Local News Headlines

Celoron man arrested for interfering with firefighters trying to put out fire in his house...
A Celoron man has now been arrested for allegedly interferring with firefighters while they were battling a mid-evening fire Monday that damaged the man's house.  Celoron Fire Chief Jordan Bailey says crews were called to the scene at 44 Duquesne St. around 8 p.m.  Bailey says they found heavy smoke coming from the eaves and back of the structure... and the Battalion Coordinator called in a second alarm.  He says they found fire in the basement and first floor, but, knocked the flames down fairly quickly.  Bailey says they called in five mutual aid companies to help with the fire and overhaul of the scene.  He says they had no major issues fighting the blaze.  However... he says the homeowner -- identified by Ellicott Police as 53 year-old Todd Rosendahl -- was arrested.  Police say Rosendahl entered the house while firefighters were trying to douse the fire... and, ripped off one volunteer's mask, and damaged the firefighter's equipment.  Police charged him with fourth-degree criminal mischief and obstructing firefighting operations.  He's to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date.  Celoron was assisted at the scene by Jamestown, Lakewood, Busti, and Kiantone at the scene... along with the Chautauqua County FAST Team.  No one was hurt.  County fire investigators determined the fire originated in and around an unmaintained wood stove that was surrounded by combustible material.  Due to the damage the house was condemned. 


City Council approves new, three-year, retroactive contract with firefighter's union...
The Jamestown City Council has unanimously approved a new, three-year agreement with the Jamestown Professional Firefighters Local 137.  That's the final city employees union to get a contract in place that runs through the end of 2020.  That from Mayor eddie Sundquist... who detailed the new agreement during last night's Council voting session.  Sundquist says there was a lot of "give and take" during negotiations... but, adds he's pleased the city has this behind it.  He says it brings the JPFF "in line" with what the rest of the city's unions receive.  However... Sundquist did say that his negotiating team was still working with each union to finalize agreements for 2021 -- and beyond.  He adds it includes 2-percent wage hikes each year 2018 through 2020... and, increases the employee contribution for health care from 19 to 21-percent.  However... he says that will be going forward.  The new contract... which was already approved by the firefighter's union... was approved 8-to-0.  Councilwoman Kim Ecklund abstained because her husband is a retired city firefighter.


Fredonia Village Board approves budget with only a 1.4-percent tax increase...
Fredonia village trustees on Monday passed a revised 2021-2022 budget that features a significantly smaller property tax hike than what was initially proposed in March.  The revised spending plan, unanimously approved during a special meeting of the Village Board, features a 1.4-percent tax increase that brings the property tax rate to $35.69 per $1,000, an increase of 50 cents. Trustee Roger Britz, Junior applauded the board for reducing Mayor Doug Essek's initial proposed tax increase of 17-percent.  Britz says he's proud of the work they did.  The changes also include a 38-percent cut in the salary for the fire chief, a smaller possible pay raise for the police chief, and a 16-percent increase for a new personnel specialist position.  Essek questioned those changes at a time where the majority of Americans don't want money taken away from police.  Trustees voted 4-1 in favor of creating the personnel specialist position, with James Lynden casting the lone "no" vote based on the salary of $52,000.


County reports 33 new cases of COVID-19 from past weekend...
There are just 33 new cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County from the past weekend... and, the infection rate is back below 2-percent.  The county's Health Department says 11 of the new cases were in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, six were in Dunkirk.  Officials say there have now been 8,855 total cases... and, 109 are currently active.  There are 12 people hospitalized... and, the number of deaths remains 147.  Officials say 8,599 cases have now recovered... and, the infection rate is 1.6-percent.


Peterson Guide celebrates 87th Anniversary...
Today marks the 87th anniversary of the first publication of Roger Tory Peterson’s ‘Field Guide to the Birds.’  And George Harper, Director of Development and Communications at the Peterson Institute suggests what people should do to celebrate.  Harper says "grab your field guide" and go outside and see those birds in the guide.  The field guide was an instant hit in 1934, and remains popular in its 7th edition today.  Harper credits the guide’s success to the fact that it features Peterson’s distinctive art work… not photographs or wordy descriptions.  Weekly bird walks are held Wednesdays at 9 a.m. at the Peterson Institute on Curtis Street in Jamestown.  Register at the RTPI website. 


NY to lose one Congressional seat after Census numbers are revealed...
Census data released Monday means that New York will lose one seat in Congress as a result of national population shifts.  The state's delegation will shrink from 27 to 26 House members.  New York is one of seven states losing a member of congress as a result of the 2020 U-S Census.  ABC reports the difference between 26 and 27 representatives, though, was 89 people.