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron.  However... Sundquist says it will be a big help to a number of businesses in the city dealing with the shut-down.

In addition... Sundquist says the city just received word they will be getting another $300,000 in COVID-Relief monies from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development to help more businesses, and renters.  He says an initial $705,000 HUD program earlier this year was very popular... and they ran out of funding.  Sundquist says they are still awaiting word from HUD regarding what the additional 300-thousand dollars can be specifically used for.  The majority of the initial 705-thousand dollars was to help small businesses heavily impacted by the COVID shut-down.  Sundquist made his comments for this weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


The State University of New York at Fredonia reports 79 total cases of COVID-19 with 72 active cases.  The campus' COVID dashboard, which was updated Thursday morning, shows 10 students in isolation on-campus while there are 62 students in isolation off-campus. 

 

Jamestown Police are investigating a stabbing incident involving a fight between a group of juveniles and an adult on Franklin Street Wednesday night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers responded to the scene just before 6:30 PM... and, located an unidentified adult male with a head laceration from an apparent sharp instrument.  Officers say the victim allegedly received the injury after he engaged a group of juveniles who were involved in a separate altercation... and, was treated at the scene.  Samuelson says this is an on-going investigation and charges against the juveniles are pending.  Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact JPD at 483-7537 ..... use the confidential Tip-line 483-TIPS.... or via the TIPS 4-1-1 app.  


A Sinclairville man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a metal knuckle-knife following a traffic stop in the town of Pomfret.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped 30 year-old Ronald Duman, Junior just before 2 PM last Sunday on the Fredonia-Stockton Road for a traffic violation.  He was later found with the alleged weapon... and, was arrested for fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and failure to stop at a stop sign.  Duman was released with an appearance ticket for Pomfret Town Court at a later date.

State Senator George Borrello has received an important endorsement from a national business organization's New York state political action committee.  Borrello says he has secured the backing of the National Federation of Independent Business’s New York PAC.  The NFIB is the state, and nation’s leading small business advocacy association.  Borrello accepted the endorsement... saying he's "grateful" for the endorsement.  He adds "their mission to ‘promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses,’ has my strongest support and is a goal that guides my legislative work and advocacy."  Borrello is a small business owner... and, adds "we are at a moment in time when New York’s small businesses are being challenged like never before..." and that has his full attention.


High school football fans in Jamestown and Chautauqua County will have to wait until next Spring for the season to be played because of ongoing concerns over COVID-19 pandemic.  Jamestown Public Schools Athletic Director Ben Drake says the district just received new guidance from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wednesday night... stating that all sports -- except Football and Volleyball -- will begin September 21st.  He says they'll now start their seasons next March 1st... and, that's going to impact Spring sports.

Drake says COVID-19 protocols will be in place for all sports this year... and he feels "pretty good about where we are."  He says all Spring sports -- like baseball -- will begin their seasons in mid-April.  Regarding spectators... Drake says the state Health Department has told schools there can only be two spectators per student playing... meaning that Football crowds will be very limited.  He says that's a concern for larger families that like to come and watch their student-athlete play.

After two months on dry land, the Bemus Point-Stow ferry is back in the water.  The 'big splash' came at 2 PM yesterday (Thursday) in Stow.

Under the direction of Hohl (hole) Industries of Tonawanda, a 60 foot crane from the Benchley Crane Company in Forestville gently lifted the 45 ton ferry, swung it over the lake and placed it neatly in its slip.  During its time on land, the ferry's hull was repaired and painted.  The Sea Lion Group's other president, Jay Kuntz (koontz), says the wooden deck will now be rebuilt, in hopes of taking passengers by Memorial Day of next year.  He encourages fans to ride the ferry when it's running again.  There's no cost, but any donations would be appreciated.  He estimates they'll need another $35,000 to cover the cost of the renovation.   

A boil water order has been issued for the village of Fredonia water system because of high turbidity levels.  Turbidity is the cloudiness of the water.  A water sample taken on Wednesday showed turbidity levels of 1.1 units, above the maximum allowable standard of 1.0 turbidity units.  Customers of the water system should not drink the water without boiling it first. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 10, 2020


Charges are pending against a group of juveniles following a fight on Franklin Street in which an adult male was injured Wednesday night. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers responded to the scene just before 6:30 PM Wednesday... and, located the unidentified victim with a head laceration from an apparent sharp instrument. Samuelson says the man allegedly received the injury after he engaged a group of juveniles who were involved in a separate altercation.. and, was treated at the scene. The incident remains under investigation at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact JPD at 483-7537 ..... use the confidential Tip-line 483-TIPS.... or via the TIPS 4-1-1 app.  


Chautauqua County is receiving more than $10-million in federal CARES Act funding to create a new revolving loan fund to help small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

That's Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs for the U-S Department of Commerce, Anthony Foti, during a press announcement at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron Wednesday.  Foti says the money will go to the county's Industrial Development Agency to establish the fund... which can also be used by non-profit organizations.  Local Congressman Tom Reed was among those who pushed for the money, which is coming directly from the Economic Development Agency.

Interim County Executive P-J Wendel praised the team effort in getting the funding... and, says the county has a track record of establishing such programs to help local businesses.  At the beginning of the pandemic... he says the IDA established a $250,000 Emergency Working Capital Loan Program with most of the remaining money in its Al Tech Trust Fund.  The program was very successful... but, nearly depleted that fund.


There are 12 more cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County the past day... with nine of those coming from the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the one-dozen new cases brings the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 534... and, there are now 122 active cases that continue to recover.  Wendel says 402 people have recovered...and, 497 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  He adds there are 242 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine." 


The COVID-19 infection rate in New York State has now remained under one-percent for more than a month.  But... Governor Andrew Cuomo says Western New York remains under a caution flag because the infection rate remains higher than the statewide average.  Cuomo on Thursday praised residents for continuing to help stop the spread.

However... Cuomo says the rate in Western New York was at 1.5 percent on Tuesday, up from one-percent the previous day.  Cuomo says state health officials are closely watching the numbers... and working with officials.  He says it appears that people "got the message."  In addition... Cuomo says indoor dining can resume in New York City on September 30th at 25 percent capacity.  Tables must be spaced and at least one diner in each party must leave contact information.

