Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Mar. 23, 2021

Investigation continues into apartment house fire on Jamestown's northside...
An early morning fire today has heavily-damaged a large, two story apartment house on Jamestown's northside.  City Fire Battalion Chief Brian Acterberg says crews were called to the scene at 703 Washington St. just after 6:30 a.m., and, found heavy fire coming from the back apartment in the structure.  Acterberg says there are four apartments inside the building.  He says it took about an hour to bring the blaze under control... partly because some firefighters had to get a look inside the back apartment after getting word that someone may not have gotten out of the house.  However... that unaccounted for person was later found outside and safe.  Acterberg says there was extensive damage... with fire extension outside the apartment -- which was heavily damaged.  He says no one was hurt... the on-coming shift, and five more off-shift firefighters were also called to the scene.  Celoron's ambulance was also called in to stand-by.  Crews were still at the scene dousing hot-spots late this morning.  The cause is under investigation.


City man arrested on drug and weapons charges after being found with stolen bicycle...
A man accused of stealing a bicycle in Jamestown late Sunday night is also charged with being in possession of a loaded handgun and drugs.  City Police say officers saw 51 year-old Aaron Davis walking a bike in the 500-block of North Main Street about 11:30 p.m. that matched the description of the stolen bike.  Officers say their investigation found it was the stolen bicycle... and, they also found Davis in possession of the gun, and a small quantity of drugs.  Davis was arrested on charges including second-degree criminal possesion of a weapon... fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown City Council's Public Safety Committee reviews draft Police Reform plan...
City lawmakers in Jamestown say, if the process of developing the city's Police Reform and Reinvention Initiative Plan is any indication, it will be a success.  That from some of the city council members as the Public Safety Committee last night signed off on the multi-faceted plan during it's meeting.  Councilwoman Vickeye James... who is not a member of the committee... was still heavily involved in the process.  She says the interactions between police officials and members of the stakeholder groups was helpful.  James praised Chief Tim Jackson and Captain Scott Forester for their help in the process.  The plan addresses an number of areas of policing... from interactions with the public, to command structure, and dealing with sensitive matters... such as domestics and undercover drug investigations.  That latter situation came up when discussing upgrades to the department's body cameras... and, was addressed by Councilman Jeff Russell, a retired city police officer.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an order last year... after the police-involved death of George Floyd... that mandated all communities that have police forces put together such plans.  Those had to be submitted by Thursday, Apr 1.


Schuyler pleased to see COVID-19 numbers staying relatively low in county...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting another 71 confirmed cases of COVID-19 last weekend... putting the local total to more than 8,000 now.  That's a big number... considering there were just under 1,500 at the end of November.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says no one really expected the pandemic to have the impact it has on not just people's general health, but, mental health, and socialization.  She says pretty much every aspect of our lives have been "touched by this."  Schuyler made her comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations on a look back on the pandemic a year later.  County Health officials say the total number of cases in the county now totals 8,019 since last March.  Officials say there were 21 new cases in Fredonia the past three days... and, 18 in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  There were no new deaths... but, 173 cases are now active, and 9 of those are hospitalized.  The Health Department reports that 7,705 cases have recovered.


Cuomo says people 50 and over now can schedule appointments for COVID Vaccine...
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state is expanding eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine to everyone age 50 and older.  The governor said newly eligible people can now start signing up for vaccines.  Previously, everyone age 60 and older could get vaccinated, as well as certain essential workers and people with select health conditions.  Cuomo said the state can expand eligibility because of promises from the federal government that vaccine supplies will keep increasing.  It's unclear how many people are now eligible for vaccines in New York.


Wendel says he's "disappointed" by Reed's actions, and decision not to run again...
Chautauqua County's top elected official is reacting to Congressman Tom Reed's decision not to run for re-election in the House or for any other elective office in 2022.  That follows a sexual misconduct allegation by a junior lobbiest from 2017.  County Executive P.J. Wendel was disappointed by the announcement... but, says Reed has done a lot for the county... especially in dealing with the COVID stimulus and relief packages.  He feels that Reed should be able to fill out the remainder of his term and continue to do his job.