Local News Headlines Archives for 2021-08

WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 31, 2021

City Council members take no action to rescind Los Contrincantes Car Show permit, though concerns over noise remain...
A car show and stereo competition will be held at Jamestown's Bergman Park on Saturday, Sept. 18 despite ongoing concerns over potential loud noise issues.  No resolution to stop the show by the Los Contrincantes Car Club was brought forth at last night's City Council voting session.  Councilwoman Marie Carrubba... whose ward includes Bergman Park... apologized to members of the Hispanic community for wording she used to describe the event.  However... she says the words she used were used by car show organizer Jose Sanchez to describe their program and it's differences from a "classic car show."  Sanchez put on a demonstration for council members to show what kind of sound level would be involved.  Hallock Street resident Amy Holland lives near Bergman Park... and, felt a different venue should be used.  However... doubting that would change... she urged lawmakers to revisit the city's noise ordinance -- especially regarding conditions for car shows that would also involve the number of vehicles involved.  The permit for the Los Contincantes Car show was approved earlier this Summer by the Council's Public Safety Committee. 


City lawmakers approve SRO for Jamestown schools, and sale of property to Shawbucks for expansion...
City lawmakers also approved a resolution allowing the Jamestown Police Department to provide a School Resource Officer for the city school district beginning this Wednesday, Sept. 1, and running through next June 30, 2022.  The cost for the officer will be $131,530... with the school district reimbursing the city $109,479 of that cost.  School begins in Jamestown this Wednesday.
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Council also approved the sale of a city parcel to Shawbuck's bar and restaurant on West Second Street to owner Kurt Johnson for a project to add a three-story deck to the building.  The city is selling the property for $1,000.


Tennessee man dies after being struck by car in Home Depot parking lot in West Ellicott...
A Tennessee man has died of injuries suffered when he was struck by a car pulling into a parking spot in the Home Depot Parking lot in West Ellicott.  Ellicott Town Police say the accident occured shortly before 2 p.m. last Thursday... and, they found 74 year-old Austin Piper of Knoxville had been struck by the car when they arrived.  Officers say Piper was flown to the UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa., where he died from his injuries last weekend.  No charges are pending against the driver of the vehicle, George Prickett, Junior.


Wendel defends not strongly recommending mask wearing indoors with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise...
While there is no longer a mask mandate when Chautauqua County residents are indoors in public... it is still highly-recommended because the COVID-19 Delta Variant is here.  That from County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says his administration gave no "free passes" to people after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted the mandate earlier this year when 70-percent of New Yorkers had received at least one shot of a COVID vaccine.  Wendel says they reminded people to be "careful, safe and cautious."  He adds they continue to monitor the numbers, and remain in contact with local hospitals to make sure they have what they need with the current uptick.  Wendel... who is running for re-election this Fall... has been criticized by his Democratic opponent for not being stronger in recommending people to wear masks.  He does urge people to wear a face covering when in public... but, doesn't believe mandates need to be enforced.  As for county buildings... he says the Office of Court Administration is requiring them to enter the Gerace Office Building.  Visitors also need to have a temperature check taken.  
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The county Health Department is reporting 119 new confirmed cases of COVID over the past weekend.  That puts the total over 10,000 now... at 10,007.  Officials say there was one new death.  There are 257 active cases, and, eight are hospitalized.  There was one new death... bringing that total to 163.  The Health Department adds that 9,587 case have now recovered. 


Lakewood man arrested for DWI after backing his truck into an LBPD patrol car...
A man from Lakewood has been arrested for allegedly driving with a blood alcohol count nearly three-time the legal limit after being pulled over on East Fairmount Ave.  In addition... Lakewood-Busti Police say 66 year-old William Urbanski then backed his pick-up truck into the patrol car that stopped him.  Officers got a report of an intoxicated driver shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday... and, stopped Urbanski after seeing him allegedly commit multiple vehicle and traffic violations.  Once pulled over... Police say Urbanski put his truck into reverse, and backed into the front of the patrol car.  He then got out of the truck, was was visibly intoxicated.  Urbanski was given field sobriety tests... and, found to be drunk.  He faces several charges... including aggravated driving while intoxicated, DWI, and unsafe backing.  He was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court.


Car accident at Dunkirk Fairgrounds under investigation... 
No injuries were reported after a car crashed into a building at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds in the city of Dunkirk on Sunday.  Dunkirk Fire crews responded to the call around 11:30 a.m., but, Fire Chief Mike Edwards says no injuries were reported.  Dunkirk Police also responded to the scene to investigate.  No official word on what caused the crash.

 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Aug. 30, 2021

Elderly Fredonia woman succombs to injuries in town of Pomfret crash...
An elderly Fredonia woman has now died of injuries she suffered in a car crash on Van Buren Rd. in the town of Pomfret early last week.  Sheriff's deputies say that 93 year-old Elizabeth Abram of Berry Rd. was one of two people involved in the accident... which occured last Tuesday on Van Buren -- near the intersection with Farel Rd.  Officers say Abram was flown by Stat Medivac Helicopter to the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for treatment.  The Erie County Medical Examiner's Office contacted the sheriff's office this past weekend to report she had died from her injuries.


Man rescued from Chadakoin River late last week apparently fell from bridge...
An unidentified man escaped serious injury after he reportedly fell from a bridge into the Chadakoin River in downtown Jamestown last Friday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene just after 2 p.m. for a person "in distress..." and officers found the 58 year-old man clinging to the rocks on the river bank off Victoria Ave. and Institute St.  Officers say city firefighters were joined at the scene by Alstart EMS... and, used a rescue basket and ladder truck to hoist the man to safety.  He was take to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.  Police believe the man fell from the bridge, and was swept downstream by heavy rain run-off in the river.


Hochul says her administration will work to restore government ethics...
As she begins her first, full-week as New York's new governor... Kathy Hochul says she's planning to "dramatically change the culture" in Albany.  Upon replacing former Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hochul said she wants 'ethics and accountability" to be front and center in her administration.  Hochul promised to eliminate the "toxic" work environment -- including alleged sexual harassment -- that was part of the Cuomo administration starting with sexual harassment training done "in-person" instead of on-line.  Late last week... Hochul introduced State Senator Brian Benjamin from New York City as her choice for lieutenant governor.  Both promised to work together to address the ongoing pandemic, and get COVID-19 relief into New Yorkers' pockets... and, beginning to change the culture in Albany.  To do that... she says "we must and will work together."  Hochul, who is from the Buffalo-area, took office last Tuesday after Cuomo's resignation amid his sexual harassment scandal. 


Hochul promising to get out more rent relief...
Governor Kathy Hochul's promise to get more COVID-19 rental assistance money into the hands of struggling New York tenants has taken on new urgency after the U-S Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration's temporary federal ban on evictions.  The court ruling Thursday means New Yorkers behind on their rent because of pandemic financial hardship will have fewer protections when the state's own eviction ban expires Aug. 31.  New York's rental relief program got off to a slow start. It's supposed to dole out more than $2.4-billion to renters.  But as of Monday, the state had distributed only $200-million of that money.


More COVID-19 contact tracers needed with surge...
Health investigators across the U.S. are finding it nearly impossible to keep up with the deluge of new COVID-19 infections and carry out contact tracing efforts that were once seen as a pillar in the nation's pandemic response.  States are hiring new staff and seeking volunteers to bolster the ranks of contact tracers that have been completely overwhelmed by surging coronavirus cases.  Some health departments have just a few dozen investigators to respond to thousands of cases each day.  Some states trimmed their contact tracing teams when virus numbers were dropping... and, are now scrambling to train new investigators.  Others have triaged their teams to focus on the most vulnerable, such as cases involving schools.


Marching Bands getting ready for season, even with COVID-19 uptick...
After a year’s absence, the area’s high school marching bands are back on the field.  The Jamestown High School Marching Band performed for parents at the end of ‘Intensive Week’ last Friday night.  With rising COVID numbers, Director Meghan Murray hopes the band can continue to practice and perform.  Murray says she fears that there will be an instance where they can't travel to -- or host competitions.  However... she remains hopeful that it won't happen.  The F2CS Band from Falconer and Frewsburg spent last week grooming its fall show as well.  The Director of that band, Alicia Laska, is equally aware of the challenges the virus could raise.  Laska says if they have a week where they can't perform, they'll deal with it.  The first competitive show for each band will be at West Seneca on September 11th.  The Jamestown show is a week later, September 18th at Strider Field.


Charges pending against Fredonia man who got lost while wandering after accident...
A north county man had to be hospitalized after he was hurt in a motor vehicle accident in the town of Pomfret, became disoriented, and got lost in a nearby wooded area.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene of the rollover crash about 7 a.m. last Wednesday on Van Buren Rd., and, found that 38 year-old Garmalier Ortiz-Pagan of Fredonia, had fled the scene prior to deputies arriving.  After they investigated the circumstances of the accident... they learned that Ortiz-Pagan was lost, hurt and trapped in a wooded area nearby.  Officers later deployed K-9 Drake to assist in the search... and, dispatchers were able to help narrow the search.  Deputies were able to locate Ortiz-Pagan and help him to an area where Fredonia EMTs were able to get him to the hospital for treatment.   Sheriff's officers are investigating the incident and charges are pending.

WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 26, 2021

County Legislature approves new, four-year Sheriff's Deputies contract...
The Chautauqua County Legislature has approved a new labor contract between the county and the Deputy Sheriff's Association of Chautauqua County.  Lawmakers voted last night, 15-0, in favor of the tentative four-year agreement that runs from January 2022 through December 2025, and includes wage increases for each of the four years.  Legislator Terry Niebel of Sheridan says while the pay increases are significantly higher compared to four years ago, he believes those increases are necessary to retain current deputies, and recruit new ones.  Legislator Elisabeth Rankin of Jamestown says the county should support the retention and recruitment of law enforcement professionals.  West Ellicott lawmaker Lisa Vanstrom added that the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office does "a stellar job" and is well-trained.  The new contract includes 3% wage increases in 2022 and 2023, plus 2.5% wage increases in 2024 and 2025.
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Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone thanked lawmakers for backing the new four-year labor agreement.  He says their unanimous support is "huge."  Quattrone says we pretty much "ignore the national media" in that regard.  The Sheriff also took time to thank county residents for their support of law enforcement.


Hochul names Benjamin as Lt. Gov, says report...
Governor Kathy Hochul has selected Brian Benjamin, a state senator from New York City, as her choice for lieutenant governor. That's according to a person familiar with the administration's internal discussions who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Hochul had yet to announce her decision publicly.  She is expected to do so this week.  If he accepts the job, Benjamin would become the state's second Black lieutenant governor.  The Democrat has focused his legislative career on criminal justice reform and affordable housing.  Hochul's and Benjamin's offices didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.


