Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Sept. 15, 2021

County reports 49 New COVID Cases on Tuesday, 115 already on Wednesday with two deaths....
There was a slight decrease in the COVID-19 infection rate in Chautauqua County reported over the past two days.  However there were two new deaths over the past day.  The County Health Department is also reporting another increase in hospitalizations.  Officials say there were 115 new cases reported late Wednesday morning... and, 405 are now active.  Officials say there are now 36 people hospitalized with the virus, and the new deaths brings that total to 169.  There have now been 10,921 total cases, and 10,347 have now recovered.  There were 57 new cases in the Jamestown 14701 zip codes.


City gets "clean bill" of financial health in 2020 Audit...
The city of Jamestown has received a "clean" bill of financial health from audit on it's 2020 budget from it's new, third-party auditor.  The City Council received details of the audit during Monday night's work session.  Partner Carl Widmer with Dresser & Malecki, praised city officials for helping to make their first year "pretty painless."  Widmer says the city's finances a very "fairly stated" and accurate... and showed a just over $1-million surplus in 2020.  He says they also did well with their state and federal funding awards... and, gave the city a "clean" audit there.  Widmer says the surplus came despite 2020 being a "pandemic year..." and says this brings the city's undesignated fund balance to $4.6-million.  He says that's about 12.4-percent of the city's total budget.  Widmer says they tell the more than 100 municipalities they audit that they should have at least two-months of funding available for emergencies.  He says that amount should be 16.7-percent.  Widmer says they included some recommendations in their report... including the need to implement a policy for the city's undesignated fund balance.


Haines receive's George Ritzer Labor Award...
A long-time member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local is recipient of this year's George Ritzer Labor Award.  The award was presented to Mike Haines during last night's program at the Northwest Arena in Jamestown after the annual Labor Day Festival was cancelled for the second straight year due to the pandemic.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist worked with Jamestown Area Labor Council President Dave Wilkinson to make sure the award was given out this year.  Last year, they gave the award to "essential workers... but, were happy to be able to present it to a single person this year.  Wilkinson, who is stepping down as Labor Council President after this year, says it's great to present the award to a fellow member of the IBEW because Haines has been a loyal member, and done a lot of good work.  In recent years... Haines has been the IBEW's Membership Development Organizer... and, thanked Wilkinson and Dave Painter for taking him under their wing to build membership, and to get jobs for their union. 


Cassadaga man arrested for criminal contempt...
A Cassadaga man has been arrested for allegedly going to a town of Charlotte home he had a court-order to stay away from.  Sheriff's officers say they responded to a 9-1-1 call just before 3 a.m. Tuesday... and, after investigating, arrested 41 year-old Michael Austin for second-degree criminal contempt.  Austin was then taken to the County Jail for centralized arraignment.


GoFundMe page started to raise money for new van for retired brass teacher Bill Knight...
A renowned music teacher in the Jamestown area is in need of a new wheel chair accessible van… and some of his friends have put up a ‘Go Fund Me’ page to help. The teacher is Bill Knight, who’s taught brass instrument students for fifty years. Speaking for his friends is brass player and choir director, Norm Lydell, who says “It’s hard to describe just how special Bill Knight is as a teacher.”  Lydell says Knight also took an interest in his students personally.  Knight is a quadriplegic and needs the van so he can be driven to the store and to doctors.  His current vehicle is 15 years old.  Anyone can contribute by Googling ‘Go Fund Me Bill Knight.’  The group has raised about half of its $60,000 goal, so far.


NYS hands down new Athletic Quarantine rules...
The 'rules of the game' regarding COVID-19 and high shcool sports have changed... with the potential to take a number of athletes off the field... and games off the schedule.  The Jamestown Public School's Athletic Director, Ben Drake, says the detailed 'contact tracing' used last year for any virus outbreak was replaced a few weeks ago.  Drake says contact tracing is no longer being used.  He says the upshot is... healthy athletes are at home -- in quarantine -- instead of on the field because they are "deemed as a close contact."  The new rules have put two Jamestown teams on 'pause'... the boy's soccer team and Freshman football team. 


Gas prices in Jamestown-area increase 5-cents a gallon...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area began the new week 5-cents a gallon higher than last week... due mainly to a drop in gas supplies nationwide.  The AAA's East Central Gas Price Report shows the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas locally went from $3.29.8 to $3.34.8 this week.  Some places are now at about $3.36 a gallon.  With the height of the Summer driving season behind us... AAA says motorists are seeing some relief at the pump, as the national gas price average dropped by a penny this week to $3.17.