 
School officials are not happy about Governor Andrew Cuomo's new executive order requiring all school districts in New York state to report any new COVID-19 infections, and the number of people being tested.  One of them is Falconer Superintendent Steve Penhollow... who says the first "COVID Report Card" was due at the end of business Tuesday.  Penhollow says they just learned about it Tuesday afternoon... and, says it comes at a time where a lot is already expected of local districts.

Cuomo announced his executive order during a video press conference in Albany Tuesday.  He says it's being done to deal with the anxiety parents and families have... and, provide factual information to the community.  He says the final information will be verfied by three sources... the district, local health department, and the lab doing the tests.  To get the public school COVID 19 "Report Card..." go on-line to Schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov.

Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's been working with local school districts to get them the equipment they need to start the school year through local health care providers.  The Corning Republican says he's held a number of Zoom meetings with providers across the 23rd Congressional District to get personal protective equipment to schools that need it... along with other resources.

However... Reed says New York state needs to release some of the billions of dollars it's received from the first three COVID-19 Stimulus bills to schools.  He says he understands the situation in Albany... but, he says those issues are being encountered across the state.  He says local governments and school districts are facing "significant financial pressure."  During his Tuesday press briefing... governor Andrew Cuomo leveled perhaps his strongest criticism of how President Trump has handled the COVID-19 Pandemic... calling the president "incompetent."
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 9 2020


There are 28 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County being reported from last Saturday through Tuesday... with five of those being reported over the past day.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there were also 59 people who were reported as having recovered during that time period.  Wendel says 18 of the new cases come from the SUNY College at Fredonia.  He says that brings the number of confirmed cases to 522... and, 398 have now recovered.  Wendel says 114 cases are now active... while two are hospitalized.  

 
Three residents at the Tanglewood Group's dementia housing unit have tested positive for COVID-19... and their Fairmount Avenue facilities in West Ellicott has cancelled all visitations for 28 days.  However... Tanglewood's Chief Operations Officer Troy Taylor tells the Post-Journal that none of the three residents were showing any symptoms of COVID-19.  Taylor says that all residents were tested, according to state and local health department guidelines, after a "per diem" employee tested positive for the virus.  Taylor says they were able to "contain all resident infection solely to a small area within the Memory Garden facility."  We have a call into Taylor for comment.

The walkways at Lincoln Elementary school in Jamestown were decorated with balloons and ‘welcome back’ chalk drawings Tuesday.  For the first time since March… students are back in school... and Principal Katie Russo says it's "wonderful" to have the kids back in school.  Families met their students’ teachers at yard signs scattered across the school yard and the new year began.    Elementary students in the Jamestown district will be in school either morning or afternoon, four days a week.  For Russo... that means teachers will use their classroom time to focus on the essentials.  Katie Russo says everyone on her staff is aware of how fluid the situation with COVID-19 is right now, and she’s encouraging them to be at the ready. A little more than 15 percent of Lincoln’s 400 families opted for an all remote option for their children to start the year.  

The first day of school "went well" in the Falconer Central School Districts... which is going with a "Blue and Gold" schedule for the first four days of school.  That from Superintendent Steve Penhollow... who says he was impressed by how everyone handled the new COVID protocols.  Penhollow agrees it's been a challenging time for educators. Penhollow says the big test will come starting next Monday when their younger students begin coming for in-person classes every day. 


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that all school districts report any new COVID-19 infections and testing to the state Health Department.  Cuomo announced the order during a video press conference in Albany Tuesday morning on the first-day of classes in New York.  He says it's because the best way to deal with anxiety is to provide factual information to parents and the community.

Cuomo says the website will have the information that's verified through the school district, the local health department, and the lab doing COVID testing.  As for colleges and universities... Cuomo says their reopenings have been problematic nationwide... with more than 100 schools having 100 or more positive COVID cases.  In New York... he says there are seven -- including Fredonia -- that have COVID clusters. The majority of cases at the SUNY College at Fredonia were off-campus... and, now number 75 with two having now recovered.  To get the public school COVID 19 "Report Card..." go on-line to Schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov.

A Jamestown man faces a third-degree assault charge after allegedly being involved in an early morning domestic violence incident on the city's eastside.  Police were called to a scene on Spring Street Extension just before 1 AM Tuesday... and arrested 40 year-old Matthew Sutton.  Sutton allegedlly struck another person during the incident.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.

Two expensive farm tractors have been stolen from a location in the town of Arkwright.  One is a combination front-loader and backhoe green-colored John Deere vehicle, and an orange-colored Kubota tractor.  Sheriff's officers say the vehicles were reported stolen shortly before 10 PM last Friday from a property on Center Road.  If you have any information on their whereabouts... you're asked to contact the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office at 661-7232.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 8, 2020

It was a stormy Labor Day Monday across Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren Counties... with thunderstorms and gusty winds knocking down trees and power lines in several places.  In Jamestown... a large tree branch fell on a power line at Sabin and South Main Street shortly before Noon...  knocking out power to a large part of the city's southside including Cole, and Foote Avenues, and South Main Street.  Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says power was restored to those areas just after 1 PM.

Elsewhere in Chautauqua County... Sheriff's Department dispatchers say some trees and power lines were knocked down on Bard Road in Cassadaga... and, there were some outages on Oak Hill Road in Frewsburg... and, much of Forestville was without power for a time. 

In Warren County, Pennsylvania... storms with strong winds struck the northern part of the county... with tree damage along Route 62 from Russell to North Warren... along with the Brokenstraw Campgrounds near Pittsfield.  The National Weather Service in State College reports the storms about 11:30 AM Monday. 


Labor Day has passed, but the city of Jamestown continues to deal with some significant labor issues.  Speaking to Media One following last Friday's Labor Day ceremony at city hall, Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city's been working diligently with both the police and fire unions to settle unresolved contracts.  An overshadowing issue for all city workers is the potential for layoffs, as a result of the COVID-19 economic slowdown.  The new mayor said another challenge for him has been keeping the city's workforce safe... saying, "There's no one you can call to ask, 'how do you keep a labor force safe in a pandemic'?"

