Local News Headlines

County sets new single-day record with 90 new COVID-19 Cases...
Chautauqua County has reached another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic... with 90 new cases... putting the county over 18-hundred confirmed cases.  The county's Health Department reports the new cases include 23 in the city of Jamestown... 14 in Mayville... and, 12 in Fredonia.  Officials say there are currently 263 active cases... and, 1,883 total.  They add that 1,600 have now recovered... and 15 are hospitalized. 


Due to sharp increase in COVID numbers, county has scheduled more testing clinics...
With the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and illness in the county... the Health Department has scheduled more free COVID-19 testing in both Dunkirk and Jamestown throughout the month of December.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says the Dunkirk Fire Training Grounds will host two clinics... the first is next Tues. Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m... and, the second during the same hours on Tues. Dec. 15.  In Jamestown... Schuyler says clinics will be held at the Taylor Fire Training Grounds on Harrison St. from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  She says COVID-19 testing is available to any Chautauqua County resident who wants to be tested and is free.  But... Schuyler adds that appointments are required, and, walk-in testing is not available.  Registration will open on Monday of each week at 9 a.m.  She says visit the Chautauqua County Health Department website to access the online registration links chqgov.com/public-health/covid-19-testing-sites... or call 1-866-604-6789.


Four men rescued from Chautauqua Lake early Sat. morning after boat overturns...
Four local hunters had to be rescued from Chautauqua Lake after their boat capsized on Chautauqua Lake early this morning near Bemus Point.  Sheriff's officers say they received a 911 call of distress near Lakeside Drive about 6 a.m.  Deputies and members of the county's Wet Emergency Team arrived on scene within 5 minutes.  They found the 15-foot boat used for hunting waterfoul had overturned... and, left the four men in the water for about 30 minutes.  However... only one has a life jacket on, and all four were experiencing hypothermia.  Officers were able to swim out and bring in two men, and, local fire rescuers were able to rescue the remaining two subjects.  The four men... 39 year-old Daniel Auria of Panama... 31 year-old Jonathan Bellardo of Frewsburg... 30 year-old Matthew Calimeri of Jamestown and 39 year-old Howard Talbot of Jamestown... were taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment... and, are expected to recover fully.


City hold's socially-distanced tree lighting, "reverse parade..."
There was a much smaller crowd than usual, due to COVID-19 restrictions -- but, the 40-foot tall Christmas Tree at Jamestown's Tracy Plaza was officially lighted shortly before 5:30 Friday afternoon.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was joined by three young children to count it down, and pull the candy-cane lever.  The tree lighting was broadcast on the city's website... with a small but enthusiastic gathering.  Sundquist says -- especially this year -- this is needed.  The reverse parade... dubbed the "Jamestown Holiday Cruise..." is taking a unique tact this year.  Spectators were able to drive through the downtown to see the lights and holiday displays to Tracy Plaza.  Several people said on-line that they were turned away at 8 p.m. because the parade was over.  It lasted half-an-hour longer than was scheduled.


Jamestown's arborist, mayor, say city's "Oak Tree Canopy" will have to taken down due to safety concerns...             Some 43 remaining Oak Trees that are part of the city of Jamestown's "tree canopy" on West Third Street will be coming down because their condition has deteriorated.  City Arborist Dan Stone made the announcement during Thursday's special meeting of the City's Parks and Recreation Commission.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist confirmed the news Friday... noting that the huge trees no longer have roots that can support them.  Sundquist says it was a "very difficult decision" and that it was no made lightly.  During the November 15th wind storm in the area... two oaks on West Third Street were knocked down.  Stone says the remaining trees will be taken down starting next week, and he'll b making a full presentation to city lawmakers are Monday night's work session... and, that will include proposed replacement trees.


City woman arrested for alleged Sex Trafficking of two girls...
A Jamestown woman has been arrested on federal sex trafficking charges for allegedly forcing two minor girls to have sex for money here and in Buffalo.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced today that 23 year-old Jasmin Osteen was arrested and charged with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor.  Prosecutors say back on Sept. 23, the first victim's mother and grandmother contacted the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, and expressed concern because the girl was involved in prostitution and using drugs.  They were also concerned that Osteen may have been trafficking the girl for sexual exploitation... and, provided messages between Osteen and the victim.  The minor also allegedly traveled to Buffalo, and says -- during one of those trips -- a second minor victim was also forced to engage in sexual activity.  The first victim said Osteen threatened to harm her if she talked about the situation.  The second victim then told investigators that Osteen also drove her and the first victim to a Buffalo hotel, gave them alcohol, and forced them to have sex for money.  Kennedy says the charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a maximum of life.


Allegany man faces Felony Rape charge...
A Cattaraugus County man faces felony charges following a sex crimes investigation late last month.  State Police in Olean say the Bureau of Criminal Investigations received a complaint of possible sexual misconduct involving minors on Nov. 20.  Further investigation revealed 40 year-old Nathan Rhodes of Allegany allegedly had a sexual relationship with an underaged female victim over the course of several years. Troopers say Rhodes was arraigned on charges of third-degree rape and criminal sex act.