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WJTN News Headlines for June 26, 2020

The investigation is underway into the cause of a residential fire that destroyed a Jamestown home overnight. According to their Facebook page..... Jamestown Firefighters were called to 718 Cherry Street shortly after 12:30 AM to a fully-involved structure fire. An off-duty shift was called in to assist with extinguishing flames. Cherry Street between 7th and 8th Streets was closed for several hours this morning. No injuries have been reported. 

There have now been 125 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... after two more people were reported as positive over the past day.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the two new cases are a man in his 40s... and, a woman in her 50s.  Wendel says there are now nine active cases who are recovering under orders of the Local Health Director.... while 107 have now recovered.  He adds 130 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  Wendel adds that 13,148 negative test results have been reported.

New York was one of five states that failed to follow federal guidelines on how to deal with nursing home residents during the height of the coronavirus outbreak -- and it had disasterous results.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed during testimony in a House Ways and Means subcommittee meeting.  Reed provided a copy Governor Andrew Cuomo's March 25th order... which the Corning Republican says sent hundreds of infected people into nursing homes.

A staff member at a Texas nursing home who came down with COVID was among those who testified.  Reed says Cuomo's executive order was immediately challenged by the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care... and, independent fact checkers.  He called on fellow committee members to develop better policies for nursing homes to keep those people safe... especially if the virus emerges again in the Fall.  Reed says the long-term care society sent a letter to Governor Cuomo... warning that the mandate was "overreaching..." and, not consistant with science.  He adds the organization said it "caused significant risk of fatality to nursing home patients."

A Lakewood woman was arrested for drunk driving over the legal limit following a well-being check in the Village Tuesday morning. Lakewood-Busti Police were called to Chautauqua Avenue shortly before 5 AM to check on a person allegedly slumped over, behind the wheel of a running vehicle with its parking lights on. Investigation revealed Paige Sirwatka was the person in control of the vehicle and to be intoxicated. She was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for Busti Town Court.

A city man has been arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon on Jamestown's northside.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and the State Police K-9 unit, pulled over 45 year-old Blake Smith on Lakeview Avenue just before 2 PM on numerous traffic and vehicle infractions.  Samuelson says police investigated... and, seized 5.7-grams of marijuana... eight doses of Fentanyl, methamphetamine, and MDMA... along with 61-hundred dollars cash.  Smith was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree unlawful possession of marijuana... then jailed pending arraignment.

Two Jamestown residents convicted of conspiracy to retaliate against an informant, were sentenced to spend two years and a period of time served of three-months in federal prision. U-S Attorney James Kennedy-junior says in October 2018... 27year-old Bobby Hunt and 31 year-old Amy Dean allegedly conspired to intimidate and/or retaliate against the victim, who they believed was sharing information with investigators regarding drug trafficking activities of Hunt's brother Ramael Fields.  Kennedy says the defendents believed the victim might also share information about Hunt's involvement in a narcotics conspiracy. Fields was previously arrested in connection with a federal investigation of a largescale methamphetamine distribution operation in Jamestown. Kennedy says Hunt posted a series of Facebook messages regarding individuals "snitching" on Fields... and, both defendents reportedly left the victim several threatening Facebook voice messages. 

The Penn Yan woman who is challenging local Congressman Tom Reed in this November's general election had a much smoother time during this year's state primary... because she didn't have to run one.  One challenger early on was unable to muster a campaign... and, Tracy Mitrano was unchallenged to run for the 23rd District seat.  During a first campaign conference call Thursday... she expressed her appreciation for the overwhelming support she's gotten.

In 2018... Mitrano won a hard-fought five-way primary race to get the nomination to run for the seat.  However... she wound up coming up short against Reed.  This year... she's been endorsed by all 12 county Democratic Committees after getting the backing of the Tioga County panel.  Two years ago... Mitrano was left with just $8,000 in the bank to start the campaign with.  She ended up with about $1.5-million in the latter days of the campaign... but, it was too late.  This time around... she says she's got a quarter-of-a million dollars in the bank.  

A Falconer man faces several charges including two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly violating an order of protection and shooting a gun during a dispute. State Police responded to a residence in the Village on Monday.... and, learned 24 year-old Christian Powell broke several items in the home and punched holes in the walls. Troopers say Powell also shot two-rounds from a rifle while inside. The incident occurred in front of the protected victim and two young children.  Troopers say Powell resisted arrest before taken into custody, where he allegedly struck the drywall in the patrol room causing damage. He was sent to the County Jail on additional charges of reckless endangerment, criminal mischief.... menacing and criminal contempt.