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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 1, 2022

Identities released in collision involving Sheriff's Office patrol car, and Amish buggy...
The deputy who was driving the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department patrol car when it struck an Amish buggy from behind... injuring five people on board... has been identified along with the victims.  Sheriff's officers say, though, that all five people were treated at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital, and have now been released.  They say Deputy Dylan Pratt was driving the car, which was traveling northwest on the Stockton-Hartfield Road about 9 p.m. Sunday when the buggy was struck.  Deputies say there were three adults... 50 year-old Elizabeth Byler... and, Levi and Katie Lee... both 25.  A 1 and a 3-year-old were also on board.  The road was unlit... with a speed limit of 55 m.p.h.  Officers say the buggy met all state requirements for a slow-moving vehicle being drawn by an animal. 


Teenager killed, two others critically injured in one-car crash in Cattaraugus County...
A 17 year-old girl was killed... and, two other people are in critical condition... following a one-car crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Machias last weekend.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say the car went out of control on a sharp curve at an intersection... went off the road and struck a tree about 10:30 last Saturday night.  The teenaged girl was pronounced dead at the scene... while two others were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.  The other passengers suffered minor injuries.  The investigation into the crash is continuing.


Wendel signs 2023 county budget...
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he's pleased with how the county's 2023 budget turned out after it was unanimously approved by the legislature.  Executive P.J. Wendel has signed the 2023 budget plan that lawmakers approved last Wednesday night, 18-to-0.  Wendel said Monday that he didn't wait long to sign the final, $277.6-million spending plan when it arrived on his desk the next morning.  He adds he was pleased with the final product.  The budget includes a 30-cent per $1,000 full value tax rate reduction... which Wendel says was needed to stay within New York State's property tax cap.  Overall... he says since taking office... he's been able to reduce the tax rate by 71-cents per $1,000 full value.  The tax levy increases in the spending plan by 4.1-percent.


County Board of Elections says they are not involved with so-called "Voter Integrity" group...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is alerting local residents that anyone claiming to verify voting information for the November 8th General Election are not in any way related to... or employed by the Board of Elections.  In a joint statement... Elections Commissioners Brian Abram and Luz Torres says there are reports of a ‘voter integrity’ group going door-to-door and these individuals are not part of regular Election Activities.  They say all voters who are registered by October 14th, as Election Law specifies, are eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 General Election.  They add that ID is NOT required in New York State... and proof of identity is your signature comparison at the poll site.  If you have moved... and, have not notified the Board of Elections, please go to your NEW poll site, where you will be required to vote by Provisional Affidavit.  They add that the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department has been made aware of this situation.


CLA President provides legislature with 2022 report...
The Chautauqua Lake Association had a busy 2022 season taking out more than 400 truckloads of weeds and other debris from the lake.  The CLA just recently concluded it's season with a "Rake for the Lake" along the shoreline areas.  It was headed up by CLA President Rudy Mueller of Lakewood... who last week updated the Chautauqua County Legislature on what was done this year.  Mueller says they also have a program to try and stop invasive weeds from getting into the lake in the first place... using 15 boat stewards to inspect more than 12,000 boats on three lakes, total.  Mueller says the CLA received $60,000 in Bed Tax funding this year... but, is asking for more in 2023.  He says another $30,000 would fully-fund their just over $1-million operation.  The county and the CLA were recently criticized at the end of the September legislative meeting for the condition of Burtis Bay and the Celoron-area by another lake group, and the operator of the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel.  They said dead weeds along the shoreline produced a foul smell there.


North county man arrested for not appearing in court on shoplifting incident -- in 2015...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested on a bench warrant for failure to appear in Busti Town Court on petty larceny and criminal mischief charges... seven years ago.  Lakewood-Busti Police say they arrested Richard Graham... with the help of Dunkirk City Police... Sunday night.  Officers say the warrant stemmed from a July 10, 2015 incident at the Fairmount Ave. Wal-Mart SuperCenter.  Graham was sent to the county jail on $2,500 cash bail... $5,000 property bond.


Local gas prices climbing in recent days...
The price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline in Chautauqua County gone back over $4, according to the latest survey by the AAA East Central Gas Price report.  AAA says the price is up by 13-cents a gallon to $4.03 a gallon.  However... some stations in the immediate Jamestown-area are now just under $4.10 a gallon.  Last week's price was $3.90 a gallon.  Nationally... the average pump price continued its recent trend by dropping 3-cents over the past week to hit $3.76.  AAA says tepid domestic gas demand... and shifting global oil prices are the main reasons.