Hochul adds 12,000 COVID deaths to state totals, based on CDC information...
New Governor Kathy Hochul promised more government transparency on her first day in office... and, by day's end her administration had quietly delivered it by acknowledging nearly 12,000 more deaths in the state from COVID-19 than had been publicized by her predecessor.  New York now reports 55,395 people have died of COVID-19 in New York based on death certificate data submitted to the CDC, up from the roughly 43,400 that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo had reported to the public as of Monday, his last day in office.  The new governor's move follows reporting by The Associated Press in July about the Cuomo administration's use of a much stricter definition of COVID-19 than other populous states hit by the pandemic.


Quattrone hopes Hochul will listen more to people "in the field" in creating policy...
Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone says he hopes the 57th governor of the state takes a different approach than former Gov. Andrew Cuomo did when he held top political office.  Quattrone talked about new Governor Kathy Hochul after she was officially sworn-in.  Quattrone says he was disappointed by Cuomo's use of an executive order to carry out his police reform program.  He says he's not opposed to reform, but, he says a number of areas Cuomo wanted addressed in state-wide reform was already being done in Chautauqua County.  Quattrone hopes that the Western New Yorker will listen to people in the field before making policy. 


County reports 19 new COVID-19 cases, 416 since Aug. 1...
The number of active COVID-19 cases... and, hospitalizations in Chautauqua County are up over the past day.  That from the county's Health Department... which reports 19 new cases over the past day... and 416 since Aug. 1.  Officials say there have now been 9,762 total cases... and 199 of those are currently active... and, nine are hospitalized.  The county reports that 9,403 cases have recovered... and, the rate of infection remains "high."


Geise believe's ECR International acquisition by Granby will be a "good fit...."
A company based in Quebec, Canada has announced it has acquired ECR International... which has a plant located in the city of Dunkirk.  In a statement, Pierre Fournier, President of Granby Industries, welcomed the employees of ECR and looks forward to their continuing commitment to the business and its customers.  Granby Industries is a division of TerraVest Industries.  Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency Chief Executive Officer, and County Executive for Economic Development, Mark Geise, says it appears the acquisition should be a good fit.  Geise says TerraVest was looking for this kind of company in the United States.  He adds that he's been in touch with management at ECR International, and it shouldn't affect the employee count in a negative way.


Cassadaga man arrested in Arkwright for alleged drug and gun possession...
A Cassadaga man has been arrested for allegedly being found in possession of drugs and a gun during a warrant check in the town of Arkwright.  Sheriff's officers say they were conducting the check on 33 year-old Jeffrey Kozlowski, Jr. for an outstanding warrant issued in Dunkirk City Court.  Deputies say they found Kozlowski at the home... and, he was allegedly found in possession of a controlled substance, and a gun that he was not allowed to have.  Kozlowski was taken into custody on the warrant and taken to the county jail.  He was later charged additionally with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon... and, seventh-degree criminal possession of a Controlled Substance.

 

 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Aug. 25, 2021

Jamestown Police looking for public's help in tracking down who damaged 32 vehicles earlier this week on East 8th Street...
City police are on the look-out for a person who allegedly damaged some 32 cars and other vehicles along East Second Street earlier this week.  On their Facebook page... Jamestown police say the damaged vehicles were between Hopkins and Niagara Avenue.  Thousands of dollars in damage has been reported.  A photo of the person... taken by a security camera at Sandee's Bakery and Deli... can be seen on the JPD Facebook page.  Anyone with information about the subject is asked to contact JPD either via Messenger, phone at 483-7536... or the Tips Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.


One person injured in two-car accident in town of Pomfret Tuesday...
An elderly Fredonia woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in a two-car crash on Van Buren Road in the town of Pomfret late Tuesday afternoon.  Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene -- near Farrel Road -- about 3:30 p.m. on a report of a crash, with injuries.  Officers say they found one of the drivers, 93 year-old Elizabeth Abram of Fredonia, had been hurt... and, she was flown to the Erie County Medical Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  The other driver, 71 year-old Birgitta Marrano, also of Fredonia... was not hurt.  Deputies say the investigation is ongoing, and charges may be filed at a later date.


Hochul outlines priorities in Tuesday afternoon address...
Democrat Kathy Hochul has become the first female governor of New York... and, taken over an administration criticized for inaction during Andrew Cuomo's final months in office.  Hochul, a former County Clerk and Congresswoman from western New York took the oath just after Midnight Tuesday.  Yesterday afternoon... she high-lighted her main priorties... the first being to tackle the resurgence of COVID-19... including a mask mandate for anyone going into school buildings.  That would be undertaken by the state Department of Health... and, guidelines will be out by the end of the week.  Hochul adds that she also wants to ramp up efforts to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, now that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  She acknowledged that a lot of people may not know who she is... but, adds she knows and understands New Yorkers.  Hochul says she's met people, walked their streets, and talked with farmers and business owners in all 62 counties.  The former lieutenant governor promised a "fresh, collaborative approach."'


Hochul sworn-in -- twice -- on Tuesday...
The new governor took a "ceremonial oath" late Tuesday morning in Albany... after being formally sworn-in just after Midnight Tuesday in a private ceremony.  Hochul is taking control of a state government that's been hampered by months of distractions over former Governor Andrew Cuomo's sexual harassment allegations.  Among Hochul's top priorities is restoring people's faith, and belief, in government.  Hochul said she spoke to President Joe Biden Monday night on a number of topics and issues... including the support New York has receiving in the wake of Tropical Storm Henri, which hit Long Island and parts of New York City last weekend. 


Wendel says Hochul to face a lot of challenges as governor...
New York Governor Kathy Hochul wrapped up a whirlwind first day in office... and, has a lot on her plate as she takes over for Andrew Cuomo.  Prior to Tuesday afternoon's address... County Executive P-J Wendel discussed what her priorities should be... namely to help local governments and businesses in Western New York.  Wendel says government finances are a big concern heading into 2022.  Wendel... who is a former educator... also believed that Hochul needed to have the state issue guidance to local school districts.  He urged her to talk with the Departments of Health and Education, and get those guidelines out as soon as possible. 


Chautauqua County reports 34 new cases of COVID-19... and, nearly 400 for month of August...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting another 34 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past day... bringing the local number this month to nearly 400.  Officials say this brings the total number of cases to 9,743... and, 187 of those are currently active.  They say there have now been 399 new cases since August 1st... driven mainly by the Delta Variant.  Officials say seven people are hospitalized, and 9,396 cases have now recovered.  The rate of infection is now 6.6-percent... which official say is "high."


Man who apparently overdosed in Mayville revived by Narcan...
A man needed to be revived with Narcan early Tuesday morning in Mayville after he apparently overdosed on an opioid drug.  Sheriff's deputies were called to the undisclosed scene shortly before 4 a.m., and, found the 37 year-old man "heavily impaired" by an unknown substance.  It was suspected that the man was overdosing... and, officers administered the Narcan nasal spray.  Emergency Medical Services arrived shortly after police... and, took the unidentified man to Westfield Memorial Hospital for further evaluation.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Tues., Aug. 24, 2021

Hochul becomes 57th NYS Governor, first woman to hold the office...
Kathy Hochul became the first female governor of New York on Tuesday, inheriting immense challenges as she takes over an administration facing criticism for inaction during Andrew Cuomo's distracted final months in office.  The Democrat and former member of Congress from Western New York took the oath of office just after midnight in a brief, private event overseen by the state's chief judge, Janet DiFiore.  A ceremonial swearing-in was planned Tuesday morning at the New York State Capitol, with more pomp than the brief, legally required event during the night. Hochul planned a public address at 3 p.m.


Hochul announces some new staff leadters...
Little is known yet about the organization of the Hochul administration in Albany, but the New York Times is reporting the new governor has chosen two women for top jobs.  Karen Persichilli Keogh, known by her initials... KPK, will be secretary to governor.  That was the post held by Melissa DeRosa in the Cuomo administration.  In addition, the paper says Kathy Hochul has chosen Elizabeth Fine to be her 'counsel.'  Fine has most recently been general counsel and executive vice president of Empire State Development.  Keogh has been head of global philathropy for J.P. Morgan Chase.  Otherwise, many of the key staff and cabinet members from the Cuomo administration will be held over for up to 45 days.


Cuomo takes swipe at A.G.'s report before steppind down...
With just hours left until he officially stepped down from office... New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took one last swipe at the state Attorney General's report that led him to resign.  In a recorded address on his website... Cuomo thanked the people of New York for electing him to three-terms in office.  While he intends to keep fighting the allegations by 11 women against him... Cuomo said the situation had become too big a distraction... and, over a long period, would produce "political paralysis."  He also took a swipe at Democratic progressives... who have pushed the outgoing governor to enact legislation legalizing same sex marriage... bail reform... and, recreational marijuana, among others.  However... Cuomo -- who is also a former State Attorney General -- criticized their calls to "defund the police."  He says gun-violence has been "savaging cities" across the nation... and, reforming police is the answer.  


Dunkirk police chief confirms teens drowning death...
Dunkirk Police believe a 16 year-old boy lost his life due to drowning after a swimmer turned up missing in Lake Erie shortly before 1 a.m. Monday.  Police Chief David Ortolano says officers responded to the scene after they received a call that two males went into the water and only one was able to get out of the water.  Ortolano says police, fire rescuers, and the county's Marine Patrol, and WET Team were also called in.  Searchers eventually located the body of the swimmer, who was pronounced dead at the scene, by a county coroner.  The name of the victim has not been released. 


City man arrested for alleged stabbing in Kiantone...
A Jamestown man has been arrested for assault after allegedly stabbing a woman with a knife during a domestic dispute in the town of Kiantone.  State Police in Jamestown were called to the undisclosed scene Sunday... and, found that 37 year-old Joseph Piazza had gotten into an argument with the woamn before stabbing her.  Troopers located Piazza at a nearby residence, where he was arrested, and charged with second-degree assault.  The victim was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of her injury.  Piazza was jailed pending arraignment.


Three men arrested in Jamestown drug bust...
Three men from Jamestown have been arrested for allegedly trafficking large amounts of methamphetamine... and, a meth/Fentanyl mixture.  City police were called to a home on Bush Street about 7:30 PM Sunday night for a "suspicious situation."  At the scene... officers say they found 37 year-old Jaime Bennett, 27 year-old Michael Krause, and 34 year-old Peter Carcione in possession of the narcotic drugs... as well as suboxone strips, cash, a digital scale, and narcotic packaging materials.  All three are charged with third-degree criminal sale, and possession of a controlled substance... and fifth-degree criminal possession.  They were taken to the city jail pending arraignment.