Fall classes -- both in-person and remotely -- get underway in most Chautauqua County school districts today... and, one of those is the Southwestern Central schools.  Superintendent Maureen Donahue... though... admits there is some "nervousness" over the start of classes due to the on-going COVID-19 situation.  Donahue praised her staff and teachers for going a great job getting ready... and, she says many students have already shown their appreciation.

Donahue says most of their students will be in their hybrid "Red" or "Blue" groups to begin the Fall.  One group will alternate time in classroom settings, as well as remote.  She says that nearly 12-percent of their students will be taking class completely by "remote" learning this Fall.  She says that was one of the options given to parents.  Donahue says... if you have any questions about the start of school... e-mail them to your child's Principal, teacher, or herself.  She adds they are fully-staffed for the new school year... and, they have made numerous accomodations for them and the children. 


The Dunkirk City School District is moving ahead with plans to reopen on Monday, September 14th.  However... due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the local area, the district has decided to delay the start of in-person learning under its hybrid option.  That from new Superintendent Mike Mansfield... who updated the district's reopening plan late last week.

Mansfield says the district sent out "parent choice" cards last week and so far the responses are average about 60 percent for the hybrid option and 40 percent for fully remote learning.  The changes are due mainly to COVID outbreaks at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... and, the SUNY College at Fredonia.

 
An unidentified man has been killed in a two-vehicle crash on Route 353 in the Cattaraugus County town of Little Valley last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the 44 year-old man died after losing control of his southbound car, and it crashed into a guard rail before crossing into the oncoming lane, and struck a vehicle just after 6 PM Saturday.  Officers say the man was pronounced dead at the scene.  No other injuries were reported.

An Ellery woman faces multiple charges after allegedly shoving another person during an altercation last weekend at a home on Route 430.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly before 4 PM Sunday... and learned that 35 year-old Tarrin Jones had gotten into an argument, and shoved another adult in the presence of a child under the age of 17.  Officers say they later found Jones in possession of a hypodermic instrument, and she was arrested.  Jones was taken to the county jail pending arraignment on charges of second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  She will receive tickets for Ellery Town Court at a later date.


Interim Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel has completed early work on a "tentative 2021 budget" that will be presented later this month.  Wendel says work continue on the spending plan until it's presented to the legislature and public on, or just before, September 25th.  During this past weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations... Wendel said there is still "some uncertainty" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, he believes people will like what they see.

Overall... Wendel says it's a "good" and "very solid" budget.  He believes the hard work by his administration and finance team will be seen in the proposed spending plan.  The county charter requires the spending plan to be presented by or on September 25th.  This month's County Legislature meeting will be held Wednesday, September 23rd.
And... two large trees fell on parts of two apartment buildings in the city of Olean in Cattaraugus County.

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News Headlines for Mon., Sept. 7, 2020

Stormy weather downs trees, power lines, across Chautauqua County on Labor Day... 
It's been a stormy start to Labor Day 2020... as thunderstorms roared through much of Chautauqua County about mid-morning today.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say there are some trees down on Bard Road in Cassadaga... and, there are some outages in Frewsburg on Oak Hill Road, and much of Forestville.  A few Jamestown residents called to say power was out in the area of Park and Prather Avenues.  That outage began about 10 minutes to 12 Noon.  Dispatchers add there are also trees down in Bemus Point, Cherry Creek, and Maple Springs.  


City recognized Labor Day in smaller, subdued ceremony...
It's an unusual Labor Day in the Jamestown area... in a couple of  ways.  There was no festival Sunday at Bergman Park, but the city took time on Friday... at city hall... to recognize the day.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist spoke about the contributions of organized labor... noting that for some 120 years, the U.S. has recognized the contributions of labor to created better working conditions, including the eight-hour work day, and five-day work weeks.  At that same event, David Wilkinson, Business Manager of the IBEW... the electrical workers union... announced the Central Labor Council would present its annual George Ritzer Labor Award to the 'essential workers' who carried the nation through the coronavirus shutdown.  He says they went to work at a time most people were told to stay home for their own safety at the beginning of the COVID-19 shut-down.  The Ritzer Award is usually presented to one member of the labor movement during the Labor Day Festival at Bergman Park.   


Unidentified man killed in fatal crash in Cattaraugus County...
A 44 year-old man has died after losing control of his car, and it crashed into a guard rail, and struck an oncoming vehicle on Route 353 in Cattaraugus County town of Little Valley last Saturday night.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the unidentified man was pronounced dead at the scene just after 6 p.m.  Deputies say the man was southbound when the accident occured.  The car ended up in a field.  No other injuries were reported.  Officers say their investigation is continuing.


Ellery woman arrested for harassment...         
A woman from the town of Ellery has been arrested for allegedly shoving another person during an altercation last weekend at a home on Route 430.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday... and learned that 35 year-old Tarrin Jones had gotten into an argument, and shoved another adult in the presence of a child under the age of 17.  Deputies later found Jone in possession of a hypodermic instrument... and arrested her.  Jones was taken to the county jail pending arraignment on charges of second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  She will receive tickets for Ellery Town Court at a later date.


Thirteen new COVID-19 cases reported in county over past weekend...
There are 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County over the past weekend... including 4 reported on Sunday.  The county's Health Department says that brings the total number since the pandemic began to 507.  No other numbers were released last weekend.  However... there were 311 cases that had recovered as of last Friday night... and, 633 people were in local quarantine or isolation.  


Lost hiker from Buffalo found safe in town of Arkwright last Sunday...
A Buffalo man is safe and sound after getting lost while hiking in the area of Burnham Road in the town of Arkwright early Sunday morning.  Sheriff's officers were notified of the missing, 36 year-old man about 1 a.m., and K-9 "Link" was deployed with deputies to search for the man.  Officers say the K-9 found the unidentified man about a mile into a wooded area -- near Arkwright Falls -- about 3 a.m.  Deputies says they navigated with the subject out to Park Road... where he was evaluated, and returned to his camp safely.

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News Bulletin for Sat., Sept. 5, 2020

State Police say they, and other local law enforcement, will be out in force for Labor Day Weekend...
While many Western New Yorkers decided against long trips during the Summer vacation period... area law enforcement still believe local roads and highways will be busy during the Labor Day holiday weekend.  That from State Trooper James O'Callaghan, the Public Information Office for the New York State Police Troop "A."  O'Callaghan says they will be treating it no differently than any other travel holiday... because people are still driving and camping out.  O'Callaghan says State Police and other local law enforcement will be participating in a crackdown on impaired driving across the state that continues through Monday, Labor Day.  He says they'll be advertising, "Be sober, or get pulled over."  


New COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County number 15, lowest in a few days, overall number nears 500...
With the Labor Day Holiday Weekend here... Chautauqua County officials are calling on residents to be safe, and avoid large gatherings to avoid the possible spread of the COVID-19 Virus.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... during a COVID Update this afternoon... noted that numbers are improving from the two clusters in the Dunkirk-Fredonia area.  Wendel urged people to enjoy the long weekend... but, remain vigliant.  He says "we need the same vigliance on September 4th that we had on April 4th, and May 4th, since this crisis began."  Wendel says there were 15 new confirmed cases of COVID-19... with five of those from the SUNY College at Fredonia.  That brings the overall total to 494 in the county.  There are now 50 cases at SUNY Fredonia... but, that number, along with those at Fieldbrook Foods, are down.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says 58 employees at the food processor got COVID-19... while 21 others were "close contacts," and also got the virus.  Wendel says there are now 173 active cases in the county... while 311 people have now recovered.  He says 630 are in isolation or quarantine.  However... the number in "domestic traveler quarantine is down dramatically to 114 as for Friday.


Randolph woman arrested in double assault in Kennedy...
A Cattaraugus County woman faces multiple charges after allegedly assaulting one person, then breaking into a home and assaulting another person in Kennedy.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Mud Creek Road just after 9:30 p.m. Friday night... and, arrested 47 year-old Carrie Congdon of Randolph.  Deputies say Congdon arrived at the residence, and proceeded to assault a person in the driveway.  She then forced entry into the house, and assaulted a second person while preventing them from calling 9-1-1 for help.  Congdon was arrested for first-degree burglary... second-degree assault... and criminal mischief.  Further investigation found that Congdon had drove to the residence drunk... and, she was also charged with driving while intoxicated.  She's being held in the Chautauqua County Jail pending centralized arraignment.


Labor Council awards Ritzer Labor Award to "Essential workers" in 2020...
The Jamestown Area Central Labor Council is presenting this year’s George Ritzer Award to all the ‘essential workers’ who stayed on the job at the height of the COVID-19 shutdown.’  Business Manager David Wilkinson with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local made the announcement at City Hall Friday afternoon.  Wilkinson says there were many people who went to work when many others couldn't... so they felt it was appropriate.  Since 1984... the Ritzer Award has been presented to an outstanding leader in the labor force.  Wilkinson says putting ‘Essential Workers’ on the plaque for 2020 will keep the memory of their sacrifices alive.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist read a Labor Day proclamation at the event, and asked Jamestown residents to think about ‘labor’ as they go through the weekend.  Sundquist adds, especially think of "those workers we lost this year."  The Ritzer Award is usually presented at the city’s Labor Day Festival at Bergman Park… cancelled this year over COVID-19 concerns. 


Jamestown's 76th Historic Marker unveiled, honoring Edith Ainge...
On the anniversary of her first arrest for protesting for women's right to vote... a local member of the Women's Suffragist movement a century ago was honored Friday in Jamestown.  The city's Historic Marker Committee helped unveil Jamestown's 76th Historic Marker at the corner of East Fourth and Pine Streets... where the former home of Edith Ainge was located.  City Historian Ashley Senke says the committee felt -- especially on the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote -- it was appropriate.  Senke says Ainge played a "prominent role" in helping to get the 19th Amendment to the Constitution ratified.  Local Professor Tracy Langworthy... a member of the committee... says Ainge ended up being arrested during a protest in Washington, D.C., for holding a banner at the event.  Langworthy says that protest was held on Sept. 4, 1920.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist presided over the marker dedication... his first as mayor... and, he said he looks foward to doing more in the near future.  

   

 

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News Bulletin for Fri., Sept. 4, 2020

Two arrested for allegedly tying person to chair, and setting them on fire in Cherry Creek...        
Two male teenagers have been arrested for allegedly tying a person to a chair in the town of Cherry Creek a month ago... and, later poured an accelerant on the victim before setting that person on fire.  Sheriff's officers were called to the undisclosed scene about 11:30 p.m. on Monday, August 3.  Deputies say the victim sustained "substantial burns" as a result of the incident, but, is recovering.  Following the investigation... an 18 year-old from Cherry Creek, and a 19 year-old from Salamanca were arrested for second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment.  Officers say both teens were arraigned.  One subject was released... the other was jailed with bail. 


City fire crews douse kitchen fire on Colfax Ave...
Damage was confined to part of the kitchen in a late morning fire Thursday on Jamestown's southside.  City fire officials say they were called to the scene at 53 Colfax Ave. about 10:30 a.m., and, were able to bring the blaze under control quickly.  No one was hurt, and the family is back in the house.  Fire officials say crews were at the scene until Noon.  No cause has yet been determined.


Cuomo gives WNY rapid test results, and announces casinos can reopen next week...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state's infection rate remains under one-percent, but that's not the case in Western New York.  Cuomo updated the media during a conference call Thursday... saying the region is at 1.9-percent.  He also gave rapid testing results from the eight sites the state set up in Western New York, including the city of Dunkirk.  The sites averaged around 4 percent... with Chautauqua County at 4.5-percent.  Meanwhile, Cuomo announced that casinos can re-open next week... with the usual protocols... including enhanced air filtration, only 25-percent occupancy, and wearing masks and using social distancing.


Wendel says state will leave some Rapid Test machines in county for several weeks...
As Western New York continues efforts to combat the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the region... Chautauqua County will get four COVID-19 rapid testing machines on loan from the state Health Department.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says they'll have an initial allotment of 1,000 test kits for use in the coming weeks.  Wendel says the county has a plan in place to administer those tests... and, they are going to monitor testing criteria.  Wendel has lobbied to keep at least one rapid testing machine in the county in response to the outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... and, they're get that and three more.  In fact... he says all Western New York counties will have some of the machines.  The locations of the four testing sites have not been determined at this time.


