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Local News Headlines Archives for 2020-10

News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 31, 2020

Chautauqua County adds 22 new cases of COVID-19, and 14th death in the pandemic...
There are 22 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virust in Chautauqua County today... and, 124 total over the past week.  That from county Health Department officials... who also say there has been one new death over the past day.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler said Friday that a man in his 70s with multiple comorbid conditions, succumbed to complications from COVID-19 at an out of state hospital.  Schuyler says this has been "the toughest month of the pandemic for the county."  She adds there are now 1,060 total cases of COVID... and, there are 142 active cases.  With schools and colleges back in session, businesses reopening, and colder weather upon us, residents are spending more time indoors and more time with other people... and, those are key elements to the spread of COVID-19.  Schuyler says "we’ve seen clusters related to a bridal dinner, a wedding, frequenting social clubs and bowling alleys.  COVID-19 is here and everyone needs to take personal responsibility for not spreading it.  Wear a mask, keep your distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re not feeling well.” 


Jamestown woman killed in single-car crash in Busti... 
A Jamestown woman has been killed in a single-car crash Friday night in the town of Busti.  Lakewood-Busti police were called to the scene on the Busti-Sugar Grove Road just after 6:30 p.m., and, found that the driver of the vehicle, 51 year-old Joseph Wisnewski of Jamestown, was southbound when a deer ran out in front of the car.  Officers say Wisnewski swerved to avoid the animal... but, the vehicle went off the side of the road, and slammed head-on into a tree.  Wisnewski had to be extracated from the car... but, his front seat passenger, 65 year-old Carol Boyer, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police say Wisnewski and two children, ages 13 and 2, were taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment.


City, Alstar EMS, sign new, four-year contract...
A new, four-year contract between the city of Jamestown and WCA Services Corporation has been signed for ambulance services provided by Alstar EMS.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the new pact replaces the one that had been in place for the past 21 years.  During a signing ceremony in the lobby of City Hall, Sundquist said "we thank those at Alstar for their cooperation with the city over this past year as we negotiated the new contract."  He says getting both sides together, and talking, made the difference in renewing their relationship.  Sundquist says there are a number of benefits to the new agreement... including that it will allow the fire department to bill insurance for calls which should result in a significant increase in monies the city collects.  City officials add the new contract also expands services to the city by allowing the Jamestown Fire Department access to Alstar's training center, access to billing services, and annual exercises between the ambulance service and the city.


Reed highlights early voting during campaign stop in Chautauqua County...
It's been a strange Election year... but, local Congressman Tom Reed says local voting venues have been handling it well.  The Corning Republican was in the Jamestown-area this morning to thank poll workers.  County Elections officials say just over 10-thousand registered voters have taken advantage of casting their ballots at their three early voting sites.  Outside the Chautauqua Mall... Reed said the COVID-19 pandemic has made campaigning a challenge.  Reed, and some campaign workers were in Jamestown today to campaign door-to-door... using social distancing.  He says he's noticed a lot of enthusiasm on both sides of the political aisle.  County elections officials are now revising their voting projections for this Presidential election year.  Initially... they were expecting a 70-percent turn-out.  However... they's now looking at 75 percent.  Reed says early voting is helping the numbers.


JPD gives Halloween tips to be safe from COVID-19...
The Jamestown Police Department is reminding residents that due to the restrictions set forth for Covid-19, there will not be any set hours or city sanctioned scheduled events for Halloween. That from Police Captain Bob Samuelson who says city officials are not encouraging parents to take their children door to door, but are leaving that decision up to the parents and neighbor residents. Samuelson says those who wish to participate in giving out candy from their homes are encouraged to turn their porch lights on... wear a mask and practice social distancing.  If you do not wish to participate, leave your porch light off.  Samuelson says trick-or-treaters also must wear facial coverings, and use hand sanitizer often.  More information is available at coronavirus.health.ny.gov.


WJTN to air Little Theater production of "War of the Worlds..."
One of the most famous radio broadcasts of all time will be re-created Halloween night on WJTN... as the Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown presents H.G. Wells 'War of the Worlds.'  The play... about a Martian invation of New Jersey... was first presented nationwide around Halloween in 1938.  Aubrey Russell, who directed the Little Theater version, says it's a perfect time to bring it back because most people will be home tonight.  The one-hour long program will run at 9 tonight on WJTN AM and FM... and at WJTN.com.  When first on the air, some people actually believed the invation was real.  The local production of 'War of the Worlds' was safely recorded through Zoom... as part of an effort to keep Little Theater productions going even though COVID-19 concerns have ended in-person theater for now.  

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 29, 2020

County legislators approved a 2021 budget that calls for a five-cent per thousand increase in the full value tax rate.  Legislator Terry Niebel proposed an amendment that would have kept the tax rate unchanged from 2020. But Audit and Control Chairman Chuck Nazarro says there's a lot of uncertainty caused by the pandemic and tax rate increase was necessary. The amendment was defeated 14-5, with the final budget clearing the legislature by an 18-1 vote.


The county legislature last night did not vote on the appointment of the first Hispanic woman to be the new Democratic Elections Commissioner.  Current Commissioner Norm Green says Luz Torres... who is currently the Deputy Democratic Election Commissioner, had her name withdrawn by all of the members of the Administrative Services Committee from the Legislature’s agenda.  Christine Starks, the lone Democrat on the committee, joined her four Republican Admin Services colleagues in withdrawing support.  Green says he tried speak on the issue at the first privilege of the floor, but was removed by a deputy sheriff at the request Democratic Legislature Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro... because the appointment resolution had been pulled, and Nazzaro claimed Green no longer was entitled to speak to a resolution that was withdrawn from the agenda. 

 
Chautauqua County has now passed the one-thousand mark in confirmed COVID-19 cases after 19 new cases were reported on Wednesday.  The county's Health Department says there are now one-thousand-6 total cases... and, 132 of them are currently active.  Officials say seven were reported in Fredonia... while six were in Dunkirk... and another five were in Jamestown.  The other was in Sinclairville.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are currently 6 active cases among employees of Tanglewood Manor, and 38 among residents there.  Wendel adds that 18 employees and 52 residents associated with that outbreak have recovered.  In addition... the Health Department is continuing to investigate a cluster of cases in the north county where at least 17 cases are linked to a private event.  Seven of those cases are active and 10 have recovered.  Wendel says 861 cases have now recovered... and, 21 people are hospitalized.


Jamestown City officials confirmed Wednesday night that a cluster of cases has been detected within the city's fire department.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says there have been six positive cases confirmed out of the 55-member Fire Department through the Chautauqua County Department of Health’s rapid testing operation. In accordance with State and County guidelines, Sundquist says affected members have been contacted by the Health Department for isolation and quarantine orders.  Sundquist adds that -- “Public safety remains our top priority, and the day-to-day fire department operations are not expected to be impacted. All stations have been proactively sanitized."


The Felony conviction rate in Chautauqua County dropped last year to 17.4-percent... but, incumbant District Attorney Patrick Swanson says his office is actually doing better than most in that regard.  Responding to charges by his Republican opponent, Jason Schmidt, Swanson says his office did better than our neighbors to the north.

Swanson says very few New York state counties are even above 50-percent... and, if they are... the Felony caseload per Assistant D-A is much lower.  He says the county's overall conviction rate is about 81-percent... while the rest of the state is at 61-percent.  Swanson praised his Assistant D-A's for their work and efforts considering the the circumstances "they work under."  He says they have the highest caseload per attorney in the state.  Swanson says... even with an additional prosecutor in his office this year... they are still stretched too thin.  There are now 12-and-a-half staff members in the DA's office.  Swanson made his comments for last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he's more determined than ever to do what's right for the residents of the Southern Tier following two recent incidents in his hometown area.  Reed says police in the Corning-area are continuing to investigate a brick being thrown through the window of his Corning campaign headquarters... and another involving the discovery of a brick with one of his children's name on it, and dead rat.

Reed says the day that his wife found the brick and dead animal... and, the day after... was quite difficult for his family.  He says it's taken some emotional toll, as well, because you're "talking about your own children."  Reed adds, though, that he is undeterred in his run for a sixth-term against Democrat Tracy Mitrano.  He'll be in Ithaca later today for a "Stand Up for Your Rights and Freedom" Rally at the Ithaca Commons.  Reed made his comments during his weekly conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Jamestown's Department of Public Works offices will be moving from the fourth floor of the Municipal Building at Tracy Plaza to 145 Steele Street next Monday.  DPW director Jeff Lehman says the move is to allow consolidation of office space in City Hall for new tenants.  He says office hours at the new location will be 8 AM to Noon... and, 1 PM to 4:30 PM each Monday through Friday.  The office entrance is at the back of the building off Sprague Street.  For additional information, contact the DPW at 483-7545.

 
New York's governor is now urging residents to avoid non-essential travel to neighboring Massachusetts, as the state adds California to its COVID-19 advisory.  Residents from states on New York's quarantine list must self-quarantine for 14 days.  Only seven states -- including New York -- have reported an average of fewer than 10 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.  New York is not adding its neighboring states to its official advisory list because Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's too hard to enforce quarantine rules in the interconnected region.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 28, 2020


Chautauqua County has reached a new high in the number of people hospitalized with the COVID-19 Virus.  The county's Health Department reports 22 are now hospitalized... the first time it's been over 20.  Health officials say there are 26 new cases, and 119 are now active.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are 987 cases since the pandemic began.  He says 11 of the new cases are in Dunkirk... and, seven were reported in Jamestown.  Wendel says there are now five active cases among employees at Tanglewood Manor... and, 38 active cases among residents there.  He says 70 people associated with this outbreak have now recovered.  The Health Department is still investigating a cluster of cases in the north county... where at least 15 cases have been reported.  

Nearly one-quarter of Chautauqua County's expected voters in next Tuesday's General Election have already voted during the first three days of early balloting.  That from Elections Commissioners Norm Green and Brian Abram... who say 4,480 people have voted at the three early polling sites as of Monday night.  Green adds early voting continues through Sunday... and, all those results will be released on Election Night, November 3rd.

In addition... Green says 11,744 absentee ballots have been sent out.  More than 7-thousand have been returned.  He says the total of early and absentee ballots total nearly 13,000 or 23-percent of expected turn-out.  However... Green says absentees will not be counted until a week later -- on Tuesday, November 10th.  Three days after that... Green says the Board of Elections will count overseas, and military ballots.  He says those have to be returned by then.  He says early voting at Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood, County Fairground in Dunkirk, and at the Board of Elections office in Mayville from 10 AM to 6 PM today-through Friday.  For more information... call 753-4580.


The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency has now awarded just over half of the funding from a $10.5-million federal grant to help local small businesses and organizations during the COVID-19 shut-down.  IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise says the loans total $5.7-million and, have been provided to 28 businesses and non-profit agencies.  Those businesses and organizations include: Luscombe Aircraft... Merritt Estate Winery... Artone Manufacturing... International Ordnance... Heritage Ministries... Brigottas... the La Quinta, Holiday Inn, and Hampton Inn in Jamestown... Pace’s Pizzeria... and, Webb’s Harbor Restaurant and Bowling Lanes.  Geise adds that the program will create nearly 100 new jobs.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says "it's actually quite amazing that the IDA was able to deploy more than half of the funding awarded by the Economic Development Administration in just under two months, while the EDA has given them two years to do so."


The community continues to be generous, but the Executive Director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation says the next four months could be tough for not-for-profit organizations.  Tory Irgang helped pulled together close to a million dollars for a crisis response fund as the pandemic broke out... money that's now mostly spent.

Another sector facing serious challenges is non-profits that get significant funding from ticket sales or admission charges.  Irgang says reduced travel and crowd restrictions have hit that area hard.  The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation has updated and streamlined its grant application process.  Full information can be found at chautauquagrants.com.

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has approved a new, four-year agreement reached with its uniionized workers at the BPU's Wastewater Treatment Plant.  During Monday's second October meeting... the panel approved the agreement with the 13 employees, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local-106.  BPU General Manager Dave Leathers says the union approved the contract on October 19th... and, it will run from next January 1st through December 31 of 2024.  Leathers says they're pleased to have a new contract in place -- "that allows us to continue providing this vital service in a fiscally responsible manner, as we balance employee recognition through compensation and benefits with overall rate stability and control."