Lakewood Village Bd. approves opt-out from retail sales of pot...
The village of Lakewood has joined the growing list of municipalities in Chautauqua County who have opted-out of allowing marijuana retail sales, dispensaries, and consumption locations.  The village board took the action following a second public hearing on the proposed local law last night.  The vote was 5-0.  The most vocal Trustee, Ellen Barnes, is a former Lakewood-Busti Police Officer, who has seen the troubling effects of pot on young people and families... saying it's a "psychotropic drug" that can alter the brain.  Last night's hearing was shorter than the one two weeks ago... but, this time the majority of residents spoke against allowing recreational marijuana sales.  Trustee Rich Fisher read part of the state law... which says even though municipalities had the ability to opt-out of places that sell recreational marijuana, they cannot opt out of place that sell or provide medical marijuana or CBD products.


County reports 91 new cases of COVID-19 from past weekend...
There are 91 new cases of the COVID-19 virus being reported in Chautauqua County over the past weekend... along with the 160th death.  That one death is the first in several weeks.  The county's Health Department reports there have now been 9,709 total cases... and, 9,393 have now recovered.  Officials say there are 156 active cases... and, seven of those are hospitalized.  The seven-day infection rate is now 5.2-percent... but, the Health Department says it's now "high" in the county.

 


 

WJTN News Headlines for Mon., Aug. 23, 2021

One person drowns in apparent accidental drowning near Dunkirk City Pier...
There were a pair of tragic drownings over the past weekend... one of those in northern Chautauqua County very early Monday morning.  Dunkirk City Police responded to a call -- shortly before 1 a.m. -- for someone in the water in Lake Erie at the City Pier.  On arrival... they learned that two people had apparently gone into the water -- and only one got out.  Officers, along with a City Fire crew began searching the area... and, a male victim was later found by the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department WET Team.  The victim has not been identified.


Two-year-old dies in accidental drowning in southern Warren County, Pa....
A two-year-old todder was found dead in the Allegheny River in southern Warren County Sunday afternoon after she fell into the water near her home Saturday morning.  State Police in Warren were called to a location on Valley View Lane in Limestone Township about 11 a.m. Saturday on a report of a missing child.  Troopers say the girl had wandered away from her home, and walked into an area near the river... and, she apparently fell in.  Police say the unidentified girl's body was found in a debris pile about one mile downstream from where she fell in.  A county coroner pronounced her dead at the scene... and, the investigation is continuing.


Cuomo to resign in disgrace at the end of the day Monday, Hochul to take over...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will resign in disgrace at the end of today... and, he will be replaced at Midnight Tuesday by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.  Cuomo's departure comes after a state investigation found he sexually harassed 11 women. I t's a stunning reversal for a powerful politician who not that long ago was considered a possible contender for the White House.  While he agrees with Cuomo's decision... local State Senator George Borrello says he's concerned for Hochul, and a lot of unfinished business yet to be done... including the full implementation of legalizing recreational marijuana.  The state legislature ended it's session without naming anyone to New York's Cannibis Control Board... which is to oversee the rollout of the new law.  Borrello says another big issue is whether Hochul will follow-through on a potential mask mandate for schools.  He says school begins in less than two-weeks, and there's been no state Health Department guidance. 


North county woman arrested following altercation in town of Hanover...
A Dunkirk woman has been arrested for allegedly getting into an altercation with another person in the town of Hanover last Saturday night.  Sheriff's officers were called to a location on Route 20 shortly after 7 p.m., and, learned that 70 year-old Beverly Saletta had allegedly damaged property belonging to someone else.  Deputies add the incident allegedly occurred in front of a child under the age of 16.  Officers charged Saletta with fourth-degree criminal mischief, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.  She was jailed pending arraignement.


Jamestown Community College opens for first-day of classes today...
The fall semester at Jamestown Community College begins today with students attending in person… on campus.  The school wants to offer as much of a ‘normal’ a college experience as possible.  But, JCC's Vice-President of Student Affairs, Kirk Young, says the increase in COVID cases has led to a ‘universal mask mandate.'  Anyone in a campus building will be required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.  Students consuming food in the cafeteria… and those sharing a living space in the dorms will be able to unmask.  Dr. Young adds even with the mandate, they hope to have the regular athletics and music programs as the semester unfolds.  New this fall at JCC is a mandatory orientation for incoming students.  Dr. Young believes it’s a 'best practice' for communiy colleges... and will help with student retention, and student success.


Jamestown community officially inducted into Babe Ruth Hall of Fame before Saturday's title game...
On a warm, but, beautiful day for baseball... the Jamestown community was recognized for hosting 18 Babe Ruth World Series tournaments since 1980.  Just prior to Saturday's Championship Game for the 13 year-olds... officials from Babe Ruth League presented the city with a plaque and banner recognizing the city and it's Babe Ruth Committee's induction into the organization's Hall of Fame.  Bob Faherty recognized everyone who ever worked on a Jamestown series... from host families, committee members, grounds crews, ete. were honored along with all current and past Babe Ruth Committee members.  Babe Ruth Vice-President George Lally then read, and presented the plaque to Host President Russ Diethrick, current Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist, and past Mayor Sam Teresi.  Both Sundquist and Teresi called it a "a great honor." 
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The 40th anniversary Babe Ruth World Series was won in exciting fashion by Mid-Atlantic Regional Champion, Atlantic Shore, New Jersey... over New England winner, Norwalk Connecticut, 10-to-7.  The host Jamestown team finished an outstanding series with a 2-and-3 record... and, were edged out by Norwalk in the serie's quarter-finals.


Pennsylvania unemployment rate falls, but, so does labor force...
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped to a new post-pandemic low and the labor force shrank in July as payrolls jumped by nearly 29,000.  State figures released late Friday say Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point to 6.6-percent from June's adjusted rate.  The national rate was 5.4-percent in July, more than a point below Pennsylvania's.  The figures come out as the federal government prepares to end supplemental payments of $300 a week to people who lost jobs or self-employment income during the pandemic.  The payments last through Sept. 3. 
 

WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Aug. 20, 2021

Missing Westfield teen sought in Jamestown...
Local police agencies are on the look-out for a Westfield girl who was reported missing since early Wednesday night in the city of Jamestown.  Chautauqua County Sheriff's officers say they and Child Protective Services are looking for 13 year-old Gracie Vanlandingham... who was last seen about 6 p.m. Wednesday.  Deputies say Gracie was last seen wearing white jeans with holes in them, white sandals, and possibly carrying a back pack.  She is described as a white female, light brown hair, about 5'5" inches tall.  Gracie is believed to still be in the Jamestown area and is not believed to be in imminent danger.  Anyone with information about her location can call the Sheriff's Office at 753-2131... or dial 911. 


City police and fire respond to downtown, rollover accident...
No serious injuries were reported... but, at least two people were taken to the hospital for evaluation following a rollover car accident in downtown Jamestown yesterday afternoon.  Sheriff's Department dispatchers say City police and fire crews, along with Alstar EMS... were called to the scene on East Fifth Street -- near Potters Alley -- just after 2 p.m.  Pictures from the scene showed one car rolled onto it's side.  East Fifth Street was blocked to traffic, causing some delays at the intersection with North Main Street.


Wendel and Green debate mask mandates and recommendations...
The Democratic candidate for Chautauqua County Executive is accusing incumbent Republican P.J. Wendel of showing weak leadership in the fight against COVID-19.  Norm Green has taken issue with Wendel's comments concerning the use of masks during a news conference held last week in Mayville.  The Lakewood Republican says it's a "personal choice," and should not be viewed as a "political statement."  Green... who will be interviewed for our Community Spotlight program this weekend... says Wendel should be encouraging all county residents to mask up because that's "how we prevent the spread of COVID-19 Delta Variant, or any other variant of COVID-19."  Green also feels that Wendel should be mandating that visitors to county buildings wear masks.  During last week's news conference, Wendel said the use of masks and vaccinations has become "highly politicized" and people need to respect the rights of each individual. 


County Health Department reports 22 new COVID-19 cases Thursday...
The COVID-19 infection rate in Chautauqua County is now up to 6-percent... and, remains "substantial" with 22 new cases reported over the past day.  The county's Health Department reports there have now been 9,598 total cases... and, 119 are currently active.  Officials say seven people are currently hospitalized... and, 9,320 cases have now recovered.


Hochul says she can require masks in school as governor...
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says that the state has the authority to mandate masks at schools.  That's in contrast to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who earlier this month said he lacks the legal authority to impose mask mandates on his own.  The Democrat Hochul is set to take office as New York's first female governor on Aug. 24, when Cuomo will resign in the wake of an independent investigation that found he sexually harassed at least 11 women.  Hochul said Wednesday that nearly all school leaders and superintendents she's spoken with support a mask mandate in schools.


Cents for St. Susan's campaign records record amount of more than $27,000
A record of more than $27,000 was brought in through this year's Cents for St. Susan's campaign by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities.  That from BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins... who says they were really blessed by a giving community this year.  Robbins says the generosity of both their many sponsors and the community at-large will benefit the area's largest soup kitchen.  She says they saw increased sponsor gifts, along with more from redeemable bottles and cans, and more than $2,200 from the dozens of coin canisters around the community.  That all brought in $27,477 total.  In particular... Robbins says Judy and Steve McAllaster donated $8,000... and, Key Bank gave $3,000 towards the effort.  St. Susan's Executive Director Bonnie Scott-Sleight says they "are grateful to these wonderful donors to the Jamestown BPU for joining together this year to provide this record amount of funds raised through the campaign."  In it's 22-years of existance... the Cents for St. Susan's campaign has now brought in $280,771.


After six decades, DEC reports Lake Erie Trout are spawning again...
Lake Erie has seen it's first Lake Trout reproduction in more than 60 years... with spawning being reported near Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County.  Channel 7 News in Buffalo reports the State Department of Environmental Conservation say the discovery is the result of an acoustic telemetry study, conducted by DEC expert staff and partners, after finding potential spawning areas in eastern Lake Erie.  The report says DEC staff collected multiple, recently hatched fry in fry traps on a rock reef near Westfield back in May.  DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says "today marks a key milestone in the restoration of lake trout in Lake Erie after six decades of significant investments to improve water quality and habitat and promote sound fisheries management."  He says the commercial fishery had all but ceased, and by 1965, lake trout were considered extirpated from Lake Erie.

WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Aug. 19, 2021

BRWS hopes to get back on track after all-day rains Wednesday...
The remnants of tropical storm Fred have wiped out Wednesday's four pool games games at the 13-Year-Old Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown.  Local Committee Vice-President, Kim Ecklund, made the official announcement late Wednesday morning... adding that all four pool-play games are being held today... starting about half-an-hour earlier.  Ecklund says the rain delay will lead to a further changes later in the week.  She says the quarter-finals scheduled for Thursday will be moved to early in the day Friday -- then followed by the semi finals.  The championship game is still set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park.  Aside from the rain... Ecklund says the tournament has gone well... and, they were able to get the five games in to stay on schedule Tuesday.  The local team, the Jamestown Krusaders, has been competitive... and now play their next game against Hawaii tonight at 7 p.m. and that game will be broadcast on WJTN.