Thirty-seven new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday in the county...
Another 37 new, confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus are being reported today in Chautauqua County... and, the number of active cases has jumped to 166.  In addition... Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says 23 of the 37 are students at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Wendel says this brings the total number of cases here to 479... while 303 have now recovered.  He says 595 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and being monitored... and, there are 670 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after arriving here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  Wendel says five people remain hospitalized... and there have been 35,095 negative test results to date.
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The numbers from the COVID-19 outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk are looking better.  However... the numbers have been increasing at the State University College at Fredonia.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the numbers at Fieldbrook have improved since rapid testing concluded.  Wendel says 23 of the new cases are from SUNY at Fredonia... and that brings the total there to 45.  However... only six of those have been on-campus.  He made his comments for this coming weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


JPS ready to start 2020-21 school year...
The Jamestown Public School District is moving forward with their COVID-19 reopening plans, as the the first day of school is next Tuesday, Sept. 8.  Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says it's been all hands on deck preparing all their buildings, but they are ready to go.  Whitaker says they have all the cleaning and disinfecting materials they need, and have set up social distancing protocols for everyone.  He says they had some supply chain issues due to the demand for supplies, but they also have a thousand masks and 100 infared, no-touch thermometers.  In addition... he said families in need of child care from the district should let their child's principal know about it so they can be scheduled in.  He says that cost is roughly $40 a week currently.  For more information... go on-line to JPSny.org/childcare.


Court ruling against minor political parties in Ballot Access issue...
The head of a progressive political party in New York is urging voters to cast votes on the party's line at a time when a new state law is jeopardizing the future of minor parties.  A federal judge ruled this week that minor political parties in New York have failed to make their case that the state violated their constitutional rights by making it harder to qualify as parties and get on the ballot in upcoming elections.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 3, 2020

A city man is jailed for allegedly setting fire to the porch of another person he was having an on-going dispute with on Jamestown's westside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says city firefighters were called to the scene at 514 Monroe Street just before 2 AM Wednesday... and, found part of the porch on fire, and quickly put out the flames.  City police and fire investigators determined the blaze was intentionally set -- while the home was occupied.  They accuse 49 year-old Eric Goodlow of throwing two "incindiary devices" onto the porch.  No one was hurt, and there was some damage to the porch.  Goodlow is being held pending arraignment on one count of first-degree arson.


There are 32 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County... and, 25 of those cases a students at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel, who says those cases include two persons under the age of 18, eight young women, and two men, and 14 women in their 20s.  Wendel's office says there are 134 active cases... and, the county has now had a total of 442 confirmed cases.  He says 298 have now recovered, while 517 cases under now under quarantine or isolation orders.  There are currently 655 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to monitor the surge in COVID-19 cases in Western New York... and, Chautauqua County.  Hochul adds that they were not surprised to see an increase in cases at the SUNY College at Fredonia campus because returning students had not seen each other in several months after the pandemic began.  However... she adds they need to be smart.

Hochul also says today is the final day of rapid testing at eight sites in Western New York, including the Brigham Road location in the city of Dunkirk.  She gave an update on the numbers from the local site... and, found the most recent numbers found the infection rate at about 1.4 percent.  Hochul is urging people to avoid mass gatherings during the Labor Day weekend... and, to continue to following the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

 
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County will be celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year with what will be an unusual 2020 General Campaign.  Those are the feelings of Executive Director Amy Rohler... who announced Wednesday that several of the agency's campaign chairs from the past 45 years have agreed to jointly head up this year's effort.  Rohler says, that means, they'll have 28 chairpersons.  One is John Nord, who chaired the campaign in 1975... and another is last year's chairman, John LaMancuso.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and partial shut-down... Rohler says this year's campaign may be one of their most important ever because the local not-for-profits are facing unpredicdented challenges because their ability to raise money is very limited, or completely gone.  She says they have slightly reduced the General Campaign goal this year from the usual $1.3-million to $1.2-million. She says they are having to get "really creative" this year because they won't be able to do "in-person" workplace and organizational presentations they normally do.  For more information, go on-line to UWaysCC.org  or call 483-1561.


When federal lawmakers return from their August recess next week... talks are expected to resume on a fourth, COVID-19 stimulus bill.  Members of Congress and the Senate left Washington, D-C without an agreement in mid-August... and, there have been few developments.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says... from what he's heard... lawmakers are looking at a "scaled-back" package that includes stimulus checks, more enhanced unemployment payments, and financial aid to smaller cities and local governments.

A recent telephone call between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ended with no resolution on a new relief package.  Reed says some left-over CARES Act money could be part of the new measure as well.  About one-trillion dollars has not been spent yet.  Congressional Democrats approved the $3-trillion HEROES Act as a fourth stimulus package in May... but, Senate Republicans waited almost two months before countering, and talks broke down.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone press conference with area media.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area have risen by 5-cents a gallon this week heading into the Labor Day Holiday Weekend... due mainly to refinery shut-downs in the wake of Hurricane Laura.  Triple-A East Central's weekly Gas Price Report says the price of a gallon of regular, unleaded this week is about $2.35.  Triple-A says that's still about 50-cents less than last year at this time.  Nationally... the price also rose a nickle to $2.23 after Hurricane Laura made landfall in the south.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 2, 2020

Thirteen SUNY Fredonia students have been suspended for reportedly violating the Student Code of Conduct related to COVID-19 and off-campus gatherings. University President Stephen Kolison and Vice President Cedric Howard say the suspensions handed out yesterday are pending a review by the Office of Student Conduct. They also thanked students who have been following protocol... adding, "We need that behavior and leadership amongst students now, more than ever, if we are to continue having a successful semester." According to the Fredonia Dashboard tracker... 22 students have now tested positive for COVID-19 and 88 others are in quarantine.


A tenth person has now died from the coronavirus in Chautauqua County... as the number of confirmed cases has now exceeded 400.  County health officials say there are 14 new cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Tuesday.  They say the 10th victim is a man in his 50s... was died at an out-of-state hospital.  There are now 410 confirmed cases of COVID... and, 293 people have now recovered.  There are now 107 active cases... and, they continue to recover.  Officials say there are 460 cases under local quarantind or isolation orders... and, another 603 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  There have now been 34,456 negative test results to date.


