TERRY FRANK

EMAIL

NOEL BLACKHALL

EMAIL

DENNIS WEBSTER

EMAIL

 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (BUFFALO) (STATE COLLEGE)   |  WGRZ-TV BUFFALO

Local News Headlines Archives for 2020-08

WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 10, 2020

A city man has reportedly been killed in a single-car accident on the eastbound on-ramp of Interstate 86 just north of Jamestown.  State Police in Jamestown confirm a passing motorist spotted lights off the road about 5 AM off of North Main Street Extension.  Troopers say they found a smaller sedan on it's side... after going down an embankment.  Police say they found the driver -- and lone occupant -- 40 year-old Jeffrey Baker -- dead inside.  Troopers say Baker apparently got onto the on-ramp at a high rate of speed when the car left the road and traveled down the embankment.  Fire crews from Fluvanna and Falconer were called in along with the county's EMS.  A coroner was later called to the scene.


A man from Westfield has been accused of driving recklessly... and, almost running another vehicle off the road... on Route 20 late last week.  Sheriff's Deputies and Westfield Police were called to the scene in the town of Westfield just after 1 PM Thursday... and their investigation showed that 60 year-old Raymond Near was the driver involved.  Near was stopped... and, charged with second-degree menacing... two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a child... and, reckless driving.  He was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.

One of the most contentious... and important parts of the proposed COVID-19 Relief bill is funding for local and state governments who have seen increased health-related costs, and serious losses of revenue.  New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand believes that... if that can be resolved... a new bill could be agreed upon shortly.  President Trump signed four executive orders last weekend to provide relief to Americans... but, none addressed the local government issue.  Gillibrand says -- if that funding is not provided -- major cuts would have to be made to important services.

Gillibrand made her comments last Friday at Feedmore Western New York's Falconer distribution Center while announcing a proposed expansion and extentions of Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program and Pandemic EBT benefits.  The president bypassed the nation's lawmakers as he claimed the authority to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.  Trump's orders on Saturday encroached on Congress' control of federal spending and seemed likely to be met with legal challenges.

A Silver Creek man has been arrested after a lengthy investigation for allegedly manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine in the north county village.  Sheriff's Deputies say members of the Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force made several controlled purchases from 46 year-old Sean O'Connor of Hickory Street over the past several weeks.  Officers say O'Connor was arrested late last Wednesday during a raid at his home on charges of one count of second-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and four counts of fifth-degree criminal possession... as well as third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.  O’Connor was arraigned and released later in the week.


Jamestown Community College is preparing to welcome over 200 students to its residence halls later this month.  Residence Life Director Tyler Silagyi says the move-in will run from August 20th through the 22nd... and, will provide maximum social distancing and enhanced safety protocols for students and their families in Hillside Suites.  Silagyi says students will be sent their room and suite assignments by email early this week.  He adds "the information will include their assigned move-in day and time."  For more information... call the Residence Life office at 338-1188 or email at residencelife@mail.sunyjcc.edu.

A $1.25 million project to repair the storm ravaged lake wall along Lakefront Boulevard in the city of Dunkirk remains in limbo.  Mayor Willie Rosas says they are still haggling with the Federal Emergency Management Administration over funding for the project.  Rosas updated the project's status late last week. Local Congressman Tom Reed toured the damage in June along with state representatives.  Rosas says they are all going to bat for the city... including New York's Senior U-S Senator... Charles Schumer.  A storm that hit Western New York last Halloween battered the lake wall with high winds and waves.

 

Evictions are still on hold in New York courts as housing advocates worry about the fate of an estimated 14,000 renters who faced eviction before the state's COVID-19 emergency.  Courts spokeswoman Lucian Chalfen said last Friday that the state's stay of evictions is still in effect through a March 16th order signed by the state's chief administrative judge.  The announcement comes as housing advocates including The Legal Aid Society hope New York courts will heed the governor's call for "no evictions" amid the pandemic.


Pennsylvania's governor is recommending that youth sports, including high school sports, be put on hold until January to help prevent COVID-19 infection.  The office of Democratic Governor Tom Wolf said Thursday it wasn't a mandate and that school administrators and locally elected school boards will make the final decisions.  Some schools have already canceled fall sports, and leagues have pushed back start dates.  The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association last week issued a statement noting it followed the governor's guidance to ban spectators.

