Local News Headlines Archives for 2021-05

WJTN Headlines for Tues., May 11, 2021

City man arrested following two-hour stand-off in Jamestown...     
A Jamestown man wanted by city police on Felony charges was arrested following a two-hour long stand-off with officers last night.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were conducting a warrant check at 15 West Cowden Pl. just before 4:30 p.m. Monday for 34 year-old "Silk" Spencer.  Samuelson says officers found that Spencer fled through the house, and into the basement.  Spencer then told police he was armed and was going to start shooting... and, that he was going to kill officers.  Police set up a perimeter... and, began negotiating with Spencer to get him to peacefully surrender.  However... Spencer refused and continued to shout threats towards officers.  Police continued trying to talk with Spencer from the basement stairway, and additional officers and units arrived to assist.  Just before 6:30 p.m., Spencer surrendered without incident, and was not found to have any weapons in his possession.  He was jailed pending arraignment on charges including Felony Assault from a stabbing... two counts of Aggravated Family Offense... and, one count of second-degree robbery.  JPD was assisted by State Police, the JPD SWAT Team, UPMC Paramedics, and the Jamestown Police Crisis Resolution Team. 


State Supreme Court judge rules County Legislature cannot name, and then confirm a new Democratic Elections Commissioner...
A State Supreme Court Judge has ruled that the Chautauqua County Legislature and it's Democratic Minority do not have the ability to nominate, and vote on a new Elections Commissioner.  Judge Lynn Keane issued the ruling in Mayville after both sides argued their cases in late April.  Former Democratic Elections Commissioner Norm Green says Keane simply upheld the law... which says the Democratic Committee -- which Green chairs -- makes the selection... not the legislature.  Green says, unfortunately, the legislature has not allowed an up or down vote on anyone for the post.  The Democratic Committee -- which Green chairs -- did put up the name of Deputy Commissioner Luz Torres.  However... that was pulled by the legislature's Administrative Services Committee earlier this year after a group of Democratic Committee members protested, saying that Green changed the rules, and they wanted Loren Kent named to the post.  The legislature then voted in favor of Kent during it's March meeting.  With the court's ruling... Green says Torres remains Acting Democratic Elections Commissioner. 


City police now looking for pick-up truck that may have been involved in stealing Underground Railroad Tableau statue...
Jamestown Police say they are now looking for an older model pick-up truck with wood tail gate in connection with the weekend theft of one of the three Down Park statues.  Those statues make up what's called the "Underground Railroad Tableau."  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the wooden tail gate is described as a "a 2 x 10 across the back acting as the tailgate."  The person giving the tip, however, did not have a plate or a color only remembered the wood tailgate and seeing what he believes was the missing statue in the back of the truck.  The copper statue was reported missing Monday morning by a city Parks Department worker who was checking on the park... and, discovered it was missing.  Police say the 500 to 600-pound statue was taken sometime between last Thursday, and Monday morning.  Samuelson says the statute -- worth upwards of $2,000 -- was re-installed by a Parks crew last Thursday.  Police are continuing to check video in that area, and are asking for anyone who may have information on the statue's wherebaouts to call them at 483-7537... or their anonymous tips line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


NYS weighing mandate for SUNY and CUNY students to have COVID vaccine before returning for in-person classes in the Fall...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says his administration is trying a mix of mandates and incentives to overcome vaccine hesitancy in New York state.  That includes plans to mandate vaccinations for all public college students to get them... and, offer a week of free train rides to people who get shots at walk-in clinics set up in New York City subway stations.  On the first item... Cuomo says they're just waiting for final approval from the federal government.  If the final approval is given... Cuomo says students attending class in-person will have to be vaccinated.  He adds that they will also urge private colleges and universities to do the same. 


County reports 44 New COVID-19 cases Monday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 44 new cases of COVID-19 over the past weekend... but, say infection rate, number of active cases, and people hospitalized continued to go in the right direction.  Health officials say the new cases include 12 in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and, brings the total to 9,075 cases.  Officials say there are now 73 active cases... and, seven of those are hospitalized.  There were no new deaths. 


