Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 5, 2020

Jamestown school Superintendent Bret Apthorpe will leave the district at the end of June.  

The announcement was made at Tuesday's school board meeting, with Apthorpe saying he was retiring -- effective June 30th -- and is doing so because it is time to put his family first. Board President, Paul Abbott issued a statement saying this "Dr. Apthorpe has made many improvements during his tenure and has also guided us through some challenging events".  Bret Apthorpe became the Jamestown Superitendent in September of 2017.  His work with JPS includes launching the Success Academy and the Jamestown LEAP summer literacy program. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, with Apthorpe helping in the selection and transition process.

It may only be February, but the National Comedy Center announced their celebrity line-up for the 30th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival this morning.  

The Center's Steve Neilans says comedian Jeff Foxworthy will be performing August 7th.  Neilans says the Comedy Festival will also celebrate the 45th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, with performances by SNL legends David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon on August 8th.  Pre-sale tickets for National Comedy Center members starts Tuesday, February 25th and the public on-sale date will be March 3rd at 12-noon. 

Fire has extensively damaged the upper portions of a single-family home on Jamestown's southside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Matt Coon says crews were called to the scene at 121 Cole Avenue shortly before 2 PM Tuesday.  Coon says nine firefighters and one commander responded.

Coon says no one was home at the time but, they were able to rescue three dogs inside.  He says it took about 15 minutes to bring the flames under control... and, another 15 minutes to put the fire out.  He says fire damage was confined to the upper story of the house and that was extensive.  He adds there's water and slight smoke damage to the first floor.  Right now, Coon says the house is uninhabitable.  He says the three occupants are being helped by the Red Cross.  He says crews were at the scene until about 3:30 this afternoon and, the fire remains under investigation.  No one was hurt.

The investigations into three separate and targeted shooting incidents in the city of Jamestown the past month are ongoing and, have been linked to two factors.  

Mayor Eddie Sundquist said during a news conference at City Hall yesterday that it's drugs and gang violence.  Sundquist, who was joined by Police Chief Harry Snellings, is asking the community to get engaged in helping to solve those incidents.

Snellings says the most recent shootings... one on Hazzard Street and Newland Avenue on January 25th, has been tied to another incident that occured about a month earlier.  That one occured on Newland Avenue in late December.  Snellings says they have identified the suspects involved in those shootings.  However, he adds they need to interview the victim first.  Snellings says their investigation of the shooting at the Bullfrog Hotel has not been solved because the victim won't cooperate with police.  If you have any information on these incidents, you can call the JPD Tips line -- confidentially -- at 483-8477.  You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she was hopeful that there may be a couple of areas where Democrats may be able to work with President Trump and Republican lawmakers.  

Gillibrand was among the lawmakers on hand for last night's State of the Union Address in Washington.  The Democrat was looking forward to hearing about some areas where her party would be able to work with the president on at least a couple of areas.

Gillibrand says there had been renewed discussion in recent months about the possibility of some kind of infrastructure bill that would likely cost at least one-trillion dollars.  However, she's not sure whether it will be brought up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Gillibrand, who has pushed a number of bills to help veterans, is now pushing a "Burn Pits" bill that would help soldiers who were exposed to those overseas.

There are no known cases of the novel coronavirus in Chautauqua County and in New York State.  That from the county's Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Division.  Breeanne Agett, an epidemiologist with the county, says the risk to the general public remains low.

Agett says there's a greater risk of getting the flu, which is prevalent across the county and the state.  While there is no vaccine for the coronavirus, Agett says there are everyday preventive actions that can be taken to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and many other respiratory illnesses.  She says wash your hands often during the day with soap and water for at least 20-seconds, not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoiding people who are sick.  The World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus outbreak a global emergency.  The state Health Department says it will to provide updated information about the outbreak, ensuring appropriate protocols are in place.