Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Dec. 21, 2021

(**Breaking)Alleged human trafficker arrested in Falconer...
An unidentified Falconer man has been arrested following a several-month-long investigation into alleged human trafficking.  Ellicott Town Police say they assisted the U-S Department of Homeland Security, and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office in a raid at a Delaware Avenue home about 6 this morning.  Officials say the man was taken into custody on a federal warrant without incident.  Police say the man was processed at Ellicott Police headquarters, and taken to the county jail in Mayville pending further court action.  More information is expected on the arrest later today.   

Sugar Grove man now identified as person killed in fatal crash last Thursday...
A Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania man has died from injuries suffered in the recent, two-car crash on Jackson Run Road at Teal Hill Road last Thursday morning.  State Police in Warren say 24 year-old Dillon Edwards was eastbound about 5 a.m. on Teal Hill when he failed to stop at the stop sign with Jackson Run.  Troopers say Edwards' car struck a southbound car on Jackson Run.  Police say he was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown where he later died.  Edwards' passenger, 24 year-old Erin Groves, was flown to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment.  The driver of the other vehicle suffered only minor injuries, and not transported.  Emergy Care, the Sugar Grove, Lander and Busti Fire Departments all assisted at the scene.


NYS to ramp up COVID-19 testing in wake of latest surge, fueled by Omicron variant... 
New York State is boosting it's testing efforts across the state after a third-straight day Sunday of more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases.  Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says the county will be receiving a share of the test kits from Albany... a total of 5,000 boxes with two at-home kits in each.  Wendel says they are awaiting those kits... and, word on how they can be used.  He says those kits are en route to the county, and they'll then get instructions on where to send them.  Initially... Wendel says they were told the kits can be used at "the county's discretion."  However... there's now word a certain number should go to schools.  Meanwhile... Wendel continues to encourage county residents to get vaccinated and boosted... and, wear masks when in public, indoor places.


Reed says recently approved Infrastructure Bill a "major victory," in light of lack of support for "Build Back Better..."
U-S Senator Joe Manchin's decision to not support President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" program is underscoring that the bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill was a "major victory" for the country.  That from Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed... who was one of 13 House Republicans that supported the Infrastructure Bill because it includes the "important investments" needed for the country.  The Corning Republican says - "In total... New York State will receive upwards of $170-Billion for infrastructure projects to improve our roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, water systems, broadband access, and more."  Reed adds that "unlike the political talking points, the two were never linked." 


County's community foundations, United Ways, honored with Pam Lydic Award from county Chamber...
A special fund established by Chautauqua County's two community foundations, and two United Ways shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began to help local non-profits and other organizations has been given special recognition.  During the county Chamber of Commerce's recent Annual Luncheon and Meeting... they were presented with the Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award for creating the "Chautauqua County COVID Response Fund.  Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Executive Director Diane Hannum called it an honor, and that they are "humbled" by the award.  Hannum says she and many others knew Lydic, who worked to create the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  In addition to the north county foundation... the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation... and, the United Way's of Southern and Northern Chautauqua County were all recognized.  The chamber's annual meeting was held at the Harbor Hotel in Celoron. 


Spanos named as new president of USAging Board...
Chautauqua County's Director of Aging Services has been formally appointed as the new president for the USAging Board of Directors.  During the organization's annual Conference and Tradeshow... Mary Ann Spanos was sworn in for a two-year term.  She first joined the USAging Board of Directors in 2010 as an Alternate... and, became the delegate for Region-Two, representing New York and New Jersey, in 2016.  USAging represents and supports the national network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocates for the Title-9 Native American Aging Programs that provide critical services, and supports that enable older adults and people with disabilities throughout the United States to live with optimal health, well-being, independence and dignity in their homes and communities.  Dr. Spanos calls it "an honor" to be named.


Outgoing SUNY at Oswego president named interim SUNY Chancellor...
The State University of New York has announced the appointment of outgoing SUNY College at Oswego President Deborah Stanley as interim chancellor for the SUNY System.  The announcement was made by the SUNY Board of Trustees... and, SUNY Oswego this morning.  Stanley had been Oswego's president for the past 25 years... and, worked in the SUNY system for 45 years.  She will begin serving as interim chancellor on January 15th.  She replaces James Malatras... who recently stepped down from the position.