The Chautauqua Safety Village in Ashville is hosting it's 11th annual Halloween Fun Fair -- with a twist this year -- at it's Ashville location.  That from Community Outreach Coordinator Dena Hirliman, who says they've been busy decorating and getting ready for today's COVID-friendly event. Hirliman says there will be several stops along the drive for children to collect candy safely through the window.  The Chautauqua Safety Village Halloween Fun Fair starts at 4 PM today... and, continues until 8 PM rain or shine.  Hirliman says the cost is $2 per child.... and, refreshments will also be made available to buy.


New York's public university system is requiring students to test negative for the coronavirus before they can leave for Thanksgiving break in hopes of preventing community spread as students fan across the country.  State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras told The Associated Press that the system's 64 colleges and universities must come up with plans by Nov. 5 to test about 140,000 students within 10 days before Thanksgiving break.  SUNY has planned to transition most colleges and universities to remote learning after Thanksgiving.  SUNY will require colleges to isolate or quarantine any residential student who tests positive for COVID-19... or is exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days before Thanksgiving break.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 27, 2020

With 11 teachers and staff at the Bemus Point Elementary School in "precautionary quarantine" after being in close contact with positive COVID-19 cases... the school is on a "virtual learing" schedule for two weeks.  That from Bemus Point School Superintendent Joe Reyda... who says there will be no in-person classes at the school through November 6th.  However... during a Zoom Conference session with parents and staff... Reyda said those teachers will be teaching from home... and all instructional materials have been delivered to the teachers involved so they can teach from home.

Reyda says there was one positive case was found late last week at Bemus Point Elementary... and, another at Maple Grove Middle and High Schools.  He says there were no students who tested positive for COVID-19.  Reyda adds they were prepared for such a situation.  He says the current hybrid learning program in place for the middle and high school will continue as is. 


Chautauqua County is reporting another six new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus Monday... bring the total number to 961.  The county's Health Department reports the 25 new cases from Saturday through yesterday include eight in Dunkirk... eight others in Fredonia... and, four in Jamestown.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 111 active cases, and they continue to recover.  Wendel adds that there are now three active cases among employees... and, 41 among residents at Tanglewood Manor.  He adds that 62 people associated with that outbreak have recovered.  Wendel says the Health Department is continuing to investigate a cluster of cases in the north county, which were the result of a private event.  He says at least 14 cases over the last week are linked to that event.  He says 837 cases have now recovered.

The Jamestown City Council has unanimously approved a new, four-year agreement with WCA Services to provide basic and advanced ambulance services from Alstar EMS.  Lawmakers approved the new contract at last night's voting session, 9-to-0 in a move that will enhance services provided to the city and it's residents.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist recently said it will allow use of the Alstar Medical Director's expertise, and help with billing for city fire ambulance runs.

Sundquist said the new agreement came about after the city had sent out a Request for Proposals for new ambulance service in the city.  That process had been stalled for a while due to the COVID-19 Shut-down.  Officials say the city's last formal agreement with WCA Services for ambulance service ended in 1999... but, carried over until last year when WCA Services announced they were going to be cutting back on service in the city.  


Two resolutions regarding metered parking in downtown Jamestown were pulled from last night's City Council agenda.  However... the matter of putting meters back into the current "free parking" areas, and increasing the one-hour meter fee by 50-cents... was brought up during public comments in a letter about the possible impacts on lower-income, elderly and disabled residents.  Council Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund echoed those sentiments... saying it's a concern they may have not immediately thought of.  City lawmakers discussed the two proposals last week... but, some said they wanted more discussion and public input on them.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist made the proposal to help provide some additional revenues in the 2021 budget.  However... council members generally felt it needed to be discussed as part of deliberations on the new spending plan.


A Jamestown man faces robbery charges after allegedly threatening another man with what appeared to be a gun, then assaulted and robbed him.  City Police were called to the scene on Willard Street about 6:40 Sunday night... and spoke with the victim.  Officers say they found the suspect, 34 year-old Jordan Adams, a short distance away, and he was arrested on two counts of second-degree robbery, third-degree assault, and second-degree menacing.  He was jailed pending arraignment.

 More than 2,500 eligible voters in Chautauqua County took advantage of early voting last weekend at three different locations in the county.  That from Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green... who says the longer waits on Saturday and Sunday were at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood and the county Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.

Green says the lines were a little "calmer" at the Board of Elections site in Mayville.  About 500 people voted over a five hour period at the Mall Saturday.  Green says early voting continues through next Sunday.  Polling is taking place again today from Noon to 8 PM... and, on Wednesday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM.  On Saturday and Sunday... hours will again be Noon to 5 PM.  Green adds voting ends Sunday so the Board of Elections can prepare all their polling sites for Election Day on November 3rd.  For more information... go to the board's website.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for driving the case involved in a hit-and-run accident last Thursday that sent a two-year child to the hospital with minor injuries.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says Police Patrols responded to the area of 336 East 5th Street at 9:30 PM.  Samuelson says the toddler was hit as they were walking along the side of the road with their family.  He says 27 year-old Nicholas Evans was taken into custody last Friday for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and multiple vehicle and traffic charges in the investigation.  The child was treated at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for a broken leg and has since been released.  Evans is to appear in Jamestown City Court at a later date. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 26, 2020

The Dunkirk City School District has announced that School 7 will be going to remote learning for the next three days after a member of the school's staff tested positive for COVID-19. The district was notified by the Chautauqua County Health Department of the positive test result on Sunday and has worked closely with the department to identify close contacts to the staff member.  Regular in person learning will resume on Thursday, October 29.

A pair of positive COVID-19 Virus tests in the Bemus Point Central School District has led officials to go to 'all virtual' instruction at Bemus Point Elementary... starting today for the next two weeks.  In an on-line message to district parents and staff... Superintendent Joe Reyda said -- quote - "because of the nature of the elementary situation, we are unable to adequately staff the elementary school.  As a result, Bemus Point Elementary will go to a virtual instruction model starting (today)... and, lasting until Friday, November 6th.  Please be aware that this is currently a staffing issue, and not an outbreak."  He adds Maple Grove Middle/High school will continue its current hybrid model.  There will also be a parent -- community Zoom meeting for all elementary parents today at 1 and 4 PM.

Chautauqua County's financial situation may remain "fluid" in 2021, after a rocky 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shut-down.  With that... the head of the legislature's main financial committee says they'll be keeping a close eye on next year's budget.  Audit and Control Committee Chairman Chuck Nazzaro says that's why the majority of panel members approved a 4.6-percent tax increase in 2021.

Nazzaro says the big worry in 2021 is the fact there will be not one... but, two property auctions for foreclosed properties.  He says this year's auction had to be postponed due to the pandemic. The Audit and Control Committee approved the new, amended budget at last week's meeting.  The 4.6-percent levy increase totals just over $2.9-million. The legislature has already voted to allow the county to exceed the state's 2-percent property tax cap... which will be 1.56-percent in 2021.  The tax rate would increase 5-cents per thousand under the revised plan... which gets voted on Wednesday night.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he and his family were threatened with a dead animal and a brick bearing a family member's name at his home in Corning.  Police say the brick and the animal were found at the Republican House member's house Friday morning.  The Corning Police Department said it was working with state police and federal agencies to investigate.  Neither Reed nor police specified what kind of animal it was... nor whose name was in the brick.  Reed represents New York's 23rd Congressional District... which includes Chautauqua County... and, covers a large swath of the state north of the Pennsylvania border. 

The city of Dunkirk will be receiving $772,000 in federal funding to help rebuild the Lakefront Boulevard Seawall... which was severely damaged during last year's Halloween storms.  U-S Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York jointly announced the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency early last weekend.  They say the restoration of the seawall would not only protect Lakefront Boulevard and the waterfront, but also jumpstart the process of economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic ground Dunkirk and the rest of New York to a halt.  Schumer says "the reconstruction of Dunkirk’s seawall will increase investment in the lakefront and the entire community, shoring up the region’s economic future."  Gillibrand adds that "communities across Upstate New York are still dealing with the extensive damage caused by the 2019 Halloween storms, and it is our responsibility to assist in the recovery efforts to protect shoreline communities."  


An Ohio man was arrested in Stown for allegedly driving drunk over twice the legal limit with two children in the vehicle. State Police say 52 year-old James Deflorville-- of Strongsville -- was pulled over on Interstate-86 yesterrday for driving erratically.  Troopers say Deflorville failed several sobriety tests and was taken into custody where he provide a breath sample of point-17. He was issued tickets for DWI-Leandra's Law and released with an appearance ticket for North Harmony Town Court next month. Police say the two minor children were turned over to an uninvolved third party. 


A Sinclairville woman busted for speeding, also faces two-counts of driving while ability impaired by drugs with a child in the vehicle following a traffic stop in Stockton. Sheriff's Deputies say they stopped a vehicle on Route 380 last Saturday evening... and, identified the operator as 23 year-old Logan Couse.  Through investigation, Officers allegedly found Couse impaired by a combination of drugs with two young children as passengers in the vehicle. She was released with appearance tickets for Stockton Town Court at a later date. 


There are nearly 20 more confirmed cases of the COVIDk-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County from the past weekend.  The county Health Department reports there were 11 more on Saturday... and, eight more yesterday.  With that... Interim County Executive P-J Wendel's office reports there have now been 955 total cases during the course of the pandemic.  More details will be released later today.

The National Comedy Center is taking a lead role in preserving the historic archives of late-night Tonight Show legend, the late Johnny Carson.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they are working with the Elkhorn Valley Museum in Carson’s hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska on the effort.  She says the rich archive includes screen-used artifacts, wardrobe, creative documents and awards that will be jointly exhibited by the center and the Elkhorn Valley Museum.  Gunderson says the Comedy Center will oversee the digital preservation and conservation of this historic collection, which chronicles Carson’s early life, career and legendary 32-year reign as the king of late night television and one of the most beloved personalities in comedy history. 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 24, 2020

Man arrested after allegedly striking 2-year-old with car Thursday night...
The Jamestown Police Department is investigating a hit-and-run accident involving a young child on the eastside Thursday night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the area of 336 East 5th Street at 9:30 PM, and learned that a 2-year-old was struck as they were walking along the side of the road with their family.  Samuelson says the operator of the vehicle didn't stop initially, and continued into a parking lot at East 4th and East Second Streets.  He says a group of people who witnessed the accident allegedly approached the car, and broke out the driver's window.  Samuelson says the unidentified 27 year-old male driver was reportedly in fear of getting attacked, and drove away again.  He was found by officers in a parking lot on Franklin Street.  The toddler was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Charges are pending against the driver.


Nazzaro says Audit and Control Committee approve 2021 Budget with 4.6% Tax Increase...
The Chautauqua County Legislature's main financial committee has approved a more than $260-million budget for next year that increases the tax levy by 4.6-percent.  Audit and Control Committee Chairman Chuck Nazzaro says the panel Thursday okayed the measure 3-1 after a series of amendments were approved.  Nazzaro says the changes will increase the current tax rate by 5-cents per $1,000 full value.  He says they did reduce the amount of anticipated sales tax by $500,000... and, put in a new contingency line of $500,000.  Nazzaro says when he first got onto the legislature, the county had a contingency account, and he says lawmakers felt one was again needed due to uncertainy in the coming year.  Nazzaro says that could be COVID-19 related... or other items.  The Jamestown Democrat says the other major change was reinstating a 3-percent increase for non-union management employees.  The new tax rate would be $8.51 per $1,000, while the levy would increase by $2.9-million.  Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel cast the lone "no" vote in committee Thursday.


A dozen new COVID-19 Cases reported on Friday in the county...
There are a dozen new cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported today in Chautauqua County... with half coming from the north county area.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel reports four cases were in Dunkirk... and, one each in Fredonia and Forestville.  Wendel adds there were also two cases each reported in Jamestown... Frewsburg, and Cassadaga.  He says there are 128 active cases in the county... with 12 of those linked to a private gathering in the north county area.  Wendel says there have been 936 total cases since the pandemic began... while 795 have now recovered.  He says people have died... and, 16 people are currently hospitalized.


