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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., July 15, 2022

Fire destroyed Falconer home Thursday night...
A home in the village of Falconer has been destroyed in a fire blamed on an unattended candle on the second-story porch late last night.  Sheriff's Department fire investigatiors say Falconer firefighters were called to the scene at 102 No. Work St. shortly before 10 p.m., and, found the structure fully-engulfed in flames.  Falconer was joined at the scene by several mutual companies... including the city of Jamestown, Kennedy, and Kiantone.  Investigators were called in later... and determined the fire was caused by the candle on the second-floor.  No injuries were reported... and, fire officials were told that all the occupants had gotten out safely.


Crops in Chautauqua fairing 'okay' during dry spell, but, rain needed soon...
The situation for farm crops is still ‘okay’ despite a serious dry spell that’s persisted for the better part of a month.  But... Dan Steward, a consultant for the Western New York Crop Management Association, says rain needs to come pretty soon.  Steward says it hasn't been horrible yet for corn or soybeans.  However... he says if it lasts another 10 days, they'll be "really concerned."  The first two cuttings of hay in the region were ‘adequate’ but the third has been stunted by the lack of rain. Steward notes some areas in nearby Cattaraugus County have had just enough rain to keep the crops healthy. Some of the driest places include Chautauqua County...north and south... and along the 'lake plain' into Erie County.   On the plus side, crops diseases and pests have been light so far this summer.


Randolph arrested for allegedly stealing car...
A 16 year-old girl living at the Randolph Children's Home has been arrested for allegedly stealing a car in the Cattaraugus County town late last week.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they arrested the teen Wednesday for fourth-degree grand larceny following an investigation.  Deputies say the vehicle was stolen last Friday, July 8.  The unidentified teen was arraigned in Cattaraugus County Youth-Part Court... and, the case was referred to Cattaraugus County Family Court.


Sundquist says city council will act on confirming John Sellstrom as new City Comptroller later this month...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist will be putting forth a familiar name to city lawmakers later this month to fill the vacant City Comptroller's position.  Ryan Thompson... who left the position for a job in the private sector on July 8... was credited with helping the city get through the COVID-19 shut-down and pandemic recovery.  Now that Thompson has left city government... Sundquist says John Sellstrom is currently serving in an "acting" role.  Sellstrom has also been Financial Coordinator for the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency.  Sundquist says retired Comptroller Joe Bellitto has also been assisting them during the interim period.  He says JURA already has someone in place to replace Sellstrom, once he's confirmed as comptroller.  He says an offer has been made to the top candidate... and, they have accepted. 


City of Jamestown offers new "SourceFinder" program for start-up businesses...
The City of Jamestown is offering a new resource to help businesses get started... and grow.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist unveiled ‘SourceFinder Jamestown’ at the Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon.  Sundquis says it's meant to be a tool for new entrepreneurs to help them launch and grow their business.  It was developed with the help of the National League of Cities and Sourcelink from Kansas City.  The Department of Development’s Principal Planner, Ellen Shadle, says the 16 listed organizations can help with point of entry, business planning, marketing and fund-raising among others.  The ‘SourceFinder’ is available on paper and through the city’s website.  For more information, contact Ellen Shadle at the Department of Development at City Hall.


JPS names 2022-23 student members of school board...
The next two student members of the Jamestown School Board have been appointed as ex-officio members for the 2022-23 school year.  In a printed release...  district officials say Seniors Aubrey Reynolds and Emylia Hallberg, will serve as non-voting members of the panel.  More and more districts are putting student members onto their boards... and, State School Boards Association Director Bob Schneider says he was recently at a rural district gathering where it was discussed... and, one superintendent spoke glowingly about how it was working out.  Jamestown School Board President Paul Abbott agrees with that assessment... saying "it's important that students know that they have a voice with the Board of Education.  We had a very successful first four years with our student representatives..." and adds he hopes "our student body continues to utilize this opportunity and supports Aubrey and Emylia by giving them their suggestions and input." 


26th annual "Laurel Run" underway...
A countywide tradition of celebrating people with developmental disabilities is now underway with the 26th annual Laurel Memorial Run.  The two-day event is named after the late Laurel Hotelling, who lived her life with special needs until her passing in 2017.  Laurel's father, Wayne Hotelling, is the founder of the event... and, says the idea is to promote awareness of people with developmental disabilities.  Festivities began this morning with a single-person flag relay run from Jamestown to Dunkirk and continues on Saturday in Silver Creek.  Steve Waterson of the Resource Center says there will be several different walks and runs on Saturday, including the signature event -- Laurel's Legacy Lap.