Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Nov. 15, 2021

Absentee ballot count in Chautauqua County underway... 
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections will begin counting both absentee and affidavit ballots later today to decide several close races in the local elections on November 2nd.  Republican Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says the number of absentees to count this year is much less than a year ago when the presidential race was being decided.  Abram says it appears there will be about 1,500 absentee ballots returned of the just over 2,500 sent out.  He adds they'll also be dealing with whether affidavit ballots made out on Election Day will be counted.  Those are ballots where the voter was not found to be in their system, and they fill those out, and they are put in an envelop and then opened to determine if they were valid.  With the use of two high-speed counters... Abram feels the count will be completed within hours on Monday.  Today's count began about 11 a.m., and should be completed in about four hours.  The closest races locally include the Jamestown City Council's Ward-Three contest... where Democrat Regina Brackman has a slim, 11 vote lead over Republican Robert Reedy, Jr.   Democratic Elections Commissioner Luz Torres also says that military and overseas voters have until today to return their ballots.


Reed sounds off on harsh criticism of his a other GOP votes in favor of Infrastructure bill...
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the recently approved, $1-trillion infrastructure bill later today.  Local Congressman Tom Reed was one of 13 House Republicans who voted for the bi-partisan bill.  He's also now addressing criticism that he and the other Republicans  were essentially "traitors."  An independent media feed last weekend showed Reed addressing that criticism... saying the bill was negotiated in good faith... and, he remains a "proud Republican..." and he knows "proud Democrats" as well.  But, he feels the bill is a win.  The Corning Republican said the final product was "based on compromise."  The measure had already been approved in the Senate with bi-partisan support there as well. 


Medicare Premiums to increase next year by $21.60...
Medicare's ``Part B'' outpatient premium will jump by $21.60 cents next year, one of the largest increases ever.  Officials said Friday a new Alzheimer's drug is responsible for about half of that.  The increase guarantees that health care costs will gobble up a big chunk of the recently announced Social Security cost-of-living allowance, a boost that had worked out to $92 a month for the average retired worker.  The announcement on premiums comes as Congress is considering Democratic legislation that would curb what Medicare pays for medications.  The new Part B premium will be $170.10 a month. 


Missing distraught person in Portland found by K-9 unit...
Local authorities were able to located a despondent person who ran from a home on Route 380 in the town of Portland... and, said they might do harm to themself.  Sheriff's officers received a 911 call shortly before 11 p.m. last Friday night about the person running from the home... and, across Route 380 towards a field, and wooded area.  Deputies say K-9 "Drake" was brought in to assist in the search... and, began tracking the person.  The K-9 found the unidentified person about half-a-mile from the roadway in a brushy area.  Officers say the person was found laying on the ground in clothing not suitable for the conditions.  Deputies requested an ambulance, and Brocton and Portland Fire Departments responded to the scene.  The subject was then taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for further care.


Farm officials voice concerns over 2022...
Farmers in the Chautauqua region had a pretty good crop year in 2021… but, concerns are already emerging for 2022.  Well known crop expert Dan Steward, from the Western New York Crop Management Association, says the cost of fertilizer is surging, and with energy costs going up, nitrogen is going up also.  He adds that fertilizer prices have also nearly doubled.  In addition, the same kind of supply chain issues affecting retail shopping are hitting agriculture, too.  Many commonly used products like Roundup are manufactured overseas, and could be hard to find next year.  So, Steward says farmers are doing what many consumers are… stockpiling what they can now, even at higher prices, to insure they’ll have what they need in the spring.


Rosas confirmes DeJoy is his pick for planning and development director in Dunkirk...
The former director of Development in the city of Jamestown is Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas' choice to be the north county city's next director of Planning and Development.  Vince DeJoy's name appears on a prefiled resolution for Tuesday's Common Council meeting.  DeJoy held the similar post in Jamestown for several years, along with serving as executive director for the Jamestown Local Development Corporation.  Rosas says former Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was among those giving the candidate a strong recommendation... along with State Senator George Borrello.  Dunkirk's Planning and Development post became vacant last month when Jill Meaux announced her resignation.


Hochul announces Mass Vaccination sites for children...
Governor Kathy Hochul says 10 of New York's mass coronavirus vaccination sites are ready to give shots to children ages 5 to 11 who recently became eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.  More than 50,000 children in the state already have received their first dose of the vaccine, which has been available at doctors' offices, pharmacies and other locations.  Federal officials gave final approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids on Nov. 2.

 


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