Local News Headlines

WJTN Headlines for Thurs., June 24, 2021

Chautauqua County records second straight day of no new COVID-19 cases...
For the second day in a row... Chautauqua County is reporting no new cases of the COVID-19 virus.  The county Health Department says there are also no hospitalizations for COVID for the first time since the early days of the pandemic.  There are still 9,291 total cases... and, just five are now active.  County Executive P-J Wendel spoke late Tuesday about the first zero case day in 10-months.  County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler joined Wendel in praising the efforts of Chautauqua County residents... saying "this is an encouraging indicator that vaccination is working to stop the spread of this virus in our community.”
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In addition Wednesday... Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during a late morning press conference... that New York's State of Emergency is expiring today, and it will not be renewed.  He says it "punctuates" the end of the pandemic emergency.  With that also comes an end to the governor's emergency powers that he has held since mid-March of 2020.


Sinclairville man arrested alleged undergarment heist in the village...
A Sinclairville man has been arrested for allegedly stealing several undergarments from a home in the village earlier this week.  State Police in Jamestown were called to the undisclosed scene last Sunday for a burglary in progress.  Troopers say they arrested 30 year-old Kevin Pattyson for second-degree burglary.  Police say their investigation revealed that the homeowners returned to their residence, and found Pattyson in one of the bedrooms.  He was physically removed from the home by one of the homeowners, and detained until troopers arrived.  Police found Pattyson with the undergarments... which were identified as belonging to one of the homeowners.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


National Comedy Center kicking off "Riverside Saturdays" this weekend...
The first of the National Comedy Center's "Summer Fun Weeks" is underway with free outdoor movies, and music at Comedy Center Park behind the center in downtown Jamestown.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says each of the seven-weeks will culminate with seven "Riverside Saturdays" featuring free admission.  Gunderson says each week will have a theme, and this week's is "Buddy Comedy..." and feature the film "Wayne's World."  Gunderson says music and other events will begin each Saturday night at 7 p.m., with the movies starting at 8:45 p.m.  She says they'll have two jumbo viewing screens for people to watch.  Gunderson says the idea began with the center looking at things they could do this Summer that COVID-19 guidelines would allow.  She adds that, fortunately, with the state pretty much reopening now... there are few guidelines that have to be followed because these are outdoor activities.  The Riverside Saturday series will continue through the beginning of August... which is when the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival would be held.  However... officials decided several weeks ago to postpone the event until August of 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic. 


RTPI and Jackson Center to host "Osprey and the Law" program...
The Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the Robert H. Jackson Center will jointly present a program called 'Osprey and the Law' tonight at RTPI.  Jackson Center President Kristan McMahon will moderate a discussion of environmental laws and their effect on conservation.  A panel of experts will join her... including local attorney Holly Hampton, Dr. Amanda Rodawold, who is an expert on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act... and, attorney Freedom Smith with the Ice Miller Law Firm.  Peterson Institute CEO, Arthur Pearson, believes the institute is the ideal place for such discussions because preserving nature is what they are all about.  Tonight's program will be at 7 p.m., both on-line and in person at RTPI on Curtis Street in Jamestown.  Suggested donation for the 'in person' program is $10 and will include a guided tour of the current exhibit 'Art of the Osprey.'  


The 30th and final LINKS Charity Golf Tourney set for July 19th, will feature Nancy Lopez and other pros...
The 30th -- and final -- LINKS Charity Golf Tournament will be it's biggest yet... with star-studded field of women golfers at Moonbrook Country Club on Monday, July 19.  That from Tournament Co-Chairman Peter Sullivan... who says their headliner will be World Hall of Fame golfer, Nancy Lopez.  Sullivan says he stays in contact with one of his best friends in college, Richard Smucker, who is head of the Smucker company... and, Lopez is one of their board members.  He says Smucker was able to get Lopez to take part in the event.  Sullivan adds that Smucker and his wife will also take part in the LINKS event... which begins at 11 a.m. with a shot-gun start... on July 19.  He says activities will begin with an event at the Jamestown Ice Arena on Sunday night, July 18... and then the tournament and youth event will take place the following day.  He says Lopez will also be part of a women's forum at Chautauqua Institution on Tuesday, July 20 with Stanford women's basketball coach, Tara Vanderveer.  Sullivan says they will be interviewed by Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Director Tory Irgang.  The LINKS Charity event has raised about $1.7-million for WCA Hospital -- now UPMC Chautauqua Hospital... for breast cancer care and treatment.

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., June 23, 2021

County celebrates no new COVID-19 cases over the past day...
For the first time in nearly a year... the Chautauqua County Health Department says no new cases of COVID-19 were reported Monday through the New York Electronic Clinical Laboratory Reporting System.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says "the last day that zero new cases were reported was August 14 of 2020.  This is an encouraging indicator that vaccination is working to stop the spread of this virus in our community.”  Schuyler says five cases of COVID-19 are currently active with a total of 24 people being monitored under isolation and quarantine orders.  Three people are hospitalized... and, no new deaths were reported.  She says there have been 9,291 total cases to date... and, 9,129 have now recovered.  The seven-day positivity rate in the county is now at .4%... lowering the county's level of transmission -- according to the CDC -- to low.  Late this morning... Governor Andrew Cuomo announced New York's State of Emergency, in place since the beginning of the pandemic, will end tomorrow.  


Some upsets in Chautauqua County primaries Tuesday...
There will be a different Republican on the ballot this November for Chautauqua County Legislature in District 18.  Former County Legislator Martin Proctor won yesterday's Primary over incumbant Bill Ward handily, 285 to 105.  In the other Jamestown-area race of note... incumbant Carroll Town Supervisor Russ Payne won his Republican primary over Laura Smith, 191-to-110.  Results are still unofficial at this time.  Among the others in the county... Democratic Legislator Christine Starks lost her primary to Susan Parker.


Sundquist says his administration has begun work on a "draft plan" to use the nearly $30-million from American Rescue Plan the city will receive...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist and his administration have begun work on a "draft plan" for the nearly $30-million in federal stimulus funding they are receiving from the American Rescue Plan.  Sundquist says they are moving ahead... even though they don't have all the guidelines from the U.S. Treasury Department yet.  He told the City Council Monday night they should have something to look at by early July.  Sundquist says he hopes to present that to both lawmakers, and the public in about two weeks.  So far... Sundquist says the city has received just over $14-million of those stimulus funds because Jamestown is an "entitlement community" that receives funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  He says he and other mayors across New York found out more about the funding during the state Conference of Mayors session in Albany.  Sundquist says they also found out they're going to have "some heavy reporting requirements" back to the federal government for that money.  While members of NYCOM were given a little more information about what the money can be used for... there are still a lot of questions that remain unanswered. 


Cattaraugus County woman pleads guilty to possession of methamphetamine...
A Cattaraugus County woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine with intent to sell.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. says 35 year-old Heidi Jankowiak of Franklinville entered the plea before District Judge Lawrence Vilardo in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Jankowiak was arrested during a traffic stop in the town of Salamanca back in late January... where she was the front seat passenger.  Police were notified there was meth inside the vehicle.  They later located Jankowiak's purse, and inside found a digital scale, two suboxone strips, two hypodermic needles, a large quantity of methamphetamine, and cocaine.  Kennedy says the charge carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5-million dollar fine.


Gas prices go up slightly in Jamestown area this week...
Gas prices in the Jamestown-area were up again over the past week... but, nationally... the average is going down.  The AAA East Central Gas Price Report says this week's local average is up nearly 2-cents a gallon, from just under $3.14... to $3.15 for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA says increasing gasoline stock levels have helped stabilize gas prices across the nation... and, the average is now down a penny to $3.07.  Data from the Energy Information Administration shows total gasoline stocks are now about 243-million barrels, which is a 9-million barrel surplus compared to the same week in June 2019.  Stock levels have increased in line with refinery utilization rates, which are at the highest rate since January 2020. 


Jackals in second-place, looking to lock up play-off spot this weekend...
The Jamestown Jackals have made it to this season's playoffs for 'The Basketball League'... which are set to start next week.  Team owner Kayla Crosby says there's one weekend left in the regular season, and Jamestown is in second place in its division.  Crosby says they will finish up the season about middle and late next week.  Pending the outcome of the final weekend... it appears Jamestown will be up against a team from South Carolina in the first round of the playoffs.   As with the rest of the 'home' games this season, the matches aren't scheduled to be played locally.  They are set for the Hagerty Center in Erie, Pa... as local arenas have been closed because of COVID-19.  Crosby would like to change that... noting that if anyone has the ability to open-up a gym... she'd love to hear from you.  She adds that while this 6th year of the Jackals has been the toughest, the team is the best she's ever put on the court.
 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., June 22, 2021

Jamestown looking to partner with state on free syringe drop-box program...
The city of Jamestown is looking at setting up drop-boxes in local parks and the riverwalk area for people to safely dispose of waste syringes.  City Council members heard a presentation from two representatives of Chautauqua 'Prevention Work's during last night's work session, who discussed a state-supported program to set up kiosks where people can throw out used needles.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says it was a problem in the city's parking ramps as well... until someone put a kiosk in one of them.  Sundquist says the ramp operators asked who put the boxes in, because it really helped eliminate that eyesore, and health hazzard.  During the opiod epidemic... the problem with waste syringes being strewn on the ground in many places has become a major problem.  'Prevention Works' Kari Huels says the kiosks are provided free from New York state... and, can be placed anywhere.  Huels adds they don't have to be monitored either.  She says one of the big reasons the city would be eligible for the program is it's considered to be in a "High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area."


Chautauqua County 4-H to hold 'UnFair' next month for meat animal sale...
In light of the COVID-19 related cancellation of next month's Chautauqua County Fair, 4-H has come up with an alternative event.  Four-H Community Educator Kate Ewer announced its 'tongue in cheek' name as the -- "UnFair" -- with 4-Hers having their animals and projects on display at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk from July 21-25.  Ewer says the 'UnFair' will allow projects to be judged and ranked in the usual way... over a tight two and-a-half day schedule.  Though subject to change, the current rules mean the general public will not be allowed on the fairgrounds.  Ewer says, though, their sale will be held on Saturday, July 24 starting at 12 Noon.  Buyers are asked to register in advance through Cornell Cooperative Extension, the sponsoring organization for Four-H.   Ewer says despite the challenges of the pandemic, participation has remained strong among 4-Hers and the volunteers that support them.


Only two COVID-19 cases reported in county from last weekend...
There were just two new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County this past weekend... with one of those in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  The Jamestown Public Schools say that one case was someone in the district.  This brings the local total since the pandemic began to 9,291.  Officials say seven of those are active... and, three are hospitalized.  They say 9,127 cases have now recovered... and, the infection rate remains 0.4%.


Primary Day arrives in Chautauqua County after light turn-out for early voting...
The Chautauqua County Board of Elections says there was a light turnout for the Early Voting for the upcoming Primary Day contests set for Tuesday.  Republican County Elections Commissioner Brian Abram says just over 300 people cast their ballots during Early Voting that ran from Saturday, June 12 through last Sunday.  He said it was kind of slow, but, not unexpected unless it's a presidential or statewide primary.  Abram says about 30 to 40 people per day participated in Early Voting, with the larger turnout occurring at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds' site in Dunkirk.  Voting also took place at the County Board of Elections in Mayville.  Primary Day voting hours today will run now to 9 p.m.


Chautauqua Institution provides $1-million grant for Jefferson Project's research and data collection on Chautauqua Lake...
Chautauqua Institution is providing a $1-million grant to a new research initiative that would help better forecast and mitigate water quality issues on Chautauqua Lake.  Chautauqua Vice-President of Campus Planning and Operations, John Shedd, says the grant will fund work this year by The Jefferson Project, which launched a partnership here last year to begin investigating how several factors impact the lake.  Shedd says they'll continue efforts to find out how water exchanges between the north and south basins... including weather, and water flows.  In addition... Institution President Michael Hill announced Monday that he has signed the new lake Memorandum of Understanding with several other lake stakeholder groups pledging to work towards a common goal.  Shedd says the Jefferson Project's efforts began Monday... and, will continue until October.  He says they expect work with the collaborative after that to work towards solutions.  Shedd says they hope The Jefferson Project... which began working out of Lake George... will be able to help them do three things... forecast when weeds and algal blooms will appear, and how to mitigate that. 


Dunkirk homicide victim's identity released...
The identity of the victim of a homicide that occurred on Route 5 in the town of Dunkirk on June 11 has been released.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt confirms that 41-year-old Andrew Garner of Dunkirk died as a result of a shooting incident.  Schmidt says the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Forensic Identification Unit are actively investigating the incident.

 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., June 21, 2021

Heavy Weather with gusty winds forecast for Chautauqua County this afternoon, but no tornadic activity...
Father's Day weekend saw some heavy weather across Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania... and, more could come later today.  But, Meteorologist Bob Hamilton of the National Weather Service in Buffalo says tornadoes are unlikely.  Hamilton says damaging straight-line winds are more likely anytime after lunch.  This is graduation week for high schools in the area, and Hamilton indicates things will be okay at midweek... perhaps not at the end, though.  He says there's the likelyhood of rain showers both Saturday and Sunday.  High temperatures will drop below average for Tuesday and Wednesday, before rebounding later in the week. 
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There was some storm damage from yesterday's round of severe storms in the region.  The National Weather Service reported a tree down on some power lines in the town of chautauqua, along with some quarter-inch hail in the Ripley and Chautauqua areas.


