WJTN News Headlines for June 15, 2020

A man from Ripley faces charges after allegedly breaking into a town of Westfield home... and, stealing property inside.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a home on Pigeon Road shortly before 6 PM Saturday... and, their investigation led to the arrest of 24 year-old Michael Smith.  Smith allegedly entered the home without permission, and, took the items.  Smith is also accused of being in possesion of a controlled substance.  He is charged with second-degree burglary, petty larceny, and criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Smith was taken to the county jail... pending arraignment.

A Sinclairville man is accused of hitting one person multiple times in the face... and, then choking the person in the town of Stockton late last week.  Sheriff's deputies were called to a reported fight on Cassadaga Road about 4:30 PM Friday... and, learned that 55 year-old Gerald Haley had struck the person, and then locked a second-person inside the home for some time against their will.  Haley had fled the scene... but, was later stopped in his car... and, was allegedly found to be impaired by drugs and alcohol.  Deputies arrested him for second-degree harassment, criminal obstruction of breathing, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  Haley also faces a driving while intoxicated charge.. and, was sent to the county jail pending arraignment.

One of the two Congressional candidates for this Fall appeared at the Jamestown Justice Coaltion's third Black Lives Matter rally at Dow Park yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.

Penn Yan Democrat Tracy Mitrano spoke about fighting racism since she became an adult... and, wrote a blog in 2015 regarding the death of 28 year-old Sandra Bland.  Bland was a black woman who died of an apparent suicide in Texas after she was pulled over during a traffic stop... and, got into a scuffle with officers.

Mitrano says racism and prejudice has held back too many people for too long... and, urged the approximately 100 people on hand to vote for her because she supports the House Demcratic Majority's "Justice in Policing Act."  Mitrano says the bill is designed to "stop structural racism in the United States."  Incumbant Republican Tom Reed was unable to be at the rally... but, has stated that he believes the Democrat's bill caters to the party's "extreme left..." and is nothing more than a one-party bill.  He says he supports police reforms, and adds he doesn't support "defunding" police.

There were several other speakers during the Jamestown Justice Coaltion rally at Dow Park... including local historian and story teller Paul Leone.  Leone said he can't get the image of the Minneapolis Police Officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd... and, that it should not be forgotten.  He also discussed the Dow Park area's place in the history of the Underground Railroad... which helped runaway, black slaves escape to Canada.  Leone says one of the most well-known members of the Underground Railroad, Katherine Harris, lived about a block away on what is now Seventh Street.  Harris' efforts to help runaway black slaves is memorialized at the Underground Railroad Tableau statue in Dow Park.  One of the other speakers at Sunday's rally was Democratic County Executive candidate Richard Morrisroe.

Albany does not have the answers for a couple of pandemic related challenges... at least not yet.  During her Jamestown visit late last week (Friday), Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters how the public schools open in the fall depends on how people behave in the summer.

As for the deficits looming for local governments, the Lieutenant Governor says the Cuomo administration wants to support places like Jamestown and Chautauqua County, but the state needs help too, and it'll have to come from the federal government... just as it would in the case of a natural disaster.  Hochul estimates New York state alone is facing a projected deficit of $61 billion over four years. 

There were two new cases of the COVID-19 Virus confirmed in Chautauqua County last weekend... one on Saturday and one Sunday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the new case Sunday is a man in his 30s.. bringing the total number of positive cases to 108.  Wendel says eight cases are currently active... while 94 people have now recovered.  He says 123 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there have now been 10,417 negative test results for COVID-19.

An inmate at the Brocton Shock Incarceration Facility has died after being found unresponsive on the shower floor in his cell last Monday.  The Dunkirk Times-Observer says the state Department of Corrections is now investigating the death of Jamel McIntosh... who was in the Brocton facility's Intensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment program.  The department says a corrections officer on rounds saw McIntosh unresponsive... and, staff immediately unlocked his cell and checked his condition.  He was later taken to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk, where he was pronounced dead.  The Department of Corrections is investigating the death.

A half-a-million dollar grant is being awarded to the city of Dunkirk from New York state to clean up a brownfield site.  Mayor Willie Rosas says the grant will be used to clean-up a location on Route 60.

Rosas says Wells Enterprises... the owner of Fieldbrook Foods... at one time had some interest in the property.  However, he says they didn't move forward on that interest because of the cost to clean it up.  Rosas says he expects to make a formal announcement of the grant some time in the near future.

 President Donald Trump highlighted the diversity of West Point's graduating class last Saturday, and appealed to America's newest officers to defend the country's core principles.  It's a speech that emphasizes unity at a time when the commander in chief's relationship with military leaders has become strained and questions have arisen about the role of soldiers in a civil society.  Trump says in his prepared remark that the new graduates "have come from the farms and the cities, from states big and small, and from every race, religion, color, and creed."