Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Nov. 11, 2021

Ellicott Town Supervisor confirms Target buys former K-Mart store on Fairmount Ave...
A major retail chain has purchased the former K-Mart store, and it's 13-acres of property off Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Supervisor Pat McLaughlin says the Chautauqua County Clerk's office confirmed for him that a real estate arm of Target bought the property over the past couple of weeks.  However... McLaughlin adds that the company's intentions have not yet been made known, and they have not yet contacted the town about any plans.  He says he's "love" to see Target move into the location.  McLaughlin says this was a "full-sized" K-Mart store location prior to it being closed by the company in October of 2019.  He says the property is already zoned commercial, so Target could reopen it through "Use by Right."  However... he says any significant changes would have to be approved by the town... like an expansion, or alter any of the electrical work inside.  The K-Mart store at 975 Fairmount Ave. was one of 26 "full-sized" K-Mart's the company closed as part of a liquidation in late 2019.  It came not long after K-Mart liquidated it's Sears store holdings.


County DPF Director Bentley Resigns from position, effective Dec. 1...
Chautauqua County is losing it's director of Public Facilities at the end of the month.  That after current director Brad Bentley announced during Wednesday's meeting of the legislature's Audit and Control Committee.  Bentley said that he had been asked to tender his resignation by County Executive P-J Wendel.  It was submitted this past Monday... and, takes effect Dec. 1.  He thanked lawmakers for the opportunity to work with them.  However... we caught up with Wendel this morning... and, he indicated that he had not asked Bentley for his resignation.  Wendel says Bentley was ready to resign late last week... but, he asked the outgoing director to think about it over the weekend.  He says he appreciate's Bentley's service to the county, and add he'll meet with other department managers next week to discuss where they go from here.  Wendel says a search committee will be formed, but, adds he'll be talking with other managers in the DPF to plan for the interim.  He did say that prior to the resignation, they had received word of "some people" who had moved to the area... and, may be qualified for the position. 


Rosas says he has new Planning and Development director ready to fill vacancy...
Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas says he has found a candidate to fill the vacant director of Planning and Development post.  While he did not announce a name, Rosas says he would like to see the Common Council take action on the appointment during next Tuesday's meeting.  He says the candidate has the support of State Senator George Borrello, and former Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi.  Rosas says his candidate has extensive business and development experience... and, is ready to take over the position as soon as Council members confirmed the appointment.  He says the person would be able to come in and help us "immediately..." and adds they have quarterly reports and other activity going on "in that department."  Last month... former director Jill Meaux left the position, citing the stress of the city's political work environment. 


County reports 350 new COVID cases the past week...
The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County are continuing their upward trend... with 350 new cases over the past week.  The county's Health Department reports there have now been 13,791 total cases... and, 400 of those are currently active.  Officials say there were three new deaths... bringing that total now to 214.  There are 25 people currently hospitalized... and, the rate of infection is now 7%.


Local students taking part in "Taps Across Chautauqua..."
What started last year as a way to give band students 'an authentic music making experience during COVID' is expanding this year.  Instrumental players of all sorts did solo performances of Taps today on Veterans Day.  Persell Middle School Band Director Marc Lentsch helped start the effort in the Jamestown schools, said they learned Taps in school, and got some background on the day.  At 11 a.m., Lentsch says they stepped outside their homes, and play Taps for their neighbhorhood.  He says 'Taps Across Chautauqua' is an ideal way to connect what students learn in school directly to the community.  Band members from the Jamestown schools will participate again this year... along with those from Southwestern, Cassadaga Valley, Brocton, and Chautauqua Lake.  Music students at SUNY Fredonia will be playing along this year, as well. 


CCHS honoring military service members by waiving pet adoption fees through Sunday...
The Chautauqua County Humane Society is honoring our service members this Veterans Day by waiving the adoption fee for all pets for all vets and active military.  Humane Society Partnership Director Brian Papalia says the adoption fee will be waived on any successfully completed adoption to any adopter with valid Military I.D. that submits an application between now and Sunday, Nov. 14.  Papalia says their "Veterans Day adoption special is its way of giving back to those who have served and continue to serve our country.  “It’s a way for us to show our appreciation.  Our veterans are already heroes to this country, and now they can be a hero to a homeless pet in need.”  For more information... visit chqhumane.org, or call 665-2209.


BLACK FRIDAY THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY 1340 AM IS PLAYING NOTHING BUT THE CLASSIC CHRISTMAS SONGS YOU GREW UP WITH!  TELL YOUR FRIENDS!