Borrello, Cruz push Cuomo to sign "Nourish NY" legislation...
Local State Senator George Borrello is urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign legislation that would make Nourish New York a permanent state program.  The Sunset Bay Republican says the measure cleared both legislative chambers without opposition... and, there's an overwhelming need for the program.  Borrello says the major difference between their legislation and the governor's is that he would have less control of the program.  Borrello traveled to New York City this past Thursday where he joined Queens Democrat Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, who was also a sponsor.  Both made the request of Cuomo to sign the measure. 


Jamestown annual Juneteenth celebration concludes Sunday afternoon...
Jamestown's Juneteenth Festival began Saturday with a tree planting and memorial to late city council member Vickye James... and ended Sunday with a gospel music festival.  City Councilwoman Regina Brackman, principal organizer of Juneteenth, looked back at the two days and felt it was an event of 'unity and community' along with a sense of love and admiration for Vickye James... as well as joy that Juneteenth is now a holiday.  Brackman adds the planning committee will soon get to work on the next Juneteenth in 2022.  President Joe Biden last week signed a law making Juneteenth a federal holiday. 


Juneteenth kicks off Saturday with tree dedication to Vickye James...
It was a poignent start Jamestown's annual Juneteenth Festival Saturday... that began with rememberances of a leader in the community... and, celebration that the day is now a holiday.  One of the festival's long-time organizers, late City Councilwoman Vickye James, was recognized by her successor, Regina Brackman.  Brackman says Vickye would be overjoyed to know that Juneteenth is now a national holiday.  A local student gave a brief history of Juneteenth... which was abbreviated from June 19, 1865.  That was two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation... freeing black slaves in the United States.  Three new trees were planted in Jackson-Taylor Park... where Juneteenth is held each year.  Parks Manager Dan Stone says his crews planted one of two trees they were initially going to plant.  He then found a "Legacy Maple" that would perfectly signify Vickye James' legacy to the festival.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist read a proclamation... marking Juneteenth Day in the city.


Quattrone expresses concerns over Jamestown's promotion of pot growing and manufacturing locations...
Chautauqua County's top law enforcement official says he has some concerns about a local municipality's recent initiative to attract cannabis growing and production businesses.  The city of Jamestown recently announced an initiative to attract those "factory" type businesses, following the legalization of adult-use marijuana in New York State.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone hopes that officials involved in the city's decision look at negative impacts in other states where marijuana is legal.  Quattrone says he is worried about crime rates around dispensaries... and, how cannabis is regulated.  He says how "well it's going to be regulated" will likely have a big impact in a number of areas.  Quattrone says many proponents of marijuana legalization look at studies based on "cannabis of yesterday" with a low THC content of 3-to-5-percent.  He says present-day marijuana has a THC concentration of about 17-to-20-percent... while the concentrate in marijuana edibles can range anywhere from 70-95-percent.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, though, made it clear that these were manufacturing facilities -- not dispensaries.


Jamestown woman arrested for trespassing during domestic incident...
A city woman faces criminal trespass and mischief charges after allegedly breaking into an ex-boyfiends residence on Jamestown's eastside late last week.  City police say they were called to the scene of a domestic incident about 8 p.m. last Friday... and, found that 29 year-old Chelsey Mee had damaged a side door to the home, and unlawfully entered the residence.  She was arrested on the trespass, and criminal mischief charges... and, was later charged with obstruction for refusing to cooperate with the booking process.  Mee was held pending arraignment.


One of NYS biggest car dealers, Billy Fuccillo, dies at age 65...
For close to four decades, Billy Fuccillo operated car dealerships in New York and would pitch buyers "yuuuuuuge-jahhh" savings in television and radio ads.  Fuccillo died last Thursday at age 65.  His longtime attorney Robert Scalione told the Albany Times Union that Fuccillo's health had been declining.  Based in Syracuse, Fuccillo Automotive Group was the largest privately owned dealership in the state at its peak.  His gregarious presence in television ads and creative ploys to sell cars meant he was well-known across the state. 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., June 18, 2021

Jamestown man arrested on domestic charges during drug raid on Vega St....
A city man is jailed following his arrest on domestic violence charges during a late morning drug raid yesterday on Jamestown's eastside.  Agents with the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 44 Vega Street about 11:45 a.m., with the help of the JPD SWAT Team.  Police say their search uncovered nearly 27 grams of Fentanyl... just over 38-grams of methamphetamine... scales, packaging materials, and money during the raid.  Officers say they arrested 35 year-old Eric Vangiesen... who was one of two men found inside the apartment... on a warrant for Felony Aggravated Family Offense, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree reckless endangerment, and others.  Charges are pending regarding the drug seizures.  The Metro Drug Task Force was assisted by both the JPD and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department K-9 units... and, the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in the city is asked to call the anonymous tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


Chautauqua County observes Elder Abuse Day... 
There was a sharp drop in the number of reported cases of elder abuse in Chautauqua County during the pandemic, but those dealing with the issue don't believe the problem is going away.  The Center for Elder Law and Justice along with the Chautauqua County Council on Elder Abuse hosted a news conference in Mayville on Thursday On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Attorney Nicole Parshall with the County Council on Elder Abuse says it's important to report elder abuse when its suspected.  She says this year's theme is "reach out -- speak out..." adding if you "see something -- say something."  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt was among the speakers.  He also urged people to reach out to older residents, even if they have a caregiver or provider.  Chautauqua County residents should call 716-753-4447 to report elder abuse.  County Executive P-J Wendel proclaimed Thursday World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Chautauqua County.  Assemblyman Andy Goodell and County Legislator Lisa Vanstrom were also among the speakers.


Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Chautauqua County Thursday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting another two new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in the county Thursday afternoon... and, no new deaths.  Health officials say the total has now reached 9,287 cases... and 9,121 have now recovered.  Officials say there are 9 active cases... and, two are hospitalized.  The infection rate remains at 0.4%.


City observes 40th straight year as "Tree City USA..."
The city of Jamestown has been recognized for the 40th consecutive year as a "Tree City USA..." and city leaders and residents celebrated by planting some trees in Allen Park.  Some youngsters got into the act with Parks Manager Dan Stone, and others in shoveling dirt around the trees so they were planted.  Stone presided over the annual Arbor Day program... delayed twice... once by the pandemic, and again due to weather.  He says they were planting four trees of the 10 they received funding for from the New York State Urban Forestry Council.  That grant was given because Jamesotwn is a "Tree City USA."  Mayor Eddie Sundquist read a proclamation... and, thanked Stone for his work to help keep up the city's Urban Forest.  In praising Stone... Sundquist recalled what he said while he interviewing to be Parks Manager following John Williams' retirement.  Stone said he wanted to keep taking care of the city's trees.  Stone also praised city leaders... past and present... for keeping the city's Urban Forest a priority for the past 40 years.


Light turn-out so far for early voting for primaries...
Early Voting in Chautauqua County continues through this Sunday... but, so far turnout has been light.  That's according to Marcia Merrins with the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters, who is also the poll site coordinator at the County Fairgrounds location in Dunkirk.  From last Saturday to the end of voting Wednesday, they only had 176 voters there... which Merrins called "very disappointing."  The other voting site is at the County Board of Elections Office in Mayville.  Merrins says there is still time for eligible voters to cast their ballots during Early Voting.  Hours today will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday they'll be open from Noon to 5.  Primary Day voting will take place next Tuesday, June 22 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  You can get more information about Early Voting at the Board of Elections website at chqgov.com.


Wallenda performs latest tight rope walk in Buffalo...
Daredevil Nik Wallenda safely completed a high-wire walk between two five-story buildings on a Buffalo college campus.  Wallenda shouted "What's up Buffalo!" Thursday afternoon as he walked across a 320-foot high wire to mark the opening of D'Youville College's Health Professions Hub.  Wallenda famously walked over nearby Niagara Falls on a wire in a live televised event in 2012.  Speaking over loudspeakers to a crowd below during his walk Thursday... he said Niagara Falls helped launch his career and that there will be "a piece of my heart in this area forever."

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., June 17, 2021

Inmate at Cattaraugus County Jail arrested in connection with other inmate's death...
An inmate at the Cattaraugus County Jail in Little Valley has been arrested in connection with the death of another inmate last month.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say 31 year-old Daniel Klein has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide... and, criminal possession and sale of a controlled substance.  Deputies say Klein is also charged with three counts of prooting prison contraband in the case.  The 36 year-old inmate, Franklin Chase of Olean, was found dead last May... and, Klein was arraigned, and returned to the Little Valley jail on $100,000 cash bail.


Wendel hails end of NYS COVID restrictions, but, still pushes for more vaccinations...
While New York State's vaccination rate reached 70-percent on Tuesday, most counties in Western New York remain under the statewide rate, including Chautauqua County.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says the county still has work to do when it comes to getting shots in arms... and, he says that push is continuing, and they are urging people who got their vaccine outside the area, or in another state, to contact their primary care provider, or the county itself.  Wendel says that he, and Public Health Director Christine Schuyler, believe there are more people in the county that are vaccinated than what the numbers show.  He's asking people who have received their vaccination elsewhere to contact the county.  Wendel says go on-line to cchealth@chqgov.com... and, follow the prompts to give your information.  The county's vaccination rate is 56.7 percent for residents 18 and older who have received at least one dose.


One new case of COVID reported in Chautauqua County at mid-day Wednesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting more good news on the county's COVID-19 infection numbers... as they continue downward.  Officials say there was only one new case reported over the past day, and there were no deaths.  The Health Department reports the new confirmed case was in Cassadaga... and, that brings the local total to 9,285.  There are currently 8 active cases... and, two remain hospitalized.  Health officials say 9,120 cases have now recovered... and, the infection rate is point-4 percent.


Sundquist says Jamestown is getting dozens of inquiries about locating cannibis growing, manufacturing sites...
More than 75 inquires have been made into potential cannibis growing or production facilities in old, vacant factory locations in the city of Jamestown.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist recently announced the city was "open for business" for that part of the state's legalization of the growing, producing and consumption of marijuana.  Sundquist says the city has a lot of advantages to those looking...including low-cost power, and plentiful water.  He says there are developers looking at many locations where they can be built.  While it appears that the actual, legal marijuana industry may not be fully up and running until 2022... Sundquist feels it's important to let developers know what's available.  He recently learned more about a new facility in an old factory in Erie, Pa.  He says the $50-million facility currently employs 200 people.  Sundquist is quick to point out that he is talking about manufacturing facilites... and, not dispenseries where recreational marijuana would be sold.  He says those are "highly-regulated" and the city will have a final say in what's done there.  Sundquist says they can't "opt out" of someone developing a manufacturing facility, though they can set basic ground rules for them.


Two Pa. residents arrested in French Creek on drug charges...
A man and woman from Montrose, Pennsylvania were arrested earlier this week after they were allegedly found in possession of illegal drugs in the town of French Creek.  Sheriff's deputies were called to an address on the Old Road about 4:30 p.m. Monday, and found 28 year-old Adam Mertins in possession of a quantity of "bath salts" and a hypodermic instrument.  Officers say they also found 29 year-old Moriah Hughes in possession of a quantity of Xanax.  Both people were issued appearance tickets for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument for French Creek Town Court.


Bethel Baptist Christian Academy to become Chautauqua Christian Academy...
Later today...  the school known as Bethel Baptist Christian Academy will become Chautauqua Christian Academy.   One of the school’s administrators, Ella Davis, says the change accurately reflects the academy’s broad-based support.  Davis says their student body and staff reflect 28 different churches in the area, so they are becoming more of a "community-based" school.  The change also means the school’s board will be drawn from the broader community not just a single church.  One member of the school board, Debbie Hotchkiss, says they are excited about the change, and believe the new name demonstrates they are both 'biblically-based' and 'non-denominational.'  The public is welcome to attend tonight’s ‘Dedication Celebration’ at 6:30 p.m. at the school on Hunt Road and also visit during an ‘Enrollment Event,’ set for 11 a.m to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 17.  Anyone who tours the school that day will get a free Weidner’s Chicken Barbeque scheduled for that same time.


Pa. disaster declaration ends...
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's administration has certified the results of the May primary election, bringing a formal end to the disaster emergency declaration that the Democrat first issued at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tuesday's certification formalizes the results of the May 18 primary election.  That's when voters approved Republican-backed constitutional amendments giving lawmakers broad new power over extending and ending disaster emergency declarations.  The Republican-controlled Legislature voted last week to end the disaster emergency declaration.
 

