Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Thurs., July 29, 2021

Cuomo issues mandate for state employees to get vaccinated, or undergo weekly COVID testing...
New York will require all state employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus by Labor Day or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the policy Wednesday morning in a Zoom call with the nonprofit Association for a Better New York.  In mandating either the shots, or frequent testing for government workers, the Democrat is following on the heels of California and New York City.   Cuomo also called for "aggressive mitigation" in schools this Fall in schools where their communities are seeing increased infections.  He says schools will be "places of congregation," and they can be superspreaders, especially with higher concentrations of community spread.  Like other states... New York has seen a rising number of coronavirus cases linked to the delta variant.  New infections have climbed more than 400% since the end of June.  Cuomo also said vaccines would be mandatory for "front-line" workers at state-owned hospitals.  He says that's because those are "points of contact" that could trigger serious community spread.


Five new cases of COVID-19 reported in county Wednesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting five new confirmed cases of COVID-19 mid-day Wednesday for the second-straight day... and, there are now 15 active cases.  Health officials say this brings the total number of cases to 9,334... while 9,161 have now recovered.  There were no new deaths, and no one is hospitalized. 


County Legislature defeats motion to keep 23rd Congressional District boundary lines...
It will now be up to individual residents in Chautauqua County to make their feelings known about keeping the county in the 23rd Congressional District when new lines are drawn by an independent commission.  That after county lawmakers last night failed to get enough votes to approve a motion expressing those sentiments to the commission. The measure received 11 yes votes among the 17 legislators at last night's monthly meeting.  However, Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon says a 13 vote supermajority was needed... so it was defeated.  He says lawmakers can still write to the commission on their own, along with residents.  Only one lawmaker spoke prior to the vote.  North County Democrat Christine Starks felt the legislature should not be telling the commission how to do it's job, and she encouraged people to use the data in making their cases to the panel.  Starks and her four fellow Democrats... and, Mayville area Republican Bill Ward voted against the motion.  Some local leaders have expressed concern that Chautauqua County may again be lumped into a South Buffalo-area district like it was a decade ago.


Three Lake Erie swimmers have to be rescued Tuesday...
Three swimmers in Lake Erie had to be rescued Tuesday afternoon after they were caught by a strong current near Ripley Beach.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputies say the county's Water Emergency Team was called to the scene in the town of Ripley about 1:15 p.m. to assist Ripley fire crews with a rescue.  Officers say the trio... who were not identified... were swimming when one of them got pulled away by the current.  Officers say the person began to have difficulties swimming.  The other two subjects assisted in getting that person to the cliff face... but, were unable to make it back to the beach do to the current.  The county's WET Team, assisted by the Fuller Hose Water Rescue Team from North East, Pennsylvania, were able to pull two of the subjects from the cliff face and secure them in a boat.  The third subject was able to climb up the cliff to safety on his own.  All three were evaluated at the scene and released.


JCC to be fully open, with classes starting on Aug. 23...
The fall semester at Jamestown Community College starts on Monday, August 23.  And the Director of Admissions, Corinne Case, says they plan to be ‘fully open’ on all three campuses.  She says they are "very excited" to have students back for class, and student life activities.  JCC’s Vice President of Student Affair, Dr. Kirk Young, adds COVID vaccinations will not be required to attend in the fall. But, every student will be surveyed.  Those with vaccinations will not be required to mask or practice social distancing, but the unvaccinated will be asked to do both.  In addition Dr. Young says, at such time as any one of the three COVID vaccines is fully approved, the State University of New York system will likely require student vaccinations, but that’s not the case now.  He emphasizes that any student not able or comfortable attending in person will find plenty of on-line opportunities at JCC as well.


Three North County fire departments called out for mobile home fire in town of Dunkirk... 
Three north county fire departments responded to an early afternoon blaze Wednesday at the Lakeside Mobile Home Park on East Lake Road in the town of Dunkirk.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Dunkirk city, East Dunkirk and Sheridan fire crews were called to a modular home.  The fire was reported by a passerby, and was quickly extinguished.  One person was taken to an area hospital.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 28, 2021

Three swimmers rescued from cliffs off Lake Erie near Ripley Beach...
Three people had to be rescued from Lake Erie yesterday afternoon after they were caught by a strong current near Ripley Beach.  Sheriff's officers say the county's Water Emergency Team was called to the scene in the town of Ripley about 1:15 p.m. to assist the Ripley Fire Department with a rescue.  Deputies say the trio... who were not identified... were swimming when one of them got pulled away by the current.  Officers say the person began to have difficulties swimming.  The other two subjects assisted in getting that person to the cliff face... but, were unable to make it back to the beach do to the current.  The county's WET Team, assisted by The Fuller Hose Water Rescue Team from North East, Pennsylvania, were able to pull two of the subjects from the cliff face and secure them in a boat.  The third subject was able to climb up the cliff to safety on his own.  All three were evaluated at the scene and released.


Investigation underway into County Jail inmate's death...
Chautauqua County Corrections officials are investigating the death of a county jail inmate early this past Monday morning.  The Sheriff's Office reports an unidentified, 65 year-old man began having chest pains and difficulty breathing.  Correction's officers took appropriate action, and contacted Emergency Medical Services, who responded to the Jail.  They say the man was taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital for treatment.  But... on arrival at the emergency room... he became unresponsive and medical staff were unable to revive him.  Due to new state law... the Attorney Generals Office was notified, and sent a Detective to the jail to further investigate.  The state Commission of Corrections has also been notified and will also conduct an investigation.


City man arrested for alleged burglary after falling from second-story roof...
A Jamestown man accused of trying to burglarize an eastside home was arrested after leading police on a foot chase in which he jumped from the second-story of another house to avoid capture.  City police were called to 12 Jeffords St. shortly after 9 p.m. Monday... and, got a description of the man involved... who had just fled the scene.  The department's K-9 Unit was called in... and, they later found the suspect -- Marcos Reyes -- getting out of a neighbor's vehicle.  Officers tried to stop Reyes... but, he led them on a foot chase before he ran into a home on East Second Street.  Officers say he went to the second-floor roof... but, then fell as he tried to jump down to the ground.  Reyes was then arrested for petty larceny, and second-degree obstruction.  Reyes was jailed on the new charges, and an outstanding county court warrant.


Sundquist announces remaining funds have been acquired for Jamestown Skatepark project...
The city of Jamestown will be able to construct the new Skatepark on the westside all at once... thanks to left over Urban Development Action Grant funds.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who made the announcement with Public Works officials and others Tuesday afternoon at City Hall.  Sundquist says $480,000 in UDAG funds will be used for the project through the efforts of "several people."  He says a number of entities... including a national foundation... were involved in get the funding raised for the first phase of the skatepark project.  He says the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and Ralph C. Wilson Foundation will among those involved in that effort.  Sundquist says the city's Public Works Department is on target to begin preliminary work on the skatepark next month... and, he says should be completed in time of next year's skateboard season.


Cuomo's use of some campaign funds under scrutiny...
Some state legislators want to change New York's campaign finance rules after Governor Andrew Cuomo used $285,000 in political donations to pay lawyers representing him in sexual harassment and misconduct investigations.  That kind of campaign spending is allowed under certain conditions... but, many still find it distasteful.  New York politicians have used millions of dollars in campaign funds in recent years to pay lawyers to defend them against allegations of wrongdoing.  Cuomo spokesperson Rich Azzopardi defended the use of campaign cash for legal bills.  He says "using campaign funds instead of taxpayer dollars for this purpose has been well established for decades."


IDA Board approves three incentive program for new "Hideaway Bay Resort..."
Chautauqua County's Industrial Development Agency board has approved three incentive programs for the new "Hideaway Bay Resort" high-end "glamping" and recreational resort.  The new resort will be situated on the 3.6-acre former Hideaway Bay Restaurant site on Lake Erie and Walnut Creek in the village of Silver Creek.  Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the County IDA, Mark Geise, says it's a local project, headed up by local man, Kevin Cullen.  Geise says there will be about a dozen "high end glamping units" at the new facility.  At one point... Geise says the property was going through the foreclosure process... but, the county legislature several years ago took the property out of the property auction.  He says the IDA board approved providing 'up front' tax abatements for the $1.4-million development, including a 10-year payment in lieu of tax agreement.  He says there will also be a sales tax exemption on purchase of building materials.  Subject to remaining project approvals, Geise says construction is expected to begin this fall with the resort becoming operational in the spring of 2022

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., July 27, 2021

Mayor, City Council, formally recognize JPD officer who saved family from burning house...
City lawmakers formally recognized the Jamestown police officer who saved members of a family from their burning home one week ago.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist read the proclamation for Officer Mark Conklin, who caught multiple members of a family at 116 1/2 William St., as they jumped from a second-floor window of the burning house.  Sundquist praised Conklin for "truly going above and beyond" the call of duty that early Monday morning.  He and Council President Tony Dolce talked earlier in the day about the fact this is the second-time this year that a city employee has rescued members of a family from a burning building.  Conklin simply said thank-you, and that he appreciated the recogition.  City Council later approved a resolution recognizing and commending Conklin for his actions.  Last March 23... Public Works dump truck operator Joe Pollino... a 15-year employee... was working when he saw an apartment house fire at 703 Washington St.  He later wound up catching two people that jumped from the second floor of that building.


Council approves obtaining 10 syringe disposal containers for city...
City Council members last night approved a resolution to acquire 10 containers for used syringe disposal at various points in Jamestown.  The city will acquire the containers from the HOPE Chautauqua Coalition, and costs will be handled through a New York State Health Department grant.  Council President Tony Dolce says the drop boxes will be placed at a number of locations so people with drug addiction issues, and members of the public, can properly dispose of them.  Some possible locations include city schools... and, some of the parks.  The Greater Jamestown Riverwalk is another place where used syringes have been found, and a container will likely be placed somewhere along that.  Dolce says setting up syringe drop boxes in other communities has dramatically reduced the number of syringe needles found in those municipalities.


City man takes plea deal in fatal stabbing case...
A Jamestown man who was facing the start of his jury trial in Chautauqua County Court Monday for a stabbing death has taken a plea deal.  22-year-old Tavion Turner pled guilty to a reduced count of first-degree manslaughter with a sentence promise of between 18 and 22 years determinate... plus 5 years post-release supervision.  Turner was facing two counts of second-degree murder stemming from the 2017 death of Dyllan Ownbey.  He had been indicted by the county Grand Jury in May of 2019.  Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 22.


In light of huge increase in COVID-19 cases the past month, Cuomo again urges people who are not vaccinated to do so...
New York state has seen it's number of daily COVID-19 numbers jump by five-times the rate they were one month ago.  Governor Andrew Cuomo made that the point of a news conference Monday at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.  Cuomo says the huge increase is being fueled primarily by the so-called "Delta Variant" of COVID... accounting for 72% of the cases now.  The number of new cases on June 26 was 346.  However... yesterday's numbers showed 1,982 new confirmed cases.  Cuomo used the occasion to push people to get the COVID-19 vaccine... adding that only .15% of the new cases were among people who had been vaccindated.  He says "they work!.." and concluded that "we cannot go backwards."


Wendel says, while county COVID-19 numbers are good, they are monitoring the situation... 
COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across New York State... but, so far it doesn't seem to be a major issue in Chautauqua County.  County Executive PJ Wendel spoke about the issue Monday... prior to 5 new cases being announced.  There was also one new death.  However... Wendel says the numbers here have generally been low.  Meanwhile, the Delta Variant of COVID is now accounting for the majority of all new cases in the U-S.  Wendel says the vaccine should minimize any symptoms from that as well... and he says people who have not been vaccinated should consider doing so.  He encouraged them to get the facts from their primary care physician.  The five new cases brings the total number local to 9,326... and 10 are currently active.  The new death brings that total to 158 since the pandemic began.  There are no hospitalizations... and, 9,158 cases have now recovered.


Wendel says county has determined five "focus areas" to use $24.6-Million in ARP funding...
Chautauqua County officials have determined five different "focus areas" to use just over $24-million in federal COVID-19 stimulus funding.  County Executive P.J. Wendel said Monday that the focus areas are investing in Public Health, Public Safety and Infrastructure, Economic and Workforce Development, Clean Water and Internal Department Investment Projects.  Wendel says the 24.6-million dollars in state and local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund is part of the 'American Rescue Plan Act' that was signed into law by President Biden on this past Mar. 11. 


City woman arrested on Leandra's Law, and other charges...         
A Jamestown woman faces a Leandra's Law violation following a report of an altercation last Sunday night at a home in Ashville.  Sheriff's officers were called to a home on South Maple Avenue about 9:30 p.m., and, following an investigation, arrested 27 year-old Alexis Yarber.  They determined that Yarber had physically harassed another person in the presence of a child under the age of 17... and, also damaged property belonging to the victim.  Deputies also found that Yarber drove her car to that location in a impaired state while having two children in the vehicle.  Yarber was arrested on charges including DWI-Leandra's Law, unlicensed operation, third-degree criminal mischief, and endangering the Welfare of a child.