U-S COVID-19 cases nearing record numbers...
The United States is approaching a record for the number of new daily coronavirus cases in the latest ominous sign of the disease's grip on the nation.  The surge's impact is being felt in every section of the country. Among the latest developments: a lockdown at the Ogala Sioux Tribe's reservation in South Dakota, and a plea by a Florida health official for a halt to children's birthday parties.  There's an increasingly desperate situation at a hospital in northern Idaho, which is running out of space for patients and considering airlifts to Portland, Oregon, or Seattle.  The surge in the U.S. mirrors a similar spike in Europe. 


Early Voting begins today in Chautauqua County and rest of NYS...
Early voting will get underway today at three polling sites in Chautauqua County.  Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says voters need to wear mask when voting... and, they'll be performing all the protocols that are required so people can vote safely.  He says if you have your Voter ID Card, you'll finish sooner.  However... he says even if you don't, it shouldn't take long.  New York State began utilizing early voting last year... and, Green expects 2020 to be even busier.  He thinks people will want to avoid Election Day on Nov. 3, and, adds "we'll be ready for them."  Polling sites including the Board of Elections in Mayville, the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk, and the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.


Dead animal, brick with a name left at Congressman Reed's house in Corning...
An upstate New York congressman says he and his family were threatened with a dead animal and a brick bearing a family member's name at his home in Corning.  Police say the brick and the animal were found at Republican Rep. Tom Reed's house Friday morning.  The Corning Police Department said it was working with state police and federal agencies to investigate.  Neither Reed nor police specified what kind of animal it was or whose name was in the brick.  Reed represents New York's 23rd Congressional District. 


Pepper Spray used to disperse protestors after arrest made at Reed press conference in Ithaca...
Police in Ithaca say they used pepper spray to disperse protesters who had gathered at police headquarters and were banging on walls and writing graffiti.  The Ithaca Voice reported that a crowd initially gathered outside police headquarters on Thursday because a protester had been arrested after a press conference held by 23rd District Congressman Tom Reed, a Republican.  Police said a protester blocked a patrol car at about 5 p.m. as a sergeant was trying to leave the headquarters building to respond to a report of shots fired.  Police said a "short burst of pepper spray" was fired when protesters refused to disperse.

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WJTN News Headlines for OCT 23, 2020


The Jamestown Police Department is investigating a hit-and-run accident involving a young child Thursday evening. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the area of 336 East 5th Street at 9:30 PM and learned that a two-year-old was hit as they were walking along the side of the road with their family. Samuelson says the operator of the vehicle didn't stop initially and continued into a parking lot at East Fourth and East Second Street. He says a group of individuals who witnessed the accident allegedly approached the vehicle and broke out the driver's window. Samuelson says the unidentified 27 year-old male driver was reportedly in fear of harm to himself and drove away again. He was found by JPD Officers in a parking lot on Franklin Street. The toddler was transported to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Charges are pending against the driver. Samuelson says more information is expected to be released later today.

New York State Police say they are investigating the death of a young child in the Town of Dunkirk last Saturday, October 10th.  Investigators say they are not releasing any details at this time, saying it remains an open case.  

 Interim Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel is encouraging county residents to get tested at one of two sites where free COVID-19 rapid testing is taking place next week.  After a meeting earlier this week with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul... Wendel says that anyone can now get tested -- even if you are not sick.  Wendel believes it could help lower the county's infection rate, which has been on the rise lately.
The drive-thru testing clinics will be held from 10 AM to 6 PM next Monday, October 26th through Friday, October 30th at the Taylor Fire Training Center in Jamestown... and, the Murphy Training Center in Dunkirk.  Officials say, though, that appointments are required... and, walk-in testing is not available.  They say the quickest way to get an appointment is to visit the state Health Department on line... or you can call 1-866-604-6789 for scheduling help.


There are a dozen new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County reported today... but, the number of active cases is down by 27.  That from the county's Health Department... which reports there are now 924 cases... and, 128 of those are currently active.  Officials say that 5 of the new cases are in Dunkirk... and, there are two in Clymer.  There are now 10 active cases among employees of Tanglewood Manor... and, 44 among residents there.  Health officials say 783 cases have recovered.


More than half the members of the bi-partisan, Congressional Problem Solvers Caucus are pushing for House leadership and the Trump Administration to continue talks to get a new COVID Stimulus bill in place.  However... little more has been reported on talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin since Tuesday night.  Local Congressman Tom Reed, who co-chairs the Problem Solver's Caucus, says 26 members have signed a letter urging an agreement be struck for the American people.

Reed says he's also pleased to hear that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote on the bill... once one is worked out.  The Corning Republican says much of what he wants to see in a relief package is in the one being negotiated... and that includes new stimulus checks... and, expanded unemployment.  Both were features of the initial, $2.2-trillion CARES Act, approved earlier this year.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Western New York media.


The head of the Jamestown Public School district is reminding residents to remain vigilant in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  In an interview today (Thursday) with our Dennis Webster... Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says school staff, parents and students have been a big help in keeping each other safe in school buildings, including cleaning and wearing facial coverings. However, Dr. Whitaker says as we approach the holiday season, he is concerned that community spread may affect in-person schooling.  He says the effects have been seen clearly in the Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden situation in West Ellicott. More information is available at JPSNY.org. 


The appointment of a Dunkirk woman to be Chautauqua County's next Democratic Elections Commissioner has taken another step forward.  The legislature's Administrative Services Committee approved a resolution this week approving Luz Torres... who'll be the first Hispanic woman to serve as a commissioner.  Torres, who is currently a deputy commissioner, says her top priority will be serving the voters.

Torres addressed the committee during a Zoom meeting on Monday... noting that she's worked in a variety of capacities at the Board of Elections for the past seven years.  The full legislature is expected to vote on her appointment at next week's voting session.


The October meeting of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities will be held via Facebook Live next Monday afternoon, October 26th, at 4 PM.  BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins says members of the public may watch the meeting at Facebook.COM/jamestownbpu/live.  Robbins says any public comments to be read or questions to be asked during the public comment period of the agenda must be received in writing by 12 Noon Monday via USPS mail or by email to the Secretary of the Board at sjlake@jamestownbpu.com. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 22, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's not practical to add Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey to New York's travel advisory list.  During a press briefing held in Albany Wednesday... Cuomo said there are so many roads that interconnect all three states that they cannot be checked at the border.  However... he adds the state is looking at alternatives to better use technology in making such decisions. Meanwhile... Cuomo says New York's infection rate is at its highest level since June... 1.62 percent when including red zones.  The Empire State's positivity rate remains the third lowest among states in the nation....


Governor Cuomo is easing restrictions slightly in some coronavirus hot spots in New York City, but adding them in areas along the Pennsylvania border as the state recorded more than 2,000 new infections in a single day for the first time since mid-May.  The tweaks will mean that schools in parts of Brooklyn and Queens will be allowed to reopen, with boosted testing efforts, and houses of worship will be able to increase attendance.  Restrictions in other areas will remain in place. 


There are now 155 active case of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... after eight new cases were confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.  The county's Health Department reports five of those were reported in Dunkirk.  The Health Department says those eight new cases brings the total number of cases to 912... while 744 have now recovered.  In addition... officials say there are currently 12 active cases among employees of Tanglewood Manor... and, 78 active cases among residents there.  Fourteen people associated with that outbreak have now recovered.  As of the start to the week... 18 persons were hospitalized. 

The Cattaraugus County Health Department announced their fourteenth and fifthteenth COVID-related deaths this week.. and, added 17 new positive cases.  On Sunday, health officials reported the death of 65  year-old female who developed respiratory failure and was unable to overcomes her illness.... and, the fifthteenth death tied to the virus was an 86-year-old male who also developed respiratory failure. To date, there have been 375 COVID-19 cases in Cattaraugus County.


City lawmakers in Jamestown will vote next week on a new, four-year agreement with WCA Services to provide basic and advanced ambulance services from Alstar EMS.  City Council members were updated Monday night on the Request for Proposals for new ambulance service in the city... which had been stalled for a while due to the COVID-19 Shut-down.  However... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says Alstar came through new features that make their proposal the best.

Sundquist thanked Alstar EMS officials who were on hand for negotiating the first new agreement between Alstar and the city in more than 20 years.  He says they're "very excited to have this..." and, is "supported by our fire department, and fire union as well."  Officials say the city's last formal agreement with WCA Services for ambulance service ended in 1999... but, carried over until last year when WCA Services announced they were going to be cutting back on service in the city.  


A city teen was arrested for allegedly driving recklessly and speeding through Jamestown while impaired by drugs Monday evening. City police say they saw a red sedan near Windsor and Bush Streets shortly before 9:30 PM.... and determined it was reported stolen from a different jurisdiction.  Officers were able to pull over the vehicle at the intersection of Dover Street near Bowen Street... and, police identified the driver as 18 year-old Catherine Bindics.  Further investigation revealed Bindics was operating the sedan impaired by drugs and she was taken into custody on charges including felony criminal possession of stolen property... OWAI-drugs.... open alcohol container in motor vehicle and speeding.  Bindics was released with an appearance ticket for city court at a later date. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 21, 2020


The Cattaraugus County Health Department announced their fourteenth and fifthteenth COVID-related deaths this week.. and, added 17 new positive cases.  On Sunday, health officials reported the death of 65  year-old female who developed respiratory failure and was unable to overcomes her illness.... and, the fifthteenth death tied to the virus was an 86-year-old male who also developed respiratory failure. To date, there have been 375 COVID-19 cases in Cattaraugus County.


The number of new COVID-19 Cases in Chautauqua County spiked to 32 Tuesday... with 24 of those being residents of Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden in West Ellicott.  The county's Board of Health says there were 25 cases total reported in the Jamestown -- 14701 zip code.  The next highest number was 4 cases in Dunkirk... bringing the county's total to 904.  Health officials say -- at the direction of the State Health Department -- all residents who had previously tested negative during this outbreak were re-tested on Monday.  They add all of the new cases associated with the adult care facility were identified through this testing event.  There are 79 active cases among residents of the Tanglewood facilities... and, 11 others are reported among employees.  In all... there are now 149 active cases in the county... and 742 have now recovered.  There are still 18 people hospitalized.


Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul met with Chautauqua County officials during a stop in Mayville Tuesday morning.  County Executive PJ Wendel says one of the issues raised was about neighboring Pennsylvania and whether it will be added to New York's travel advisory.

Earlier today, Hochul said she doubted that Pennsylvania would be added to the travel advisory because the state has an infection rate of about 4-percent, which doesn't trigger the 10-percent infection rate limit in New York.  However, The rate of COVID-19 infections has risen enough in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to require residents of those states to quarantine if they travel to New York. But Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York won't enforce rules requiring residents of those states to self-isolate for 14 days. He says this is due to due to "interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport" between these boarder states. 

With the clock ticking down to Election Day... officials are cautiously optimistic New York has fixed problems with mail-in voting that led to delays and disenfranchisement in a rocky June primary.  As many as 4 to 5-million New Yorkers are expected to cast absentee ballots after the governor authorized their widespread use because of the coronavirus pandemic.  In the primary... local elections boards struggled with the crush of mail-in ballots, and thousands were disqualified over technical issues.  But after a summer of refinements, officials say the state is better prepared.


The Robert H. Jackson Center will take a deep look at the Electoral College in a webinar at 4 PM on Wednesday.  President Kristan McMahon says the guest speaker will be Ohio State Professor Edward Foley, a expert on the college... the unique institution which actually elects the President every four years.

The webinar is free, but participants need to register in advance through the Jackson Center website or by calling the center at 483-6646.  The Jackson Center's John Q. Barrett will also be a part of the Wednesday program ... talking about Robert Jackson's dissenting opinion in the 1952 Supreme Court case 'Ray versus Blair.'  In his dissent, Jackson openly questioned the value of the Electoral College.  Wednesday's program will be recorded for future viewing through the Jackson Center's website.  


The Jamestown City Council has begun budget deliberations on Mayor Eddie Sundquist's proposed, $34.8-million 2021 budget.  Lawmakers Monday night reviewed the Public Works and Parks Department spending plans.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says she would like to see more information about 2020 revenues to date... and, more detail about new and added revenues next year.

