Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for July 16, 2020

There has been an eighth death of a Chautauqua County resident from the COVID-19 Virus.  County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says an elderly man succumbed to the disease recently at an out-of-state care facility.  Schuyler says the man had been discharged to a "lower-level" of care facility... and, was initially listed as having recovered.  However... she says that was not the case.  She adds "we are greatly saddened to hear of his passing and our condolences go out to his loved ones."  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says Wednesday's new cases are a person under 18... a woman in her 20s... and, a man in his 40s.  Wendel says there are now 45 active cases... who continue to recover under health department orders.  He says there are now 191 confirmed COVID cases in the county... while 680 cases under quaratine or isolation orders.  He adds that 138 have recovered.

Plain clothes detectives and their supervisors in the Jamestown Police Department may soon be wearing body cameras when they go out in public.  That after retired officer and City Councilman Jeff Russell proposed the move at this week's work session, saying it would make more of the detective bureau's interactions with the public more open and provide protections to them, the department and the city.

Other council members reacted positively to the proposal... among them was Vickeye James... who says more transparency is important.  Acting Police Chief Tim Jackson also said he supports the move... adding that all uniformed officers who are out patroling have to have a body camera on.  Jackson also says he would be able to change the policy as soon as he is able to... but, he first needs to see if it's a point of negotation with the Kendall Club-PBA... which represents rank-and-file JPD officers.  The policy would not apply to undercover drug agents with JPD's Metro Drug Task Force.

Jamestown Police paid tribute yesterday to a four-legged member of the department that recently passed away suddenly.  A noon-hour procession was held at JPD Headquarters to honor K-9 Promber with police, fire department members, and others standing along Second Street.  Acting Police Chief Tim Jackson told City Council members at this week's meeting that the K-9 suddenly passed last Saturday.

Officer Erik Kraft... who is the department's K-9 handler... and, had been matched with Promber from the dog's start at JPD.  Jackson says they have contacted the kennel where Promber came from to see if a new K-9 can be found.  In the meantime... the acting chief says they do have cover from other departments.

Jackson told lawmakers is would likely cost the department $10,000-$20,000 to get a new K-9, and get them properly trained.  However... he also said that Kraft has been through the training as well, and that could save some money down the road.

The Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood will be re-open it's doors to the public starting this morning.  That from Marketing Director Sharon Bennett... who says the mall has "proactively implemented rigorous disinfectant and cleaning practices to provide a safe and enjoyable experience."  Until further notice... Bennett says mall-goers are asked to practice social distancing, wear a face covering and adhere to individual tenant COVID-19 policies.  Not all stores may be open in the mall yet... so Bennett recommends calling ahead and to follow along on their social media sites for more information.  Chautauqua Mall hours will be 11 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Saturday.... and, 11 AM to 6 PM on Sundays. 

A Jamestown-area woman faces a felony drug charge after her car was stopped for a traffic infraction on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott earlier this week.  Ellicott Town Police say a patrol pulled over 43 year-old Lisa Tibbetts shortly before 2 AM Monday... and, she was allegedly found in possession of more than 2-ounces of methamphetamine.  Tibbetts was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, arraigned.

Five juveniles are in trouble after allegedly leading Dunkirk Police on a pursuit in a stolen vehicle Tuesday afternoon.  Officers located the vehicle near the intersection of Maple Avenue and West Courtney Street at about 4 PM.  Police Chief Dave Ortolano says the vehicle was initially reported as stolen last Thursday.  He says officers tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver failed to comply.

Ortolano says officers found all the juveniles inside the car... and, all of them will be charged in Family Court. The driver was transported to Dunkirk Police headquarters for further questioning, while the four passengers were turned over to a parent or guardian. Police say one of the juveniles was evaluated for a possible panic attack and was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital by Dunkirk Fire.

Pennsylvania is imposing broad new statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants and larger indoor gatherings. Gov. Tom Wolf cites an "alarming escalation" in new coronavirus infections in making the announcement Wednesday. The Democratic governor says people who refused to wear a mask or abide by social distancing requirements when patronizing bars and restaurants are responsible for some of the virus's resurgence. 

The 90 year old Bemus Point-Stow Ferry may be running again later this year.... that from Jay Kuntz, Co-President of the Sea Lion Limited Group, owners of the vessel.  Earlier this week the 45 ton ferry was lifted out of the water at Stow, so crews could get to a place on the hull where and 8 by 13 foot section will be replaced.  Kuntz says the ferry will also get a new wooden deck and some cosmetic repairs as well.  He estimates the cost of this year's work at over $160,000... with most of the money coming from donations.  Prior to the Chautauqua Lake Bridge, the ferry was the only way to cross the narrows of the lake.