 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., June 16, 2021

Cuomo announces most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted after NYS reaches 70% vaccination rate...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says that 70-percent of adults in New York have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine... a threshold he said the state would celebrate by easing many of its remaining social distancing rules, and shooting off fireworks.  During an announcement that at times sounded more like a political pep rally... Cuomo announced Tuesday that... effective immediately... the state is lifting rules that had limited the size of gatherings and required some types of businesses to follow social distancing, or cleaning protocols.  He says commercial, recreational, social settings, manufacturing and retailing, for example, can all reopen as usual.  Some rules will remain in place... some of them are federal guidelines.  New Yorkers will continue to have to wear masks in schools and subways, for example.  About half of all 20-million residents in New York are fully-vaccinated.  On the same day Cuomo made the annoucement, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit the 600,000 people.


Borrello says elimination of COVID-19 restrictions is welcome news, but, adds it's overdue...
While it's welcome news... the governor's move to lift the remaining COVID restrictions on businesses and in public spaces – is "long overdue."  That from local State Senator George Borrello... who says "despite his attempt to position himself as a hero, this progress is a credit to the resilience and commitment of New Yorkers."  The Sunset Bay Republican adds that residents have "endured extraordinary challenges over the past 15 months, as well as the arbitrary edicts of a leader who has sought to use this crisis to his political advantage."  He says Cuomo also "still wields unilateral, decision-making power" because the legislature has failed to "reassert its constitutional duty."  Borrello has been among those calling for an end to those emergency powers.


Gerry man arrested for alleged assault...         
A man from Gerry faces a second-degree assault charge after an altercation during which he allegedly stabbed the other person with a sharp object.  Sheriff's deputies say they were called to the scene on Gerry-Ellington Road shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday on a report that someone was injured.  Officers investigated... and, say 29 year-old Douglas Woodard had struck the victim... who was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown for treatment.  Officers say Woodard was taken to the County Jail for centralized arraignment on one count of second-degree assault.


Sheriff's Office requests public help to find stolen ATV, and generator in town of Chautauqua...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding an all-terrain vehicle allegedly stolen from a location on Webber Road in the town of Chautauqua earlier this month.  Investigators say the burglary took place between June 2 and today.  Officers say someone entered a machinery building... and, took the 1996 Polaris 'Big Boss' 6x6 ATV was stolen... along with a Coleman 6500-watt generator.  The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with information regarding this incident or the whereabouts of the stolen property to contact the WeTip hotline.  That's 1-800-78-CRIME... or 1-800-782-7463.  The WeTip line offers a reward of up to $1,000.00 when the anonymous tip leads to an arrest and conviction.


Martz Observatory opens to public for first time since start of pandemic tonight...
The Martz-Kohl Observatory on Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg is once again open to the public. President Gary Nelson says they'll be there a couple of nights a week... with some changes.  Nelson says you must make reservations... and, they'll be open on Wednesdays, and Saturdays.  However, if you call to make a reservations, they will get back to you with what dates and times are available.  To do that, go to their website at martzobservatory.org.  In-person programming at the observatory will resume this evening at 7:30 p.m. and, Nelson says you must be vaccinated and have a "proof of vaccination." Tonight features Ted Wolfe, an astro-photographer, who will show a video of his telescope in northern Chile.  Sign-ups are through the website.  His program will also be presented on zoom.


Annual "Cents for St. Susan's" campaign underway...
The biggest fund-raiser for the Jamestown-area's largest soup kitchen is underway... and, more than 70 bright yellow canisters are out in the community.  The 22nd annual Cents for St. Susan's campaign is underway with a goal of raising at least $16,000 for the center located on Water Street.  Board of Public Utilities Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins is urging people with spare change to drop it in... along with bills, and checks made out to the St. Susan's Center.  Robbins says you can also send checks made out to St. Susan's Center to the BPU at P.O. Box 700.  In addition... Robbins says you can drop off redeemable cans and bottles at BPU Customer Service, Don's Car Wash in Lakewood, or the Southside Redemption Center in Jamestown... and, put proceeds towards the drive.  St. Susan's Director Bonnie Scott-Sleight says they need every penny they receive from the drive to help feed the less fortunate in the Jamestown-area.  Scott-Sleight says the money goes toward their operational expenses, and to help buy food.  St. Susan's handed out just over 120,000 meals last year during the pandemic, but, that included additional meals people were getting at their drive-thru window.  Scott-Sleight the center will reopen it's dining area in August.


  

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WJTN News Bulletin for Tues., June 15, 2021

(Bulletin)**NY lifts more COVID-19 rules as it hits vaccination mark...
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday afternoon that 70-percent of adults in New York have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, a threshold he said the state would celebrate by easing many of its remaining social distancing rules and shooting off fireworks.  Effective immediately, the state is lifting rules that had limited the size of gatherings and required some types of businesses to follow social distancing or cleaning protocols. Some rules will remain. New Yorkers will continue to have to wear masks in schools and subways, for example. About half of all 20 million residents in New York are fully vaccinated.  On the same day Cuomo made the annoucement, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit the 600,000
 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., June 15, 2021

City woman accused of robbery and stabbing...
A Jamestown woman faces robbery and assault charges after she allegedly stole money from another person and stabbed that person with a knife.  City police were called to a westside location late last week...and determined that 29 year-old Lee Perez had robbed, and intentionally stabbed the victim.  Officers arrested Perez without incident.  She was arraigned on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, and criminal mischief.


City man arrested on suspicion of burglary, giving police a false name...
A Jamestown man has been charged following a foot chase on the city's westside last weekend after he was suspected of being involved in a burglary.  Jamestown police say they spotted a man fitting the description of a suspect hiding behind a building on Monroe Street around midnight Saturday.  Officers say the man was wearing all black... and, was peeking from behind the building and acting suspicious.  Police tried to talk with the man... but, he ran off.  Officers caught 19 year-old Marcos Reyes after a short chase... and, he gave them several false names.  Police later identified him... and, he was arrested for false personation, and second-degree obstructing governmental administration. 


Cuomo says NYS on threshold of fully reopening at just under 70-percent vaccination...
Nearly 70-percent of New York's population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine... and, may finally reach that number this week.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said that once the state reaches that number, the state will "completely reopen" for business.  During a press conference at the State Fairgounds near Syracuse Monday... Cuomo said the state is now at 69.9-percent... and, that's great news because the state is doing better sooner than anyone thought.  He says there have now been more than 20-million total shots administered to New York residents.  Cuomo adds the focus now will be in those zip code areas that have vaccination rates of 38-percent or less.  Cuomo says the idea is to get as many shots in arms as possible to get the state fully reopened.


Cuomo also announces that the State Fair will be run at 100% capacity late this Summer...
The New York State Fair was to be held late this Summer with COVID-19 restrictions in place.  However... Governor Cuomo now says the fair will be open to 100-percent capacity this year, with very few restrictions. The Fair was not held last year due to the pandemic.  However... Cuomo says with the state's COVID numbers looking so much better than they were even a month ago... the fair will be open as usual... and, it's going to be the best yet with all of the improvements, and expansion on the fairgrounds.  Cuomo was the fairgrounds in the suburb of Geddes to make the announcement Monday.  He says the 18-day fair will run from Aug. 20 to Sept. 6.  Cuomo says they will also re-open many popular buildings with additional vendors.  In accordance with the State's evolving health guidelines... Cuomo says indoor spaces will be subject to capacity limits to allow attendees to be socially distanced within each building.


Chautauqua Mall owner files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy...
"Significant challenges" created by the COVID-19 pandemic has led the owner of the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  In a press release... Columbus, Ohio-based Washington Prime Group made the official filing late last Sunday... saying the move was "necessary."  Washington Prime secured $100-million in new funding to support its day-to-day operations so it can "continue in the ordinary course without interruption."  Chief Executive Officer Lou Conforti says "the company's financial restructuring will enable Washington Prime to right size its balance sheet, and position the company for success going forward.  During the financial restructuring, we will continue to work toward maximizing the value of our assets and our operating infrastructure."  Officials say shares of Washington Prime... which owns about 100 malls nationwide... plunged about 55-percent in early trading Monday.


County announces three new COVID cases Monday, and one new death...
There were three new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Chautauqua County the past weekend... along with one new death.  County health officials say that brings the total number of deaths so far to 157... while there have now been 9,282 total cases.  They say 10 cases are currently active... while only two people are hospitalized.  Officials say 9,115 people have now recovered... and, the infection rate is .5%.


Buffalo woman arrested after allegedly stealing an ambulance, and leading police on chase...
New York State Police say a Buffalo woman is facing charges after she allegedly drove a stolen ambulance into Irondequoit Bay near Rochester on Sunday.  Troopers say 32-year-old Vanessa Armstead has been charged with criminal possession of stolen property, criminal trespass and criminal mischief.  The ambulance was stolen from Utica, with a police pursuit covering nearly 100 miles. 


Wendel comments on passing of former Legislature Chairman Tom Harte...
A long-time educator and local elected official has passed away at the age of 92.  Lakewood's Tom Harte died at the Brookdale Assisted Living Center in Lakewood last Thursday.  Harte was a long-time teacher... retiring in 1985 from Jamestown High School.  He was first a Lakewood Village Trustee from 1972 to 1980... and, later served for 12 years on the county legislature beginning in 1980.  He was chairman of the legislature from 1984 to 1985.  County Executive P-J Wendel issued a statement Monday morning extending his thoughts and prayers to Harte's family.  The Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown is handling arrangements for Tom Harte.

 

 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., June 14, 2021

Retired long-time JHS Teacher, Lakewood Trustee, County Legislator Tom Harte passes at 92...
A long-time public servant and member of the Chautauqua County Legislature has passed away at the age of 92.  Lakewood's Tom Harte died at the Brookdale Assisted Living Center in Lakewood late last week.  Harte was a long-time teacher... retiring in 1985 from Jamestown High School.  He was a Lakewood Village Trustee... elected to the first of four-terms in 1972.  Harte later served for 12 years on the county legislature from 1980 to 1991.  He was chairman of the legislature from 1984 to 1985.  County Executive P-J Wendel issued a statement this morning extending his thoughts and prayers to Harte's family.  Wendel says  "I first met Harte in my youth and later had the opportunity to get to know him more when I became a county legislator in his district of Lakewood.  It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the loss of a great civic leader and public servant, who served our country, community and county with honor."  The Lind Funeral Home in Jamestown is handling arrangements for Tom Harte.


Missing juvenile in Jamestown found safe and sound Sunday...
Jamestown Police say a city teen has been found safe and sound after going missing for nearly a day last weekend.  Officers say 15 year-old Jaden Caraballo was last seen Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. in the area of North Main Street and West Third at the Jamestown Pride Event.  Police put out a bulletin Sunday morning... and, learned that Jaden was found safe and sound shortly before 1 pm Sunday.


City man arrested in Gerry on Leandra's Law violation...         
A Jamestown man faces a Leandra's Law violation... and, Felony driving while intoxicated charges after crashing the car he was driving early last weekend.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 380 in the town of Gerry just after 10 pm Friday for a reported accident.  Deputies say they found the driver... 32 year-old Julian Aponte, Sr... was driving while under the influence of alcohol.  They add there was also a child passenger in the vehicle, who was under the age of 16.  Aponte was arrested and charged with Felony DWI, DWI, endangering the welfare of a Child, and Moved from Lane Unsafely.  He was taken to the county jail pending Centralized Arraignment.


Zeldin visits Chautauqua County for first time as gubernatorial candidate...
It's been nearly two months since Congressman Lee Zeldin announced his candidacy for New York governor and he has criss-crossed the state.  He has made stops in all 62 counties... and, met with Chautauqua County Republicans in Mayville for the first time last Friday night.  The four-term Congressman from Long Island says he has heard from a lot of New Yorkers who have been hitting their "breaking point."  Zeldin says he's heard a lot of concern about rising costs of living, increasing taxes, and alleged corruption in Albany.  Zeldin hopes to pick up more support as he travels across the state.  He was pleased to receive the backing of Chautauqua County Executive, and fellow Republican, P-J Wendel.  Zeldin says he met Wendel during an event for county executives in Dutchess County in Eastern New York, and was impressed with what he saw.  He says this won't be the last time he visits Chautauqua County.  Zeldin says he plans to return to the county next month.


Jamestown's first-ever Pride Celebration kicks off with flag raising...
The ‘Pride Flag’ was raised on Tracy Plaza at City Hall Saturday morning, as the first event in Jamestown’s first ever Pride Festival.  The Coordinator of Jamestown Pride, Sheridan Smith, expressed the spirit of the day for the LGBTQ community.  Smith says they need the community to be with them and allow them to be "who they are."  Helen Walther, founder of the Southern Tier Trans Network, said one of the ongoing battles for ‘the community’ is fighting shame.  She says best way to fight that is stand up for who they are.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist also spoke, and proclaimed Jamestown a place open to all... and to stop the hate and bring understanding.


Jamestown Public Market opens Saturday with ribbon cutting...
The Jamestown Public Market officially opened in downtown Jamestown last Saturday with a large crowd, and in a new location.  The ribbon was cut by Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and Market Director Linnea Carlson on West Third Street at the corner of Cherry.  The market had previously been on Cherry.  Carlson says they're very excited about being on West Third now because it's more level, and there's more room.  Carlson says they also had a record number of vendors on Saturday... 28 in all.  The Jamestown Public Market will be open 10 am to 2 pm every Saturday now through the end of October.  For more information... go to Jamestown Public Market on Facebook.  