Ecklund says the anticipated revenue increase from the city's parking fees includes Sundquist's proposal to increase the one-hour parking meter fees to one-dollar.  She adds that's not the only area looking at increases in anticipated revenue in 2021... including a "significant increase" in building permit revenues.  Sundquist's proposed budget increases some revenue lines due to increased fees.  Lawmakers will continue their intial review of the budget... which includes a 17-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase next week.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 20. 2020

Jamestown police believe the arrest of a man who allegedly fire several shots towards an occupied home early Monday morning may have solved a second shooting incident.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to a disturbance at the corner of East Seventh and Lincoln Streets just before 1 AM... and, learned that a red sedan had pulled up, and a passenger fired several shots towards the home.  Samuelson says they found the car at a home on Columbia Avenue.

Samuelson says police took 20 year-old Stephon Thomas into custody at the Columbia Avenue location after getting the other occupants inside out safely.  He says police also got a search warrant and found the alleged hand-gun used about 7:30 AM.  Samuelson says no one was hurt in the early morning shooting at East Seventh and Lincoln.  Thomas is being arraigned this afternoon on charges of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, first-degree reckless endangerment.  Anyone with information on either shooting incident is asked to call JPD at 483-7537... the tips-line at 483-8477... or contact the Tips 4-1-1 app.


A Jamestown man has been re-indicted for second-degree murder for allegedly shooting and killing a Sherman man just over a year ago.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says that Julio Montanez was arraigned in County Court on a three count indictment -- which also includes two counts of second-degree attempted murder.  Sheriff's officers say 28 year-old Justin Gibbons was struck in the back by a bullet, allegedly fired by Montanez, as he drove away from the scene.  Swanson says the case is -- quote -- "back in the posture it was three weeks ago, and is again moving forward toward trial."  He thanked the Sheriff's Office and the Forensic Investigation Team for their efforts in the case.  Montanez pled not guilty in County Court... where bail was set at $150,000 cash, or $300,000 property bond. 


The Jamestown City Council is asking a lot of questions... and, expressing concerns over a proposal to double the one-hour parking meter fee in the downtown area next January 1st.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist is proposing the increase from 50-cents to one-dollar based on the recommendation of the city's Parking Advisory panel, and others.  Councilwoman Marie Carrubba says... at a time where businesses are struggling due to the COVID-19 shut-down... she wonders if it's wise to do.

Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says she has two issues with the proposal... the first being having to search for more change.  Ecklund says she's also concerned about the possible impact on downtown foot-traffic.  Sundquist says the increase could double those revenues... which were more than $156,000 in 2019.  He adds that another reason for the change is, if you use a phone app to pay the 50-cent fee... that'll cost you another 40-cents.  Sundquist says it doesn't make sense to have a transaction fee that's "slightly lower" than the cost of the parking. 


There are six new cases of the coronavirus being reported in Chautauqua County... bringing the total between last Saturday and Monday to 34.  The county Health Department says 14 of those cases were from Jamestown... and, nine others were reported in Dunkirk.  There have now been 872 cases county-wide.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 133 active cases... and, 18 people were hospitalized.  


Western New York's COVID-19 infection rate has improved according to the latest numbers released by Governor Andrew Cuomo Monday.  The region's infection rate fell below the statewide average... at point-9 percent... which Cuomo calls a very good number.  Overall... he says New York state's average infection rate is now 1.2-percent.

Cuomo says the statewide average includes downstates "red zones."  He announced last weekend that Movie theaters can open this Friday, with limits... and, that ski resorts can open -- also with limits -- on November 6th.


The Republican challenger in the campaign for Chautauqua County District Attorney says he's getting the only local police endorsement in the race.  Fredonia attorney Jason Schmidt is in a rematch of his race four years ago, with incumbant Democrat Patrick Swanson.  Schmidt says he decided to challenge Swanson again because he feels the office can do better.  He says the county's Felony conviction rate has gone down under Swanson... and, says that's why he's gotten the backing of the Dunkirk City Police Department's rank and file.

Meantime... Swanson has been endorsed by the New York State Police union's 6-thousand member organization.  But, Schmidt argues that it's not a local agency making the decision.  Schmidt was a guest on last weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.  Patrick Swanson will be our guest next weekend.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., Oct. 19, 2020

Chautauqua County reports 28 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed last weekend...
There are 28 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County the past two days.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel's office... which reports there were 13 new cases on Saturday, and 15 more yesterday.  Wendel says that brings the local number of cases to 866.  No other information was made available on Sunday.  There will be more information released later today.  As of last Friday... more than 700 of the local cases since the pandemic began have now recovered.


Cattaraugus County reports 14th COVID-related death...
There's now been a 14th COVID-19 death reported in Cattaraugus County.  The county's Health Department says that death was a 65-year-old woman who developed respiratory failure and was unable to overcome her illness despite aggressive medical treatment.  The health department reports there have now been 347 total cases in Cattaraugus County.


Falconer man arrested for kicking and hitting Jamestown DMV front door with cement parking sign...
A Falconer man is charged with criminal mischief after allegedy smashing a glass front door at the Chautauqua County Department of Motor Vehicles office in Jamestown.  City police were called to the scene at 512 W. Third St. just before 4 p.m. last Friday after a panic alarm was set off.  Officers learned that 38 year-old James Morris showed up at the DMV without an appointment, which was needed due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Police say Morris allegedly began punching and kicking the front door as he left.  He then allegedly grabbed a cement parking sign, and struck the glass door several times.  Officers say Morris fled the scene in a white car before they arrived... and, the car was later found crashed in Falconer.  He was ticketed by both Ellicott Town, and Jamestown City Police.  He was arraigned in Jamestown on a third-degree criminal mischief charge, and issued an appearance ticket.


Early "in-person" voting in Chautauqua County begins next weekend...
Early voting in Chautauqua County gets underway next weekend when early "in-person" voting begins at three different locations.  Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says early voting takes place for nine of the 10 days before the November 3rd General Election.  He says early polling sites will be open 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Board of Elections Offices in Mayville... the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood... and, the County Fairgrounds in Dunkirk.  He adds Mondays and Tuesdays up to Nov. 2 hours will be 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.... and, Wednesdays through Friday hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Green says ballots will be provided "on-demand" for voters at each site.  He adds that sample ballots will be at each location for voters to refer to.  In additon to the Presidential race at the top... Green says the ballots will include state Assembly and Senate races, the special election for County Executive... and, County District Attorney.  Green says demand for absentee balloting has been unprecidented... with about 11,000 requested by last Friday.  Green says about 6,000 ballots have now been returned.


Man from Sinclairville arrested on drug charges following traffic stop
A Sinclairville man was arrested last week during a traffic stop in the village of Westfield for allegedly being in possession of methamphetamine, and hypodermic needles.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped 42 year-old Todd Witt on East Main Street about 8 p.m. Wednesday for an alleged traffic violation.  Deputies say further investigation found that Witt was operating the vehicle with a suspended driver's license.  A search of Witt's vehicle also uncovered the meth, and hypodermic needles.  He was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance... criminally Possessing a Hypodermic Instrument... and, second-degree aggravated Unlicensed Operation.  Witt was take to the County Jail for arraignment.


Goodell, Cardinale debate state deficit during north county debate...
The candidates running for the 150th District Assembly race were featured in a special one-hour debate early last weekend.  A number of issues were discussed, including New York State's growing budget shortfall and the economy.  Democratic challenger Christina Cardinale of Jamestown... who is challenging incumbant Republican Andy Goodell... feels the legalization of marijuana could help the State deal with an estimated $15-billion deficit.  Cardinale says it would stimulate revenues simular to Colorado.  However... Goodell, who is opposed to legalizing pot, doubts it would generate enough revenue to help close the gap.  In fact... in the first year... Governor Cuomo projected $300-million dollars in revenues.  He adds that two counties have already opted out of the program.  This debate between the two Assembly candidates was held in the north county last Friday.  Both recently debated on WJTN in a recorded debate put on jointly by WFRA, WJTN and Western New York News Now.


Movie theaters can open Friday in New York state, but, not Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties...
Movie theaters in New York state can reopen beginning this Friday, Oct. 23, with restrictions on audience size and other precautions in place.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo last weekend.  Cuomo adds, though, that theaters in New York City aren't included, and counties must have a positivity rate below 2-percent on a 14-day average and have no "cluster zones."  Audiences will be restricted to 25-percent of capacity with a maximum of 50 people per screen.  Cuomo also says that masks will be required and there will be assigned seating to ensure social distancing.  The Post-Journal is reporting this morning that -- due to local infection rates -- theaters in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties will not be reopening immediately.


 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 17, 2020

There are seven new cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County the past day...
Seven new cases of the COVID-19 Virus have been reported in Chautauqua County the past day... with most of them -- four -- being reported in Jamestown.  The county's Health Department says there's also one each in Lakewood, Sinclairville and Dunkirk.  Officials say that brings the total number of cases to 838... and, 123 are currently active.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are currently 56 active cases among residents of Tanglewood Manor... along with 11 employees at Tanglewood.  Wendel says 702 cases have now recovered... and there have been 13 deaths so far.


JPS report Fletcher Elementary student test's positive for COVID-19...
The Jamestown Public School District is reporting a Fletcher Elementary School student has tested positive for COVID-19.  District Officials say they were notified of the positive case Thursday night... and, the student last attended school on Thursday, October 8th.  JPS Communication Coordinator Cathy Panebianco says the district is following all guidelines from the county's Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control.  She says JPS was notified that the student was remote learning at the time of contact with a positive case from outside of school.  Out-of-school close contacts are being notified and appropriate steps are being taken.... and, contact tracing will be conducted.  More information is available at JPSNY.org. 


Cuomo and National Governor's Assoc send letter about need for COVID Vaccine protocols...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the National Governor's Association... which he chairs... is asking President Donald Trump for a meeting to discuss how a COVID-19 vaccination program would be conducted once a vaccine is ready.  Cuomo says the NGA has now sent it's letter... and, outlines the group is asking for.  They want to put together a committee of health care professionals that will review the protocols and efficacy of the vaccine, and whether it's safe.  Cuomo says they need to know what the federal government plan is... and, what states are expected to do.  He says that's importnat because the virus has been "one step ahead" of us.  Meanwhile, New York State's overall positivity rate, including red zones is 1.09 percent.  However... Western New York's positivity rate is 1.6 percent.


Green, County Democrats, recommend Deputy Elections Commissioner to replace him Jan. 1...
Chautauqua County government may have its first ever Hispanic department head when the new year begins on Jan. 1.  Deputy Democratic Election's Commissioner Luz Torres will be going before the county legislature's Administrative Services Committee Monday, as the county Democratic Committee's recommendation to replace Commissioner Norm Green, who will be leaving his post at the end of the year.  Green says Torres is a seven-year veteran of the department.  If approved by the full legislature... Green says Torres will become the first Hispanic department head in the county's history... and, she may also be the first woman of color to work in county government.  Torres has worked at the county's Board of Elections since 2013... and was promoted to Deputy Election Commissioner in 2018.


Jamestown man sentenced to 12 1/2 years on Child Porn charges...
A Jamestown man will be spending the next 12-and-a-half years in federal prison after being convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced today that 35 year-old Matthew Bailer was sentenced to 150 months in prison... and, 10 years post-release supervision in U-S District Court.  Prosecutors say Jamestown police received a complaint in July of 2018 from a parent that her young children may have been sexually abused by Bailer.  The parent said she was told by the defendant’s sister that a series of concerning pictures, sexual in nature, were sent on a cell phone used by Bailer.  He was later arrested on a warrant in Missouri in an unrelated to a burglary case.  The phone was also recovered in the case.


Jamestown Public Market reports record-breaking season with two more Saturday's to go...
It's been a record-breaking season for the Jamestown Public Market... and, there's still time to visit the Cherry Street location before the end of the season. That from Market Director Linnea Carlson, who says they've seen an 18-percent increase in the Market's performance in terms of sales.  In addition, she says they are thrilled to be ending on a positive note... with several farmers touting their success at the market.  Carlson says the last day for the Jamestown Public Market will be Halloween, October 31st... and, they'll be there again from 10 am to 12 Noon.  She says they'll have a Halloween theme that day.  In addition... Carlson is reminding residents that are SNAP/EBT customers... and, credit card users... to utilize any remaining tokens before the season ends.  She says all tokens spent are reimbursed directly to farmers and vendors. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 16, 2020

There are 19 new cases of the coronavirus being reported in Chautauqua County over the past day... with 10 of those here in the Greater Jamestown-area.  The county's Health Department says six of the cases are in Jamestown... and, two others have been reported in Lakewood.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says that brings the number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 831... and, 698 have now recovered.  Wendel says there are now 120 active cases... with 11 of those currently among employees of Tanglewood Manor... and, another 55 among residents there. 

