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Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for June 3, 2020

The Western New York Region -- including Chautauqua County -- can now officially move to Phase-Two of the COVID-19 reopening today.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo who made the announcement during his daily briefing held in Albany.  Cuomo adds that the Capital District -- including Albany -- should follow tomorrow.  Phase-Two allows for some professional office, additional retail, and barbers and hair stylists to reopen.  Cuomo also says that some Summer camps can open later this month.

Cuomo spent a lot of time during his daily briefing talking about the protests that became violent in New York City.  He says it's not just African-Americans who are upset about the killing of George Floyd... but, white Americans as well.  Cuomo also reminded the protestors that the pandemic has not ended... but, he says "be responsible" because there is fear there may be a new spike in COVID cases.  In speaking about the violence... Cuomo says the vast majority of protestors are peaceful and they are separate and distinct from the criminals.


There is one new case of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County today... bringing the total to 88 since the pandemic began.  However... the number of "negative cases" continues to climb.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the new case is a man in his 80s.  Wendel adds that there are now 15 active cases... and those people continue to recover under public health law.  Two people are hospitalized with COVID-19... while 69 have now recovered.  Wendel says there have been 3,359 negative test results so far.


 Local Congressman Tom Reed says he plans to take part in a peaceful protest later this week in Elmira to condemn the police-involved death of George Floyd.  During an appearance at a store in Gerry yesterday, Reed said he understands that people are upset... but, he also condemned those who have taken over those protests at night... and, have been rioting and looting businesses.  Reed says... while there are "bad actors..." he fully stands with law enforcement.

Reed says -- as an elected official -- justice needs to be served after a police officer pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee for about nine-minutes during an May 25th incident in Minnesota.  President Donald Trump again threatened to invoke federal "Insurrection Act" Tuesday to allow the military to deal with the rioting and looting in several major cities the past week.  Reed says he hopes cooler heads prevail before that's needed.  He's hoping that all people and law enforcement can come together, and drive solutions to eliminate such incidents. 


Chautauqua County's Congressman is co-sponsoring federal legislation that would reward front-line workers across the nation who risked going to work to keep essential services in place during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Using the Country Fair convenience store at the four-corners in Gerry as the backdrop... Corning Republican Tom Reed announced that he and one other Republican and two Democrats, have introduced the Rewarding American Workers Act of 2020.

Reed says the Rewarding workers legislation would be part of a likely fourth, COVID-19 Stimulus package in Congress.  He says businesses would be advanced a tax credit to provide a bonus of about 30-percent of wages to workers employed during the national shut-down.  Reed says higher earners -- from $55,000-90,000 -- would receive that $600 bonus.  He says the legislation would use existing IRS and Treasury authorities because "it's the quickest way to ensure workers get financial relief."


Jamestown High School will hold an "alternative" graduation program for the Class of 2020 due to the on-going shut-down from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Final details are still being worked out... but, the program will be held at Strider Field -- near Jefferson Middle School -- on Thursday night, June 25th.   JHS Principal Dana Williams says they plan to have the 305 graduates, in their caps and gowns, enter one at a time -- with loved ones -- at each of the field's main gates.

Jamestown typically holds it's graduation ceremonies at the Chautauqua Amphitheater.  Williams says graduation activities will actually begin the night of Wednesday, June 24th... with on-line addresses by class leaders.  He says the ceremony would adhere to safety requirements... including limits on gatherings of no more than 10 people.  He says that may be altered depending on what New York state and it's Education Department will allow at that time.  Rain date for graduation will be the following night, Friday, June 26th. 


Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has imposed a citywide 8 PM curfew for the rest of the week after a New York State Police trooper suffered a broken leg and a shattered pelvis when an SUV barreled through a group of officers.  The officers had just charged people protesting George Floyd's death.  Another trooper and a Buffalo police officer were treated for minor injuries after being struck by the Ford Explorer when it broke through a blockade at about 10 PM Monday and then sped away as troopers opened fire.  The driver and a passenger had non-life threatening gunshot wounds when they were apprehended.
 

 

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WJTN News Headlines for June 2, 2020

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expects the Western New York region will be able to move into Phase-Two of the reopening process from the state's coronavirus shut-down today.  Cuomo said about mid-day yesterday that the numbers looked good for the area... which includes Chautauqua County.  During his daily COVID-19 press briefing... Cuomo says he wants the global experts helping them to take one more look at the situation. Phase-Two would allow some professional businesses -- namely barbershops and hair salons -- to reopen following social distancing guidelines.  

