Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Wed., Mar. 10, 2021

Cuomo announces people age 60 and over can now get COVID Shots...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will lower COVID-19 vaccine eligibility from age 65 to 60 starting today.  The Democratic governor announced the change in an appearance at a vaccination site in Syracuse.  In addition to people who qualify for vaccinations because of their age... vaccinations in New York are open to people with certain health conditions and to essential workers including teachers, health care providers and police officers.  Cuomo said New York will allow additional essential workers to receive the vaccine starting March 17.  Newly eligible workers include public and not-for-profit employees who interact with the public.  Public works employees, child service caseworkers, sanitation workers and building service workers are among the newly eligible workers.  


County Health Dept. reports 20 new COVID cases Tuesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 20 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus the past day.  Health officials say that brings the local total to 7,731 cases... with 130 of them active.  They say there were three cases each reported in Dunkirk and Brocton.  Officials say 9 people are hospitalized... and, there were no new deaths.  They say 7,463 cases have now recovered.


Jamestown Comptroller reports better than expected fourth-quarter, 2020 sales tax revenues...
Thanks to the ability to tax on-line sales... the city of Jamestown exceeded it's projected sales tax revenues in 2020... in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That from City Comptroller Ryan Thompson... who told City Council at Monday night's work session that the city received $1.78-million during the final three-months of 2020.  Thompson says that was $116,000 better than the fourth-quarter of 2019.... and, adds the city received nearly 105-percent of their budgeted amount of $6.5-million, due in large part to the boom in on-line sales when lock-downs were in effect.  He says the city received about 95-thousand dollars more in sales tax revenues that it did in 2019.  Thompson says it was a "nice surprise..." and Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund called it "great" news.


James appoints two attorneys to legal team to investigate harassment claims against Cuomo...
New York Attorney General Letitia James has appointed a former federal prosecutor and an employment lawyer to investigate allegations that Govenor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed female aides.  Joon Kim was the acting U.S. Attorney in Manhattan for parts of 2017 and 2018.  Kim will join the employment lawyer Anne Clark in conducting the probe.  James said the pair are "independent, legal experts who have decades of experience conducting investigations and fighting to uphold the rule of law."  The appointments came as New York lawmakers were privately debating whether to join calls for Cuomo to resign from office, or urge patience while the investigation is ongoing.


Tarpskunks set to play ball in 2021...
It's been delayed one year... but, it looks like the inaugural season for the Jamestown Tarp Skunks will happen this summer.  The team's Director of Business and Sales Operations, Jacob Kindberg, is highly optimistic due to the way the COVID vaccines are rolling out, and the state's loosening of restrictions.  The pandemic led to the cancellation of all games last year.  The locally owned team will join the 'Perfect Game' wood bat league, the same league that the old Jamestown Jammers played in.  Kindberg says they are working to get people in to watch the games as well.  He says chances are "extremely good" that they will be able to have a certain percentage of fans at a "safe capacity... safe distance."  While the full schedule is yet to be finalized, the home opener is set for Thursday, June 10 at Russell E. Diethrick Park, against the Batavia Muckdogs.  That matchup has some historic significance.  Jamestown played Batavia in the first ever baseball game 80 years ago at the brand new 'Municipal Stadium,' later renamed in honor of Russ Diethrick.


House fire in Fredonia under investigation...
Fredonia village firefighters responded to a fire at 45 Temple St. Monday afternoon.  Fire crews were called to the scene about 5:30 p.m., and, discovered the flames on the outside of the rear of the structure.  Crews were able to knockdown the fire quickly, preventing it from getting to the interior of the building.  There were no injuries.


Two teens with developmental disabilities earn their driver's licenses...
Two "special" students of local driving instructor Bob Triscari never met before yesterday... but, were able to share their special bond at The Resource Center in Celoron Tuesday afternoon.  Triscari taught both Maddox Henry of Southwestern, and Haley Clark from Maple Grove... both of whom were not going to be deterred by developmental disabilities.  He says Maddox was born with shorter than normal arms, which made it difficult to reach the steering wheel.  Triscari says he also has just three fingers on each hand, so he has to get close to the steering wheel.  Haley's situation was a little different.  Triscari says she was born "normal..." but, then had a stroke when she was six years old... and had to learn using a special left-footed peddle.  He says they both took instruction well... and, did very well on their road tests.  Maddox had a 100 score, while Haley had a 95.  Triscari says when he got done with each of them... and, knew they had passed... there was an obvious emotional response.  Maddox had tried driving before... but, struggled and did poorly on the test.  However... he was determined to keep trying.