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WJTN News Headlines for Mon., May 9, 2022

Crews remain at scene of fatal fire in Frewsburg...
One person has been confirmed dead in a large house fire in Frewsburg this morning.  Frewsburg firefighters were called to the historic Fenton home at 83 West Main St. about 7:30 a.m. this morning.  They were joined at the scene by Kiantone, Busti, Falconer and Lakewood firefighters... along with State Police and county Emergency Services.  A county coroner was also called to the scene.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirms there was one fatality in the blaze.  More when it becomes available.


Jamestown officials to hold press conference about new, Public Safety "investments..."
City officials in Jamestown will announce later today new investments to combat rising gun violence in the city... and, to address it's EMS crisis.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist announced late last Friday that a press conference will be held n the lobby of City Hall at 6 p.m. tonight.  Sundquist says he'll be joined by City Council President Tony Dolce... members of the Jamestown Public Safety Committee... Police Chief and Public Safety Director Tim Jackson... and, Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon.  


Hochul has COVID-19, but, not experiencing symptoms...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, and will isolate and work remotely this week.  The Democratic governor tweeted that she is not experiencing any symptoms.  She said she's vaccinated and boosted. Hochul's positive test comes amid rising case numbers in New York.  For weeks, much of upstate New York has been in the high-alert orange zone, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designation that reflects serious community spread.  New York City last week crossed the city's threshold for "medium risk," indicating the widening spread of the subvariant knowns as BA.2 that has swept the state's northern reaches. 


Wendel has concerns over Gas Tax Cap as pump prices again spike...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says he has "immense concerns" over the price of gasoline spiking again mid-week last week... and, the gas tax cap taking effect in less than a month.  Wendel says the day after the county legislature approved capping the local tax at $3.00 a gallon on April 27... the price spiked 9-cents a gallon for regular unleaded fuel.  However... by last weekend... it had climbed to $4.40 a gallon.  He says if the price remains the same when the tax holiday comes on June 1, it would provide a savings of about 20-cents... which would put the price where it was just over a week ago.  At this point... Wendel says Chautauqua County is one of 15 counties out of New York's 62 that are also capping the local tax.  He believes the best way to improve the situation is increase production... because prices won't come down until the supply improves.


Man arrested in Jamestown following domestic dispute...
A domestic dispute on Jamestown's southside early yesterday morning led to the arrest of a city man.  Jamestown police were called to the undisclosed scene about 3 a.m., and, when they arrived... they saw a white sports utility vehicle leaving the locaton.  Officers stopped the vehicle a short distance away... and, following a brief investigation... they arrested Tyler Langworthy.  Langworthy was a passenger in the SUV.  He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, taken into custody without incident, pending arraignment.


JCC getting back to "pre-pandemic" routine, but, still has lower enrollment from COVID-19...
As the spring semester comes to a close, life at Jamestown Community College is getting back to a 'pre-pandemic' routine.  But the school's President, Dr. Daniel DeMarte, says there's still a ways to go.  DeMarte says they're getting closer, but, adds there are "still students who have not returned."  He estimates the college lost 15 to 20 percent of enrollment in the disruption of COVID-19.  The drop has NOT led to cutting any current majors... but the president says they are constantly examining whether they have the right number and mix of programs.  Spring commencement at JCC will be Saturday, May 14, Olean, and Sunday, May 15 in Jamestown.  As with last year it'll be a two part affair.  A virtual commencement will be posted on-line... and students will be given the opportunity to cross a small stage and receive their degrees from the president and other officials. 


County Chamber's Spring Membership Drive underway...
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual Spring Membership Drive is underway... and, officials are urging non-members in the county to take a look at what they offer.  Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Heitzenrater says their new member discount concluded yesterday... but, adds they have more specials going on through June 9... including a drawing for a free second-year membership, or two free tickets for their annual banquet at the SUNY College at Fredonia.  Again the drive runs through June 9th.  For more information... go on-line to www.chautauquachamber.org... or call 484-1101.


Family DNA Crime Searches halted, at least temporarily...
A New York court is halting the use of a DNA crimefighting tool because state lawmakers never approved the practice.  Familial DNA searching has helped crack cold cases and put murderers behind bars... but, it's also raised concerns about privacy and racial discrimination.  The technique allows law enforcement agencies to search the state's DNA databank for close biological relatives of people who have left traces of genetic material at a crime scene.  A panel of judges on a mid-level appeals court made the ruling Thursday, citing concerns about government separation of powers.