Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 8, 2020

It was a stormy Labor Day Monday across Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren Counties... with thunderstorms and gusty winds knocking down trees and power lines in several places.  In Jamestown... a large tree branch fell on a power line at Sabin and South Main Street shortly before Noon...  knocking out power to a large part of the city's southside including Cole, and Foote Avenues, and South Main Street.  Board of Public Utilities' Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says power was restored to those areas just after 1 PM.

Elsewhere in Chautauqua County... Sheriff's Department dispatchers say some trees and power lines were knocked down on Bard Road in Cassadaga... and, there were some outages on Oak Hill Road in Frewsburg... and, much of Forestville was without power for a time. 

In Warren County, Pennsylvania... storms with strong winds struck the northern part of the county... with tree damage along Route 62 from Russell to North Warren... along with the Brokenstraw Campgrounds near Pittsfield.  The National Weather Service in State College reports the storms about 11:30 AM Monday. 

Labor Day has passed, but the city of Jamestown continues to deal with some significant labor issues.  Speaking to Media One following last Friday's Labor Day ceremony at city hall, Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the city's been working diligently with both the police and fire unions to settle unresolved contracts.  An overshadowing issue for all city workers is the potential for layoffs, as a result of the COVID-19 economic slowdown.  The new mayor said another challenge for him has been keeping the city's workforce safe... saying, "There's no one you can call to ask, 'how do you keep a labor force safe in a pandemic'?"

Fall classes -- both in-person and remotely -- get underway in most Chautauqua County school districts today... and, one of those is the Southwestern Central schools.  Superintendent Maureen Donahue... though... admits there is some "nervousness" over the start of classes due to the on-going COVID-19 situation.  Donahue praised her staff and teachers for going a great job getting ready... and, she says many students have already shown their appreciation.

Donahue says most of their students will be in their hybrid "Red" or "Blue" groups to begin the Fall.  One group will alternate time in classroom settings, as well as remote.  She says that nearly 12-percent of their students will be taking class completely by "remote" learning this Fall.  She says that was one of the options given to parents.  Donahue says... if you have any questions about the start of school... e-mail them to your child's Principal, teacher, or herself.  She adds they are fully-staffed for the new school year... and, they have made numerous accomodations for them and the children. 

The Dunkirk City School District is moving ahead with plans to reopen on Monday, September 14th.  However... due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the local area, the district has decided to delay the start of in-person learning under its hybrid option.  That from new Superintendent Mike Mansfield... who updated the district's reopening plan late last week.

Mansfield says the district sent out "parent choice" cards last week and so far the responses are average about 60 percent for the hybrid option and 40 percent for fully remote learning.  The changes are due mainly to COVID outbreaks at Fieldbrook Foods in Dunkirk... and, the SUNY College at Fredonia.

An unidentified man has been killed in a two-vehicle crash on Route 353 in the Cattaraugus County town of Little Valley last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say the 44 year-old man died after losing control of his southbound car, and it crashed into a guard rail before crossing into the oncoming lane, and struck a vehicle just after 6 PM Saturday.  Officers say the man was pronounced dead at the scene.  No other injuries were reported.

An Ellery woman faces multiple charges after allegedly shoving another person during an altercation last weekend at a home on Route 430.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene shortly before 4 PM Sunday... and learned that 35 year-old Tarrin Jones had gotten into an argument, and shoved another adult in the presence of a child under the age of 17.  Officers say they later found Jones in possession of a hypodermic instrument, and she was arrested.  Jones was taken to the county jail pending arraignment on charges of second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument.  She will receive tickets for Ellery Town Court at a later date.

Interim Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel has completed early work on a "tentative 2021 budget" that will be presented later this month.  Wendel says work continue on the spending plan until it's presented to the legislature and public on, or just before, September 25th.  During this past weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations... Wendel said there is still "some uncertainty" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, he believes people will like what they see.

Overall... Wendel says it's a "good" and "very solid" budget.  He believes the hard work by his administration and finance team will be seen in the proposed spending plan.  The county charter requires the spending plan to be presented by or on September 25th.  This month's County Legislature meeting will be held Wednesday, September 23rd.
And... two large trees fell on parts of two apartment buildings in the city of Olean in Cattaraugus County.