0
comments


WJTN Headlines for Sat., Aug. 8, 2020

Lakewood man arrested on manslaughter charge in DWAI crash last February...
A Lakewood man faces vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs charges in connection with a car crash that killed a 7 year-old Cassadaga girl earlier this year.  State Police were called to the scene on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret for a three-vehicle accident on Feb. 24, and, through investigation found a late-model Hyundai operated by 24 year-old Nicholas Mineweaser rear-ended a Kia that was stopped to turn left into a parking lot.  Troopers say the Kia was pushed into the on-coming lane and struck by a Tractor-trailer.  The 35 year-old driver was treated for non-life threatening injuries at Brooks Memorial Hospital. Officers say the 7 year-old passenger, identified as Emmaline Wilcox, was later pronounced dead at the hospital.  The suspect allegedly smelled like marijuana and a Drug Recognition Expert was brought in... and, it was later confirmed at Mineweaser was allegedly intoxicated by drugs.


Seven new cases of COVID-19 reported in Chautauqua County...
Chautauqua County has now exceeded 250 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus with seven new cases reported in the past day.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says, though, of the 23 active cases, only one is hospitalized.  Wendel says there are now 255 cases... and 223 cases have now recovered.  He says there are 126 cases under local quarantine or isolation orders... and, being monitored.  He adds that 1,120 persons are under "domestic traveler quarantine" for having arrived here from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory. 


Gillibrand uses Feedmore WNY in Falconer to push for legislation to extend and expand SNAP and Pandemic EBT programs...
New York's junior U.S. Senator is proposing a measure to  expand both the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program... and, the Pandemic EBT Program to help millions of families put food on the table.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand announced the move during a press conference at Feedmore Western New York's Chautauqua County headquarters in Falconer.  Gillibrand says the clock has run out on those benefits during the COVID Pandemic... and, it's estimated that 29-millon Americans went hungry last week.  She says food banks like Feedmore WNY have been going above and beyond to help families keep food on the table.  Feedmore's Executive Director, Katherine Sheck, was pleased the senator chose ot make her announcement in Falconer... and, says they have seen a better than 50-percent increase in need across the region... which translates to more than 6.6-million pounds of food distributed across the region... including the Falconer distribution center.  Gillibrand says... with school reopenings in flux... there will likely be millions of children who depend on the federal Free Breakfast and Lunch Program who won't get a meal during the day if they aren't able to go to school.


Cuomo gives green light for schools to open in NYS...
The green light has been given by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to all 749 school districts in the state to reopen.  Cuomo made the announcement during a conference call with statewide media outlets today... and, says the decision was made after reviewing the COVID-19 infection rates in all 10 regions of the state.  Cuomo says every region is "below the threshold that we established."  That threshold was an infection rate of under 5-percent.  A district would have to close for in-person class if the region's infection rate reaches 9-percent.  Regions also had to be in Phase-Four of the reopening in order for schools to open.  Cuomo says individual reopening plans for each district are subject to review by the State Department of Health, which will review them through the weekend... and then notify districts that have incomplete or deficient plans.  In addition... Cuomo says they are requiring all districts to post their remote learning plans and testing/contract tracing plans online, set dates for three to five discussion sessions with parents and their communities before August 21st.  He says they also have to have at least one separate discussion with teachers alone.


Whitaker reacts to Cuomo's announcement...
While Governor Cuomo's announcement clarified that all school districts in New York can reopen next month... some of the guidance has changed... and, districts will now have to make some modifications to their plans.  That from Jamestown School Superintdent Dr. Kevin Whitaker... who says the governor announced "additional requirements and modifications to the previously established guidance from the Department of Health, and State Education Department that we have been operating under since they were released in mid-July."  Whitaker says before they can address those... they need to get some clarification from the state on what needs to be done. 


Scharf to Conduct JHS A Cappella in the new year...
The Jamestown Board of Education has named Lauren Scharf as the next director of the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir.  She says she's "extremely exicited thrilled and honored to be filling this position."  For the past six years, Scharf has been choral director at Persell Middle School.  She becomes only the fifth director in the 96 year history of the Jamestown High School Choir... at a time when the coronavirus prevents choirs from rehearsing and performing in the usual ways.  Scharf replaces Norm Lydell, who retired earlier this year.   

 
 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines for Aug 7, 2020


A Jamestown man will spend more than 12 years in prison after being sentenced on drug and weapons charges in federal court in Buffalo.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 33 year-old Kyle Kamholtz had earlier been convicted of possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possessing of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Kennedy says he was sentenced to serve 152 months -- or 12 years and eight-months -- by District Judge Richard Arcara.  Prosecutors say Kamholtz was identified as a meth trafficker... and, was arrested following an investigation that began in November of 2017.  They say undercover agents made several drug buys... and, several vehicle and traffic stops that resulted in Kamholtz’s arrest for possession of meth and a firearm.  Authorities also executed two search warrants at his McKinley Avenue home, and seized a firearm, meth, scales, packaging, and other drug distribution paraphernalia.

