Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 5, 2020

Jamestown fire investigators say a blaze that damaged a vacant home on the city's eastside early Sunday morning was set intentionally.  City Fire Battalion Chief Cris Dahlgren says crews were called to the scene at 426 Allen Street about 4:30 AM.  Dahlgren says firefighters needed some help from a Falconer engine to stand-by because an off-duty shift was delayed in responding.  He says the fire was investigated, and found to be arson.  Dahlgren says no one was inside the condemned house when crews arrived, and no firefighters were hurt.  The last firefighters left the scene about 9:30 AM.  Dahlgren says there has been no determination yet on whether the house will be torn-down.

A propane tank explosion sparked a fire inside a trailer home in the town of Portland early last Saturday morning.  Chautauqua County Fire officials say Portland firefighters were called to the scene at 7022 Webster Road just after 3:30 AM... and, found that the four occpants, and their pets got out safely.  Fire crews from Brocton and Westfield joined Portland at the scene... and, had the blaze out fairly quickly.  They found the explosion caused a fire to start on one side of the trailer.  County Fire Investigators were called out to assist the fire departments, and the blaze is under investigation.

An investigation is underway into a house fire that broke out Saturday morning in the City of Dunkirk.  City fire crews responded to 25 Leming Street at about 6:45 AM with initial reports of flames showing from the residence.  Fire Captain Gary Katta says there was also a report of people trapped inside the building, but firefighters did not find anybody inside.

On arrival, firefighters did find heavy fire conditions on the first floor.  Katta says the flames advanced to the second floor and caused extensive damage to the structure.  He says the flames burned through the roof and exterior wall in the back of the home.  However... Katta says crews had the blaze under control fairly quickly.  Firefighters were on scene for about two hours.  No injuries were reported.  East Dunkirk Fire provided mutual aid.  City and county fire investigators are looking into the cause.

A revised history of baseball in Jamestown had its official launch on Saturday.  "Our Game... From Unknowns to Tarp Skunks" is the second book by David Mulei about the various teams that have played in Jamestown over a 155 year time frame.  More than players and coaches and games... he says the history reveals something about the city's character.  At every step Mulei found people committed to keeping high quality baseball at the local park... right up to now.  The co-author for the new book is Jamestown Post Journal Sports Editor, Scott Kindberg, who wrote about the most recent years of baseball here, including the end of minor league play in the city.   (Kindberg gave full credit to his predecessor at the paper, the late Jim Riggs... whose articles were the source material for that part of the book.  The new book was made possible by the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, with help from a Chautauqua Region Community Foundation grant.)  "Our Game" is available for $25 from the Tarp Skunks office at Diethrick Park, their website... or the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.  The launch party was held Saturday at the Robert H. Jackson Center, with David Mulei 'zoomed in' from Boston.

While much of the national focus is on the health of President Trump and several others found infected with COVID-19, talks regarding a fourth, new COVID-19 Stimulus bill is continuing.  The president is being briefed on a number of matters, including the status of a new bill from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.  Mnuchin was the keynote speaker to conclude Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed's annual Manufacturing Summit and says that two key areas need to be addressed in the new bill.

Mnuchin says the first three COVID Stimulus bills put the country in a much better position now than it would have been.  He says "there's no question that had we not passed the legislation, we would be in a much different situation today economically."  During the Zoom meeting... Mnuchin thanked Reed for his support of the previous bills... and, efforts to get a fourth stimulus bill in place. 

Two New York lawmakers have submitted legislation to curb mandatory court fees they say are unfair to the poor.  Legislation sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar and Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou would abolish mandatory surcharges, which can amount to hundreds of dollars.  The fees are attached to every conviction, including traffic tickets.  Judges used to be able to waive or reduce those surcharges, but the Legislature stripped them of that power starting in 1995. 

President Donald Trump's son Eric is scheduled to speak via video on Monday with New York state investigators probing his family's business practices.  That's according to court papers filed Friday.  Eric Trump has given no indication he will seek to delay the interview in light of his father's and stepmother's recent coronavirus diagnosis or for any other reasons.  A White House doctor said Friday that the other members of the first family had tested negative for the virus.