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WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Dec. 27, 2021

Alabama woman killed in fatal ATV accident in town of Harmony...
A woman from Alabama has been identified as the woman killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Washington Street in the town of Harmony late Christmas night.  Sheriff's officers say 58 year-old Donna Phelps of Dothan, Alabama was a passenger on the ATV... which went into the creek about 11:45 p.m.  Deputies say "multiple people" were on the vehicle went it went from a field into the water suddenly.  Officers say the ATV overturned... and, Phelps went missing in the water.  The operator was able to make it to the creek bank and get out of the water.  Deputies and fire rescuers arrived on scene and found Phelps in the water... and, began efforts to resusitate her.  However... she was later pronounced dead at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  The operator was treated for hypothermia.  Deputies say the incident remains under investigation.


Gerry woman arrested in connection with series of storage facility break-ins in the region...
A Gerry woman sought on several warrants in New York and Ohio has been arrested in connection with a series of storage facility break-ins across Chautauqua County.  Sheriff's officers say a targeted patrol vehicle was parked at the back of a facility on Dutch Hollow Road in Ellery Center when a car entered about 5 a.m. Christmas morning.  Deputies say the car then immediately fled... and, they pursued.  However... the driver, later identified as 35 year-old Amanda Sendall, continued to speed off before she stopped on Salisbury Road in the town of Ellery.  Deputies say they found Sendall was wanted on warrants from seven police agencies... and bolt-cutters and other burglar's tools.  She was arrested on the active warrants... and also charged with possession of burglar's tools, second-degree aggravated unlicensed operator... and, failure to comply with lawful police order.  Sendall was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Hochul takes on critics, omicron variant during Christmas weekend news conference...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul went on a Christmas Eve offensive against her coronavirus critics.  Hochul insisted at a news conference Friday that the state acted early... and has done everything it can against the rapid spread of the omicron variant.  Hochul was asked about the possibility of students and staff in local school districts will have to be vaccinated at some point.  She would only say it remains an option because the legislature would have to approve it as part of a list, and it would only take effect in the Fall.  She concluded by saying "let's see what happens with this."  There is also news that vaccinations may be required of everyone attending Buffalo Bills or Sabres games.  That would include children.  However... Hochul said the state is shortening the amount of time essential workers must stay home after testing positive.  Fully vaccinated people in health care, and other frontline fields can return to work after five days instead of 10 if they're not showing symptoms or the symptoms are resolving.  They must also wear masks on the job. 


Transient man arrested for allegedly breaking into Brooklyn Square Tim Horton's...
A 63 year-old transient man has been arrested for allegedly breaking into the Tim Horton's restaurant in Jamestown's Brooklyn Square, and stealing 367-dollars and merchandise from the store.  City Police responded to an alarm at the 21 South Main St. location about 1:40 a.m. Christmas Day... and, found someone had broken into the store, damaging it.  Officers say they found Paul Kitchen in the area with the money, merchandise, and shards of glass on him.  Police say store staff responded, and accessed camera's that found Kitchen inside the building.  He was arrested for third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, and petty larceny.  Kitchen was jailed pending arraignment.


Enrollment for affordable health care insurance ends in NYS this Friday...
New Yorkers have until this Friday to get health insurance coverage that begins Jan. 1 on the health insurance marketplaces through the Affordable Care Act.  AARP New York is encouraging anyone who is uninsured, especially New Yorkers in their 50s and early 60s who are not yet eligible for Medicare, to enroll in a plan before the signup period ends.  Erin Mitchell with A-A-R-P New York says many folks can qualify for low, or no-cost health insurance through the Open Enrollment Period with New York State of Health.  Mitchell says among uninsured New Yorkers, there are significant disparities among minority communities.  The federal American Rescue Plan enacted last March is still providing the additional financial aid to lower the monthly health-insurance premiums.  Mitchell says access to affordable plans helps improve people's quality of life because they can get timely and affordable health care to maintain a good quality of life.  AARP says the 2019 uninsured rate for New York Latino, Black, Indigenous, and Asian American adults ages 50 to 64 was two to three times higher than for white adults.  For more information about the plans available, and their cost... call 855-355-5777 – or go online at ‘nystateofhealth.ny.gov.’


Judge orders Times to turnover confidential legal memos obtained from Project Veritas, and it's lawyer...
A New York judge has ordered The New York Times to relinquish confidential legal memos it obtained between conservative group Project Veritas and its lawyer.  State Supreme Court Justice Charles Wood in Westchester County upheld his earlier order preventing the Times from further publishing the memos written by attorney Benjamin Barr.  The ruling released late Friday came in a defamation lawsuit Project Veritas filed against the Times in 2020.  The newspaper says it'll appeal the ruling and seek a stay.  Publisher A.G. Sulzberger decried it as an attack on press freedoms.