RTPI holds "chainsaw" ribbon cutting...
They called it a ‘ribbon cuting’… but it didn’t exactly sound like one at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute on Saturday.  Local Chainsaw artist Vince Liuzzo, slicing through a branch stretched across the opening of the nature trail that now features a half dozen of Liuzzo’s chainsaw sculptures.  Chief Executive Officer Arthur Pearson with the Peterson Institute, says the sculptures accomplish something that Roger Tory Peterson often did in his own work in combining art with nature.  Liuzzo’s new sculptures include a northern flicker, a snowy owl, a bald eagle and a spiny soft-shell turtle. 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., June 11, 2021

Arrest made in connection with vandalism, and threats against Reed and family... 
There's been an arrest made in last year's campaign headquarters vandalism and alleged family threat incidents against local Congressman Tom Reed.  Corning Police say 21 year-old Jack Kahabka of Watkins Glen was charged with making terrorist threats and third degree criminal mischief.  In a statement issued late last night... Reed said he and his family "are incredibly thankful that our family can rest easier knowing the person who threatened and intimidated us this past fall has been arrested.  We continue to be grateful for the remarkable efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe."  The Corning Republican also applauded the service of those dedicated people... adding "we also want to thank the people of our community for their support throughout this ordeal – our family appreciates it more than you know."  He says he hopes this starts the closure and healing process.


Gillibrand willing to wait for possible compromise, but, urges Biden to "go big on infrastructure bill...
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she supports President Biden's efforts to create a major infrastructure bill that will get support from both sides of the political aisle.  The first step towards that may have happened last night with the announcement of an agreement on a one-trillion dollar package by a bi-partisan group of 10 senators.  However... Gillibrand says they should still "go big" because there are hard infrastructure investments that need to be made to roads, bridges, and broadband.  In addition... the Democrat says there also needs to be what have been called "softer infrastructure" projects... including helping get schools fully reopened in the Fall, and child care.  She says it appears that's a bridge too far for many Republicans... and, she says that is a "half-hearted response."  If a final agreement can't be reached, she says Democrats should just do a "one-and-done" bill Gillibrand says the president has been looking at a $1.8-trillion measure that would deal with what Gillibrand considers essential.  The bi-partisan group of Senators say the measure adds $579-billion in new spending.  However... they say it would not require tax increases.


Borrello co-sponsors approved measure to reduce broadband barriers...
Local State Senator George Borrello praising passage of a Senate bill he co-sponsored to eliminate barriers faced by broadband service providers in getting service to underserved areas.  Borrello says the measure will ease both cost and operational obstacles faced by those providers.  The Sunset Bay Republican says "the prevalence of ‘internet deserts’ remains one of the biggest problems in our rural areas and it was an issue that was exacerbated by the pandemic, which made remote work and schooling essential."  Borrello says a key provision allows broadband providers seeking to install Internet service using utility poles in a given area to obtain one contract for all the poles in that city, town or village.  Currently, they currently have to get a contract for each individual pole. 


Findings of NRG Plant re-use study made public...
Officials with the of Dunkirk and Chautauqua County hosted a presentation this week on the key findings of the NRG Power Plant Feasibility Study.  A total of seven site re-use alternatives were explored during the year-long planning process, involving consultant Bergmann Associates.  Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Mark Geise says there were two preferred re-use concepts... one was a data center, and the other was an industrial use.  Geise says the county is now seeking a second grant through the federal government to develop proposed uses for the site.  He adds that would also be an Appalachin Regional Commission grant -- similar to the first.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says NRG's support is needed in repurposing the plant because the property is privately-owned by the utility company, and he says they need them to be "at the table."  Geise says NRG has been a willing partner in the process.


Four new COVID cases reported in County...
There were just four new, confirmed COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in Chautauqua County... and, again no new deaths.  The county Health Department says that brings the local total during the pandemic to 9,277.  Officials say only 19 cases are currently active, and only one is now hospitalized.  The infection rate remains 0.5%... and 9,102 cases have now recovered.


Trooper shot and wounded near Binghampton...
Police are searching for a man they say shot a state trooper during a welfare check in the Binghamton area.  State police say the trooper was shot in her lower body Wednesday night while working with Broome County sheriff's deputies checking on the welfare of a person in Colesville, about 12 miles east of Binghamton.  Police said the unidentified trooper's injuries were not life-threatening.  Police were searching for suspect Jason Johnson. They say the 34-year-old should be considered armed and dangerous.


State Senate passes new Absentee Ballot counting legislation...
New York election workers would have to start counting absentee ballots earlier under legislation that passed the state Senate Wednesday.  Lawmakers say the state could not handle another election like 2020, when delays, litigation and mistakes by election boards who faced a flood of absentee ballots led to confusion over election results in New York.  Boards of elections would have to start counting absentee, military and special ballots on a rolling basis as soon as they're received under the legislation. 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., June 10, 2021

City man arrested for attempted theft of bank deposit bags from Lake Savings Bank...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly trying to steal bank deposit bags last weekend from a drop box at the Lake Shore Savings Bank on East Fourth Street.  City Police say 34 year-old Dakota Kaltenbach was identified as one of the suspects from surveillance video last Saturday night.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says they also identified the woman seen in the video, and she was also found... but, does not face any charges.  Samuelson says Kaltenbach has been chaarged with Attempted Larceny and third-degree criminal tampering for allegedly trying to use a "sticky device" to try and pull depost bags from the drop box.  However... he and the woman fled the scene before they could get any of the bags.  The investigation into the other incidents that occurred at two other Jamestown banks earlier this Spring is continuing and charges in those incidents are expected. 


Sundquist confirms first payment of $14-million in American Rescue Plan funding to the city has been received...
The city of Jamestown has received it's first payment from the nearly $30-million the city is being awarded from the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist confirms that the city received it's first "traunch" from the allocation... just over $14-million, late last week.  However... Sundquist says it will remain in their bank account until they receive word from the federal government on what it can be used for.  He pledges that'll be a very public process.  Sundquist left for the Albany-area Wednesday for the start of the annual New York State Conference of Mayor's June session... where he and other mayors hope to receive more information on what the stimulus money can be used for.  Sundquist says they do know how soon the money has to be committed.  He says it can be used for various projects through 2024... and, the money has to be fully used by 2026.  The projects need to be related to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and shut-down. 


Two new COVID cases reported for second-straight day in county...
For the second-day in a row... the Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting just  two new confirmed cases of COVID-19... but no new deaths.  Officials say both cases were again in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, that brings the total so far to 9,273.  Health officials say only 20 cases are currently active, and four of those are hospitalized.  They report the infection rate is down slightly to 0.5%... and, 9,097 cases have now recovered.


North County man arrested for Cattaraugus Indian Reservation hostage-stand-off...
A man from northern Chautauqua County has been identified as the suspect in Tuesday's hostage situation on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation.  Chautauqua Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirmed late Wednesday that the suspect is 43-year-old Hiram Rivera, who was taken into custody by State Police on Rt. 438.  Quattrone says Rivera was being sought on warrants from his department in connection with a pair of incidents, including a home invasion that occurred at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday in the town of Stockton.  He says the warrants were for grand larceny, burglary, and strangulation.  Quattrone says Rivera led police on a pursuit that began in the Silver Creek area and later ended with a crash on Route 438 near Versailles-Plank Road.  He adds that there were two females in Rivera's vehicle, and they were taken to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Rivera, who has lived in Dunkirk and Silver Creek, is currently being held in the Chautauqua County Jail on the warrants from the Sheriff's Office and will be facing additional charges from State Police.


Gillibrand pushes for major increase in funding to combat Lyme Disease...
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for a major increase in federal funding to help prevent, diagnose, and treat tick-borne illnesses in the United States.  During a Zoom press conference Wednesday... Gillibrand said she is pushing to have about $62-million set aside... in all... to combat the huge increase in the number of tick-borne illnesses -- including Lyme Disease -- in recent years.  She says she's calling for $50-million to help the CDC with their efforts, and $12-million for the Department of Defense's research program.  Gillibrand adds that New York State has experienced an overwhelming increase of those tick-borne diseases with 92,577 cases of Lyme being reported over the last two decades.  Despite the high number of vector-borne diseases in New York and across the country... she says the federal investment in research and prevention for these diseases remains seriously low... at $191 per case. 


Tarp Skunks Home Opener is set for tonight...
After a week on the road, the Jamestown Tarp Skunks will have their first-ever home game Tonight at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park.  Head Coach Jordan Basile says the anticipation is building... but, says getting off to a 4-1 start on the road helps.  The team was scheduled to play at Niagara Falls last night... but, the game was rained out.  Basile was okay with that, as it’ll give the his players a little more time to be ready for Batavia in the home opener.  Left-handed pitcher Ryan Broderick will be on the mound for Jamestown for tonight's 7 p.m. start. 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., June 9, 2021

City police looking for two people in connection with attempted theft of bank deposits...
Jamestown police are on the look-out for a man and woman who allegedly tried to steal bank deposits from the Lake Shore Savings Bank on East Fourth Street last weekend.  Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the unidentified man and woman tried to retrieve the deposits with a "sticky trap device" from the overnight drop box in the early morning hours of last Saturday.  Samuelson says bank employees located the device when they opened Saturday morning... and, found the "sticky trap" stuck in the drop box, and none of the deposit bags were reported missing.  Police say there were two similar incidents earlier this spring at another city bank.  JPD Investigators are asking anyone with information on the identity of the suspects to contact the Jamestown Police at 483-7537 or via the Anonymous Tips Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  Police say all tips are kept confidential. 


Borrello sponsoring state Senate legislation to end governor's State of Emergency...
Republicans in both the state Assembly and Senate are pushing legislation to end the state of emergency declared in March 2020.  The GOP Conferences have proposed a joint resolution that would terminate the Governor Andrew Cuomo's declaration... and, return the state to pre-pandemic operations and guidelines.  Local State Senator George Borrello backs the effort and has sponsored the resolution in the Senate... and, he says that's the key to ending what he calls the governor's "authoratarian power."  With the state's improving COVID numbers... Borrello feels the state needs to get back to normal, and show it's ready to recover from the pandemic.  Since the start of the emergency, Republicans say Governor Cuomo has issued over 100 executive orders to impose protocols, restrictions and lockdown orders.


County reports two new COVID cases the past day and one new death...
There are two new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County over the past day... and, one new death.  The county's Health Department says there have now been 156 deaths during the pandemic... and, 9,271 total cases.  The two new cases were both in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  Officials say there are currently 18 active cases... and, four are now hospitalized.  The Health Department says the infection rate is now point-6 percent... and, 9,097 cases have now recovered.


City Council Housing Committee discusses zombie and vacant property situation with Housing Couirt still closed...
It may be a while yet before the problems caused by zombie and vacant and blighted homes in the city of Jamestown can be fully addressed.  That's because city Housing Court will remain closed until at least Fall... and, it may not reopen again until early 2022.  Members of the City Council's Housing Committee discussed the situation Monday night.  Committee Chairwoman Marie Carrubba says residents are frustrated because general upkeep, like cutting grass, has fallen by the wayside in many cases.  Carrubba says property owners are still on the hook for costs to the city to maintain those properties.  The city's Department of Development was recently able to got after about a dozen "zombie" properties in the city through what's called a 19-A Court action.  Under that... the city takes title to the property to get it cleaned up and rehabilitated, then sold to a new owner.  Council President Tony Dolce says the city's Housing Inspectors are doing their best... and, are still citing properties for code infractions.  However... he says it's been frustrating.  Housing Committee members were also reminded that the state's moratorium on evictions during the pandemic has been extended until Aug. 31.  


Gerry Rodeo is confirmed for August 4-7...
The Gerry Rodeo is definitely "on" for this August.  Rodeo spokesman, Paul Cooley, made the announcement Tuesday morning... adding that the Gerry Fire Department voted overwhelmingly to go ahead with the annual event Monday night.  Last year's rodeo was 'postponed' because of virus restrictions.  Cooley says they hope this year's show will be the best ever, even though they don't know exactly what COVID rules will be in place during the run... set for Aug. 4-7.  He says they're hoping all restrictions will be lifted by then, but, have also made contingency plans.  Cooley says they've added a new event this year, 'Cowgirl Breakaway Roping.'  He says it's a lot like the tie-down roping done by the male competitors, without dismounting from the horse.  Cooley says breakaway roping is the fastest growing event in the sport of rodeo, today.  Full information on the Gerry Rodeo can be found at Gerryrodeo.org.


Woman from Floriday arrested after alleged I-86 Road Rage incident...
A Florida woman has been arrested following an alleged road rage incident Monday on Interestate 86 in the town of Poland.  State Police in Jamestown say they got a call from the driver of the victim vehicle... who said both cars were eastbound, and had stopped near the Exit 14 off-ramp.  The victim told troopers that 27 year-old Angelina Medina-Ramos of Orlando got out of her vehicle, and approached the caller's car, and struck it with her hand.  Police say Medina-Ramos damaged the vehicle... and, was arrested for fourth-degree criminal mischief.  She was issued appearance tickets for Poland Town Court on a later date.
 


