Local News Headlines

Flames heavily damage house in town of Portland... 
Firefighters from 10 area departments spent several hours battling a blaze that extensively damaged a house in Portland on Saturday.  Portland firefighters responded to the scene at 8644 Church Street shortly after 3 p.m., and were later assisted by crews from Brocton, Westfield, Chautauqua, Dewittville, Fredonia, West Dunkirk, Stockton, Mayville and Ripley, as well as Emergency Services. There were no reports of any injuries, and the Red Cross was called in to assist the residents of the home.  Firefighters were on scene for more than five hours.  County fire investigators are looking into the cause.


City firefighters make quick work of fire on Baker Street last Saturday morning...
Quick work by Jamestown firefighters prevented a kitchen fire on the city's southside from spreading early last Saturday morning... and, causing a lot of damage.  City Fire Battalion Chief Brian Acterberg confirms fire crews were called to 75 Baker St. shortly before 5 a.m., and got the blaze under control fairly quickly.  Crews were at the scene about two-hours.  No one was hurt.  There was no word on extent of damage, and the cause is under investigation.


Chautauqua County nears 2,800 cases of COVID-19... Catt. Co. reports 38th COVID death...
There were 99 new cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County last Friday... and another 50 on Saturday.  Unofficially... that brings the number locally to 2,798 confirmed cases.  On Friday... the county Health Department reported that nearly half of the 99 from Jamestown.  The county Health Department reports that 41 were in the 14701 zip code area... and, no other location had double-figures.  Clymer was second with five cases, and several others had four.  Officials say nearly 23-hundred cases have now recovered.  In Cattaraugus County... there is a new COVID-19 related death to report.  The county Health Department says that's the 38th death since the pandemic began.  Public Health officials say there were 18 new cases Sunday... bringing their total to 2,028.  There have now been 1,371 cases that have recovered, and 35 people are currently hospitalized.


County officials warn of COVID-19 Vaccine scams...
Chautauqua County officials are warning the public about a potential scam related to the new COVID-19 Vaccines.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says as the vaccine is rolled out... scammers are acting quickly to get personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.  Schuyler says the vaccine is being rolled out in phases, and you "cannot pay to get your name on a list to receive the vaccine and you cannot pay for early access."  She adds that they will not be contacting individuals, nor will Medicare, or their insurance company to request information such as their social security number in order to sign them up to receive the vaccine.  She adds that "if an individual contacts you making these promises or requesting this information, stop- it is a scam!"  If you receive such a call... you are encouraged to report it to your local police agency, NY Connects Helpline at 753-4582... you can also contact the Federal Trade Commission reportfraud.ftc.gov/ .


Problem Solvers issue statement on Congressional leadership okay of COVID Relief bill...
Leaders of the Congressional, bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, are looking forward to voting today on the massive, $900-billion  COVID Relief bill.  Co-Chairmen Republican Tom Reed, and Democrat Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, issued a statement late last night stating "what started months ago as bipartisan, bicameral negotiations led by the Problem Solvers Caucus and our Senate partners will now be heading to the House floor.  For the American people, this deal means there’s now some hope on the horizon.”


Reed urges fellow Republicans to recognize "President-Elect" Biden...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is calling on members of his own party to recognize the results of the Presidential election last November 3rd... and, approve the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden as president.  Congress will meet on January 6th to sign off on the results... but, more than 100 Republican lawmakers recently said they would fight the results in Congress.  Reed says he's "very concerned" if these unfounded accusations of voter fraud continues.  He says American has been able "for 200-plus years that we have a transition of power, and we decide settle our disputes at the ballot box."  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognized Biden as President-Elect after the Electoral College met... and, Biden received 306 votes.  President Trump has continued to push his contention that he won the election... but, Reed says the president has exhausted his legal avenues, and it's time to move on.  He says our constitutional transition of power has to take place.  He adds he supported, and campaigned for President Trump.  However... the Corning Republican adds that we settle things at the ballot box...and we "do not resort to rebellion... we do not resort to insurrection." 


Dunkirk man arrested on drug charges in Pomfret traffic stop...
A north county man faces drug possession charges after he was allegedly found with illegal narcotics during a traffic stop on Route 20 in the town of Pomfret.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped 37 year-old Ezequiel Torres of Dunkirk last week.  Deputies say... while interviewing Torres... they saw a small amount of marihuana in plain view.  Upon further investigation... officers say they also found Torres was in possession of a small quantity of cocaine.  He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree unlawful possession of marihuana... along with having no headlights nor taillights.  Torres was issued appearance tickets for Pomfret Town Court at a later date.