Sundquist and Lehman announce Jamestown's 2021 Streets Program...
A significant increase in aid from New York state is allowing the city of Jamestown to undertake nearly 150 street projects this construction season.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist and Public Works Director Jeff Lehman released the city's 2021 Streets Program Monday... and, Sundquist says they plan to engage in an "aggressive and expanded" program this year, that includes a couple of total reconstructions, filling cracks, curbing, mill and overlay.  Sundquist says some projects are already underway in the city.  He says the complete street reconstruction projects include one on part of Kidder Street, and the other will be on Jefferson.  A detailed map of the projects can be found on line at JamestownNY.gov/2021Streets.

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WJTN Headlines for Mon., Dec. 10, 2021

22 year-old skateboarder killed in town of Ellery....
A 22 year-old Bemus Point man was killed after he was struck by a car while riding his skateboard on Route 430 in the town of Ellery last night.  State Police in Jamestown were called to the scene just after 9 p.m., and, found the late model sedan, operated by a 19 year-old, was westbound when it struck Bannon Eimiller.  Troopers say Troopers attempted CPR and used an AED until paramedics arrivedon the scene.  Eimiller was later pronounced dead at the scene.  The State Police Collision reconstruction unit and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted in this investigation... which is ongoing.


Clymer man arrested for brandishing a shotgun during domestic incident...         
A Clymer man has been arrested for allegedly pulling a shotgun on the residents in a house early Sunday morning... and, preventing anyone from leaving during a domestic incident.  Sheriff's Officers were called to the scene in the town of Clymer about 1:30 a.m., and arrested 25 year-old Tyler Lindemuth for second-degree menacing, and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.  Lindemuth was taken to the county jail pending centralized arraignment.


Borrello pleased to see Comptroller's Office investigating state's unemployment system...
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli recently confirmed that he is leading an audit of the state's unemployment system.  That's good news to Chautauqua County's representative in the New York State Senate... George Borrello.  Borrello says he and others have been pressing for information regarding how much money in fraudulent unemployment claims has been paid out by the state.  He says the Department of Labor and Governor Andrew Cuomo have refused to provide such data... and, he feels DiNapoli believes there needs to be transparency.  Borrello says a combination of "extremely bad policy" and a lack of transparency have created what he calls a massive gap in the state's unemployment insurance fund... the Sunset Bay Republican adds that it is hurting businesses across the state... because they pay for the program.  The review is expected to take about 6 to 12 months... but, Borrello does not expect a cooperative situation between the Comptroller's Office and Cuomo's administration.


Cuomo sexual harassment investigation now looking into allegations about "vaccine czar..."
Investigators looking into sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo interviewed county officials about his "vaccine czar" calling them to assess their support for the embattled governor.  The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that investigators with the state attorney general's office interviewed at least three Democratic county executives who say Larry Schwartz called to gauge their loyalty to the governor and whether they would call for him to resign.  Schwartz has acknowledged making calls to county executives but denied discussing vaccines and said he "did nothing wrong."  The state attorney general's office declined comment.


County residents will soon be able to do "in-person" transactions again at local DMVs...
Chautauqua County residents will soon be able to again do all their transactions at the Department of Motor Vehicles Offices in person.  That from County Clerk Larry Barmore... who says that will resume on Monday, May 17.  Barmore adds that persons requiring permit or CDL testing will no longer have to make an appointment.  He says a number of rules remain in effect:  All persons will wait outside of the office until instructed to enter... you must social distance and wear a mask at all times.  They add that only the person making the transaction is allowed in the building... and, no children are allowed in the building other than for permit testing.  In that case, a parent may accompany a child taking a permit test as required by the state.  Barmore says many people liked the appointment system, so one representative at each office will be available to take appointments for any transaction.  The appointment system will be ready for use a week from today, on Friday, May 14.


Wendel touts economic development efforts and projects during pandemic...
There's been encouraging news about development, even during the COVID pandemic, in recent days in Chautauqua County.  A couple in particular have been very encouraging.  One has to do with the long vacant Silver Creek Elementary School on Main Street in the north county village.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says it's part of an effort to get vacant buildings back in use... and, back on the tax rolls.  Wendel says UAW Region 9 is a development group that will be converting the building into about four dozen apartments for people aged 55 and older.  There's also the emergence of the former Castelli Cheese facility in Blockville from bankruptcy... and, it's pending purchase by another cheese producer.  He says there will also be a spin-off effect there for more locally produced milk.  Wendel says there are others that the county's Department of Economic Development is still working on... but, they aren't ready to announce them yet.  The Vittoria Dairy group is moving forward with plans for the former Castelli Cheese location. 


Sundquist presides over new Skatepark ground-breaking...
With a number of contractors already committed to other jobs during the Summer months... there's no timetable in place yet for completion of the first-phase of Jamestown's new skatepark.  A number of public and private entities involved with the fund-raising effort broke ground on the location at the former Trolley Mechanics Shop -- near McCrea Point -- late last week.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the public will be updated on when a dedication will be held.  Among those involved with the fund-raising effort is Pete Scheira from Jamestown Skate Shop... and the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.  The project is estimated to cost about $500,000.


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., May 7, 2021

One person reportedly hurt in car-pedestrian accident in Jamestown...
Details are sketchy... but, Jamestown police responded to a reported car-pedestrian accident Thursday evening on the city's southside.  County Fire Dispatchers and the city Fire Department confirm the call to the intersection of Foote and Cole Avenues occured about 7 p.m.  A medivac helicopter was called in... but, no other information has been released at this time.  Efforts to reach JPD have been unsuccessful.


Jamestown woman pleads guilty to allowing home to be used for drug trafficking...
A Jamestown woman has pleaded guilty to allowing a known-drug trafficker to use her home to deal heroin and methamphetamine from three-years ago.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 29 year-old Chelsey Hunt entered the plea to maintaining a drug-involved premisis before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Schroeder, Junior.  Prosecutors say between January and February of 2018... Hunt was accused of letting Douglas Beardsley live in her attic... and, he used it to traffic drugs.  They add that Hunt took an active role in assisting with the operation, including helping Beardsley’s customers and telling them about any police activity in the area.  She's also accused of sellng small amounts of narcotics for Beardsley, and purchased narcotics for her personal use.  Charges are pending against Beardsley.  Hunt faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and $500,000 fine.


City man sentenced for burglary... 
A Jamestown man will spend 2 1/2 to 5 years in state prison for third-degree burglary.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt's office reports that Mark Barnhart received the sentence this week in County Court.  Schmidt says the Jamestown Police Department made the arrest, and assisted with the investigation.


Wendel touts new Chautauqua Lake MOU for simpler approach to lake issues...
Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel and members of his staff have unveiled a new Chautauqua Lake Memorandum of Understanding for all lake stakeholders groups.  Wendel says the previous, 2-year Memorandum of Agreement expired last month... and, a new agreement was needed.  However... the Lakewood Republican says this one is more simple... and, says the groups will work together... and, will not attack or sue others who are part of the MOU.  However... he says the right to sue cannot be taken away from anyone.  Wendel says the MOU does not address the typically contentious use of herbicides to knock down invasive weeds in the lake.  He says the state Department of Environmental Conservation has the final say, and juridiction over use of herbicides.  Wendel says he's hopeful the vast majority of stakeholders sign the MOU by the end of the month.


Wendel expresses disappointment over decision to cancel Chautauqua County Fair for 2021...
It's both disappointing and frustrating to see the Chautauqua County Fair cancelled for another year due to COVID restrictions.  However... County Executive P.J. Wendel is hoping to see some kind of change in the next few days that may allow some kind of activity at the Dunkirk Fairgrounds this year.  Wendel is reacting to the Fair Board's announcement earlier this week to call off the week-long event in late July.  He hopes there may be some reconsideration of the decision because the nation may see some "dramatic change" in the COVID situation in the next month.  Wendel says, after learning about the decision, he spoke with both Fair Board President Dave Wilson... and, officials with the Western New York COVID-19 control room.  He says he was surprised the state did issue guidance for the State Fair in Syracuse... but, nothing for county fairs.  Wendel says he plans to bring up the matter at the next control room meeting... because the county fair is one of the most anticipated Summertime events in the county.  He made his comments for this weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the Media One Radio Grouip stations.