Wednesday's weather causes few issues in Jamestown-area...
No serious issues were reported... but, there was some flooding from Wednesday's all day rains from remnants of Tropical Storm Fred in the Jamestown area.  Chautauqua County fire dispatchers say there was some flooding reported on Old Warren Road in the town of Kiantone.  In addition... dispatchers say a tree was knocked down on some power lines on Route 394 -- near Stone Road -- in Kennedy.  There were initial reports of a possible fire involved... but, that was not the case.


Health Dept. reports 13 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting another 13 new, confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past day.  That brings the total since Aug. 1 to 232... and, 9,576 overall.  Health officials say 113 cases are now active... and, seven remain hospitalized.  The total number of recovered cases is now 9,304.  Of the 232 cases this month... the Health Department says 155 of those -- or 67-percent -- were not vaccinated.  The seven-day infection rate is now 5.4-percent... which is still considered "substantial."


Union official from Celoron sentenced to probation, restitution in federal case...
A Celoron man has been sentenced to two-years probation... and, ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution after being convicted of theft from a labor union.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. says 41 year-old Scott Russell Merritt was given the sentence Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Merritt... who was treasurer of Ironworkers Local 470... embezzled $50,850 in union funds between May of 2011 and August of 2018 to pay personal expenses.  


Cattaraugus County woman sentenced on child porn charges...
A woman from Cattaraugus County will spend 10 years in federal prison following her conviction for distributing child pornography.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. says 47 year-old Melanie Thompson of Cattaraugus was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John Sinatra, Jr.  Prosecutors say Thompson took sexually explicit photographs of one victim so she could impersonate that minor.  She then engaged in conversations of a sexual nature with two minor male victims, and one adult.  During those conversations, Thompson solicited a sexually explicit picture from a second victim via social media... sent the sexually explicit photograph she had taken of Victim 1 to a third victim.  She also discussed sex with an adult male over social media, and sent him sexually explicit photographs of the first victim.


Rosas credits United Way and others efforts with helping find Dunkirk population increase...
The city of Dunkirk was one of the few bright spots in Chautauqua County from the 2020 Census figures released last week.  The city's population increased by 180 residents from 2010 Census... reaching 12,743.  Mayor Willie Rosas credits the work of the United Way of Northern Chautauqua and others in forming a Complete Count Committee... especially United Way Executive Director Adam Dolce and his team.  Rosas says the updated Census figure should help the city when it comes to leveraging federal funding... and, he says up to this point, they have been lacking in that funding.  Dunkirk's population increased by about 1.4 percent... while Chautauqua County's overall population dropped by about 5.4 percent.


County's 46th annual Antique Equipment Show set for this weekend...
The 46th annual Antique Equipment Show is set for this weekend at the Chautauqua County Antique Equipment Association's grounds in Stockton.  One of the members of the association, Pat Carr, says they are unveiling a brand new building this year after the association had a vote, and it was unanimous to construct the building so their equipment will be stored -- especially during the winter days."  The 30-by-60 foot building will display some 'hit and miss' engines and oil field equipment... with more to come.  Each year the show features certain kinds of old gear... and, there will be Ford and Fordson Tractors this year.  The show... on the grounds off Cemetery Road... runs 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 to 4 Sunday.  Admission is only $5 for adults... under age 14 free.  There's $3 admission for senior citizens on Friday.  Tractor pulls are scheduled for each day, and a old equipment auction will be held Saturday at 10 a.m.

 

WJTN News Headlines for Wed., Aug. 18, 2021

Rain from tropical storm remnants force postponement of all BRWS games today...
The forecast of all day rains -- thanks in large part to remnants of a tropical storm moving through the area -- has led to postponement of all four pool play games today at the 13 year-old Babe Ruth World Series.  The games at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park were to include tonght's final pool game for the Jamestown Krusaders at 7 p.m.  Local Babe Ruth World Series Vice-President Kim Ecklund tells Media One that all four games will be made up tomorrow... and, the schedule for the single-elimination championship series will be condensed into Friday and Saturday.  More on that later.


Krusaders coach says winning first two games at BRWS "has been awesome..."
Baseball fever is heating up in Jamestown for the 'Krusaders'... the local entrant in the 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series.  The team has won two games, and lost one... assuring them a place in the 'single elimination' part of the tournament that will now begin on Friday.  Head Coach, Shane Swan, says 'this has been awesome' because the local team doen't typically even win one game, let alone two.  Jamestown's only loss came in an early day game Tuesday morning against Eau Claire, Wisconsin... which he says was tough because it started at 8:30 a.m.  Jamestown kept the game close early before falling, 15-5 in six innings.  Swan says that meant fewer fans in the stands.  He would like a big crowd for the Krusaders next game against Hawaii, set for 7 p.m. tomorrow night at Diethrick Park.  This year's series is the 18th that's been played in Jamestown.  No local team has been as successful as this year's Krusaders.  


Member of Jamestown's 13 year-old WS team in 1980 reliving memories at 40th anniversary series...
For some fans attending the 13-Year-Old Babe Ruth World Series, it's a walk down memory lane.  Rob Telford... now of Los Catos, California... played in the first 13 year-old series for Jamestown in 1980.  Rob says he was the first baseman for the Jamestown entrant.  Some of his memories are quite poignant.  He remembered hitting a double against the team from Glendale, Calif., and then promptly getting picked off at second base.  He still managed a chuckle out of that play.  Telford's back in town to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first series, and is enjoying the games at Diethrick Park.  He recalls that first series as something special for the whole community... he says there was a "lot of excitement around that series..." and adds it was a "great experience."  Rob's father, Chuck Telford, is a well-known media consultant here at the Media One Group of radio stations.


County reports nine new COVID-19 cases Tuesday...
After several days of being in double-digits... the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County dropped to single-digits over the past day.  The county's Health Department reports nine new cases... bringing the local total to 9,563.  Officials say 107 of those are currently active... and, seven are now hospitalized.  There were no new deaths.  The rate of infection is now 5.8-percent... but, officials say that remains "substantial."


Sundquist voices support for Los Contrincantes Car Show...
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist has gone on record as supporting what's become a controversial car show planned for Bergman Park next month.  Several people spoke for about an hour and 45 minutes during last night's City Council Work session at City Hall for and against the proposed show by the Los Contrincantes Car Club.  A number of residents in that area have expressed concerns over potential noise from the "stereo sound-off" part of the event.  Sundquist says it's a legitimate concern... but, adds the Public Safety Committee did it's work before approving a special use permit, and he thinks the club did a good job explaining what they were doing, and went through a sound test at Bergman Park to see how loud it would be.  Responding to concerns voiced by Councilwoman Marie Carrubba about the noise, and smaller size of Bergman Park... Sundquist says there have been "loud" events held there in the past... including the Labor Day Festival which includes bands, and fireworks at the end of the day.  He also told council that it's within their right, under the charter, to vote to revoke the special use permit if they want to.


Baker Street resident voices concerns over Los Contrincantes Car Show...
One of the neighbors to Bergman Park went so far as to circulate petition cards to gauge how residents there felt about the car show.  Baker Street resident Bob Johnston says he not only circulated the cards... but, talked with many of his neighbors.  Johnston says many were unaware of the event... and, the majority opposed it.  Car Club President Jose Sanchez says they've done everything the city has asked to mitigate noise issues... and, just wants a chance to show they can put on a nice, fun event for the community.  An event by the club at the county Fairgrounds in Dunkirk earlier this Summer produced controversy over the noise it generated. 


Small Cities plaintiffs win another court battle vs. Gov. Cuomo...
There's been another court victory for the eight school districts involved in the Small Cities education funding case in Albany.  Jamestown school officials say the Appellate Division, Third Department, has now overturned Governor Andrew Cuomo's position that education aid to those districts was "constitutionally sufficient."  Officials say the court denied the governor's request to appeal in a 6--0 decision this past week.  The eight districts involved in the lawsuit... also known as "Maisto vs. the State of New York..." say this leaves the governor with "little room to maneuver further."  The intial court decision was rendered on May 27th. 


 

**Sports bulletin from WJTN Radio for Mon., Aug. 16, 2021

***Update on Rain Delayed BRWS...

A rain delay has caused officials with the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown to push the start of game #10 to 6 p.m. tonight.  That game will be between the Pacific Northwest and Middle Atlantic Region winners.  Game #9 was played earlier today.  However... officials tell us there will only be one more game after Game #10 -- provided they're played tonight.  That means the Jamestown game against Eau Claire, Wisconsin... a battle of unbeatens... will take place tomorrow morning.  The time for that game will be announced later.  

WJTN Headlines for Mon., Aug. 16, 2021

Domestic incident in Jamestown lands city woman in jail...
A Jamestown woman sought on multiple bench and arrest warrants was arrested last weekend following a domestic dispute on the city's southside.  City police were called to the 100-block of Charles St. just after 10 a.m. Saturday... and located 28 year-old Ashley Kendall inside.  Officers say there was a valid order of protection against her to stay away from the tenant living there.  Kendall was taken into custody without incident... and, was taken to the city jail for arraignment.  Upon arriving at the city jail... she was allegedly found in possession of a greyish, powdery substance... which was believed to be a mix of narcotics.  Kendall was jailed pending arraignment.


Stockton man arrested after damaging or tampering with two other people's property...         
A Stockton man has been arrested for allegedly damaging one other person's property... and, tampering with another person's property during an incident last Friday morning.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Rt. 380 in the town of Stockton on a report of a disorderly person.  Deputies say they arrested 29 year-old Justin Grant after their investigation showed he had committed those crimes.  Officers took Grant to the Chautauqua County Jail pending centralized arraignment for the charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief, and third-degree criminal tampering.


Babe Ruth World Series underway without a hitch...
The 40th anniversary of the Babe Ruth World Series for 13 year-olds is underway in Jamestown.  Russ Diethrick was the Host President for the first one… and holds that same post now.  As the games got started, Russ reflected on what has kept the World Series alive in Jamestown:  "tremendous community support" including the general public, city government, and local organizations and businesses.  The current series is the 18th that Jamestown has hosted since 1980.  Local Babe Ruth Vice-President, Kim Ecklund… who also serves on the City Council… says COVID-19 has made this one different for everyone involved.  She says they are doing their best to keep everyone safe, and urges fans and family to do the same.  Pool play in the tournament continues with four games per day at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park through Wednesday.  The finals run Thursday through Saturday.  Thanks to local support, all the games are free to attend.


