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WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 15, 2021

The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting a 47th COVID-19 related death from Thursday... along with 105 new cases of the virus.  Health officials say there have now been 5,302 confirmed cases... and, 721 are currently active.  They say the new cases include 33 in Jamestown... and, 30 in Dunkirk.  Officials say 42 people are in the hospital... and, 4,534 have now recovered.

There are 30 new cases of COVID-19 being reported in Cattaragus County... and two new deaths over the past day.  The health Department in Olean reports there are now 66 deaths from the pandemic, and 3,211 total cases.  Officials add they currently have 507 active cases, and 47 of those are hospitalized.  In addition... 2,638 cases have now recovered.

Members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force uncovered several drugs, paraphernalia and cash during a raid early Thursday morning. Task Force agents were assisted by Ellicott Town Police, JPD, Jamestown SWAT, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force in executing a search warrant at 211 Hazzard Street shortly after 6 AM. Officers say a search of the residence revealed over 8-ounces of powder cocaine… anabolic steroids…  and, a marijuana growing operation.  Agents also found scales and packaging materials… ammunition… a money counter… and, $4,587 in cash. Police say the warrant is a continuation of “Operation Crazy Ivan”, where several raids were conducted last week in Falconer and Jamestown. No charges have been announced, but are expected as the investigation continues. 

Money from the latest COVID-19 Stimulus package is starting to flow for businesses and workers... and, the city of Jamestown is assisting where it can.  That from Development Director Crystal Surdyk... and, Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who responded to some questions about that at this week's City Council work session.  Surdyk says they have links on their page on the city's website, and Facebook page about who's eligible, and how to apply.  Sundquist says applications for the Payroll Protection Program opened up this week for most banks... and, employers should direct those questions to their banking institution.  He says there's also a new loan-grant program for the arts.

In addition... Sundquist says a much needed grant program has opened up to help restaurants.  He says it will provide up to $5,000 for restaurants that have been shuttered... or just partially open.  These programs were all part of the nearly $900-billion COVID-19 stimulus bill approved by Congress and signed by President Trump.

Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone has been working with local police agencies to develop final plans to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order creating the New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative.  Quattrone updated the planning process Thursday morning... and, how his office is working with the local departments..

Quattrone says they'll have stakeholder agencies on Zoom Conferences which will then be connected to Facebook Live to allow the community to log in and ask questions during each session.  He says several in the south county are planned later this month... including one in the town of Carroll on January 19th... the town of Ellicott on the 20th... and, in the Lakewood-Busti area on January 27th.  In addition... Quattrone says they'll have on-line meetings January 21st for the village of Fredonia... and, January 26th for the city of Dunkirk.

A Silver Creek man is accused of menacing and other charges following an alleged altercation in the north county village this past Tuesday.  Sheriff's deputies were called to an undisclosed location just after 8 PM... and, following an investigation...arrested 21 year-old Draven VanEvery.  In addition to third-degree menacing... VanEvery is charged with two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... he was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

Three north county police officers are receiving awards for their steady hand in de-escalatintg a potentially deadly incident near the SUNY College at Fredonia entrance on Temple Street in December of 2019.   Fredonia Police Chief Phil Maslak commended the work of the trio of officers for peacefully ending the situation.

Meslak says the officers... who included SUNY at Fredonia Policeman Ian Hodkin, and, the Fredonia Police Department's Ben Kravitz and Michael Hodkin... were able to get the man involved in the incident the help he needed.

The State University of New York at Fredonia is mourning the loss of a junior men's hockey player who passed away Tuesday from injuries suffered in a skiing accident in Lake Placid.  22-year-old Tanner Kahlau of Mountain Top, Pennsylvania also played junior hockey with the New Jersey Rockets of the U.S. Premier Hockey League before enrolling at Fredonia State in 2018.  Fredonia State Athletics also reports he was majoring in Business Management with a minor in Exercise Science.  Arrangements are being handled by a funeral home in Mountain Top, Pennsylvania.

Chautauqua County's representative in the state Senate is teaming with a New York City Assemblywoman to support creation of a permanent successor to the "Nourish New York" program.  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello and Democratic Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz recently joined volunteers at the Queens Museum to help distribute food to struggling families.  Since the pandemic hit... the museam has hosted a food pantry that's helped about one-thousand families.  "Nourish New York" began as a stop-gap measure last April to distribute surplus agricultural products to food banks.  A benefitiary of the program is Chautauqua Rural Ministry, which alone has served about 4,000 meals on a weekly basis.