County reports 14 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday...
There are 14 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County over the past day... and the number of active cases has again dropped.  The county Health Department reports that five of the new cases were in the Jamestown 14701 zip code... and there have now been 9,022 total cases.  Officials say nine people are currently hospitalized... but, there were no new deaths.  A total of 8,763 cases have now recovered.


County announces Water Restrictions for Mayville Water System due to upgrades to new well...
A mandatory water conservation order has been issued by Chautauqua County for all users of the Mayville Village Water System now through May 13.  The county's Department of Health issued the order Thursday... and, urged residents to cut their water usage by 50-percent.  Officials say this will allow the village to complete critical upgrades to their new well, which is the only well now in use.  The village began installation of a permanent water pump for Well-#4 Tuesday to replace a temporary one installed last December during a water emergency.  During the replacement process... if the water in the village storage tank falls below a safe level, the village will be forced to use one of the PFNA-contaminated wells to supply emergency water to the system.  If that happens... officials say a “Do Not Drink Order” will be required.  If you have any questions about the order... call the Mayville Public Works Superintendent at 269-4801... or the County Health Department at 753-4481. 


 
 

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WJTN Headlines for Thurs., May 6, 2021

Fire destroyed garage in Kennedy...
Flames have destroyed a garage in an overnight fire on Page Road in the town of Poland.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say Kennedy fire crews were called to the scene about 1 a.m., and, they were joined by firefighters from Frewsburgh, Falconer, Kiantone and Ellington at the scene.  Officials say crews reported heavy smoke and fire on arrival.  In addition... crews reported a nearby home sustained some exposure damage to one side.  No one was hurt.  Crews were at the scene until about 4:30 this morning... and, county fire investigators are at the scene looking for the cause.


Investigation continues into fatal car crashed in West Ellicott...
The investigation is continuing into what ended up being a fatal, one-car crash on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott Tuesday night.  Ellicott Town Police say witnesses told them the vehicle appeared to cut across a couple of parking lots -- including the one for Brigiotta's Farmland Store -- near the city line -- just before 7 p.m.  Officers say the car, driven by a 65 year-old man from Lakewood, then crossed Fairmount and struck the parked vehicle.  Police say Fairmount from Chicago Avenue to the city line was closed for about two hours while the scene was cleared and investigated.  No one else was hurt in the incident.  The identity of the person is being withheld pending notification of family.


Jamestown woman indicted on drug trafficking charges...
A city woman faces at least 10 years in prison and a $10-million fine after being indicted on federal charges for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine from her home when three small children were present.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says a federal grand jury handed up the indictment against 28 year-old Antasia Babcock Wednesday for narcotics conspiracy...  possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine... maintaining a premises for drug use and distribution, and possessing with intent to distribute meth on premises where an individual under 18 was present and resided.  Prosecutors say the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force raided Babcock's home on Wescott Street last year and found her, with the children... and seized one pound of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, drug paraphernalia, and approximately $62,000 in cash. 


Vaccinations still increasing, but, officials would like them to improve more...
The number of COVID-19 infections in Chautauqua County and New York State as a whole, continue to improve.  However... officials are still pushing to get more adults vaccinated.  There were 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county over the past day... putting the total since the pandemic began to over 9,000 to 9,008 cases.  However... there were no new deaths.  Statewide... Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the infection rate dropped to 1.4-percent for the first time since last October.  Cuomo says the vaccines are helping... but, more people need to walk-in to a local clinic or pharmacy and get one.  He says all adults can now go to any mass vaccination site and get the shot.  Cuomo says about 45-percent of the eligible population is now fully-vaccinated... while 58-percent have had at least the first shot.  In Chautauqua County... the Health Department reports just over 47,000 adults... or 45-percent of those eligible... have received at least one dose of the vaccine.  Just over 40,000... 38-percent... are now completely vaccinated.