 

 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., July 26, 2021

4-H Meat Animal Sale goes well, despite pandemic restrictions at "Un-Fair..."
With no county fair in Dunkirk, the annual 4-H Meat Animal Sale was a 'stand alone' event last Saturday.  4-H Educator, Kate Ewer, said the change didn't seem to make much of a difference in terms of support, and having a full arena.  Ewer says a total of 118 animals were sold, with a value of $171,000.  All of the animal categories had good prices, with steer and lambs at near record averages of $4.38 a pound for beef and $5.71 a pound for the sheep.  A dozen animals were donated back to the sale after purchase, raising an extra $10,000 to support 4-H projects.  Even though a week's worth of activities were compressed into just four days at this year's 'Un-Fair', Kate Ewer said it had a nice feel.  She says there was actually a "more relaxed vibe" because it was less busy in and around the 4-H area at the fairgrounds.  Ewer says they may try to keep some of those features in place for next year, when the full county fair is set to come back.   


Ripley woman, age 78, arrested for allegedly assaulting another person...
A woman from Ripley has been arrested for allegedly choking another person, and threatening them with physical harm during an altercation last Saturday night.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a fight about 10 p.m. at an undisclosed scene in the town of Ripley.  Officers say they found that 78 year-old Carolyn Torrance obstructed the breathing of another person... and, threatened to hurt the victim.  Deputies arrested Torrance for criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... second-degree aggravated harassment, and third-degree harassment.  She was taken the the county jail for centralized arraignment.


Two people arrested for possession of Meth, and hypodermic instruments...
Two people sought on warrants were arrested last weekend in the town of Portland after Sheriff's deputies found them in possession of drugs and hypodermic instruments.  Officers say they spotted 34 year-old Barbara Houser of Westfield... and, 43 year-old Todd Witt of Sinclairville... at a location on Rt. 20.  Deputies approached, and found Houser in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine, and Witt was in possession of hypodermic instruments.  Both were taken into custody, and taken to the county jail to be arraigned on the warrants... and, they'll appear in Portland Town Court at a later date on the new charges of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.


Quattrone says slow-moving vehicles need to take regular, motorized vehicles into account on the road...
Last week's accident involving an Amish horse and buggy in the town of Clymer should be a reminder that the vehicle and traffic laws involving slow-moving vehicles are a two-way street.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone discussed the issue the day after the accident, in which the 18 year-old operator was found to be drunk.  Quattrone says he faces serious charges... but, not one for driving while intoxicated.  He says they can't do that in regards to horse and buggies, but, adds they've had too many of these kinds of accident.  
Quattrone says the 18-year-old not only put his passengers in danger, but other vehicles on the road.  He says it could have been a "very dangerous" situation.  Quattrone says it’s important for the operators of slow-moving vehicles as well as motorize vehicles to follow the rules.  He says that's been a concern both here, and state-wide.  Quattrone also reminded local residents not to use slow-moving vehicle emblems as drive-way markers.


Several areas, including housing, downtown needs, recreational needs, focus of second input meeting on Jamestown's ARP award...
Jamestown city officials received a lot of input at the second of four public input sessions on how to use $28-million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan.  About 20 people were on hand for the session at the Prendergast Library last Saturday... and one of the major topics was the need to put more money into improving housing, and neighborhoods.  Currently... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says their "Master Plan" allocates $1.4-million towards that.  City Council President Tony Dolce agrees housing needs to be a priority, and says he has no problem with allocating more of the funding for that.  However... while some at the meeting said the city needs to tear down more buildings... Dolce says this money can't be used for that.  One person expressed the need for good, quality apartment houses in the city to attract professionals and others who aren't looking for a house of their own at this point.  Another suggested the possible need for a completely local, city bank for residents and businesses.  The next public input session will be held Tuesday night, July 27 at 7 p.m. at the Chautauqua Center on Institute Street.


DOJ will not open civil rights investigation into government owned nursing homes over COVID response...
The Justice Department says it has decided not to open a civil rights investigation into government-run nursing homes in New York over their COVID-19 response.  Under former President Donald Trump, the department's civil rights division requested data from several states about COVID-19 deaths in public nursing homes.  The request came amid questions about whether New York inadvertently worsened the pandemic death toll by requiring nursing homes to accept residents previously hospitalized for COVID-19.  In a letter sent Friday to several Republican members of Congress, the Justice Department said it had decided not to open an investigation after reviewing data sent by the state.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., July 23, 2021

Sundquist holds first public input session on $28-mill. in ARP funding...
The $28-million in federal funding the city of Jamestown will receive from the American Rescue Plan provides a "once in a lifetime" opportunity to get the city on track for the future.  Those were the general feelings of residents who attended last night's first public input session hosted by Mayor Eddie Sundquist on the "Master Plan" his administration has crafted.  Resident Doug Champ says a focus on mental health in one area is not a bad idea... but, adds attention should also be paid to the "next" pandemic.  Champ says the city should create more business opportunities in the areas of personal protective equipment, and other items difficult to come by in the early days of the pandemic.  There was also some discussion about using $900,000 for "transparency and tracking."  Ellen DiTonto says the city should look into joining with other communities in the county, who are also receiving Rescue Plan funds, to fund a person to do that work so more money could be used on other projects.  Last night's session was held at Jefferson Middle School.  The second of four public input sessions will be held tomorrow (7/24) at 10 a.m. at the Prendergast Library.


Chautauqua County 'Un-Fair' underway, 4-H Meat Animal Sale is Saturday...
It's not the full experience, but 4-H'ers are happy to be back at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk for this week's 'Un-Fair.'  The event was put together as a way for young people to show their animals in competition, and get ready for the Meat Animal Sale on Saturday.  Corinne Covert, a recent graduate of Southwestern Central School, will have a goat, a hog and a pair of chickens up for bid.  She says she's happy to just "get out and 'show' this year.  Last year's event was all virtual because of the pandemic.  The usual week-long events have been crammed into four days, but Garrett Lesch of Fredonia... who'll sell a couple of animals on Saturday... says in one way it's less stressful: he's spending less time explaining why he 'does this.'  Most of the 'Un-Fair' is for 4-H members only, but the Meat Animal Sale at noon Saturday is open to anyone who wants to bid.  The 'Un-Fair' came about following the cancellation of the full Chautauqua County Fair... and was made possible with the cooperation of many volunteers, businesses, and local foundations.  


County's number of workers increases, but, unemployment rate also increases...
Chautauqua County's jobless rate increased slightly last month from May... though the number of people working increased.  The New York State Department of Labor reports the rate went from 5.4-percent in May to 5.7 in June.  The Labor Department also says the county's labor force remains lower than pre-pandemic levels at 52,700 in June... compared to 53,100 in June of last year.  The labor force in June of 2019 was 54,500.  At the same time... the number of workers actually employed increased over the past month from 48,700 to 49,600 as employment slowly rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Young says JCC's no tuition increase budget helped by employee sacrifices, and federal stimulus funds...
Thanks to many sacrifices made by staff and others... and American Rescue Plan funding... there will be no tuition increase at SUNY Jamestown Community College this year.  That from Vice-President of Student Affairs Kirk Young, after the JCC Board of Trustees approved a $32.7 million budget for the 2021-22 school year.  Young says they're excited to be able to do that... and, that things will begin looking "more normal" this year.  Young says the board adopted the plan Tuesday afternoon... and, it keeps in-state tuition at $2,600 a year, while out-of-states will still pay $5,200 a year.  SUNY JCC is receiving $3.2-million in COVID Relief money received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021... and, Young says that allows them to avoid cuts, and add back some staff and programming.  He says their state aid rate is just under $3,000 per full-time equivalent student.  Young adds that they will have full course offerings this Fall and Spring... and, there will be a large offering of "on-line" courses after the pandemic.


Chautauqua to host Week-Five on Comedy next week... 
One of the most popular weeks of summer season at Chautauqua Institution will be held next week.  The Week Five theme involves comedy... and, is being done in partnership with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  Chautauqua's Vanessa Weinert says comedy will take center stage... with Legendary Comedian Lewis Black performing on Monday night, July 26 in the institution's amphetheater, and Bill Engvall on Thursday, July 29.  Both performances will be at 8:15 p.m. in the amphitheater.  You can get more information at www.chq.org.


Two new COVID-19 cases reported in county Thursday...
There are two new, confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County over the past day... and, one person is hospitalized.  The county Health Department says 10 people are now hospitalized.  There have been no new deaths.  There have now been 9,319 total cases... and, 9,152 cases have recovered.  The seven-day infection rate is now .9%.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., July 22, 2021

County lifts Water Conservation Order for Mayville water customers...
The water conservation order for village of Mayville water customers has now been lifted.  The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services, and the village today announced that the water conservation order... in effect since Wednesday June 2nd... is now over.  County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says water samples collected from a newly-installed treatment system on Well-#1 show that the system is effectively removing PFNA, the contaminant that forced the village to shut down the well in December 2020.  Schuyler says "village water customers can be assured that the new treatment system installed on old Well #1 is filtering out all the PFNA in the water."  She adds that a "battery of tests have been run on the treated water and they show it is completely safe to drink." 


Sundquist to learn more today about $225,000 state grant to help young, at-risk people find work...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist will be learning more today about funding the city is slated to received to help curb gun violence across New York state.  The city is slated to receive about $225,000 from the state for a new workforce initiative for at-risk youth -- ages 18 to 24 -- to hopefully steer them away from gun violence.  Sundquist says they got word from Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office Wednesday morning that the workforce development funding will help create 45 new jobs.  He says the funding will be used to help them find meaningful work and careers.  In the governor's release... Cuomo says Jamestown is one of 20 cities that are sharing in the $16-million being allocated as part of his new "gun violence disaster emergency" and comprehensive strategy to create a safer New York.  Cuomo says the intiative laid out earlier this month treats gun violence as a "public health crisis..." and includes short-term solutions... as well as long-term strategies to deal with the issue.


SUNY JCC Board approves new, 2021-22 Budget that includes no tuition increase...
The Jamestown Community College Board of Trustees has approved a $32-7 million operating budget for the 2021-22 school year that includes no increase in tuition.  SUNY JCC President Daniel DeMarte says the board adopted the plan at Tuesday afternoon's meeting... and, it keeps in-state tuition at $2,600 a year.  It will also remain $5,200 for out-of-state students.  DeMarte says the budget includes $3.2-million in COVID Relief money received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021... and represents a state aid rate of just under $3,000 per full-time equivalent student.  DeMarte says he appreciates his administrative team's effors to craft "a strong budget as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic."


Jamestown woman arrested for trespass, and threatening police...
A city woman has been charged with menacing after allegedly trespassing on Jamestown's southside... and, later threatening police with a broken glass pipe.  Officers were called to the scene just before 4 a.m. this past Monday for a report of a suspicious person... and, found that 32 year-old Holly Mooney was trespassing on the back porch of a home.  City police tried to get Mooney off the porch when she displayed the broken pipe... commonly used for smoking Methamphetamine... and threatened to stab them.  She was eventually taken into custody... but, then tried to get away from police, and was also charged with resisting arrest.


North County man arrested following DWI Crash in Portland...
A Dunkirk man faces several charges -- including Felony drunk driving -- after the car he was driving went off a town of Portland street and crashed.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to the scene ln Lake Avenue shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday... and, learned the vehicle -- driven by 48 year-old Gerardo Andujar-Figueroa -- was northbound when the car left the roadway.  Deputies say Andujar-Figueroa was found to be drunk... and, he was arrested for Felony DWI, first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, refusal to take a breath test, move from lane unsafely, and fail to keep right.  Andujar-Figueroa was taken to the county jail... pending arraignment.


Borrello legislation designed to help small, independent pharmacies better compete for state contracts...
Doing business as a small, independent pharmacy in New York state has never been more difficult... but, a local state lawmaker is trying to make it less so.  57th District Senator George Borrello says the state legislature -- and Governor Andrew Cuomo -- have in recent years favored bigger pharmacies to fill prescriptions for various state agencies.  Borrello says it's really hurt Patient's Pharmacy in downtown Jamestown... and, he says in the process, we've seen Patient's and others like Lakewood Apothocary suffer because they can't compete with the larger, national companies.  Borrello says the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) awarded a contract to an Ohio-based company that would not work with local pharmacies -- like Patient's -- to continue providing services to local group homes.  He says he's proposed legislation to give preference to in-state suppliers, and that measure has been approved by the senate's Contracts and Procurement Committee.  The Sunset Bay Republican is hopeful that the full Senate will vote on the measure in the near future.


CLA warns boaters about floating debris in Chautauqua Lake...
Boaters on Chautauqua Lake are being urged to use caution because of a huge amount of debris that got into the lake during last week's storms and extreme flooding.  The Chautauqua Lake Association says their crews are out clearing hazardous debris from navigational lanes, and the shorelines following those storms.  The debris has included whole trees, tree branches, and other items.

