The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office says searchers found the wreckage of a small plane from North Carolina that crashed in Jamestown, killing all three people aboard on Sunday. Speaking this morning, Sheriff Jim Quattrone says the plane went missing just before 6 PM Sunday night... and, it was found Monday morning between Route 380 and 60. The Sheriff says the three people on board the flight have been identified as Alan Fuller, Valerie Holmes, and Linda Edwards, all of Northwestern Pennsylvania. No cause has been released at this point.
New Yorkers cast their final ballots Tuesday amid a pandemic that had officials worried about protecting voters' health on top of more typical concerns about long wait times or adequate staffing at the polls. Long waits are still possible on Election Day, even with a record number of people casting ballots by mail or through early voting. Gov. Andrew Cuomo relaxed the state's rules to allow anyone worried about the virus to vote absentee. This was the first general election where the state allowed early voting.
Nearly 50-percent of the expected voters in Chautauqua County have already voted heading into Election Day tomorrow... with record number of early, and absentee voters this year. That from Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram... who says just over 14,000 voters took part in early voting that ended on Sunday. Abram adds another 9,500 have returned absentee ballots.
Abram and Democratic Commissioner Norm Green add there are still about 2,000 absentees still out. Abram says 3,600 people voted early last year... which was not a Presidential Election year. There were times where voters had to wait 45 minutes to an hour at each of the three early voting sites. However... most times people were in and out of the early voting locations in 20 to 25-minutes.
Voting on this Election Day runs from 6 AM to 9 PM in Chautauqua County. In addition to the Presidential race... county voters also also deciding on a County Executive in a special election between Interim Executive P-J Wendel, a Republican, and Democrat Rich Morrisroe. They're also voting on a District Attorney between incumbant Democrat Patrick Swanson, and Republican Jason Schmidt. There is also an election for the 150th District State Assembly seat... currently held by Republican Andy Goodell. He's being challenged by Democrat Christina Cardinale. In the State Senate... incumbant Republican George Borrello is running for a full term against Democrat Frank Puglisi. In the 23rd Congressional District... five-term incumbant Republican Tom Reed is seeking another term against Democrat Tracy Mitrano. There are also some other local races, and there are two candidates runing for State Supreme Court. Listen as the results come in on WJTN tonight. Our coverage begins after ABC News at 8PM.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist is apologizing to residents and City Council members about the snowy and slick condition of some streets from Monday's early morning snow storm. During last night's Council work session... Sundquist said there were issues with some of the more hilly, and brick street areas.
Sundquist says his office, as well as the Public Works Department and some council members received numerous calls about problem spots during Monday morning's commute. Councilwoman Marie Carruba thanked Interim Police Chief Tim Jackson's office for their traffic control work on one frequent trouble spot... North Main Street downtown.
There should be no drop offs in service by the Jamestown Fire Department despite having seven firefighters in isolation due to a small cluster of COVID-19 cases. The outbreak was reported late last week... and, involved six members. That number increased to seven by the end of the week. However... Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says they're been able to bring in added firefighters to replace those who are in quarantine or isolation. Coon says there will be some overtime cost during this time period.
Mayor Eddie Sundquist says it was important to inform residents of what was going on as the number of cases, and exposures grew. He says it was also important to let the public know the fire department is adequately staffed. Neither Sundquist nor Coon would speculate how much overtime would be necessary to replace the members in isolation. However... they noted that all the department's stations will be open during this time period.
The Chautauqua County Health Department reported 16 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus Monday. Health officials say there are cases being reported just about everywhere in the county the past three days... with 9 each reported in Dunkirk, Fredonia, and Jamestown. The Jamestown numbers include a small cluster of cases in the city's Fire Department. Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are 142 active cases right now... and, 1,104 total. Wendel says 25 people are hospitalized with the virus... and 14 people have now died. However... 954 cases have now recovered.
With more people facing food insecurity during the COVID pandemic, anti-hunger advocates are urging Congress to increase SNAP benefits. The HEROES Act, originally passed in the House last May, would raise the maximum benefit under SNAP by 15-percent through September of next year. But there has been no increase in the benefit in COVID relief bills passed by Republicans in the Senate. Amy Hill with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank says since the pandemic began they've seen about a 50-percent increase in the number of people asking for food assistance, many of them for the first time.
According to Joel Berg, C-E-O of Hunger Free America, raising the maximum SNAP benefit by 15-percent would cost at least $10-billion, but the added nutritional benefits would save many times that in extra health-care costs. The total price tag for the HEROES Act as updated by the House in September would be two-point-two-trillion-dollars. Over 16 months... a 15-percent increase in SNAP would raise the benefits available in Pennsylvania by more than $490-million.