Cuomo announces 100-percent MLB stadium capacity in NYS for people who are vaccinated...
The Toronto Blue Jays are returning to their home away from home -- in Buffalo -- starting in June.  However... this time they'll have a limited number of fans in attendance.  Forced from Canada by that government's coronavirus travel restrictions, the Blue Jays will be back at Sahlen Field, the regular home of the Blue Jays' AAA farm team.  The announcement comes on the same day that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the lifting of the 6-foot social distancing requirement at Yankees and Mets games where everyone has been vaccinated.  Cuomo says there will be special seating for those people.  Where people are unvaccinated... Cuomo says the 6-foot distancing requirement remains in place.  As for Buffalo... which is a smaller stadium, officials said yesterday that -- with the 6-foot distancing requirement -- they can hold 24-percent of their capacity.  Toronto will play it's first three homestands at it's spring training ballpark in Dunedin, Florida... then come north to Buffalo.


Rosas disappointed there will be no Chautauqua County Fair this year...
The mayor of Dunkirk is expressing his disappointment over the decision to cancel this year's Chautauqua County Fair.  It's the second straight year the fair has been called off due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Mayor Willie Rosas adds, though, that he understands why it was being postponed.  Rosas says the event takes a lot of planning, and coordination with vendors, acts, and groups like 4-H.  Meanwhile... Rosas says the city is moving ahead with plans for several summer events, including the Fourth of July fireworks display.  He says it will all depend on the state.... and what's allowed at that time.  Rosas is also encouraging area residents to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.


North County man arrested for alleged robbery... 
A Fredonia man is facing charges after a robbery occurred on Howard Street in the north county village late Tuesday night.  Fredonia Police say that 28-year-old Philip Whitfield allegedly confronted two men while they were walking on Howard Street around 11:30 p.m.  Police says Whitfield reportedly made demands, and a brief struggle occured.  However... one of the victims was able to call 911.  After an investigation... police charged Whitfield with second-degree robbery... second-degree menacing... and, fourth-degree grand larceny.  He was arraigned and is being held in the Chautauqua County Jail.

 


 

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WJTN News Headlines for Wed., May 5, 2021

Man dies in car crash in West Ellicott...
Ellicott Town Police are still trying to determine why a car cut through a pair of parking lots near the city line... crossed Fairmount Avenue...and, struck a parked car last night.  The driver, identified only as a 65-year-old man from Lakewood, was pronounced dead at the scene.  Town Police were called to the scene in West Ellicott shortly before 7 p.m., and, Fairmount from Chicago Avenue to the city line was closed for about two hours.  Officers says witnesses told them the car had "cut across" a couple of parking lots... including the one for Brigiotta's Farmland Store before hitting the parked vehicle.  No one else was hurt.  The identity of the person is being withheld pending notification of family.


Borrello says state GOP lawmakers still pushing for complete repeal of Cuomo's emergency powers...
Republicans in the New York State Legislature continue to push for a clean repeal of Governor Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers.  State Senator George Borrello says the latest move by Cuomo to ease COVID-19 restrictions is another example.  The Sunset Bay Republican says the changes in the capacities of various businesses is leaving many people confused.  Borrello says we're nearing the start of the Summer tourism season, and there's not enough clarity in what the changes mean.  Cuomo announced the changes slated for May 19 during a news briefing on Monday... but, he indicated that six-foot social distancing requirements will remain unless people are vaccinated or undergo testing.


Former Assembly Speaker Silver released on Furlough...
Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been released from a federal prison on furlough, while he awaits potential placement to home confinement.  That's according to a person familiar with the matter... who spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday.  Silver was serving his more than six-year sentence at a federal prison in Otisville, New York, in a corruption case.  The person says he's been released on furlough while awaiting potential placement to home confinement to serve his sentence at home.  The 77-year-old Silver began serving his sentence in August after years of fending off going behind bars.  Prosecutors say they opposed the furlough.


