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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Sept. 6, 2022

County Exec. pleased to see pretty much a "normal" school opening this year...
It's back to school for most -- if not all students -- in Chautauqua County today.  It'll also be the most "normal" opening since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020.  That's great news for students, parents and teachers alike.  County Executive P.J. Wendel... a former teacher himself... was pleased to hear Governor Kathy Hochul's recent announcement about lifting most COVID restrictions.  He called her approach bold... noting that they're taking a more "common sense" approach to dealing with COVID this year.  Wendel says he's also pleased to see the state... and local districts... taking steps to address the social and emotional needs of students to begin the school year.  Today is a full-day of class in the Southwestern and most of the Falconer districts.  It's a half-day of classes in the Jamestown Public Schools.


Whitaker sad to see Panebianco retiring, but, pleased with her replacement...
The woman who has spent the past 20-plus years communicating with the Jamestown community about what's happening in the school district is retiring later this month.  Cathy Panebianco is stepping down as Communications Coordinator for the Jamestown Public Schools on Sept. 13... and, will be replaced at the end of the month by 2016 JHS Graduate, Cameron Hurst.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker praised Panebianco for her writing abilities under pressure... and being able to "think on her feet."  Panebianco... who is also a professional photographer... is known for her feature stories on Jamestown school students, and faculty members.  Dr. Whitaker says Cameron Hurst was one of the first people they went to in seeking to replace Panebianco.  Hurst has been doing similar work in recent times for the Pine Valley, and Springville-Griffith districts.  He says he loves this community and his alma mater.  Hurst did a sports blog while he was in the Jamestown Public Schools... and, did communications work for SUNY Jamestown Community College... and, was a reporter for the Jamestown Post-Journal. 


Randolph man arrested for domestic incident after being arrested during drug bust in Jamestown... 
A Randolph man arrested with two others during a vehicle stop in Jamestown early last weekend has now been arrested for allegedly breaking into a home in Steamburg last October.  State Police in Jamestown say they had been looking for 27 year-old Jonathan Wright since he broke into the residence... and, fled before troopers arrived.  Troopers say the victim in the case was able to flee and call police from a neighbor's home.  While unable to locate Wright... police say they obtained a warrant for his arrest.  Wright was arrested during the vehicle stop early last Saturday morning for alleged fentanyl and methamphetamine possession.  After being arraigned in Jamestown City Court... he was arraigned in Conewango Town Court on charges of second-degree criminal trespass... and fourth-degree criminal mischief.  Wright was issued appearance tickets for later this month.


Two city residents arrested for drug possession in separate incidents...
Two Jamestown residents were arrested early last Sunday morning for allegedly being in possession of illegal narcotics during separate incidents.  City Police say they stopped 42 year-old Josh Moore in the area of Allen and Institute Streets for several traffic violations shortly after 12 a.m.  Officers later found him in possesion of quantities of cocaine and fentanyl.  Shortly before 2 a.m., officers stopped 22 year-old Sabrina Flores in the area of North Main and Sixth Street during a street check near a business.  Police found Flores was wanted on active warrants out of the town of Busti... and, she was taken into custody.  She was also found in possession of quantities of Fentanyl and pills.  Both Moore and Flores were arrested on two counts each of criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, released with appearance tickets for City Court.


Olson recognized for her community service during Ritzer Labor award presentation...
Community Service -- in addition to union leadership -- is a big part in deciding who receives the annual George Ritzer Labor Award at the annual Jamestown Labor Day Festival.  That was never more evident in this year's naming of Karen Olson as this year's recipient.  The new President of the Jamestown Central Labor Council, Gary Swain, made the presentation.  Besides being a union member... Swain says Olson donates her time to a "lot of organizations."  Local elected officials also presented proclamations to Olson for her work in labor... and, volunteering in the community.  Among those acknowledging that was County Executive P.J. Wendel... and include volunteering at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... and, with the Celoron Fire Department Auxillary.  Commendations were also presented by Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and state Assemblyman Andy Goodell. 


Ripley man arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs...
A Ripley man is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs when his car crashed into a ditch in the town of Ripley late last week.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Welch Hill Road just after 1 a.m. last Thursday... and, found the vehicle lodged in the ditch.  Deputies says they determined the driver, 71 year-old Timothy McBride, was driving while ability impaired by drugs.  He was arrested for DWI and DWAI-Drugs... and, issued appearance tickets for Ripley Town Court.