 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., June 8, 2021

Gerry Rodeo is a "go" for this August!...
The Gerry Rodeo is a definitely on for this August.  Rodeo spokesman, Paul Cooley, made the announcement this morning following a meeting of the Gerry Fire Department last night.  Cooley says the membership overwhelmingly voted to go ahead on the Rodeo Committee's recommendation.  Last year's rodeo was 'postponed' because of virus restrictions.  Cooley says they hope this year's show will be the best ever, even though they don't know exactly what COVID rules will be in place during the run... set for August 4-7.  By that point, he says they're hoping that all restrictions are lifted, but, he says they are making some contingency plans.  A new event will be added this year, 'Cowgirl Breakaway Roping.'  It's a lot like the tie-down roping done by the male competitors, without dismounting from the horse.  Cooley says breakaway roping is the fastest growing event in the sport of rodeo today.  For more information... go on-line to www.gerryrodeo.org.


Jamestown Fire Dept. unveils two new Pumper Trucks...
Two new Jamestown Fire Department pumper trucks were officially dedicated before being put into service this afternoon.  The new Engine-3 and Engine-4 were unveiled during a brief ceremony on West Second Street in front of the National Comedy Center Monday afternoon.  Deputy Fire Chief Matt Coon says the two 2020 Spartan Trucks cost just over one-million dollars... and, adds they feature new "clean cab" technology... which includes removable seat covers that help with clean-up, and new safety features.  Coon says the trucks also have shorter wheelbases to allow them to fit into any of the department's fire stations.  He adds each truck has a new Cummins Engine under the hood.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was also on hand for the dedication... and, noted this is the first time in many years the city has introduced two, new pumper trucks.  He expressed his appreciation to the department and it's employees for the work they've done to get the new trucks.  A handful of fire department members served on the committee that advanced and worked on the proposal... including Battalion Chiefs Cris Dahlgren and Roger Sigular.  The fire truck purchases were approved by the City Council two years ago when lawmakers approved the city's SMART Cities Infrastructure program.


City Council discusses issued with illegal fireworks, speeding, and riding lawn mowers on the streets...
The Fourth of July is nearly four-weeks away... but, illegal fireworks have already become a problem in many parts of the city of Jamestown.  The City Council discussed the matter during last night's work session.  Councilman Jeff Russell brought up the matter during the Public Safety Committee meeting... noting that city police have received a number of complaints.  Russell says it's time to look at putting more teeth into the City Code.  He says an arrest could be made for "habitual" problems, and the person could be jailed and made to post bail.  However... with bail reform, that can't be done... and, Russell would like to see stiffer fines or other penalties looked at.  Russell says shooting off large and loud fireworks bothers residents with PTSD... those who sleep at different hours... and pets.  In addition... people speeding, and some using riding lawnmowers as a "mode of transportation" to travel from one place to another on a city street.  Russell says there's certainly no problem going to a neighbor's to help cut their lawn.  As for speeders... one city officer told him about stopping two motorcyclists in the city for going 70 miles and hour in a 30 mph zone.  He says... in addition to speeding... such actions should also garner a reckless endangerment charge.   


City man gets year in County Jail for promoting prison contraband...
A Jamestown man has been sentenced to a year in the Chautauqua County Jail for attempting to promote prison contraband and petty larceny last year.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 22 year-old Bracken Warren received the sentence after pleading guilty to first-degree attempted promotion of prison contraband in County Court.  The incident occured in late May of 2020.


Cuomo clarifies mask policy in and outside of schools...
Governor Andrew Cuomo tried Monday to clarify New York state's position regarding masking wearing in public schools... saying they wanted more confirmity with recently announced Summer camp guidance.  That guidance says campers don't have to wear masks.  However... Cuomo says students in New York schools had to wear a mask all the time.  He says that's why Health Commissioner Howard Zucker wrote the CDC asking for guidance... and, whether mask wearing outside could be made optional for schools.  An A-P story last weekend noted the state was requesting the ability to make mask-wearing optional all the time.  Jamestown School Superindent Kevin Whitaker said -- as of Monday morning -- there had been no changes. 
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In addition... the governor says New York will lift more COVID-19 rules once 70-percent of adults have had at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.  That's a target Cuomo said Monday he hoped his state could reach in days.  Federal data shows about 68.7-percent of New York adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 


Eight new case of COVID-19 confirmed in county last weekend...
There were just eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past weekend in Chautauqua County... and the local infection rate is down to half-a-percent.  The county's Health Department reports the eight cases bring the total since the start of the pandemic to 9,269... and, 21 are currently active.  Officials add that four people are hospitalized.  There were no new deaths.  Officials say 9,093 cases have now recovered.


 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., June 7, 2021

No change in masks requirements in K-12 schools -- at least not yet...
The rules regarding masks in New York schools have not changed... at least not yet.  That from Jamestown School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker, during an interview on our Dennis Webster Show on WJTN this morning.  Dr. Whitaker says until they specifically direct schools in New York to do so, they still require masking.  Confusion arose over the weekend after New York's Health Director, Dr. Howard Zucker, sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control sking for clarification on mask requirements for schools and summer camps.  Zucker added an additional paragraph, saying that things may be changing regarding masking in public schools.  Late Monday... Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a slight modification in the school masking so it aligns with Summer camp mandates.  Cuomo says schools will now have the option to allow students to not have to wear masks when they're outside.  He says  masking, with appropriate breaks, remains in effect inside school buildings.


Wendel says County appears to be "turning the corner" on COVID-19...
Chautauqua County is reporting it's lowest COVID-19 infection rates since last August... with only 308 cases reported last month.  County Executive P-J Wendel says we do appear to have turned a corner... but, he's still urging residents who have not been vaccinated to do so.  With the lowest numbers of new cases since the early days of the pandemic... Wendel says life is getting back to normal.  He says he's encouraged by what he's seen in recent days.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler says "the decline in cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations is something to celebrate and a testament to all who have gotten vaccinated, and stayed strong and smart over the last 15 months.  Wendel adds they are now encouraging people who may have been vaccinated out-of-state and returned to the area to register that.  Because of that, he believes the vaccination numbers are lower than they should be.  At last word... the county has had nearly 54-thousand people get at least one dose of the COVID vaccine... which is about 48-percent of the population that's 12 years or older.  Wendel says they are still running a weekly clinic on Tuesday's at the Cassadaga Valley Central School bus garage.


Two injured, one seriously, in Kiantone car-motorcycle crash...
Two people were taken to regional hospitals... one was flown to a trauma center... after a car-motorcycle accident in the town of Kiantone.  Chautauqua County Fire Dispatchers say sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Route 62 shortly before Noon Sunday.  They say the motorcyclist was flown to the hospital... while one person in the car was taken to the hospital by ambulance.  No other details were available last night.


New Chautauqua County Dairy Princess named...
The Chautauqua County Dairy Princess program emerged from the pandemic Sunday at the Carlson Center, Lakeside Park, in Mayville.  And the new Dairy Princess, Lily Woodis of Dewittville, had the place shaking... literally.  Woodis says they took little tupperware containers filled with heavy, whipping cream... and "shook them" to make butter.  The three dozen or so people in attendance all vigorously shook their wrists for several minutes.  The new princess said it's something usually done with elementary school studdents, but, under the current circumstances, was quite appropriate.  Woodis says it was an exhausting program... but fun and exhausting.  Woodis, and the new Alternate Princess, Miranda Nickerson of the Clymer area, will spend the next year promoting the dairy industry across the area.


Good Spring for local crop growers lending optimism for Summer season...
It’s been a pretty good spring for farmers growing crops… at least so far.  Dan Steward, a consultant for Western New York Crop Management, says the weather broke just right in early May, and a lot of corn got planted within a three to four day period.  In addition, a pretty good mix of rain and heat left many farms with a good first cutting of alfalfa and grass for haylage.  As for pests, last week a farmer sent Steward a picture of some armyworm larva he’d taken off a mower. Field scouts haven't seen a lot of moth catches... as yet.  But, armyworm has the potential to damage many common crops.  One of the last major infestations of armyworm in Western New York occurred in a year similar to this one… a winter with a light snowpack, followed by a warm spring.


Jamestown woman faces 18 charges after allegedly forging Debit Card information to buy items...
A city woman faces 18 charges -- including several for grand larceny... and petty larceny... for allegedly forging debit cards to pay for items at the Lakewood WalMart Supercenter.  Lakewood-Busti Police say 31 year-old Kimberly Phanco of Hazzard Street was arrested last Saturday night with the help of Jamestown Police.  Officers say Phanco had been banned from Wal-Mart property following an incident there last October.  This time... she's accused of using stolen debit card information seven times to order merchandise between last April 28 and May 10.  Phanco was arrested after appearing at the store... and, faces seven counts of fourth-degree Grand Larceny, and four of petty larceny.  She also faces two counts each for second-degree forgery, and trespassing.  Phanco was sent to the county jail pending Centralized Arraignment.


 

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WJTN News Headlines Fri., June 4, 2021

City man pleads guilty to arson in porch fire last September...
A Jamestown man faces at least four-years in state prison after pleading guilty in Chautauqua County Court to third-degree arson for setting a porch at a westside home on fire.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt says 50 year-old Eric Goodlow entered the plea Thursday.  Jamestown police say city fire crews were called to the scene at 514 Monroe St. in the early morning hours of last September 2, and, found part of the porch on fire.  Crews put out the blaze quickly.  Police accused Goodlow of throwing two "incindiary devices" onto the porch.  No one was hurt in the incident.  Schmidt says the plea includes a promised sentence of not less than four-years in state prison.  Goodlow is to be sentenced this coming August.


Borrello supports fellow Senator's proposed incentive to get people back to work...
Another proposal has been made by a state legislator from Western New York to help lure workers who are collecting enhanced federal unemployment benefits back to the workplace.  Buffalo-area Republican State Senator Ed Rath has introduced a $1,200 incentive for people to return to work, and remain employed for at least four weeks.  Local Senator George Borrello says getting people back to work remains a priority.  Borrello adds he doesn't blame people for staying home and getting the benefit, but, adds it's time to get the economy "back in gear."  The Sunset Bay Republican says the measure is similar to one he recently introduced that would have New York opt out of the added $300 a week jobless benefit.  He says, though, that it's been frustrating trying to get his colleagues from the opposite side of the aisle to support these kinds of bills because many of them have remained in their home districts during the pandemic. 


Jamestown inducted into Babe Ruth International Hall of Fame...
Jamestown, New York has been unanimously elected into the Babe Ruth International Board of Directors Hall of Fame.  The announcement was made late Thursday by Babe Ruth International... which noted their "long and successful" relationship with the city began in August of 1979 when local Babe Ruth President Russ Diethrick received a telegram awarding Jamestown the first-ever 13 year-old World Series.  That led to what will soon be 18 World Series events that Jamestown has hosted.  Babe Ruth officials say the local committee soon created the "blueprint for other host cities to follow."  Babe Ruth League President and Chief Executive Officer Steven Tellefen says "Babe Ruth League's successful relationship with Jamestown is a tribute to the leadership and dedication of Russ Diethrick and the many more people like him in their community."  Jamestown joins more than 200 individuals and organizations that have been inducted into the Babe Ruth League, Incorporated, International Hall of Fame.


"Spread the Love" peanut butter food collection drive set for Saturday...
People in the Jamestown-area have the chance to help out the needy in Chautauqua County and the entire region by donating unopened peanut butter containers to FeedMore Western New York this weekend.  The second annual "Spread the Love" food collection will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood.  Meals on Wheels of the Jamestown-Area Executive Director Barrie Yochum... who is also a board member for FeedMore Western New York... says they hosted one of last year's collections... and collected the third-most food of the 10 locations involved.  Since most food drives were cancelled in 2020... Yochum says the effort went very well.  He says they're already collected three boxes of peanut butter from Meals on Wheels clients already.  Yochum says the FeedMore WNY "Spread the Love" peanut butter collection will take place Saturday in front of the JC Penny store at the Chautauqua Mall.  He says they are also accepting any non-perishable food item for the collection.  Yochum adds they'll also accept monitary donations.  Just make checks out to FeedMore WNY. 


Gas prices increase by one-penny a gallon this week in Jamestown-area...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area are up a penny a gallon this week to just under $3.06 for regular, unleaded fuel.  AAA East Central's Gas Price Report says the price was just over $3.04 a gallon leading into last weekend's Memorial Day Holiday.  AAA says most states saw no change in pump prices, or a decline on the week.  But, that may not last long.  For the week ending May 21.... demand jumped to 9.4 million barrels a day.  This is the highest reported number since March 2020... just before the pandemic.  In fact... AAA says gasoline supply and demand levels are looking more like typical summer numbers right now.  Demand has steadily jumped week-over-week since the end of April and supply has decreased.  The national average is now $3.04 a gallon.


Case number of COVID continue downward trend in Chautauqua County...
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County remains low... and, the infection rate continues to drop.  The county Health Department reports 6 new cases over the past day... bringing the local total to 9,257.  There are 25 active cases... and, four of those are hospitalized.  There were no near deaths.  The infection rate is now down to point-7-percent... and, the number of recovered cases is 9,077.

