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Local News Headlines

City Council carries on after death of sitting member Saturday night...
Despite heavy hearts... the Jamestown City Council held it's monthly voting session last night to act on a number of important matters.  The meeting began with a moment of silence in honor of Third-Ward Councilwoman Vickye James... who died suddenly last Saturday night.  Some councilmembers eulogized James at the end of the meeting.  At-Large Councilwoman Kim Ecklund knew James before both served on council with youth programming..  Ecklund says there was "never been a doubt about her commitment to youth, and Jamestown as a whole.  She believed in people in Jamestown when others didn't."  Fourth-Ward Councilwoman Marie Carrubba sat next to James at council voting sessions.  Carrubba noted an irony about James' passing, and the earlier passing of another Third-Ward icon, Lula Taylor.  She says Taylor, a former Chautauqua County Legislator -- and mentor to James -- died three years earlier to the day.  Carrubba says James' mother recently died... and, Vickye told her that her mother was a Christian, and, was not afraid to die.  She says Vickye was also a woman of faith, and that led her in how she represented her constituents.  


Sundquist calls James passing a "somber moment" for the city...
Earlier in the day... Mayor Eddie Sundquist call Vickye James' passing a "somber moment" for the city.  Sundquist had a personal connection with James long before he became mayor.  He says it was James who got him involved in the Youth Services Bureau she headed up for many years when he was in high school... and, tapped him to be a member of the city's Youth Services Board at that time.  Sundquist called her "an incredible person."  He remembers James as being a very caring person, who had a "big personality."  While she was known most for her work in the city's Third-Ward... and, the black community... he says she worked for everyone in the community so that their voices were heard, and that people felt safe in the community.  James was first-elected to the city council in 2015. 


Chautauqua County Executive expresses condolences to James' family on her death...
County Executive PJ Wendel is also extending his thoughts and prayers to the family of Vickye James... noting that he was a county legislator when she was on the panel.  Wendel says she was on the legislature from January of 2006 to December of 2013.  He adds "I had the pleasure of working with Vickye when I first became a county legislator, and she represented her residents well as she always took their concerns to heart and led in a way that was best for her community.  It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the loss of a great civic leader and public servant, who has been influential to so many people across Chautauqua County and the Jamestown community."


Council approves Police Reform, and three-year contract measures...
The City Council unanimously approved Jamestown's Police Reform and Reinvention Plan... and, dedicated it in honor of Vickye James... who was involved in developing it.  The action was moved by Public Safety Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon.  Committee member Tamu Graham-Reinhardt expressed her appreciation for all the work residents, and city officials put into the final product... and said she was glad they were able to "get it done, on Zoom, during this pandemic."  Councilwoman Marie Carrubba says James "contributed a lot and spoke from her heart" in getting that document completed.  The Police Reform and Reinvention Plans were mandated by Governor Andrew Cuomo of police departments in response to the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minnesota last May. 
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In addition... city lawmakers approved a tentative three-year agreement with the Kendall Club-Police Benevolent Association.  The agreement also includes an increase in rank-and-file police contributions towards their health insurance.  The measure covers the years 2018 through 2020. 


County reports 63 New COVID-19 cases from weekend...
There are 63 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County from the past weekend... but, hospitalizations are down significantly.  The county's Health Department reports the new cases include 21 in Jamestown... and, 11 in Fredonia.  There are now 8,182 total cases since last March... and, 7,889 have recovered.  Health officials say 151 cases are active... while two are hospitalized.  There were no new deaths... and, the infection rate is now 1.2-percent.


Cuomo announces, starting today, people 30 and over can get COVID-19 Vaccine...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York state residents over 30 will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations starting today... and, everyone over 16 will be eligible starting Apr. 6.  Vaccine eligibility in the state had previously been restricted to people over 50, people in certain job categories and those with certain health conditions.  The Democratic governor called the expanded eligibility "a monumental step forward in the fight to beat COVID" and well ahead of the timetable set by the White House.  


JCC's Addictions Counseling program receives award...
Jamestown Community College’s Addictions Counseling Certificate program has been rated as one of the best in the country.  Dr. Morgan Phillips helps direct the program.  He says the recognition comes from ‘Value Colleges,' which is an independent agency that saw the value of what they teach their students.  Phillips says the award is gratifying, considering the program is just in its third year.  It is taught on-line, and directed toward individuals who already hold a degree in one of the ‘helping professions’.  JCC offers an Associate’s Degree Program in Addictions Counseling as well.  A ‘virtual’ open house on these and all the programs in the area of ‘Public and Professionals Services’ will be held tonight at 7 p.m.

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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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