More than 50 injured in tour bus crash on Thruway in Central New York...
Officials say a tour bus bound for Niagara Falls ran off the New York State Thruway and rolled over in central New York, sending more than 50 people to hospitals.  State police say 57 people were aboard the bus when it crashed just after midday Saturday near Weedsport.  All were taken to hospitals for injuries ranging from minor to serious.  Auburn Community Hospital spokesman Matthew Chadderdon says about 27 people were taken there, and some were transferred to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse for high-level trauma care.  Upstate says it received 25 patients in all.  The bus was headed to Niagara Falls from Poughkeepsie, in New York's Hudson Valley. 


Wendel believes a number of factors have led to population loss in 2020 Census...
Two elected officials from Chautauqua County are expressing disappointment with the 2020 Census figures which show a drop in the county's population.  Figures released late last week showed that the county had a 5.4 percent decline from the 2010 Census.  Area State Senator George Borrello says he wasn't surprised by the drop... adding that many people left the state for more business-friendly states, including Pennsylvania.  However... while he's also disappointed in the numbers... County Executive P.J. Wendel says he believes there could be more than one factor involved... including going to places like Florida that have no state income tax, or for better business opportunities, and people can live in Pennsylvania and commute back and forth.  However... Wendel says there is some reason for optimism.  He has heard from some local realtors that there is a growing number of people relocating to the county from larger metropolitan areas.  With a Western New Yorker taking over the office of Governor later this month... Wendel and Borrello are both hopeful that the new Hochul administration can begin to tackle the population issue.


State DOH reviewing extra vaccine policy...
New York health officials say they will soon issue state guidance on giving additional COVID-19 vaccine doses to people with severely weakened immune systems... now that the federal government is allowing them extra shots.  State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said Saturday that the state's vaccine task force met Friday to discuss the matter.  Zucker says the group will complete its review quickly. 


Healing Word ‘Hope Event’ held last weekend...
The first ‘Hope Outreach Project’ presented by the Healing Word Church of God and supporting agencies was held last Saturday in the parking lot opposite the Resource Center’s health facility on East Second Street.  Bishop Leecroft Clarke of the Healing Word Church says to really offer hope, the church needs to ‘leave the building’ because when one is feeling hopeless, they're not going to look for a particular building to get help.  Clarke believes the church is not the only source of hope, that’s why others were invited to participate.  He says the church has "it's lane..." but, adds all the other agencies in the city have their "lanes."  Clarke says that's why they've formed this collaboration.  The Resource Center, Molina Healthcare, and The Chautauqua Center are helping to sponsor the programs.  The ‘Hope Outreach Project’ is scheduled for the same East 2nd Street location from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, August 21 and 28. 

WJTN Headlines for Fri., Aug. 13, 2021

City police investigating shooting of two people during overnight incident on Jamestown's eastside...
Jamestown Police are investigating a shooting incident on the city's eastside in which two people were wounded and treated at UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers were called to the area of Peach and Winsor Streets shortly before 3 a.m., and, found there had been an altercation involving several individuals who had been attending a gathering on Peach Street.  Samuelson says several shots were fired during the fight, and two people were struck.  He says both were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released.  Samuelson say the investigation is continuing... and, anyone with information on the shooting is urged to call JPD at 483-7537... or the Tips line at 483-TIPS, that's 483-8477.  He says all calls will be kept confidential.


Sherman man arrested following fight, and robbery...
A Sherman man faces two counts of third-degree robbery following an altercation in the town Wednesday night in which he allegedly took property from two other people.  Sheriff's officers were called to the scene on Park Street about 9:30 p.m., and, found that 48 year-old Bruce Boozel was involved in the altercation, which occured in the presence of children at a home.  Deputies located Boozel a short time after the incident, and arrested.  In addition to the two robbery counts... he also faces three counts of endangering the welfare of a child... two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief... criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation... and, second-degree harassment.  Boozel was taken to the County Jail pending centralized arraignment.


Green says he supports Hochul as new governor, and her run for governor in 2022...
New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who will become the state's 57th Governor in less than two weeks, has made it clear that she will run for state's top office next year.  Hochul made the announcement during an interview on NBC's Today Show yesterday morning.  Chautauqua County Democratic Party Chairman Norm Green says it will be a tough challenge for Hochul, but he supports her efforts.  Green says he expects a primary challenge because it's hard for an upstater to get the nomination.  He says among the other names being mentioned are state Attorney General Letitia James... and, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who is also a former Assemblyman.


Sundquist says Cuomo right to step down, believes Hochul will run "high integrity" office...
Jamestown's mayor has developed a strong working relationship with the incoming Governor... noting that he's part of the Western New York COVID-19 Control Room -- headed up by the Lieutenant Governor.  Fellow Democrat Eddie Sundquist says Governor Cuomo made the right move by stepping down earlier this week -- in fact -- he says it should have been sooner.  He believe Hochul is the right person to move into the governor's office because she's "no nonsense," but, at the same time "compassionate."  Sundquist says he's "proud" to call Hochul a colleague in Western New York.  He says Hochul has come to Jamestown a number of times -- including while he's been mayor. 


Green pleased with Hanlon endorsements...
Staying on politics... County Democratic Chairman Norm Green is pleased that county resident Grace Hanlon has been cross-endorsed by four political parties in Western New York for State Supreme Court Justice.  This all but guarantees Hanlon's election, something that Green says is important to Chautauqua County... because there hasn't been local judicial representation in many years.  He says the last representation was by retired Justice Joe Gerace.  Green says the matter was only going to be solved by political solution because Chautauqua County tends to get outvoted in Western New York matters.  Hanlon was nominated Wednesday night by Western New York Democratic Party officials at their judicial nominating convention. 


Many want Cuomo investigations to continue, even after he steps down...
Sexual harassment allegations cost Governor Andrew Cuomo his job.  Now, many want to see him answer for a scandal that cut to the heart of his reputation as a pandemic hero, and may have had life-and-death consequences -- his administration's handling of outbreaks in nursing homes.  Families of the more than 15,000 New Yorkers who have died of COVID-19 in state nursing homes say they want accountability, and are urging state lawmakers and the U.S. Justice Department to keep investigating Cuomo after he leaves office.  Among those calling for the state Assembly to continue its impeachment inquiry of Governor Cuomo is local State Senator George Borrello.  The Sunset Bay Republican says that includes investigating the allegations of sexual harassment, his administration’s cover-up of COVID nursing home deaths and his improper use of state resources to produce a book. 


There are 21 new COVID cases reported in county the past day...
The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting 21 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the past day... and, the rate of infection is now considered "substantial."  Health officials say the new cases brings the local total to 9,484... and, 97 of those are currently active.  Officials say four people are now hospitalized... but, there were no new deaths.  They say 9,228 case have now recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is now 4.8-percent.


2020 Census shows NYC added more than 600K people... but, upstate losses continue...
While upstate New York continues to lose population... New York City grew by more than 600,000 people over the past decade... and, now accounts for 8.8-million people.  That from City University of New York Mapping Service Director Steven Romalewski... who says the Big Apple added 629,000 people in the 2020 Census.  Census data released Thursday also showed that the demographic shifts that are further concentrating the country's population in its largest urban areas. 

WJTN Headlines for Wed., Aug. 11, 2021

Motherwell pleads guillty in Methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy...
A former Jamestown man has pleaded guilty to being involved with a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy in the city with several others.  U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. Tuesday announced that 25 year-old Evan Motherwell, now of Penfield, PA, entered the plea to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.  Prosecutors say Motherwell conspired with Douglas Beardsley and others to sell meth, and heroin-fentanyl for profit between September of 2018 and late January of 2019.  Kennedy says co-defendants Tracey Wynn, Richard Dean, Daniel Harding, and Justin Cusimano were previously convicted and are awaiting sentencing.  Charges are pending against co-defendants Douglas Beardsley and Angelo Pollino.  The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a fine of $10-million.


Cuomo resigns over sexual harassment allegations...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely-hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings, and leadership during early days of COVID-19.  The third-term Democratic governor was increasingly isolated as state Assembly members moved toward impeachment, and allies desert him following last week's state Attorney General's report detailing 11 women's claims of sexual harassment.  While his instinct was to fight... in the end, it was time to resign so the state can get "back to governing."  Cuomo acknowledged during a late morning press conference Tuesday that his situation would be a distraction the state cannot afford to have right now... with COVID-19 cases on the rise.  


Hochul says she's ready to be the next governor...
A short time after the announcement... Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul issued a statement.  It reads -- "I agree with Governor Cuomo's decision to step down.  It is the right thing to do and in the best interest of New Yorkers.  As someone who has served at all levels of government and is next in the line of succession, I am prepared to lead as New York State’s 57th Governor."  Hochul was to hold a press event this afternoon in Manhattan... but, that has now been changed to a location in Albany.


Goodell admits surprise over Gov. Cuomo's resignation...
Until yesterday's surprising announcement... it appeared the Governor Cuomo was firmly entrenched in a fight for his political life.  Prior to making the announcement that he was resigning... State Assemblyman Andy Goodell says Cuomo and his attorney both criticized the Attorney General's report... and, cast doubt on the voracity of the victim's stories.  Goodell says it appears this will bring the Assembly Judiciary Committee's impeachment investigation to a halt.  However... he says there are criminal investigations the governor cannot stop at this point.  Goodell says that includes whether he had state employees help him write his recently released book that he was paid $5-million for.  The Jamestown-area Republican doesn't believe there was any "one straw" that broke the camel's back... or tipped the scales towards resignation. 


Borrello says Cuomo made the "right decision" in resigning...
The region's State Senator says "after months of scandal, Governor Cuomo finally made the right decision following months of denial and stonewalling."  Sunset Bay Republican George Borrello says New Yorkers can "breathe a sigh of relief..." and, get back to recovering from COVID-19, and bad policies (from the governor)."  At the same time... Borrello says "despite his apologies, we won’t forget or forgive team Cuomo’s behind-the-scenes attempts to discredit and undermine the reputations of the 11 courageous women who had come forward."  He adds that "we also won’t forget the countless nursing home residents – our parents, grandparents and friends – who lost their lives to his unconscionable policies."


Wendel also surprised by Cuomo resignation...
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he was surprised by Governor Cuomo's decision to resign amid an impeachment investigation.  County Executive P.J. Wendel says he began watching the governor's press conference in his office... but, then left prior to Cuomo's actual announcement.  Wendel says it wasn't much longer he learned what happened when his phone "blew up" with several texts from friends and political allies.  Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will become the new governor in two weeks when Cuomo officially steps down... and, Wendel says he looks forward to continuing to work with her.  He adds that Hochul has been a good ally for Chautauqua County.