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 21, 2021

Westfield man arrested for allegedly stealing long-guns, and ATV...
A man from Westfield is accused of stealing several long-guns and an all-terrain vehicle in the town late last month.  Sheriff's deputies took a burglary complaint at 7447 Bliss Road... and, got information earlier this week that 20 year-old Cortland Hepfner was trying to sell long-guns matching the description of those stolen.  Sheriff's Office investigators got a description of the suspect's car... and, found it parked at Hepfner's residence.  Deputies found him inside the home... and, Hepfner later turned over two of the long guns reported stolen from Bliss Road.  Hepfner surrendered to police Tuesday... and, was sent to the county jail awaiting arraignment on charges of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen property... and, Grand Larceny.  Police add the 2004 Polaris 400 Sportsman ATV was also recovered.


One person hurt in car-motorcycle accident in front of Lakewood Wal-Mart Super Center...
One person had to be treated for injuries following a car--motorcycle accident at a busy intersection in the village of Lakewood late yesterday afternoon.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the scene at Fairmount and Fairdale Avenues -- near Wal-Mart -- shortly before 5 p.m.  Dispatchers say Lakewood fire rescuers transported the unidentified victim to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.  The accident is under investigation.


Ripley man arrested earlier this month for menacing again arrested for allegedly trespassing...
A Ripley man has been arrested on several charges after Sheriff's officers were called to a report of a person with a gun late Monday night.  Deputies were called to the scene shortly before 11 p.m., and, found that the suspect, 22 year-old Isiah Fuentes, had left the scene prior to their arrival.  Officers say they found Fuentes was located a short time later at an address where he entered and stayed unlawfully.  Fuentes was arrested for second-degree criminal trespass.  Further investigation determined that he was drunk... and, he was further charged with driving while intoxicated... having an Unregistered Motor Vehicle... and ulicensed operation.  Fuentes was arrested for allegedly threatening another person with a weapon earlier this month.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Sundquist urges residents to take part in American Rescue Plan public sessions...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist and his administration will hold the first of four public input sessions Thursday night to hear what residents have to say about the city's "Master Plan" to use just over $28-million in American Rescue Plan funding.  Sundquist is urging people to attend one of the sessions to hear what's already in the city's plan... and, what they feel should be included.  A number of parks projects have been discussed, among others... as well as mental health and neighborhood stabilization, and social workers to assist police officers on calls.  Sundquist says Thursday night's session will be held in the Jefferson Middle School auditorium at 7 p.m.  He says the second public session will be held at 10 a.m. next Saturday, July 24 at the Prendergast Library's Fireplace Room.  The third will be a week from last night at 7 p.m, on Tuesday, July 27 at the Chautauqua Center... and, the fourth will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Thursday, July 29 at 7 p.m.


Gillibrand pushes for more COVID stimulus funding to help independent restaurants...
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing bi-partisan legislation that would provide an additional $60-billion in relief to help independent restaurants that are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Gillibrand says the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act would allow the Small Business Administration to continue awarding grants to applicants who were previously approved, but have yet to receive funding.  The New York Democrat called for just over $28-billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund in the American Rescue Plan... to help them reopen and rehire staff.  She says they are "critical" to the economy.  However, Gillibrand adds that the demand for the fund has outpaced the supply, and less than one-third of all applicants have received funding so far. 


Meleen named as new County Director of Real Property Tax Services...
The woman who has been Acting Director of Real Property Tax Services for Chautauqua County since last February will now have the title on a permanent basis.   County Executive P-J Wendel today announced the appointment of Kim Meleen as the new director, starting Aug. 5, and running through Sept. 30, 2025.  Wendel says Meleen has been with the department for just over two years serving as the Assistant Director of Real Property Tax from April 2019 until her appointment as Acting Director.  Prior to working at Chautauqua County... Meleen worked for 16 years in Chautauqua Town Assessor’s Office as a clerk and appraiser. 


No new COVID cases reported Tuesday in Chautauqua County...
There are no new cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County.  Tuesday's mid-day report shows just eight active cases... and one person is hospitalized.  The county's Health Department reports 9,150 cases have now recovered... and, there have been a total of 9,315 cases.  There were no new deaths.  The seven-day rate of infection is 1.1-percent.


Metzger to receive CRCF's Hamilton Award...
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has announced Michael Metzger as its 2021 winner of the John D. Hamilton Award.  Metzger is currently the Vice President for Finance and Administration at SUNY Fredonia and has worked for  a wide variety of businesses in Jamestown and vicinity for over 30 years.  He's also been a dedicated community volunteer for Junior Achievement, the United Way, and, many other organizations.  Foundation Executive Director Tory Irgang says the reception honoring Metzger will be held on Sept. 24 at the Harbor Hotel in Celeron. 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., July 20, 2021

Air Quality Health Advisory issued for NYS until Midnight tonight...  
The wildfires in the Western United States have push fine particulate matter into the atmosphere... and, has made it's way to New York state.  The Department of Environmental Conservation, and State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, have now issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the state of New York for today -- now through Midnight.  Both departments issue such advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index value of 100.  The AQI was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale, with a higher AQI value leading to a greater health concern.     
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New Yorkers also are urged to take the following energy saving and pollution-reducing steps:  
 - Conserve fuel and reduce exhaust emissions by combining necessary motor vehicle trips; 
 - Turn off all lights and electrical appliances in unoccupied areas; 
 - Use fans to circulate air. If air conditioning is necessary, set thermostats at 78 degrees; close the blinds and shades to limit heat build-up and to preserve cooled air; 
For more information... go to the Health Dept. website at health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/ozone.htm


JPD Officer praised for saving residents of burning building Monday...
A Jamestown police officer is being praised for his heroic actions to save the lives of an adult and some children trapped on the second-floor of a burning house on the city's southside early Monday morning.  In a Facebook post yesterday afternoon... Chief Tim Jackson commended the actions of Officer Mark Conklin, who was on a service call on Baker Street about 12:30 a.m. when he was alerted to the fire at 116 1/2 William St.  Without hesitation... he says Conklin ran to the scene where he found a house engulfed in flames... and directed those trapped to jump to him from an upstairs window.  While running to the scene... Conklin for the fire department to respond to the location... and, then began getting those trapped out of the burning building.  In the Facebook post... Chief Jackson says "I can say that I have seen many examples of heroism over the years by officers.  After watching the video of this incident and speaking to others involved, I can say that the actions of Officer Conklin were, to say the least, one of the most outstanding examples of bravery, heroism, and exemplary service I have seen."  The home was destroyed by the fire, which remains under investigation.


Surprise reception held at new Star Hospice House for Rappoles...
Several family members and friends were on hand Monday afternoon for a surprise dedication to the local couple who headed up fund-raising for the new Star Hospice House in Lakewood.  Dr. Bert and Mary Rappole were very much surprised by the event... which included the unveiling of a plaque that will be placed in one of the main rooms of the new facility... which is slated to open this Fall.  Hospice Director Shauna Anderson did the honors... saying they owe their deepest appreciation to those who helped get the project going -- and the Rappole's are the first to receive it.  Anderson says the new Hospice House... the first in Chautauqua County... will help upwards of 200 county residents with end-of-life care each year.  Hospice Board President Charles Rice also made comments during the event... and, unveiled a model of the plaque that will be placed in one of the rooms at the new house -- next to Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care on Fairmount Avenue.  Dr. Rappole says it's easy to sell something that really sells itself.  Construction of the new Star Hospice House is expected to be completed this October.  The pandemic set the project back about a year.


Jamestown announces four dates for public input sessions on use of American Rescue Plan funds...
The city of Jamestown has announced the times and dates for four public input sessions on the city's Master Plan for use of just over $28-million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.  Mayor Eddie Sundqust says the first session will be this Thursday, July 22 at 7 p.m. at the Jefferson Middle School auditorium.  Sundquist says the second one will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 24 at the Prendergast Library's Fireplace Room.  The third will be a week from tonight, Tuesday, July 27 at 7 p.m. at the Chautauqua Center... and the fourth will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Thursday, July 29 at 7 p.m.  Sundquist says the public meetings on use of the American Rescue Plan funds are being co-hosted by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  They encourage people to join, and make their thoughts heard on the plan... and, provide feedback.  For more information on the city's Master Plan... go on-line to Jamestownny.gov/rescueplan/. 


Jamestown Municipal Band set to go with three concerts this Summer, starting Wednesday night...
The Jamestown Municipal Band will begin an abbreviated concert on Wednesday. Director Rick Lundquist says they needed to work through some issues related to COVID-19 before they could take the stage again.  Lundquist says they'll be held at the Allen Park Bandshell, and tomorrow night's concert begins at 7 p.m.  The band will also present concerts on Wednesday July 28 and August 4.  This year's concerts will be shorter, about an hour, and will not have a specific theme.  Lundquist says there'll be a mix of music each night. 


Metzger to received CRCF's Hamilton Award...
The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has announced Michael Metzger as its 2021 winner of the John D. Hamilton Award.  Metzger is currently the Vice President for Finance and Administration at SUNY Fredonia and has worked for  a wide variety of businesses in Jamestown and vicinity for over 30 years.  He's also been a dedicated community volunteer for Junior Achievement, the United Way, The Chautauqua County IDA, Chautauqua Institution and many other organizations.  The foundation's executive director, Tory Irgang, says the reception honoring Michael Metzger will be September 24 at the Harbor Hotel in Celeron.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., July 19, 2021

Man pulled from Chadakoin River by Blackstone Ultrasonics employees...
A man who had to be rescued from the waters of the Chadakoin River was rescued early this morning in the area of Blackstone Ultrasonics off Main Street is being evaluated at the hospital.  Jamestown police responded to the scene about 6:15 a.m. on a report of someone in the water.  Police say three employees of Blackstone Ultrasonics were able to get the man out of the water... and, he was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for evaluation.  No other information was available late this morning.


Jamestown fire investigators looking into cause of southside fire early Monday morning...
Fire has destroyed a two-story, occupied house on the city of Jamestown's southside overnight.  City Fire Battlion Chief Brian Acterberg says crews were called to 116 1/2 William St. about 12:30 a.m., and, found the house fully-engulfed in flames.  Crews reportedly found multiple people with smoke inhalation, and some were take to the hospital.  There is no word on their conditions.  Acterberg had few details... but, says the house burned very quickly.  Investigators are still looking for the cause.  Crews were back in service about 7 this morning.


Westfield man arrested for arson in barn fire earlier this month...
A Westfield man has been arrested for allegedly setting fire to a barn that was destroyed by fire earlier this month.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office fire investigators probed the blaze... which occured on Route 20 in the town of Westfield... and, determined that 26 year-old Andrew Sissem had started the fire.  Officers with the road patrol found, and arrested Sissem late last week for third-degree arson.  He was taken to the county jail pending Centralized Arraignment... and, will appear in Westfield Town Court at a later date.


Heavy rains cause low-level flooding and high water around county over the weekend...
Much of Chautauqua County finally had the chance to dry out Sunday after low-level flooding and high water plagued the Jamestown-area late Friday and most of the day Saturday.  Flooding at a mobile home park off Shore Acres Rd. in the town of Ellery late Friday afternoon led to some residents having to be evacuated.  Sheriff's officers say Bemus Point firefighters were called to the scene initially... but, the county's Water Emergency Team was soon after called in as the water continued to rise to help those who needed to get out.  There was also high water in a number of other places... including Jones and Gifford Avenue in the city to the village of Celoron.


Reed believes Chautauqua County will remain in "Southern Tier" district after new boundary lines are drawn...
There's already been a lot of speculation over where Chautauqua County will wind up in Congressional redistricting.  Many hope it will remain part of what is now the 23rd District... represented by Corning Republican Tom Reed.  During last Friday's Congressional Luncheon hosted by the county Chamber of Commerce... Reed said he believes it will remain part of a "Southern Tier District."  He says there are Democratic forces nationally who will try to lump as many Republicans as possible in what he calls two "Super Republican Districts" in the upstate region.  Reed says there would likely be one more district in the North Country... and, a fourth one on Long Island.  While an Independent panel will be selected to redraw the boundary lines... he says there are others who have already been working in other states to maximize the lines for Democrats.  Reed says if they can do that legally, they would be able to cut the number of Republican members of the New York Congressional Delegation from the current eight to four.  New York state will lose one Congressional Seat because of Census number changes... leaving it with 26 Congressional Districts.


‘Un-Fair’ ready to begin this week...
The Chautauqua County 4H ‘Un-Fair’ will unfold beginning Wednesday at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  4H Educator, Kate Ewer, from Cornell Cooperative Extension says volunteers and the Fair Board of Directors have worked hard to put the substitute event together so 175 young people and their animals can compete.  Kate Ewer says 4H does not have the capacity to host an event open to the ‘greater public,’ so most parts of the 'Un-Fair' will be closed to the general community.   However, the livestock shows will be ‘live streamed’ on the 4H and Cooperative Extension Facebook pages.  The one part of the ‘Un-Fair’ open to all will be the 57th Meat Animal Sale, Saturday at noon.  Fifty-seven hogs, 8 goats, 29 pairs of frozen chickens, 14 lambs and 14 steers will be marketed.  Bidders can register in advance through the Extension website, or by calling the office at 664-9502, Extension 208.  The County Fair itself was cancelled this year because of COVID-19.


