Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Wed., Mar. 3, 2021

Calls for Cuomo to resign grow; vote to be held later this week on limiting executive powers...
Calls for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign are intensifying now that a third woman has accused him of offensive behavior.  In addition... late Tuesday... Democratic leaders in the state legislature confirmed that they are introducing a bill that will take away some of the governor's executive powers granted during the pandemic.  Local Assemblyman Andy Goodell says he is aware of the new bill... but, has not seen what's in it.  Minority Republicans had been calling for a vote since revelations that the Cuomo administration covered up the actual number of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.  Goodell says the GOP may have forced the Democrats hand by sticking amendments into dozens of Democratic bills.  With that, the Jamestown-area Republican says, the Democrats would have to vote on it.  Since the revelations that were made public by Queens Assemblyman Ronald Kim and others... several Democrats have begun calling for rescinding some of the governor's powers.  The third woman now accusing Cuomo of offensive behavior... Anna Ruch... told The New York Times Monday that Cuomo touched her back and face and asked if he could kiss her moments after they met at a wedding in 2019. 


Cuomo's response to alleged sexual harassment called "tone-deaf" by critics...
Governor Andrew Cuomo's response to accusations that he sexually harassed women on the job is being viewed as a tone-deaf "faux-pology" by critics and victim's advocates.  Cuomo said in a statement that he only meant to joke with staff to add 'levity' to their serious work.  However... at least two women have complained that they were uncomfortable with his alleged sexual advances and were forced to change jobs or leave state government.  Northwestern University law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer says Cuomo in his statement ignores the power imbalance at play.  Meanwhile, State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou calls sexual harassment at the statehouse rampant.


New COVID-19 Cases fall to single-digits, one new death reported Tuesday...
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County has dropped to single-digits for the first time since early in the pandemic.  The county's Health Department is reporting 8 new confirmed cases the past day... bringing the total to 7,598.  However... officials say there was one new death, bringing that total to 138.  They add there are 116 active cases... and, just seven are hospitalized.  In addition... there have now been 7,344 recovered cases to date.


Chautauqua Works director offers advice if you receive notice of fraudulent unemployment claim...
There have been an increasing number of local residents who have learned that someone has fraudulently filed for unemployment benefits in their name.  It's an unsettling situation that has affected millions already... is is raising alarms at a time where President Joe Biden and Congress look to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into expanded benefits.  A government watchdog agency says that as of December, nearly two dozen states had not started using a key system to block fraud.  With that... the number of fraudulent claims has climbed.  If you find out someone has done that to you, Katie Geise, director of the Chautauqua Workforce Investment Board, says report it on the state Labor Department's website at labor.ny.gov. by filling out the on-line form at "Report UI  Fraud."  Geise says people are typically learning about the fraud when they learn their "unemployment claim" has been approved.  You may also find out through your employer.  In either case... she says you need to fill out the on-line form... and, submit it.  Geise adds that employers are also notified on that website... and, she says the fraud should be reported by both the employee and the employer.  She says if you wind up having someone fraudulently applying for unemployment insurance under your name... check your credit report and see if that's changed.  Geise adds that if you receive a debit card for such benefits... cut it up.


Gowanda man arrested for DWAI Drugs, had 17 previous license suspensions...
A Cattaraugus County man whose license has been suspended 17 times has been arrested again for driving while under the influence of drugs in the town of Hanover.  Sheriff's officers say they found 26 year-old Daryll Bernard of Gowanda was driving on Hanover Road with two flat tires... just after Midnight Monday.  Deputies say Bernard was found to be driving while impaired by drugs and he was taken into custody.  Officers also found that his driving privileges had been suspended 17 times in New York State.  While in custody... Bernard allegedly damaged a Sheriff's Patrol in car camera system, continuously spit in the vehicle... and at deputies... and, he's also accused of throwing an object that struck an officer.  Bernard was issued appearance tickets for second-degree harassment, driving while ability impaired by drugs, third-degree criminal tampering... and other charges.  He's to appear in Hanover Town Court at a later date.


Southern Tier Brewing taking over (716) Food and Sport in Buffalo HarborCenter...
Southern Tier Brewing Company is expanding it's larger market presence to Buffalo as the local company will be converting the (716) Food and Sport into it's newest taproom.  Pegula Sports and Entertainment announced Tuesday afternoon that Southern Tier will be locating in the LECOM HarborCenter.  Pegula Sports & Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer Kim Pegula says the town of Busti brewery will convert (716) Food and Sport into a showcase of their full line of craft beers, ciders, seltzers and spirits.  She says Southern Tier’s presence will enhance the revitalization of downtown Buffalo.  


Gas prices in Jamestown-area up four more cents a gallon this week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have jumped about 4-cents a gallon this week to just under $2.80 for regular, unleaded fuel.  The AAA East Central’s Gas Price Report this week says the price is up to $2.79.2 a gallon... after being just over $2.75 last week.  AAA says the latest price jumps are a direct result of February’s winter storm that took 26 U-S refineries offline... and, pushed refinery utilization from about 83-percent... down to an atypical low of 68-percent.  The national average is now up 9-cents this week to $2.72.