Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Jan. 6, 2022

Charge upgraded against driver of car hauler that struck and killed Jamestown teen...
The driver of the 18-wheel car carrier that struck and killed a Jamestown teenager early last Friday afternoon has now been charged with leaving the scene of an incident involving a death.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says additional information was obtained in the on-going investigation that led to the new, and upgraded charge... which is a Class-D Felony.  Samuelson says JPD worked with the Chautauqua County District Attorney's Office in determining the new charge against 58 year-old Randall Rolison of Jamestown.  Rolison also faces a charge of driving while ability impaired by drugs after his hauler struck and killed 15 year-old Alexis Hughan at the intersection of West Sixth and Washington Streets.  A preliminary hearing was held Wednesday in City Court... where Rolison was ordered to be held over for Grand Jury action.  He was returned to the county jail without bail.


County Health Department reports sharp increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases for week ending Jan. 1...
The number of new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County jumped by over 300 for the past week -- ending on New Year's Day last Saturday.  However... because of the holiday weekend, those numbers are expected to continue climbing.  That from Public Health Director Christine Schuyler as the Health Department reported 852 new cases Wednesday... bringing the total to 19,280 cases during the pandemic.  Schuyler implored residents to self-isolate if they find they have the virus for at least five days... and, adds that they will continue to do case investigations "to the best of our ability."  However... Schuyler says they can't get to all of them quickly.  She says if you are found to have the virus... self-isolate for five days.  If your symptoms self-resolve by that time... you can go out into public -- but wear a mask.  She adds you should also socially distance.  The only exception is if you've been fully-vaccinated and boosted.  In that case... you can go about your business... but, wear a mask for 10 days.
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The Health Department is also reporting that there were 12 new deaths the week leading up to New Years... bringing that total to 283.  Officials say 887 cases are currently active... but the number of hospitalizations is down to 24.  There are now 18,110 cases that have recovered. 


Former Westfield health care manager sentenced to jail time, and restitution for stealing nearly $800,000 from local agency... 
A Westfield woman has been sentenced to 18-months in federal prison, and 18 months home detention after being convicted of stealing nearly $800,000 from a local health care agency.  U.S. Attorney Trini Ross says 44 year-old Alicia Raynor received the sentence Wednesday in U.S. District Court.  She was also ordered to pay back the money she took while she was business manager for Compassion at Home.  Prosecutors say Raynor opened an account with Intuit... a payroll and payment processing service located outside of New York... and used the accounting software package 'Quickbooks' to make payments into the Intuit account.  Raynor then diverted money from Compassion at Home’s bank accounts to accounts that she controlled.  Between August 2015 and June 2016... they say Raynor fraudulently diverted nearly $239,000 from the company’s bank account.  In addition... for the tax years 2013 through 2016... Raynor received $1.2-million in payments from the agency that she did not report as income on her tax returns.  The Internal Revenue Service estimates tax owed for these tax years is $370,000.


Hochul outlines priorities for 2022 during historic State of State Address...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul gave an historic... first State of the State Address Wednesday afternoon... outlining an agenda for an economic comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic and new government investments in health care, housing and renewable energy.  Hochul gave the 35-minute address before a limited, socially distant audience in the Assembly chamber at the state Capitol in Albany.  She says she was "well aware of the significance of this moment.... but, I didn't come here to make history, I came to make a difference."  Among her initiatives, Hochul is proposing a $10-billion plan to grow the state's understaffed health care workforce by 20-percent over the next five years, saying the pandemic worsened long-simmering staffing problems.  With inflation becoming more of a problem... Hochul also proposed speeding up a $1.2-billion dollar, middle-class tax cut that will help get more money in the pockets of 6-million residents.  Hochul's proposals will be put into sharper focus later this month when she presents her first budget.  She became became the state's first female governor when Andrew Cuomo resigned last August. 


Reed applauds panel for calling out Canada breach of USMCA...
Local Congressman Tom Reed is applauding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement panel's decision to hold Canada accountable to the therms of the USMCA.  The Corning Republican says the panel found that Canada, by administering unfair dairy tariff-rate quotas, breached their commitments under the USMCA.  Reed says "we welcome the decision made by the USMCA panel. We care about our dairy farmers and it is only fair that Canada is held to the full terms of the USMCA trade agreement.  We will always do everything we can to make sure our dairy farmers are treated fairly."  The panel agreed with the U-S that Canada breached the agreement by reserving most of the 'in-quota' quantity in its dairy tariff-rate quotas for the exclusive use of Canadian processors.