Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Feb. 18, 2020

Nine more people who achieved greatness in the world of sports were officially inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame during the annual induction dinner in Lakewood.  

Frewsburg's Bob Goold made a name for himself by coaching several sports at Frewsburg and Maple Grove schools.  He also achieved national and international recognition with the Special Olympics.  He says it's great being recognized for doing something "you love."

Former Jamestown High School Basketball Stand-out Justin Johnson was recognized for setting several varsity records his senior year in 1994 and, having a fine career at Army.  The "Father of Jamestown Community College Athletics," the late George Bataitis, was also inducted.  Former Pine Valley Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Tim Nobles, was recognized for leading the Lady Panthers to six state titles during his varsity coaching career.  Other inductees on hand included former Panama and Grove City College sports stand-out Christine Carlson-Jenkins, Professional baseball and football official Elly Norton of Bemus Point, and Westfield's Mark Orlando and Dunkirk's Mike Tramuta.

Two people were seriously hurt in a two-car, head-on, crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Randolph early Sunday morning.  
Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they were called to the scene on Main Street just after 12 AM and, found that a Jeep had crossed the center line, and struck an older model car head-on.  Officers say the drivers of both vehicles were taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania for treatment of serious injuries.  Neither has been identified.  Officers say two passengers in the van were treated for lesser injuries at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.  Charges are pending.

State Senate Republicans are slated to hold more bail reform hearings during the month of March, following the first one held in Buffalo on February 6th.  

That from State Senator George Borrello, who chairs the Repeal Bail Reform Task Force.  Borrello tells us that the task force would like to finish the series of hearings before the state budget deadline of April 1st.

The Hanover Republican says the first bail reform hearing, which featured law enforcement officials from Chautauqua County, gave him the sense of frustration from those officials.  Borrello says District Attorney Patrick Swanson, who shared a letter he now shares with victims and witnesses about how evidence is now being handled.  The police chiefs expressed their frustration with the fact many of the accused are now failing to show up for court dates.  Borrello says their testimony was "frustrating to listen to..." and, that Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers need to hear those stories.

New York retailers have begun giving up single-use plastic bags as the state prepares for the March 1st implementation of a ban aimed at reducing pollution.  

A new state law bars many types of businesses from sending shoppers home with the single-use plastic sacks that have been clogging up landfills, getting tangled in trees and accumulating in lakes and seas.  As the deadline to drop the bags nears, though, not all environmentalists are ready to celebrate.  Some worry the state's new regulations include a loophole that could potentially allow stores to phase in plastic bags thick enough to be considered multiuse.  Others note the proposed rules include exemptions that allow for some use of single-use bags.

Water quality advocates are worried that major cuts to clean water programs in the Trump administration’s proposed national budget would be a big loss for the Great Lakes.  

The budget proposal would maintain the current level of funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at $320-million. But according to Laura Rubin, director the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition, cuts proposed for other programs would undermine efforts to reduce algal blooms and invasive species, and to repair the infrastructure that keeps pollution from entering the Great Lakes in the first place.

The Coalition estimates that New York alone will need almost $54-million over the next 20 years to repair and replace crumbling drinking-water and wastewater infrastructure.  The president’s budget also would cut the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund by almost $266-million. She says the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition will be in Washington, D-C, next month to urge Congress to make full funding of clean water programs a top priority.