A city man has pleaded guilty to trafficking methamphetamine in Jamestown over the course of several months last year.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior has announced that 24-year-old Jacob Komenda of Jamestown admitted to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five grams or more of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided Komenda's house on Partrige Street in April of 2019, and found meth, and drug paraphernalia inside, along with a 12-gauge shot gun, and a stun gun.  In September... another raid on Fairview Avenue led to Komenda being arrested... after agents found meth and drug paraphernalia... along with nearly $3,200 cash in his possession.  He will be sentenced in November to at least five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $5-million fine.


The Bemus Point Central School Board believes they have found the "right fit" for the district in appointing Fredonia school administrator Joe Reyda as their new superintendent.  Reyda has been an administrator in the north county district for the past 16 years... most recently as director of Instruction and Human Services.  Board President Barry Swanson says their search consultant brought forth some very good candidates... but, adds Reyda stood out.

Swanson says the Western New York Education Services Council met several times with them, and other stakeholders before presenting finalists.  He says Reyda has a lot of varied experience... his first 13 years in the classroom.  Swanson says Reyda also has a lot of experience with the business side of education, as well as capital projects.  He says Reyda will officially begin his new duties on August 24th.  But, he adds he'll be working with Interim Superintendent Michelle Spasiano (Spa-see-ah-no) a couple of times a week beforehand.  Both worked together earlier in their careers.


Fredonia Central School administrator Joe Reyda's decision to leave the district for the superintedent's post in Bemus Point will be a loss for the Fredonia district.  That from Interim Fredonia Superintendent Colleen Taggerty... whos says Reyda was officially appointed by the Bemus Point District on Wednesday. Taggerty says Reyda is an "amazing educator" who is very good in "managing situations" and astute in Human Resources.  Reyda, who has been with Fredonia for 16 years, begins his new job on August 24th.


Chautauqua County's Division of Public Health says three new cases of the COVID-19 Virus have been reported over the past day.  Officials say the three new cases include a person under the age of 18... a woman in her 40s, and a man in his 40s.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says that brings the number of confirmed cases to 248... and, 218 have now recovered.  Wendel says there are 21 active cases... with one being hospitalized.  He says 138 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  Another 1,076 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" after arriving in the county from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory.  Wendel says 24,354 negative test results have been reported to date. 

The Jamestown Board of Education has named Lauren Scharf as the next director of the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir.

For the past six years, Scharf has been choral director at Persell Middle School.  She becomes only the fifth director in the 96 year history of the Jamestown High School Choir... at a time when the coronavirus prevents choirs from rehearsing and performing in the usual ways.  The new director says it's unfortunate they won't be able to jump in... in the normal sense... but "they'll do everything in their power to make music together."  The new director says she's committed to continuing the choir's 'holiday vespers services' and other A Cappella traditions.  Lauren Scharf replaces Norm Lydell, who retired earlier this year.   


Chautauqua County -- like most of Upstate New York -- remains in Phase-Four of the reopening from the coronavirus shut-down... but, what of businesses that have not yet reopened?  Those include gyms and fitness clubs... and, bowling alleys.  Many have expressed concern over the long-term health of such businesses... which really have been give no guidance on how to reopen.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul... during a recent visit to Jamestown... was unable to shed much more light on the matter.

Hochul says they have been talking with the state's health experts about the situation so those entities can open safely.  Certain parts of the local YMCA's are back operating... such as tennis -- with strict social distancing.  In response to regional protests by local gym owners... Governor Cuomo said late Thursday that gyms are a "high risk" for COVID because of issues with opening some too early in other parst of the country.


The Jamestown Renaissance Corporation is encouraging property owners in any of Jamestown's 'historic districts' to participate in a webinar next Wednesday evening.  Neighborhood Project Coordinator, Mary Maxwell, says help is available for renovations to those properties.

The webinar starts at 6 PM, Wednesday, August 12th and is being put on by 'Preservation Buffalo Niagara.'  Registration is availalble at preservationbuffaloniagara.org or by calling the Renaissance Corporation at 708-6964.  Mary Maxwell adds the state has been responding quickly to requests, and getting projects underway.  Jamestown has two existing 'historic districts'... downtown and Lakeview Avenue... with a third, Forest Heights, expected to come on line in September.  Property owners who are unsure if they're in one of the 'historic districts'  should contact the Renaissance Corporation.  

