Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Aug. 20, 2021

Missing Westfield teen sought in Jamestown...
Local police agencies are on the look-out for a Westfield girl who was reported missing since early Wednesday night in the city of Jamestown.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say they and Child Protective Services are looking for 13 year-old Gracie Vanlandingham... who was last seen about 6 p.m. Wednesday.  Deputies say Gracie was last seen wearing white jeans with holes in them, white sandals, and possibly carrying a back pack.  She is described as a white female, light brown hair, about 5'5" inches tall.  Gracie is believed to still be in the Jamestown area and is not believed to be in imminent danger.  Anyone with information about her location can call the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131... or dial 911. 


City police and fire respond to downtown, rollover accident...
No serious injuries were reported... but, at least two people were taken to the hospital for evaluation following a rollover car accident in downtown Jamestown yesterday afternoon.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say City police and fire crews, along with Alstar EMS... were called to the scene on East Fifth Street -- near Potters Alley -- just after 2 p.m.  Pictures from the scene showed one car rolled onto it's side.  East Fifth Street was blocked to traffic, causing some delays at the intersection with North Main Street.


Wendel and Green debate mask mandates and recommendations...
The Democratic candidate for Chautauqua County Executive is accusing incumbent Republican P.J. Wendel of showing weak leadership in the fight against COVID-19.  Norm Green has taken issue with Wendel's comments concerning the use of masks during a news conference held last week in Mayville.  The Lakewood Republican says it's a "personal choice," and should not be viewed as a "political statement."  Green... who will be interviewed for our Community Spotlight program this weekend... says Wendel should be encouraging all county residents to mask up because that's "how we prevent the spread of COVID-19 Delta Variant, or any other variant of COVID-19."  Green also feels that Wendel should be mandating that visitors to county buildings wear masks.  During last week's news conference, Wendel said the use of masks and vaccinations has become "highly politicized" and people need to respect the rights of each individual. 


County Health Department reports 22 new COVID-19 cases Thursday...
The COVID-19 infection rate in Chautauqua County is now up to 6-percent... and, remains "substantial" with 22 new cases reported over the past day.  The county's Health Department reports there have now been 9,598 total cases... and, 119 are currently active.  Officials say seven people are currently hospitalized... and, 9,320 cases have now recovered.


Hochul says she can require masks in school as governor...
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says that the state has the authority to mandate masks at schools.  That's in contrast to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who earlier this month said he lacks the legal authority to impose mask mandates on his own.  The Democrat Hochul is set to take office as New York's first female governor on Aug. 24, when Cuomo will resign in the wake of an independent investigation that found he sexually harassed at least 11 women.  Hochul said Wednesday that nearly all school leaders and superintendents she's spoken with support a mask mandate in schools.


Cents for St. Susan's campaign records record amount of more than $27,000
A record of more than $27,000 was brought in through this year's Cents for St. Susan's campaign by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  That from BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins... who says they were really blessed by a giving community this year.  Robbins says the generosity of both their many sponsors and the community at-large will benefit the area's largest soup kitchen.  She says they saw increased sponsor gifts, along with more from redeemable bottles and cans, and more than $2,200 from the dozens of coin canisters around the community.  That all brought in $27,477 total.  In particular... Robbins says Judy and Steve McAllaster donated $8,000... and, Key Bank gave $3,000 towards the effort.  St. Susan's Executive Director Bonnie Scott-Sleight says they "are grateful to these wonderful donors to the Jamestown BPU for joining together this year to provide this record amount of funds raised through the campaign."  In it's 22-years of existance... the Cents for St. Susan's campaign has now brought in $280,771.


After six decades, DEC reports Lake Erie Trout are spawning again...
Lake Erie has seen it's first Lake Trout reproduction in more than 60 years... with spawning being reported near Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County.  Channel 7 News in Buffalo reports the State Department of Environmental Conservation say the discovery is the result of an acoustic telemetry study, conducted by DEC expert staff and partners, after finding potential spawning areas in eastern Lake Erie.  The report says DEC staff collected multiple, recently hatched fry in fry traps on a rock reef near Westfield back in May.  DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says "today marks a key milestone in the restoration of lake trout in Lake Erie after six decades of significant investments to improve water quality and habitat and promote sound fisheries management."  He says the commercial fishery had all but ceased, and by 1965, lake trout were considered extirpated from Lake Erie.