The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a local law authorizing lawmakers to override of the tax levy limit for the 2021 county budget.  The measure was approved by a 15-to-0 vote during a Zoom conference meeting Tuesday night.  Legislator Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown, who is the ranking member of the Audit and Control Committee, says one of the reasons they needed to take the action was because the tax levy cap is under two-percent for 2021.

Nazzaro says the cap next year will be 1.56-percent.  County officials say there was also a small carry forward of just over $9,000.  That was much less than the 2019-20 budget carry forward of $855,000.  The full legislature is expected to take final action on the budget during their monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 28th.


A Cherry Creek man faces federal drug charges while a second man faces local charges after a raid Tuesday morning.  The Chautauqua County Sheriff's SWAT Team and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 6900 Main Street in Cherry Creek for 38 year-old Gregory Schroeder.  Deputies say Schroeder was the subject of a DEA Federal Arrest warrant... and, he was taken into custody for possession to distribute 50-grams or more of methamphetamine.  Police say other suspects were also arrested... including 26 year-old Raymond Provorse, on charges unrelated to the investigation.  Prior to leaving the scene... officers called in the Cherry Creek Code Enforcement office to inspect the house, which they deemed unsafe and uninhabitable.  Schroeder was arraigned and sent to the County Jail. Provorse was arraigned and released.  Officers say this is still an on-going investigation. 

A woman from Jamestown is accused of being in possession of a hypodermic instrument following a "well-being" check in Ashville.  Sheriff's deputies were called to an undisclosed location in the hamlet just before 6 PM Wednesday night... and, later arrested 27 year-old Jessica McAdoo after she was found with the hypodermic instrument.  McAdoo was issued an appearance ticket for North Harmony Town Court at a later date.


Chautauqua County's member of the House of Representatives held a special roundtable in Elmira on Wednesday... and, says there are some police reform proposals he can support.  Corning Republican Tom Reed says one of the proposals would establish a police misconduct registry to help weed out "bad apples."  Reed says that would keep those bad officers from jumping from agency to agency.  The other item is more funding for body cameras.  Body cameras have become more prevailent in Chautauqua County and other areas.  However... right now not every officer is able to have one.  The roundtable Reed hosted with law enforcement officials looked at possible reforms.

The Democratic challenger in the race for the 23rd District Congressional seat says the incumbant is misrepresenting her positions on police reform, and the recent rioting in Rochester.  A campaign ad supporting Republican Tom Reed states that Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano wants to "defund the police."  Mitrano says her campaign has filed a "cease and desist" camplaint because there is "no truth to the claim."

As for the protests... and, later rioting that occured in Rochester following the death of a mentally ill black man who was in police custody... Mitrano made it clear that she supports peaceful protests... not rioting or looting.  In fact... she says "living through the rioting" of the 1960s... and, seeing it's impact, she condemns it "unequiocally, and completely."  The Rochester protests arose following the death of Daniel Prude. 

Governor Cuomo has signed legislation officially making Juneteenth a New York state holiday.  Juneteeth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U-S.  The Democrat had used an executive order to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees this year.  The state Legislature had passed a bill in July to make it a state holiday.  President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st of 1863.  But... not everyone heard about it right away.  It wasn't until June 19th, 1865, that enslaved people in Texas, found out about it.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 14, 2020


A north county man will spend 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography for an 11 year-period.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 53 year-old Richard Miller of Forestville was sentenced to the prison term Tuesday... along with lifetime supervised release in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say between 2006 and 2009... Miller produced child pornography by filming himself engaged in a sexual act with a minor.  Then from January 2016 to March 2017... Miller and co-defendant Joseph Harvey exchanged images of child porn, and engaged in illicit discussions regarding child pornography and pedophilia.  Harvey was previously convicted and sentenced in the case.


A man from Corry, Pennsylvania is jailed on $100,000 bail for allegedly stabbing a Youngsville man during a fight in Warren County's Pittsfield Township.  State Police in Warren were called to the scene on Dey Lane just before 8:30 AM Monday... and, arrested 20 year-old Charles Earls at the scene.  Troopers say Earls admitted to stabbing 29 year-old Thomas Niles... and, he was arrested for aggravated assault.  Police say Earls was arraigned, and sent to the Warren County Jail on bail.  Niles was flown to an Erie hospital for treatment of a stab wound.


Ten confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being discovered among residents and staff at the Tanglewood Group facilities in West Ellicott last weekend led to the discovery of the cluster of cases found.  That from Chautauqua County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler... who says four of those were reported on Saturday... and, six more were found on Sunday.

Chautauqua County officials late yesterday confirmed the number of cases in the Tanglewood Group cluster at Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden totals 45... not the 47 reported earlier today.  Schuyler says... after the Sunday testing... officials ordered everyone at the facilities to be tested for COVID-19.  She says the families of those who tested positive have been notified by Tanglewood and contact tracing is underway.  Schuyler says free testing is available during the week in Mayville... but, you must make an appointment.  To do that... call 1-866-604-6789. 

 
There are five new cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported yesterday in Chautauqua County... but, the number of active cases has fallen to 92.  The county's Health Department says the five new cases include one each in Jamestown, Lakewood and Celoron.  Officials say there are now 796 total confirmed cases of COVID here... and, 691 have have now recovered.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says 10 people are hospitalized.


A twelvth person has died in Cattaraugus County, due to complications from the COVID-19 virus.  The County Health Department reported on Monday that the resident was a 96 year old woman who developed respiratory failure, and was unable to overcome her illness despite aggressive treatment.  There have been 308 cases in Cattaraugus County of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.


Congressional Democrats say Republicans are continuing to push a new U-S Supreme Court Justice who would vote to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.  New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says her Republican colleagues are "out of step" with the majority of Americans who need COVID Stimulus relief... but, instead are pushing confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.  Gillibrand says it's in front of a November 10th date for a case involving provisions of the ACA.

Republicans say that's not what the November 10th court hearing would be about.  However... Democrats say it's at least another step towards eliminating the ACA... also known as "Obamacare."  Gillibrand says it's wrong to push to eliminate health care coverage for New Yorkers during a pandemic.  She says some 3-million New Yorkers could lose coverage if the ACA is eliminated.  During Tuesday's second-day of hearings... Barrett fielded Democrats' questions on abortion, gun rights and other hot-button issues.  She declined to say Tuesday whether or not she would recuse herself from any post-election disputes that might arise from the November 3rd election.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters to hold their political debates on Zoom this week.  The League's Tina Rousa says the debates... featuring two of the three candidates running for the 23rd Congressional District seat and Chautauqua County District Attorney, were recorded live last night, and will be posted on October 14th -- today -- from 6 to 8 PM.  Rousa says incumbant Republican Congressman Tom Reed did not respond to the league's request... so, Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano and Libertarian candidate Andrew Kolstee will debate.  Rousa says the debates will be posted on social media and shown on cable access channels around the county. 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 12, 2020


 
A city man faces several Felony drug and weapons charges following a traffic stop last week at an intersection in Frewsburg.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 28 year-old Devonte Chandler after he allegedly committed a traffic violation on Railroad Avenue and Route 62 last Wednesday.  Trooper say further investigation led to a search... and, they found a loaded Smith & Wesson handgun, a bag containing cocaine and ecstasy, two bags containing fentanyl and heroin, a bag of cocaine, and several items used to package and sell narcotics.  More investigation showed that the handgun had been reported stolen from Pennsylvania, and that Chandler’s New York drivers license had been suspended.  Chandler was arraigned on charges including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.  He was sent to the county jail pending further court action.

A man from Sinclairville is accused of driving under the influence of drugs last Friday in Bemus Point with three children in the car with him.  State Police in Jamestown say they stopped a car driven by 31 year-old Chad Clark on the Bemus-Ellery Road for a traffic violation... and, he failed several field sobriety checks.  Troopers took Clark to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown where he provided a blood sample, and he was then evaluated by a State Police Drug Recognition Expert and determined to be under the influence of marijuana.  Clark was then ticketed for DWAI -- and violating Leandra's Law, and, issued tickets for Ellery Town Court, and released.  The children were turned over to a sober third party.
 
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel's proposed 2021 tentative budget was one of the issues raised during a one-hour radio debate late last week featuring the candidates running for county executive.  Wendel -- a Republican -- is being challenged by Dunkirk City Attorney Richard Morrisroe -- a Democrat.  Wendel feels he has presented a physically sound budget and that sales tax revenues are ahead of projections.  But... Morrisroe has concerns about the projections, as to whether they are sustainable or not. Wendel is proposing a 5-cent decrease in the county's full value tax rate.   

 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden blistered President Donald Trump as only pretending to care about the working-class voters who helped flip the Rust Belt to the Republican column four years ago.  Biden made the charge Saturday against the backdrop of a union facility in Erie, Pennsylvania... a key battleground location.  Biden spoke to a masked, socially distanced crowd at a training facility for plumbers and other tradespeople.  Erie County was one of the most populous counties nationally that flipped from Democrats in 2012 to Trump in 2016.


A second restaurant in downtown Jamestown will soon be able to take advantage of the city's new parklet program... which allows expanded outdoor dining in targeted areas.  City lawmakers this past week heard plans for an East Fourth Street location.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the first parklet was approved back in late Spring for 4-Below... and, he says it really turned out well by using some old Oak barrels to elevate an on-street parking area.

Parklet's allow for typically wooden platforms to be used to cover parking spaces in front of the restaurant that are set up for outdoor dining.  Sundquist says the parklet for Labrynth and Brazil should be ready for use soon.  He says restaurants can use the program through the end of the year.  However... as of now, outdoor dining will likely end by October 31st.  Labrynth's Doug James was on hand to explain his proposal.  Development Director Crystal Surdyk says planning department staff signed off on the permit... which was also approved by the City Council's Public Safety Committee.


The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County has presented it's annual Joseph Mason Community Service Award to the president of CSEA Local 6300.  United Way Executive Director Amy Rohler says they presented the award to Steve Skidmore... who had also been a long-time treasurer for the Central Labor Council in Jamestown.  Skidmore was also an organizer, and the president of District 65 I-A-M, as well as the president local I-A-M 2111.  He's also known for his involvement with a number of organizations... including the Babe Ruth World Series, Elks Club, and the Special Olympics. 

The only great-grandaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Senior has died at the age of 31 from Stage 4 breast cancer.  WGRZ-TV reports PEOPLE Magazine confirmed that Desiree Anzalone, the daughter of Julia Arnaz and Mario Anzalone, died on September 27th at the Smilow Cancer Center in Connecticut.  Her maternal grandfather was Desi Arnaz, Junior, the son of the late "I Love Lucy" stars.  Her mother told PEOPLE that her daughter died "peacefully," but "watching her slip away was just, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.  No mother should have to watch that." 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 10, 2020

JPS confirms case of COVID-19 in middle school student...
A student at Washington Middle School in Jamestown has tested positive for the COVID-19 Virus... and, the Chautauqua County Health Department has begun contact tracing.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the student last attended school in-person this past Monday... but, they cannot release any other information about the child infected.  However... Whitaker says he wants parents to know that a confirmed case does not mean that you, or your child has been exposed to the person testing positive.  He adds the Health Department will initiate direct communication with parents and staff who have been identified as a close contact with the positive case as to the next steps they should take.  He says any individual who has been identified as a close contact must quarantine for 14 days.


Eleven new COVID-19 cases reported in Chautauqua County Friday...
There are 11 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus bring reported in Chautauqua County... with five of those in Jamestown.  The county's Health Department reports one case is in the village of Lakewood... while the rest are in the north county.  Officials said Friday that there are now 71 active cases... with five people still hospitalized.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 738 confirmed cases... and, 654 have now recovered.  He says 355 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, 23 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after arriving here from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory.  Wendel says 49,296 negative test results have been reported to date.