Warren, Pa. woman arrested in Jamestown for drug possession...
A Warren, Pennsylvania woman faces several drug-related charges after she and another person were found asleep inside a car that was stopped in the area of Cross and Chandler Streets in Jamestown late last week.  City Police were patroling that area last Friday... and checked on the pair's well-being.  They spotted drug paraphernalia in plain sight... and, had both occupants get out of the vehicle.  They later found a quantity of a mix of methamphetamine and Fentanyl in 25 year-old Alyssa Sheldon's possession.  Police also found Sheldon in possession of a medication she didn't have a prescription for... along with several hypodermic needles and other paraphernalia.  She was arrested on charges including third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
  

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WJTN News Update for Sat. July 17, 2021

Flooded roads viaducts reported in southern Chautauqua County after up to 4 inches of rain falls Friday into Saturday...
The National Weather Service has just discontinued a Flash Flood Warning for the Jamestown-area this morning.  However, there is still a Flood Warning in effect until Noon today (Saturday).  Forecasters in Buffalo say torrential downpours in southern Chautauqua County left some roads, and low-lying areas flooded Friday afternoon.  Thomas says most parts of the area had received 2 to 3 inches of rain by early evening, and, there are still some issues right now.  Route 394 at the old Conrail viaduct in Lakewood was closed due to high water and mud in the road.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is reporting high water in the area of Waterboro Hill Road and Rt. 62 in Ellington, Route 380 in Ross Mills, and East Everett and Water Street in Falconer.  The area remains under a Flash Flood Watch now through 2 a.m. Sunday.  Yesterday... the Post-Journal was reporting that portions of Route 60 in the town of Gerry experienced some flooding conditions... and, flooded roads were also reported in Busti, Ellington, and the Ellery area.


High water causing headaches in Ellery mobile home park...
No one had to be evacuated... but, high water within a mobile home park off Shore Acres Road in the town of Ellery late Friday afternoon caused some anxious moments late Friday.  Sheriff's officers say Bemus Point firefighters were called to the scene initially... but, the county's Water Emergency Team was soon after called in as the water continued to rise.  However... just prior to the WET Team's arrival... the water began to receded which allowed access to anyone still in the mobile home park to leave.  WET members checked on residents, and told them that additional rain was forecast, and the flooding could return in the overnight hours.  No injuries were reported during this incident. 


County officials warn motorists to be cautious this weekend due to potential flooding...
Chautauqua County officials late Friday warned motorists to exercise caution while driving in Chautauqua County over the next 24 to 48 hours due to the potential for flooded roadways and bridges.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the forecast for Saturday is continued all day rain which may make road conditions worse over this time period.  Public Facilities Director Brad Bentley adds that "county roads have seen an increase in flooded roads with the persistent and continued rains in July, which is causing an unusual amount of damage to our infrastructure.  Expect temporary road and bridge closures as we address issues as they arise.”  Wendel adds that "the county is experiencing flooding in areas that are not typical for this time of year.  Motorists are reminded to not drive through flooded roads and streets."
 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., July 16, 2021

City man sentenced to 30 years on child porn conviction... 
A Jamestown man will spend 30 years in federal prison following his conviction for producing and possessing child pornography several years ago.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 40 year-old James Chapman... also known as "Fatz Guy" and "Perverted Doe" received the sentence Thursday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say the case dates back to November of 2014, when Chapman communicated with a 16 year-old girl on line about having sex.  Chapman offered to pay to have sex with the minor... and, one of her friends.  Later that day... prosecutors say both 16 year-olds went to Chapman’s home, and he paid each $60 to have sex with him.  He also took cell phone pictures of both victims in the nude... and, then distributed the photographs.  He also began communicating with a 17 year-old victim in 2017, and got her to send him a sexually explicit picture of herself.  Kennedy says with the sentence... "the defendant will not be able to victimize or sexually exploit minors for the next three decades."


Reed at Chamber event says look for "omminus storm" clouds on U.S. horizon...
Local Congressman Tom Reed has made few public appearances since allegations surfaced of a sexual harassment incident during a congressional junket in Minnesota four years ago.  However... Reed was among friends when he spoke during yesterday's annual Congressional Luncheon put on by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  The Corning Republican addressed several issues... including what he calls "omminus" financial storms for the U-S.  He says there are two ways the federal government is looking at to deal with inflation.  The first is raising taxes, or devaluing the currency.  Reed is not running for re-election in 2022... so he says he can be candid about the so-called "Modern Monitary Theory," which he says has taken hold in Washington for the past 10 to 15 years.  He says the theory is touted mainly by American Economist Warren Mosler... and, involves the printing of "lots of money."  However... on the current trajectory, Reed sees the nations deficit growing to $50-trillion soon.  He says he doesn's subscribe to the "Modern Monitary Theory."  The Corning Republican adds that the $4-trillion in COVID stimulus spending isn't the end, either.  He told Chamber members to take advantage of it... and use it to invest in their business.


Reed talks candidly about the sex misconduct, harassment allegations against him...
Congressman Reed did address the sexual harassment allegation against him by a junior lobbyist near the end of his comments at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon.  He was asked if he would reconsider running for governor -- or public office in general.  Reed told chamber members that he had decided to stick with serving no more than 12 years in Congress... even before the story about the allegations surfaced in t Washington Post.  He adds that he's used the time since that to get his priorities back in perspective.  He says that's "family, that's friends," and then doing a "meaningful amount of work" to help others.  Reed also acknowledged that he had a drinking problem at the time... and, while he remembers the trip... he does not recall the actual incident.  The Corning Republican owned up to the incident, and says he's stopped drinking alcohol 3-and-a-half years ago.  Reed adds that... due to those kinds of situations elected officials find themselves in... he decided it's best not to run for governor.  He also thanked many of those on hand for their support during the dark moments when the allegations surfaced.


Cuomo expected to be interviewed on sexualy harassment allegations...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to be interviewed by investigators with the state attorney general's office who are looking into sexual harassment allegations as the probe nears its conclusion.  The timing of the interview Saturday in Albany was confirmed by two people familiar with the case who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.  The Democrat has been accused by several women of inappropriate touching and offensive remarks.  He has apologized and said that he "learned an important lesson" about his behavior around women. 


Three arrested in Jamestown during westside drug raid...
The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested three people... and, found drugs and cash during a raid at an apartment on the city's westside Wednesday afternoon.  City Police say task force members conducted the raid at 11 West 10th Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team shortly before 2 p.m.  As the SWAT Team was clearing the residence... they spotted 37 year-old Richard Sendall throwing packages to the ground from the upstairs windows of the house.  Police searched the apartment, and found more than 2-ounces of Fentanyl... 1.6 grams of methamphetamine... packaging materials... and more than 44-hundred dollars in cash.  Police arrested Sendall... and, 35 year-old Amanda Sendall... and, 51 year-old Shawn Cavender on warrants.  They face two counts each of Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Richard Sendall is also charged with criminally tampering with evidence. 


Pastor Philip Rohler passes away...
Pastor Philip Rohler has died.  Originally from Minnesota, Rohler had led the United Church of Christ in Jamestown for the past three years... and made numerous appearances on WJTN's Saturday Breakfast Party and the Dennis Webster Show.  In his final broadcast in early June... the pastor spoke candidly about the toll a recurrence of cancer, and subsequent kidney failure were taking.  He says he still had a "sense of peace, that I've had a good life, and I could be thankful."  Philip Rohler is survived by his two children... a daughter in Minnesota, and his son, Adam... who is pastor at First Covenant Church in Jamestown.  


 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., July 15, 2021

JPD says "suspicous death" on Price St. was a woman, man found at scene arrested for illegal gun possession...
Jamestown police now say a woman was the person found dead inside a home on Price Street Tuesday afternoon... and, she had apparently been dead for several days.  In addition... City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers have arrested a man found inside the home, who had a 22-calibur rifle.  Samuelson says police were checking on the welfare of a person when they arrived at 118 Price St. about 1:15 p.m., but, had to force their way inside because no one came to the door.  They found 32 year-old Geoffrey Ghiandoni... and, the female victim inside.  Police got a search warrant... and, later found the gun inside.  Samuelson say investigators do not believe the rifle seized was involved in the woman's death.  However... Ghiandoni was arrested for fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon because he was a convicted Felon... and, not legally allowed to have a firearm.  The woman is still not being identified pending results of an autopsy at the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office in Buffalo.  The Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office is also investigating.  Anyone with information on the case is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... or the confidential tips line at 483-Tips... that's 483-8477.


Three arrested in drug raid on Jamestown's westside Wednesday...
The Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force arrested three people... and, found drugs and cash during a raid at an apartment on the city's westside Wednesday afternoon.  City Police say task force members conducted the raid at 11 West 10th Street with the help of the JPD SWAT Team shortly before 2 p.m.  As the SWAT Team was clearing the residence... they spotted 37 year-old Richard Sendall throwing packages to the ground from the upstairs windows of the house.  Police searched the apartment, and found 2.2-ounces of Fentanyl... 1.6 grams of methamphetamine... scales... packaging materials... ammunition, and more than $4,400 cash.  Police arrested Sendall... and, 35 year-old Amanda Sendall... and, 51 year-old Shawn Cavender on warrants.  They face two counts each of Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.  Richard Sendall is also charged with criminally tampering with evidence.  All three were sent to the city jail pending arraignment.  The JPD and Chautauqua County Sheriff's K-9 units... and, Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force also assisted at the scene.


County Chamber holding delayed Congressional Luncheon today...
National and local business issues are on the front-burner this afternoon during the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual Congressional Luncheon in Celoron.  The event... which is being offered both in-person and virtually... begins at the Harbor Hotel at 12 Noon.  The Chamber's new president and Chief Executive Officer, Dan Heitzenrater, says they're looking forward to their first, big in-person event since the pandemic began.  Heitzenrater says they held another event earlier this Summer to make sure they had all their safety protocols in place.  He says he and out-going Chamber President and CEO, Todd Tranum, will split up the MC duties for the program.  He says they're expecting a good turn-out for the event with local Congressman Tom Reed... and, he says everyone is excited about the program.  While there are no more in-person reservations being accepted at this point... you can still see the program on-line.  For more information... call the chamber at 484-1101.  You can also go to their website at chautauquachamber.org.


Investigation continuing into Frewsburg house fire...
Five Jamestown-area fire departments were called in to battle flames from a house fire in Frewsburg late Wednesday afternoon.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Frewsburg firefighters were called to 13 Johnson St. about 4 p.m., and, immediately called in mutual aid.  They were soon assisted by Kiantone, Busti, Lakewood and Falconer crews.  They cleared the scene by early evening.  No injuries were reported.  Officials told the Post-Journal that a neighbor spotted smoke coming from the home... and, called 911.  No cause has been released.


House fire in Stockton under investigation...
The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team is looking into the cause of a house fire that broke out early Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Stockton.  Firefighters from Stockton, Cassadaga, Sinclairville, Dewittville, Fredonia and East Dunkirk responded to the blaze at 4046 Waterman Road shortly before 12:30 p.m.  There is no word on any injuries at this time.  Crews were on scene for more than five hours.


BPU announces Emerergency Rental Assistance program to help renters and landlords...
Tenants in the city of Jamestown with overdue rent and past due utility bills which have accumulated during the pandemic can seek help to pay these debts by applying to the state's Emergency Rental Assistance Program.  Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says they can do that, with the aid of their landlords, by going on-line to otda.ny.gov.  Robbins says the link includes informational videos which detail step-by-step instructions on how to apply.  New York State has now lifted the moratorium on utility shut-offs.... and, utility companies may now begin disconnecting service for lack of payment.  The State still prevents landlords from evicting tenants; however, renters are advised to apply for this assistance now, so that they will not be evicted when this mandate is lifted. 

 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 14, 2021

County again being innundated by rain...
Rain... rain go away!  It's been another day of rain and torrential downpours in an around the Jamestown-area today.  The National Weather Service reports just under 3 inches of rain fell over about a three-hour period in the Dunkirk and Silver Creek areas early this morning... causing some flooding on Routes 5 and 20.  There was also some flooding reported in the town of Hanover and the area of Route 438 near the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation.  Some wind damage was also reported in the Ripley, Sherman and Panama areas.


Jamestown police investigating suspicious death...
City police are continuing to investigate a "suspicious death" discovered on Jamestown's northside Tuesday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 118 Price St. about 1:15 p.m., and, he says investigators remained at the scene through the afternoon.  They were being assisted by the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office.  More when it becomes available.


City man arrested for escaping federal corrections facility...
A Jamestown man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly escaping from a corrections facility while serving a five-year term for a narcotics-related charge.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says the grand jury indicted 35 year-old Jensen Vasquez with escaping from custody.  Prosecutors say Vasquez was sentenced in 2018 to five years in the Community Resources of Justice at the Lighthouse Buffalo Residential Re-Entry Center.  They say he escaped from the facility last April 28, and he was caught by U-S Marshalls on May 21.  Kennedy says Vasquez was arraigned in federal court Tuesday, and held pending a July 15 detention hearing.  He adds the charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.