Two more teens die in second double-fatal accident in Catt. Co... 
Two Cattaraugus County teenagers have died in a two-car crash in the town of Yorkshire.  State Police in Machias say they were called to the scene on West Yorkshire Road about 9:45 p.m. Sunday... and found a westbound 2002 Toyota made contact with an oncoming 2007 Cadillac.  Troopers say the Toyota went off the roadway... rolled over and struck a tree.  Police say the driver, 18 year-old Nathaniel Schwartz of Freedom... and, his passenger, 18 year-old Alexander Schenk of Delevan, were both pronounced dead at the scene.  Both were transported to Olean General Hospital for an autopsy.  It was the second double-fatal crash in Cattaraugus County last weekend.


Wendel says county keeping a close eye on COVID uptick...
Chautauqua County's top-elected official says he is keeping an eye on the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the county.  County health officials reported 12 more coronavirus cases Tuesday after reporting 53 last weekend... including the county's 159th death.  But... County Executive P.J. Wendel says they don't believe the increase is related to any major event in the county... including the Gerry Rodeo and Downtown Jamestown Crusin.'  The Health Department says the new cases brings the local total to 9,449 total cases... and, 84 of those are now active.  Officials say five people are now hospitalized, and the seven-day infection rate is now 4.5-percent.


 

WJTN Headlines for Tues., Aug. 10, 2021

Second double-fatal accident reported in the past few days in Cattaraugus County... 
Two Cattaraugus County teenagers have died in a two-car crash in the Cattaraugus County town of Yorkshire.  State Police in Machias say they were called to the scene on West Yorkshire Rd. about 9:45 p.m. Sunday... and found a westbound 2002 Toyota made contact with an oncoming 2007 Cadillac.  Troopers say the Toyota went off the roadway... rolled over and struck a tree.  Police say the driver, 18 year-old Nathaniel Schwartz of Freedom... and, his passenger, 18 year-old Alexander Schenk of Delevan, were both pronounced dead at the scene.  Both were taken to Olean General Hospital for an autopsy.  The investigation is continuing.


Lakewood Village Board holds first public hearing on possible vote to "opt-out" of allowing marijuana dispensaries...
Both sides of the debate over the legalization of marijuana in New York state was on display during a public hearing in the village of Lakewood last night.  The village board held the first of what will be two public hearings on whether the village should opt out of allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries.  Those dispensaries are now legal in New York state.  Credentialed Substance Abuse Counselor Steve Kilburn with the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene pointed out this is not "1970s pot."  Kilburn says the concentration of THC is "much higher" now.  Kilburn says there are also vulnerable populations... namely among younger people... to the affect of THC in the marijuana.  However... proponents of recreational marijuana say the pot is highly-regulated in those states where it's legal.  Village resident MacKenzie Shults also runs a cannibus operation in California... and, argues it's shown many benefits... especially from the effects of stress... which is prevailent in society these days.  However... Lakewood Police Chief Christopher DePonceau says Colorado has seen an increase in the number of armed robberies -- especially outside around dispensaries, and nearby neighborhoods.  The village board approved holding another hearing on the marijuana opt-out proposal on Monday, Aug. 23 at 6:45 p.m., and, a likely vote would take place after that.


County reports big uptick in COVID-19 cases from past weekend...
Chautauqua County is now mirroring much of the rest of the United States with 53 new COVID-19 cases being reported from the past weekend.  County Health officials also report the first COVID-related death in several weeks.  That brings the total number of fatalities to 159.  Health officials say there have now been 9,437 total cases... and, 79 of those are now active.  The most cases in one locality is 13... which was reported in the Jamestown 14701 zip code.  Officials say four people are hospitalized... and, 9,199 cases have now recovered.  The seven-day infection rate is now 3.9-percent.


Celoron mayor says it's going to be a long-haul replacing Highway Garage, and trucks and equipment...
Monday was "Day-One" of working to replace thousands of dollars worth of public works equipment, and the village's Highway Garage in Celoron.  Mayor Scot Schrecengost has been working with his DPW and others to begin getting temporary quarters, and equipment in place after Sunday morning's devastating fire at the facility at 50 Gifford Ave.  Schrecengost the losses are significant... including "pretty much" their entire fleet of dump trucks.  There were also two trackless snow plow machines lost in the blaze.  Schrecengost says several neighboring muncipalities and private entities have donated equipment to help the village get by for the time being... and, he expressed his appreciation for their help.  He says the village will be able to do garbage collection... and, they are working with their insurance company on replacing equipment and the building.  He says the village has been working on an addition to the Highway Building that was still in the process of being completed that will soon become the temporary DPW Highway Garage.  Schrecengost says, fortunately, no one was hurt in the blaze.


City man arrested after picking up woman and slamming her during domestic violence incident...
A Jamestown man is accused of picking a woman up several times last weekend...and, slamming her onto her head during a domestic violence incident on the city's southside.  Jamestown Police were called to the undisclosed location about 1:30 a.m. Sunday after receiving a 911 hang-up call.  When officers arrived... they saw the woman with a large contusion on the back of her head.  Police say the suspect, 41 year-old Carl Moore, fled the scene while officers were responding to the call.  They say Moore was later arrested for third-degree assault, and aggravated criminal contempt because he is a repeat offender.  He was jailed pending arraignment.  The woman was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of her injuries.


Babe Ruth World Series teams announced, teams begin arriving Wednesday...
A year later than first planed, the 40th anniversary 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series is coming to Jamestown later this week... and, local Babe Ruth Vice-President Kim Ecklund says they haven't "missed a beat" in getting ready.  Ecklund says teams will start arriving here on Wednesday from all over the country -- Norwalk, Connecticut... Atlantic Shore, New Jersey... Tallahassee, Florida... Tallassee, Alabama... Puyallup, Washington... West Fargo, North Dakota... Eau Claire, Wisconsin... and Kai, Hawaii.  It's the first time in Jamestown's long World Series history that a team has come from Hawaii.  Ecklund was quick to acknowledge that bringing a team from that far away is a big deal, and each player will have two people with them.  Teams from Jamestown... and a regional champion from Buffalo will also be playing in the series.  Ecklund urges everyone to come out and formally welcome the players and their families... during a parade Friday at 6 p.m. on Third Street.  The actual games begin Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. at Russell E. Diethrick, Jr. Park. 

   

WJTN Headlines for Mon., Aug. 9, 2021

Celoron Village Highway Garage, equipment, destroyed in Sunday morning fire...
An accidental, early morning fire Sunday has destroyed the village of Celoron's Highway Garage.  Celoron Fire Chief Jordan Bailey says crews were called to the scene on 50 Gifford Ave. just after 6 a.m., and, found a lot of fire in the front of the building.  Bailey says it took about 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  He says fire was showing from the first-overhead door, and the main door when crews arrived.  Bailey says the village highway department lost three dump trucks, two trackless vehicles, and possiblyi two lawnmowers.  He says they were joined at the scene by fire crews from Lakewood, Busti, Kiantone and the city of Jamestown.  He adds the county's Emergency Medical Services, and FAST Teams were also called in.  Bailey says a faulty hot water tank in the bathroom apparently triggered the flames.  He says crews were at the scene most of the morning.


Two 18 year-olds killed in weekend accident in Cattaraugus County...
Two teenagers were killed... and, two others were seriously hurt in a one-car, rollover crash on Barnum Road in the Cattaraugus County town of Olean.  Sheriff's officers in Little Valley were called to the scene shortly after 10 p.m. last Friday... and, found two unidentified 18 year-olds had died at the scene.  Deputies say two other juveniles were taken to Olean General Hospital for treatment of what were described as non-life threatening injuries.  The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Department Accident Reconstruction Team is assisting with the investigation.  State Police and multiple fire departments in the area also assisted at the scene.


Panama man accused of drunk driving in North Harmony accident...         
A Panama man is accused of driving drunk after his car went off Route 394 in the town of North Harmony and crashed into a ditch.  Sheriff's officers say 24 year-old Dillon Mascall allegedly committed several traffic violations while being followed by a Sheriff's Department cruiser last week.  Officers say just prior to stopping the vehicle... it left the roadway and entered the ditch.  They say Mescall did not suffer serious injuries... but, he was found to be driving while drunk... and, he was arrested for DWI, consumption of Alcohol in a motor vehicle, moving from Lane Unsafely, No or Insufficient Taillamps and lights.  He was issued appearance tickets for North Harmony Town Court at a later date.


Gerry Rodeo wraps up "unbelievable" run Saturday night...
The longtime spokesman for the Gerry Rodeo, Paul Cooley, had one word to describe this year’s run when it concluded Saturday night -- and that was "unbelieveable."  Cooley says they had capacity crowds each night, and they served about 3,600 beef barbecue dinners during their four-day run.  The competition in the ring was keen and the weather nearly perfect for the four nights’ performances.  Cooley says it’s a great relief after the COVID driven ‘last minute’ postponement of the rodeo in 2020.  He says they had to pay out some expenses last year, then had to call it off.  Any proceeds from the rodeo go to support the year-long efforts of the Gerry Fire Department.  2021 marks the 76th Gerry Rodeo.


Downtown Jamestown Cruise-In a big success...
For Friday night’s Cruise-In in Jamestown, the downtown was filled with cars, people, and music by the local band ‘In Crowd’ on the bandstand at Third and Main Streets.  In addition... every available space on nearby streets was taken by a classic or antique car.  Sam Ognibene of Der Kobblers Car Club said the owners were happy to be back.  Ognibene says they enjoy getting out and being in the show... which did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.  The event is organized by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce.  The chamber’s Sheila Webster said they brought in fewer street vendors this year, and that worked out well for established restaurants and businesses, where people lined up to get into some locations.  


Ashville man identified as person killed when truck fell on him last Friday...
An Ashville man has now been identified as the man killed last Friday morning when the pick-up truck he was working on fell on top of him on Jamestown's eastside.  City Police were called to the scene at 153 Hopkins Ave., along with emergency medical services, about 7 a.m. on a report of a person trapped under a vehicle.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says the victim has been identified as 28 year-old Christopher Brawdy.  Samuelson says Brawdy was trapped under a truck that he was working on inside the garage at the location... and, died from his injuries.  


Comedian Tiffany Haddish named as new board member for NCC...
Comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish has joined the National Comedy Center's Board of Directors -- effective the same day as the 110th birthday of the late Lucille Ball.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says Haddish... an Emmy and Grammy award-winner... is one of the most sought-after comedic talents worldwide, with acclaimed work in stand-up, film, television, animation, albums, as well as a best-selling memoir.  Gunderson says she can currently be seen in the Sony feature film 'Here Today' where she stars opposite Billy Crystal.  She can also be seen in TBS' new weekly movie showcase & talk show Friday Night Vibes, and in Netflix's Bad Trip. 