Reed encouraged by restarting of talks on fourth COVID-19 Stimulus bill...
There have been some positive developments regarding stalled talks on a fourth COVID-19 stimulus bill in Washington, D-C after one leader said it looked like it was dead until after the election.  President Trump this afternoon allowed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to resume negotiations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  At a campaign event in West Ellicott this afternoon... local Congressman Tom Reed said he was aware of talks resuming... and, says he's is hopeful.  Reed says it's a $1.8-trillion proposal in an amount he says Pelosi has said publicly she could work with.  He says he likes the new, revised package because it includes everything he would like to see in a compromise package... including aid to state and local governments... child care... and, farmers.  The Corning Republican says it's "time to do what's right." 


Reed in West Ellicott to accept local GOP Endorsements...
Congressman Reed was in West Ellicott to officially get the endorsement of several, local Republicans in his run to retain the 23rd District seat he's held for a decade now.  Reed was greeted Interim County Executive P-J Wendel, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and County Clerk Larry Barmore for the event.  He says it's appreciated... and, says it's been a very "unique" campaign because of the COVID pandemic... and, early voting.  He says it's great to have people like Wendel, Goodell and Barmore there to support his campaign in the outdoor event at Clearview Pools and Spas on Fairmount Avenue.  State Senator George Borrello was unable to attend the event... but, has expressed his full support for Reed previously.  


Five Star closing Lakewood branch office...
Five Star Bank has announced that it will be closing it's Lakewood Branch office on Jan. 15 of 2021.  A leading provider of consumer and commercial lending services across Western, Central, and the Southern Tier of New York, officials say the reason is a decline in the number of in-branch teller transactions.  Five Star President and Chief Executive Officer Martin Birmingham says... due in part to shifting customer needs and rapid advancements in technology... there's been a six-percent drop in transactions since 2018.  Birmingham says, though, that they are committed to Lakewood branch consumers and businesses... and will provide ongoing service and support to these customers through the new Lakewood Digital Bank... an online portal for digital and phone banking solutions.


Rosas proposes 2021 budget for city of Dunkirk...
Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas released his proposed 2021 city budget during a news conference this afternoon.  The nearly $24.5-million proposed spending plan holds the line on tax and water rates, but Rosas says he is proposing an increase in the tipping fee by $13 per quarter.  He says it would be the first increase in 15 years after absorbing increasing costs without raising fees during that time.  Rosas is also proposing an increase in the sewer fee, by 25 cents per 1,000 gallons.  The size of the proposed budget has actually decreased from the 2020 budget by about $217,000. 


County's Board of Elections receives more than 10,000 applications for absentee ballots...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections has received more than 10,000 applications for absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 General Election.  Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green adds that more than 10,000 ballots have been mailed to voters.  The same day we receive an application is the same day we mail a ballot to the voter."  Green adds their staff "stays until the job is done every evening, and fortunately the overtime is being covered by grants that we have secured that is covering pandemic related expenses."  Officials say just over 5,100 of the 10,000 ballots have already been returned voted to the Board of Elections.  Green says the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 9, 2020


A city man is jailed after allegedly threatening a woman and an 11 year-old child Wednesday night on Jamestown's westside... and, firing gun shots near them.  City police were called to the area of Proudfit Street about 9:15 PM on reports of a disturbance... and, that a man had contacted a female victim, and said that he was coming over to kill everyone.  The man... later identified as 45 year-old Blake Smith... arrived and reportedly fired shots from a handgun near the victims... but, no one was hurt.  Police say Smith fled the scene before they arrived.  Jamestown Police and, Metro Drug Task Force officers took Smith into custody at about 10:30 Thursday morning as he got out of a car on Pine Street.  Smith, who is a state parolee, was arrested on charges including menacing, parole violation, and endangering the welfare of a child.  More charges are pending, and Smith was jailed pending arraignment.

A number of police agencies -- including the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office -- are moving to the next step in reinventing and modernizing their strategies and programs.  It's part of the effort to comply with Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order last June mandating a plan be in place by next April.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says most departments in the county are already complying with several of the new mandates.

Quattrone says some of the programs used locally are developed, and mandated by the New York state municipal training council... and, the state's Law Enforcement Accreditation program.  Several meetings have already been held... and, the sheriff says the next step is to develop five stakeholder groups to help survey the public on needs that should be addressed.  He says they would include an elected officials group, emergency services, and law enforcement itself.  County Executive P-J Wendel was on hand... with a number of other local officials... to support the "unity of effort" in completing each police agency's plan.  Quattrone says they expect to have final plans to be completed by February so they can be presented, and voted on.


 There has been a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County over the past day... with 17 more being reported yesterday.  County Health officials say most of the cases are in the north county with six in Dunkirk.  There are four in Jamestown, and, one each in Lakewood and Frewsburg.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says 68 cases are currently active... and, the total number of cases has climbed to 727.  Wendel says five people are now hospitalized... and, the number of recovered cases now totals 646.  He says 313 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there are 22 others under the "domestic traveler quarantine."


Western New York's COVID-19 infection rate has once again gone above the statewide average after being below one-percent on Tuesday.  Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an update during a conference call with reporters yesterday and said the regional infection rate increased to nearly one-and-a-half percent on Wednesday. Cuomo says that rate is up from point-9 percent on Monday.  He says COVID "hot spots" had an infection rate of nearly 6-percent.  In addition... Cuomo says 145,000 tests were conducted across New York state on Monday, a state record. 

A restructuring of legacy costs... including health care and retirement contributions... is being used by Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist to propose a 2021 budget that includes a slight tax decrease.  Sundquist proposed his $34.8-million spending plan Thursday afternoon during a press conference at City Hall.  He says the tax levy would be cut by $70,000 and, the tax rate by point-72 percent... or 17-cents per thousand full value.  Sundquist says they'll save $325,000 by delaying some state retirement system payments.

Sundquist says the biggest savings will be seen in health insurance costs for some 350 retirees who are 65 and older.  He says they would be shifted to Medicare programs... saving about $1.1-million.  However... he says the city will pick up the cost of their premiums making those programs free.  Under Sundquist's proposal... he says the tax rate would go down from $23.69 per thousand to $23.52.  The proposal now goes to the City Council for review.

The Jamestown Public Schools Superintendent is applauding the great work staff, faculty and students have been doing to protect everyone's healthy and safety in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  With many new changes in place, such as wearing face coverings and increased cleaning, Dr. Kevin Whitaker says they are fortunate because they haven't had any new COVID-19 cases since their initial two cases. Whitaker says those two students were learning remotely. 

Moving forward... Whitaker says they are continuing their re-opening process by expanding to in-person learning on Fridays.  Elementary students currently attending either morning or afternoon session... Monday through Thursday... will also attend each Friday -- morning or afternoon -- beginning October 23rd.  For students graded 5 through 9 in Cohort A and attend Mondays and Wednesdays, will also begin attending on Fridays on October 23rd... and, every other Friday after that.  Those in the 'B' Cohort will begin attending every other Friday as well on October 30th.   For the high schoolers.... Dr. Whitaker says Principal Dana Williams is expected to release information for which specific JHS courses will be available to students who participate in electives or AP classes. 


A school district in Cattaraugus County has goine to all remote learning through next Monday due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the eastern part of the county.  The Portville Central District announced on it's Facebook page that a staff person tested positive for the coronavirus... and, that their schools are closed to in-person classes today through next Monday.  Monday is Columbus Day -- which is a national holiday.   However... the Cattaraugus County Health Department says there is no evidence that COVID-19 transmission is occuring at the school.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 8, 2020

There are 9 new cases of COVID-19 being reported today (Wednesday) in Chautauqua County... and the number of active cases has increased to 53.  The county's Health Department reports there have now been 710 total cases reported.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the most -- five -- were reported in the Dunkirk-area.  Wendel says 644 cases have now recovered... and, 280 cases are under quarantine or isolation.  He adds that 23 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after having arrived her from a state listed on New York's travel advisory.  Wendel says there have been 48,196 negative test results.

 
There has now been a 10th COVID-19 related death in Cattaraugus County... on the heals of the ninth death... which was reported Wednesday morning.  Health Department officials said last night that a 97 year-old man developed respiratory failure, and was unable to overcome his illness despite aggressive medical treatment.  The 9th death... reported earlier in the day... was a 62 year-old woman... who also developed respiratory failure.

There is still a chance that all sides involved in negotiating a fourth, COVID-19 stimulus bill could reach an agreement soon.  However... it's important for each side to stay at the negotiating table.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who says both sides were "extremely close" to a final agreement.  However... negotiations ended with a presidential tweet Tuesday night.  Reed was disappointed... but, feels negotiators are closer than they may believe.

Reed co-chairs the bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus... which released a statement late Tuesday urging both sides to get back to the table.  He says they also spent much of the past day lobbying key lawmakers not to give up.  In a flurry of tweets... President Trump pressed for Congress to approve $1,200 stimulus checks, and new aid for airlines and other businesses hard hit by the pandemic.  Reed adds, though, that a stand-alone bill could be acceptable.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has rejected such piecemeal spending measures all along.  The bill being discussed was for $1.7-trillion.

Prosecutors are urging a judge to reject an effort to delay or eliminate a prison sentence for the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president.  Federal prosecutors said in a letter Wednesday that it's time for Christopher Collins to report to a Pensacola, Florida, prison camp to begin serving a 26-month sentence.  The 70-year-old former New York congressman was sentenced in January after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to commit securities fraud and lying to law enforcement.  Lawyers for the Republican cited the coronavirus in asking a judge to delay or modify his sentence.  Prosecutors say the threat of COVID-19 is higher outside the prison walls than within. They say further delays for Collins would not serve justice.

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist will present his first budget to the public this afternoon -- a budget he calls "incredibly challenging" in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Sundquist says if there is any good news in it... it's that there won't be a tax increase because the city is at it's constitutional taxing limit.  However... there will be losses in both state aid, and other revenues... including sales tax.  But, that's not all.  The city is still waiting to find out what it's contribution is to the state's retirement system in 2021.

Sundquist says he and his finance team are putting the finishing touches on the 2021 budget... which is expected to be in the neighborhood of $35-million. The budget presentation at City Hall begins at 4 PM today... and, will also be shown on the city's website at Jamestownny.gov or Facebook page.

A Cattaraugus County hospital has suspenced patient visitations due to an increase in community spread of COVID-19 in the area.  On it's website... Olean General Hospital has announced visitations have been suspended... unless there are end-of-life situations, and the designated support person for maternity patients.  Olean General says it has "new capabilities to arrange for virtual visits via iPad."  They add that patients can contact pastoral care, or a nurse regarding how to connect with loved ones.

Two of Jamestown's best known residents will be honored tonight... as the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce presents it's Community Service Award to Russ and June Diethrick.  Both Russ and June are deeply involved with the Babe Ruth World Series and the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.  Individually, Russ is a member of the College Council at SUNY Fredonia, while June is committed to the Marvin House.  June Diethrick believes her 'husband to be' was very influencial shaping her life as a volunteer in her mid-20s.  The Diethricks award will be presented as part of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Virtual Awards Banquet... starting on-line at 6 PM this evening.  The event is free, but you must register through the chamber's website.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 7, 2020

Chautauqua County has now exceeded 700 confirmed cases of COVID-19... and, a 13th person has died after contracting the virus.  The county's Health Department said Tuesday that there are three new cases of the coronavirus being reported... and, a man in his 60s with underlying health conditions has died.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 701 cases of COVID... and, 48 cases are currently active.  Wendel says 640 people have now recovered... and, there have been 13 deaths.  He says 295 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, another 23 persons are under the "domestic traveler quarantine."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will reinstate restrictions on businesses, churches and schools in and around areas where coronavirus cases are spiking.  Cuomo said Tuesday that the severity of shutdowns would vary by proximity to the hot spots.  The new rules are set to take effect no later than Friday and would be imposed in parts of New York City... and, some other locations around the where clusters of virus cases have sprouted up.

The Democratic candidate for Chautauqua County Executive is blasting Interim Executive P-J Wendel's proposed budget... which he says relies on unrealistic sales tax projections, and property tax relief gimmicks.  Dunkirk's Rich Morrisroe says Wendel's budget appears to have been drafted without reviewing the State Comptroller’s report on challenges facing local economies due to COVID-19.  Morrisroe agrees with the move to furlough workers to save money... but, he would have been more aggressive.