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News Headlines for Thurs., June 3, 2021

Jamestown announces appeal for commercial marijuana businesss to open in the city...
The city of Jamestown and it's Board of Public Utilities have announced an appeal to commercial marijuana businesses... highlighting Jamestown’s unique competitive and comparative advantages.  In a printed release... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says this includes, but is not limited to, cultivators, processors, co-operative licenses and incubator programs.  He says the city provides affordable power and water, multiple potential locations, and a "welcoming community with a capable workforce" for commercial grow operations to open facilities.  The announcement comes in the wake of the state's recent passage of legislation... allowing recreational cannabis use.  Sundquist says "I am excited to be among the first municipalities in the state of New York to welcome commercial growers to open up shop.  With some of the cheapest utility costs in the state, affordable facilities that range in size from small to massive, in a growing new market, we are uniquely positioned to be a hub for the growth of cannabis."  For more information... go on-line to Jamestownny.gov/cannabis and fill out the contact form... or call the city's Department of Development at 483-7541.


Conserve Water Order in place in Mayville...
The Chautauqua County Health Department has issued a mandatory water conservation order for all Village of Mayville water customers until further notice.  Health officials say the order is needed to ease the burden on Well #4, which is the only well currently in use.  They say... due to increased water usage.... and low water levels in Well #4, they and the village of Mayville... are ordering all customers to please limit their water usage by 50-percent to reduce the draw on the well until further notice.  This water conservation order will be in effect until a treatment system is installed on Well #1 to filter out PFNA... the contaminant that forced the village to shut down the well in December 2020.  The treatment system is expected to be operational by the end of July.  For more information... call the village Public Works Superintendent at 269-4801... or the county Health Department at 753-4481.


County Legislature approves new Chautauqua Lake MOU...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has unanimously approved the recently proposed Memorandum of Understanding for all entities that have a stake in Chautauqua Lake.  During it's recent monthly meeting in Mayville... lawmakers approved the MOU... crafted by County Executive P.J. Wendel and other county leaders.  Legislator Bill Ward... whose district includes Mayville and the town of Chautauqua... calls it a document of "hope and aspiration" because "there is more science at work than ever before."  While some of the 16 other entities being invited to approve the MOU have already... the Mayville Village Board and Chautauqua Town Boards have declined so far.  Wendel says the memorandum is simple in concept, and eliminates the 20-plus "tenets" that were part of the previous Memorandum of Agreement.


Gowanda School Bus driver arrested for operating bus under influence of drugs...
A Silver Creek woman is facing several charges, including driving under the influence of drugs, after she was pulled over while operating a school bus on Route 438 on the Seneca Nation territory Tuesday.  According to multiple media reports... the Erie County Sheriff's Office assisted Seneca Nation marshals who had stopped the bus -- being operated by 63-year-old Marianne Clayton -- after it reportedly swerved into oncoming traffic near Woodchuck Road.  Deputies say there were nine Gowanda Central School students on the bus at the time of the incident.  Clayton has been charged with three felony counts of aggravated DWI with a child in the vehicle, a misdemeanor count of DWI-Drugs, and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was later released to a sober third party.


Tarp Skunks season begins on the road tonight...
After two years of waiting… one to organize the team, and another for COVID-19... the Jamestown Tarp Skunks begin playing baseball today.  It’s the day Russ Diethrick… the man known as Mr. Baseball… has been waiting for.  Russ says this day represents a "high-water mark" for baseball in the city.  As with the old Jamestown Jammers, the Tarp Skunks will play in the ‘Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League’ under completely local ownership.  Diethrick is the President of Jamestown Community Baseball, LLC, a group of local investors who came together to sustain the franchise after it was donated to the city by the previous owner.  The Tarp Skunks open their season tonight at Niagara Falls.  Their home opener will be a week from tonight against Batavia.


COVID-19 cases in county fall to just 2 Wednesday with one death...
There are just two new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County over the past day... and, one new death.  However... all other indicators continue in the right direction.  The county's Health Department says there have now been 9,251 cases... but, only 24 are now active, and five are hospitalized.  They add the new death brings that total to 155 since the pandemic began.  The seven-day infection rate is now under 1-percent... at .09%.


Two city men sentenced in separate criminal contempt cases...           
Two Jamestown men have been sentenced in Chautauqua County Court to prison time for criminal contempt.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt's office reports that 30 year-old Nathaniel Hollins was given a one-and-a-half to three-year term Tuesday on a conviction of first-degree criminal contempt.  In addition... Schmidt says 31 year-old Nicholas Brown was also sentenced May 26 to one-and-a-half to three years in state prison after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal contempt.  He says those sentences will run concurrently.  Both cases were investigated by Jamestown police.

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News Headlines for Wed., June 2, 2021

Celoron firefighters confine fire to second-floor bedroom in duplex fire...
Quick work by firefighters helped contain fire damage to an upstairs bedroom inside a duplex in the village of Celoron this morning.  Celoron Fire Chief Jordan Bailey says crews were called to the scene at 19 Maple Street about 9:30 a.m., and saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the left-side apartment.  He says the blaze appeared electrical in nature.  Bailey says the Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team is on hand to determine a cause.  He says they called in extra manpower from Jamestown, Busti and Lakewood, and county Emergency Services, and, that helped them get the fire under control in just a few minutes.  Bailey says the blaze appeared to originate in one corner of the bedroom where the fire was contained.  He says all the occupants were out safely when crews arrived.  Firefighters were at the scene about an hour-and-a-half.


School bus driver arrested on Seneca Nation for allegedly driving school bus while under influence of drugs...
A Silver Creek woman is facing several charges, including driving under the influence of drugs, after she was pulled over while operating a school bus on Route 438 on the Seneca Nation territory Tuesday.  According to multiple media reports... the Erie County Sheriff's Office assisted Seneca Nation marshals who had stopped the bus -- being operated by 63-year-old Marianne Clayton -- after it reportedly swerved into oncoming traffic near Woodchuck Road.  Deputies say there were nine Gowanda Central School students on the bus at the time of the incident.  Clayton has been charged with three felony counts of aggravated DWI with a child in the vehicle, a misdemeanor count of DWI-Drugs, and seven counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was later released to a sober third party.


Police identify Creek Creek man killed in ATV accident...
A 25 year-old Cherry Creek man has now been identified as the man killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in the village early yesterday morning.  Sheriff's officers say they, and Cherry Creek firefighters, were called to a location on Main Street shortly after Midnight... and, determined the ATV was northbound on Main Street when Shayne Matteson lost control.  The vehicle then rolled over... and, Matteson was pronounced dead at the scene. 


North county man arrested on federal drug and firearms charges...
A Dunkirk man has been arrested on federal drug and firearms charges following a raid last weekend in the north county city.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 35 year-old Christopher Torres was charged by criminal complaint with possessing with intent to distribute cocaine, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. Prosecutors say last Sunday... Drug Enforcement Administation agents and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant of Torres' home on Eagle Street.  They add that investigators recovered a loaded UZI pistol, four other firearms, digital scales with suspected cocaine residue, several small bags of suspected cocaine and marijuana packaged for sale, among other items.  Kennedy says the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, and a maximum of life in prison.


Final preparations underway for 13 year-old BRWS in Jamestown...
Final preparations are underway for the 40th anniversary 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown this August... and, it's going to again be a community effort to pull it off.  That from Public Relations Division Chairwoman Kim Ecklund... who says they are still seeking sponsors to buy-out Diethrick Park each day during the series... which is set for August 14-- 21.  Ecklund says they can always use volunteers to help out in a number of ways, especially because some COVID protocals remain in place.  She says they are specifically seeking sponsors for three of days there are four games at Diethrick Park... that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  She says the title game is already sold out.  Ecklund says sponsorship for the four-game days costs $2,500 each.  She says they have to raise the approximately $200,000 to hold the series as well.  To get more information... call her at 664-0405.  You can also go to baberuthworldseries.org.


Former Warren, PA Congressman Bill Clinger dies at age 92...
A retired, long-time member of Congress from Warren County, Pennsylvania has died at the age of 92.  Representative Bill Clinger, Junior of Warren died this past Friday.  Wikipedia says Clinger was an officer in the U.S. Navy... and, was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1972... and ran for Congress against incumbant Joseph Ammerman in November of 1978.  He was a member of the House for nine terms... from 1979 to January of 1997.  He retired from Congress after seeing a rise in partisan politics.  Following his retirement... Clinger served as the chairman for the Chautauqua Institution's board of trustees... and became a senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University's Center for Advanced Governmental Studies. 


County reports only 12 New COVID-19 cases over Memorial Day weekend...
There are only 12 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 being reported in Chautauqua County over the long, Memorial Day Holiday Weekend.  The county's Health Department reports there are now 9,249 total cases that have been reported... and, there were just two each in Jamestown and Dunkirk.  Officials say there are currently 41 active cases... and, five of those are hospitalized.  They add there were no new deaths... and, 9,054 cases have now recovered.  The seven-day infection rate is 1.4-percent. 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., June 1, 2021

Man killed in overnight ATV accident in Cherry Creek...
A 25 year-old man has been killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in the village of Cherry Creek.  Sheriff's officers, and Cherry Creek fire crews were called to a location on Main Street shortly after Midnight this morning... and, determined the ATV was northbound on Main Street when the operator lost control.  The vehicle then rolled over... and, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.  More details when they're released.


City man faces drug charges after late week drug raid in Jamestown...
A Jamestown man faces drug-related charges after he was arrested during a raid at a northside home late last week.  City Police say members of the Jamestown Metro and Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant at 1007 North Main St., and, detained six people inside.  A search of one apartment led to the discovery of 30 grams of fentanyl... 30 grams of crack-cocaine... suboxone stripes... packaging materials and and digital scales.  One person, 49 year-old Christopher Howie, was arrested on a warrant for third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.  Charges are pending in this case as well.  The JPD and Sheriff's Department K-9 Units assisted at the scene... along with Ellicott Town Police and others.


Smaller, subdued Memorial Day services held across Jamestown-area...
For the second year in a row, there was no Memorial Day parade in Jamestown due to COVID-19 restrictions.  However, the United Veterans Council of Jamestown did hold a brief, traditional service at Soldiers Circle in Lakeview Cemetery.  The council’s secretary, Melodie Paladino, told the crowd of around 100 people the spirit of Memorial Day has not been lost in Jamestown... and, she thanked the community for their support over the past year due to the pandemic.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist and several members of the city council presented a wreath on behalf of the city.  In his brief remarks, Sundquist reflected on Soldiers Ciricle as a very special place where Jamestown residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice are laid to rest, and their service should be reflected on every day.


Blue Star Mothers service honoring Gold Star families all about remembering those who made ultimate sacrifice...
The solumnness of Memorial Day was emphasized over the past weekend during the Gold Star family rememberance at Jamestown's Veterans Memorial Park.  Former State Senator Cathy Young, who led the way in obtaining major funding for the park, was among those on hand for the eighth Gold Star Service.  She recalled helping World War-Two veteran Tony Costanzo of Jamestown, attend the 70th anniversary of D-Day several years ago... and, he later presented her with a vial of sand from Omaha Beach where so many servicemen lost their lives "in defense of freedom."  Several other dignitaries were on hand for the Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie Chapter 4's annual service last Saturday... including local Congressman Tom Reed, whose father was in the military for 20 years.  Reed talked about the faithfulness of the American soldier... and, their love of country.  The Keynote Speaker for this year's program was Holly Baker, the mother of late Army Sergeant Brian Baker, who was killed in Iraq.  Mrs. Baker is past-President, and current Vice-President, of the American Gold Star Mothers of New York state.  The Springville resident says this was a difficult weekend for them.


South Carolina man arrested for harassment in Ellington...
A man from South Carolina has been arrested for allegedly punching and chocking another man during an altercation in the town of Ellington last weekend.  Sheriff's officers were called to the undisclosed location just after 4 p.m. Sunday... and, found that 45 year-old Shawn Stoltz of Orangeburg punched the other person in the face.  Deputies also accuse Stoltz of obstructing the other person's breathing.  Stoltz was arrested and charged with second-degree harassment... and, criminal obstruction of breathing or Blood Circulation.  He was then taken to the county jail for centralized arraignment.


Borrello urges small business owners, landlords and renters to take advantage of COVID-19 assistance...
The region's New York State Senator is urging local small business owners, landlords and renters hurt by the state’s COVID-19 lockdown to apply for assistance through two programs.  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello says one is the state's new Small Business Recovery grant programm which has $800-milllion available... and, the state’s Rental Assistance Program includes up to $2.7-billion is available in emergency rental assistance for landlords and tenants.  Borrello says "small landlords, whose livelihoods depend on rental income, have been waiting for this day too long."  He adds that small businesses "are the cornerstone of our economy in New York..." and were "hit hard by the pandemic lockdown."  Applications for the rental assistance program will be accepted starting today -- June 1.  For more information... go on-line to otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance/.  Also... starting June 10, small businesses can apply for up to 50-thousand dollar in grants by visiting the state’s Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program at esd.ny.gov/pandemic-small-business-recovery-grant-program. 


