WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 11, 2020

A city man is jailed after allegedly shooting another man twice during a fight on Jamestown's northside Monday afternoon.  City Police were called to 834 Prendergast Avenue just before 2:30 PM on a report of several shots being fired.  On arrival... officers learned the male victim had been seriously wounded... and, was taken by a private vehicle to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.  He was later transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania where he underwent surgery.  Investigators say they later found the suspect, 27 year-old Jorge Medina-Tirando, at a Euclid Avenue home... and, he was arrested for first-degree assault, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Police say the victim was on the porch at 834 Prendergast when the fight, which involved several people, broke out.  They say Medina-Tirando pulled out a pistol, and fired several rounds with two of them hitting the victim.  Investigators later recovered the handgun..

Jamestown police say a city man turned himself in late Monday for allegedly shooting a gun towards a parked car on the city's southside.  Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says police used the city's Public Safety Camera at the corner of Forest and Newland Avenues to identify the suspect in last Thursday night's incident.  Samuelson says police identified the man as 49 year-old Chris Freeney... who is charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, and menacing.  He says Freeney was involved in a dispute with several subjects inside the vehicle when he fired the gun.  Samuelson says Freeney is being held pending arraignment.  The investigation is continuing and more charges are expected. 

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he will soon form a committee to review applications from more than people who have applied to become the city's next Police Chief and Director of Public Safety.  Sundquist updated City Council on the hiring process during last night's work session... and, says the deadline for applications has come and gone.  He says they're now making sure the applicants have the necessary certification and training.

Sundquist did not say who has applied... but, at a previous work session... noted that current Acting Chief Tim Jackson is among those who have applied.  Lawmakers also briefly discussed refilling officers positions with three recent retirements -- including former Chief Harry Snellings and Captain Todd Issacson.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says... as officers are promoted... the new hires will start as patrol officers.  Once brought on... the new hires will return the Jamestown Police Department to it's minimum staffing of 60 officers. 

Six new cases of coronavirus have been reported since last Saturday in Chautauqua County.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the new cases include two people under the age of 18... three women... one in her 20s... one in her 30s... and another in her 40s... and, a man in his 50s.  Wendel says that brings the total number of confirmed cases to 261... and, 16 are currently active.  He says 236 have now recovered... and, 114 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders.  There are also 1,194 people under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state on the New York travel advisory. 

There are 107 school districts in New York state who have not submitted "in-person" learning plans for the coming school year... and, will have to by this Friday if they want to.  A handfull of those districts are in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says that if those districts that haven't submitted plans don't do so by Friday... they will be unable to provide an in-perseon learning this year.  Cuomo also says some other districts submitted "incomplete plans."

Cuomo says the districts that did not submit in-person plans include Pine Valley in Chautauqua County... and, Franklinville, Portville, Salamanca and West Valley in Cattaraugus County.  He also reminded districts they must complete the three to five public sessions with parents and teachers and post their plans for remote learning, testing and tracing on their website by August 21st to be in compliance with state standards.

Even school districts that submitted their full plans for reopening schools this Fall have "work to do" before that time.  That from the head of the New York State School Boards Association... who feels local districts can get that done before they begin classes.  School Boards Association Executive Director Bob Schneider says they are glad Governor Cuomo has given the go-ahead for all those districts to reopen.  But, he says there need to be three meetings that include parents and guardians, so they can have concerns addressed.  Schneider says another session must be held for districts internally.

Schneider adds there are three key areas that must be addressed specifically before a district can open.  One is posting their COVID-19 Reopening plan on the district website, and, show that the Department of Health has approved it.  He says the second is putting COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols in place... and, have back-up plans if a district has to return to on-line learning.