 

WJTN Headlines for Fri., Aug. 6, 2021

City man dies after truck accidently falls on him...
A Jamestown man has died after the pick-up truck he was working on fell on top of him this morning on the city's eastside.  City Police were called to the scene, along with emergency medical services, to 153 Hopkins Ave. on a report of a person traplped under a vehicle.  JPD Captain Bob Samuelson says EMS crews arrived to find a 28 year-old man trapped under a truck that was being worked on inside the garage at the location.  The victim died as result of his injuries from the weight of the vehicle falling on him.  The victim's name is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.


Cuomo given deadline to submitting evidence for Impeachment hearing; Goodell says trial on AG's report could begin even while committee finishes it's work...
New York state lawmakers are telling Gov. Andrew Cuomo that their ongoing impeachment investigation is ``nearing completion'' and gave him a deadline of Aug. 13 to provide additional evidence.  That would indicate that a trial in Albany's lower house may begin soon.  Judiciary Committee members have said they want to complete their investigation before starting procedings.  However... local Assemblyman says the full chamber could deal with the state Attorney General's investigative report simultaneously.  As for the process, the committee would make a recommendation to the full Assembly, which would then vote.  Once that's complete, it would go to the State Senate for a trial that would also include members of the State Court of Appeals.  Since last March... the Assembly's judiciary committee has been investigating whether there are grounds to impeach the Democratic governor over the A-G's sexual harassment allegations, and other matters.  In a letter sent Thursday... the law firm leading the Assembly's investigation reminded Cuomo's legal team that it has requested certain documents by subpoena and expected ``full compliance from the governor."  However... the time to respond was almost up.  Cuomo denies making any inappropriate sexual advances.


City woman arrested after allegedly stabbing a Bounce House, and biting man...
A Jamestown woman is accused of stabbing a bounce house... and, biting a man during a domestic violence incident on the city's southside.  Police say officers were called to the 300-block of South Main Street for an alleged dispute involving a knife.  Officers investigated... and, found that 33 year-old Breanne Veney had alleged stabbed the bounce house -- valued at $3,500 -- that belonged to the male victim.  The man also had a bite mark on his forearm.  Veney was jailed pending arraignment on charges of second-degree criminal mischief, and third-degree assault. 


Malatras says all SUNY schools are ready for Fall semester...
The head of the State University of New York system says they're ready for the start of full classes later this month... but, are pushing returning students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  During a press conference at Jamestown Community College earlier this week... SUNY Chancellor James Malatras says they are still just "suggesting" that unvaccinated students and faculty need to mask up for the Fall Semester.  Malatras says they are in the middle of their "30-day Vaccination challenge," which includes already vaccinated students being welcome-back ambassadors.  However... at the same time... Malatras says SUNY is set to mandate vaccination for students, once one of the COVID vaccines receives full FDA approval.  If students aren't vaccinated... he says they will be subject to testing once a week to make sure campuses are as free of COVID as possible.  Malatras says there will be other restrictions... and, adds the best way to avoid those is to get vaccinated.  Fall classes at JCC begin on Monday, Aug. 23.


Forestville man arrested for allegedly using kitchen utensils to assault another person...         
A north county man has been arrested on assault and other charges after allegedly hitting another person with a frying pan and some bowls.  Sheriff's officers were called to a Walnut Street address in Forestville just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday on a reported disturbance.  Deputies found that 23 year-old Patrick Parker hit the other person with the kitchen utensils... and, when a third-party tried to stop Parker... the suspect punched that person.  He was then arrested for third-degree assault... fourth-degree criminal mischief... and, second-degree harassment.  Parker was taken to the county jail pending arraignment.


Firefighters called to Maytum Hall at SUNY Fredonia for small fire caused by roofing tar...
Firefighters made quick work of a fire Wednesday afternoon on the campus of the State University of New York at Fredonia. Fredonia firefighters responded to Maytum Hall just after 2:45 p.m., and, found fire in a wall space between two buildings, with insulation burning.  Fire crews determined that the cause of the fire was hot tar that a roofing company was using to seal the roof, with the tar seeping into the cracks and down the wall space.


Eight new COVID-19 cases reported in county on Thursday...
There are eight new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County over the past day... and, two people are now hospitalized.  The county's Health Department reports there have now been 9,378 cases... and, 39 of those are currently active.  Officials say no one has died... and, 9,181 cases have now recovered.  The seven-day infection rate is now 2.8-percent.

 

WJTN Headlines for Thurs., Aug. 5, 2021

Majority of NYS Assembly members say they support begining impeachment trial against Cuomo...
A majority of members of the New York State Assembly support beginning impeachment proceedings against Governor Andrew Cuomo if he doesn't resign over investigative findings that he sexually harassed at least 11 women.  That's according to an Associated Press count Wednesday.  At least 83 of the body's 150 members have said publicly or told The A-P that they favored initiating the process of ousting the third-term Democratic governor if he doesn't quit.  Cuomo denies that he made any inappropriate sexual advances and insists the investigative findings don't reflect the facts.  A simple majority of Assembly members is needed to authorize an impeachment trial. 


Jamestown mayor among those calling for Cuomo to resign...
Chautauqua County's top three-elected officials have joined the chorus of public leaders calling on the governor to step down.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he finds the Attorney General's report "disturbing..." and, says the fact this was happening in the workplace makes it moreso.  Sundquist says you should "never, never see someone treat another person like that at the workplace."  He also agrees that if the governor does not resign... the state legislature needs to move ahead with removing him from office.  Sundquist says agrees that having this situation makes it difficult for Cuomo to lead a state trying to fully emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.  He believes... as the scandal drags out... it will hurt Jamestown and the rest of the state.  He does add, though, that he's very comfortable with having Lt. Governor Hochul, a Western New Yorker, taking over the reigns.


Rosas, loyal supporter of Cuomo, also calling for gov. to resign...
Several top Democrats in the state -- and nation -- are also calling for Governor Cuomo to resign now that the state Attorney General has released a blistering report that finds the governor sexually harassed those women.  Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas, a loyal supporter of the Governor, says he needs to step down.  Rosas says they've had a lot of support from Cuomo through the years... but, says the "state Attorney General's report speaks for itself."  Should Cuomo leave office... Lieutanant Governor Kathy Hochul would become governor.  Rosas says he has a good relationship with the state's second in command... and, says he believes "all of Western New York would benefit" if she became the next governor.  However... Rosas admits its difficult situation since the city has enjoyed a strong relationship with the Governor over the years. 


Wendel believes Cuomo feels he's "above the law...."
More than a year ago... Governor Cuomo was widely beloved for his telegenic response to the coronavirus pandemic.  However... allegations of sexual assault and harassment have sent the Democrat tumbling into a monthslong fall from grace, coming to a head Tuesday with the release of a report substantiating allegations from 11 women.  Several lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle are now calling for his resignation.  Among them is Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel... who says the governor feels he's "above the law."  Wendel says if it was just "one or two" women making claims that couldn't be corroborated... that would be one thing.  But... he says there are 11, and many of their stories were cooroborated by others in the state Attorney General's report.  The probe overseen by the A.G.'s office found Cuomo sexually harassed the women... but, Cuomo still denies the allegations.  He maintains he isn't going anywhere, but his political future might soon be out of his hands.


County's new COVID cases reach double-digits for first time in many weeks Wednesday...
The uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County is continuing over the past day... with 10 new confirmed cases reported today.  The county's Health Department reports there are now 9,370 total cases... and, 36 of those are active.  Officials add, though, that only one case is hospitalized.  There were no deaths.  There are 9,176 cases that have recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is up to 2.6-percent... which constitutes "moderate" spread.


JHS Marching Band Minicamp underway...
A familiar sound of marching band music returned to Jamestown High School this week.  Squads from the JHS marching band fanned out around the grounds for 'minicamp'...  learning the music and drill for this fall's show.  Director Meghan Murray says the band and staff were thrilled to be back after nearly two-years of not being able to perform much.  The 80 member band is scheduled for a full set of competitions, including the Fall Festival of Bands at Strider Field on Sept. 18.  Murray hopes no virus related issues will get in the way because they've been doing a "lot of good work" to get ready.  This year's JHS performance is based on the music from the hit movie, Evita... and was arranged by Assistant Director Marc Lentsch. The band will fully prepare the fall show during 'intensive week'  later this month.  

WJTN Headlines for Wed., Aug. 4, 2021

Willard Street home sustains extensive damage in fire...
Fire damage was confined to the upper portions of a home on Jamestown's eastside late Tuesday morning.  City Fire Battalion Chief Brian Acterberg says crews were called to the scene at 493 Willard St. about 10:30 a.m., and, they found heavy fire in the southeast corner of the house... extending from a gas meter to the attic area.  Due to that... Acterberg says they had to make sure the gas was off before making an interior attack.  He says it took about 20 minutes to bring the blaze under control.  Acterberg says there was extensive damage to the second-floor and attic areas.  Acterberg says some mulch outside the home accidently caught fire... and, it melted part of the gas meter on the home.  He says that was "spraying gas" so they had to make sure no gas was inside the home before entering.  Acterberg says the family was not home at the time... and, no one was hurt.  He adds the owner had come home and found the fire underway.  Crews were at the scene for about two-hours.


City man faces charges in two-car, DWI crash in Kiantone...
A two-car crash on Routes 62 and 60 in the town of Kiantone last Sunday has led to multiple charges against a Jamestown man who is accused of driving drunk.  State Police in Jamestown say they received a report of a car striking another from behind, and continuing north on Route 60.  Troopers say the car, driven by 36 year-old Jimenez Morales, later struck a utility pole... but, he continued driving into the city.  Witnesses helped troopers find the vehicle at Eighth Street and Lakeview Avenue... where it struck a curb and broke down.  They say Morales showed signs of intoxication, and he was unable to stand without police help.  He was arrested for driving while intoxicated.  At the State Police barracks... Morales allegedly became belligerent, and spit on troopers, and urinated on the floor.  Morales refused a breath test and was later take to the county jail.  No one was hurt in the accidents.


Cuomo denies sexual harassment allegations in scathing A-G report...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is remaining defiant yesterday against allegations that he sexually harassed multiple current and former state government employees.  State Attorney General Letitia James announced the findings of a 165-page report Tuesday.  The investigation by two outside lawyers, found that the Cuomo administration was a ``hostile work environment'' and that it was ``rife with fear and intimidation.''  Cuomo claims those were "everyday interactions..." and he says they've been unfairly charactorized.  Last Winter... Cuomo faced multiple allegations that he inappropriately touched and sexually harassed women who worked with him... or who he met at public events.  After the findings were announced... the Democrat said that ``the facts are much different than what has been portrayed'' and appeared to reject calls to resign.


