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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Dec. 21, 2023

Two Chautauqua County men sentenced to prison time...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to two-years in state prision after being convicted for striking a city police officer in the face during an incident in August of last year.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 35 year-old Travis Colley was given the sentence by Judge David Foley for one count of second-degree assault as police were attempting to arrest Colley for another incident.  Schmidt says -- quote -- "as I see it, any violence committed against a police officer is an attack upon our entire community."  City Police Chief Tim Jackson adds that -- "I am pleased to hear that Colley will be held responsible for his senseless and cowardice act.” 
In addition... a Silver Creek man has been sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison for possessing a gun while being a convicted Felon.  D.A. Schmidt says 28 year-old Dakota Sugg received the sentence from Judge Foley for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  Schmidt says Sugg pled guilty to the charge... which also covers a number of other charges he faced.  He was also sentenced as a predicate felon... with this being his second felony conviction within 10 years.  The D.A. thanked a handful of departments... including Dunkirk and Fredonia police... for their work on Suggs' respective cases.

UPMC reinstates masking requirement at facilities in light of increases in respiratory illnesses...
With the recent increase in cases of respiratory illnesses -- including Covid, influenza and RSV -- UPMC has reinstated masking requirements at their faclities.  In a press statement... UPMC officials said -- "to protect the health and safety of our employees, patients and visitors, everyone in our health care facilities will wear effective masks... which reduce transmission of respiratory viruses in health care settings."  UPMC says they will continue to "monitor the number of cases in our communities and adjust our protocols as the situation evolves."  The requirement includes UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown.

County Legislature delays action on $100,000 grant for public arts program...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has tabled action on a resolution to allocate $100,000 to help create an Public Arts Program.  The agreement with the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation to use 3% Reserve Funding for the effort.  Jamestown Republican Dave Wilfong says he and other lawmakers have questions about how the money will be used... and, if there is a business plan for it's use.  Wilfong says they would also like to know what the plan is to help promote the arts across the county.  The motion to table was approved 17-to-1 with Sheridan Republican Terry Neibel casting the lone "no" vote. 
Lawmakers last night decided to keep a motion supporting Israel... and, condemning anti-semitism on the table for another month.  In addition... the legislature recognized the lawmakers who are retiring at the end of the year.  They include: Republican's Kevin Muldowney, Elisabeth Rankin, John Davis and John Hemmer... and Democrat Billy Torres.

Langworthy calls Colorado Supreme Court ruling knocking Trump of the ballot there "outrageous..."
Local Congressman Nick Langworthy says Tuesday's "unprecedented Colorado Supreme Court decision is pure partisan election interference."  The Buffalo-area Republican says "this outrageous rulling cannot be allowed to stand.  The abuse of our justice system to obstruct President Trump’s widely-supported re-election campaign is a blatant assault on the very foundations of our democracy."  He adds it would disenfranchise millions of voters in the process. 

Gillibrand says work continues on security aid for Ukraine, Israel and southern border...
There are still a number of sticking points when it comes to a comprehensive bill that provides additional aid to Ukraine and Isreal... and, also deals with border security.  That from U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand... who says those discussions -- especially regarding the southern border -- are continuing in Washington, D.C.  The New York Democrat says stemming the flow of illegal drugs over the border is also part of the discussion.  She says there's bipartisan support for efforts to stem fentanyl coming over the border, and, to deal with asylum issues.  Gillibrand says lawmakers are also debating issues... including work visas... and, what's the best process for seeking asylum.  While she would like to see an agreement reached before the Senate adjourns for the Christmas Holiday break... she says that may likely have to wait until the new year.

City man sentenced for being found with 1,000 grams of cocaine during Catt. County traffic stop...
A Jamestown man who was stopped by police in Cattaraugus County on New Year's Eve of 2020 and found with 1,000-grams of cocaine will spending three-years in federal prison.  U-S Attorney Trini Ross has announced that 29 year-old Eddie Ortiz-Ortiz... who was convicted of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine... received the sentence late tuesday from U-S District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr.  Prosecutors say on Jan. 31 of that year... a Cattaraugus County Sherriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 86 of of Ortiz’s vehicle.  As the deputy spoke with Ortiz... he detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.  A K-9 unit was brought in and provided a positive alert to a wrapped white package located within the vehicle.  The package contained the cocaine.