Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Thurs., Feb. 4, 2021

Six more COVID-19 related deaths reported in Chautauqua County Thursday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting another six deaths over the past day from COVID-19... along with 95 new cases of the virus.  The Health Department says the the total number of cases since the Pandemic began is now 6,917... with the most cases coming from Dunkirk with 26.  Jamestown is reporting 23 others.  The number of COVID-related deaths is now 117.  The health department says there are 359 active cases... and, 33 are hospitalized.  Offiicals say 6,441 cases have now recovered.


Reed votes to strip Rep. Taylor-Greene of committee assignments in GOP Conference, but, not on House floor...
He was in the minority Wednesday night... but, local Congressman Tom Reed voted to strip a new, controverial House member of her committee assignements.  However, the majority of the GOP House Conference voted to allow her to continue on two committees after stating on the floor that she regrets some "words of the past."  However... Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene stopped short of apologizing for racist and violent rhetoric.  Reed says he's appalled by comments attributed to Greene in Facebook posts and others.  He adds that making somethings out, like the "9/11" attacks, out to be not true is "appalling."  However... Reed says he told Greene and fellow GOP members that he will be watching her actions going forward closely.  As for yesterday's majority vote of the full House on stripping her of committee assignments... Reed says majority Democrats should watch their step... because "when you point your finger at someone... you have three pointing back at you."  He says that also goes for GOP members if they reclaim the House Majority in 2022.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


All "Cathedral Oaks" on W. Third St. in Jamestown have now been taken down...
The final two of 48 'cathedral oak trees' on West Third Street in Jamestown were taken down yesterday... and, it's changed the look of that part of the city for the first time in about a century.  City arborist Dan Stone says told our Dennis Webster Thursday morning... that it's the first time in a century there have been no trees there.  Stone says he was raised on Jamestown's westside, so he enjoyed those oak trees most of his life, and he called a very difficult decision to make.  Last fall... Stone and city leaders determined that the remaining oak trees had to been taken down because of disease and instability.  He says the wood from the trees is not for sale... but, they are willing to barter with "wood turners..." people who make wood bowls, spoons and other items.  He says "make one for us."  Stone says some of the wood will be used for city projects as well.  Anyone interested should contact the parks department.  The number of oak trees along West Third Street from the bridge to Hallock Street once totalled 74.  With help from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, several varieties of new trees will be planted along that same stretch... probably this fall. 


Sheriff's Department, and others warn of new scams in Chautauqua County...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, and local police agencies, say they've seen an increase in scams targeted at local residents.  Officers say the newest scams involve someone asking residents to send out large amounts of Gift Cards.  They say the caller often advises that they are with Law Enforcement, or a Jail, and that a relative has been involved in a crime.  In one recent call, the person told the victim that a car they had been rented under their name was involved in a crime, and the victim needed to send Gift Cards to assist in the investigation.  Often times, the caller will also have a local caller ID, so it appears to be a local call.  No law enforcement agency or jail will ever take Gift Cards as part of an investigation, bail, or to release property.  Police say a similar scam is also taking place via e-mail.  They say, if you get a call or email requesting Gift Cards, do not purchase any cards or give out any personal information to the caller or emailer.


Dunkirk fire crews make quick work of vehicle, house fire...
Dunkirk city firefighters made quick work of a vehicle fire that extended to a nearby home on South Roberts Road early Thursday morning.  Fire Chief Mike Edwards tells us that all units responded the fire at 437 South Roberts about 5 a.m.  He says they found the car fully-engulfed in flames, and they had begun spreading.  Edwards says damage to the house was moderate.  No injuries were reported.  Edwards says there were two adults and four children that occupied the house and they are being assisted by the local Red Cross.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Cuomo gives counties the go-ahead to vaccinate restaurant workers, and for-hire drivers...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is giving county officials the authority to add for-hire drivers and restaurant workers to the list of people eligible for a coronavirus vaccine.  The governor's announcement comes days after the governor slammed elected officials for pushing to vaccinate restaurant workers when supply is limited.  But, Cuomo now says the federal government is signaling that it will send New York more doses in coming weeks.