There are new cases of the coronavirus reported in Chautauqua County... as the number of positive cases increased to 87 Monday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the two new cases are a woman in her 20s... and, a woman in her 70s.  Wendel adds that two people are now hospitalized in the county... and, there are 18 active cases.  He says they are recovering under Health Department regulations.  Wendel says 65 people have now recovered.  He says 263 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... while another 3,210 negative test results have been reported to date.

 
Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is concerned that mass protests over George Floyd's death could cause a set-back in the long, hard fight to contain the coronavirus pandemic.  The Democratic governor said he agreed with demonstrators fighting racism and societal inequality.  But... he sounded frustrated about possibly compromising about three months of social and economic sacrifices.  Cuomo then urged New Yorkers to be smarter when it comes to protesting Floyd's death.

Cuomo... who is also a former state Attorney General... told those rioting and looting to stop damaging property.  He says it's nothing less than "criminality..." and, it gives those who oppose such a movement the abililty to "dismiss the entire effort."  New York City is set to begin phasing in economic activity June 8th.  Statewide hospitalization rates have been ticking down for weeks and the daily death toll has gone from almost 800 in early April to 54 on Sunday.  


Both protesters and police on hand for Sunday afternoon's Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dow Park agree that more training would help police deal with the African-American community better.  Members of the Jamestown Police and Chautauqua County Sheriff's Departments go through some training to help defuse tense and volatile situations.  However, during a 50-minute long back-and-forth between protesters and city officials... one man whose lived in Jamestown most of his life said the training JPD received... two-times a year for a few hours, is not enough.  Police Chief Harry Snellings says he would like to see more training done, but, says the state doesn't require anymore than they receive.

Preliminary plans have been announced for an "in-person" graduation for Jamestown High School's Class of 2020 at Strider Field on Thursday, June 25th.  In a printed release Monday... Principal Dana Williams says the ceremony would adhere to safety requirements for social distancing and limits on gatherings of more than 10 people.  Williams says they will soon be providing more specific details to students and families about the ceremony... including scheduled times for students and families to go to Strider Field, and get their diploma.


A Panama woman faces Driving While Intoxicated charges following a motor vehicle accident in Ashville last Sunday morning.  Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene of property damage accident on Kortwright Road -- between Hoag and Cherry Hill Roads -- about 5:30 AM.  On arrival... officers say they found a vehicle on it's side in a ditch with a single occupant.  The driver was not hurt, and wasidentifed as 34 year-old Emily Kunselman.  She was taken into custody and later released with appearance tickets for Harmony Town Court. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for Jun. 1, 2020

Passions ran high at times... but, overall... some 200 people were at Dow Park in Jamestown yesterday to peacefully protest the police-involved killing of a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Local Activist Shiloh Smith led the chants to protest the death of 45 year-old George Floyd after an officer put his knee into the man's neck for nearly nine-minutes during a recent incident.

Some local ministers and pastors were in the audience, and not all were from the city.  Pastor Roy Ferguson from Busti says it's up to white Americans to stand with their African-American neighbors -- and other minorities -- to effect change.  Smith, Ferguson and others urged protesters to use their voices to promote change that will lead to more minority police officers, and that the officers would be in the community more to better understand the issues facing them.


Several of the protesters had the change to speak with Jamestown city leaders for nearly 50-minutes during Sunday's protest.  Shiloh Smith asked Police Chief Harry Snellings about the filling of three open positions currently open at JPD.  Snellings says they are bound by Civil Service requirements to hire off that list.  However... he says they more minorities need to apply and take a test.  Snellings takes part in the Criminal Justice program at BOCES... and, says he encourages students to take part.

Snellings said there are currently two minority members of JPD's rank-and-file.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist was on hand, and said it was "huge" to have so many city officials and others on hand to hear people's concerns... and, begin addressing them.  Some city council members -- including Council President Tony Dolce -- were also on hand.  Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone also talked with protesters.


There were three new cases of the COVID-19 Virus reported in Chautauqua County over the past weekend... with one added on Sunday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the new case is a man in his 60s... and, that brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 85.  Of those... Wendel says 21 cases are currently active... and, they continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Director.  One person is reported hospitalized... while 60 have now recovered.  Wendel says 241 other cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  He adds that there have now been 3,126 negative test results to date.


