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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., May 20, 2022

City man sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years for burglary...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison on his conviction for third-degree burglary charge.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 27 year-old Brandon Murphy pled guilty back in March to the Felony count.  Schmidt days the incident occured in December of last year... and, he thanked Jamestown Police for their work on the investigation... and, their assistance during the prosecution.


Jamestown man accused of threatening woman, and holding knife to her neck...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly holding a woman against her will by holding a knife to her neck on Jamestown's westside Wednesday afternoon.  City police were called to the undisclosed scene about 4 p.m. for an alleged domestic dispute... and, found that 29 year-old Ismael Cruz-Santiago had threatened the woman.  Cruz-Santiago was taken into custody on charges of second-degree menacing and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  He was jailed pending arraignment.


Suspect arrested in connection with Dunkirk stabbing...
Dunkirk Police have arrested a woman following an investigation into an early morning stabbing on Webster Street.  Officers responded to the call around 12:30 a.m., where a victim was found with a laceration to her neck.  Police arrested 34-year-old Shauna Moreland... and, charged her with second-degree assault... and, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Moreland was taken to the Dunkirk city jail, pending arraignment.  Dunkirk fire personnel took the victim to Brooks Memorial Hospital for treatment.


State School Boards Assoc. reports 99% budget approvals in Tuesday's votes...
The head of the New York State School Boards Association says he's pleased that 99% of the public school budgets in the state passed on Tuesday.  In addition... Association Executive Director Bob Schneider he was very pleased that 88% of the budgets that had tax increases exceeding the state's property tax cap were also passed.  Schneider says those districts needed a 60% "supermajority" to pass.  He says that was a record percentage of passage.  Schneider says one of those 17 needing the "supermajority" vote was Southwestern in West Ellicott.  In Cattaraugus County... Ellicottville also needed a supermajority.  For districts that needed just a simple majority vote... he says 99.2% of those budgets were approved.  Schneider says one area of concern was that the number of incumbant school board members who decided not to run again was more than 30%.  He says... in some districts... meetings had become contentious for a variety of issues.  Some of those had to do with the teaching of "critical race theory..." and COVID-19 vaccines and mask mandates.


Whitaker says JPS District will begin process of hiring new personnel for 2022-23 school year...
Jamestown school district voters on Tuesday passed a school budget that included funding for 40 new positions in the district.  Superintendent Dr. Kevin Whitaker says now they have to fill those jobs, and finding those will "be a challenge" giving the current labor shortage.  He adds their intent is to find the absolute best candidate for each job.  Many of the new people will be filling a new role in the schools.  He says the 15 new paraprofessionals will help by being "behavioral first responders" for students having "behavioral or mental health crises."  More information on working for the Jamestown Public Schools can be found on the district website... jpsny.org
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Speaking on WJTN Thursday morning... Whitaker says the number of COVID cases in the city schools has definitely increased.  He says it started about two weeks ago... and, appeared to peak last week.  However... he says it's not been as high as earlier this year.  The surge in January mostly affected students.  Dr. Whitaker says this time, it's been hitting people of all ages.


City man arrested for fleeing police during attempted traffic stop...
A Jamestown man has been arrested after allegedly leading police on a vehicle pursuit when they tried to stop him for having switched license plates.  City police say a patrol tried to stop 24 year-old Joshua Verrett shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday for having the illegal plates.  Officers say Verrett did not stop... and, he continued through several southside streets before his car drove over a stop sign at the corner of Newland and Colfax Avenues before coming to a stop.  Verrett was taken into custody and is charged with Unlawfully Fleeing a Police Officer and multiple vehicle and traffic charges.  He was arraigned and released pending a future court appearance.


Prendergast Library to hold first-ever "Block Party" Saturday...
The James Prendergast Library in Jamestown will have its first ever 'block party' Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The library's Community Outreach & Program Manager, Jenn Champ, says it's going to be big... so big that Cherry Street will be shut down from Fifth to Sixth Streets.  Champ says 36 community organizations will take part, and they'll have story times, and lawn games -- weather permitting.  She adds, if it should rain... they'll move inside.  Most parts of the block party are free, but there will be some fund raising aspects too... including the second annual Jim Roselle Community Scavenger Hunt.  Roselle was a long-time announcer on WJTN... and a lover of the Prendergast Library.  It costs $20 per team to enter the scavenger hunt.  Teams can be of any size.