Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for July 2. 2020

A Jamestown woman was charged with three-counts of reckless endangerment for allegedly trying to run a woman over during an overnight domestic dispute. City police were called to the area of Bush and Bowen Streets shortly after 1 AM .... and, stopped the suspect red sedan that was trying to flee the scene. Officers identified the driver as 27 year-old Samantha Gonzalez, who was found to be intoxicated. Further investigation revealed Gonzalez struck two other vehicles with her sedan during the fight. She was taken into custody on additional charges of DWI... endangering the welfare of a child... two-counts of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident and failure to stop at a stop sign. City police also arrested 33 year-old James Jackson, of Buffalo, for third-degree assault for allegedly striking a female victim. Both are being held pending arraignment. 

There were no positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Chautauqua County over the past day, which means the number of cases remains at 131. That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says there are 6 active cases recovering under orders of the Public Health Director. Wendel adds 117 people are under quarantine or isolation orders and are being monitored. Additionally.... 15,062 negative test results were reported yesterday. 

Flames triggered by a small grease fire in an exhaust duct extensively damaged a restaurant located on Route 20 in the town of Westfield yesterday afternoon.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department dispatchers say Westfield fire crews were called to "KISS Barbecue" -- at the intersection with McKinley Road -- about 1 PM.  Dispatchers say mutual aid was called in from Portland, Hartfield, Mayville, Brocton, Ripley, Sherman, and Ellery Center.  No injuries were reported.  The county's Fire InvestigationTeam found the grease fire spread to combustibles in the building... which was being renovated.  Officials says Route 20 between Felton and Prospect Roads was closed while crews battled the blaze.

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown will reopen for the first time since the coronavirus shut-down this coming Friday... the day before the Fourth of July.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says they'll be opening back up to the public as part of New York State's Phase-Four reopening.  She says... to abide by state health protocols... they'll be limiting attendance at any one time.
Gunderson says they have been consulting with epidemiologists at UPMC in Pittsburgh and Jamestown on the best way to clean, and keep people safe.  She says they have eliminated the use of "touch screens" inside the comedy center... but, you should be able to still get the full experience they hope for.  Gunderson says both staff and visitors will have to wear masks, and have their temperature taken when they come inside.  In addition... she says the Lucy-Desi Museum at Third and Main Streets will also reopen Friday.  Gunderson says they'll conclude training staff today.

The head of the National Comedy Center says they are saddened by the death of a true, all-time comedy legend in Carl Reiner.  Reiner died late Monday of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, Califonia at the age of 98.  Center Director Journey Gunderson says he became a big supporter of the Center project four years ago due to it's dedication to preserving, and high-lighting the art of comedy.  She adds that grew into his decision to leave all of his script archives from the "Dick Van Dyke Show" with the center.

Reiner created the "Dick Van Dyke Show" in the 1960s.  He was also the "straight man" to Mel Brooks' ``2000 Year Old Man.'' One of show business' best-liked men, the tall, bald Reiner was a welcome face on the small and silver screens.

Two Chautauqua County parks... Erlandson Overlook near Frewsburg and Luensman Overlook in Portland... remain closed.  The county's Director of Public Facilities, Brad Bentley, says there are two reasons: the need to keep crowds down, and budgetary issues.  Bentley adds the situation will be reviewed later this month, but even when the parks do reopen, operations will be different... gazebos reservations will NOT be taken, and the restrooms may not be open, because of the need for constant cleaning.  Bentley says while the gates to the overlooks are locked, and there is no regular maintenance, people could still hike into them.   Chautauqua County's trails... including the Overland and Waterway trails ARE open. 

As part of the Phase-Four reopening in Western New York... the Robert H. Jackson Center in downtown Jamestown is preparing to open its doors again.  Kristan McMahon, the center's President, says they'll once again offer tours -- beginning next week -- with some restrictions on July 6th... but, tour groups will be small, and include members of the same family.  McMahon says it's best to schedule those tours in advance.  The docents will be back... using small portable sound systems in order to maintain appropriate social distance. 

The Fourth of July Holiday period will be marked by exceptionally good weather across Western New York.  That from Forecaster Heather Kenyon with the National Weather Service in Buffalo... who says a high pressure system is locked in over the area.
Kenyon says a "stubborn low pressure" system over New England has interrupted the usual west to east flow of systems.  One downside, is the absence of any rain over most of the next week... with only some isolated storms predicted for next Monday.  Kenyon says the chance of rain may increase later in the coming week.  Daytime highs will gradually rise to close to 90 by the 4th of July weekend.  

A Level-Three sex offender faces felony charges for allegedly failing to report a personal Facebook account to either the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office or the state Sex Offender Registry.  Sheriff's Officers say they received information Tuesday morning that 60 year-old Michael Partyka allegedly used the social media account to communicate with the caller.  Officers say Partyka was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.