Local News Headlines

WJTN News Bulletin for Tues., Feb. 2, 2021

Four more COVID-related deaths reported in county, along with 42 new cases...
There have been another four deaths reported from COVID-19-related illness in Chautauqua County.  The county Health Department says that brings the total locally to 111.  Health officials add, though, there were 42 new cases the past day... the lowest number in several days.  The total since the pandemic began is now 6,785.  Officials say there were 14 new cases in the Jamestown 14701 zip code area... and, 6 in Dunkirk.  Officials say there are now 364 active cases... and, 39 of those are hospitalized.  There are now 6,310 recovered cases.


Sundquist reports he has COVID-19...
The mayor of Jamestown has tested positive for the COVID-19 Virus.  Democrat Eddie Sundquist released a statement late this morning... stating that yesterday morning, he woke up with a fever and cough and he immediately scheduled a rapid test... and, he says that came back positive.  He says "I will remain in isolation until my doctor says it is safe for me to return to work in-person.  In the meantime, I will continue to work remotely."  He says his symptoms are mild and he's working with the county health department to identify any individuals that may be deemed a close contact. 


Controversy over Comedy Center decision to not be a county polling site in 2021 continues...
Officials with the National Comedy Center in Jamestown say the state Board of Elections has told them they can no longer serve as a polling site in the city because they have a liquor license.  That appeared to have been somewhat lost during Monday night's City Council work session where lawmakers discussed the center's decision to no longer be a poll site.  However... Corporation Counsel Eliot Raimando says they did have the license when the comedy center was a polling site last year.  Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green said there is a matter of interpretation because some VFWs and Legions across the state... which have liquor licenses... are polling locations.  However... they must be in separate areas.  Green says if the state is interpreting it that way, it has to be uniform across New York.  Comedy Center officials, though, say they are going by what the state Board of Elections told them.  In a statement issued late Tuesday morning... the center states the board "advised us last week that due to our liquor license, our entire facility -- including the train station concourse -- is prohibited from being a polling site under New York State law."


Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management group announces $690,000 award from foundations...
The Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance has secured nearly $700,000 from three local foundations to implement it's 2021 consolidated work plan for care and maintenance of the lake and it's watershed.  Alliance Executive Director Randall Perry expressed his appreciation to the Lenna... Sheldon... and, Chautauqua Region Community Foundations for their support of the group and it's members.  Perry says the total amount pledged by the foundations is $690,000.  He says the plan will include projects that "balances" a variety of management techniques, stakeholder priorities and lake uses.  Perry says they'll be looking at weed harvesting and chemical use on them, along with dealing with algal bloom issues.  He says work on the consolidated plan with alliance members began when he first came on board last November, and is still being assembled.  


Borrello blasts Cuomo for allowing "pocket veto" of broadband study...
The region's state senator is blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo for his decision not to sign the Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act that he co-sponsored.  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello says the measure would have required the state's Public Service Commission to study the availability, affordability and reliability of high-speed internet in all areas of the state... and, provide a report and detailed map within one year.  Borrello says "it's incredibly disappointing that the Governor has chosen to turn his back on rural New Yorkers and their continuing struggle for high-speed internet access by failing to enact this important measure."  By not signing the measure... it's essentially vetoed.  


Two youngers taken to hospital after Cattaraugus County snowmobile accident...
Two children are being treated for injuries and possible hypothermia after two snowmobiles collided in Cattaraugus County a week ago over a frozen body of water.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to the scene on Route 241 in the town of Conewango on Jan. 26, and, found the four juveniles involved had been thrown into the water... but, were able to get out and into a nearby home.  Deputies say two children were treated at the scene... while one was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown, and another to Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo.  No charges were filed.


Groundhogs disagree on six more weeks of Winter, or early Spring...
The weather prognosticators are out with their predictions on this Ground Hog Day.  The more famous Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  His handlers say Phil did see his shadow and proclaimed six more weeks of winter.  But... locally Dunkirk Dave arrived at a different forecast.  Handler Bob Will says Dave did not see his shadow... and, reached the verdict shortly after awakening from his winter-induced slumber.  Will says he had some food ready for Dave, and he then walked around and was "calm and happy..." but, saw no shadow.  Will says Dunkirk Dave is the second longest predicting groundhog in the world.  This year's prediction was not done in public in an effort to keep Dunkirk Dave safe from the virus.