Chautauqua County 4-H looking at alternatives now that County Fair has been cancelled again this year...
Chautauqua County Four-H is looking at the cancellation of this year's county fair as 'a unique opportunity' to consider hosting their own event.  Kate Ewer is the Four-H Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Ewer says they are working out plans to hold an event where their youth members can show their livestock, and celebrate their projects.  She says the event could well happen sometime this summer at the Dunkirk Fairgrounds, but would most likely be closed to all but Four-H members and their families.   The cancellation of last year's fair took down nearly all summer Four-H activities, and leaders are anxious to do something this year.  Still in limbo is this year's 'Meat Animal Sale'... a traditional feature on Friday of fair week.  Last year's sale was held exclusively on-line.  


County reports 17 New COVID-19 cases Tuesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 17 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county over the past day... but, no new deaths.  Health officials say 5 of the new cases were in Brocton... and, 4 in Jamestown.  There are now 8,995 total cases... and, 111 are active.  Officials say 10 people are hospitalized... and, 8,732 cases have now recovered.  The Health Department says the seven-day infection rate is now 2.1-percent. 


Cattaraugus County reports 100th COVID-19 related death...
A 91-year-old woman has become the 100th person to die in Cattaraugus County from the COVID-19 pandemic.  County health officials say the woman developed respiratory failure and could not overcome the virus.  Officials extended their "deepest condolences" to the woman's family.  Health officials add there were 13 new COVID cases reported yesterday... bringing Cattaraugus's total to 5,443.  There are 153 active cases... and, 18 of those are hospitalized.  Officials say 5,183 cases have now recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is 3.5-percent.


Four people file necessary petitions to run for Jamestown School Board on May 18...
One incumbant... and three newcomers... have filed the necessary petitions to run for the two Jamestown School Board seats up for a vote on May 18.  The Jamestown High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association will hold a "Meet the Candidates Night" on Thursday, May 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Room at the Administration Building on Martin Rd.  Spokeswoman Cathy Panebianco says the forum will be live streamed at jpsny.org/election.  The candidates include incumbant Nina Karbacka... and, newcomers Frank Galeazzo... Gina Sink... and, Krysta Rives.  If a community member would like to attend the forum in person, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they should reserve a space with School District Clerk, Jaunita Walter at 483-4420 or jaunita.m.walter@jpsny.org by noon on May 13.


Former State Sen. Cathy Young will be JCC's graduation speaker...
Former State Senator Cathy Young will present the keynote address during SUNY Jamestown Community College's virtual commencement on May 14.  Young retired from the Senate in early 2019 after accepting the position of executive director for the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech.  The Olean native was raised on a family farm in Cattaraugus County... and, has been a long-time champion of agriculture and economic development. 

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News Bulletin for Tues., May 4, 2021

(Bulletin) Fair Board decides to postpone Chautauqua County Fair again for 2021...
The Chautauqua County Fair will not be held this July for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Fair Board of Directors announced Monday night that the fair "is postponed until July 18th through the 24th, 2022."  Fair Board President, Dave Wilson, says they held the decision off for a month in hopes of more information from Governor Andrew Cuomo... but, none has come forth.  Wilson says the governor outlined perameters for the State Fair, and outdoor amusements... but nothing for local fairs or festivals.  He adds the fair board is heartbroken for all the people who rely on the fair for income and exposure.  He says they can't put together a respectable fair for residents, and "time is running out" to get one together.  The only other time the fair has not been held since it began in 1881 was during World War Two, when they took three years off while the fairgrounds were being used to house prisoners.

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WJTN Headlines for Tues., May 4, 2021

Dunkirk man killed after Train slams into his truck...
A Dunkirk man has now been identified as the person killed in a collision between a CSX Train and pick-up truck in the town of Dunkirk late yesterday morning.  State Police in Fredonia were called to the scene shortly before Noon on a report of a collision on Temple Rd. between Route 5 and Willow Rd.  Authorities found the pick-up driver, 63 year-old William Miller, dead inside the vehicle.  A Chautauqua County Coroner was called to the scene... along with the State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.  The investigation is continuing.


County reports 40 New COVID-19 cases, and three deaths Monday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 40 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 from the past weekend... and three new deaths.  The Health Department reports the most new cases in one community was 11 in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  There have now been a total of 8,978 confirmed cases... and, 112 are now active.  Officials add that 10 are hospitalized... and, 8,714 have now recovered. 