Attorney General's report says there are 11 women making allegations against Gov. Cuomo...
Prior to Cuomo's recorded statement... Attorney General Letitia James released a 165-page report about the allegations surrounding the governor.  She says Cuomo sexually harrassed multiple women, including nine current or former state employees.  James says the independent counsel's report showed "unwanted" physical touching, and the governor allegedly making "inappropriate comments."  A four-month investigation found non-consensual touching and suggestive comments that James said contributed to a toxic work environment.  She called it conduct that "corrodes the very fabric of state government."
----
Several state and federal lawmakers have issued statements calling on the governor to resign.  They include State Senator George Borrello and State Assemblyman Andy Goodell.  Borrello says if Cuomo does not resign... State Legislature Democrats should begin impeachment proceedings.  The state's two Democratic U-S Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand... also called for Cuomo to "resign immediately."  


Gas prices surge by 10-cents a gallon over the past week...
Gasoline prices in the Jamestown-area have increased by a dime a gallon this week for regular, unleaded fuel.  The AAA East Central's Gas Price Report says the price is now $3.29.6 a gallon... exactly 10-cents above last week's figure.  AAA says Americans are "paying a pretty penny to hit the road this summer."  Officials say the monthly national gas price average has increased from $3.00 a gallon in May... to $3.07 in June... and, $3.15 in July.  Triple-A says the beginning of August will likely be as expensive as July, especially as crude oil prices remain over $70 a barrel.  An increase in global crude production is expected this month.  However, even with the additional supply, global demand could outpace global supply and keep prices high.


PA Republican Senator pushing for election machine audit expects subpeonas to be issued within next two weeks...
A Republican state senator who wants to have the committee he leads force three counties to turn over election machines, ballots and related material says he thinks subpoenas will be issued in the next two weeks.  Senator Doug Mastriano of Franklin County said Tuesday that he's working on a broad subpoena to York, Tioga and Philadelphia counties.  The deadline for voluntary compliance that Mastriano gave the counties expired in recent days.  Officials in Tioga and Philadelphia have said no, and York has raised concerns but has not directly turned him down.  Senate Republican leadership hasn't said if they are behind Mastriano's plans to have the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee issue subpoenas for the information and equipment.


 

WJTN Headlines for Tues., Aug. 3, 2021

Cuomo says NYC transportation workers have to get vaccinated or be tested for COVID; urges local governments to consider vaccine mandates...
Governor Andrew Cuomo says workers in New York City's airports and public transit system will have to get COVID-19 vaccinations or face weekly testing for the coronavirus.  However... he stopped short of mandating either masks or inoculations for the general public.  Speaking to reporters Monday... Cuomo said he no longer has the legal authority to make masking mandatory.  He says it's up to local governments to consider mandating vaccines.  If they don't act, he warns "we'll be where we were last year" when there was a state-wide emergency.  Cuomo also urged bars and restaurants to adopt a policy of only serving vaccinated people and that more hospitals should require workers to get vaccines.  The Democrat says an average of nearly 2,300 people have been testing positive for COVID-19 daily across New York state over the past week, up from around 300 new cases per day in late June.


Seven new COVID-19 cases reported in Chautauqua County from past weekend...
There were seven new cases of the COVID-19 virus reported in Chautauqua County over the past weekend... and, risk is now listed as "moderate."  The county Health Department's COVID-19 Dashboard reported the new cases late Monday.  Officials say there have now been 9,351 total cases... and, 26 of those are now active.  They add that one case is now hospitalized.  There are now 9,167 cases that have recovered... and, the seven-day infection rate is 2.3-percent.  


Jamestown resident urges city leaders to consider a new mitigation and protection plan in wake of spreading Delta variant...
COVID-19 has "roared back to life" thanks to the more infectious Delta Variant... and, with that... the city of Jamestown needs to be ready for it.  Those are the feelings of resident Doug Champ... who offered more input on what the city should do with some of the $14-million in American Rescue Plan funding it has received. The city was awarded a total of $28-million over two years.  Speaking at last night's City Council work session, Champ told lawmakers that creating a mitigation and protection plan tops the federal government's list of potential uses.  He says public safety, citizen recovery and protection top the list of uses.  Champ told lawmakers that the city could use existing health care providers... and, use incentives similar to what some states have done to get more people vaccinated.   He noted that people could present their vaccination verification information to receive whatever the incentive is.  The city completed it's four public input sessions late last week... and, Mayor Eddie Sundquist said Monday that he was pleased with overall turn-out, and input received.  He says the information is still be complied for council's review in the coming days.  


Malatras at JCC to announced Child Care initiative...
The head of the State University of New York system has unveiled a plan to make sure the SUNY system is part of the solution to the "child care crisis" in the state and nation.  SUNY Chancellor James Malatras was at Jamestown Community College Monday afternoon to announce a multi-pronged effort to meet child care needs in the colleges, and surrounding community.  Malatras says first is a $500,000 infusion of money to provide paid internships at child care facilities.  He says that will give those students valuable experience, and they would be paid for it.  Malatras says some of the system's colleges -- like JCC -- are in "Child Care Deserts..." meaning there aren't the resources to meet the need locally.  He says he's also dedicating resources to helping get new facilities the licensing and accreditation that they need because they want "high-quality" facilities.  He says training and staffing are also key to avoiding a "child care crisis."  Malatras was joined for the press announcement by SUNY JCC President Daniel DeMarte, and JCC North County Center and Career Advantage Director Beth Starks -- a staunch child care advocate -- for the announcement.


Cuomo provides 11 hours of testimony to A.G. investigators into sexual harassment allegations...
Investigators conducting an inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo questioned him for eleven hours when he met with them last month.  That from the New York Times... which spoke to five people who had been briefed on the meeting, and who recounted some details on the condition of anonymity.  Cuomo declined to say anything when asked about the meeting at a press conference on Monday.  State Attorney General Letitia James hired the investigators to conduct the probe after several women accused Cuomo of subjecting them to inappropriate kisses and touching or inappropriate sexual remarks.  Cuomo has denied the allegations.


Wolf calls on PA lawmakers to extend Opioid Emergency Declaration...
The governor of Pennsylvania is asking state lawmakers to return to Harrisburg within a month to extend a statewide disaster emergency intended to help stem the opioid addiction crisis.  In a letter to the General Assembly... Tom Wolf said he plans an Aug. 5th renewal of the disaster emergency declaration first issued in January 2018 and wants lawmakers to consider extending it by by Aug. 26.  The governor can no longer unilaterally extend the 90-day disaster emergency declaration, something he had done more than a dozen times, following approval by the voters of a state constitutional amendment curbing the emergency powers of a Pennsylvania governor.

WJTN Headlines for Mon., Aug. 2, 2021

Pair from Celoron arrested during drug raid...
Two Celoron residents were arrested by drug agents early last weekend during a raid on a village home.  Ellicott Town Police say they, along with members of the Southern Tier Regional, and Jamestown Metro Drug Task Forces executed a search warrant at 150 Boulevard Ave. late last Friday... and arrested 43 year-old Zaid Mendoza following an investigation into the sales and possession of Methamphetamine and Fentanyl.  Police say Mendoza was also found with cash proceeds and several large capacity ammunition feeding devices.  Mendoza was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell... second-degree criminally using drug paraphernalia... and, criminal possession of a weapon.  He was taken to the Jamestown City Jail pending arraignment.  Police say they also arrested 42 year-old Ryan Boyles for seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and, was arraigned and released with an appearance ticket.  The JPD SWAT Team, and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office... and, JPD and Sheriff's Office and Lakewood-Busti K-9 units also assisted.


Erie, PA woman arrested for drug possession during traffic stop in Busti...         
A woman from Erie, Pennsylvania faces drug-related charges following a traffic stop in the town of Busti last week.  Sheriff's deputies say they pulled over 32 year-old Britney Randazzo about 11 p.m. last Wednesday on Baker Street Ext., and, further investigation found that she was in possession of a quantity of Methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia.  Randazzo was arrested and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession controlled substance... and, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended registration.  She was issued appearance tickets for Busti Town Court and released.


Gerry Rodeo set to begin this Wednesday night...
Some 242 cowboys and cowgirls have signed up to compete in this year’s Gerry Rodeo, starting Wednesday night and running through Saturday.  Rodeo Spokesman Paul Cooley believes the absence of rodeo last year has whetted the community’s appetite.  Cooley says they've probably had the highest number of sponsorship sales ever.  He says support for the return of the rodeo has been shown in another way, as well, with other fire departments helping to get the grounds on Route 60 ready.  The total prize money this year’s event will be $50,000.  For ticket information... call 985-4847, going to gerryrodeo.org.  


County issues Harmful Algal Bloom warnings...
Chautauqua County officials are urging residents and visitors to get educated about Harmful Algal Blooms... and, to be cautious when swimming, boating or fishing in the lake.  The county's Department of Health and Human Services says -- in New York -- the blooms usually occur most frequently in the mid to late-summer months... but, can occur at any time of the year.  Small bloom conditions can change rapidly due to changes in weather and lake currents.  So far... officials say small, localized blooms have been spotted in Chautauqua Lake... while localized blooms near the outlet have been reported in Findley Lake.  With the right conditions... blue-green Algal Blooms may appear as floating “rafts” or scums on the surface of the water... and, be alert and watchful for blooms which may resemble “pea soup” or have a paint-like appearance with strong colors including blue-green, green, yellow, white, brown, purple, or red.  Blooms are more likely in nearshore areas than open water areas.  For more information... go to the county's website.


NYS COVID cases continue rising due to Delta Variant...
The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in New York continues to swell statewide as hospitalizations grow at a slower pace.  That's according to the latest data released by the state Friday.  An average of 2,036 people have tested positive each day over the past seven days.  It's the first time that number has gone over 2,000 since May 13.  The rise in cases is happening at a faster and steadier pace now that it did last fall, before anyone was vaccinated.  About 57% of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, with vaccination rates lowest in rural counties as well as in the Bronx and Brooklyn.


Chamber's Cruise-In returns to downtown Jamestown this coming Friday night...
The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce is bringing back its popular downtown Jamestown Cruise-In this Friday night, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  The chamber’s Sheila Webster says car owners who want to show off their vehicles can sign up anytime.  She says they are taking vehicle registration on line, and that's $10.  Car owners can also register on the day of the event.  The chamber is encouraging people to come downtown… enjoy the cars, and have dinner at one of the many restaurants that will be open that night.  Angelo and Ilsa Guiffre’s band ‘In Crowd’ will be set up at Third and Main for entertainment.  Regarding COVID rules, Sheila Webster says the Chamber of Commerce has one request -- that people who are unvaccinated should where a mask.  If vaccinated people want to wear a mask, they certainly can do so.  There is no cost to view the cars.  The show was quickly organized after virus restrictions were loosened earlier in the season, with the help of Der Kobblers Car Club, and Linnea Carlson from the Jamestown Public Market.


 

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