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WJTN News Headlines for Tues-Wed, Jan. 9-10, 2024

JHS goes back to roots with new nickname "Red & Green..." 
Jamestown High School's first known nickname will again be the JHS nickname going forward after a committee received feedback from students... and, the community.  The School Board last night officially signed off on the recommendation of the JHS Nickname Committee... which was "Red & Green."  Those taking part also considered the name "Catamounts" which fit in with the "big cat" logo the school had adopted.  The move was necessitated after the state Education Department mandated that the school eliminate any Native American imagery or connotations.  "Red & Green" are the school's long-time colors... and, was the school nickname from 1905 to 1935.  JHS Athletic Director Ben Drake says -- "following feedback forms and discussions with students and members of the community, the committee made the recommendation to continue a return to our roots."  The school district began the process of selecting a new name last Spring.  The district will begin phasing in the new nickname this coming Spring.

County's director of Emergency Services reports dozens of fire and rescue calls during wind storm...
The most significant damage has been mainly seen along the Lake Erie Shoreline from Tuesday's storm system that brought wind gusts of about 70 mph to the region.  One gust of 74 was reported at the Dunkirk Airport.  During a mid-afternoon briefing yesterday... Chautauqua County's Director of Emergency Services and Fire Coordinator Noel Guttman said local fire departments already had between 60 and 70 calls for damage and other issues by mid-afternoon... with four of those being tractor-trailers being blown onto their sides by the high winds.  Guttman says of the four tractor-trailers that overturned due to the wind... two were on the State Thruway... and, the other two were vehicles on Routes 5 and 20.  No injuries were reported.  As of mid-afternoon... Guttman said some 12,000 local customers of National Grid or New York State Gas and Electric were without power across the county.  The National Weather Service has reported some "extensive property damage" along the Lake Erie shoreline.  Guttman says they've seen a little bit of that on social media. 

Hochul touches on housing, crime, education, and AI research in State of State...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul hit on a number of themes she's laid out over the past week in her 2024 State of the State Address Tuesday... focusing on housing, crime and education policies.  Hochul also talked a lot about health care... including mental health care.  She also repeated her call for paid medical leave during pregnancy.  However... she touted a $6-billion investment from the federal government to boost overall health care through-out the state.  As for mental health... Hochul talked about boosting services for children coming out of the pandemic, and burdened by social media stigmas.  She says another major focus will remain to bring more affordable housing on line in the state... something that's been a tough sell with the legislature.  However... she says there are some moves she can make through executive action... by developing housing in places the state does have control, including SUNY properties.  Hochul is also calling for an overhaul of literacy education... and, there was also an initiative to combat retail theft.... a problem seen statewide... but especially in New York City.  

Borrello left "disappointed" by governor's State of State Address...
Local State Senator George Borrello says anyone hoping for Governor Hochul's message to be a "bold plan" for turning around the state's affordability and public safety crises has been left "disappointed" by the address.  In a printed statement... Borrello says -- "the worst-in-the-nation outmigration of our residents is a problem that threatens our future.  It requires more than new affordable housing units, as the governor suggests."  The Sunset Bay Republican adds that the state's combined state and local tax rates are the highest in the nation... and says several polls have found that the tax burden is the primary reason people are leaving New York.  He says he heard no plans to tackle that issue.  While Hochul praised a recent decrease in gun violence... Borrello says "the truth is that crime rates are still significantly higher now than they were before the reckless bail changes took effect."  He does say that proposals to combat retail theft, domestic violence and hate crimes are a step forward... but, says the "leftists in the legislature" will fight these proposals. 

Two council committees approve contracts, and funding for new ramp security measures...
Two Jamestown City Council committees have approved moving ahead with about a quarter-of-a-million dollar project to beef up security at the city's two parking ramps.  The Finance and Public Works Committees both approved one measure at Monday night's meetings to purchase security cameras for $70,770 from SHI International in New Jersey.  Finance Committee Chairman Brent Sheldon says the city is hoping to hear soon about a grant to cover the cost.  Sheldon says they also approved a resolution to hire a New York City-area firm to install the new cameras... and, lighting upgrades to the Cherry Street... and Spring Street facilities.  The installation will be handled for just under $179,000 by Nest Wireless Global of Flushing, NY.  Last year... several employees of the nearby South County Office building told city lawmakers that they were the victims of vandalism to their vehicles... and were being harassed by people who were in the ramps that had no business being there.