Local News Headlines

News Headlines for Tues., Dec. 22, 2020

Overnight snow causes slick roads, accident on I-86...
Some tricky road conditions are being reported this morning in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Warren Counties.  We've received about two-inches of wet snow here in West Ellicott.  State Police have responded to a traffic accident that's blocked part of the eastbound lanes on Interstate 86 near the Panama exit.  That was reported about 7:45 this morning.  Police are urging driving caution with temperatures around the freezing mark this morning.


County Health Department reports 199 new COVID-19 cases between Saturday and Monday...
There's been a siginificant spike in new cases of the COVID-19 virus the past three days in Chautauqua County.  Health Department officials say there have been 199 new cases since last Saturday... bringing the local total to 2, 946 cases since the pandemic began.  The most new cases were in Jamestown... which had 48... and, Fredonia had the second most with 22.  Others in double figures include: Brocton with 18... Forestville with 17... Frewsburg 12 and Bemus Point with 11.  Health officials say there are currently 452 actives cases... and 33 people are hospitalized.  They add there have now been 2,469 recovered cases. 


Sundquist says city employees among those part of COVID spike in Jamestown...
Some of those 48 new cases in Jamestown are among workers at City Hall.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist told City Council members during last night's work session -- via Zoom -- that there has been a spike in COVID cases in the workforce at City Hall.  However... Sundquist says the numbers are down after the past weekend.  He says there are three confirmed cases now... but, 14 others are in quarantine and awaiting test results.  Sundquist stressed the need to talk with constituents about the need to social distance, wear masks in public, and only go out when necessary.  He says this recent outbreak has affected all city departments.  He says there is good news as some employees have been able to return to a number of city departments.  Sundquist adds his administration is considering making any city hall visitations next week by appointment only.  Sundquist adds they will only be open a couple of days, anyway.  He says they are continuing to monitor the situation. 


County says new COVID-19 Rapid Testing clinics will be held in Jamestown and Dunkirk starting today...
The Chautauqua County Health Department says there are more free COVID-19 rapid testing in the cities of Dunkirk and Jamestown over the next two weeks.  Officials say testing will be done at the Murphy Training Center at the Dunkirk Fairgrounds today and next Tuesday, Dec. 29th from 9 am to 2 pm.  Testing in Jamestown will be held at the Taylor Training Center at 240 Harrison St. this Wednesday, Dec. 23, and, a week from Wednesday, Dec. 30 from 9 am to 2 pm.  They say the testing is free, and available for Chautauqua County residents.  They encourage individuals who have been exposed and/or those who have symptoms to schedule an appointment.  Appointments are required; walk-in testing is not available.  For more information, and to schedule an appointment... go on-line to chqgov.com/public-health/covid-19-testing-sites... or call 1-866-604-6789.


United Way of Southern Chautauqua County at 83-percent...
The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is now at 83-percent of it's $1.2-million goal for the 2020 general campaign.  That from United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler... who updated the campaign over the weekend.  Rohler says they are at just under one-million dollars raised.  She says the 28 member agency programs they support are needed now more than ever.  Rohler says children need all the support they can get during a time of on-line, or hybrid learning.  Rohler says they also have programs at the United Way itself that are helped by the campaign.  For more information on making a pledge... she says call 483-1561... text WERISE to 91999... or go on-line to uwayscc.org.


Little Theater to do radio version of "It's a Wonderful Life" on WJTN Christmas Eve...
This Christmas Eve the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown will present a radio version of "It's a Wonderful Life" on WJTN.  The theater's board president, Jim Foley, says it gives their talented actors a way to perform in the midst of the pandemic... that's shut down all the usual shows.  In addition, radio performances help to keep the public aware of the theater and its needs at a time of no income from ticket sales... and, they've had to rely exclusively, on donations.  The program begins at 7 pm.  Foley adds they've cut expenses everyway they can... and are looking for financial support to help them reopen when the times permit.  Donations can be made through their website or Facebook page.  


Sinclairville woman sentenced to time-served on drug conviction...
A Sinclairville woman has been sentenced to time-served... and, two years supervised release in federal court for trafficking drugs... including Fentanyl. U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. said Monday that 38 year-old Tracy Griffin was convicted recently of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, acetyl fentanyl, fentanyl, and crack cocaine.  She was sentenced by U-S District Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say that in January of 2019... Griffin and co-defendant Brandon Blackshear conspired to sell those drugs... and, members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force made undercover purchases of crack cocaine twice that month from Griffin and Blackshear.  Blackshear was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.