Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Wed., July 14, 2021

County again being innundated by rain...
Rain... rain go away!  It's been another day of rain and torrential downpours in an around the Jamestown-area today.  The National Weather Service reports just under 3 inches of rain fell over about a three-hour period in the Dunkirk and Silver Creek areas early this morning... causing some flooding on Routes 5 and 20.  There was also some flooding reported in the town of Hanover and the area of Route 438 near the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation.  Some wind damage was also reported in the Ripley, Sherman and Panama areas.


Jamestown police investigating suspicious death...
City police are continuing to investigate a "suspicious death" discovered on Jamestown's northside Tuesday afternoon.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the scene at 118 Price St. about 1:15 p.m., and, he says investigators remained at the scene through the afternoon.  They were being assisted by the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office.  More when it becomes available.


City man arrested for escaping federal corrections facility...
A Jamestown man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly escaping from a corrections facility while serving a five-year term for a narcotics-related charge.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says the grand jury indicted 35 year-old Jensen Vasquez with escaping from custody.  Prosecutors say Vasquez was sentenced in 2018 to five years in the Community Resources of Justice at the Lighthouse Buffalo Residential Re-Entry Center.  They say he escaped from the facility last April 28, and he was caught by U-S Marshalls on May 21.  Kennedy says Vasquez was arraigned in federal court Tuesday, and held pending a July 15 detention hearing.  He adds the charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.


Sundquist unveils "Master Plan" for use of city's more than $28-million in American Rescue Plan funding...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has presented city lawmakers with a "Master Plan" for using the more than $28-million the city is receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan.  Sundquist says there still waiting for some additional information from the U.S. Treasury Department, but, says his administration has been able to develop five catagories -- or "buckets of money the funding can be used for.  He says the five areas include: lost revenues, economic development, housing and mental health, water, sewer and broadband, and transparency and tracking.  Sundquist says the most open-ended part of the funding is "Lost Revenues..." which can be used for projects already in the pipeline.  He says City Comptroller Ryan Thompson determined the city would be eligible for at least $10-million from 2020 through 2023.  Sundquist says the funding is allocated based on a formula by the federal government.  He says the city would receive $2.2-million for 2020 and another $2.6-million for this year.  Potential projects would include a splash-pad and dog park.  He says the city would allocate $5-million this year for economic development... $3.5-million for water, sewer and broadband... $500,000 for housing and mental health issues... and, $70,000 for transparency and tracking of funds.  Sundquist says the full plan can be viewed on the city's website... and, four public "listening sessions" will be held in the coming weeks.


Fredonia Board member resigns...
A member of the Fredonia Village Board has announced her resignation, effective immediately.  Heidi Powell made the announcement in a letter to village trustees on Monday.  Powell stated in her resignation letter that her other commitments "have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of my position on the board."  Powell was appointed as a trustee in February to fill the seat vacated by the late Roger Pacos.


Borrello concerned about Chautauqua County as redistricting goes onto front-burner...
Chautauqua County’s representative in the New York State Senate says he would like to see the county remain part of its current congressional district when the state’s congressional maps are redrawn.  Sunset Bay's George Borrello says the state's Independent Redistricting Commission is soon expected to announce public hearings on the redrawing of district boundaries, and he is urging residents who do not want to see the county broken off from the current 23rd Congressional District to speak out during upcoming public hearings.  Before the last reapportionment in 2011... Chautauqua County was in a district that included most of southern Erie County, including Buffalo.  Borrello feels that sharing a district with Buffalo does not serve a good purpose for the county because we don't share "common interests."  The Republican says it's "anybody's guess" as to how the state's districts will be redrawn.


Federal government says NYS had 11,000 more COVID-related deaths than state is reporting...
The federal government's count of the coronavirus dead in New York has 11,000 more victims than the tally publicized by the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo.  They have stuck with a far more conservative approach to counting COVID-19 deaths.  The discrepancy in death counts has continued to widen this year, according to an Associated Press review.  New York state's official death count is around 43,000.  But... the state has provided the federal government with data showing roughly 54,000 people have died with COVID-19 as a cause or contributing factor listed on their death certificate.  Experts say differing death tolls fuels public distrust in the nation's pandemic response.