A Panama woman was arrested for impaired driving and using a cellphone at the time of a motor vehicle crash in Ashville yesterday.  Sheriff's Officers responded to the property damage accident on Kortwright Road -- between Hoag and Cherry Hill Roads -- about 5:30 AM... and on arrival, found a vehicle on it's side in a ditch with a single occupant. Deputies say the driver was uninjured and identifed as 34 year-old Emily Kunselman. She was found to be driving while intoxicated and taken into custody on additional charges of DWI per se and move from lane unsafely. She was later released with appearance tickets for Harmony Town Court. 


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill granting death benefits to the families of police officers, public health workers and other front-line workers who have died of the coronavirus.  The governor signed the bill at his daily briefing on Saturday.  The bill passed by state lawmakers provides an accidental death benefit that is more substantial than the regular death benefit that public workers' families receive.

Four dogs were killed in a weekend house fire in the north county town of Dunkirk.  Sheriff's deputies say fire crews were called to the scene at 10-789 South Roberts Road shortly after 11 AM Saturday... and found heavy fire coming from inside the home.  County Fire Investigators say the blaze originated in an unoccupied bedroom due to an over loaded electrical strip in close proximity to combustible materials.  No one was hurt... but, the local Red Cross responded to assist the family.


Fire damage was confined to a back-porch on a house under renovation on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott... near the city line.  Celoron Fire Chief Jordan Bailey says crews were called to the scene at 490 Fairmount just before 9 PM Friday, and found the porch on fire.  Bailey says they called in Lakewood fire crews to assist, and had the fire out quickly.  He says crews were at the scene until about 11 PM.  He says the Chautauqua County Fly-Car, Lakewood-Busti and Ellicott Town Police were also called to the scene.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team has determined the fire originated on a rear porch due to spontaneous combustion of chemical soaked rags in a tightly confined area.  

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News Update for Sun., May 31, 2020

Celoron fire crews make quick work of Friday night porch fire...

Fire damage was confined to a back-porch on a house under renovation on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott... near the city line.  Celoron Fire Chief Jordan Bailey says crews were called to the scene at 490 Fairmount just before 9 PM Friday, and found the porch on fire.  Bailey says they called in Lakewood fire crews to assist, and had the fire out quickly.  He says crews were at the scene until about 11 p.m.  He says the Chautauqua County Fly-Car, Lakewood-Busti and Ellicott Town Police were also called to the scene.  The Chautauqua County Fire Investigation Team has determined the fire originated on a rear porch due to spontaneous combustion of chemical soaked rags in a tightly confined area.  

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News Headlines for Sat., May 30, 2020

Wendel says county is ready for Phase-Two reopening this Tuesday... one new COVID care reported Friday...
There's been one new case of the COVID-19 Virus reported in Chautauqua County today... bringing the total to 82 now.  However... even with the number of new cases continuing to climb slightly... County Executive P-J Wendel says he's very optimistic that the county... and, Western New York region... will be able to open next Tuesday -- or shortly after.  He says the new case is a man in his 50s, while 19 other cases are active.  Wendel adds that 258 are under quarantine or isolation orders... while one person is hospitalized.  He says 59 people have now recovered... while four have died.  He says there are now 2,726 negative test results so far.  Wendel says despite that, all the region's numbers have been good, so they're hoping to get the green-light for Phase-Two next Tuesday.  He says businesses that can open under Phase-Two need to make sure to file their plans on the state's website at "Foward.ny.gov."


Cuomo says five regions completing Phase-One can now move into Phase-Two...
The first five regions of Upstate New York allowed to enter Phase-one of reopening from the Coronavirus shut-down can now move to Phase-Two.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement earlier today in New Rochelle during his daily COVID-19 Press Briefing.  Cuomo says those regions have "done well" in managing Phase-One.  He says their data shows they are safe to move forward.  The five regions involved include the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes areas.  However... Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties are part of the Western New York region, and won't be able to reopen until next Tuesday at the earliest.  Cuomo outlined the metrics being used for entering Phase-Two... and, he says there are several other kinds of businesses and activities that are allowed... with some limitations.  He says it's all business offices can reopen at 50-percent... along with some limited retail... and, hair salons and barbershops.