A Lackawanna man was arrested for allegedly damaging a vehicle in a road rage incident Wednesday on Interstate-86. State Police in Jamestown responded to scene... and, identified the suspect as 41 year-old Ahmed Alqadhi. Troopers says Alqadhi threw a water bottle at a car he was passing on the highway and took off. His vehicle was located soon after the other driver called 9-1-1. Alqadhi was issued an appearance ticket for fourth-degree criminal mischief and is schedule to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 

As part of 'Speed Awareness Week...' the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is participating in a state-wide campaign to crackdown on speeding motorists.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says driving fast translates to death on roadways... putting drivers, their passengers and other drivers at tremendous risk.  The Speed Awareness Week blitz continues through August 12th, during which officers will intensify enforcement of posted speed limits in various communities in Chautauqua County.  Quattrone says this includes Route 60, Route 430, and Route 394, where most of the county's speed-related crashes occur.  He adds that the goal is to save lives and keep motorists alert.... and, "When it comes to speeding, Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine". 

The Chautauqua Lake Twin Tier Antique Boat Society will have its first ever boat parade this Saturday morning (8/8), and President Doug Cornelius, wants the public to come and take a look.  Cornelius says they'll begin in front of the Lawson Center in Bemus Point at 10:30 AM... and proceed around the north basin, then return.  Cornelius says several dozen classic boats will join in. Cornelius says the parade will honor first responders and be led by a boat from the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department.  Dewittville, and other fire department boats will also be included.  The parade should be easily visible from Long Point State Park and Mayville Lakeside Park, among others places.  The boat parade was originally scheduled in July, but was postponed because of poor weather.  

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 6, 2020

A woman in her 70s is the latest confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County... and, is one of 18 active cases locally.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there are now 245 confirmed cases... and 218 have recovered.  In addition... Wendel says one person is hospitalized... and, 144 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders.  He adds 1,058 persons are under "domestic traveler quarantine" after traveling here from a state on New York's travel advisory list.  There have also been 24,306 negative test results so far.

A city woman faces charges after she allegedly became enraged, and knocked over a store display when she was told she had to wear a mask inside the 7-Eleven on North Main Street.  Jamestown police were called to the store at 518 North Main Street about 10:30 AM Wednesday on a report of a woman being told she could not buy items there because of the store's COVID-19 policy requiring face coverings.  Officers say 27 year-old Jessica McAdoo (Mac-Ah-doo) "became enraged, and yelled for the clerk to "'fight her.'"  After knocking over the display... McAdoo fled... but, was later arrested for third-degree criminal trespass and criminal mischief.  She's being held pending arraignment.


A teenager from Cherry Creek faces several charges following a domestic incident involving a shotgun and a sledgehammer last Sunday night into Monday morning.  State Police in Jamestown say what started as an argument quickly became physical about 9 PM Sunday.... and, Troopers say 19 year-old Joseph Chadwick began threatening his father and brother with an unloaded shotgun.  Chadwick fled the scene twice before a search ensued, but the teen couldn't be found. Troopers say Chadwick then returned about 1AM Monday... and, he began hitting his father's vehicle with a sledgehammer... and, smashed out all the windows.  He then entered the home and another fight began before he tried to break into a safe to get a firearm, but, he was unsuccessful so he took the safe from the home.  When Police arrived later, they found the safe and all it's contents.  Troopers later contacted Chadwick... and, he turned himself in early Tuesday morning.

The third and fourth-floors of The Resource Center's Allied Industries on Jones and Gifford Avenue are closed through the end of the week after a case of COVID-19 was reported.  Center Spokesman Steve Waterson says the employee... who was not identified... began having COVID symptoms after returning home last Tuesday... and was later tested.  Waterson say the positive test was returned on Sunday... and, the decision was made to close the upper floors of the Michael J. Raymond Center at 75 Jones and Gifford, where Allied Industries is located, out of an "abundance of caution."  No other cases have been reported.  Waterson says a crew is busy "deep clearning" those areas... and, they expect to reopen next Monday.


Local Congressman Tom Reed says he believes there will be an agreement reached on a fourth, COVID-19 Stimulus bill by the end of the week... and, that votes can be taken early next week.  The Corning Republican was in Washington, DC Monday night through Tuesday... and, talked with Congressional leaders about the status of talks.  Reed says it appears that aid to local governments -- including counties -- will be included in the final package.

Reed says he's pleased to see both Senate Republicans, and House Democrats -- along with White House negotiators -- agreeing to some concessions in a new bill.  One of the most contentious items has been whether to continue the "expanded unemployment" benefit of 600-dollars a week.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has backed off on that.  Reed says there are now discussions about a "two-month transition" to get to a percentage -- possibly 70-percent of wages lost -- until the person returns to the workforce.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is blasting Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for "dragging his heels" on negotiating a new COVID-19 stimulus bill.  Gillibrand says.. while the House passed the HEROS Act more than two months ago... McConnell let the clock run out on benefits that are keeping families and the economy afloat.  Gillibrand says he failed to present any comprehension legislation until earlier this week... but, she says some parts of a final bill are coming together.