Cuomo announces NYS reopening on May 19...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says capacity restrictions for most types of businesses will end statewide in mid-May as COVID-19 infection rates continues to decline.  The Democratic governor made the announcement yesterday... noting that the state's "Smart Reopening" is being coordinated with neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut.  However... Cuomo added one caveat... the 6-foot social distancing requirement remains in place.  He says retail stores, food services, gyms and fitness centers, family entertainment, and offices can all open with no capacity limits on May 19.  Many restaurants in New York City are fairly small... and, social distancing will be an issue.  But, Cuomo says until the Centers for Disease Control changes it's 6-foot guidance, the state will continue to keep that in place.  However... a waiver can be issued if those events and places require proof of either a vaccination, or negative COVID test.  A number of capacity changes... announced last week by Cuomo... take effect either May 17 or May 31.  The outdoor food and drink curfew will be lifted on the 17th... while indoor restrictions will be lifted on the 31st.


Jamestown receiving more road and street repair funding from NYS... announcement on projects coming...
The city of Jamestown is in line for a significant increase in the amount of funding it receives from New York state for road and street projects this Summer.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist told lawmakers during last night's City Council work session that he and Public Works Director Jeff Lehman will announce their list of projects either later this week or next what those projects will include.  Sundquist says they're getting the bulk of the money from three sources.  He says their Consolidated Highway Improvement Program -- or CHIPS funding -- is up 23-percent, while the Extreme Winter Recovery funding is up 53-percent, and PAVE-New York funding will be up 49-percent.  In addition... Sundquist says there is a fourth source this year -- the "State Touring Routes" fund -- to help improve roadways designated for dual use by bicycles. 


NJ woman receives five-year sentence for Meth Trafficking in Jamestown...
A New Jersey woman found to have been part of a drug trafficking ring in Jamestown has been sentenced to five-years in federal prison.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Monday announced that 26 year-old Alexis Hall of Harrison, NJ received the sentence from District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five grams or more of methamphetamine.  Prosecutors say that, between March of 2017 and October of 2018, Hall conspired with 15 other co-defendants to operate a drug trafficking organization, primarily involving the distribution of meth in the Jamestown area.  During raids... law enforcement officers recovered 10 firearms and multiple rounds of ammunition, over 20 cellphones, drug paraphernalia, and cash.  Kennedy says all 16 defendants charged in this case have been convicted. 


Ellington will have scaled-back Picnic this year...
It'll be scaled back, but the 108th Ellington Town Picnic will take place on Friday, August 6th through Sunday, August 8th at the Town Square in Ellington.  Some events are already in place, according to President Mat Pickup of the Town Picnic Association.  Pickup says they'll have music each night, and the fire department will host it's chicken barbecue.  The group 'Happy Days' will perform Friday night.  'Country Memories' will be onstage on Saturday.  Pickup adds, some of the regular features will NOT take place... namely rides because they would have to be wiped down constantly.  The horseshoe pitching contest and the baby show are also not likely for this year's picnic.  Other parts of the schedule are still being firmed up.  Pickup emphsizes they will follow all COVID guidelines in place when picnic time comes in August.


Borrello names former Reed staffer as new Chief of Staff...
A long-time staff member for local Congressman Tom Reed has been named as State Senator George Borrello's new Chief of Staff.  Borrello Monday announced that Alison Hunt... who most recently had been Reed's District Director... succeeds Michael Ellison, who served in the role since Borrello won a special election for the seat in 2019.  Borrello says Hunt "brings a wealth of governmental experience to the Chief of Staff role after serving for the past 10 years on the district staff of Congressman Tom Reed, the last six as his District Director."
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Mon., May 3, 2021

City man arrested twice over the past weekend now arrested 11 times since start of 2021...
A Jamestown man has now been arrested 11 times in 2021 -- nine times in April -- following a pair of arrests over the past weekend.  In the first instance... city police were initially called to the CVS Store on South Main Street about 7:30 last Friday night for a disorderly person.  Officers say Patrick Blakemore was causing a disturbance inside the Brooklyn Square location... and, told to leave.  However... he returned less than 10 minutes later, and again caused a disturbance.  Police say Blakemore resisted as they tried to arrest him... but, he was taken into custody for trespassing, obstruction... and, resisting arrest.  After being released due to bail reform... Blakemore then allegedly shoplifted merchandise at the 7-Eleven store on North Main Street.  Police were called to the scene about 6 p.m. Saturday... and, arrested Blakemore for petty larceny.  He was held pending arraignment.