Morrisroe says Wendel was "clearly wearing rose-colored glasses when he drafted the 2021 budget.  His proposal is a series of shell games and incorrect assumptions about sales tax revenue and the financial health of Chautauqua County.”  Among the steps he would take... Morrisroe says are doing a department by department review to cut unnecessary expenses... streamline services and expenses between the county and local municipalities... and, ask all political appointees to take a salary cut until finances have stablized.  He also said that he would reduce his salary if elected, and called on Wendel to make the same pledge.


A man from Cattaraugus County who was reported missing over the weekend was found dead by first responders aiding in the search.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say unidentified 20 year-old man was initially reported missing by his family when he didn't return home from go-karting last Saturday night in the Barse Road area in the town of Mansfield.  Deputies says investigators followed tire tracks to a nearby pond where they found the man's body.  Officers were assisted by local fire departments, State Police and State Forest Rangers in the scene.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office says the family wishes to thank everyone that has helped in the search. 

A huge jump in the number of Freedom of Information requests in the city of Jamestown has led officials to bring in a company to digitize the process of filing a request, and responding to it.   Mayor Eddie Sundquist announced last (Monday) night that they now have a contract with "NextRequest" to overhaul the system to make it quicker and more transparent.  Sundquist says they've already received 150 FOIL requests this year... something that's never been seen before.  He says it'll be on the city's website soon.

Sundquist says "NextRequest" is already used by several other municipalities... and, includes a one-page form.  City Clerk Jennifer Williams says their current system is "antiquated..." and not able to easily handle the current number of requests.  Sundquist says the best part of the "NextRequest" program is it's being provided free to the city.  The city's website is Jamestownny-dot-GOV.


The Fredonia Village Board approved a resolution that clears the way for the installation of interconnections with the North County Water District.  Trustees approved the measure by 4 to 1 vote Monday evening.  Trustee Jim Lynden opposed the measure, because he felt an agreement was needed first.

Trustee Roger Britz was among the four trustees supporting the measure... and, says he understand Lynden's feelings, but, also wants to "get going" on the project.  The village's water system has faced several challenges in recent years, including last month’s boil order that lasted nearly 20-days.

Students at an upstate college campus will be switching to remote learning for two weeks because of rising coronavirus cases.  The State University College of New York at Cortland says the shift away from in-person learning at the campus south of Syracuse, New York, would start on October 7th.  The state had set a threshold of 100 coronavirus cases as a trigger for a return to remote learning for at least two weeks.  SUNY Cortland hit that mark on Monday.  Other SUNY campuses -- including Fredonia -- have also been impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 6, 2020

For the first time in several weeks, there have been two new deaths from COVID-19 being reported in Chautauqua County.  The county's Health Department said Monday a man in his 50s and woman in her 80s passed away over the past weekend... bringing the local total to 12 people.  In addition... officials say five more cases of the coronavirus are being reported Monday... bringing the local total during the pandemic to 698.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says five of the 23 new cases over the weekend were in Jamestown, and adds there are now 51 active cases.  There are now 299 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, 24 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  Wendel says 635 people have now recovered... and, there have now been 47,251 negative test results to date.


The city of Jamestown will not be holding it's annual Halloween Fun-Fest... and, will not be setting any official trick-or-treating hours on October 31st.  However... in line with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's recent statement, the city is not banning Halloween trick-or-treating, either.  That from City Council President Tony Dolce during last night's Council work session... who says the city will not set hours for trick-or-treating this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Dolce added that council is urging residents "to continue to use safe practices when interacting with other people including wearing face coverings and social distancing at least six-feet.  We also encourage parents to understand and respect the wishes of residents who do not feel comfortable answering doors."  In that case... Dolce says residents not wishing to take part should leave their porch lights off.  He adds that state guidelines only allow gatherings of up to 50 people, with six-feet of social distancing and face coverings required.  He also noted that face coverings do not mean conventional Halloween masks, but, coverings that cover the nose and mouth. 


A Frewsburg man faces criminal possession of a forged instrument charges following a suspicious person investigation in Falconer.  Ellicott Police were called to the Community Bank in the village last Friday.... and, found that 25 year-old Robbie Stearns allegedly tried to pass savings bonds, while forging the signature of the actual owner of the bonds.  Officers say Stearns was taken into custody a short distance away from the bank, and issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 

Ellicott Town Police arrested a Falconer man for allegedly driving while intoxicated without a license last weekend. Officers responded to a motor vehicle accident with injury on Gerry-Levant Road shortly after 10 PM last Friday... and, on arrival, identified the operator as 40 year-old Brock Zampogna.  Officers took Zampogna into custody for first-degree aggravated unlicensed operator, DWI and move from lane unsafely. He was issued an appearance ticket for Ellicott Town Court at a later date.


There have already been several inquiries by local businesses about the $10.5-million Chautauqua County and it's Industrial Development Agency have received from the federal CARES Act.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says he heard from three businesses almost immediately about the money from from the U-S Economic Development Administration.  Wendel also says it shows the local IDA has not been "underperforming..." and, he says Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise, and Finance officer Rich Dixon are working out details about who can get them... and, how.

Wendel says... in addition to working to bring jobs to the county... the IDA also does a lot of work to retain jobs.  The $10.5-million will be used as part of a revolving loan-fund, similar to the county's Al Tech loan program.  Wendel says the loans made to local, small businesses would be at a 2.44-percent interest rate.  He made his comments for last weekend's Community Spotlight program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

 The New York Lottery today announced there were multiple top-prize winning tickets sold for the October 4th TAKE-5 drawing.  One of those tickets was sold in the city of Dunkirk.  Matt's News located at 93 East Third Street in Dunkirk sold a prize winning ticket worth $27,646.  Another TAKE-5 winning ticket was sold in Bronx, worth the same amount.  Take 5 numbers are drawn from a field of one through 39.

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct. 5, 2020


Jamestown fire investigators say a blaze that damaged a vacant home on the city's eastside early Sunday morning was set intentionally.  City Fire Battalion Chief Cris Dahlgren says crews were called to the scene at 426 Allen Street about 4:30 AM.  Dahlgren says firefighters needed some help from a Falconer engine to stand-by because an off-duty shift was delayed in responding.  He says the fire was investigated, and found to be arson.  Dahlgren says no one was inside the condemned house when crews arrived, and no firefighters were hurt.  The last firefighters left the scene about 9:30 AM.  Dahlgren says there has been no determination yet on whether the house will be torn-down.


A propane tank explosion sparked a fire inside a trailer home in the town of Portland early last Saturday morning.  Chautauqua County Fire officials say Portland firefighters were called to the scene at 7022 Webster Road just after 3:30 AM... and, found that the four occpants, and their pets got out safely.  Fire crews from Brocton and Westfield joined Portland at the scene... and, had the blaze out fairly quickly.  They found the explosion caused a fire to start on one side of the trailer.  County Fire Investigators were called out to assist the fire departments, and the blaze is under investigation.


An investigation is underway into a house fire that broke out Saturday morning in the City of Dunkirk.  City fire crews responded to 25 Leming Street at about 6:45 AM with initial reports of flames showing from the residence.  Fire Captain Gary Katta says there was also a report of people trapped inside the building, but firefighters did not find anybody inside.

On arrival, firefighters did find heavy fire conditions on the first floor.  Katta says the flames advanced to the second floor and caused extensive damage to the structure.  He says the flames burned through the roof and exterior wall in the back of the home.  However... Katta says crews had the blaze under control fairly quickly.  Firefighters were on scene for about two hours.  No injuries were reported.  East Dunkirk Fire provided mutual aid.  City and county fire investigators are looking into the cause.

 
A revised history of baseball in Jamestown had its official launch on Saturday.  "Our Game... From Unknowns to Tarp Skunks" is the second book by David Mulei about the various teams that have played in Jamestown over a 155 year time frame.  More than players and coaches and games... he says the history reveals something about the city's character.  At every step Mulei found people committed to keeping high quality baseball at the local park... right up to now.  The co-author for the new book is Jamestown Post Journal Sports Editor, Scott Kindberg, who wrote about the most recent years of baseball here, including the end of minor league play in the city.   (Kindberg gave full credit to his predecessor at the paper, the late Jim Riggs... whose articles were the source material for that part of the book.  The new book was made possible by the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, with help from a Chautauqua Region Community Foundation grant.)  "Our Game" is available for $25 from the Tarp Skunks office at Diethrick Park, their website... or the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.  The launch party was held Saturday at the Robert H. Jackson Center, with David Mulei 'zoomed in' from Boston.


While much of the national focus is on the health of President Trump and several others found infected with COVID-19, talks regarding a fourth, new COVID-19 Stimulus bill is continuing.  The president is being briefed on a number of matters, including the status of a new bill from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.  Mnuchin was the keynote speaker to conclude Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed's annual Manufacturing Summit and says that two key areas need to be addressed in the new bill.

Mnuchin says the first three COVID Stimulus bills put the country in a much better position now than it would have been.  He says "there's no question that had we not passed the legislation, we would be in a much different situation today economically."  During the Zoom meeting... Mnuchin thanked Reed for his support of the previous bills... and, efforts to get a fourth stimulus bill in place. 


Two New York lawmakers have submitted legislation to curb mandatory court fees they say are unfair to the poor.  Legislation sponsored by Senator Julia Salazar and Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou would abolish mandatory surcharges, which can amount to hundreds of dollars.  The fees are attached to every conviction, including traffic tickets.  Judges used to be able to waive or reduce those surcharges, but the Legislature stripped them of that power starting in 1995. 


President Donald Trump's son Eric is scheduled to speak via video on Monday with New York state investigators probing his family's business practices.  That's according to court papers filed Friday.  Eric Trump has given no indication he will seek to delay the interview in light of his father's and stepmother's recent coronavirus diagnosis or for any other reasons.  A White House doctor said Friday that the other members of the first family had tested negative for the virus. 

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News Headlines for Sat., Oct. 3, 2020

Missing 3 year-old in Jamestown found after he wanders off...
A 3-year-old boy reported missing early Friday afternoon has been found safe and sound in the apartment building he and his family live in.  City police say the child was reported missing just after 2 p.m. at 742 E. Second St.  However... the toddler hadn't wandered off.  Officers say the child had gone into a closet in the apartment his family lived in... and, was found sleeping under a pile of play items.  Jamestown Police were assisted at the scene by the New York State Police, Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department, and the Jamestown Office of the FBI.


Reed, Mnuchin send thoughts out to POTUS, and First Lady, for speedy Recovery from COVID-19...
Southern Tier Congressman Tom Reed is sending his "prayers and best wishes to the President and the First Lady" as they deal with the COVID-19 Virus.  Reed addressed the news that President Trump and his wife, Melania, both have contracted the virus.  Speaking at the start of the final day of his Manufacturing Summit via Zoom Friday morning... Reed offered his best wishes to the First Family.  Reed says "I know that (they) are going to get through this virus in a strong and sound fashion."  Reed's last keynote speaker was Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin... who has tested negative for the virus.  Mnuchen echoed Reeds sentiments... and, says the news so far has been good, and he wished both the President and First Lady a "speedy recovery."
----

Also Friday morning... New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement, saying "my thoughts are with President Trump and the First Lady and I wish them a full and speedy recovery."  Cuomo and the president have had an ambivolent relationship during the pandemic.  However, the governor set aside politics in his statement, adding "this virus is vicious and spreads easily.  Wear a mask.  Let's all look out for each other."


Reed's Democratic opponent also wishes the first family a speedy recovery...
Congressman Tom Reed's Democratic opponent in the November election is also wishing the president and First Lady a speedy recovery.  Tracy Mitrano of Penn Yan says thats the case both "for their health and for the security of our nation.  Today's news is a sad reminder that no one is immune to COVID-19."  Mitrano adds that "it is vital that we all continue to follow the guidance and best practices that have been suggested by public health officials and medical experts to keep ourselves safe, by washing our hands, wearing masks when in public, and keeping our social distance.  Together we can get through the hardships this virus has imposed and come out stronger."