Sundquist unveils "Master Plan" for use of city's more than $28-million in American Rescue Plan funding...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has presented city lawmakers with a "Master Plan" for using the more than $28-million the city is receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan.  Sundquist says there still waiting for some additional information from the U.S. Treasury Department, but, says his administration has been able to develop five catagories -- or "buckets of money the funding can be used for.  He says the five areas include: lost revenues, economic development, housing and mental health, water, sewer and broadband, and transparency and tracking.  Sundquist says the most open-ended part of the funding is "Lost Revenues..." which can be used for projects already in the pipeline.  He says City Comptroller Ryan Thompson determined the city would be eligible for at least $10-million from 2020 through 2023.  Sundquist says the funding is allocated based on a formula by the federal government.  He says the city would receive $2.2-million for 2020 and another $2.6-million for this year.  Potential projects would include a splash-pad and dog park.  He says the city would allocate $5-million this year for economic development... $3.5-million for water, sewer and broadband... $500,000 for housing and mental health issues... and, $70,000 for transparency and tracking of funds.  Sundquist says the full plan can be viewed on the city's website... and, four public "listening sessions" will be held in the coming weeks.


Fredonia Board member resigns...
A member of the Fredonia Village Board has announced her resignation, effective immediately.  Heidi Powell made the announcement in a letter to village trustees on Monday.  Powell stated in her resignation letter that her other commitments "have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of my position on the board."  Powell was appointed as a trustee in February to fill the seat vacated by the late Roger Pacos.


Borrello concerned about Chautauqua County as redistricting goes onto front-burner...
Chautauqua County’s representative in the New York State Senate says he would like to see the county remain part of its current congressional district when the state’s congressional maps are redrawn.  Sunset Bay's George Borrello says the state's Independent Redistricting Commission is soon expected to announce public hearings on the redrawing of district boundaries, and he is urging residents who do not want to see the county broken off from the current 23rd Congressional District to speak out during upcoming public hearings.  Before the last reapportionment in 2011... Chautauqua County was in a district that included most of southern Erie County, including Buffalo.  Borrello feels that sharing a district with Buffalo does not serve a good purpose for the county because we don't share "common interests."  The Republican says it's "anybody's guess" as to how the state's districts will be redrawn.


Federal government says NYS had 11,000 more COVID-related deaths than state is reporting...
The federal government's count of the coronavirus dead in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  They have stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting COVID-19 deaths.  The discrepancy in death counts has continued to widen this year, according to an Associated Press review.  New York state's official death count is around 43,000.  But... the state has provided the federal government with data showing roughly 54,000 people have died with COVID-19 as a cause or contributing factor listed on their death certificate.  Experts say differing death tolls fuels public distrust in the nation's pandemic response. 

 

 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., July 13, 2021

City man arrested for alleged setting fire to vacant Water St. home...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly setting last Sunday's fire that damaged the lower portions of a vacant and condemned home near the downtown area.  City Police say they were able to get information, and obtain a neighbor's video that captured 31 year-old Robert Yates at the scene at 130 Water St.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says Yates was arrested for third-degree arson, third-degree burglary, and criminal trespass.  Samuelson says Yates was taken into custody early Tuesday morning on arrest warrants, and jailed pending arraignment.


Council hears plan to put surveillance camera in Dow Park...
A surveillance camera will be installed in Jamestown's Dow Park after one statue that's part of the Underground Railroad Tableau was stolen earlier this year... and the remaing two statues were vandalized.  City Parks Manager Dan Stone told lawmakers at last night's City Council work session that he's been working with city IT Director Mark Dean on places to get a camera, and have it maintained.  Stone says they're working on obtaining one... and, moving another from Nordstrom Park to Dow Park until the new camera is approved and purchased.  He says the cost for a new camera would be about $6,100, while annual maintenance would cost about $1,000.  For now... he says they are moving a camera from another park until a new camera is obtained.  Councilman Jeff Russell, a retired police officer, says while he agreed with the steps being taken... he didn't think it was wise to announce it.  However... Councilwoman Marie Carrubba felt having a camera there would make would-be vandals think twice.  City police are still investigating both incidents.


LaFrance pleads guilt to enticement of a minor...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for enticing a 14 year-old girl to have sex with him over two years ago.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Monday announced that 35 year-old Richard LaFrance entered the plea to enticement of a minor before U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr.  Prosecutors say LaFrance met the 14 year-old in April of 2019, and began communicating with her via e-mail and texting.  Some of those communications were sexually explicit... and later LaFrance met up with the victim twice and had sex with her.  Kennedy says the charge carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.  He's to be sentenced next November 9.


Drugs and cash seized during pair of raids on Lafayette St. in Jamestown last week...
A pair of drug-raids last Tuesday night in Jamestown led to the seizure of drugs and more than $14,000 cash on the city's northside.  Jamestown police say JPD Metro Drug Task Force agents executed two search warrants simultaneously at 839 and 846 Lafayette St. shortly after 10 p.m.  Task Force members were assisted by the JPD and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department SWAT Teams.  Police say they did a search of the residence... and, found more than seven ounces of a Heroin/Fentanyl mix, a scale, packaging materials, and more than $14,500 cash.  JPD officials say the investigation is continuing with charges pending.  Anyone with information about illega drug trafficking or other crimes in the city can call the anonymous tip line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


One new case of COVID reported Monday from past weekend...
There was just one new case of the COVID-19 virus reported over the past weekend in Chautauqua County... and, nine cases are currently active.  The county's Health Department says two of those are hospitalized.  There were no deaths.  There have now been 9,305 total cases... and, 9,139 have now recovered.  Officials say the seven-day infection rate is now .3%.


Fr. Mende adds St. James Church to his responsibilities as pastor...
Both of the Jamestown's Catholic parishes will now be directed by the same pastor.  Father Dennis Mende of Holy Apostles has added St. James to his responsibilities.  He explains the change, noting that just before Memorial Day, former St. James pastor, Father Robert Duffy, was reassigned to the parish in Hamburg.  Mende says there was an interim period with now assigned pastor because, right now, the Diocese of Buffalo doesn't have enough priests to staff each parish with it's own pastor.  While Mende will have some additional administrative responsibilties, he won't be presiding at all the masses.  He says an associate priest, Father Paul Sigon, will join him this week.  The pair will alternate between the two parishes.  Father Mende is enthusiastic about the change because he's actually lived next door to that parish for the past 22 years.  He emphasized that this is not a merger.  As parishes, Holy Apostles and St. James will continue their individual identities.   


Schumer calls on DOJ to investigate NRA for alleged Bankruptcy Fraud...
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling on the Justice Department to investigate the National Rifle Association for bankruptcy fraud, saying the financially stable gun-rights group abused the system when it sought bankruptcy protection in the wake of a New York lawsuit seeking to put it out of business.  A judge rejected the NRA's bankruptcy case in May, ruling the nonprofit organization had not acted in good faith.  NRA leaders made clear that the organization was "in its strongest financial condition in years" and was seeking bankruptcy protection so it could change its state of incorporation from New York to gun-friendly Texas. 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., July 12, 2021

Fire at 130 Water St. in Jamestown determined to be intentionally set...
A fire that damaged the lower portions of a condemned house on the city of Jamestown's eastside Sunday afternoon was intentionally set.  That from city fire officials this morning.  Fire Battalion Chief Brian Acterberg says crews were called to the scene at 130 Water St. before 3:30 p.m., and, found a lot of heavy smoke coming from the basement and lower parts of the home.  Acterberg says one entrance was open... and, even though they knew the building was vacant and condemned... they did a search to make sure no one was inside the structure.  He adds they then were able to put the fire out, and did so in about 20 minutes.  Acterberg says crews were at the scene about two-hours.  An off-duty shift was called in... and, spent sometime boarding the house back up after the fire was out.  Acterberg says this is the second-time his crew has been called to the scene, and the third time the fire department has been called to the scene.  There were no utilities hooked up to the house... and, the cause is under investigation.


Flood Watch in effect later today...
The National Weather Service has put up a Flash Flood Watch for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties from 2 this afternoon to 11 tonight.  Meteorologist Aaron Reynolds says the region is stuck in a pattern with a warm, soupy air mass above the region with a stalled frontal area that's kept that air here the past few days.  An inch or two of rain fell in the Southern Tier Sunday... soaking the ground... and more heavy rain later today would exacerbate the situation.  The rain will briefly ease off by Thursday, but not for long.  Aaron Reynolds says any real change in the pattern won't come until later this month -- with a possible stretch of nice weather next week.  The Weather Service advises residents to 'be prepared' in case a flood warning is issued. 


Rally held in support of Underground Railroad Tableau after racist, anti-semitic graffiti found last week...
Around 150 people rallied near the Underground Railroad Tableau in Jamestown’s Dow Park Saturday morning… in protest of the recent defacing of two statues there.   The Jamestown Justice Coalition Coordinator, Justin Hubbard, said there was clear intent behind the action.  Hubbard says there were not random acts of vandalism... but, white supremacy.  Also addressing the rally were the Reverend Chloe Smith, who spoke of Jamestown’s importance as a stop on the Underground Railroad and called Dow Park ‘hallowed ground.’  Local author and historian, Paul Leone, a member of the committee that established the tableau, said he was ‘nauseous’ when he learned of the damage.  Last week’s defacing of two statues occurred after a third statue, representing a freedom seeking slave, was stolen from the park in May.


Man from Ripley arrested for menacing...
A Ripley man has been arrested for allegedly pulling what appeared to be a handgun, and theatening to kill another person with it during an incident last week.  Sheriff's officers were called to an undisclosed location in the town of Ripley last Tuesday... where they spoke with the victim.  Deputies say the unidentified victim told them that 22 year-old Isiah Fuentes put the gun to their head, and threatened to shoot them.  Officers found Fuentes on Thursday afternoon, and arrested him on a warrant for second-degree menacing.  Fuentes was taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment... and, later released pending a future court appearance.


North Carolina man arrested for DWI, drug possession....
A North Carolina man has been arrested on a number of traffic and drug-related charges following a traffic stop early yesterday morning in the town of Ellery.  Sheriff's officers say a patrol conducted the stop on Rt. 430 shortly before 2 AM... and identifed the driver as 27-year-old Nicholas Bullard of Colfax.  Upon further investigation... deputies determined Bullard was driving while intoxicated.  He was also allegedly found in possession of a quantity of cocaine... and, arrested for DWI, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... driving while using a portable electronic device, moving from lane unsafely... and, failure to keep right.  Bullard was taken to the county jail, pending arraignment.


City of Jamestown does well with first-quarter sales tax revenues, first half numbers expected at Monday night's meeting...
The city of Jamestown will be receiving some six-month budget figures during tonight's work session.  However... going into the second-quarter... most budget numbers were looking pretty good -- including sales tax.  City Comptroller Ryan Thompson recently announced first-quarter figures to the City Council, saying that Jamestown received $1.648-million for the first three-months of 2021.... which he says was a $73,000 increase over the first quarter of 2020.  Thompson says... last year... prior to the COVID-19 shut-down... the city had received 24.24% of what was budgeted.  This year it was 24.55%.  Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund said that was "great news."  The city had budgeted $6.5-million in sales tax revenues for this year.


COVID-19 COVID uptick continues in NYS...
New York state is continuing to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases as vaccination rates slowly rise.  That's according to the state's latest data... released on Saturday.  The state Health Department reports about 525 people each day tested positive for COVID-19 in New York for the seven days through Friday.  That's up from 369 people -- a 42% increase -- for the prior week.  The state Department of Health says a higher percentage of cases are linked to more contagious variants.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Sat., July 10, 2021

Man arrested in Pa. for attempted murder in Cattaraugus County...
The suspect in an attempted murder in Cattaraugus County earlier this year has been arrested as a fugitive from justice in Pennsylvania.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 62 year-old George Hollobaugh was found in Pennsylvania last Thursday... where he was being held on unrelated charges... and, has been returned to Cattaraugus County.  No details on the alleged incident, which occured in the town of Randolph, were released.  However... Hollobaugh was arraigned on a second-degree attempted murder charge, and sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on $100,000 cash bail, $200-thousand property bond.


Salamanca man arrested on drug charges...
A Salamanca man has been arrested for allegedly trafficking crystal methamphetamine following a raid at his home earlier this week.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office reports members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force arrested 46 year-old Nikol Stellabuto of 27 Myers Ave. about 9 p.m. Tuesday.  Task Force agents say Salamanca Police assisted in executing the search warrant... and, they found Stellabuto inside.  Police also allegedly found a quantity of crystal meth... and drug paraphernalia.  Officers say he was arraigned on one count each of third-degree Felony criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminally using drug paraphernalia.


Hepatitis A alert put out in Chautauqua County...
There are no 'hot clusters' or outbreaks of Hepatitis A in Chautauqua County right now, but the Health Department in Mayville is encouraging people to make sure they are vaccinated against the disease. County Epidemiologist, Bree Agett, says since last october there have been 56 cases... which she calls alarming.  The virus affects the liver, and is transmitted through trace amounts in a person's stool.  Incubation typically takes 28 days, but can be as long as 50 days.  The disease shares symptoms with many other intestinal conditions.  However, Agett says jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin, is a strong indicator of Hepatitis A.  It was added to the childhood vaccine schedule in 1999.  As a result most people aged 22 and younger have been vaccinated... but, she says people older than that have not been.  The county will be offering Hep A vaccines simultaneous with the COVID-19 shots offered at Chautauqua Lake Central School every Tuesday, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on July 13, 20 and 27.  The hepatitis vaccines are offered at no cost.  More information is available from the county's website.  


