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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 4, 2021

New York state has recorded more than one-million positive COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.  That's according to figures released last Saturday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The state's data shows the roughly 15,000 new positive tests reported statewide on Friday bring the total number of cases to over 1-million.  Chautauqua County saw 96 new cases that day... with cases now exceeding 3,700.  The total now is 3,721... and the positivity rate 2.8-percent.

There are 19 new cases of COVID-19 over the past day in Cattaraugus County... bringing the total number there to 2,664 confirmed cases.  Health officials say 42 people are now hospitalized, and the number of COVID-related remain 50.  The total number of active cases is now 477... and 2,135 have now recovered.

A man from Stockton accused of assaulting another person has been arrested during a warrant check at a Dean Road home last Saturday morning.  Sheriff's deputies conducted the check at the town of Stockton home shortly before 9 AM... and found 21 year-old Jordan Hebner.  Hebner was sought on active warrants for second-degree strangulation... and, second-degree assault.  He was arrested, and taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

It was an "unprecidented year" for the United States -- and the city of Jamestown -- in 2020.  However... the first-year City Council President thanked fellow lawmakers and the administration for how they did their business this past year.  Republican Tony Dolce praised them for being effective during a time where they mostly met on-line via Zoom conferencing.  He says that was never more evident than during 2021 budget deliberations.

Dolce praised new Mayor Eddie Sundquist... and several new, and long-time department heads for their efforts during 2020.  Dolce noted there was a new Corporation Counsel, Clerk, Comptroller, Deputy Fire Chief... and, Police Chief-Public Safety Director.  He says he's hopeful that city lawmakers will be able to hold their regular meetings in the Mayor's Conference Room, and Council Chambers sometime soon.  Dolce was also hopeful that they could hold more meetings in the individual wards later in 2021.

Flames on New Year's Day have heavily-damaged a home on Tompkins Road in the town of Ellicott.  The Post-Journal reports Fluvanna firefighters were called to the scene -- near Route 60 -- about 2:30 PM Friday... and, found the stucture "fully engulfed" in fire.  Fluvanna received mutual aid from Falconer, Kennedy, Ashville, Ellery Center, Dewittville, and Sinclairville fire crews.  The county's FAST Team... and Chautauqua County EMS were also called to the scene.  The Post-Journal reports the local Red Cross was called to assist the residents.  The fire was reported under control in about 45 minutes.  No injuries were reported.



WJTN News originally reported there was only one rate increase for the five divisions of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in the new year after action was taken by the board late 2020.  However, BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins reports there are no increases in any rates. Robbins says -- at one point -- the BPU thought they might have to increase Waste Water rates, but the managers worked hard to pare down the budget to avert any increases. 

General Manager Dave Leathers says the city has also seen an increase in the number of people and families requesting help in paying their utility bills from the Department of Development's Utility Customer Assistance Program.  Leathers says about 18 applications were on their way to being approved.  He adds that the moratorium on utility turn-offs has been extended through the end of April.  Leathers says -- with the pandemic -- the past year has been "ridiculously challenging."

Police say a state trooper shot and wounded a domestic violence suspect in western New York after the man advanced toward officers with a bow and arrow.  The confrontation happened early Friday in Portville.  Troopers were dispatched to a home by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office.  State Police say troopers were speaking to the domestic violence victim when 40 year-old Ryan Ehman moved toward them with a bow and arrow.  Police say a trooper shot the man after he ignored commands to drop the weapon.

The minimum wage is going up in New York in 2021, and a new sick leave law is coming into effect.  Employees at most businesses can start using sick days that the new law allowed them to start accruing in September.  The rate is one hour for every 30 hours worked.  Governor Andrew Cuomo's office says about 1.3-million New Yorkers didn't have access to paid sick leave before the law.  In addition... the hourly minimum wage is now $14-an hour in Long Island and Westchester... and, $12.50 in the rest of the state.


A Kiantone man was arrested New Year's Eve night for allegedly trying to break into a home on Kiantone Road.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene at 545 Kiantone Road shortly after 6 PM Thursday... but, found no one when they arrived.  However... deputies did find that the residence had been broken into, and further investigation led to the arrest of 45 year-old David Spunaugle... who is accused of going into the home and taking items from inside.  Spunaugle was taken into custody and charged with third-degree burglary... and, petty larceny.  He was to be arraigned, and released with appearance tickets for Kiantone Town Court.