Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Dec. 1, 2020

Taxes will remain flat in the city of Jamestown next year after the City Council unanimously approved a $34.8-million dollar budget that restores one-million dollars to the spending plan.  It eliminates Mayor Eddie Sundquist's original proposal to go with a new health insurance plan for retirees that may have saved just over a-million dollars.  Council President Tony Dolce commended Sundquist for his efforts to try and find savings in the budget.

That process included acting on 17 amendments... 16 of which was approved.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund called it the "most difficult budget" she's worked on in her time on council, and says even restoring the insurance money and using rainy day funds is "very concerning." The budget does include an additional $200,000 and between the contingency account and undesignated fund balance... lawmakers put just over $636,000 back into the general fund.  The spending plan did eliminate the Recreation Coordinator's position... a savings of $53,000.  It also keeps a maintenance mechanic position part-time... a savings of 37-thousand dollars.  The budget had to be approved by Midnight last night.

The first major winter storm of the season has moved into the area.  Forecaster Tony Ansuini of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says the storm moved up the Appalachian Mountains Monday... and, once it moves off to the north... temperatures will drop and snow will begin falling.  Ansuini says the snow will continue through Wednesday.  Once the storm passes, he says there will be some 'lake enhancement,' with total accumlations depending on where you live.  Ansuini says Jamestown could see 6 to 10 inches of snow by later Wednesday.  The Winter Storm Warning runs through 1 PM Wednesday for Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.  Warren County has a Winter Weather Advisory. 

There are 69 new cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County the past day... and, one new death.  County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says the death was a person in their 70s who died due to complications from COVID-19... and, their "sincere condolences go out to their loved ones."  Schuyler says this is the county's 19th death from the virus.  She adds there have now been 111 new cases of COVID reported the past three days... and, 162 cases are now active.  Schuyler says 23 of those cases were in Jamestown... while there were 16 in Dunkirk... and, 15 in Fredonia.  There are eight reported in Bemus Point.  She says there are now 1,675 total cases... and, 13 are hospitalized.  Schuyler says 1,494 cases have recovered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered a lot of plans for the holiday season... and, Jamestown's annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration is one of them.  City officials and local merchants organizations have now planned a "reverse" Holiday parade downtown for this Friday night.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he's been working with the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce on what's being called the "Jamestown Holiday Cruise."  Sundquist says spectators will be able to see everything from the safety of their cars.

Sundquist says merchants who border Third Street between Washington Street and Prendergast Avenue are being encouraged to decorate their store-fronts... or nearby parking spaces.  He says the holiday tree at Tracy Plaza will be lit earlier -- and can be seen virtually.  The Jamestown Holiday Cruise will run from 6 to 7:30 PM Friday... and, public safety will direct cars to enter eastbound off Washington Street, and they'll continue to Prendergast.  He says if you have toys to leave for Toys for Tots... you'll be able to that at the end of the parade route.

Three Jamestown residents were arrested for allegedly burglarizing a home in the town of Stockton last Saturday morning.  Sheriff's Officers responded to a burglary-in-progress on Route 380 and found that the homeowner and another family member blocked in a vehicle belonging to the suspects to keep them from leaving.  Deputies say 53 year-old Alfred Kohl.... 41 year-old Lisa Hayes.... and 33 year-old Brooke Amatuzzo are accused of stealing several items from the home, and trying to steal others, including firearms. Each faces charges including two counts each of fourth-degree grand larceny, and two-counts second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Deputies say Amatuzzo was also found in possession of a small quantity of methamphetamine and a hypodermic instrument and subsequently charged.  All three were sent to the county jail pending arraignment. 

A man from the Jamestown-area has been accused of stealing a car in the village of Celoron last week... and, was arrested after the vehicle was found in the city.  Ellicott Town Police say they got a complaint last Saturday about the vehicle being taken without the owner's permission.  It was later found to have allegedly been stolen by 25 year-old Robbie Stearns.  Stearns was found, and arrested for fourth-degree Grand Larceny... and, issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date.

The eleven newest inductees to the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame have been announced... and, they represent a number of sports... from little league coaching to swimming and karate.  Hall of Fame President Randy Anderson says the living inductees are long-time Lakewood area baseball coach and manager George Barone, Junior... swimmers Sarah Bogardus-Burnett, and, Andrew Creager... Karate Black-Belt Christina Kebort... Football stand-out and Coach Michael Sirianni... former basketball star and coach Lewis Mack, baseball stand-out Marc Tramuta, and -- Randy Anderson himself.  Anderson is a long-time sports historian, coach, and member of fellow Hall of Famer Dick Barton's pit crew.  The deceased honorees are Harry Carlson, Larry Rodgers and Richard Shearman.  Randy Anderson says the 11 new inductees will be formally inducted at a later time, due to current New York State Covid-19 restrictions that won't allow an induction banquet in February 2021.