Chautauqua Lake Pops program for tonight cancelled due to lack of permit...
The Chautauqua Lake Pops is disappointed to announce that its concert scheduled for this Saturday evening has been cancelled pending receipt of a permit from the New York State Office of General Services to moor the floating stage offshore from the Mayville Lakeside Park.  Chautauqua Lake Pops Chairman, Dan Dalpra, said in a statement released earlier Friday, "although OGS has been very responsive in its initial review of the permit application, and all the supplemental information it has requested, OGS advises Chautauqua Lake Pops that it needs additional time to make a final determination."  Some of the delay with OGS might relate to the pending lawsuit seeking to shut down the entire concert series.  Dalpra adds they are planning to continue the program July 17 and are tentatively planning to reschedule the Hotel California/Eagles Tribute show to Sunday July 25.  All tickets and passes will be honored for that new show date.


Gerry Rodeo coming together, but, time frame for preparation has been very condensed...
It's been full speed ahead for organizers of the 76th Gerry Rodeo... but, it's been a hectic time getting everything in place for the four-day event which begins in less than a month.  That from Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley... who says when the Fire Department Committee first decided to move ahead with the event... there were still a number of COVID restrictions in place.  That means they've had to do a lot of preparation in a very short period of time... but, Cooley says it's been "amazing" how things have come together.  In fact... he says sponsorships have been selling very well.  He says just about all their sponsorship programs are in place now.  He says they'll be serving their traditional beef barbecue dinners.  However... the cost of food has gone up as we come out of the pandemic... and, he says that will increase dinner prices by a dollar-each.  He adds this year's brochure just came out, and has all the information in it... including history of the rodeo.  Cooley says you can also get more information on their website at www.gerryrodeo.org.  This year's Rodeo runs from Wednesday, Aug. 4 - 7. 


Southwestern Drive Box Culvert replacement underway...
It's a matter of routine maintenance, but the replacement of a box culvert on Southwestern Drive means that heavily-travelled highway will be closed between Baker Street and Hunt Road for two or three months.  Chautauqua County's Director of Public Facilities, Brad Bentley, says the water flowing through, and traffic on top of culverts take a toll.  Bentley says over the course of 30 to 40 years, the concrete falls apart and needs to be replaced.  As to why it takes several months, Bentley says there are a lot of steps, after getting the old one out... and, the right base is put in.  County crews are doing all the work, and the use of a pre-cast box culvert will speed the completion of the Southwestern Drive project... at least a little.

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 7, 2021

City police continue investigation into shots-fired incident...
Jamestown Police responded to the area of Center and Chandler Streets mid-afternoon yesterday on a report of multiple shots being fired.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers located a Sports Utility Vehicle when they arrived shortly after 2 p.m. that had been struck with at least one bullet that was fired by a shooter wearing black-hooded sweatshirt.  Investigators say they've obtained video of the incident from nearby homes and a business.  The shooter can be seen firing multiple rounds as he chased the vehicle.  The occupants of the car were not injured.  Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Jamestown Police at 483-7537 or via the Tips Line at 483-Tips... that's 483-8477.   Police say all calls will be kept confidential.


Cuomo announces new State of Emergency regarding gun and violent crime spikes...
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a seven-part plan to stem the rise in gun and other violent crime in New York State.  The governor made the announcement Tuesday in New York City... and, says the first step is declaring a Gun Violence Disaster Emergency.  Cuomo says the declaration allows money to be freed up to put resources towards the problem... where ever it is in the state.  He adds another part involves reinstating the state's Summer Jobs program... which he says was put on the back-burner last year due to the pandemic.  Cuomo says having a full Summer Jobs program has reduced crime in the past by 45%.  In addition... Cuomo issued an executive order for police departments to report where gun violence incidents have been taking place so resources can be targeted to those areas.  He also wants to create a council to look at what laws are needed... and what needs to be changed.  He says that panel has to make recommendations based on "policy not politics."  Cuomo also wants to lead an effort to get illegal guns off the streets.


There will be a parade before 40th anniversary Babe Ruth World Series...
The 40th anniversary 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series is just five weeks away, and Kim Ecklund, Vice-President and Public Relations Division Director, is still hoping to offer free admission every day of the series August 14 - 21st.  She says two days, Wednesday and Thursday, are still for sale.  Ecklund says the day's sponsorship $2,500 for each day.  With the loosening of COVID restrictions, the Babe Ruth Parade is back on.  It's set for Friday evening, August 13 at 6 p.m.  She says they'll be looking for people to take part, and sponsor floats.  Some COVID-related concerns linger, and Ecklund says they are taking them into account, including the fact that some players coming to town may be too young to vaccincate.  She says they will take those precautions to eliminate the possibility of virus transmission as "best we can."  Teams from eight regions of the United State, along with a Western New York team, and one from the Jamestown area will compete in the series to be played at Russell E.Diethrick Park.  For more information, phone Kim Ecklund at 664-0405.


Teenager hurt when tree falls on him at Barcelona Harbor...
A teenaged boy from the Brocton-area had to be flown to an out-of-state hospital after he was hurt when a tree fell on him near Barcelona Harbor late Monday afternoon.  Authorities say the incident involving the 15 year-old occurred about 5:30 p.m. on the beach just east of the Daniel Reed Pier.  Westfield Fire crews received mutual aid from Mayville fire rescue crews, and, from the Sheriff's Office and Westfield Police.


Woman hospitalized after SUV hits home on Jamestown's southside...
One person was taken to the hospital after a Sports Utility Vehicle struck a house on Jamestown's southside about mid-morning Tuesday.  City Police and Fire officials confirmed the accident... which occured on Hazzard Street -- between Newland Avenue and Partridge Street -- about 9 a.m.  City police tell the Post-Journal that a woman was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of injuries.  


Two men arrested in separate incident for illgally shooting off fireworks...
Two men from the town of Busti were arrested in separate incidents on the Fourth of July for allegedly shooting off illegal fireworks.  Lakewood-Busti Police were first called to a location on the Busti-Sugar Grove Road just before 10:30 p.m. Sunday on a fireworks complaint.  They allegedly spotted 26 year-old Jacob Brown shooting off large aerial fireworks... and, add that Brown also had more in his possession.  About an hour later... police spotted large aerial fireworks in the area of Creekside Lane.  They found 58 year-old Raymond Kleinfelder had fired off the pyrotechnics, and he was allegedly found in possession of others.  Both Brown and Kleinfelder were arrested for unlawfully dealing with fireworks... and were issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.


Two new COVID cases reported from July 4th weekend...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting just two new confirmed cases of the COVID-9 virus the county during the long Fourth of July Holiday Weekend.  However... health officials say there are now three people hospitalized with the virus after several days with none.  Officials say the two cases brings the total to 9,299... and, six of those are now active.  There were no new deaths.  Health officials say 9,136 cases have now recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is .4%.

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., July 6, 2021

City man arrested following domestic incident, and shotgun is found inside the home...
A Jamestown man has been arrested following a domestic violence incident... and, city police later finding a shot-gun inside the man's home.  City police wre called to a location on East Eighth St. around 8:30 p.m. last Friday to check on the well-being of 43 year-old Edward Leeper, Jr.  During an investigation of the incident... police say Leeper allegedly tried to prevent officers from investigating the matter.  He was arrested... and, taken to the city jail.  Police say they then spoke with multiple victims inside the home, and later found the shotgun -- with ammunition -- inside a bedroom closet.  Since Leeper is a convicted Felon... he was charged with Felony third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was also jailed pending arraignment for second-degree obstruction... three counts of endangering the welfare of a child... aggravated family offense, and two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.  


Lakewood teen safe after boat takes on water at Long Point...
A Lakewood teenager wasn't hurt... but, had to call for help after her boat began taking on water at Long Point State Park last Sunday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say 17 year-old Victoria Smith of West Terrace Avenue was at anchor near the shore just before 3 p.m. when the vessel began taking on water at the stern.  Smith told police she believes there was an issue with the vessel bilge pump.  Nearby boaters came to her aid and assisted.


Wendel pleased with local COVID number of past few weeks, as push to get more vaccinated continues...
While New York state as a whole is seeing signs that more people are testing positive for the coronavirus... the numbers remain very low in Chautauqua County.  The state-wide news comes as a contrast to weeks of declining rates of new positive tests.  Leading up to the Fourth of July Holiday period... the county only saw a handful of new cases.  County Executive P.J. Wendel believes that's because the number of vaccinations has increase, though the rate has been slower.  Wendel says some people remain hesistant, and there are concerns about the new "Delta Variant."  By late last week... the county Health Department's COVID-19 Dashboard showed that 56,778 first doses had been administered to residents... which is about 44-percent of the population.  The number of people fully-vaccinated now stands at 41-percent.  However... Wendel and health officials believe there are more who they have not heard about, that received vaccinations in Pennsylvania.  He says they don't have the working relationships with Pennsylvania and other states to get that information.  In addition... Wendel says that if you were vaccinated at a V-A Clinic... you should also check to make sure you were counted.  He says go on-line to cchealth@chqgov.com for more information.  


Two JHS students appointed as "ex-officio" members of Jamestown School Board...
Two soon-to-be seniors at Jamestown High School have been appointed as "ex-officio" Jamestown School Board members for the 2021-22 school year.  The school board recently announced that Madison Arthurs and Annika Spitzer will serve now through June 30 of 2022.  Board President Paul Abbott says it's "important that students know that they have a voice with the Board of Education.  We had a very successful first three years with our student representatives."  He adds that "I hope our student body continues to utilize this opportunity and supports Madison and Annika by giving them their suggestions and input.  I also hope their presence sends a message to all students that they are welcome at any board meeting."


City Council approves CDBG and HOME Program applications...
The city of Jamestown will be submitting it's 2021 Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program funding application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The $1.19-million CDBG, and nearly $339,000 HOME Programs were recently adopted by the City Council.  Development Director Crystal Surdyk says this is similar to the five-year plan they submitted to HUD back in December of last year.  Surdyk says "some numbers shifted..." but, adds it's pretty much the same.  The CDBG program is used to fight blight, and the majority of funding goes to low-to-moderate income projects.  The biggest allocation will be $166,000 to continue making Americans with Disabilities Act improvement to public facilities.  Surdyk says once they use the funding for the programs various projects... her department will do a full review of what they did, and make any adjustments they need.  Among the other areas receiving significant funding is $110,000 for targeted neighborhood demolitions.  The last of three public hearings on the CDBG and HOME Programs was held on June 28... right before City Council voted on them.  


Two car crash in town of Sheridan sends three to the hospital...
Three people from northern Chautauqua County were hurt in a two-car accident on Route 20 in the town of Sheridan last Sunday night.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly after 7 p.m., and, spoke with numerous witnesses -- and, investigated the accident.  Officers found that one of the cars involved -- driven by 68 year-old Leonard Crawn of Irving -- had some kind of tire or wheel malfunction.  They say that caused Crawn's vehicle to drift into the oncoming traffic lane, where it collided with the second car... driven by 38 year-old Joseph Grant of Dunkirk.  Officers say Crawn, Grant, and a 13 year-old boy in Grant's vehicle were all taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  No charges have been filed.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., July 5, 2021

JPD and FBI investigating vandalism at the two Underground Railroad Tableau statues at Dow Park...
Jamestown Police are investigating an incident involving vandalism to the two statues that are part of the Underground Railroad Tableau in Dow Park.  On the JPD Facebook page... officers said the statues were drawn on with anti-Semitic... and, anti-African American words.  City police say the city's Parks Department has cleaned off the markings and damage, and the investigation is ongoing. The Jamestown Police and the FBI will be investigating the incident.  Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact JPD at 483-7537... or the tips line at 483-Tips -- that's 483-8477.  The incident comes a few months after someone allegedly took a third statue from the park.  JPD reports this incident will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent to the law.


Sheriff's officers have to rescue pair of Conewango Creek kayakers...
Two people from Pennsylvania had to be rescued from the Conewango Creek in Frewsburg early Saturday afternoon after their kayak was pinned against a fallen tree by the water's current.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers... along with the county's WET Team... and, Frewsburg fire rescuers were called to the scene off Riverside Road in Frewsburg shortly before 2 p.m.  They found 21 year-old Anthony Sabatini of Aliquippa, and 18 year-old Elizabeth Finch of Monaca had fallen in the water.  Both were pulled out of the creek, and suffered no injuries in the incideent.


Lakewood teen assisted after boat becomed disabled and takes on water...
A Lakewood teenager wasn't hurt... but, had to call for help after her boat began taking on water at Long Point State Park Sunday afternoon.  Sheriff's officers say 17 year-old Victoria Smith of West Terrace Avenue was at anchor near the shore just before 3 p.m. when the vessel began taking on water at the stern.  Smith told police she believes there was an issue with the vessel bilge pump.  Nearby boaters came to her aid and assisted.


