Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Oct. 28, 2021

County Legislature approves $278-million budget that cuts both tax levy and rate...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has unanimously passed the county's tentative, 2022 budget.  During Wednesday's monthly meeting in Mayville... lawmakers approved the spending plan that lowers the county's tax levy by $271,000, and cuts the full value property tax rate by 41-cents per $1,000.  Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzaro says it's a structurally sound spending plan that will provide tax relief to county residents... adding there's no use of fund balance, and brings back the contingency account for emergencies.  Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel did express some concern regarding the creation of 42 new state-or federally-funded positions, but he called it a reasonable and fair budget.  Niebel feels that in "2 or 3 years, we're going to have to decide how we're going to fund these positions, or whether we're going to fund these positions at all."  The spending plan now goes to Executive P.J. Wendel for his signature.


Sheriff's Dept. on look-out for alleged burglar in Westfield area...
Members of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department are looking for a man who broke into a hunting camp in the town of Westfield yesterday afternoon... and is stll at-large.  Deputies were called to the scene on Route 394 just after 2 p.m., and say the suspect fled the home just prior to their arrival.  A search was conducted of a very large "vast wooded area..." but the subject was not found.  During the search procedure... officers say a men's coat was found by a Sheriff K-9 that contained a man's Pennsylvania Drivers License.  A short time later a vehicle was found stuck on a well road nearby the house involved... and, the car was registered to the same man on the driver's license found.  The name of the suspect is being withheld due to it being an active investigation.  Deputies believe the suspect is not threat to the public... but, they believe he could be looking for a vehicle to steal while trying to leave the area.  The public is encouraged to lock their cars, and homes.  If you see any suspicious activity... call the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131.


Olean man pleads guilty to viewing child porn after being convicted previously...
A convicted child predator from Cattaragus County has now pleaded guilty to a new charge of viewing pornography after being convicted on similar charges.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 48 year-old James Arthur Morey of Olean entered the plea Wednesday before Federal Judge Richard Arcara to access with intent to view child pornography following a prior conviction.  Prosecutors say Morey, who was s convicted in a state court in 1999 of first-degree sexual abuse with a minor, was also sentenced to serve 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal charge of possession of child pornography in March of 2010.  However... during a May 2019 home inspection by a Probation Officer, Morey admitted to renting a laptop computer to view child pornography over the Internet... and, the laptop was analyzed.  The new charge carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of $250,000.


County reports 288 new COVID cases the past week, Hochul says overall state numbers coming down...
Chautauqua County has hit and exceeded another milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic this week... surpassing the 13,000 case number.  The county's Department of Health reported Wednesday 288 new confirmed cases the past week... bringing the local total to 13,129.  Officials say there were also six new deaths... and that total is now 206.  Governor Kathy Hochul, though, says -- overall -- the numbers after a recent surge have fallen off... and, "we're making good progress."  However... Hochul again warned that Halloween is coming... and, that's when the numbers began spiking last year... through New Year's Day.  At the same time... she says millions of New Yorkers have now been vaccinated.  Back to Chautauqua County... officials say there are currently 252 active case... and, 21 of those are hospitalized.  There were 94 new cases in the Jamestown 14701 zip code the part week.  The health department says 12,671 cases have now recovered... and, the infection rate is up to 5.8-percent.


Lutterloh discusses NYS plan for distributing "Kid-sized" COVID vaccines...
Pending final approvals next week... kid-sized doses of Pfizeer's COVID-19 vaccine could be available by late next week.  Governor Hochul says that's good news because many parents have been anxiously awaiting the approvals.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a recommendation Tuesday to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11.  Hochul's point person for those vaccinations... Dr. Emily Lutterloh... is the state Director of Epidemiology.  Lutterloh they will adjust their initiatives to include the younger age group after launching their "Vax to School" campaign, which will be expanded to the lower age group.  Lutterloh says 1.5-million children will be eligible once the Centers for Disease Control gets out it's recommendations.  Young kids would get just one-third of the dose given to teens and adults. 


Sources say A.G. James will run for Governor...
New York Attorney General Letitia James plans to run for governor, according to three people directly familiar with her plans who were not authorized to speak publicly.  James will enter the race as a formidable candidate for the Democratic nomination just months after issuing a damning report that drove Andrew Cuomo from office in a sexual harassment scandal.  James is also known for her frequent legal tussles with former President Donald Trump.  She is the first woman elected as New York's attorney general and the first Black person to serve in the role. 


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