Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Jan. 7, 2022

Structure fire in North Harmony blamed on ceiling fan overheating... 
Several fire departments were called to the scene of a major fire in a large residential building in the town of North Harmony late this morning.  Chautauqua County Fire dispatchers say Ashville firefighers were called to the scene on Old Bridge Rd. -- near the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry -- just before 10 a.m.  They were joined at the scene by Bemus Point, Chautauqua, Lakewood, and Sherman Firefighters.  No injuries were reported.  County fire investigators say the blaze originated in the bathroom ceiling due to an overheated exhaust fan and heater.  The residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire.


Reed in Falconer touts $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Bill...
Final passage of the $1.2-trillion federal infrastructure bill was the culminiation of 10 years of work for local Congressman Tom Reed.  Reed held a press conference with county and local officials in Falconer Thursday morning to tout the bi-partisan measure that he supported... even though he says his support was opposed by some of his own constituents.  Reed says he was "very proud" of the final product... and, says we'll see results here in Chautauqua County.  The Corning Republican says the bi-partisan measure will provide real relief for rural areas like Chautauqua County.  County Executive P.J. Wendel expressed his appreciation to Reed for passing a measure that will help rebuild local roads, bridges and culverts.  He says another key aspect will be funding to help complete sewer and water projects around Chautauqua Lake... allowing for new development of hotels, conference centers and others.  Reed says New York state is receiving $170-billion of the infrastructure funding.  He especially cited the efforts of U-S Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia for helping to make sure that monies go to rural areas across the country.


Reed says he still has serious concerns about the country on anniversary of Jan. 6th Capitol riots...
Chautauqua County's congressman says he's still concerned about a "deeply divided country" as the nation remembers the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.  The attempted insurrection by pro-Trump supporters and right-wing group members shattered the sense of security that many had long felt at the Capitol as rioters forcefully delayed the certification of President Joe Biden's election victory.  Reed called it the "darkest day" of his Congressional career.  He says to "see fellow citizens feel it was appropriate to do (what they did) was just deplorable, and it's something I strongly condemn."  Reed was not inside the Capitol at the time... but, was with staff in his office across the street.  Later that night... after the attacks... Congress voted to certify the election... and, Reed and Problem Solver's Caucus Co-Chair, Democrat Josh Gottheimer... spoke to bring some unity and civility to the chamber.  He emphasized using "this one year anniversary to recommit to that message of unifying our country and healing the wounds of divisiveness.  We must reject extremism on both sides because we are a stronger country when we work together and celebrate our common bonds." 


Borrello says Hochul's State of the State Address was good and to the point, but lacking in specifics....
A state lawmaker from Chautauqua County believes Governor Kathy Hochul's State of the State Address did not include enough specifics.  Reacting to Hochul's speech on Wednesday... State Senator George Borrello says he liked some of the concepts she presented, but said there were "very little" specifics.  Borrello says she talked about improving workforce development, and public safety... and, helping small businesses and farmers. He says Hochul's plan to increase the state's health care workforce by 20% over five years is a "lofty goal," but believes it won't be achieved unless previously enacted policies, such as the state's vaccine mandate for health care workers, are reversed... including getting people getting licensed in the state.  He says costs have also been an issue.  Borrello adds, "What I largely heard were plans to continue the same approach -- appeasing special interests while overlooking the need to restore public safety -- support our overburdened middle class and build a stronger economy."


While Albany County DA wants case dismissed, Cuomo will have to appear virtually in court today...
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be required to appear virtually for a court session Friday as a judge considers a prosecutor's request to dismiss a fondling case against him.  Albany County District Attorney David Soares asked Judge Holly Trexler on Tuesday to dismiss the misdemeanor complaint, just three days before Cuomo's scheduled arraignment.  Trexler notified prosecution and defense lawyers Thursday they will be required to appear virtually on Friday, along with Cuomo.  Cuomo has denied the charge.


Four north county districts close Thursday, and again today, along with a few in Jamestown-area...
Several Jamestown-area schools are closed today as Lake Effect Snow hits the region today, through tomorrow morning.  Yesterday... four northern Chautauqua County district's closed due to staffing shortages due to COVID... and, heavy lake effect snow along the Lake Erie shoreline into Buffalo.  Two of those were the Dunkirk City Schools, and Fredonia Central School... which cancelled school... along with Northern Chautauqua Catholic School.  Dunkirk School Superintendent Mike Mansfield they were initially looking to stay open... but, added they had some workers who live in the area that was hit hard, and they decided to close.  In addition... the Silver Creek and Lakeshore Central Districts were also closed Thursday.