Local News Headlines

News Headlines for Sat. Jan. 9, 2021

Dozens of guns seized, drugs and cash during series of raids in Jamestown and Falconer areas...
A more than year-long investigation into the trafficking of several illegal drugs has led to the searches of several homes and businesses in the Jamestown and Falconer-areas.  Local drug agents add several dozen guns... and, several pounds of drugs were seized.  Officials with the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, and Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force and state and federal agencies... raided several locations at 6 am this past Wednesday.  Initially... the search warrant for 209 West Ave. in Falconer led to the seizure of several pounds of marihuana, more than $5,000 cash... and, two loaded shotguns.  Police add some 20 firearms were also found, along with several pounds of marijuana and other drugs... at 2585 South Work St. Ext. in Falconer.  Police say a warrant was also obtained for a Kennedy business on Route 394.  They add that several other locations were searched inside the city of Jamestown.... and, the Metro Drug Task Force found 37 firearms and a cache of ammunition that is estimated to be more than 1,000 rounds in total.  The investigation is continuing, and charges will be placed in the future.  


Wendel very concerned about recent rise in COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations...
There's been another, single-day record number of new COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County the past day... along with a new high number of active cases.  That from county Health officials... who say 266 new cases were reported from Thursday... along with 722 active ones.  County Executive PJ Wendel says we appeared to have the situation somewhat under control until Fall... and, cases have spiked since.  With the vaccine starting to arrive... Wendel says it's more important now than ever to wear masks, and avoid crowds.  Using a boxing analogy, he says "we might be able to withstand one punch from the champ -- maybe two -- but if we're going to keep getting three and four punches (cases)... it's going to hit us and it's going to hit and cripple us."  Wendel says he understands people want to get together for the holidays... and, even this weekend's Buffalo Bills play-off game... but, he says don't.  Wendel says his family significantly scaled-back their holiday due to potential spread... with only immediate family gathered.  There were no additional deaths reported from Thursday... and that number remains 40.  There are now 4,635 total cases so far... and 42 people are hospitalized in the county.  Wendel made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Hochul, officials with WNY Vaccine hub, address rollout and future plans...
There has been much criticism of the federal and state governments over the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines... and, members of the Western New York Regional hub update the media on the where things are.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says the state will be moving to the "1b" portion of vaccinations next Monday.  Hochul says people should sign up when they become eligible... but, adds because the numbers are limited right now... you may have to wait.  She says it's all based on what they receive from the federal government.  Currently... those distribution points are privately through hospitals and pharmacies... and, locally through health departments.  She says the federal government is distributing directly to private entities... while the state is providing it to health departments and others.  However, Hochul says they are in the process of setting up more distribution points.


Griffith to retire as county Emerg. Services Director in March, Guttman appointed as replacement...
A long-time member of the fire service in Chautauqua County... and, most recently the county's Director of Emergency Services has announced his retirement later this year.  County Executive P-J Wendel says today that Director John Griffith will retire from his position effective Mar. 1.  Wendel says Griffith first began his career with the county in April 2012 as a Deputy Fire Coordinator with the Office of Emergency Services.  In October 2017, he was promoted to the positon of Director of the Office of Emergency Services.  During the announcement in Mayville... Wendel also announced Noel Guttman has been appointed to replace Griffith as director on Mar. 1.  He says Guttman has a strong background in emergency services and law enforcement.... and, has been a member of the Mayville Fire Department since 1991.


Borrello and Goodell high-light agenda's for 2021 state legislative session...
The 2021 New York state legislative session got underway in Albany on Wednesday.  The state's economy is one area of concern.  That from local State Senator George Borrello was recently elected to a full two-year term... who says we need to get "New York's economy up and running safely, but, as soon as possible."  Assemblyman Andy Goodell says there are many challenges facing the legislature, including the impact of the pandemic on small businesses.  Goodell says the impact on small businesses, and residents from the loss of jobs is a major issue to him.  Both lawmakers will be following Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message slated for Monday.


Two men hospitalized withe stab wounds after State Capitol melee...
Two men were hospitalized after being stabbed outside the state Capitol during a melee involving supporters of President Donald Trump and counterprotesters.  The two men, aged 36 and 40, were hospitalized with injuries after the stabbing Wednesday afternoon.  One of them underwent emergency surgery.  State police say 37-year-old Alexander Contompasis of nearby Rensselaer was charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing.  He was arraigned Thursday morning in Albany City Court, where a judge set bail at $30,000.