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WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 26, 2021

County Legislature approves new, four-year Sheriff's Deputies contract...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a new labor contract between the county and the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County.  Lawmakers voted last night, 15-0, in favor of the tentative four-year agreement that runs from January 2022 through December 2025, and includes wage increases for each of the four years.  Legislator Terry Niebel of Sheridan says while the pay increases are significantly higher compared to four years ago, he believes those increases are necessary to retain current deputies, and recruit new ones.  Legislator Elisabeth Rankin of Jamestown says the county should support the retention and recruitment of law enforcement professionals.  West Ellicott lawmaker Lisa Vanstrom added that the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office does "a stellar job" and is well-trained.  The new contract includes 3% wage increases in 2022 and 2023, plus 2.5% wage increases in 2024 and 2025.
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone thanked lawmakers for backing the new four-year labor agreement.  He says their unanimous support is "huge."  Quattrone says we pretty much "ignore the national media" in that regard.  The Sheriff also took time to thank county residents for their support of law enforcement.

Hochul names Benjamin as Lt. Gov, says report...
Governor Kathy Hochul has selected Brian Benjamin, a state senator from New York City, as her choice for lieutenant governor. That's according to a person familiar with the administration's internal discussions who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Hochul had yet to announce her decision publicly.  She is expected to do so this week.  If he accepts the job, Benjamin would become the state's second Black lieutenant governor.  The Democrat has focused his legislative career on criminal justice reform and affordable housing.  Hochul's and Benjamin's offices didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Hochul adds 12,000 COVID deaths to state totals, based on CDC information...
New Governor Kathy Hochul promised more government transparency on her first day in office... and, by day's end her administration had quietly delivered it by acknowledging nearly 12,000 more deaths in the state from COVID-19 than had been publicized by her predecessor.  New York now reports 55,395 people have died of COVID-19 in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the CDC, up from the roughly 43,400 that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo had reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.  The new governor's move follows reporting by The Associated Press in July about the Cuomo administration's use of a much stricter definition of COVID-19 than other populous states hit by the pandemic.

Quattrone hopes Hochul will listen more to people "in the field" in creating policy...
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says he hopes the 57th governor of the state takes a different approach than former Gov. Andrew Cuomo did when he held top political office.  Quattrone talked about new Governor Kathy Hochul after she was officially sworn-in.  Quattrone says he was disappointed by Cuomo's use of an executive order to carry out his police reform program.  He says he's not opposed to reform, but, he says a number of areas Cuomo wanted addressed in state-wide reform was already being done in Chautauqua County.  Quattrone hopes that the Western New Yorker will listen to people in the field before making policy. 

County reports 19 new COVID-19 cases, 416 since Aug. 1...
The number of active COVID-19 cases... and, hospitalizations in Chautauqua County are up over the past day.  That from the county's Health Department... which reports 19 new cases over the past day... and 416 since Aug. 1.  Officials say there have now been 9,762 total cases... and 199 of those are currently active... and, nine are hospitalized.  The county reports that 9,403 cases have recovered... and, the rate of infection remains "high."

Geise believe's ECR International acquisition by Granby will be a "good fit...."
A company based in Quebec, Canada has announced it has acquired ECR International... which has a plant located in the city of Dunkirk.  In a statement, Pierre Fournier, President of Granby Industries, welcomed the employees of ECR and looks forward to their continuing commitment to the business and its customers.  Granby Industries is a division of TerraVest Industries.  Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer, and County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says it appears the acquisition should be a good fit.  Geise says TerraVest was looking for this kind of company in the United States.  He adds that he's been in touch with management at ECR International, and it shouldn't affect the employee count in a negative way.

Cassadaga man arrested in Arkwright for alleged drug and gun possession...
A Cassadaga man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of drugs and a gun during a warrant check in the town of Arkwright.  Sheriff's officers say they were conducting the check on 33 year-old Jeffrey Kozlowski, Jr. for an outstanding warrant issued in Dunkirk City Court.  Deputies say they found Kozlowski at the home... and, he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance, and a gun that he was not allowed to have.  Kozlowski was taken into custody on the warrant and taken to the county jail.  He was later charged additionally with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance.