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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Dec. 14, 2021

Middle School student hurt after being hit by car on way to school in Jamestown...
A Persell Middle School student was evaluated at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital after being struck by a car as students were arriving at school this morning.  Jamestown school officials report the accident occured on Hazeltine Avenue -- near Baker Street.  Officials say Jamestown Police and Emergency Medical Services responded quickly to the incident.... and, the student was taken to the hospital as "a precautionary measure" and the parents were notified.  Spokesperson Cathy Panebianco adds the district is taking a number of steps to review and reinforce traffic safety procedures.  They will also increase supervision and monitoring during arrival and dismissal, and will continue to remind students of the expectation to cross only in designated crosswalks.  Panebianco says the district has also contacted city officials about looking into partnering on a traffic study of the Hazeltine Avenue and Baker Street.


City Council overrides half of Mayor Sundquist's vetoes...
The Jamestown City Council overrode three of Mayor Eddie Sundquist's recent budget vetoes... but, three others were upheld because they did not receive the required two-thirds majority for an override.  During a Special Meeting at City Hall last night... lawmakers voted 7-to-1 to override a veto of management salary increases... and, 6-to-2 to override a veto of $10,000 being cut from the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency.  Council President Tony Dolce says he was concerned about a $6,000 allocation for the Human Rights Commission being upheld... and, going forward.  Dolce says that commission, and all others in the city, have not received funding in previous budgets, so this would set a precident.  He says if the panel could have planned out whatever event it wanted to hold, then come to lawmakers to get that funding allocation.  He also felt that there were other ways to find the $10,000 for JURA... which was overriden.  In addition to the Human Rights Commission... lawmakers upheld vetoes to the Mayor's Travel, and Education and Stationary lines... and, a $10,000 cut to City Hall building maintenance.  City Council will have to vote to take that approximately $26,000 from somewhere in the budget... likely from fund balance... at it's Dec. 20 voting session.


Lawmakers have to vote on new resolution naming Panebianco as second City Court Judge...
The city council last night also approved a revised resolution naming George Panebianco to the second City Court Judge's position... beginning next year.  Mayor Sundquist says the state's Unified Court System told them -- after last month's vote -- that they couldn't name Panebianco to fill out the remainder of retiring Judge Fred Larson's term... which concludes in 2024.  They said it had to be a full, 10-year term.  The resolution was approved by a 7-to-1 margin... with First-Ward Republican Brent Sheldon voting no.  He feels the state should allow a vacancy to be filled... then appoint that person to the 10-year term.


Wendel says the county will not enforce new mask mandate...
New York State's new mask mandate is now in effect for all indoor public places... unless businesses or venues implement a vaccine requirement.  But don't expect Chautauqua County to enforce the mandate.  Local health departments are being directed by the state to enforce the mandate that was announced last Friday by Governor Kathy Hochul.  However... County Executive P-J Wendel says that the county Health Department does not have the personnel available to enforce it.  He says if that's what the governor feels needs to be done, the state needs to enforce it.  Wendel adds the county health department "has enough to do already."  He is asking that businesses encourage patrons to wear masks, but they should not engage in any confrontations with non-compliant patrons.  He again urges residents to comply... but, adds his biggest concern is over enforcement.  When announcing the mandate, Hochul said the mandate would remain in effect until Jan. 15... after which the State will re-evaluate it based on current conditions.


Wendel urges Hochul to help parts of North County get FEMA help after weekend wind storm...
The Lake Erie shoreline area in and around Dunkirk was the hardest hit area of Chautauqua County from last weekend's fierce wind storm.  The clean-up from those winds continued Monday... and, County Executive P-J Wendel says he spoke with Governor Kathy Hochul late Sunday after getting help for the area.  Wendel says his biggest concern is for residents who live along the Lake Erie shoreline... and, adds they have not be able to get assistance from past storms because the FEMA threshold is too high.  He says private homes along the shoreline have been impacted by severe storms the past three years.  Wendel is also concerned about Barcelona Harbor, because the powerful winds have brought a lot of sand and silt into the harbor area -- on top of what's there from the past three years.  He toured the shoreline from Barcelona to Sunset Bay.  Winds in and around the Dunkirk-area topped 60 mph last Saturday... bringing down trees and power lines.  Parts of Northern Chautauqua County remain shut-down after Saturday's wind storm.  Central Avenue in Dunkirk remains closed near the County Fairgrounds where utility workers are currently making repairs.  In addition... Point Gratiot and Lakefront Boulevard are also closed to motorists due to downed trees and power lines.