Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Jan. 4, 2022

City Council President Dolce again elected to head the panel in 2022...
The Jamestown City Council has again named long-time Republican lawmaker Tony Dolce to be council president for the next year.  Lawmakers unanimously approved the Second-Ward representative during last night's re-organizational meeting at City Hall.  Dolce said he was both "honored and humbled" by the selection... and laid out a number of agenda items for 2022.  Topping the list was moving ahead aggressively on use of the city's more than $28-million in American Rescue Plan Act funds... and, focus on the "most important needs we have."  So far... council has only appropriated about $437,000 of those dollars.  However... after dealing with the COVID-19 crisis the past two years... Dolce said they're ready to move forward.  He praised current and past council members for their work during the pandemic by helping struggling, local businesses, enact the state-mandated Police Reform Initiative, and enacted two very difficult budgets.  Dolce says other agenda items include having the Housing Committee move ahead on getting code enforcement and housing court fully back underway... and the Finance Committee working with the City Comptroller to make sure budget, and ARPA funding, is used wisely and prudently.


Dolce announces committee assignments for 2022...
Council President Dolce Monday night also named lawmakers to the council's handful of committees... with one of the new members taking on one chairman's position.  Dolce says he went with both interest and experience in naming At-Large Republican Randy Daversa to head up the Public Works Committee... because he has many years of working with the New York State Department of Transportation.  Daversa will replace outgoing Councilman Tom Nelson as chair of that committee.  The other newcomer, Sixth-Ward Republican Andrew Faulkner, will also be on the Public Works Committee.  Most other committee assignments remain the same:  Republican Kim Ecklund will chair the Finance Committee... Democrat Marie Carrubba will chair the Housing Committee... and, Republican Brent Sheldon will head up the Public Safety Committee.


Sheldon says no decision made yet on filling vacant, Ward-Five seat...
There's still been no decision over how the city council's fifth-ward seat will be filled... but, lawmakers may have a better idea by the end of the week.  City Councilman, and City Republican Chairman Brent Sheldon says the incumbant -- Republican Grant Olson -- had five days to sign his oath of office before the seat would be vacated.  At that point... Sheldon says they can begin looking for someone to fill out 2022.  The committee would then make the recommendation to Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and he would make the appointment.  It would have to be another Republican since Olson won re-election to the seat last November. 


Chagnon again elected as County Legislature chairman...
The man who has led the Chautauqua County Legislature the past two years will again chair the body in the new year.  At Monday's legislature organizational meeting... the panel voted unanimously to elect Ellery Republican Pierre Chagnon as the chairman of the legislature.  Chagnon says it's an honor to again have his fellow lawmakers confidence... and, he says he will continue to do his best to "provide servant leadership."  He also welcomed back two new legislators who served a short time back -- David Wilfong and Martin Proctor.  Both Proctor and Wilfong are Republicans.  Chagnon also noted that there are two new legislators joining the panel... Democrats Susan Parker and Billy Torres.


Erie man wanted for attempted homicide stopped, and arrested in Jamestown...
An Erie, Pennsylvania man has been arrested as a fugitive from justice following a weekend traffic stop in the city of Jamestown.  City Police say they stopped 23 year-old Deshaun Jordan shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday to an alleged violation at Kingbury Street and Hillside Terrace.  Officers say Jordan drove off as they approached... but, he was stopped following a short pursuit at Buffalo Street and Prendergast Avenue when the car went up an over the curb.  Jordan and a passenger then tried to flee on foot... but, they were able to nab Jordan.  He was found to be wanted in Erie for attempted homicide.  The passenger eluded police.  Jordan also faces second-degree obstruction of governmental administration and several traffic violation charges.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Hochul lays out Winter Surge Plan 2.0... 
Mask requirements are returning in some New York school districts that had dropped them... while some are planning to vastly ramp up COVID-19 testing among students and staff.  In addition... the state has received 5.2-million test kits -- mainly for school districts -- in an effort to keep kids in class as the number of new cases surge.  During a news conference in Rochester Monday morning... Governor Kathy Hochul says she's implemented the state's Winter Surge Plan 2.0... which will involve masking, testing, and increase vaccinations.  Hochul says another 3.7-million kits are on the way to New York right now.  While the number of cases has skyrocketed to 335 per 100,000 people... the governor also wants a more accurate reading of how many people are hospitalized for COVID... or happened to be in the hospital for something else, and during routine testing were found to have it.