WJTN News Headlines for June 17, 2020

At least two residential properties were damaged in a fully-involved structure fire on the Jamestown Eastside overnight. Reports indicate firefighters were called to the scene about 2 AM in the area of East Second and Thayer Streets.  Photos on Facebook show extensive damage to one house as firefighters extinguish flames.  The fire reportedly spread to a neighboring house. Investigators were called in to determine the cause. No other details were made available. 

School board elections and budget votes have been coming into Media One over the past evening... as mail-in ballots were accepted through early Tuesday evening.  

 -In the Southwestern School District.... voters approved a 2020-21 annual budget 894-to-479.... and, a proposition for school buses and related equipment 877-499. Three at-large vacancies for the school board were also filled for a three-year term, they are Kurt Gustafson, Richard Hartman and Uma Vejendla. 

 - Voters in the Panama School District approved a $12.9-million budget, 382-to-166... as well as a capital reserve fund, 373-174.  Kyle Rhoades won a five-year term on the school board running unopposed.

 - In Bemus Point... the budget was adopted 597-to-368... and, a bus proposition was approved, 627-to-341.  Three school board members ran unopposed for re-election.  They are Benjamin Gerring, Tina Hall, and Bethan Seastrum.

 - Voters in the Pine Valley Central District approved a $15.7-million budget, 383-to-179.  They also approved a transporation proposition, 414-to-146.  Three candidates... incumbants Jeffrey Chase and Christie Lokietek... and, newcomer Kara Frontuto ran unopposed for the school board.

 - Voters in the Brocton School District approved next year's school budget 511-to-130.

*** The results for the Jamestown School District are expected to be released later this evening following a special meeting of the school board. Items listed on the agenda include a canvas of votes on the 2020-21 Budget, a proposition for funding the Prendergast Library up to $350,000. Three board members ran unopposed for re-election. Tonight's meeting will be streamed on the district's website beginning at 6 PM.  

There has been a seventh fatality from the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County reported Tuesday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the female victim was in her 70s and had underlying health conditions.  Wendel adds "out deepest condolences go out to her loved ones and the Chautauqua County community."  He says there is one new case reported today... a man in his 50s... bringing the number of confirmed cases to 110 in the county.  Wendel says there are now five active cases... while 98 have now recovered.  He adds that there are 109 cases under quaratine or isolation orders... and, there have now been 10,947 negative test results so far.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says hospitals across the state can now allow visitors at their discretion.  Cuomo said Tuesday that hospitals must follow state guidelines, which include time-limited visitors and requiring visitors to wear protective gear.  He says it's always been a balance of public health versus personal relationships, and people wanting to see relatives.  In addition.. he says group homes will soon be able to accept visitors.

Cuomo pointed to signs that the coronavirus is no longer spreading at an overwhelming pace in New York, which saw a peak of over 700 deaths of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 a day in mid-April.  Cuomo said 25 people who tested positive for COVID-19 died Monday in hospitals and nursing homes.  He also announced that the U-S Open Tennis Championships will be held late August through mid-September in Queens... but, there will be no fans allowed.

One person suffered minor injuries after a jet ski caught fire Tuesday afternoon in Dunkirk Harbor. Dunkirk firefighters responded to the scene at about 3:00 PM and found the jet ski, which was adrift, fully engulfed in fire. Fire Chief Mike Edwards says several extinguishing agents were applied to try to quell the flames, and personnel attached a rope to the jet ski to keep it from drifting into other vessels. Edwards says the operator of the jet ski suffered minor facial burns. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified about the incident.

Two Jamestown men have been arrested following a traffic stop in the city that led to discovery of a small amount of narcotics mixed with Fentanyl.  City Police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force along with State Police stopped a car, driven by 43 year-old Joseph Thayer on South Main Street -- near Barker -- just after Noon Monday.  Officers say they found a mix of heroin and Fentanyl... and, another of cocaine and Fentanyl inside a bag the passenger, 26 year-old Justin Yuchnitz, had in his possession.  Police say Thayer also allegedly had some pills in his possession that he did not have a prescription for.  Both men were issued appearance tickets for Jamestown City Court.

A Brocton teenager faces three counts of endangering the welfare of a child following a domestic dispute in the Village of Lakewood Monday night. Lakewood-Busti Police say they responded to the scene with a Sheriff's Deputy... and, learned that a female was allegedly being chased by her boyfriend. Officers say the suspect was attempting to ram her vehicle with his truck. Police were able to locate the truck on East Fairmount Avenue and identify the suspect as 19 year-old Kristian Wright. He was taken into custody on the charges due to three children being in the victim's vehicle at the time of the incident. He's being held in the county jail pending arraignment. 

A man from Lakewood was seriously hurt by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he allegedly dragged a woman during a domestic incident on the village's westside Monday night.  Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the area of West Fairmount Avenue and Spruce Street shortly after 8 PM... and on arrival, found the man holding a handgun.  Officers say they told the man -- who was not identified -- to drop the gun several times.  However... he reportedly fired one shot into the ground before turning the gun on himself.  The man was rushed to the Lakewood Firemen's Grounds... and, flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment.  Lakewood-Busti Police Chief John Bentley says the man was later flown to a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania hospital for further treatment.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a number of issues for local child care providers... but, the big one right now is money they've been promised through the federal CARES Act is not reaching them.  A handful of local child care leaders met Tuesday afternoon with local Congressman Tom Reed about that at "A Children's Place" in Jamestown.  Reed says he understands that Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing a cash crunch at the state level... but, adds child care programs need that remaining 133.4-million dollars the state got from the federal government.

So far... only $30-million has been released by the state.  "A Children's Place" Director Sara Zampogna (Zam-poh-Nuh) and Chautauqua Child Care Council Director Beth Starks met with Reed for about 45 minutes to discuss their needs... especially to make services more "child centered" so the child doesn't have to be moved from a school to child care setting during the day.