Jamestown man arrested following Domestic Violence incident...
A city man has been arrested for allegedly pinning a woman down in a bed and holding her against her will during a domestic violence incident.  City Police say they were called to location on Jamestown's westside last week... and, on arrival spoke with the victim.  Officers later found the suspect, Christopher Toole, and he was taken into custody.  Police later found the victim had an order of protection against Toole and there was to be no physical contact with her.  He was jailed pending arraignment on charges of first-degree criminal contempt, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and aggravate Family Offense.


Corry, PA man convicted of trafficking Methamphetamine gets 10 years in prison...
A Corry, PA man will spend the next 10 years in federal prison following his conviction for trafficking 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in Chautauqua County.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Junior announced late last week that 43 year-old Jerry Roneker, Junior received the sentence in federal court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Roneker was pulled over by a sheriff's deputy in the town of Chautauqua on March 9, 2019 for a traffic infraction.  They add that they spotted a smoking pipe, and when they asked Roneker to get out of the car... they noticed two large chunks of suspected methamphetamine.  Officers also found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in his possession.  They then searched the vehicle... and, found just over $10,000 cash... ecstasy pills, packaging materials, a digital scale, drug paraphernalia, Xanax pills, MDMA pills, Suboxone strips, and two hypodermic needles.


City Council okays shared serviced agreement with JCC for a grants writer...
The city of Jamestown and Jamestown Community College have joined forces to create a shared Grant Writer position.  The City Council has now approved creation of the position, which will be funded equally by the college and city.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says consolidating the position would allow both entities to go after grants with someone experienced... and, knowledgeable of how to do it.  Sundquist says they're finding many of their departments are having to spend extra time writing grant applications -- in addition to their regular day-to-day operations.  JCC Foundation Director Maria Kindberg says the college has been in the same boat... and, has looked for a grants writer... but, can't offer what other entities do.  Sundquist says a joint City-and-College Committee will go through a search for candidates, do interviews... and, make a recommendation to both entities. 


Week 12 Chautauqua County COVID-19 Heroes named...
One group of employees and seven other individuals have been recognized by the Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response Team as COVID-19 Heroes.  County Executive P-J Wendel announced the Week 12 nominees for April 26--30... which include the Lutheran Nursing Home staff... which he says had worked hard to keep their residents safe during the pandemic.  In addition... Tamara Racino of GX Warehouse Fitness and Wellness was also recognized.  Brooks Hospital Registered Nurse Kenneth Long-the-second was recogized for his work with COVID Patients at the north county location.  Others include Chautauqua County Office for Aging Services Director Mary Ann Spanos... and Stephanie Kelly and Charlene Burch... who both work at Heritage Village Nursing facility in Gerry.  Also being honored were Rosie Digirolamo, and Brigid Wonderly.  Wendel says "our heroes this week continue to reflect the important theme of those caring for the wellbeing of others."


Village of Lakewood calls off July 4th Summerfest due to COVID pandemic...
The Fourth of July is still a couple of months away... but, officials in Lakewood have decided to pull the plug on the annual Summerfest for a second straight year due to the COVID pandemic.  The village board recently decided to cancel the event... but, held off on opening Lakewood Beach.  Mayor Randy Holcomb says it's a disappointment... but, having so many people in one place is still an issue.  Holcomb says they remain hopeful of having the event back -- as it would normally be held -- in 2022.  Summerfest has been an annual event on the Fourth of July in Lakewood... and, features a 10-K Firecracker Run... music, games and food... and concludes with a huge fireworks display.  Holcomb made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.

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