Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 15, 2020

A Ripley man is jailed after allegedly being found drunk when his car was stopped for traveling 103 miles an hour in a 55 mile zone last weekend.  Sheriff's deputies say they stopped 33 year-old Skyler Miller on Route 20 in the town of Ripley last Saturday night.  Officers add they also found that Miller was wanted in Erie County, Pennsylvania.  He was arrested for Felony driving while intoxicated, first-degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, reckless driving, consumption of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle... and, Fugitive from Justice.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

A Dunkirk man is jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail after allegedly hitting another person on the right side of the head with an axe during an incident on Central Avenue in the north county city last Saturday.  Dunkirk Police say they were called to the scene about 2:30 PM... and, arrested 33-year-old Brian Nowak on the felony charge... and, he was remanded to the Chautauqua County jail with bail set.  The victim was transported to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The Chatauqua County Fire Investigation team is looking for the cause of a mobile home fire in the Village of Brocton this morning.  The Post-Journal reports crews from Brotcon, Portland and West Dunkirk were called to the residence on Route 5 shortly before 7:30 AM.  Firefighters are reported to have had the flames under control within 20 minutes. 

A north county man faces felony driving while intoxicated charges following a two-vehicle accident involving a tractor-trailer Monday morning. Sheriff's Officers were called to the intersection of Washington Street and Central Avenue in the VIllage of Silver Creek... and, investigation revealed a pick-up truck allegedly struck the tractor-trailer shortly before 6:30 AM.  Prior to their arrival, deputies the occupants of the pick-up allegedly fled the scene on foot.  During a canvas of the area.... Deputies allegedly found and identified the driver as 41 year-old Paul Farnham, of Dunkirk.  He was sent to county jail pending arraignment. 

Jamestown city lawmakers are still discussing a possible residency requirement for new police officers.  However... after about 20-minutes of discussion last night, there is no final proposal.  Former JPD Officer, Councilman Jeff Russell, proposed the idea at recent meetings... and, lawmakers have been considering somewhere between a 5 and 10-year requirement.  However... the policemen's union is opposed to the idea... and, Russell says he would like to see a requirement negotiated.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund also clarified that the requirement would be for new hires only.

Ecklund also said that new hires should be given a year to move into the city because rank-and-file officers have to go through a probationary period before they are made permanent hires.  Lawmakers initially looked at a six-month period.  The most recent police contract expired... and, the city is dealing with a court ruling awarding the union pay raises they had sought.  In addition... Russell says there was also a misconception that a potential JPD hire would already have to have lived in the city for 5-years.  He says anyone would still be able to apply.

New York parents of children who have missed out on free meals at school, because of the COVID pandemic, are receiving food assistance in the form of electronic benefit transfer cards.  Families receiving SNAP benefits or Medicaid should have already received food assistance added to their EBT or Benefit Identification cards.  The P-E-B-T cards being distributed this month are going to the parents of children who are in school districts with universal free lunch, or who receive pre-approved reduced-price meals but whose families don't receive those other benefits.  Chief Executive Officer Joel Berg with Hunger Free America says that's about two-million children statewide.

Qualified parents who have not received the cards by today should call the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance at 833-452-0096.  The program was funded by the Family First Act passed by Congress early this year. But unless new legislation is passed soon, it will expire at the end of this month.

There are seven new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County over the past day... bringing the local total to 582 cases.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... who says there are now 55 active cases compared to well over 100 in recent days.  Wendel says there have now been 517 recovered cases... but, there are now three people hospitalized.  He says there are 361 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and being monitored... while 220 persons are now under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  There are now 38,761 negative test results to date.

The boil order will continue until further notice for the Fredonia Village Water System.  That from Mayor Doug Essek, who says delays in water system projects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed the problem that led to boil order. Because of work at the pump house... Essek says the village has not been able to purchase water from the city of Dunkirk.  He says the pump house had not been operational for about eight years... and, there's still about four weeks of work yet to be completed there.  Essek also says he issued a State of Emergency in hope that some of the cost incurred by the village will be covered by the state. 

The union representing New York State Troopers has endorsed State Senator George Borrello in his run for re-election this Fall.  The State Troopers Police Benevolent Association say their backing of Borrello is in recognition of his steadfast support and appreciation of New York’s law enforcement community.  Borrello accepted the endorsement, acknowledging the often dangerous and increasingly difficult work that troopers perform.  The Sunset Bay Republican says "I am honored and humbled to receive the endorsement of the New York State Troopers PBA.  Our state is stronger and safer because of the dedication of the police officers who put their lives on the line to serve and protect our citizens and communities."  The State Police PBA represents more than 6,000 retired and active uniformed members of the New York State Police.

The union representing most Chautauqua County workers has endorsed interim County Executive P-J Wendel for election this November.  Wendel says he has gotten the backing of both the Civil Service Employee Association, Chautauqua County Local 807, and from the CSEA Region-six Political Action Committee.  He says "I’m honored to receive the endorsement of our local and region CSEA, especially because they represent many of our county employees.  I care deeply about the concerns and especially the safety of our county workforce."  Wendel then thanked the CSEA for their endorsement, and the confidence they have in him.