Wolf allows another 16 counties to move to "Yellow" phase...
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will lift most of his pandemic restrictions in an additional 16 counties that are home to nearly 3 million people across western and central Pennsylvania.  Much of the Pittsburgh area is among the released places his office announced Friday.  The counties are Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.  They will move next Friday to the so-called "green" phase.  It has the fewest restrictions in the governor's stoplight-colored three-phase reopening plan.  That leaves nearly 6 million people in hard-hit southeastern Pennsylvania under Wolf's tightest orders for another week.  They include staying at home.


City Hall in Jamestown to reopen by appointment only next Tuesday...
Jamestown City Hall will be reopening on a limited basis next Tuesday... but, you will only be able to visit with an appointment.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says all city offices will be open to the public at that time to accept permits, applications, payments and other transactions.  By next Tuesday... Sundquist says they're being allowed to open with 50-percent of their employees in the office.  He says they've moved to an "appointment-only basis" to keep operations safe for their employees and the public.  However... Sundquist says the public is still encouraged to continue to use the city payment drop boxes and other methods of payment.  He says you shold call their offices to make an appointment.  Sundquist adds that downtown parking regulations will also resume on June 2... but, that too will be limited.  He says they will only be ticketing for parking infractions... and nothing else at this time.  Sundquist adds that city parking garages will also resume normal operations... and city parks continue to remain open.  However... park restrooms and playgrounds will remain closed until further notice.


Jamestown Metal Products announce Sept. 4 closing...
A maker of metal fume hoods and other metal products has announced that it will cease operations in Jamestown by this September.  The Post-Journal reports that Jamestown Metal Products, which has existed for more than 70 years, will close it's plant at 178 Blackstone Ave. on September 4.  JMP is a division of Institutional Casework, Incorporated in Tennessee.  The paper says workers at Jamestown Metal were told Wednesday morning about the upcoming lay-offs.  The company says it's production of painted and stainless steel furniture and equipment will end in early September.  Back in February... the company announced it planned to lay off 37 of its 77 workers at its Jamestown facility by May 8.


Little Valley woman arrested for alleged DWAI after car hit's truck head-on in Jamestown...
A Cattaraugus County woman was arrested for impaired driving following a motor vehicle accident in the city of Jamestown. City Police were called to the area of 1065 East Second St. Wednesday night where a grey sedan reportedly veered into the on-coming lane and struck a U-Haul truck head-on. Officers say their investigation found 33 year-old Patricia Raynor of Little Valley was operating the sedan under the influence of drugs.  Raynor was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries... then charged with failure to keep right, unlicensed operator, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator and DWAI-drugs.  She's due back in court at a later date. 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for May 29, 2020

A Cattaraugus County woman was arrested for impaired driving following a motor vehicle accident in the City of Jamestown. City Police were called to the area of 10-65 East 2nd Street Wednesday night where a grey sedan reportedly veered into the on-coming lane and struck a U-Haul truck  head-on. Officers say their investigation found 33 year-old Patricia Raynor, of Little Valley, was operating the sedan under the influence of drugs. Raynor was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of minor injuries... then charged with failure to keep right, unlicensed operator, third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator and DWAI-drugs. She's due back in court at a later date. 


Nursing home and other health care leaders are calling on New York state to provide more clarity on how to deal with COVID-positive seniors, as well as testing of patients and employees.  That was the outcome of a Zoom roundtable hosted by local Congressman Tom Reed Thursday with several Republican state lawmakers, and health care providers in the region.  Local State Senator George Borrello says local efforts to put seniors in the safest situation was not a partisan issue.

However... Borrello also blasted Governor Andrew Cuomo's March 25th order that Seniors with COVID-19 be placed in nursing home care.  That was later changed... and, a new order was issued for all nursing home staff in the state be tested twice-a-week.  That's something nursing home officials say would cost $40-45-million a week for all of them to do, combined.  Republican leaders say the state could help cover that cost by releasing COVID-19 relief funds New York has received from the federal government.


Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order that will now back-up store owners who require customers to wear masks in those stores.  Cuomo today says the order will authorize businesses to deny entry to people without face coverings.  He says he hopes the order will reduce conflicts between shop owners and customers. Cuomo says all the information they have shows that masks work... especially where you can't socially distance from other people.  He says he's been working to communicate the message that masks are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.  

