Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Thurs., July 1, 2021

Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers and other agencies respond to two-car head-on fatal on I-86...
A two-car, head-on crash on Interstate 86 in the town of North Harmony has resulted in one fatality.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirmed the death on-line this morning.  The accident reportedly occured between Exits 7 and 8 in the westbound lanes around 5:30 a.m.  One of the vehicles involved reportedly got on the interstate... going in the wrong direction.  The crash resulted in the closing of the westbound lanes.  They were reopended about 10 a.m.  More when it becomes available.


Boil Water Order issued for Brocton water customers, including those in town of Portland west of Lake Erie State Park...
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has issued a boil water order for all customers in the village of Brocton water system... and, town of Portland residents that reside west of Lake Erie State Park.  Health officials say water pressure in several areas of both communities is "very low" because of a water main leak that occured yesterday morning.  Officials say the source of the leak has been found, and water district staff are in the process of fixing it.  However... officials say water for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth and making coffee must be brought to a rolling boil for one minute then cooled prior to use.  Do not drink the water without boiling it first, or use bottled water.  The order is expected to be in place until at least this coming Saturday.  For more information... call the village of Brocton at 792-4160... town of Portland at 792-9614... or the county's Department of Health and Human Services at 753-4481. 


County reports one new case of COVID-19 Wednesday; infection rate remains low...
Chautauqua County health officials say there's one new confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus being reported over the past day... and, the seven-day rate of infection remains at 0.1 %.  The Health Department says the new case brings the total to 9,295... and, 9,135 have now recovered.  Officials say three cases are currently active... and no one is hospitalized.  


Heitzenrater named as new County Chamber President and CEO replacing Tranum at end of July... 
The man who has been executive assistant for the last three Chautauqua County executives has been named as the next President and Chief Executive Officer for the county's Chamber of Commerce.  Chamber Board Chairperson Fred Johnson announced yesterday the appointment of Daniel Heitzenrater to the organization's top post.  Heitzenrater says he's excited about the new job... given the contacts he's made while working with the county.  He says the county and the chamber have often worked on similar paths on various initiatives, and he's enjoyed that.  Johnson says an extensive search was conducted that ultimately led to the hiring of Heitzenrater.  Heitzenrater says he's is looking forward to a smooth transition... working with current President and CEO, Todd Tranum, for the next few weeks on what needs to be done.  Tranum announced last year that he was leaving the post at the end of July. 


Davidson named as interim Middle-HS Principal at Cassadaga Valley...
A former school superintendent for the Westfield Academy and Central School district will serve as the interim Middle-High School principal in the Cassadaga Valley School district this coming Fall.  Superintendent Chuck Leichner announced Wednesday the appointment of David Davison to the position on an interim basis.  Leichner says Davison has a "wealth of knowledge and experience," that will really help us in the transition when we begin our state-wide search" for a permanent principal.  Davison retired from Westfield Academy and Central School in December 2019.  Prior to that... Leichner says he had a wealth of experience in being a teacher and principal.


Rental Assistance in CARES Act reportedly not working the way it should for renters and landlords...
A rental crisis spurred by the pandemic prompted many states to make bold promises to help renters, but most failed to deliver on them after Congress passed the sweeping CARES Act in March 2020.  A handful of states, many led by Republicans, offered little to no assistance.  State leaders set aside at least $2.6-billion from the CARES Act's Coronavirus Relief Fund in 2020 to prop up struggling renters... but, more than $425 million of that -- or 16% -- never made it into the pockets of tenants or their landlords, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The A-P.


Prendergast Summer Reading program off to good start...
Many of the stories we put on the news are aimed at adults, but the following is for the youngest members of our audience.  But... for all children who like stories, the place to be at 10:30 Wednesday morning is the James Prendergast Library.  Library Associate Joanna Sorenson kicked off this week's outdoor story time at the library's front door.  She says they weren't sure... with the pandemic and all... what the response would be.  But... she adds they had more than 60 children and adults on hand last week.  This week's presentation included a visit by Brian Papalia... and a couple of kittens... from the Chautauqua County Humane Society.  The theme for the summer reading challenge at the Prendergast is 'Tails and Tales.'  There are prizes for all ages.  Assistant Library Manager, Jennifer Champ, believes library usage is up, particularly among young readers.  Champ says the children seem "very excited" to be there.