Chautauqua County government's performance in handling the COVID-19 outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk has become an issue in the race for county executive.  Democratic candidate Richard Morrisroe yesterday criticized Republican Interim Executive P.J. Wendel's leadership in dealing with the cluster of cases that led the state to set up a rapid test center in Dunkirk.  Morrisroe says he questions Wendel's transparency and timeliness in addressing the outbreak... and, is also calling on Wendel to set up rapid testing for every public school student and employee before school starts.

However... when he was reached later, Wendel said that his leadership has been ongoing and there is a plan in place.  He says "all we did was put that plan in motion."  He adds that State Health officials have indicated that such testing is not necessary.

 The Seneca Nation of Indians in Western New York is mourning three beloved tribal citizens.  Ninety-one-year-old Norma Kennedy and her two daughters, 71-year-old Diane Kennedy and 65-year-old Cindy Mohr, died of COVID-19 within weeks of each other.  Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong-senior says their deaths leave an "unmistakable emptiness" in the community.  Norma and Diane Kennedy both worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for many years... and, also served their tribe.  Mohr taught in local schools and helped shape the lives of hundreds of children.  Family members say about 100 vehicles took part in a recent procession for the women in their hometown of Salamanca.


Firefighters made quick work of a small fire in a second-floor classroom at Cassdaga Valley Middle and High School late yesterday morning... triggered by flash paper in a plastic tote.  The flash paper is used as a prop in musical productions.  Sheriff's officers say Cassadaga, Sinclairville, and Gerry fire crews, and the Chautauqua County HazMat Team and Emergency Medical Services, were called to the scene on Route 60 about 11:30 AM.  Fire investigators say the flash paper apparently became warm, and ignited.  It's a special tissue paper, that when dry, is highly flammable and can be ignited for a quick flash of fire.  The tote and the contents were burned, but there was no damage to the school.  No injuries were reported.

 
A north county man is alive after Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies administered Narcan to revive him after a drug overdose late yesterday morning.  Officers were called to a location on Main Street in Silver Creek on a report of an unresponsive, 46 year-old man.  On arrival... deputies gave the man Narcan, and he became responsive.  The unidentified man was then taken to Brook's Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk for further treatment.


Police are continuing their investigation to determine who threw a brick through a front window of Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed's campaign headquarters in Corning.  Reed says police are reviewing video surveillance from that part of the Central New York City.  However... the Corning Republican says he's disappointed that police were not able to get any video from outside the headquarters itself.

Corning Police say the person, or persons, allegedly threw the brick sometime around 1:30 AM on Wednesday, August 25th.  Reed has blamed his "opponents or the far left" for the vandalism.  His Democratic opponent, Tracy Mitrano denounced the vandalism... but, accused Reed of playing politics by saying his opponents were involved.  No one was inside the headquarters when the incident occured... and, no one was hurt.  During last week's telephone press conference call... he said he's received support from both Republicans and Democrats on the incident.

Chautauqua County's Congressman was here recently to go on a "ride-along" with Sheriff Jim Quattrone to see the challenges law enforcement faces daily.  Republican Tom Reed says they discussed key issues, including the importance of holding bad cops accountable for their actions, New York’s disastrous bail reform law, and how Governor Cuomo’s recent executive order to reform police will impact the department.  Quattrone says he's concerned that Cuomo is rushing his New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaboration, which is due next April.

Quattrone says that means that all the other police departments in the county have to also hold meetings with local stakeholders, and develop their own plan for the state.  The sheriff says he appreciates Reed talking with him during the ride-along.  Reed says he stands with "our communities and the vast majority of police officers, who are honorable people that need our support to keep us safe.  Working together, we must enact meaningful changes that stand up against acts of police brutality while giving law enforcement the tools" they need.

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 1, 2020


There are 36 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County since last Saturday.  That from County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler Monday.  She says that 12 of the new cases were tied to the current outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... and, to date, 75 positive cases have been associated with the food processor.  She says there are now 105 active COVID cases in the county, and there have now been 396 total cases of COVID since the outbreak began.  There are 282 people have now recovered.  There are 384 cases under local quarantine or isolation orders... while 544 persons are under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  There have also been 34,268 negative test results to date.

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Schuyler adds the state’s free rapid testing at the Fire Murphy Training Grounds on Brigham Road in Dunkirk remains open from 9 AM to 6 PM through Wednesday by appointment only.   All residents are eligible for tests and appointments can be made by calling 833-697-8764. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was tracking the results of rapid testing sites across Western New York over the weekend.  Cuomo announced Sunday the results from the first day of testing.  Cuomo says the regional infection rate was "high" at 3.4-percent... but, was about 1.5-percent in Chautauqua County.

Cuomo adds has expressed concern over a growing number of infections after several workers at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days.  The outbreak reportedly started on August 16th.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says another worker had tested positive back in June... but, that was an isolated case.

The Jamestown City Council has approved a local law to start a school bus "stop-arm camera" program to catch drivers who don't obey the flashing red lights and stop-arms on school buses.  City lawmakers unanimously approved setting up a New York State Demonstration Project at last night's voting session.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says it also establishes a partnership with the Jamestown Public Schools to get the video taken of cars passing the red lights, and stop-arms.

Sundquist told council members that motorists violating the stop lights and arms has been a problem in the city... and, often, unless there is a police car nearby, the driver isn't caught.  A public hearing will have to be held on the local law... which Sundquist would then sign to be filed with the state.  It would likely be in place shortly after the school year begins on September 8th.


The city council automatically tabled a local law last night that would allow tattoo parlors to be located in certain parts of the downtown area.  The move comes after a recent proposal for a variance was rejected by the Jamestown Planning Commission.  The new proposal was accepted in committee during last week's Work Session.  It was outlined briefly by Public Safety Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon last Monday... who says such parlors would be allowed in C-2, C-3 and R-C Districts.

During discussions over the past month... council members have agreed that Tattoo parlors are much cleaner and sanitary than they were went that part of the city code was last updated.  The proposed parlor that initially went to the Planning Commission last year was for a location on East Fourth Street.
 
A Jamestown man sought by city police on multiple Felony warrants has been arrested for allegedly stealing a motorcycle on the city's eastside Monday morning.  City police were called to 118 East First Street about 9:30 AM... and, found the bike in a parking lot with no license plates on it.  Shortly after... officers say they found 33 year-old Christopher Dellahoy hiding in the backseat of a nearby car.  Police took Dellahoy into custody, and further investigation showed he had stolen the motorcycle.  He's charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property... as well as the arrest warrants.  Dellahoy was jailed pending arraignment.

