Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Wed., May 19, 2021

Voters in JPS district approve new budget, capital project propositions big...
Jamestown Public School District voters have overwhelmingly approved an $89.9-million budget... and, $86-million capital improvement project.  The district reports the no tax increase budget was adopted by a better than 6-to-1 margin... 585-to-92.  The five-year capital improvement project... which needed 60-percent approval... was approved, 588-to-85.  School board incumbant Nina Karbacka was re-elected with 504 votes... and, Frank Galeazzo was unofficially second with 348. 

All other Chautauqua County budgets get approved on Tuesday...
Budgets for all other Chautauqua County School districts were also approved on Tuesday... and, 99-percent of those voted on across New York State.  In the Southwestern Central School District, voters overwhelmingly approved a $31.6-million budget for next year, 190-to-59.  The proposition to buy three new, full-sized buses for 426-thousand dollars was approved, 195-to-54.  Incumbant School Board members Jim Butler, Lisa Yaggie and Edward Brooks ran unopposed.

In Brocton... voters approved their new spending plan, 115-to-38.  Two school board seats were up for a vote among three people.  They were won by Michael Riforgiato, who had 94 votes... and, Rosanne Chesbro, with 78.  Nicole Klinger received 54 tallies.

In Bemus Point... voters approved a $15.5-million budget by a nearly 3-to-1 margin that increases taxes by one-percent.  The vote was 307-to-110.  A proposition to purchase two new buses was approved 333-to-90... and, another to establish a new Capital Reserve Fund was okayed, 318-to-106.  The three school board seats go to Margaret Spence... Shawn Hricko... and Beth Olson.

Frewsburg Central School district voters have approved an $18.9-million 2021-22 budget by about a 2-to-1 margin.  The vote was 112-to-59 for the spending plan.  A $7-million capital improvement project, and two other propositions were also approved.  Incumbant school board members Chad Chitester, and Larry Lodestro were re-elected with 144 and 127 votes respectively.  

Falconer Central School District voters approved a $25.2-million budget for next year overwhelmingly Tuesday, 99-to-16.  The spending plan includes no tax increase.  Krissta Swanson was elected to a five-year term on the school board.

Voters in the Panama Central School District approved a $12.9-million budget for the 2021-22 school year, 123-to-20.  Katie Braun was elected to a five-year term on the school board with 83 votes.... and, Steven Morgan unofficially won a three-year seat with 70 votes.  Incumbant Donald Butler received 68 votes... and, Summer Wolcott got 50 votes.

In the Chautauqua Lake Central School District... voters approved a $23.6-million budget for next year that includes a 1.7-percent tax levy increase.  Officials say the spending plan received 78-percent approval.  Michael Ludwig and current School Board President Amy Webb were each elected to three-year terms.

Cassadaga Valley school district voters have approved a new, $24.7-million budget, 87-to-29.  A $377,000 transporation proposition was also adopted, 87-to-28.  Diane Ellsworth and Marcus Clark were unopposed for two school board seats.

Wendel excited about COVID changes taking effect today, including dropping mask mandate for vaccinated people...
Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel says he's excited about the changes that will be going into effect on today in the county... and, all of New York.  Wendel says newer capacities were also to be announced today... so he's pleased with the new.  In addition... Wendel says he has been keeping in touch with summer venues such as Chautauqua Institution, and is leaving what they do in their hands.  He says county officials are waiting for more details, but he feels the changes announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo will mean more freedom for local businesses.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that... beginning Wednesday.... New Yorkers who are vaccinated no longer need to wear their masks in public.  However... immunocompromised people and unvaccinated people still do.  Masks and social distancing will still be required on public transportation, hospitals and health care clinics, correctional facilities and long-term care facilities.

County's COVID numbers for Tuesday show ongoing trend of going down...
Chautauqua County has recorded 5 new cases of COVID-19, to bring the total current number of active infections in the county to 65.  There have now been 9,152 total cases... and, 8,934 have now recovered.  The Health Department reports that three people are currently in the hospital with the virus. 

County Fair in Dunkirk still a no-go despite restriction changes...
Governor Cuomo came out Monday with some recommendations for the resumption of county fairs across New York this summer.  However... for Dave Wilson, President of the Chautauqua County Fair Board of Directors, it was 'too little... too late."  Wilson says they need to have most of their sponsorships, and other business aspects in place by April.  The Dunkirk fair is traditionally one of the earliest county fairs in the region, running the third week in July.  This year's event was cancelled earlier this month, and Wilson says finding the resources to reverse that decision is not possible now, because a lot of the sponsorships usually need to be in place by April.  He says hiring people to run the fair, and vendors to fill it would also be substantial challenges in the current pandemic employment market.  

CSHOF Film about Dick Barton to be shown this weeked on big, outdoor screens at National Comedy Center...
In one of the first major outdoor entertainment events in downtown Jamestown for many months, the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame will premiere its new movie, "TEAM: The Dick Barton Story" in a most unique way this weekend.  Randy Anderson is President of the Sports Hall of Fame, and says the showing will begin at 6 p.m. this Sunday night on the twin big screens at the National Comedy Center.  Anderson adds it will be free and open to the general public."  Barton has the record for most Super Late Model wins in the history of Stateline Speedway.