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County Legislature approves Kent as new Democratic Elections Commissioner in spite of lawsuit...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a new Democratic Elections commissioner... pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed to stop that action.  Lawmakers voted 16-3 in favor of making Loren Kent the new commissioner, over Luz Torres, who had been recommended by outgoing commissioner Norm Green.  Democratic Minority Leader, Chuck Nazzaro, says the resolution allows the court case to be heard April 26 before it's officially filed with the county clerk's office.  However... the three legislators who voted no wanted to make it clear they weren't supporting one candidate over the other.  They were unhappy with the process.  Fredonia Republican Bob Scudder says, in his 12 years on the legislature, he's never seen party split on this kind of matter.  Earlier this year... Green who is to retire, submitted Torres' name after a vote by the Democratic Committee, which he also chairs.  However... some Democrats were critical of the process, and wanted Kent appointed to the post.  Nazzaro says the legislature's Democratic caucus is unanimous in it's support of Kent. 


County lawmakers also approved Sheriff's Departments Police Reform and Reinvention plan...
County lawmakers also approved the Sheriff's Departments Police Reform and Reinvention Initiative program to be submitted to New York state.  The legislature approved the plan... put forward by Sheriff Jim Quattrone... unanimously during last night's Zoom meeting.  Quattrone says their work actually began before Governor Andrew Cuomo's order last Spring that all police departments in the state had to submit a plan.  He says they have been attending, and hosting, a number of meetings with stakeholder groups, and others to see how their policing efforts could improve.  Quattrone was among the police officials who attended some of the protests in Jamestown and elsewhere to hear what people were saying.  He felt the process was good.  However... Republican Legislator Terry Neibel of Sheridan took issue with the order's inference of "systematic racism" in police agencies.  Neibel says 91-percent of the people arrested here are white... while the county's population is 92-percent white or caucasan.  The county's comprehensive police reform plan will now be completed and sent to the state for approval.  Governor Cuomo says all plans need to be submitted by April 1.


County reports 21 new cases of COVID-19 in county... Cuomo reports 8-million vaccine doses now administered...
There are now just a handful of COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital in Chautauqua County... as the number of new cases remains relatively low.  The county's Health Department reports 21 new cases over the past day... and no new deaths.  The most cases -- 8 -- were in Fredonia.  Officials say that brings the local total to 8,054... and, 154 of those are active.  Four people are now hospitalized... and, 7,758 cases have now recovered.  In addition... Governor Andrew Cuomo says more people are getting vaccinate.  During a press conference in Albany Wednesday... he said 8-million vaccinations have been put into people's arms.  He says there are no 15-million state residents now eligible to get the vaccine.  He says nearly 3-million have been fully vaccinated.  However... Cuomo says there's still a long-ways to go to make sure everyone who needs a vaccination can get one.  In Chautauqua County... nearly 30,000 people have had at least one dose of the three vaccines that are available.


Cuomo says Heastie's case of COVID may slow down budget talks...
It's crunch time for the New York state budget... and, one of the key legislative leaders involved in the process has been sidelined by the COVID-19 virus.  Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was one of two lawmakers who said they tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, though both Democrats said they were experiencing only mild symptoms.  Heastie... who received his first vaccine dose on March 6th... says he'll be working from his Albany residence.  Governor Cuomo is hopeful they can meet the April 1 deadline.  Cuomo says he's confident the speaker will recover fine.  However... he says with quarantining of staff in his office, that may slow the process.  Cuomo says negotiations leading up to an agreement often involve dozens of negotiating sessions with several people in a room.  He says that's not going to happen this year... but, he's hopeful he and the legislature will reach an agreement.


City man arrested on Violent Felony warrant...
A Jamestown man sought on a Violent Felony warrant for first-degree robbery was arrested early yesterday morning during a street check by city police.  Officers say they were patrolling the area of Chandler and Franklin Streets just before 3 a.m. when they spotted Kevin Philbrick.  Police say Philbrick began to flee... and, they chased him to the city's train tracks where they caught him.  Officers took Philbrick into custody on the warrant... which also charges second-degree menacing.  He was also charged with second-degree obstruction, and is jailed pending arraignment.


Jamestown residents can pick-up petitions now to run for school board...
Petitions for candidates seeking to run for two seats on the Jamestown School Board this May are now available at the superintendent's office on Martin Road.  District Spokeswoman Cathy Panebianco says candidates must submit a completed petition with the names of 50 or more qualified voters in the district to be eligible to run in the May 18 election and budget vote.  Those must be turned into the superintendent's office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28.  Panebianco says if you have questions... contact Jaunita Walter at 483-4420... or e-mail her at jaunita.m.walter@jpsny.org.  The two seats are currently held by Dan Johnson and Nina Karbacka.

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., Apr. 12, 2021

Man armed with Machete arrested following alleged domestic incident... A Jamestown man police say was armed with a machete has been arrested following a domestic incident on the city's southside ...

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