Gillibrand adds that local governments are also hurting... and, she and New York's Senior U-S Senator, Chuck Schumer, have proposed the "Direct Support to Communities" Act... which would not be part of the money that would be sent directly to states like New York.  Local Congressman Tom Reed also supports direct payment to local governments with populations up to half-a-million people.  Gillibrand is also calling on extending a nationwide moratorium on evictions.  She made her comments during a Zoom Press Conference with New York media. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is poised to lead the group representing the nation's governors, which has played a pivotal role in pushing the Trump administration about state needs during the coronavirus pandemic.  As head of the bipartisan National Governors Association... Cuomo will have to walk a fine line between his naturally combative style, and a more deferential approach to the White House favored by Republicans.  As perhaps the nation's most recognizable governor, Cuomo's elevated profile could help the governors association become more influential as it lobbies for increased aid for the states.


A Dunkirk woman was pulled over for speeding... and, later arrested for allegedly driving drunk with a child in the car early this morning. Sheriff's Deputies say  they conducted a traffic stop in the Village of Silver Creek at midnight and identified the driver as 47 year-old Lisa Faison.  Officers say an eight year old child was also in the vehicle. Faison was charged with DWI, Felony DWI Leandra's Law, Unlicensed Operator, Failure to Stop at Stop Sign, Speed in Zone, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.


A teenager was arrested for allegedly threatening a juvenile with a weapon late last month in the Village of Falconer.  Ellicott Town Police say the incident occurred shortly before 5 AM on July 22nd... and, the investigation revealed 18 year-old Dakota Martin threatened the unidentified victim with a long gun in the presence of another juvenile.  Martin was taken into custody on two-counts of endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree menacing. He is to appear in Ellicott Town Court at a later date. 

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 5, 2020

A Cherry Creek teenager faces several charges following a domestic incident involving a shotgun and a sledgehammer Sunday evening into early Monday morning. State Police say what started as a verbal altercation quickly became physical at 9 PM Sunday.... and 19 year-old Joseph Chadwick began threatening his father and brother with an unloaded shotgun. Chadwick fled the scene twice before a search ensued, but the teen couldn't be found. Troopers say Chadwick then returned about 1AM Monday morning... and, began to vandalize his father's vehicle with a sledgehammer and smashed all the windows. He then entered the undisclosed residence and another physical altercation began. He attempted to break into a safe in order to obtain a firearm, but was unsuccessful so he removed the safe from the home. When Police arrived for the second time, they found the safe with all its contents still inside. Chadwick was located following a search of the area and contact was made via telephone. He turned himself in early Tuesday morning and was sent to the County Jail pending arraignment. 

A Dunkirk woman was pulled over for speeding... and, later arrested for allegedly driving drunk with a child in the car early this morning. Sheriff's Deputies say  they conducted a traffic stop in the Village of Silver Creek at midnight and identified the driver as 47 year-old Lisa Faison.  Officers say an eight year old child was also in the vehicle. Faison was charged with DWI, Felony DWI Leandra's Law, Unlicensed Operator, Failure to Stop at Stop Sign, Speed in Zone, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.


A Jamestown man has now been formally indicted for second-degree murder in the death of another city man early last month.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says the grand jury handed up the indictment this week against 28 year-old Carl Sorenson... who allegedly stabbed 23 year-old Brandon Holland in the chest the night of July 7th on North Main Street.

Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says Sorenson and Holland had gotten into a brief altercation on North Main Street -- near Fourth Street -- shortly after 10 PM... and, Holland was stabbed in what police called a "targeted incident."  Holland later died at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital. 


A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to trafficking methamphetamine in the area over a one-and-a-half year period ending in early 2019.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 38 year-old Tracey Wynn entered the plea before U-S District Judge Richard Arcara to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say... between September 2018 and January 2019... Wynn was a drug trafficking associate of Douglas Beardsley, and sold meth supplied by Beardsley.  Wynn typically received methamphetamine from Beardsley to sell... and sold it to undercover drug agents four times.  The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison... and, up to a $10-million fine.  Charges are pending against Beardsley.


Four new cases of the COVID-19 Virus have been reported in Chautauqua County... with 18 active cases currently.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says the new cases are a person under the age of 18... two men in their 50’s.. and, a woman in her 60’s.  Wendel says there are 121 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  In addition... there are 1,053 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine" for having arrived here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  There are now 244 confirmed cases... while 217 have now recovered.  Wendel adds there have now been 24,113 negative test results to date.

School districts across New York state are continuing to work out details of what will mainly be "hybrid" learning plans to begin the new school year next month.  But... if the coronavirus spikes again later in the school year... they feel better prepared to deal with going to 100-percent distance learning again.  State School Boards Association Director Bob Schneider says school board members they recently surveyed gave mixed reviews to how the state and federal governments have responded to their need for more financial and other resources.