Names released and charges announced in connection with two-car, fatal accident in North Harmony...
A woman from Georgia faces charges in connection with last Thursday morning's crash that killed a Cattaraugus County man on Interstate 86 in the town of North Harmony.  Sheriff's Deputies say 32 year-old Heather Capell of Brunswick, Georgia was arrested on a warrant issued in Chautauqua County Court in Erie, Pa., where she had been hospitalized.  Officers say she's been charged with second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and driving while ability impaired by drugs for the crash, which claimed the life of 52 year-old Bradley Wakefield of Cattaraugus.  Deputies say Capell had gotten on I-86 going the wrong way in the westbound lanes.  Her case later crashed head-on into Wakefield's vehicle.  He was pronounced dead at the scene... while Capell was taken to an Erie hospital for treatment of serious injuries.  Capell was arrested... and, is being held in Erie County, Pennsylvania as a Fugitive from Justice from Chautauqua County.


Boil Water Order in Brocton and part of Portland now lifted...
The boil water order that had been in effect for water customers in the village of Brocton... and, town of Portland since last Wednesday has now been lifted.  In a press release issued Sunday... the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services and the North County Water District announced that water samples collected on July 1 and 2 show that the water is safe to drink, and use for all other purposes.  A water leak that occured last Wednesday created low water pressure in the system, and that allowed contaminants to get into the supply.  Health officials are thanking all affected water customers for their cooperation and patience while the boil order was in effect.  For more information... call the village of Brocton at 792-4160... the town of Portland at 792-9614 or the county's Health Department at 753-4481.  You can also check the Health and Human Services website at www.co.chautauqua.ny.us/219/Health-Human-Services.


COVID-19 case upticks seen in NYS...
New York is seeing signs that more people are testing positive for the coronavirus, a contrast from weeks of declining rates of new positive tests.  An average of 365 people tested positive each day over the seven day period ending Thursday, according to state data.  That's up 17-percent from a week ago.  Exactly why is unclear, but the numbers are rising even as less testing is occurring.  Parts of New York City and its suburbs are driving much of the increase, including Staten Island.  Still, far fewer people are testing positive in New York now than during this spring.

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WJTN Headlines for Sat. July 3, 2021

Names released of victims involved in fatal, North Harmony accident Thursday morning...
A Cattaraugus County man has been identified as the person killed in Thursday's two-car, head-on crash on Interstate 86 in the town of North Harmony.  Sheriff's officers say 52 year-old Bradley Wakefield of Cattaraugus suffered fatal injuries during the crash, which occured just after 5 a.m.  He died at the scene of the accident.  The other driver, 32 year-old Heather Capell of Brunswick, Georgia was seriously hurt... and, taken to an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital for treatment.  Deputies say the investigation of the collision, in which one of the vehicles was going the wrong way, is continuing.


Jamestown School Board approves moving ahead with new Logo and Mascot changes, but, high school team's nicknames will remain "Red Raiders...."
The Jamestown School Board has approved a resolution to change the school's logo, and mascot... but, to keep the high school's nickname of "Red Raiders."  The decision was made at Thursday night's board meeting... and, based on recommendations of the JPS Mascot Committee.  The board directed that a new mascot and logo be adopted for the High School... and, that there would no longer be any use of Native American imagery, including any "J" with feathers.  In addition... as soon as is practical... all feathers will be removed from buildings and playing fields, and any and all uniforms or attire with that imagery -- and provided by the district -- will be replaced.  The board also gave Superintendent Kevin Whitaker the authorization to hire the services of a graphic designer and trademark attorney for the purpose of designing a new logo and mascot, with student, staff and community input.  A motion to change the team's nickname from "Red Raiders," though, was defeated, 5-1...largely based on the committee recommendation that the name is not tied to Native American imagery.


One new COVID-19 case reported in county Friday...
There was one new confirmed case of the COVID-19 Virus reported Friday in Chautauqua County.  However... the county Health Department is reporting that two people are now hospitalized for the virus.  That comes after several days in which there were no hospitalizations.  Health officials say there have now been 9,297 total cases... and, 9,136 have now recovered.  The seven-day infection rate is up slightly to 0.3 %.


 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., July 2, 2021

Dewittville homeowners group and Mayville resident file suit to stop Chautauqua Lake Pops concert series...
Three seasonal homeowners from Dewittville, and a Mayville resident have filed a lawsuit to stop the Chautauqua Lake Pops Summer Concert Series.  In documents obtained by Media One Radio Group... the plaintiffs include Thomas and Marina Arko, and William Kinney of Dewittville, New York Lake House of Ohio, and Mayville's Sharon Smead.  The Chautauqua Lake Pops, along with Operator Dan Dalpra, and the village of Mayville are listed as defendents.  The group says the pops never obtained the needed state permit to host the floating stage on Chautauqua Lake in 2019, nor obtained the necessary approvals from the village of Mayville to operate.  In response... Dalpra said in a statement that the "Chautauqua Lake Pops recently submitted another permit application to the New York State Office of General Services, and is awaiting its approval.  The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers have already signed-off on the permit application."  The Summer Concert Series is scheduled to begin on Saturday, July 10th.  Dalpra said it's "very disappointing that three out-of-state owners from Dewittville, well over a mile away on the other side of Chautauqua Lake, have joined with a disgruntled resident of Mayville in an effort to shut down the... concert series."  The case is to be heard in State Supreme Court in Mayville... but, no date has been set.


One person killed, another seriously hurt in head-on, I-86 crash in No. Harmony...           
One person was killed, and another seriously injured, in a two-car head-on crash on Interstate 86 in the town of North Harmony early yesterday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene, in the westbound lanes between Exits 7 and 8, shortly after 5 a.m.  Deputies say they found one person dead, and another with serious injuries.  There is no word on where the injured person was taken for treatment.  One car was reportedly traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes.  No names have been released.  The westbound lanes of I-86 were closed until about 10 a.m. to allow the investigation to take place.  State Police and the Ashville and Bemus Point fire rescue crews and Chautauqua County Emergency Services all responded to the scene.


AAA expects near-record travel volume for July 4th holiday...
Travel volume across the country is expected to nearly fully-recover to pre-pandemic levels during the July 4th holiday period this year.  That from the AAA, which is predicting that more than 47.7-million Americans will take to the nation's roadways and skies now through July 5.  Spokesperson Elizabeth Carey with AAA of Western and Central New York, says it will be the second-highest Independence Day travel volume on record.  She says the highest was July of 2019.  Carey adds that this year's travel volume will be up significantly -- 40% -- over last year, when travel volume fell to about 34.2-million.  Overall, just 2.5-percent fewer Americans are expected to travel for Independence Day this year compared to 2019.   According to AAA, more than 91-percent of holiday travel will be by car despite the highest gas prices in seven years.


Webb family moves ahead with ground-breaking, construction of "The Lodge at Chautauquq Lake..."
Ground has been broken on a new, $14-million condominium project in the village of Mayville that's already at 40-percent capacity.  "The Lodge at Chautauqua Lake" will include 54 condominiums... and, was first discussed by developer Ben Webb, and his late father, Jim, 15 years ago.  County Executive P.J. Wendel was on hand for the ground-breaking... and, credited the younger Webb with carrying on with their dream.  Wendel the project could have easily been derailed, but, Webb kept the project moving.  The Lakewood Republican also says he's encouraged that this project will help spur more similar development... and, may already have done so.  The Lodge at Chautauqua Lake will be located at 74 Water St. in the village... and, should be completed by Spring of next year.  The condominums will have full services... including kitchens.  Wendel made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


CLA chief says lake quality should be good for Fourth of July...
People taking to the waters of Chautauqua Lake this July 4th holiday weekend should find 'no impediments... no impairments.'  Executive Director Doug Conroe of the Chautauqua Lake Association says he surveyed the full perimeter of the lake earlier this week... and, says "the lake looks great."  Conroe says there are very few weeds, and there are few algal blooms that have started to emerge near the shore.  As for weeds, Conroe says the timing is working out well for early July.  He says the early Spring growth has died off... and, the Summer growth is progressing but, not much of a nuisance at this point.  There are a few areas in the northern part of the north basin of Chautauqua Lake that are the 'weediest' right now.   The lake association is going after the weeds with six harvesters, two more than last year.  The lake level, which was low in the spring, is back up to what Conroe calls 'normal.'


2021 SWCS graduate Allen finishes sixth in pole vault at Outdoor Nationals...
Southwestern High School graduate Cassidy Allen is returning to Chautauqua County with All-American honors after finishing sixth in the Girls Pole Vault at the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation's Outdoor Nationals.  The event is being held through the weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.  Allen finished with a vault of 13-feet 4-and a quarter inches... but, just missed at 13-08.  The winner was Washington State's Hana Moll... who had a vault of 14-feet-4 inches.  You can see Cassidy's vault on-line at theoutdoorsrunnerspace.com.

 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., July 1, 2021

Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers and other agencies respond to two-car head-on fatal on I-86...
A two-car, head-on crash on Interstate 86 in the town of North Harmony has resulted in one fatality.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirmed the death on-line this morning.  The accident reportedly occured between Exits 7 and 8 in the westbound lanes around 5:30 a.m.  One of the vehicles involved reportedly got on the interstate... going in the wrong direction.  The crash resulted in the closing of the westbound lanes.  They were reopended about 10 a.m.  More when it becomes available.


Boil Water Order issued for Brocton water customers, including those in town of Portland west of Lake Erie State Park...
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has issued a boil water order for all customers in the village of Brocton water system... and, town of Portland residents that reside west of Lake Erie State Park.  Health officials say water pressure in several areas of both communities is "very low" because of a water main leak that occured yesterday morning.  Officials say the source of the leak has been found, and water district staff are in the process of fixing it.  However... officials say water for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and making coffee must be brought to a rolling boil for one minute then cooled prior to use.  Do not drink the water without boiling it first, or use bottled water.  The order is expected to be in place until at least this coming Saturday.  For more information... call the village of Brocton at 792-4160... town of Portland at 792-9614... or the county's Department of Health and Human Services at 753-4481. 


County reports one new case of COVID-19 Wednesday; infection rate remains low...
Chautauqua County health officials say there's one new confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus being reported over the past day... and, the seven-day rate of infection remains at 0.1 %.  The Health Department says the new case brings the total to 9,295... and, 9,135 have now recovered.  Officials say three cases are currently active... and no one is hospitalized.  


Heitzenrater named as new County Chamber President and CEO replacing Tranum at end of July... 
The man who has been executive assistant for the last three Chautauqua County executives has been named as the next President and Chief Executive Officer for the county's Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber Board Chairperson Fred Johnson announced yesterday the appointment of Daniel Heitzenrater to the organization's top post.  Heitzenrater says he's excited about the new job... given the contacts he's made while working with the county.  He says the county and the chamber have often worked on similar paths on various initiatives, and he's enjoyed that.  Johnson says an extensive search was conducted that ultimately led to the hiring of Heitzenrater.  Heitzenrater says he's is looking forward to a smooth transition... working with current President and CEO, Todd Tranum, for the next few weeks on what needs to be done.  Tranum announced last year that he was leaving the post at the end of July. 


Davidson named as interim Middle-HS Principal at Cassadaga Valley...
A former school superintendent for the Westfield Academy and Central School district will serve as the interim Middle-High School principal in the Cassadaga Valley School district this coming Fall.  Superintendent Chuck Leichner announced Wednesday the appointment of David Davison to the position on an interim basis.  Leichner says Davison has a "wealth of knowledge and experience," that will really help us in the transition when we begin our state-wide search" for a permanent principal.  Davison retired from Westfield Academy and Central School in December 2019.  Prior to that... Leichner says he had a wealth of experience in being a teacher and principal.


Rental Assistance in CARES Act reportedly not working the way it should for renters and landlords...
A rental crisis spurred by the pandemic prompted many states to make bold promises to help renters, but most failed to deliver on them after Congress passed the sweeping CARES Act in March 2020.  A handful of states, many led by Republicans, offered little to no assistance.  State leaders set aside at least $2.6-billion from the CARES Act's Coronavirus Relief Fund in 2020 to prop up struggling renters... but, more than $425 million of that -- or 16% -- never made it into the pockets of tenants or their landlords, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The A-P.


Prendergast Summer Reading program off to good start...
Many of the stories we put on the news are aimed at adults, but the following is for the youngest members of our audience.  But... for all children who like stories, the place to be at 10:30 Wednesday morning is the James Prendergast Library.  Library Associate Joanna Sorenson kicked off this week's outdoor story time at the library's front door.  She says they weren't sure... with the pandemic and all... what the response would be.  But... she adds they had more than 60 children and adults on hand last week.  This week's presentation included a visit by Brian Papalia... and a couple of kittens... from the Chautauqua County Humane Society.  The theme for the summer reading challenge at the Prendergast is 'Tails and Tales.'  There are prizes for all ages.  Assistant Library Manager, Jennifer Champ, believes library usage is up, particularly among young readers.  Champ says the children seem "very excited" to be there. 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., June 30, 2021

Water main break on Fairmount Ave. in Celoron leads to traffic delays...
Motorists on Fairmount Avenue near the intersection with Dunham Avenue in Celoron should find alternate routes today due to a water main break that will cause traffic delays.  Board of Public Utilities Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the water has been shut off to customers on Fairmount between Dunham and South Allegheny this morning while repairs are made.


