Local News Headlines

City Council briefed on resolution to purchase new body cameras for JPD...
The Jamestown City Council will vote in two weeks on an agreement with a new company to provide 63 new body cameras for the police department.  City Information Technology Director Mark Dean outlined the proposal to have Axon Enterprise of Scottsdale, Arizona, provide the cameras to replace the current ones... which are 3-years old.  Dean says many of the current ones have failed, and officers are sometimes having to share cameras.  He says they agreement will also allow them to store the video and information in Axon's cloud services.  Dean says the five-year agreement will allow them to have two spare body cameras... and, he says the turn-around time on repairs with Axon is much quicker than the current provider.  He says he's heard good reviews from another local agency that uses the Axon cameras -- the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office.  Dean and Chief Timothy Jackson noted that the $70,000 cost is for each of the next five years... so the total would be $350,000.


Brackman named to replace the late Vickye James as Ward-Three Councilwoman...
A good friend of the late Vickye James has been chosen to take her seat on the Jamestown City Council.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist Monday announced the appointment of Regina Brackman to fill the remainder of James' term.  Sundquist says her resume is impressive... and, she is "no stranger to the work that we do here in the city of Jamestown."  He says she's been a member of the city's Planning Commission for more than 20 years.  Brackman is a lifelong resident of Jamestown, and has been employed by Truck-lite for 37 years.  She has also been active with Blackwell Chapel AME Zion Church, the YWCA and the Child Advocacy Program.  Sundquist told City Council members last night that he will put Brackman's name up for a vote at a special council meeting April 19th at 7 p.m.  He says that would only take a few minutes, then they could move right into their work session.  Brackman has also agreed to run for the Third-Ward council seat in November.


County reports 86 new COVID Cases from past weekend...
There's been a small spike in the COVID-19 infection rate in Chautauqua County over the past week.  That as 86 new cases were reported last weekend... bringing the total number to 8,520.  The county Health Department reports the most cases... 23... were reported in Jamestown.  There were 19 in Fredonia.  Officials say there are currently 159 actives cases, and hospitalizations are up to 7.  There are now 8,219 cases that have recovered... and, the infection rate is now 2.6-percent.


Primary Election Day set for June 22 in Chautauqua County...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is gearing up for Primary Day on June 22.  While there will not be any county-wide contests... Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says there are a handful of local contests, including two county legislature contests.  Abram says there will be a Republican primary for the race in District 18, and a Democratic primary in District 4.  He says there are also some contests in three towns... including a GOP Supervisor's race in the town of Carroll between incumbant Russ Payne, and Laura Smith.  Abram says the board is planning for in-person voting, similar to how the general election was handled in November.  He says they will do "everything" to make for a safe experience using masks and social distancing.


Concern voiced over lower than usual Chautauqua Lake levels...
The owner of Shore Acres Boat Yard near Bemus Point, Dick Sparling, says he has a problem with Chautauqua Lake -- namely that the lake level is at least a foot lower than it should be.  Sparling adds that he's concerned it's going to be low all summer.  While a light snow pack and scarce spring rains have contributed to the problem right now, Sparling says the ‘low level lake’ has been causing issues for his business for a long time.  He says they're having boaters go elsewhere to launch their boats.  Sparling believes the complicated formula used to regulate how high the water is needs to be looked at anew.  Doug Conroe, Executive Director of the Chautauqua Lake Association, agrees because the current plan is 40 years old.  Conroe believes different weather patterns have changed and we are getting fewer storms that produce the water needed, and that's changed water runoff patterns.  That 40 year old plan dictates how much water flows through the Warner Dam in the Chadakoin River in Jamestown.  County Executive PJ Wendel is looking into the problem.