A group of Republican State Senators are urging the chamber take up a new bill that would freeze the threshold for overtime for farm workers at 60 hours a week through 2024.  Local Senator George Borrello says he's proposing the measure to stop the Farm Laborers Wage Board from lowering that threshold to 40 or 50 hours by the end of 2020.  Borrello says the state needs more information on the potential impact of the provision... which is part of the Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act.

Borrello is the ranking Republican member of the State Senate's Agriculture Committee... and, says farmers upstate haven't even finished the first year of the new labor law, and are struggling to comply with the 60-hour OT threshold.  He... and, several other senators, during a Zoom press conference yesterday... said farming is a "very seasonal" industry.

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WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 31, 2020

A city woman is jailed after allegedly stabbing another person during a domestic incident last weekend on Jamestown's southside.  City police were called to the scene on Baker Street shortly before Midnight Saturday night, and learned that 21 year-old Kiara Smith-Villa had stabbed the unidentified person with a knife.  Officers also learned that the victim had an order of protection for Smith-Villa to keep away.  The victim's immediate condition was not released.  Smith was sent to the city jail on charges of second-degree assault and aggravated criminal contempt, pending arraignment.


A Jamestown man faces several charges after he was allegedly caught driving nearly 20 miles an hour over the speed limit with three-times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped 35 year-old Jeffrey Bohall on Manchester Road in the town of Kiantone last Friday night for going 54 miles an hour in a 35 mile zone.  Deputies say they found Bohall had two previous DWI convictions, making the new charge a Felony.  He was also charged with consuming an alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle.  One of the conditions placed on his license was that he not operate a motor vehicle without a alcohol interlock device installed... and the car he was driving did not have one.  Officers say Bohall also had a blood alcohol content of 0.26-percent... making this arrest aggravated driving while intoxicated.  He was released to a sober party and will be back in the town of Kiantone Court at a later date.


A statewide event called "Child Care Day of Action..." was held locally late last week in Chautauqua County.  The county's two state lawmakers held a news conference in Irving to call for the release of federal CARES Act funding to local child care providers.  State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell say the state received millions of dollars, but has failed to release most of the funding.

The founder and executive director of Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center, Beth Starks, spoke about the challenges child care providers in Chautauqua County are facing because of the pandemic.  Starks says "every single day that we're open, we continue to lose money, and there's very little support."  She says most providers have "only weeks left" before they will have to close their doors.  Starks says child care was in a crisis situation before COVID-19 and in the past four months, the situation has gotten much worse.  Borrello and Goodell were also joined by Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel. 


 Like many other events, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will be going virtual when it comes to the 2020 Chamber Awards Banquet.  The event usually attracts more than 300 people... which is too large for an enclosed space.  That from Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Tranum... who says this year's banquet will also be memorable because it will feature keynote speaker Amanda Brinkman of the Small Business Revolution.  Tranum says Brinkman's appearance will serve as a prelude to Small Business Revolution's fifth season featuring the village of Fredonia which is expected to launch in November.  The 2020 Chamber Banquet will be held on Thursday, October 8th.

 Rhetoric at the Republican National Convention claimed chaos in American cities.  President Donald Trump, who delivered his remarks to a crowd gathered at the White House, called for "law and order," and said the country could not allow "mob rule."  But the reality is far more complicated.  Experts point out that violent crime has remained stable and low, although homicides have risen a bit in some cities during the pandemic.  In many major cities... there was looting and property destruction during the height of the George Floyd protests, but order was restored months ago in most places. 

Escape Rooms Jamestown will open in a new location on Wednesday.  Owner, Cathy Johnner, says they'll now be operating downstairs at 100 East Second Street... the same building that houses the Dikeman-Young Gallery... where she and her staff spent the summer rebuilding the space for four escape rooms.  And they'll have a new entry way filled with vintage arcade games that people can play before or after their 'escape' experience.  Because of COVID-19, Johnner has reduced the number of people in each escape to four... and limited the time to 45 minutues.  She thinks that'll allow family and friends who are already socializing to come out and do something fun.  Masks will be required.  The new Escape Rooms' Grand Opening will run for a week, with special pricing each day... including the Labor Day weekend.  More information and reservations are available at escaperoomsjamestown.com.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat. Aug., 29, 2020

Cluster of COVID-19 cases directly linked to Fieldbrook Foods grows to 63...
The COVID-19 cluster of cases reported from the recent outbreak at a Dunkirk food processor has now reached 63.  That Friday from Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler, who addressed the situation during a press conference call with County Executive P-J Wendel.  Schulyer says 49 of the cases are directly linked to workers at Fieldbrook, and 14 others from "close contact" with a positive case.  She made an emotional plea for people to follow social distancing guidelines, and say's she's "hopeful that because of this size of an outbreak... that people are paying attention."  Earlier... Schulyer said the first case involving someone at Fieldbrook Foods was reported on Aug. 16.  However... she says they are still looking into the possibility that "two or three" large gatherings in the Dunkirk area may have also played a role.  Wendel addressed criticism that the county did not notify the public early on regarding Fieldbrook.  He says there were a lot of "moving parts..." and they wanted to make sure they got out the correct information.  Wendel and Schuyler say 393 of Fieldbrook's 650 employees were tested during a mass clinic this past Tuesday, and another is being put on by the state this weekend.  Schuyler says of those tested, only 24 positives were confirmed.  She also says they didn't see the need to close Fieldbrook because of it's stringent screening and cleaning protocols.


Eight new cases of COVID-19 reported Friday in Chautauqua County... 
The impact of the cluster of COVID-19 cases at a Dunkirk food processing plant continues to play a role in the number of new and active cases in Chautauqua County.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now eight new cases of the virus... and, that's increased the number of active cases to 82.  Wendel says the new cases include a young female adult... a man and a woman in their 20s, a man in his 30s, a woman in her 50s, and two men and one woman in their 60s.  He says that brings the number of confirmed cases to 360... while 269 have now recovered.  Wendel says three people are hospitalized... while 304 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, being monitored.  He adds that 535 peope are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory.  There have now been 32,584 negative test results to date.


