Local News Headlines

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

County reports drop in number of new COVID cases, but, increase in deaths...
The number of new COVID-19 cases the past week in Chautauqua County are down.... but, the number of deaths reached double figures for the first time in several weeks.  The county's Health Department reports there were 11 new deaths between December 5 and 11... bringing that total to 244.  Officials say there were 726 new cases... bringing that total now to 17,195.  There are now 41 people hospitalized... which is down 10 from last week.  There are 658 active cases... and, 16,293 have now recovered.  Of the new cases... 243 were in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... the only one in triple-figures in recent weeks.  Dunkirk was next with 77 new cases.  The seven-day infection rate is now 10.2-percent.


Hochul defends need for Mask mandate as case numbers and hospitalizations spike after Thanksgiving...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says an "alarming" increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases... and, hospitalizations since Thanksgiving... led to impose a new mask mandate state-wide.  During a COVID Press Briefing Tuesday... Hochul reiterated that -- as of Monday -- people had to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public places.  However... she says if that public place or shop had a vaccination requirement in place... masks were not needed.  She says case numbers have increased by 58% since Thanksgiving... but, adds hospitalizations are up more.  Hochul says those have been up 70%... and, 29% in the short time before she issued the mandate last Friday.  Hochul says she spoke with a number of local officials... county executives and the state Association of Counties... before implementing the mandate... which runs until Jan. 15.  Hochul says the main idea is to reduce the number of cases, and hospitalizations, during and after the holidays because hospitals are full now as it is. 


JPD makes two arrested in local connection with "Texas Temp Tags" forgeries...
Jamestown police have arrested two people for allegedly taking part in a vehicle registration forgery scheme known as "Texas Temp Tags."  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers recently arrested 22 year-old Jonathan Camacho-Monge, and 30 year-old Cheyanna Wright in separate incidents for allegedly driving cars that have the illegal, temporary tags on them.  Samuelson says JPD was advised of multiple vehicles in the area that had the phony tags back in mid-October.  He says JPD has seized a 2016 Buick Verano... and, are looking for a black, 2005 infinity G-35... and, black 2006 BMW.  If you've seen them... he says call police at 483-7537... or their tips line at 483-8477.  Samuelson says there are a number of "small, and ficticious" dealerships in Texas that sell thousands of those tags nationwide... but, in some cases -- the dealership ends up being nothing more than a small building with nothing on the lot.  Samuelson says the cars sometimes aren't safe... or, could be stolen.  Samuelson says both Monge and Wright are charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument... and, 25 year-old Cassandra Wright is charged with obstruction for trying to keep police from arresting Cheyanna Wright.


Persell student suffers minor injuries after being hit by car...
A Persell Middle School student was evaluated at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital after being struck by a car as students were arriving at school Tuesday 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.  They'll also remind students to only cross the street in designated crosswalks.


SWCS residents approve $18.2-million dollar capital improvement projects...
Voters in the Southwestern Central School District have approved an $18.2-million capital improvements project by a better than two-to-one margin.  District officials say Tuesday's vote was 166-to-70 for the plan... which involves just over 30 individual projects through the district.  School Superintendant Maureen Donahue says two of the biggest are replacement of the tuft at the football and soccer field... and, expanding the size of the high school cafeteria.  Donahue says about 84-percent of the costs would be covered by state aid.  Another $1.2-million would be covered by the district's Capital Improvements Reserve Fund... and, other district funds would cover $800,000 of the cost.


Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign still lagging... but, nearing $40,000 level -- and matching grant...
The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign in Jamestown has only ten days left to reach its goal of $115,000 for the year.   Contributions are lagging behind last year's pace, but with $38,000 in hand so far, Major Kim Merchant is hopeful because they have a matching grant of $40,000 -- once they reach that amount.  The $40,000 is being supplied by two anonymous, local donors.  Signups to ring the bell for the kettle campaign have improved as well, but there are still spots open.  Phone the Salvation Army at 716-664-4108 for the latest availabilties.