 
There are four new cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported today in Chautauqua County... bringing the total to 81 now.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the new cases include a man in his 20s... another man in his 40s... and, a man and woman both in their 70s.  Wendel says there are now 19 active cases... with one person hospitalized.  He says 58 people have now recovered from COVID... while 241 others are under quarantine or isolation orders.

The on-going restrictions on public gatherings has led officials with the National Comedy Center to postpone this year's 30th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival until 2021.  The festival, which honors both comedy and the contributions of the late Lucille Ball was originally set for this August 5th through 9th.  However, Comedy Center officials say it will now move to the same weekend next year...  August 4th-8th.  Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says "It is with tremendous sadness that we make the difficult decision." The precautionary measure was made in consideration of CDC, federal, state and regional guidelines for the presentation of large group events.  The performances next year will start with legendary comedian Jeff Foxworthy on Friday, August 6, 2021.


A member of Chautauqua County's COVID-19 Finance Committee says members were "pleasantly surprised" that many county employees agreed to take voluntary furloughs in the wake of a budget crunch caused by the shut-down.  County Legislator Charles Nazzaro of Jamestown is a member of the panel, which is dealing with the financial issues facing the county.  Nazzaro says 144 workers -- not considered essential -- agreed to the 10 week furloughs.

An initial 139 furloughs were approved by the county legislature Wednesday night so that those workers would also be eligible for unemployment benefits... including the additional $600 a week for eight weeks from the federal government.  Nazzaro adds the committee was not able to approve an additional 40 furloughs because those workers were considered essential to providing necessary services to the county. 

The New York state Senate and Assembly have voted to extend the deadline for residents who were sexually abused as children to file legal claims because of the upheaval caused by the coronavirus. The original deadline for those making claims under the Child Victims Act was August 14th; the legislation would extend it a year, to the same date in 2021. The 2019 act lifted statute of limitations even for allegations that were decades old, for a filing period of one year.

Feed More WNY is holding an area-wide peanut butter food drive this weekend to help replenish its supplies in order to serve the community's hungry neighbors during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Feed More WNY Board Chairman Jerry Sheldon says the organization was created through the merger of the Food Bank of Western New York and Meals on Wheels in 2019.

The "Spread the Love" peanut butter collection will be held locally at the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood this Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM.  Members of the community are encouraged to donate peanut butter in plastic jars, but other non-perishibles and monetary donations also will be accepted.  Sheldon says volunteers will instruct donors where to pull up in their vehicles... and, they are asked to keep donations either in the their trunks or backseats.  More information can be found online at feedmorewny.org or by calling Jamestown Area Meals on Wheels at 488-9119.

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WJTN News Headlines for May 28, 2020

Members of the Chautauqua County Legislature have unanimously called on Congress to provide direct federal aid to local government through federal COVID-19 relief bills.  During a Zoom conference meeting last night... lawmakers also voted to call on the state and federal governments to fully release funds promised in the earlier Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security -- or CARES Act.  Jamestown Democrat Charles Nazzaro says the county is facing "significant budget challenges..." and, the aid is much needed.

Mayville-area lawmaker Bill Ward added that funding sent to the state to support child care for essential workers needs to be doled out to localities.  Ward says there "will be no reopening" if there isn't adequate child care.  Of the $163-million for that paid to the state... he says only $30-million has been allocated to localities.  County lawmakers also approved a motion requesting the overall State Regional Control Room for the "New York Forward Re-Opening" open it's meetings to the public.  The legislature also approved about $7-million in budget changes to the 2020 budget due to COVID-related matters.

The man who has helped lead Jamestown's effort to rejoin the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League this season is announcing he is not renewing his contract for next year.  Frank Fanning says this afternoon that it's "time to return home..." likely meaning his hometown of Montreal, Canada after wrapping up affairs here.  It was a 2020 season that appeared full of promise with the reception for the new Tarp Skunks franchise being "a hit."  However... like many other sports... the league fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fanning says he was hired for one year to help turn around the former Jamestown Jammers, and feels that's happened.  Through an extensive naming and marketing effort... the name Tarp Skunks was unveiled back in January... and, the new, odiforus name took off. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump set aside political differences Wedneday morning... and, talked about the need to "supercharge" the nation -- and New York's economies.  Cuomo told reporters later that they talked about getting stalled infrastructure projects going in New York City... and, adds he avoided politics.