State lifts COVID curfews on bars and restaurants...
Bars and restaurants no longer have to close at midnight across New York state. Its coronavirus curfew for indoor dining ended Monday.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last month that the restriction would be lifted.  With that, establishments can return to the closing times that their liquor licenses or other regulations allow.  A similar pandemic curfew for outdoor dining ended May 17.  Restaurateurs have been looking forward to the later hours as they try to recover from the shutdowns and other limitations on their business during the virus crisis. 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Sun., May 30, 2021

Blue Star Mothers resuming holding Gold Star Memorial Day ceremony...
The region's war dead were remembered during the eighth Gold Star family rememberance at Jamestown's Veterans Memorial Park this past Saturday... of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  In addition to the Pledge of Allegiance... the National Anthem was sung by those in attendance for the Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie Chapter 4's annual service last Saturday morning.  Several dignitaries were on hand... including former State Senator Cathy Young, who helped secure a major state grant to develop the park.  She focused on what Memorial Day is all about.  Young says the pain and loss "never goes away" for the families, and Memorial Day is "all about remembering, honoring, hope and healing."  The Keynote Speaker for this year's program was Holly Baker, the mother of late Army Sergeant Brian Baker, who was killed in Iraq.  Mrs. Baker is past-President, and current Vice-President, of the American Gold Star Mothers of New York state.  The Springville resident says this is a difficult weekend for them.  Several other elected officials from the region were on hand... including Congressman Tom Reed, State Senator George Borrello, Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel, and Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist.


Bemus Pt.-Stow Ferry back in operation after rededication...
The weather was harsh, but spirits were high Friday afternoon as the Bemus Point-Stow Ferry was officially re-dedicated.  It’s now crossing the narrows of Chautauqua Lake for the first time since it failed inspection in 2018.  One of the ferry’s Co-Presidents, Jay Kuntz, was grateful for the money raised and work done.  Kuntz says "never underestimate what a group of dedicated volunteers can do."  One of the board members, Mary Margaret Wagner…  who is also a ferry pilot… stood at the Stow landing, in driving wind and rain to give a blessing.  In addition to the $200,000 in work done to make it seaworthy, Jay Kuntz says there’s one other new addition to the ferry... a plaque honoring the late John Cheney.  Cheney, who was from the Bemus area, worked for decades to keep the ferry operating.  At noon Monday... there’ll be a special presentation from the middle of the lake for Memorial Day.  Following that the ferry will take passengers through 5 p.m.  The Bemus Point-Stow Ferry is set to run weekends through the summer.  The cost is just a donation.


JPS, and seven others successful in winning appeal in Small Cities lawsuit...
The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has unanimously reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed the Small Cities School District lawsuit against the state.  The Jamestown Public Schools... which is one of the the eight districts involved in the suit... issued a statement from the Small Cities organization this morning.  Officials say the case has now been sent back to the Trial Court "with the direction that the State of New York must craft an appropriate plan to remedy this situation, and such plan will be subject to further judicial review."  The districts... led initially by Jamestown... first sued the state 12 years ago... claiming that those district's "were not able to provide services such as guidance counselors, social workers, English language teachers, tutorial programs, and school buildings that their (at-risk) students required."  The Appellate Court agreed the eight districts need an additional, combined $1.1-billion in state aid.


Jamestown Babe Ruth WS Committee confirms 13 year-old World Series is a go...
It's official:  The 40th anniversary 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series is set for Jamestown's Diethrick Park this coming Aug. 14-21.  Public Relations Division Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says they are "proud" to be able to hold the event after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ecklund says this will be the 18th World Series that has been held in Jamestown since 1980.  At that time... Babe Ruth Baseball held it's first-ever 13 year-old series in Jamestown.  The Babe Ruth Board of Directors are in the process of finalizing all the plans for the event and will be looking for the help of the community. 


Ribbon cut on new business in Mayville involving Webb and Pucci families...
Two Chautauqua County families who have run long-time business have joined forces for create a new, and unique business in the former bowling alley at Webb's Captains Table in Mayville.  The ribbon was cut this afternoon on the new Webb's Captain's Table Cafe and Cottage by Pucci.  The Webb's had already been using some of the former Cottage Collection location on West Lake Road for a new carry-out service during the pandemic.  Owner Ben Webb says he had known Fredonia's Todd Schaffer -- who run's Pucci's Furniture in Fredonia -- for many years and discussing sharing that space.  Webb says they're worked "really well together" in making the new business work on a "handshake deal."  Shaffer's wife is the former Katie Pucci.  Her family started Pucci's Furniture 49 years ago.  Among the dignitarites on hand for the ribbon cutting and grand opening was Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel... who talked about the space being used.  It's the old bowling alley part of the Webb's complex. 

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WJTN Headlines for Fri., May 28, 2021

City man pleads guilty to federal drug and weapons charges...
A Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to federal drug and firearms charges after being arrested for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine from a home more than a year ago.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced Thursday that 36 year-old Richard Kinsey, Jr. entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  Prosecutors say in September of 2019, investigators raided a Newland Avenue home Kinsey shared with co-defendent Brandi Whitford.  During the search, three guns were recovered... and, a fourth was thrown from inside the home.  In addition, investigators recovered about 159 grams of methamphetamine... just over $12,000 in cash... ammunition, and drug paraphernalia.  Kinsey was later arrested on federal warrants in February of 2020 as he tried to flee a home on Hedges Avenue.  Investigators recovered a quantity of meth, a digital scale, paraphernalia, brass knuckles, and a loaded handgun.  Kennedy says the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison, and a maximum of life.


Sheriff says "Stop-DWI" campaign underway for Memorial Day Weekend...
With the holiday weekend approaching... Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone has announced the "STOP-DWI High Visibility Engagement Campaign" for Memorial Day and Weekend.  Quattrone says it get's underway Friday and will run through Tuesday, June 1.  He recently spoke about plans about a crackdown on impaired driving... and, says they'll have extra patrols and details out working with other local and state agencies.  AAA expects travel this Memorial Day weekend to be up 60-percent over last year.  Quattrone says it's important for motorists to keep safety in mind... by leaving your cell phone alone, and keep your speeds down.  He's also announced that the STOP-DWI Foundation has created a new mobile app, “Have A Plan” that is available as a free download for smart phones to help find safe rides home no matter where you may be celebrating.


The 40th anniversary 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series officially a go for this August in Jamestown...
It's official:  The 40th anniversary 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series is set for Jamestown's Diethrick Park this coming August 14-21.  Public Relations Division Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says they are "proud" to be able to hold the event after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ecklund says this will be the 18th World Series that has been held in Jamestown since 1980.  At that time... Babe Ruth Baseball held it's first-ever 13 year-old series in Jamestown.  The Babe Ruth Board of Directors are in the process of finalizing all the plans for the event.


County Legislature approved Young Hunters pilot program for 12 and 13 year-olds...
A local law allowing Chautauqua County to take part in a pilot program that allows for a 'youth deer hunting' program for 12 and 13 year-olds has been approved by the legislature.  Lawmakers voted 18-1 Wednesday night in favor of the proposal... which requires the youth to be licensed, and they must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or mentor while hunting.  Jamestown Republican Elizabeth Rankin believes the measure takes safety into full account.  District 14 Republican Dan Pavlock says he likes the law because it promotes family activity, safety and education.  District 16 Republican John Davis... a teacher himself... says he sees the importance of teaching safety -- especially to young hunters.  The new law is within provisions of New York's Enviromental Conservation Law... and, allows the young hunters to use a crossbow... rifle... shotgun or muzzle-loading rifle.  The only 'no' vote was cast by Jamestown Democrat Bob Whitney.


JHS will be able to hold two graduation ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution with up to 500 people attending...
The way has been cleared for Jamestown High School to have two graduation ceremonies at Chautauqua Institution next month.  Jamestown School Superintendent, Kevin Whitaker, says the district got the official word from the New York State Health Department in Albany late Wednesday.  Whitaker says they were approved for up to 500 people in the outdoor venue and they don't have to give their COVID vaccine or test status to attend.  The new rules... which apply to all Chautauqua County schools... also increase the indoor limit to 250 people.  Dr. Whitaker says JHS will actually hold two ceremonies on June 25th.  The district late Thursday said the ceremonies will be at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Up to 150 graduates will take part in each... and, they'll initially be able to invite three people to the ceremony.  Additional details will follow at the JHS graduation webpage... jpsny.org/2021.


Cook named as new Superintendent for Randolph Academy... 
The middle and high school principal for the Panama Central School District has been named as the new superintendent for the Randolph Academy Union Free School district.  The Randolph school board approved the appointment of Danielle Cook during this week's meeting.  School officials say Cook... whose career in education spans over 15 years... will begin her new duties on July 1st.  Cook has been principal at Panama since 2017... and prior to her current role, she served for three years as school psychologist for the Panama and Clymer Central School districts.

 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., May 27, 2021

JPS Superintendent says state has okayed moving ahead with graduation at the Chautauqua Amphitheater with 500 people for two ceremonies...
The way has been cleared for Jamestown High School to have commencement at Chautauqua Institution next month.  Jamestown School Superintendent, Dr. Kevin Whitaker, says the district got the official word from state Health Department in Albany late Wednesday.  Whitaker says those 500 people attending each ceremony would not have to provide proof of vaccination, nor a COVID-19 test.  He says that changes the situation "significantly."  The new rules which apply to all Chautauqua County schools also increase the indoor limit to 250 people.  JHS will have actually do the same graduation twice... on the same day.  He says the times will be announced, but, both will take place on Friday, June 25.  Additional details will follow at the JHS graduation web page... jpsny.org/2021.


Luz Torres approved unanimously by legislature as new Democratic Elections commissioner...
After several months of division within the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee... party members on the county legislature are supporting the committee's choice for elections commissioner.  The full legislature last nigth unanimously approved the appointment of Dunkirk's Luz Torres to the post.  Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Nazzaro says, while the caucus disagrees with a recent court ruling paving the way for Torres to be approved, they disagree with the process.  Nazzaro adds they feel it's "time to move on because there are other important issues, like beginning work on the 2022 budget, that need attention.  All five members of the Democratic Caucus spoke prior to the vote.  Fellow Jamestown lawmaker Bob Whitney echoed Nazzaro's sentiments.  Former Elections Commissioner Norm Green, who also chairs the county Democratic Committee, had forwarded Torres' name after a "weighted vote" of the committee.  However... several members balked at the process, and pushed for Loren Kent to be named.  The legislature went along with the move earlier this year.  But... a State Supreme Court Judge ruled that they had to approve the person approved by the committee.


Coleman sentenced to 30 Months in federal prison in drug case...
A Jamestown who was on parole is going back to prison after being convicted of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in early 2019.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. announced Wednesday that 28 year-old Shaquelle Coleman was sentenced in federal court in Buffalo to 30 months in federal prison.  Prosecutors say Coleman was arrested with another parolee, Earl Stone, in January of 2019 for violating terms of their parole.  Both men were found in an upstairs bedroom on West Seventh Street... where police seized $1,400 in cash... a quantity of suspected crack cocaine, a digital scale with white residue, and three cell phones.  Stone has already been sentenced to 32 months in prison.


Post pleads guilty to child pornography, and is indicted on child sexual abuse, and rape...
A man from northern Chautauqua County has been formally indicted by the county Grand Jury on a dozen Felony counts for sexually abusing several young girls.  In addition... federal authorities say 25 year-old Dustin Post has also pleaded guilty to several child pornography charges in connection with the case.  District Attorney Jason Schmidt announced the indictments during a Wednesday morning press conference in Mayville.  Schmidt says seven different children, ages 1 to 12, were allegedly involved.  He says the victims were mainly from the Fredonia and Silver Creek areas.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. of Buffalo was also at the press conference... and, says the investigation began in 2019 after the mother of an 8 year-old victim filed a complaint with State Police.  Kennedy says the child was interviewed... and, later Post was also interviewed and they seized a number of electronic devices.  Post pled guilty to five federal counts of production, and possession of child pornography for video taping several of the incidents, and posting them on the Internet.  When sentenced in October... Kennedy says Post faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison... a maximum of 50... and, a $250,000 fine.  He's currently jailed on $1-million cash bail.


City man arrested for violent domestic incident...
A Jamestown man is accused of holding a woman down on the ground, and choking her during a domestic violence incident on the city's westside Tuesday night.  City police were called to a Baker Street location about 8 p.m., and, learned that 34 year-old Steven Bates  held the unidentified woman on the ground -- by the neck -- making it difficult to breath.  Bates was also found inside the home... and, he was arrested after initially pulling away from officers.  He's charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second degree obstruction, and endangering the welfare of a child.  Bates was jailed pending arraignment.


Borrello applauds Assembly passage of Nourish NY program, urges Cuomo to sign it...
The New York State Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a companion bill to legislation that was approved by the State Senate in March that would establish the food-to-farm bank initiative -- Nourish New York -- as a permanent state program.  Senator George Borrello, who co-sponsored the Senate bill, says Nourish NY has quickly become a lifeline for food insecure New Yorkers, as well as struggling farmers.  Borrello says the program has helped more than 4,000 New York farms and provided New York-produced food to over 1.3-million households in need.  The Sunset Bay Republican added that "it was one of the silver linings of this crisis and the advocacy for its continuation has come from all corners." 