One new positive case of COVID-19 reported in Chautauqua County Friday...
There are now 44 active cases of COVID-19 being reported in Chautauqua County Friday afternoon.... after one new positive test was added.  That from Interim County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the new case in a person in Silver Creek.  Wendel says two people are hospitalized.... 253 people are under quarantine or isolation orders.... and, 30 people under the domestic traveler quarantine.  To date, there have been 675 total cases county-wide and 621 people have recovered from the virus.  There have also been 45,411 negative test results.


Former Chautauqua Inst. official recounts his battle against COVID in Colorado...
COVID-19 is very serious... but there is hope.  That's what a well known, former Chautauqua County resident, wants to communicate about the coronavirus.  Mike Sullivan is a former Director of Institution Relations at Chautauqua... retiring in 2010.  At home in Colorado earlier this year... he was on a telemedicine visit with his doctor, thinking he had bronchitis.  When he said his oxygen level was in the 80-percent range, she sent him to the emergency room immediately.  Mike spent 15 days in the hospital, 11 in intensive care... turning 77 years old while there.  He recalls a very low moment when he faced possible intubation... as many around him were dying.  Sullivan says he knew there were hundreds of people praying for him, and he didn't want to let them down.  He applied himself to breathing with vigor, began 'prostrate' therapy... sleeping on his stomach... and eventually recovered.  Sullivan believes he caught COVID when he was working a concert at the Pepsi Center in Denver.  He says if the nation had taken the disease more seriously in February, he wouldn't have gotten it because he wouldn't have gone to work. 


Prominent WNY attorney, niece, killed in small plane crash...
Prominent New York attorney Steve Barnes has died in a small plane crash in western New York.  That's according to his longtime law partner Ross Cellino.  Barnes' niece also died when the single-engine turboprop crashed about 11:45 a.m. Friday in a wooded area near Pembroke, New York.  Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron says neighbors described the plane making a loud, whining noise, then dropping into a wooded area.  The plane was associated with Cellino & Barnes, a prominent personal injury law firm.


Barone named as UPMC Physician of the Year...
A key member of UPMC Chautauqua Hospital's Internal Medicine staff has been named as the Jamestown faclity's Physician of the Year.  Dr. Marlene Barone received the unexpected honor during the annual "Doctors Day Luncheon" at the hospital... delayed six-months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Barone has been a doctor for 30 years... and, nearly the past two decades with the local hospital.  She says she's been "very fortunate" to have terrific teachers and mentors who helped her along the way.  Barone says it's been a year of unexpected events... including the Pandemic.  However... she says they are "all physicians" and they need to take care of "our patients... our families... our communities... and, hopefully we're taking care of ourselves." 

 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 2, 2020

Jamestown police are investigating a report of multiple shots fired after officers were called to the area of Falconer and Bowen Streets Wednesday night.  City police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers located multiple shell casings in that eastside area about 9 PM, that were fired from a semi-automatic pistol.  He says there are no known injuries at this time... and, anyone with information is asked to contact JPD at 483-7537, use the Tipsline at 483-TIPS -- 483-8477 -- or via the TIPS 4-1-1- app.  Police say all calls will be kept confidential.


There are now 45 active cases of COVID-19 being reported in Chautauqua County, after 12 new cases were added Thursday morning.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says 2 cases are in Jamestown, 3 each were reported in Brocton and Dunkirk... and, 4 more cases were in the Fredonia area.  Wendel says 345 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders by the Public Health Director.  Two people are hospitalized.... and, 30 persons under domestic traveler quarantine.  He says 674 people have now tested positive for the coronavirus, 619 people have now recovered and 44,981 negative test results have been reported to date. 


A seventh Cattaraugus County resident has died from coronavirus-related complications. According to county health officials.... the 75 year-old male victim developed respiratory failure and was unable to overcome his illness despite aggressive medical treatment. In a printed release, officials also announced that six more residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the Cattaraugus County total case count to 237 since the pandemic began.  The department's COVID-19 caseload reports 21 active cases.... and, 209 residents who have recovered from COVID-19. 

 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday a new app that will alert you if you were within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app, called "COVID Alert," uses bluetooth technology... and, does not track GPS coordinates.  State officials say it also does not collect personal information.  Three other states are using the app, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and soon Connecticut.

 
Schools across New York have reported that at least 1,200 students and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the academic year, though that number is likely an undercount.  As of Tuesday, 693 public and private schools had reported at least one infection.  Around 700 students and 400 school staff have tested positive.  State officials noted that the count doesn't capture the full extent of infections among schoolchildren.  A separate data system operated by state health officials documented around 2,300 infections among school-aged children since September 1st.  The state is making both sets of numbers public.

COVID-19 is very serious... but there is hope.  That's the message a well known, former Chautauqua County resident wants to communicate about the coronavirus.  Mike Sullivan is a former Director of Institution Relations at Chautauqua... retiring in 2010. At home in Colorado earlier this year, he was on a telemedicine visit with his doctor, thinking he had bronchitis intially. Mike spent 15 days in the hospital, 11 in intensive care... turning 77 years old while there.  He applied himself to breathing with vigor, began 'prostrate' therapy... sleeping on his stomach... and eventually recovered.  Sullivan believes he caught COVID when he was working a concert at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Though living in Colorado, Mike Sullivan continues to be active on the UPMC Chautauqua Hospital Board of Directors.  He's proud of what the hospital can offer and  says, "Jamestown can feel fortunate to have a great organization like that available in a time like this."

There is only one debate scheduled between the candidates running for the 23rd Congressional District seat... and, that won't be until early voting is well underway.  That from Democratic Challenger Tracy Mitrano, who again Thursday accused Republican incumbant Tom Reed of ducking substantive debates.  Mitrano says she has been invited to a League of Women Voters Forum in Chautauqua Count -- via ZOOM on Wednesday, Oct.14 from 6 to 7 p.m.  She says the Libertarian Candidate, Andrew Kolstee, has also been invited to be part of the League's event.  As of now... she says the only definate debate between her and Reed is set for Oct. 27 at WETM in Elmira.

The first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president four years ago has cited the coronavirus in asking to delay serving his 26-month prison sentence in Florida.  Former Congressman Chris Collins is supposed to report to a federal prison camp in Pensacola on October 13th after pleading guilty last year to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and lying to law enforcement officials.  Lawyers for the 70-year-old former Republican congressman asked a judge to modify his sentence or let him delay starting it until December.  They say Collins' age and health condition put him at great risk of life-threatening complications if he gets Coronavirus. 

A new, Latino themed restaurant has opened up on Jamestown's westside. The ribbon was cut Thursday morning for the opening of "LaRumba" at 104 West Second Street in the Pearl City Arts Building.  The location is the former Skinner's Restaurant... which has now moved into the former "Q" location on West Second Street.  Co-Owner Jomar Gomez says he and his girlfried, Lee Perez, worked for just over a year to get their operation going.  Gomez says their Puerto Rican dishes are high-lighted by what is called "La Mufungo..." otherwise known as mashed fried plaintains. Gomez says they began working on the menu, and finding a location from their home.  Several dignitaries and family members were on hand.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says it's exciting to see more people pushing foward, and opening during the pandemic. LaRumba is open on Thursday's from 10 AM to 7 PM... and on Friday's and Saturday's from 10 AM to 10 PM.  On Friday and Saturday... Gomez says they turn-down the lights after 7 PM to allow dancing.  For more infromation on LaRumba... call 720-4859.


It was a busy morning Thursday for waterspouts on Lake Erie.  A weather observer near Westfield reported seeing as many as 10 waterspouts and funnels over a two-hour period.  Meteorologist Aaron Reynolds at the National Weather Service in Buffalo explained that lake effect rain and the temperature of the water can produce these waterspouts. Reynolds says we may see more waterspouts over the next couple of days.  Waterspouts can be a hazard for boaters, easily overturning watercraft.
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Oct 1, 2020

Chautauqua County officials have announced a new website designed to help local residents seeking help in combating their addiction problems.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel joined with Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services, Pat Brinkman, Wednesday to announce the on-line service... called "Combat Addiction CHQ.com."  Brinkman says it's also geared towards people who want to help a loved one. Wendel urges residents to go to the website... which is a "one-stop resource."  

Brinkman says costs for the website are being covered by federal funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration... and, covers the entire cost of building the website.  She says people can go there to learn the facts about addiction... and, explore the prevention, treatment, and recovery options in Chautauqua County.  That website is now up and running at CombataddictionCHQ.com.  

Another four new cases of the COVID-19 Virus have been reported in Chautauqua County the past day... with all four of them being found in Fredonia.  County Health officials say this brings the local total to 662 cases... and 34 of those are currently active, and continue to recover.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now two people hospitalized... and, another 283 cases under quarantine or isolation orders.  Wendel adds there are 31 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after coming here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  He says 618 cases have now recovered.


The boil water order for customers served by the Village of Fredonia water supply, has been lifted. According to the Village's Facebook page, water quality from the reservior has improved and the turbidity levels in the finished water are now in compliance with New York State Health Department standards. However, Officials ask that customers continue to conserve water until next Monday, October 5th, to prevent putting 'too much initial stress on the water treatment plant.'  More information is available by contacting Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek at 679-2301 or the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services at 753-4481.

October 1st marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Pat Carr, of the local breast cancer support group, reminds women to have their annual mammograms and do 'self examinations.'  Carr says men need to pay attention too.  Males have a much lower instance of breast cancer, but the disease is more deadly in men that get it.  Carr also encourages supporters to show a pink light bulb on the front porch this month... in support of breast cancer survivors.  The bulbs are available for $4.00 at Farm Fresh Foods, Peterson Farm, the Falconer Vac Shop, Honest Johns, the Ashville General Store, and also at the Dutch Village in Clymer. 

Local State Senator George Borrello is on the road this week, touring farms across New York state.  We caught up with the Sunset Bay Republican... who ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee... while he was in Central New York Wednesday.

Borrello says he’s compiling information from farmers across the state to share with the committee... and, he says he will continue to "be their voice in the State Senate" when it comes to meeting their needs.  He says the one thing the pandemic has taught us is how fragile the state's food supply chain has been.  He's also been critical of the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act that went into effect in January.

 
A New York State Department of Environmental Conservation forest ranger, with the help of two state troopers, were able to locate two lost hikers near Arkwright Falls last Sunday night.  The DEC reports that Ranger Nathan Sprague drove to the hikers' car on Burnham Road, and met up with the troopers.  They got coordinates from Chautauqua County 9-1-1 Dispatchers... and, were able to hike to the location of the lost hikers.  The 26-year-old hikers from the town of Boston and Lackawanna were located about an hour later -- at 7:30 PM -- with no injuries.  Sprague provided water to the hikers and led them out to a nearby road.


City lawmakers in Jamestown have approved a parking ticket amnesty program that starts today... and, will benefit school children, the elderly, and food banks.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says residents with unpaid parking tickets over the past 2 to 3 years can have their late penalties waived -- if they bring unopended packages of school supplies, supplies for the elderly, and non-perishable boxed or canned food items.  He says notices have been sent out with the one's that collections will begin after October 31st.   Sundquist says each item brought in will waive the penalty on one ticket, with residents allowed to bring up to FIVE items to take the penalties off of FIVE tickets.  Residents must pay their tickets at City Hall.  You can look up your unpaid parking tickets at parkingticketpayment.com/jamestown/.   For more information... call the Clerk’s office at 483-7612.


A Jamestown-area federal credit union is one of 35 Community Development Financial Institutions across New York state getting a share of $20-million in federal funding.  The state's two U-S Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand... have jointly announced the funding will support "vital economiic development and financial services to low-Income neighborhoods, businesses and families.  Schumer says "the CDFI Fund is a vital stream of investment that supports economic development and financial services to New York’s most vulnerable communities."  Locally... the Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit union in Lakewood will receive $125,000.


 Federal investigators examining the 2018 crash of a stretch limousine that killed 20 people say state regulators repeatedly failed to properly oversee the poorly maintained vehicle. National Transportation Safety Board members unanimously voted Tuesday to accept a final report on the deadliest transportation disaster in the United States in a decade. The crash killed 17 family members and friends celebrating a birthday along with the driver and two bystanders. The NTSB found that the crash was likely caused by the operator's "egregious disregard for safety." 

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News Headlines for Fri., Nov. 27, 2020

County health officials report 41 new COVID cases on Thanksgiving Day... Chautauqua County has now surpassed 1,600 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus after 41 new cases were reported on Thursday. ...

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