Schneider says the U-S Department of Education did provide some grant money to help with the effort to make classrooms safer... but, adds it's not enough.  He adds -- though -- most everyone would like to have students back in the classroom... but, he says health and safety have to be considered along with education.  Most districts are looking at a hybrid model of some classroom and some on-line learning to begin the school year.

There will be no 'What's New Fair' this November.  Mary Lee Talbot, a long-time co-chair of the event, says the American Association of University Women gave thoughtful consideration to what would have been the 65th annual fair. In recent years the 'What's New Fair' has been held at Jamestown Community College and attracted more than 50 vendors and hundreds of holiday shoppers.  The proceeds went to scholarships for women graduating from JCC.  Talbot says the AAUW hopes to continue the scholarships, even without their major fundraiser.  And, while the fair will not be held this year, the AAUW remains a force in the community. Talbot adds, the AAUW will take this 'off year' to evaluate the 'What's New Fair' and determine the best way forward for next year and beyond.  

0
comments


WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 4, 2020


A Westfield man was killed yesterday afternoon in an accident at the Chautauqua County Landfill in Ellery.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirmed the accident Monday afternoon... which was reported about 1:30 PM.  Fire rescue crews from Sinclairville were called to the landfill... and, found 56 year-old Scott Deming with serious injuries.  Deming later died after being struck by a bulldozer pushing garbage into a pit.  A coroner was called to the scene.  Deming was an independent garbage hauler.

The man who has headed up both the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier will be transitioning out of those roles over the next year.  In a joint statement by MAST and the Chamber... officials said Todd Tranum will remain on with both organizations... as well as the "Dream It Do It Western New York" program... through July 31st of 2021.  Tranum says he's looking at some new endeavors... but, adds he appreciates both organizations.

Tranum has been involved with MAST since 1999... and, became head of both organizations after the county Chamber's first director, Pam Lydic, passed away in 2012.  He didn't provide details... but says his new endeavor has to do with his love for music.  Chamber Chairman Fred Johnson and MAST Board President Rhonda Johnson issued a joint statement... saying that both organizations "remain committed to serving the needs of businesses in the region."  They also said they are "very grateful" for Tranum's 21 years of "dedicated and well-considered leadership and service."

Nine new cases of the COVID-19 Virus have been reported in Chautauqua County... and, 15 cases are currently active.  County Executive P-J Wendel says there have now been 240 confirmed cases, and 216 have now recovered from the virus.  Wendel says the new cases include a person under the age of 18... a young female adult... a man and woman in their 20s... and a man and woman in their 40’s.  Wendel says 102 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... while one-thousand-21 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" for having come here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory. 


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's crucial that parents and teachers feel comfortable for schools in the state to open successfully this fall.  Local districts were required to submit their reopening plans to the state Friday, and initial decisions on the plans were expected from the state this week.  But... the Democratic governor stressed Monday that there needs to be a "full conversation" that answers parents' questions about reopening.
New York has managed to contain the virus recently, even as it surges in other parts of the country.  The state recorded three new deaths on Saturday and 556 people hospitalized, a decrease of 25 patients from the previous day.


Despite the challenges of the moment, the effort to collect funds to build a 'Hospice House' for Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care is moving forward.  The drive is being chaired by Mary and Dr. Bert Rappole.  So far, $1.1-million has been raised, with just under $1 million to go. Mary Rappole says the home... to be located next to the Hospice offices in Lakewood... will fill a paticular niche  in end of life care.

Bert Rappole adds the coronavirus shutdown has made the effort more difficult in a couple of ways... the first being the stock market free fall after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic... and, secondly the inability of talking to people "face to face."  The Rappoles want to connect with anyone interested in learning more about the 'Hospice House' project.  Contact them through Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care at 338-0033. 


New York state lawmakers recently wrapped up their 2020 session... but, will likely be back in Albany soon to deal with COVID-19-related budget issues.  That from State Senator George Borrello... who says the current pandemic... and, some other more "political" and policy items were dealt with by lawmakers.  One more local item... says Borrello... is that the state was able to restore some funding for Chautauqua Lake to form more collaborations deal with invasive weeds... and, algal blooms.

On the political front... Borrello says he was most concerned about Majority Democrats moving to not have an independent panel deal with re-drawing legislative district boundary lines.  He says one of the Senate's top Democratic leaders said they want to control the redrawing of lines to redistrict Republicans "out of existance."  Not too many years ago... Republicans in the Senate were accused of doing the same thing.  Otherwise... Borrello says lawmakers did make a few changes to the recently enacted Bail Reform Law.  However... the Sunset Bay Republican believes they were more for political expediency as opposed to good policy.

