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WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Nov. 22, 2022

Biden Administration issues Emergency Declaration for 11 NY Counties after major snow storm...
A federal emergency declaration has been issued by President Joe Biden for 11 counties in upstate New York... including Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties... from last week's lake effect snow storm that buried areas around Buffalo.  Governor Kathy Hochul says she was able to secure the emergency declaration after the storm brought around seven feet of snow to places like Orchard Park and Hamburg this past week.
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Meanwhile... Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel says while there was about a foot of snow in some places last Thursday... and, several more inches that fell Sunday... county snowplow crews were able to keep up with snowfall.  As for the federal disaster declaration... Wendel wasn't sure if the county would be eligible for such assistance.


City man pleads guilty to selling drugs to overdose victim...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to selling drugs that caused 'serious bodily injury' to another person just over two-years ago.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross announced Monday that 43 year-old Bradley Knapp pled to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine before U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say Knapp bought and sold heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine for profit and his own use... and, used a West Ninth Street residence to make, package and distribute the drugs.  He's accused of selling about a gram of a heroin/fentanyl mix to an individual identified as 'M.H.' in August of 2020.  The following day... the victim took about half a gram of the illegal drugs, overdosed, and stopped breathing.  He needed multiple-doses of Narcan to be revived.  Knapp faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison... and a $1-million fine.


Two people from Cattaraugus County arrested after 11-month old ingests Fentanyl...
Two people from Cattaraugus County have been arrested after an 11-month old child in their home became unconscious after ingesting a quantity of Fentanyl late last week.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they were called to an apartment at 221 Erie St. in the village last Thursday afternoon for an unresponsive child.  Deputies gave the child two doses of Narcan... and, the child became alert and responsive.  Officers say the adults... 29 year-old Cody Worthington and 32 year-old Samantha Steiner... had the drugs in their home and the child got into them.  Worthington and Steiner were arrested on charges of second-degree assault... and, first-degree reckless endangerment.  Both were arraigned... and, sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail;  Worthington on $1,000 cash bail... Steiner on $2,500 cash bail.


Sempolinski says Congress needs to deal with debt ceiling in addition to budget...
In addition to dealing with a new continuing resolution... the "lame duck" session of Congress may involve a fight over raising the nation's debt ceiling.  House Republicans... who are set to be in the majority come the new year... see the debt ceiling fight as some leverage to curb the agenda of Democratic President Joe Biden.  Local Congressman Joe Sempolinski has just over a month left in his short term in office... and, sees the debt ceiling debate in a similar light as the need for an actual budget.  He's not "holding his breath" about the House actually dealing with the budget, nor the debt ceiling until it needs to be.  Sempolinski says both Republicans and 'rank-and-file' Democrats should be able to be part of the process... and, have it be done "the right way."  Congressman Buddy Carter, who is a contender for House Budget Committee chairman, said the debt ceiling would be key to a new Republican majority's hopes of reining in federal spending.  That debt ceiling needs to be raised to $31.4-trillion in 2023 in order for the U.S. to not default on it's debts.


Dead body found near railroad tracks in Farnham...
The Erie County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in identifying an individual who was struck and killed by a train in the village of Farnham -- at the Chautauqua Count line.  Deputies responded to a report that a person had found human remains and clothing along the tracks on Saturday.  Sheriff's detectives are trying to identify the person who was traveling on foot along the railroad tracks in the area of Railroad Avenue between Friday and Saturday.  The person may have been wearing a blue fleece jacket and yellow reflective vest at the time.  Anyone with information is asked to call the Erie County Sheriff's Office at 858-2903.


Infinity to open new Pearl City Clay House soon...
The Infinity Visual and Performing Arts program in Jamestown will soon be expanding to a new location officials say will create a 'fun and inclusive environment' for people to learn and grow by taking part in the visual arts and contemporary crafts.  Infinity's Executive Director, Shane Hawkins, says they hope to open their Pearl City Clay House at 220 East Second St. before the end of the year.  Hawkins says they had hoped to open the Clay House sooner... but, the pandemic hit.  She adds that it's also produced some construction issues.  However... they're almost finished and, it's going to be "a beautiful community art space" and she says all the proceeds will fund youth programming at Infinity.  Hawkins says programming will be for adults, families and tourists taking contemporary arts classes.  She says profits from the Clay House will be used to support Infinity's mission to help area youth explore and learn through the arts.