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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Oct. 26, 2022

City Council considers cybersecurity hire for IT Dept., no other budget changes yet...
City lawmakers in Jamestown heard about the need for an additional person to help with cybersecurity during this week's budget hearing.  City Council President Tony Dolce says the panel heard from Information Technology Director Mark Dean about the need to make sure their systems are secure in these times.  Dolce says both businesses and governments alike are having to do that now... so it's something lawmakers need to consider.  No other new positions are being proposed at this time.  In addition to IT... lawmakers Monday night reviewed smaller departments, including the City Clerk/Treasurer... and the Comptroller's Office.  At the first work session in November... Dolce says the biggest departments -- fire and police -- will be reviewed on Nov. 7.  He says they are on track to approving the just over $36-million budget at the November voting session.  However... he says if they need more time... they can hold a special session before the due date of Dec. 1.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist's budget includes no increase in the tax rate... which is $23.69 per $1,000 full value.


Zeldin and Hochul land debate punches during only Gov. debate...
Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin has focused his campaign for New York governor on hammering Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul over rising violent crime.  Zeldin again hit Hochul on the crime issue during a debate Tuesday night... and, has hit a swell of momentum lately.  That's posing a threat to Hochul in the final weeks before Election Day... as the race tightens into what some polls are calling a tie.  With that... Hochul has increased her campaign attacks portraying Zeldin as a ``too extreme'' ally of former President Donald Trump.  At the same time... Hochul is saying she's making public safety a priority.


Fetterman struggles during debate with Oz, which focused manly on issues...
Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman wouldn't commit to releasing his full medical records during a highly anticipated debate against Republican Mehmet Oz on Tuesday.  Fetterman spoke haltingly throughout the hour-long event more than five months after experiencing a stroke.  He acknowledged that he ``almost died'' after suffering a stroke in May, but said ``it knocked me down and I'm going to keep coming back up.''  He also quickly tried to go on offense by attacking Oz's ``gigantic mansions'' and his integrity.  The celebrity heart surgeon, ignored his opponent's health on Tuesday, and instead attacked Fetterman's ``radical positions.''


Six arrested in Jamestown drug raids...
Six people were arrested early Tuesday morning during simultaneous drug raids at two apartment houses in the city of Jamestown.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force... and, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Narcotics Investigation Team executed search warrants at the lower apartment at 57 Colfax St., and, another apartment at 34 Sampson St.  The JPD SWAT Team made entry into both residences just before 6:30 a.m., and one person was found at 34 Sampson... and, five were found at 57 Colfax.  Police say a search of the residences revealed a quantity of fentanyl, Tapentadol pills, scales, and packaging materials.  Officers arrested Aaron Albaugh... Gregory Messere... Charles Riddell... and, Joseph Thayer for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree Criminal Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  They say Jason Parker was also arrested on those two charges... along with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  The sixth person... Alvin Jusino... was also found to have an active warrant for his arrest.  He was turned over to the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office and taken for centralized arraignment in Mayville.  If you have any information on illegal drug activity in the city... or surrounding area... call the JPD confidential tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477... or the Sheriff's Office Tip line at 664-2420.


Dolce announces "Trunk or Treat" event this Saturday in Jamestown...
The city of Jamestown's annual Halloween Fun Fest at the former Allen Park Ice Rink in Jamestown will not be held this year.  However... there will be a "Trunk-or-Treat" event outdoors on the Riverwalk... behind the National Comedy Center... this Saturday.  At the end of this week's City Council meeting... Council President Tony Dolce said the city's Parks and Recreation Department will host the event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Dolce says a number of fun activities will be held... including hayrides... games... costume contests and handing out candy.  Again... the Riverwalk Trunk-or Treat event will be held outside... and, it looks like the weather will be nice for the event.  It runs from 5 to 7 p.m.  In addition... Trick-or-Treat hours on Halloween Night next Monday will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 


Audubon's Bald Eagle, Liberty, dies Tuesday at the nature center...
The Jamestown Audubon Community Nature Center is mourning the loss of it's long-time Bald Eagle, Liberty.  Center Director Leigh Rovegno says Liberty... who had lived at the center for 20 years... passed Tuesday morning.  Rovegno says "Liberty’s presence touched thousands of children, families, and adults over her two decades at the Nature Center.  She brought a sense of wonder and awe to all those who came to admire her.  She will be dearly missed by all.”  Rovegno said the eagle's health had been waning recently, and took a turn for the worse in the past few days.  Prior to a veterinary appointment... she was discovered Tuesday morning deceased, by her longtime primary caretaker Thom Armella.