0
comments


WJTN Headlines for Mon., Aug. 3, 2020

Connecticut man arrested on gun and drug charges after being clocked at nearly 90 mph on I-86...
A Connecticut man was arrested on drug and weapons charges last weekend after his car was stopped for traveling nearly 90 miles an hour in a 65 mph zone on Interstate 86 in the Kennedy-area.  State Police in Jamestown say they clocked 23 year-old Don Harris of New Haven going 89 miles an hour last Saturday.  While speaking with Harris... troopers say they smelled marijuana inside the vehicle... and, a search revealed a loaded, 9-millimeter handgun, which Harris did not have a New York State Permit for.  He also had bags containing more than two ounces of marijuana.  Harris was arrested... and, taken to the Chautauqua County Jail, pending arraignment.


Man from Ohio arrested during I-86 traffic stop as a fugitive... 
An Ohio man wanted for burglary has been arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 86 near Stow.  State Police in Jamestown say they pulled over 22 year-old Carlos DeJesus-Godineaux of Akron, Ohio late last week for allegedly using his cell phone while driving... and, a license check turned up a warrant from the Medina County Ohio Sheriff's Office.  Troopers say DeJesus-Godineaux was arrested as a Fugitive From Justice... and, taken to the County Jail pending arraignment.


Jamestown's Development Director says CDBG grants for businesses and renters being scooped up quickly...
The COVID-19 grants available to both small business and renters in the city of Jamestown have proven so popular... the fund is pretty much depleted now.  That from City Development Director Crystal Surdyk... who says her department had already allocated nearly 470-thousand dollars... with most going to nearly 20 businesses.  By Friday... she said they still had several other applications being reviewed.  Surdyk says a number are "in the queue" and pending approval once their documentation is finalized.  He says those 18 businesses include The Pub, The Landmark restaurant, Escape Rooms Jamestown, Mouveau and Panache Salon and Day Spas, The Cherry Lounge, and the Tarp Skunks baseball team.  She says a total of $417,000 had been allocated to them... while $52,000 had been allocated to more than two-dozen renters in the city.  Jamestown received an additional $704,000 Community Development Block Grant allocations from the federal CARES Act, which was approved by Congress last Spring.


Hochul says schools in the region will reopen in the Fall is COVID Numbers remain low...
School districts across the state had their re-opening plans submitted on-line to Albany by the end of the day last Friday.  Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to make a decision sometime this week on the reopening of schools... and, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says she is encouraged by the covid-19 numbers in Western New York... because the state's infection rate -- and, Western New York's -- is well below 5-percent.  Earlier in July... Cuomo said there were two basic criteria for reopening schools.  One was the infection rate had to be 5-percent or less in that particular region... and, that region had to be in Phase-Four of the reopening.


Dunkirk's full school reopening plan to be released in about two weeks...
Friday was the last day for school districts across New York state to submit their reopening plans to Albany.  But... not all districts announced their plans last week.  In Dunkirk... School Superintendent Mike Mansfield says his district has been busy working on the plan for the past two weeks.  That’s when the New York State Department of Education first issued it's guidance... and, Mansfield says the state only wanted assurances that what needed to be in place would be.  He expects the district to release details by mid-August on the "hybrid" plan they'll use for both in-person, and remote learning.  He says their final plan is about two weeks away.  Meanwhile, some districts have already released their plans, including neighboring Fredonia Central, which has posted its plan on the district's website.


Other Jamestown-area districts also release reopening plans...
For the most part... school district's in the Jamestown-area will be using some kind of hybrid model with some in-person classroom teaching... and, some distance learning.  The Southwestern Central School District developed three scenarios for instruction in 2020-21... but, the district's website says "due to social distancing requirements, the district has determined the use of a hybrid model (partial in-person learning, partial remote learning) is the best option for the start of the school year, with a hope to increase student capacity at a future date by utilizing physical barriers."

In Falconer... the district says students in all grade levels have been split into two cohorts... Blue and Gold, and will attend on alternating days during the Hybrid Learning Plan.  While in school, students will attend their classes in their eight-period schedule. Throughout the school day, students will remain in groups for the majority of the day to reduce mixing of student populations when feasible.

At Pine Valley... All students in elementary and junior and senior high school will attend school Monday-through-Thursday of each week.  Officials say Friday will be a day to deep clean the buildings and allow teachers time to prepare more effective remote models should the need arise.


Cuomo sounds opposition to raising taxes on wealthy to deal with budget woes...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he opposes raising taxes on the wealthy to help the state weather the coronavirus economic crisis, though its clear federal aid alone won't solve the state's fiscal woes.  COVID-19 shutdowns have decimated consumer spending and tourism in New York and observers warn of a slow recovery. Cuomo's administration is projecting a $13-billion drop in tax revenues through next April. 