COVID numbers continue to look good for Chautauqua County...
The COVID-19 numbers continue to look very good in Chautauqua County... with no new cases again over the past day.  The county Health Department also reports there have only been two new cases since last Friday.  The local total is now 9,294... and, only two of those are now active.  No one is hospitalized... and, there have been no new deaths.  There have now been 9,135 cases that have recovered... and, the infection rate is down to 0.1 %.


Gas prices in the Jamestown-area jump over past day...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area had been holding steady for several days... until late Tuesday.  The cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded fuel heading into the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend locally has now risen to just a tick under $3.20 a gallon.  The AAA East Central Gas Price Report at the beginning of the week said the local price was nearing $3.16 a gallon.  However... it's now jumped almost a nickel since last week.  AAA says the national average is now at $3.09 a gallon.


Borrello, local government officials, tout additional road, bridge and other infrastructure funding from state...
It was total 'team' effort by local and state officials to get New York State to increase funding for local road and bridge projects in the 57th State Senatorial District.  That from local Senator George Borrello, who held a pair of events yesterday announcing that the effort has brought $17.2-million in funding to the region.  Borrello says he and local Assemblyman Andy Goodell pushed for full funding restoration in the state Budget.  However... he says the efforts of local highway superindents made a big difference in getting the additional funding.  Borrello calls it a "big victory" for local communities.  He says overall Consolidated Highway Improvement Program -- or CHIPS funding -- was increased by 23-percent in the final state budget.  The Sunset Bay Republican says there is a lot of need for the extra funding... and, you need only drive on many local roads to see it.  Borrello says the $17.2-million in funding includes CHIPS funding... along with PAVE-New York, and Extreme Winter Weather repair programs.  


Lake Association urges residents to get their flares for July 4th weekend...
The Chautauqua Lake Association is once again asking everyone who'll be along the shoreline of Chautauqua Lake on July 4th to light flares at 10 p.m. -- creating the iconic 'ring of fire.'  The association's Community Services Manager, Healther Nolan-Caskey, says the flares are widely available in the lake region.  Nolan-Caskey says a lot of the smaller "mom and pop" stores around the area, and local supermarkets, are selling them at $3 a flare.  As for how many flares your should light... Nolan-Caskey suggests having one for every 10 feet of shoreline.  Each flare will last for about half an hour.  Heather suggests buying some extras... if people want to light them early... to make sure they're still burning at 10 p.m.  She also encourages everyone to properly dispose of the flare holders once they are completely cool. 


Pagano blasts Fredonia Village Board for public infighting...
An outburst during a Fredonia Village Board workshop meeting earlier this month... and, concerns over the morale of village workers brought a former mayor to Monday night's board meeting.  Frank Pagano told trustees during the public comment portion of the meeting that they should be embarrassed over their behavior during the workshop session that was televised live by Fredonia Public Access on June 21.  Pagano blasted board members for personal attacks made during that meeting... saying this board needs to "stop the sniping" during public meetings.  He says they're "embarrasing themselves and the village."  The dispute was over the board's approval of a contract with an internet technology firm from Jamestown, Willow Bay Computer Solutions -- doing business as SymLink.  Trustee EvaDawn Bashaw later apologized for the dispute, but reaffirmed her support for the contract with SymLink.  Pagano asked that the board rescind the contract with Symlink... and allow village-based DFT Communications the opportunity to make a counter offer.  Later during Monday's meeting... Trustee Jim Lynden attempted to have the resolution rescinded, but it did not gain enough support.


Jamestown Jackals begin play-offs tonight...
The Jamestown Jackals begin the first round of playoffs tonight against the Carolina Coyotes, and... after playing their home games in Erie, Pennsylvania all season, owner Kayla Crosby says these games will be a little closer to home.  Crosby says they're excited to be able to hold the first two games at Warren Area High School at 7 p.m. each night.  The Jackals play in 'The Basketball League.'  A third game in the 'best of three' series... if necessary... would be Saturday at 5 p.m. -- also at Warren.   Crosby adds, it's been and up and down season with COVID restrictions, some injuries, and no available gym in Jamestown.  Pre-sale tickets for the playoffs in Warren are available at the Jamestown Jackals website... $10 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens.  They are $5 more at the door.   


 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., June 29, 2021

Heat Advisory in effect for Chautauqua County...
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory until 8 o'clock tonight for Chautauqua and Southern Erie counties.  Meteorologist Phillip Pandolfo in Buffalo says heat index values will reach the mid to upper 90s.  Pandolfo says the lower elevations near the I-90 corridor will see the higher index numbers.  He also offered some heat safety tips... including drinking plenty of fluids, staying out of the sun as much as possible, and spend time in air conditioning when you can.  Pandolfo also reminds area residents to check the back seat for any kids and pets before leaving their vehicles. 


City police investigators rule last Friday's massive blaze at former Jamestown Royal as arson; two teens arrested...
Two teenaged girls have been arrested for allegedly setting the fire that destroyed the former Jamestown Royal Furniture building on the city's eastside.  City police say the 14 and 15 year-olds were arrested Monday after investigators reviewed multiple videos from area businesses and saw the pair enter prior to the fire starting... and, leaving as it was starting to burn.  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon expressed his appreciation for JPD's efforts to get the video, and investigate what happened.  Coon adds that anyone who has additional information on the arson, call the JPD Tips line is 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say the girls then fled east on the railroad tracks behind the building, and were picked up by other surveillance video cameras.  Coon says officials are still trying to track down the owner, and see if there might be some kind of reimbursement for their costs from insurance.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says both juveniles have been interviewed and released to a parent.  They will both face second-degree arson charges through Chautauqua County Family Court.


City Council approves purchase of part of formerly Hartley Buick dealership for new central garage location...
The city of Jamestown will save about half the costs of locating a new, central garage by purchasing part of the former Hartley Buick dealership on Washington Street.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist outlined the proposal to purchase the property from 1425 to 1505 Washington St. from owner Tim Shults during last night's City Council voting session.  Sundquist says the deal makes sense because construction costs have skyrocketed in recent weeks.  Public Works Director Jeff Lehman says it will allow more vehicles to be kept indoors.  Lehman says the DPW also has equipment that's often left outside due to the lack of space for fleet management.  Sundquist says the state is granting the city an additional $1-million to help pay for the "adaptive reuse" of the former dealerships buildings.  When it's completed... Central Garage Manager Pat Monaghan says it'll save the city about 1.9-million dollars.  A couple of years ago... city lawmakers approved borrowing $4-million to locate a new garage on Crescent Street as part of the city's SMART Cities Improvement program.  Sundquist says the purchase price is $400,000.


Dunkirk police investigating weekend shooting incident...
Dunkirk Police have now released some details about a shooting incident that occurred Saturday afternoon in the area of Fifth and Main Streets in the north county city.  Police Chief David Ortolano says two people were treated for non-life threatening injuries following the incident that occurred around 1:30 p.m. and the two victims were taken to separate hospitals.  He says if you have any information on the incident, call Dunkirk Police at 366-2266 or their tip line at 366-0313.


Wendel says county looking at doing more local, COVID-19 vaccination programs...
Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel says his COVID-19 task force hasn't made a final decision yet... but, the county appears to be moving away from the use of mass COVID-19 Vaccination clinics.  That after just two new cases were reported over the past weekend.  Instead, Wendel says they are focusing on some local areas where there is a need for vaccinations, along with doctors and others in those areas.  While they are pleased with the way the COVID numbers are trending, Wendel says they are still keeping close watch of them.  He says they will be following the numbers that come out after the Fourth of July holiday weekend, and a week or two after that.  Wendel says attention is also focusing on September with the re-opening of area schools.  He says the County Health Department recently received $4.5 million grant to make sure they have the necessary supplies on hand should there be any future upticks.
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With the two new cases of COVID-19... there have now been 9,294 total cases in the county to date.  The Health Department reports only three active cases... and, none are hospitalized.  There were also no new deaths... and, the infection rate is down to point-2 percent.


Inmate at County Jail rearrested after trying to escape during hospital visit...
A Chautauqua County Jail inmate from Jamestown is accusing of trying to escape custody while he was receiving medical treatment at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.  Sheriff's officers say a corrections officer accompanied 53 year-old Velmon Boyd, Senior when he was taken to the hospital last Wednesday.  While at UPMC Chautauqua... deputies say became agitated and tried to get away from the corrections officer by running out of room, and into the hallway.  Boyd was apprehended in the hallway by the county corrections officer, and brought back to County Jail.  Boyd was arraigned in City Court on one count of second-degree attempted escape... and, remanded back to the county lock-up.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., June 28, 2021

City man arrested for illegal gun possession after possible weekend fight...
A Jamestown man faces an illegal weapons charge after he was arrested during a possible fight call early last Saturday morning.  City police were called to the scene at East Fourth and Pine Streets just after 2 a.m., and, when they got there... the group involved was breaking up, and a car-full of people were trying to leave.  Police found 18 year-old Simeon Leeper at the scene, along with several others.  Leeper was found in possession of a loaded handgun... and, was trying to conceal it from officers.  He was arrested for second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, was jailed pending arraignment.


Sinclairville man arrest Sunday following gunshot complaint...
A Sinclairville man has been arrested following a gunshot complaint early yesterday morning in the village.  Sheriff's officers were called to the undisclosed location shortly after 1 a.m. and, investigated.  Deputies later arrested 50 year-old Wayne Wright on one count each of first-degree reckless endangerment, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  Wright was held at the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Dunkirk woman arrested for allegedly trespassing at Jamestown BPU...
A Dunkirk woman has been arrested for allegedly trespassing at the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities' power plant.  City police were called to the scene at 92 Steele St. after 9:30 last Saturday night for a woman illegally entering a restricted area of the plant.  Officers say they located 32 year-old Samantha Coleman inside the building... and, she tried to flee.  However... police quickly apprehended Coleman, who was arrested for third-degree criminal trespass, and second-degree obstruction.  She was taken to the city jail, and issued appearance tickets for a later date.


Investigation continuing into former Jamestown Royal Furniture...
The investigation is continuing into last Friday nights raging fire that destroyed the former Jamestown Royal furniture factory on the city's eastside.  City fire crews were called to the scene at 308 Crescent St. shortly before 7 p.m.  Battalion Chief Don Mowery was part of the off-duty shift called in... and, says the historic structure was fully-ablaze when the initial crews responded.  Mowery says they received a lot of mutual aid help from Falconer and Kennedy at the scene.  He says county fire police and EMS, along with Celoron and Busti were on stand-by.  Mowery says the building was mainly being used for storage in recent times... reportedly for both furniture and some fabric items.  He says the crews were still battling flames in the lower part of the building, and putting out hot spots late into last Friday night, and early Saturday morning.  Mowery says two firefighters suffered minor injuries.  By Saturday night... the rest of what was still standing of the building was torn down.  Crescent and East Second Streets were both closed in the area for several hours Friday night.  


City man arrested for menacing with baseball bat...
A Jamestown man who allegedly threatened a woman with a baseball bat during at domestic incident early last weekend faces a menacing charge.  City police were called to an eastside address about 2:30 a.m. Saturday... and spoke with the victim.  Officers say they located Robert Ormsby a short time later... and, arrested him for second-degree menacing.  Ormsby was taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


JHS holds much-anticipate, single graduation ceremony at Chautauqua Institution...
It was a big night of celebration last Friday for the Jamestown High School Class of 2021 at Chautauqua Institution... as hundreds cheered the arrival of nearly 300 graduates to the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance.  The single-ceremony was in doubt until about two weeks prior when the state lifted COVID-19 guidelines for outdoor programs.  Prior to that... graduates were going to be split into two ceremonies.  But... everyone was together for their final send-off after a senior year turned upside down by the pandemic.  High School Principal Dana Williams talked about one big difference... saying that it was hard to believe they had gone through the entire year without having one lunch in the school cafeteria.  Williams joked that he missed the noise, chaos, and "two-star cuisine."  He says the 2020-21 school year was one of "one-way staircases... caution tape in the hallways... and, x's on the floor."  He says the big lesson learned the past year was "don't take things for granted" and live your life to the fullest.  The graduates, and their families and friends also heard from Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... who just finished up his first year in the Jamestown School District.  Others included retiring teacher and coach, Dave Munella... and, Valedictorian John Carlson, and Salutatorian Ryan Malarkey.


Cuomo to hold $10,000 a person fundraiser Tuesday night...
Some of Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign contributors say they're still planning to donate money for his re-election, despite ongoing investigations into allegations that he sexually harassed employees and manipulated data on COVID-19 fatalities in nursing homes.  The governor is planning a $10,000 a person fundraiser for Tuesday night in New York City.  It will be one of his first big, in-person events to raise money for his campaign since the coronavirus pandemic began.  Campaign finance reports due July 15 will likely give a fuller picture of where Cuomo stands ahead of an expected run for a fourth term in 2022. 


 

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