Cuomo says colleges that see a 5-percent increase in COVID cases will have to go to remote learning for two weeks...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York will require schools and colleges to switch to remote learning for two weeks when cases surge.  Cuomo said he expects campus-based clusters now that many schools have welcomed students back for the fall semester.  Under the new guidance... if colleges have 100 cases or if the number of cases equal 5-percent of their faculty-and-student population, they must go to remote learning for two weeks.  The school's situation will be reassessed at the end of the two weeks.


Students who are also parents facing major stuggles with pandemic...
As the school year begins, parents who also are students face enormous challenges brought on by the pandemic. Student parents were already vulnerable to living in poverty and navigating time constraints, according to Mary Ann DeMario, who runs a program at Monroe Community College in Rochester to support single parent students. As the sixth month of COVID-19 shutdowns begins, she points out that job layoffs, lack of broadband access, and closed child-care centers have piled on even more pressure.  Pre-pandemic, she says they were already "at-risk" for financial poverty, and other issues.  She notes that finding affordable childcare is the most pressing issue among the 2,700 student parents at her school. Nationwide, nearly four million U-S undergraduate students are parents or guardians of children under age 18.  To help students who also are parenting, she says Congress and state lawmakers should continue to provide enhanced funding for emergency grants or other forms of cash assistance.


Roger Tory Peterson's birthday being celebrated at RTPI today...
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute is having a big party today to celebrate the day Peterson was born -- 112 years ago.  Events will run all day, until 4 p.m., at the Peterson Institute on Curtis Street, with music, beverages, a food truck and what Jane Johnson, Director of Museum Operations, calls a unique opportunity to see some of Peterson's work that's not ordinarily on display.  The institute's new Chief Executive Officer, Arthur Pearson... a voice major in college... will lead the singing of 'Happy Birthday' at noon Saturday.  There'll be reduced admission at RTPI all day.  A renowned artist and naturalist... Roger Tory Peterson was born in Jamestown on Aug. 28, 1908.


Barmore warns of DMV on-line scam... 
The Chautauqua County Department of Motor Vehicles is warning residents of several scammer websites that have popped up offering to make people an appointment at one of their DMV offices as early as the next day for a fee.  County Clerk Larry Barmore says these websites are not sanctioned by the DMV... and, they are just trying to scam you out of your money.  Barmore says if you use them you will not have an appointment, and you will have lost the money they charged you.  He says they do not charge you to make an appointment. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Aug 28, 2020

It was a wild weather afternoon Thursday in Jamestown... and, Chautauqua County as a whole.  A number of power outages were reported in the wake of strong winds and heavy rain.  Parts of Lakewood, and much of Frewsburg into Kennedy were without power for some time last night.  A line of severe storms came through the area... downing a number of trees and power lines across the area.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office reported some windows were blown out of a building in Jamestown... and, a roof was at least partially blown off a home in the village of Celoron.  

There are 37 new cases of the COVID-19 Virust being reported the past day in Chautauqua County... largely related to the outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the new cases include three persons under the age of 18... a young male adult... and, eight men and three women in their 40s.  Wendel says this brings the local total to 352 confirmed cases... while 267 have recovered.  He says there are now 76 active cases... while 236 others are under quarantine or isolation orders.  Wendel says 501 persons are now under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  There have now been 31,990 negative test results to date.

 
New York state health officials are closely monitoring Western New York's COVID-19 rate of infection after getting news the rate has now reached 2-percent.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says that's not good news... and during a conference call with media Thursday... he said the caution flag is "flying a little higher."  Cuomo says they will set up eight test sites in the region... including one in northern Chautauqua County.

Cuomo said that 53 of Chautauqua County's new cases have been tied to the recent COVID outbreak at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... where the first case was reported on August 16th.  He says the new testing sites will use the Abbott Testing machines... which will provide results in about an hour.  Cuomo says people will have to make an appointment.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's "very concerned" in the wake of this week's vandalism at his campaign headquarters in Corning... but, adds that neither he nor his campaign are being deterred from continuing.  A brick was thrown through a front window late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning at that downtown location in the Central New York city.

Reed also stood behind his initial comments about the likelyhood that his "opponents or the far left" were behind it.  In addition to his campaign staff, he is also concerned for his family living in Corning.  Reed criticized his Democratic opponent, Tracy Mitrano, for blasting his comments where he indicated that his "opponents" or those on the "far left" were responsible for what happened.  The Corning Republican says it's "obvious" to him.


Incumbant Congressman Tom Reed's opponent in the November election is condemning the vandalism done to his campaign headquarters last Tuesday night.  However... Penn Yan Democrat Tracy Mitrano says Reed is also jumping to conclusions by saying it was perpetrated by the Republican's "opponents and far left extremists."  Mitrano says there was no justification for throwing a brick through a front window at Reed's campaign headquarters... and, she called for a thorough investigation. Mitrano adds, though, that in his statement Wednesday, Reed was wrong to automatically assume someone on "the left" did this... and says this is "McCarthy-like stuff."  She made her comments during a press call with Southern Tier Media.


  The Chautauqua County Board of Elections has already received more than 4,000 applications for absentee ballots, with about two months to go before Election Day.  That's the word from County Elections Commissioners Norm Green and Brian Abram.  Abram... who is Republican Commissioner, says the number compares to what the county typically handles during a presidential election year.

Abram says ballots will be mailed starting on September 18th.  Because of concerns over mail delivery, Green is advising people not to wait too long before sending their application.  He says the last day to apply is a week before the election... but, with current mail issues... he says that could be a problem.  For an application... go on-line to the Board of Elections website, or call 753-4580. 


The man at the helm of the Jamestown Public School District is blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo over his 'slight-of-hand' in state aid to schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent interview on WJTN, Dr. Kevin Whitaker says the federal government provided $3-million to JPS, however he expressed his frustrations with the state.

Whitaker says while losing 20-percent of aid from the state-level would "survivable" ... the district would have to consider cuts to programs that are not mandated. He says this would be devastating to parents, students and staff.  Dr. Whitaker is encouraging the school community to reach out the federal representatives and ask for their continued support for education. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sept 25, 2020

Residents concerned about possible COVID-19 outbreaks in New York state schools will now have more information about those numbers.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that they are adding ...

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