 

 

0
comments


WJTN Headlines for Sat., Aug. 1, 2020

City man arrested for having loaded pistol and drugs in his possession...
Jamestown police arrested a Buffalo man after finding marijuana and a loaded handgun during a traffic stop early Friday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers pulled over a vehicle in the Rite Aid parking lot on South Main Street about 4 a.m., and, identified the driver as 23 year-old Dayrone Ferguson.  Samuelson says a search of the vehicle revealed the loaded pistol, which Ferguson did not have permit for.  Ferguson was sent to the city jail pending arraignment on charges including failure to maintain lane, second-degree unlawful possession of marijuana and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. 


Whitaker says JPS will start with "hybrid" reopening, and hope to go more classroom later in school year...
The Jamestown Public School District has announced their tentative re-opening plans for the 2020-21 school year, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.  That from Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... who says, with the help of a 50-person committee... they are looking at a "hybrid model."  Whitaker says they will emphasize "more school days" for younger children, and those with special needs, and English As a Second Language students.  He says the district currently does not anticipate the 'hybrid concept' continuing throughout the school year.  However, this is how schools in Jamestown will tentatively re-open in September.  He says they want to try to have the elementary and possibly middle school students attend in-person.  Whitaker says they believe high schoolers can navigate on-line better than the younger students right now.  He adds a detailed summary of the Jamestown Public Schools re-opening plan is now available at jps.org/reopening. 


Two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in the county Friday....
There are two new cases of the coronavirus being reported in Chautauqua County the past day, and 13 cases are active.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says the two new cases are a man in his 20s... and, a woman in her 50s.  Wendel says two people are now hospitalized... while 157 are under local quarantine or isolation orders, and being monitored.  In addition... he says 998 persons are under "domestic traveler quarantine" for having arrived in the county from a state listed on the New York travel advisory.  Wendel says there are now 231 cases... while 209 have now recovered.  The total number of negative test results now total 23,385 negative test results.


Surdyk reports most additional CARES Act, CDBG funding has been doled out...
Nearly 20 business and several renters in Jamestown have been given grants though $704,000 in added federal funding to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.  However... City Development Director Crystal Surdyk says they are nearly out of money.  Surdyk announced Thursday that the city had doled out nearly $470,000 in funding from the Community Development Block Grant program... with most going to help businesses.  Surdyk says about $417,000 of that has gone to several small businesses, and more is being approved.  She says the remaining $52,000 was distributed to a number of renters... but, she says that number is quickly growing.  Since the funds are rapidly being distributed... she says you'll want to apply as soon as possible on the city's website at jamestownny.gov.  She says there is a link under "Restart Jamestown" and the links to apply are there... and, it's a "quick application."  Surdyk says their Economic Development Coordinator Stephanie Wright is screening the applications as they come in.  The additional CDBG funding is being provided through the federal CARES Act approved back in the Spring by Congress.


Cuomo opposing raising taxes on the wealthy to help NYS budget woes...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he opposes raising taxes on the wealthy to help the state weather the coronavirus economic crisis, though its clear federal aid alone won't solve the state's fiscal woes.  COVID-19 shutdowns have decimated consumer spending and tourism in New York and observers warn of a slow recovery. Cuomo's administration is projecting a $13-billion drop in tax revenues through next April.  Democrats and liberal groups including VOCAL-NY say tax hikes on the wealthy for years will help balance New York's devastated economy.  Cuomo argues any tax hikes in the high-taxed state could drive away wealthy New Yorkers in a pandemic and jeopardize sorely needed revenue.


Borrello pushes for Cuomo to repeal order suspending Prompt Payment Law...
It's time for the state to make good on it's contract payments to local non-profit organizations that have been suspended during New York's COVID-19 shut-down.  That from State Senator George Borrello, who has written Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to repeal his executive order that stopped those payments due to the state's fiscal woes.  Borrello says, the problem is, some of those payments are several months late, and those organizations are struggling.  In fact... he says some payments date back to last year... and, yet there is still plenty of wasteful spending going on.  Borrello says he appreciates the state's having a difficult time fiscally... but, adds the wasteful spending being shown in places like New York City's Metropolitan Transit Authority is frustrating.  He adds there's also a new, 2,000 acre solar farm being proposed in Chautauqua County that will cost the state "millions of dollars."  Borrello says a lot of those non... and, not-for-profits do the front-line work in dealing with issues such as mental health, homelessness, and others. 


    
 

0
comments


Archives:

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


Keep Informed
Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 10, 2020

A city man has reportedly been killed in a single-car accident on the eastbound on-ramp of Interstate 86 just north of Jamestown.  State Police in Jamestown confirm a passing motorist spotted lig...

Read More