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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Mar. 15, 2024

Still no identity released on victim in Monday's fire at Jamestown Senior High Rise, but, is confirmed as an "older man..."
Jamestown fire officials do confirm that an older man was the victim of this past Monday night's seventh-floor apartment fire at the Senior High Rise on West Fifth Street.  That from Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon... who says city police are still working to notify next of kin about the death.  No other information has been released.  The man was one just over 90 residents of the High Rise at 303 West Fifth when the fire broke out in his apartment about 7:30 p.m.  Mayor Kim Ecklund praised the firefighting and rescue efforts that also involved the Celoron Fire EMS, and some surrounding police agencies.  Ecklund adds they also had to get many of the residents out who had differing types of disabilities, or were confined to wheelchairs.  Ecklund says she saw "acts of true heroism" that night... with city firefighers getting a quick handle on the smokey fire.  She says the outcome could have been worse.  Ecklund says firefighters were already getting the situation under control when she arrived a few minutes after the alarm for 20 off-duty firefighters to respond.  They had the flames out in about 15 to 20 minutes.  The cause of the fire was unattended cooking on a stove top.  About 30 residents were temporarily displaced due to the smokey blaze.  Mayor Ecklund made her comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

Pair of trespassers arrested in Ripley...
Two Ripley residents have been arrested for allegedly trespassing on private property... then trying to hide in nearby brush.  Sheriff's officers and State Police Troopers say they were flagged down by a bystander on North State Street shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday for a man and woman trespassing on the property.  Police say their investigation showed that 35 year-old William Burch, Jr., and 39 year-old Kathryn Burch, were the suspects and began searching.  They were both found hiding in the thick, red brush with the help of K-9 "Bentley" and taken into custody.  Both face two counts of criminal trespassing... and, were taken to the Sheriff's Department Ripley Substation for processing and were released with appearance tickets for Ripley Town Court.

County offices to closure for the afternoon of the Total Solar Eclipse...
In anticipation of the upcoming 2024 Total Solar Eclipse... Chautauqua County government will close all county offices and services... with the exception of emergency and essential services... beginning at noon on Monday, Apr. 8.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says non-essential services and offices will be closed until Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 8:30 a.m.  Wendel says the decision is in line with the county's comprehensive approach to eclipse preparedness, which includes traffic management strategies, enhanced emergency response capabilities, and community engagement initiatives.  By closing county offices and services during the eclipse... he says they are aiming to minimize traffic congestion, promote public safety, and enable residents and visitors to fully experience this rare celestial phenomenon.  Wendel adds that "the safety and convenience of our community are paramount, and closing County Offices during the eclipse will help alleviate potential congestion and ensure everyone can safely enjoy this rare celestial event."  For information on eclipse safety... and, where to obtain free solar glasses... go on-line to

Jamestown set to again host the annual "Turn The River Green" event...
The city of Jamestown remains one of the less than 10 communities in the United States that turns it's river green for St. Patrick's Day.  This year's event takes place tomorrow morning along the Chadakoin River next to the JAMA parking lot in Brooklyn Square.  The city will be holding the annual "Turn the River Green" event with the help of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  Mayor Kim Ecklund says everything gets underway at 10 a.m., with vendors selling food, and other St. Patrick's Day-themed item.  She adds the Lucky Leprechan will also be on hand.  It's all put on with the help of Collaborative Children's Solutions.  Ecklund says there will also be Irish music.  She says it looks like the weather will be cooperating this year.  The BPU uses an innocuous material to help the Lucky Leprechan turn the river green... and Ecklund says it's a material used by the BPU for it's smoke testing of water and sewer pipes.