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WJTN News Headlines for Tuesday, May 10, 2022

City officials in Jamestown announce plans to add police and firefighters, and second ambulance...
Jamestown city officials are pledging to spend "millions" of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to boost public safety with additional manpower and equipment.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was joined by City Council President Tony Dolce, Public Safety Committee members and the police and fire chiefs at city hall in making the announcement Monday night.  Sundquist says he and council members have found "common ground" on a way to make investments into public safety, and providing "adequate emergency care."  Sundquist says they have agreed to hire three new police officers... and, four new firefighters so they can add a second ambulance to the fire department.  He says the new officers will mainly deal with gun violence, which has been on the rise over the past year-and-a-half, along with quality of life issues -- including noise.  Police Chief and Public Safety Director Tim Jackson added, though, that most of the shootings have been "targeted" and not random... and, stem mainly from drug trafficking.  Sundquist says the four additional firefighters will also be available for fire calls so that the city is less dependent on surrounding volunteer companies to assist.  The proposals will be taken up by City Council committees at next Monday night's work session.


Chief Jackson also announced new law enforcement collaborations to deal with gun violence...
It will take several weeks to get the new police and firefighters hired and trained so they can begin active duty.  In the meantime... the Jamestown Police Department has been working on different collaborations to help them not only get guns off the streets... but, those who possess and use those guns off the streets.  Chief Jackson says a lot of this stems from the trafficking of illegal drugs... often by people from out of town.  Those include the recent arrest of 20 year-old Victor Nunez of Hartford, Connecticut... who was seen on police video firing multiple shots into a fleeing car during an incident on Broadhead Avenue. 


Investigation continues into fatal house fire in Frewsburg...
The investigation is continuing into Monday morning's fatal fire that claimed the life of one person living in an apartment unit inside a Frewsburg home.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's investigators say Frewsburg fire crews were called to the scene at 83 West Main St. about 7:30 a.m., and found fire and smoke coming from the structure.  Mutual aid was called in from Kiantone, Falconer, Busti, Lakewood, and county EMS.  Sheriff's officers and Carroll Town Police were also called in.  Four of the five apartment were occupied... and, one person was found deceased... while everyone else escaped safely.  The victim’s name is not being released at this time.  All other occupants are being helped by the local Red Cross.


Local school districts, including SWCS, to hold budget hearings, and meet candidates programs tonight...
Residents of the Southwestern Central School District will get to voice their feelings about the district's proposed 2022-23 budget during tonight's public hearing.  Superintendent Maureen Donahue says their hearing will be held at 6 p.m. in the high school's multi-purpose room.  Donahue says the $30.8-million spending plan is down from last year by just over 2%... due mainly to the fact they have paid off the debt on one building project.  However... that aid is also no longer on the books... and, she says that is necessitating a slight tax levy increase of 2% because they've lost more than 5% of their revenues because there is no more building aid.  Since the 2% levy increase exceeds the state's 2% property tax cap... the budget will need a 60% supermajority vote by the public to be approved.  In addition... Donahue says there will also be a transporation proposition for four new buses... including one 66-passenger bus... at a combined cost of just under $595,000.  There are also three candidates running for two school board seats.  They include incumbant Cory Miller... and, newcomers Brendan Carter, and Elizabeth Laczi.  The public votes take place on Tuesday, May 17.


James joins with lawmakers to announce "Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program..."
Two members of the New York state legislature has announced a measure to establish a state program that would provide financial resources to abortion providers in New York.  State Attorney General Letitia James held a joint announcement late Monday morning with the sponsors of the bill... which she says affirms a woman's right to chose.  James says every person should have "freedom to control their own body, and health care."  Senator Cordell Cleare, and Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas are sponsoring what's called the 'Reproductive Freedom and Equity Program.' 


Gas prices up again in Jamestown-area, and nation...
The cost for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in the Jamestown-area has risen another 7-cents a gallon this past week to nearly $4.40 a gallon.  The AAA's East Central Gas Price Report says the cost was about $4.33 a gallon for the week of May 2nd.  AAA says the national average for a gallon of gas has gone up 20-cents to $4.32 (now $4.37) to start the week... a penny less than the record high set on March 11 and $1.36 cents more than a year ago.  The increase is primarily due to the high cost of crude oil, which was hovering near $100 a barrel last week... and, is now closing in on $110.  The price last week closed on Friday at $109 a barrel.  Gas prices also trend higher this time of year as refineries make the switch to summer-blend gasoline which is more expensive to make.