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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., May 19, 2022

Victim in fatal truck-farm tractor accident in Hanover identified...
A Jamestown man has now been identified as the person killed when the farm tractor he was driving in the town of Hanover last Sunday was struck from behind by a pick-up truck.  Sheriff's officers say 76 year-old Samuel Restivo was southbound on Allegheny Road when the accident occured.  Deputies say the driver of the pick-up truck... 75 year-old Arthur Zynda of South Dayton... failed to notice Restivo's blue New holland farm tractor on the on the shoulder of the road.  The truck collided with the rear of the tractor... and, Restivo was ejected from the tractor.  He was rushed to Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk where he later died from his injuries.  Zynda has been charged with unsafe passing.


County fire investigators rule Brocton house fire as accidental...
Chautauqua County fire investigators have determined a house fire in the village of Brocton Wednesday morning was caused by an electrical malfunction.  Brocton firefighters were called to the scene at 25 East Main St. just after 10 a.m., and were later joined by crews from Portland, Westfield, Stockton, Fredonia, and East Dunkirk... along with county Emergency Services.  The fire investigation team later found an accidental malfunction or failure of electrical components in a mini refrigerator unit started the blaze.  No one was injured... and firefighters were able to rescue a dog from inside the burning building.  The local Red Cross is assisting the occupants.


Jamestown reports higher than expected first-quarter sales tax revenues...
The city of Jamestown received significantly more sales tax revenue during the first-quarter of this year compared to both last year... and, 2020.  It also appears the city is on track to at least meet... and, possibly exceed it's 2022 projections.  That from City Comptroller Ryan Thompson... as he provided the facts and figures to the City Council this week.  Thompson says the city received $1.82-million, a nearly 11% increase over the first three-months of 2021.  That's 22.5% of the city's yearly budget projection.  Thompson says that was a 16% higher than what was brought in in 2020.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says she was kind of surprised by the total collected... given the current inflation.  Lawmakers generally agreed that on-line sales were a big reason for the increase.


County reporting 10 people in hospital with COVID now... infection rate more than 14%...
Chautauqua County is now seeing "medium" spread of the COVID-19 virus over the past seven-days... with 10 people now hospitalized with the virus.  That's one person less than last week.  The county Health Department's COVID Dashboard reports the seven-day infection rate is now 14.7%.  The New York state COVID Dashboard is showing 66 positive cases reported here on Tuesday.


MAST director pushing NYS to add more time for public comment on Climate Action Council draft scoping plan...
A group that represents manufacturers is pressing for the state to extend the public comment period on New York State's Climate Action Council's draft scoping plan.  Executive Director Todd Tranum with the Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier says the 120-day public comment period ends on June 10... and, the current plan -- if approved by Governor Kathy Hochul -- would have wide-ranging ramifications for both homeowners, and manufacutring.  Tranum says the state needs to engage with industry in how to meet timetables they have set.  The proposed goal is for the state to achieve 70-percent renewable energy by 2030... and, 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.  Tranum says making the switch-over to all electric is not as easy as "flipping a switch."


Sundquist, Leathers also sound off on Climate Action Plan...
Jamestown officials were in Buffalo recently to address state officials during a public hearing on the Climate Action Council's Draft Scoping Plan.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist and Board of Public Utilities General Manager Dave Leathers both emphasized that the city owns and operates it's own electric system... and, made several points during comments.  Sundquist says a big one is the cost to retrofit thousands of city homes where 55% of the housing stock was built before 1939.  He says the scoping document came out with a number of items... including getting rid of gas-powered vehicles... and, electrifying every home by 2040.  Sundquist adds the city's poverty rate is about double the state average about 30%.  Another issue he raised during a recent Community Spotlight program... is workforce availability and readiness... and, how much that's going to cost.  He adds there aren't the people here to put all that in place.  Sundquist adds that the plan's objectives and incentives should prioritize economic development... and migration of people and businesses from the state should be closely monitored.  Leathers spoke about three points... including providing assistance for the local distribution utilities to plan for, and upgrade the neighborhood distribution circuits and system substations needed to support 100% electrification.


Buffalo sports team members visit site of mass shooting...
Dozens of players and staff from professional Buffalo sports teams visited the scene of Saturday's mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket, where they laid flowers, dished out food and handed out groceries.  The first stop was a group visit to a memorial at the edge of the store's parking lot, where several players placed flowers in front of cut-outs of doves, each bearing the name of a victim.  Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox said he's still trying to wrap his head around the attack that left 10 people dead and three wounded. But he says it hits differently, being there.