 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Wed., May 26, 2021

North county man pleds guilty to federal Child Porn charges, faces 24 local charges for allegedly raping seven young girls...
A north county man convicted on child pornography charges also faces life in prison for allegedly sexually abusing and raping seven young girls in the Fredonia and Silver Creek areas.  During a press conference in Mayville this morning... Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said 25 year-old Dustin Post was indicted by the county Grand Jury earlier this week on 24 Felony state and local charges.  He says they include 11 of predatory sexual assault against a child, 9 of first-degree criminal sexual act, and four of first-degree rape.  Schmidt says the victims were between the ages of 1 and 12... and, were all from the north county area.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior was also at the press conference... and, says the investigation began in 2019 after the mother of an 8 year-old victim filed a complaint with State Police.  Kennedy says the child was interviewed two days later, and detailed the encounters with Post.  He adds that Post pled guilty to five federal counts of production, and possession of child pornography for video taping several of the incidents, and posting them on the Internet.  When sentenced in October... Kennedy says Post faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison... a maximum of 50... and, a $250,000 fine.  He's currently jailed on $1-million cash bail.
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District Attorney Jason Schmidt says Post is going to trial locally in about six-months.  In the meantime... he says his office want's to hear from other alleged victims.  Schmidt says it's likely there may be more they are not aware of.  To contact the D-A's Office... call 753-4241.


City man arrested following violent Domestic Incident...
A Jamestown man is accused of holding a woman down on the ground, and choking her during a domestic violence incident on the city's westside last night.  City police were called to a Baker Street location about 8 p.m., and, learned that 34 year-old Steven Bates  held the unidentified woman on the ground -- by the neck -- making it difficult to breath.  Bates was also found inside the home... and, he was arrested after initially pulling away from officers.  He's charged with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, second degree obstruction, and endangering the welfare of a child.  Bates was jailed pending arraignment.


Two detained following drug raid on Jamestown home...
Jamestown police have detained two people after they were found during a drug raid at a northside home Monday afternoon.  City police say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided the home at 35 Stowe St. about 2:20 p.m., and, detained the two unidentified occupants.  They also found a quantity of Fentanyl, digital scales, packaging materials, and cash.  Officers say the investigation is continuing... and, charges are pending.  The Task Force was assisted by the JPD K-9 Unit... the county's K-9... Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force... Ellicott Town Police and the JPD SWAT Team.  Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in the city is urged to call the JPD Tip line at 483-8477.


Lakewood resident arrested for harassment, child endangerment...
A resident of the village of Lakewood has been arrested on charges of harassment and child endangerment stemming from the alleged assault of a 14 year-old back on May 1.  Lakewood-Busti Police were called to the scene in the village... and, found the incident was captured on a property owner's Ring Door camera system.  Officers recently obtained an arrest warrant for 52 year-old Karan Chopra, who was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.  Police were assisted by the Chautauqua County Child Protective Services, and the Child Advocacy Program of Chautauqua County.


Teenager shot and killed during incident near Governor's Mansion in Albany...
Police say a 15-year-old girl was fatally shot in Albany after a group meeting arranged on social media ended with a confrontation.  Police say Destiny Greene of Latham was at the meeting in the area of Wilbur Street at about 9:30 p.m. Monday with two adults and another minor.  Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins says some kind of confrontation broke out between Greene's group and two or three young men.  Shortly after shots were fired, a staff member at Albany Memorial Hospital told police Greene had been brought to the emergency room... but, later died at the hospital.


County Health Dept. reports 20 new COVID-19 cases and one new death...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 20 new confirmed cases of COVID-19... and, one new death.  Officials say a spike of 14 cases in the Mayville area fueled the increase.  They say there have now been a total of 9,222 cases... and, the one death brings that number to 154.  Officials add that 9,005 cases have now recovered.  In addition... 63 cases are currently active, and three of those are hospitalized.  The infection rate is now 1.1-percent.


Long-time SUNY Fredona coach and administrator Patrick Damore passes at age 90...
While he was a long-time Fredonia State athletics coach, administrator and former conference commissioner, Dr. Patrick Damore also played a big role in village government in Fredonia.  Dr. Damore passed away last Sunday at the age of 90.  Fredonia Mayor Doug Essek was asked about Damore's contribution to the community-at-large, including his tenure on the village board  Essek says it's very sad to hear about his passing.  He says Damore also worked a lot with their Recreation Dept. as well.  Essek says he was also devoted to keeping the village trolley on the road. 


 

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., May 25, 2021

City announces legal action beginning against 12 Zombie properties...
The city of Jamestown is taking legal action to take title to about one-dozen abandoned or Zombie properties so they can be fixed, and sold to new owners.  The announcement was made this morning by Mayor Eddie Sundquist in front of an long-abandoned home on Catlin Ave. on the westside.... calling it a "more aggressive and proactive approach" to the issue.  Efforts to deal with Zombie properties that are in the foreclosure process -- and abandoned by banks -- began under former Mayor Sam Teresi's administration.  However... Sundquist says they have been working with community partners to file what are called "19-A" lawsuits in State Supreme Court.  He says they've also filed New York State Zombie property actions to bring back homes abandoned by banks.  The property at 18 Catlin Ave. is among those properties that legal action has been taken on by Associate Corporation Counsel Ben Haskins.  Sundquist and Development Director Crystal Surdyk says federal money has been made available to acquire the properties, and make needed repairs, and sell them to them to new owners.  


Jamestown City Council holds first public, 'in-person' voting session in 15 months...
The Jamestown City Council met -- in person and in public -- for the first time in 15 months for last night's monthly voting session.  The decision was made after the state guidelines allowed for vaccinated people to be in public togther.  Council President Tony Dolce reminded lawmakers the late time they met -- in public -- was in late February of last year.  Since then... council most often met via Zoom... which Dolce says created some issues with people getting "frozen" on screen, or forgetting to unmute themselves.  He says the in-person meetings go "so much smoother."  Dolce also expressed his appreciation for everyone at City Hall's efforts during the pandemic. 


City lawmakers approve home rule legislation to move School Speed Limit Zone program forward...
Jamestown lawmakers have approved the next step in getting home rule legislation that would allow the city to put up electronic speed zone monitoring in school zones.  The City Council okayed the measure, authorizing Mayor Eddie Sundquist to formally request the legislature, during last night's voting session.  It now goes to State Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell to formalize the legislation.  Council President Tony Dolce says this will free up city police for other duties... when they are needed.  Once the state finalizes the language... it will be returned to the city for final approval.  Resident Doug Champ spoke on the issue... and urged lawmakers to look closer at Buffalo Street... where Washington Middle and Ring Elementary Schools are near each other, and the speed limit changes.  He says you go from a 30... to a 20... a 25... and another 20.  Champ also called on the city to start cracking down on run-down homes in school zones, because they can be a danger to school kids as well.


County reports 19 new COVID-19 cases last weekend...
The COVID-19 infection rate in Chautauqua County continues to drop... with only 19 new cases over the past weekend reported.  The county's Department of Health reports the most cases -- five -- were reported in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  Officials say there have now been 9,202 total cases during the pandemic... and, 68 are currently active.  The number of people hospitalized is down to three... and, the number of recovered cases is now 8,981. 


Cuomo unveils "Shot in the Park" incentive for residents to get COVID vaccinations...
Users of the New York state park system have a special opportunity this week to get a free pass to any of New York's 16 parks.  The free pass is the latest incentive being offered by Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration to get residents to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  Cuomo was at Jones Beach on Long Island Monday morning to announce what he called a "Shot in the Park."  He says you can even go to one of the parks themselves this week, and get a shot at a vaccine center there.  Cuomo adds that if a resident gets a shot anywhere this week... they will receive a two-day, family pass for any of the state parks.


NYSUT supports Cuomo's call for 5 day a week school beginning in the Fall...
With the announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo about schools reopening this Fall for in person instruction five-days a week... the state's largest teachers union is voicing it's support.  New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta issued the following statement Monday: “Educators know that being in person is the best way for students to learn and for teachers to teach. We support offering full-time in-person instruction five days a week and await formal guidance for the fall on how districts, working with educators and parents, should craft their plans to bring all students back to the classroom.” 


Wendel says county now working on plan to use nearly $25-million in American Rescue Plan funds...
Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel says the county is now working on a plan on how to utilize funding from the American Rescue Plan.  The county is slated to receive about $24.6 million, according to a major announcement made by the U.S. Treasury Department earlier this month.  Wendel says he has two teams reviewing the information, and making a determination on where the funding should go.  He says the COVID Finance Team, and a special Rescue Plan panel are both looking at it. 

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., May 24, 2021

Investigation continues into blaze that destroyed home in the town of Poland...
The investigation is continuing into an early Saturday morning fire that destroyed a home in the town of Poland.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene at 615 Eccles Rd. shortly after 2 a.m., and found heavy fire in the front of the home.  They were joined at the scene by crews from Falconer, Frewsburg, Kiantone, Randolph and Ellington in battling the flames... which soon after fully-engulfed the house.  The family living there got out safely. 


Five arrested in Cattaraugus County drug bust Saturday...
Five people -- one from Chautauqua County -- were arrested last weekend during a raid at a home in the Cattaraugus County Town of Machias.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley say they and members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at 3506 Roszyk Road about 10 a.m. last Saturday.  Deputies say they found 1.25-ounces of crystal methamphetamine, suboxone, scales, packaging materials and paraphernalia.  The five people... 25 year-old Brian McGonagle of Cherry Creek, 25 year-old Vincent Schaub of Arcade, 32 year-old Samuel McCaslin of Machias, 23 year-old Meghan Kulczyk of Franklinville, and 23 year-old Brandon Bain of Cattaraugus, are charged with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substane with intent to sell.  McGonagale was later taken to the Salamanca Police Department on a bench warrant.  The others were issued appearance tickets for a later date.


The Gerry Rodeo appears to be a "go" for this August...
The full Gerry Fire Department membership will make the final decision in early June... but, it appears the annual Gerry Rodeo is a "go" this coming August.  Spokeman Paul Cooley says the rodeo committee has been meeting regularly and concluded they can pull it off.  Cooley says they don't see any reason not to do it.  If current regulations remain in place... he says there will be some changes in the arena at Gerry for the four nights, Wednesday, August 4--7.  Cooley says they will have to have full sections for people who are vaccinated, and another for unvaccinated.  He adds there may be some changes to the presentation of the rodeo's beef barbeque... depending on what restrictions are in place in August.  Last year's rodeo had to be postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.


JPS working towards reopending, and allowing more people for graduation...
Three groups of community members are working on ways the Jamestown Public Schools can fully-reopen safely... possibly later this Spring -- but, more likely next Fall.  School Superintendent Kevin Whitaker says the three subcommittees -- which include between 45 and 50 community members -- have been working about a month on the matter.  Dr. Whitaker says it's been challenging work... especially for the parents who are part of them.  He says they've been surprised to see the regulations, and the added difficulty larger districts have in meeting them.  Whitaker says the big challenge right now is looking for a way to have an outdoor graduation ceremony that allows more than what current restrictions include.  Currently... the state is only allowing 200 people can gather outdoors, and 100 people indoors.  Beyond that... all attendees would have to show proof of vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test.  Whitaker says the district has written to the state Department of Health to allow what sporting events are allowed to have.  Those activites can have up to 500 unvaccinated or untested spectators outside and 250 unvaccinated or untested spectators inside. 


Bemus Pt.-Stow Ferry repairs completed, operations to resume this Friday...
After three years out of operation... and over $200,000 in repairs... the Bemus-Point Stow Ferry will be running again, starting Memorial Day weekend.  Jay Kuntz, one of the Co-Presidents of the organization that operates the ferry, says his group feels a deep sense of fulfillment... in reaching this point.  In the spring of 2018, state inspectors determined the ferry was not seaworthy, and work began immediately to get it back in shape, culminating with major hull repairs last year while in drydock at Stow.  At 4 p.m. Friday afternoon on the Stow side, there'll be a re-dedication with a ribbon cutting, and flag raising.  The ferry will take passengers until 9 p.m. on Friday... and then 11 to 9 Saturday and Sunday... Noon to 5 on Monday.  There's no set charge to ride from one side to the other, but donations are gratefully accepted, as there's still over $20,000 to pay off from the rehabilitation.  A chicken barbeque will be held noontime Sunday on the Stow side, and a Memorial Day Tribute from the center of the lake at will occur at noon on Monday.  More information on the schedule is available at bemuspointstowferry.org.


Movie about Stateline Speedway's winningest Late Model racer premier's Sunday night...
The movie showcasing the career of Ashville's Dick Barton, the winningest super late model driver in the history of Stateline Speedway, had its premiere outside the National Comedy Center last night.  Over 150 fans and friends gathered for the unique showing on the Comedy Center's big screens.  Dick Barton was fine with it, so long as his whole team got the recognition.  Well-known local attorney and interviewer, Greg Peterson, did all the interviewing for the two-and-a-half hour film. He says there is something special about how Barton managed the car, and the people behind it.  'TEAM: The Dick Barton Story' is a production of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame and are available for purchase at the Hall of Fame.  

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2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-05 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 2013-05 | 2013-04 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 1969-12