Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Oct 20. 2020

Jamestown police believe the arrest of a man who allegedly fire several shots towards an occupied home early Monday morning may have solved a second shooting incident.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to a disturbance at the corner of East Seventh and Lincoln Streets just before 1 AM... and, learned that a red sedan had pulled up, and a passenger fired several shots towards the home.  Samuelson says they found the car at a home on Columbia Avenue.

Samuelson says police took 20 year-old Stephon Thomas into custody at the Columbia Avenue location after getting the other occupants inside out safely.  He says police also got a search warrant and found the alleged hand-gun used about 7:30 AM.  Samuelson says no one was hurt in the early morning shooting at East Seventh and Lincoln.  Thomas is being arraigned this afternoon on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, first-degree reckless endangerment.  Anyone with information on either shooting incident is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... the tips-line at 483-8477... or contact the Tips 4-1-1 app.

A Jamestown man has been re-indicted for second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing a Sherman man just over a year ago.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that Julio Montanez was arraigned in County Court on a three count indictment -- which also includes two counts of second-degree attempted murder.  Sheriff's officers say 28 year-old Justin Gibbons was struck in the back by a bullet, allegedly fired by Montanez, as he drove away from the scene.  Swanson says the case is -- quote -- "back in the posture it was three weeks ago, and is again moving forward toward trial."  He thanked the Sheriff's Office and the Forensic Investigation Team for their efforts in the case.  Montanez pled not guilty in County Court... where bail was set at $150,000 cash, or $300,000 property bond. 

The Jamestown City Council is asking a lot of questions... and, expressing concerns over a proposal to double the one-hour parking meter fee in the downtown area next January 1st.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist is proposing the increase from 50-cents to one-dollar based on the recommendation of the city's Parking Advisory panel, and others.  Councilwoman Marie Carrubba says... at a time where businesses are struggling due to the COVID-19 shut-down... she wonders if it's wise to do.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says she has two issues with the proposal... the first being having to search for more change.  Ecklund says she's also concerned about the possible impact on downtown foot-traffic.  Sundquist says the increase could double those revenues... which were more than $156,000 in 2019.  He adds that another reason for the change is, if you use a phone app to pay the 50-cent fee... that'll cost you another 40-cents.  Sundquist says it doesn't make sense to have a transaction fee that's "slightly lower" than the cost of the parking. 

There are six new cases of the coronavirus being reported in Chautauqua County... bringing the total between last Saturday and Monday to 34.  The county Health Department says 14 of those cases were from Jamestown... and, nine others were reported in Dunkirk.  There have now been 872 cases county-wide.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 133 active cases... and, 18 people were hospitalized.  

Western New York's COVID-19 infection rate has improved according to the latest numbers released by Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday.  The region's infection rate fell below the statewide average... at point-9 percent... which Cuomo calls a very good number.  Overall... he says New York state's average infection rate is now 1.2-percent.

Cuomo says the statewide average includes downstates "red zones."  He announced last weekend that Movie theaters can open this Friday, with limits... and, that ski resorts can open -- also with limits -- on November 6th.

The Republican challenger in the campaign for Chautauqua County District Attorney says he's getting the only local police endorsement in the race.  Fredonia attorney Jason Schmidt is in a rematch of his race four years ago, with incumbant Democrat Patrick Swanson.  Schmidt says he decided to challenge Swanson again because he feels the office can do better.  He says the county's Felony conviction rate has gone down under Swanson... and, says that's why he's gotten the backing of the Dunkirk City Police Department's rank and file.

Meantime... Swanson has been endorsed by the New York State Police union's 6-thousand member organization.  But, Schmidt argues that it's not a local agency making the decision.  Schmidt was a guest on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.  Patrick Swanson will be our guest next weekend.