Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Nov 16, 2020

Strong, gusty winds roared into Chautauqua County about mid-afternoon Sunday... downing trees and limbs and knocking out power to hundreds of customers.  Both National Grid and the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities reported numerous outages in various locations, including Jamestown, West Ellicott, the Village of Celoron and Bemus Point. National Grid outage maps indicate more than 1,700 people remain without power this morning.    The BPU Water Division advises that water customers may notice widespread discolored water as a result of the outages. Motorists are asked to be aware of garbage cans that may have blown into the roadway and for sporadic traffic lights, that may be out. 

Three finalists are now vying to become the city of Jamestown's next Police Chief and Director of Public Safety.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says his final pick may be announced shortly.  Sundquist says he started off with about 30 very good candidates... and, he put together a special panel to begin interviewing, and narrowing down the top three choices.

Sundquist says some of the candidates came from inside the department... and, others came from outside.  The new chief will replace former Chief Harry Snellings... who retired earlier this year.  Sundquist also confirms that he has selected a new Deputy Fire Chief.  Former Battalion Chief, Matt Coon, is now in that position.

Sundquist adds that Coon is moving forward on modernizing the Jamestown Fire Department... which has all of it's records on paper. Coon replaces former Deputy Chief Chet Harvey.  Sundquist made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

The Jamestown Public Schools have announced a Persell Middle School student has tested positive for COVID-19.  JPS Communications Coordinator Cathy Panebianco says the district was notified by the Chautauqua County Health Department of the positive case last Saturday afternoon. She says the student last attended school on Monday, November 9th.  The district is following all guidelines from the Chautauqua County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Because the student had been attending off-site at the time of diagnosis, the Health Department has advised that no in-school contact tracing will be required. Out-of-school close contacts are being notified and appropriate steps are being taken.

Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano is conceding the 23rd Congressional District race to incumbant Republican Tom Reed.  In a printed release late Friday, Mitrano said she called Reed "this afternoon and congratulated him, conceding the race for the 23rd Congressional District."  She also thanked her supporters for their help and encouragement as she traveled throughout this district for the last three years.  Mitrano also issued a statement, saying "believing in the need to uphold our democratic norms of free and fair elections and the need to ensure that every ballot is counted, I had planned originally to concede after all of the ballots were counted.  I did not know how protracted the count would be."  She also expressed "enormous gratitude to my team and our supporters."

Pennsylvania's highest-ranking law enforcement official says that more than a week after Election Day he still hasn't seen any sign of widespread voter fraud.  Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro said Thursday that lawyers for the Republican Party and President Donald Trump also haven't produced any evidence of widespread fraud in the swirl of litigation they're pursuing.  Shapiro also says lawmakers in the Republican-majority General Assembly lack legal authority to attempt to replace Democrat Joe Biden's Electoral College voters.  The electors are due to convene in Harrisburg in about a month.

Tributes have been pouring in over the past week with the death of long-time Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek.  Many past contestants are recalling Trebek as kind, smart, and most of all having a calming influence on them before and during the taping of the shows.  One of those is current Robert H. Jackson Center Director Kristen McMahon... who tried to get on the show "three or four" times before she finally got the call in 2013. McMahon says for contestants... it's a long day... with Jeopardy staff picking you up about 5 AM to go to the studio in Los Angeles.  She says Trebek saw Jeopardy! as his labor of love.

McMahon says she once read that Trebek... who is the only host she's known of for the show... felt his role was to make sure that people were "shown off at their best."  When Trebek passed at the age of 80... there were still 35 taped shows yet to be aired, which would taken Jeopardy! up to around Christmas.  No announcement has been made about an interim host, or new permanent host as yet.

A 75-foot Norway spruce has arrived at New York City's Rockefeller Center to serve as one of the world's most famous Christmas trees.  NBC's "Today" show recorded the tree being trucked in Saturday morning.  The tree will be decorated over the coming weeks.  The tree was donated by Al Dick of Daddy Al's General Store in Oneonta in central New York.  NBC says it's broadcasting the tree-lighting at 7 PM on December 2nd.  No in-person spectators will be allowed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The pandemic has spurred the cancellation of other New York holiday customs including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.