Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Dec 15, 2020

Members of the Jamestown City Council have overwhelmingly overriden two vetoes by Mayor Eddie Sundquist in the 2021 budget.  That means the full-time Parks and Recreation Coordinator's position has been eliminated for the coming year.  Lawmakers voted... via Zoom Conferencing... to override Sundquist's veto to bring back the position, 8-to-1.  Only Councilman Brent Sheldon voted "no" on the move.  Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says, once the city can begin safely hosting sports, music and other activites again, the position will be brought back.

Ecklund says a big reason why lawmakers decided to furlough the position in the coming year is because Sundquist's budget is assuming little or no parks activity again in 2021.  Council President Tony Dolce also reiterated that, once it's safe to schedule those activites, the position will be brought back.  Council also voted 9-to-nothing to override the veto of the change to the undesignated fund balance... increasing the amount out taken to balance nex year's budget. 

One new COVID-19 related death has been reported from over the past weekend in Chautauqua County... in addition to 174 new cases of the virus.   The county's Health Department says there have now been 23 deaths from the virus... while there are now 2,477 total cases.  Health officials say there are 441 active cases... while 2,013 have now recovered.  The new cases include 43 in Jamestown... 21 in Fredonia... 13 in Frewsburg and 10 in Silver Creek.  Officials say there are 23 people now hospitalized.

The first COVID-19 vaccinations in New York state took place Monday morning in the start of the largest vaccination campaign evef in the U.S.  Health care workers received the first shots.  "Relieved" is the reaction of a critical care nurse who got the first vaccination at a Queens hospital.  I-C-U Nurse Sandra Lindsey received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at Northwell's Long Island Jewish Medical Center during a ZOOM conference event hosted by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Cuomo noted that Northwell was among the hospital's on the front-lines last Spring.

Cuomo also praised Northwell's administration and staff for the work they've done during the pandemic.  The hospital was among those on the front line in treating and helping develop therapies to use on COVID-19 patients.  The quick roll-out of the vaccine was the product of several months of work and research, and the federal government's "Operation Warp Speed."

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has unveiled a formal proposal for COVID-19 relief as Congress searches for a final agreement.  The proposal unveiled Monday includes one bill for $748-billion for small businesses, the unemployed and for schools, along with money for vaccine distribution.  The House Problem Solver's Caucus... co-chaired by local Congressman Tom Reed... had a major hand in crafting the bill.  Reed says a second bill... for $160-billion would go to state and local governments.

The bills also include provisions shielding businesses from lawsuits related to the virus.  However... the path forward is unclear.  Congressional leaders and Trump administration officials are trying to negotiate a final solution to virus relief, and government funding. There's a hoped-for deadline of midnight this Friday to deliver a completed package to President Donald Trump. 

A city man faces a number of charges after allegedly breaking into a home on Jamestown's eastside... and, stealing a number of items inside.  City police were called to a location on Winsor Street about 6 PM Sunday... and, found that 30 year-old Mark Barnhart had broken into the home, stole the property, and fled the scene.  Officers later found Barnhart at a nearby location... and, found a number of the items taken from the Winsor Street address.  They also found a "large amount" of stolen property stashed at another home close by.  Barnhart was arrsted without incident on several charges... including second-degree burglary... fourth-degree Grand Larceny... and, fourth and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

More water distributions have been scheduled for customers of the village of Mayville's Water System due to the "Do Not Drink" order due to PFNA contamination.  Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says the next distributions will take place today, December 15th, through Friday, December 18th from 10:30 AM to Noon... and, 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the Town of Chautauqua Public Works Garage at 50 Patterson Street.  Schuyler says an update for the weekend will be developed and announced later this week.  Schuyler says any persons in Isolation or Quarantine for COVID-19 should NOT leave their homes to pick up water.  If there is no one available to bring water to you... she says please call the Health Department at 753-4491.