Cuomo told a reporter he did not include discussion of any upstate projects during his time talking with Trump because he didn't want to be "too aggressive" in his approach.  He wound up giving his daily COVID-19 press briefing in Washington following the meeting at the White House.  The Democratic governor says Long Island officially moved into Phase-One of reopening Wednesday... meaning only New York City remains shut-down at this time.


A city man is accused of breaking into a home and stabbing another person on Jamestown's eastside Tuesday afternoon.  City police were called to the scene on East 8th Street... and, found the unidentified victim with multiple stab wounds.  Officers say the person was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Further investigation found 44 year-old William Buckley had entered the home illegally... and, allegedly started an altercation with the victim before stabbing them.  Buckley was located and taken into custody for second-degree assault and first-degree burglary. 


Chautauqua County's Congressman will be hosting a meeting of regional nursing home leaders, and other stakeholders later today to discuss problems with the state's handling of COVID-19.  Corning Republican Tom Reed and several Republican state lawmakers want to know why Governor Cuomo ordered seniors with COVID-19 to nursing facilities on March 25th when guidance said they shouldn't.  However... he says some nursing facilities have been able to weather the outbreak better than others.

Reed adds that while the governor has now ordered twice-weekly testing of nursing home workers... the matter of who's going to pay for it has not been fully addressed.  He says, while staff has to be tested, the testers themselves don't have to be.  Reed he and those at tomorrow's roundtable meeting will hold a press conference afterwards to high-light what they discussed.  He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


A man from Mayville faces a second-degree menacing charge after allegedly pointing a loaded handgun at another person during a dispute in the Town of Chatuauqua.  Sheriff's officers were called to an undisclosed location Monday night... and identified 68 year-old Joseph Kaye as the suspect.  Officers located Kaye near his home and placed him under arrest.  He was released with an appearance ticket for Chautauqua Town Court on a later date. 

Fredonia firefighters responded to a fire in the basement of a house on Blockhouse Road in the town of Pomfret early this morning.  Fire Chief Ryan Walker says crews got the call around 5:30 AM... and, when they reached the scene the homeowner and a Chautauqua County Sheriff's deputy were able to extinguish the flames.  Walker says a hot water tank apparently had overheated and ignited the wall boards.  There were no injuries.

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WJTN News Headlines for May 27, 2020


A Jamestown man was arrested for allegedly breaking into a home and stabbing a person on the city's eastside Tuesday afternoon. Officers were called to the scene on East 8th Street... and, found the unidentified victim with multiple stab wounds.  Police say the person was transported to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Further investigation found 44 year-old William Buckley unlawfully entered the residence and allegedly started an altercation with the victim, prior to stabbing them. Buckley was located and taken into custody for second-degree assault and first-degree burglary. 


Four men from Jamestown were seriously hurt in a single-car accident late yesterday morning on Route 394 near the Chautauqua Institution Maintenance Garage.  County fire dispatchers say deputies and local fire rescue crews were called to the scene just before 11:30 AM.   Deputies say the driver, 21 year-old James Meuker, was initially taken to Westfield Memorial Hospital before being transferred to UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Two passengers were flown directly to Hamot... while one passenger was taken to UPMC Chautauqua Hospital for evaluation.  All three passengers... identified as Samuel McQueen, Michael Brightman, and Jacob Surrena... are also from Jamestown.  Officers say the investigation is continuing.  Route 394 in that area was down to one-lane while the scene was cleared.

A one-car crash in the Cattaraugus County Town of Farmersville claimed the life of a Rushford man last Saturday morning.  State Police in Amity say they were called to scene shortly after 6:30 AM on Hess Road... and, learned that an older model SUV was eastbond when it left the roadway and overturned.  Troopers identified the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle as 27 year-old Michael Blakeslee... who was pronounced dead at the scene. 


We didn't set any temperature records here in the Jamestown-area Tuesday... but, it was a record-setting day in Buffalo.  The temperature reached 93-degrees late yesterday afternoon.  The National Weather Service reports that broke the old record of 88 in 1944.  Meteorologist Dan Kelly earlier in the day said that Jamestown was not expected to set a record.  Kelly says we'll low-80s today, then cooler temperatures from this point on.

By... Sunday... Kelly says we'll drop to about 60 for a high.  The weather service says today's high at the Jamestown-Airport was 85.  It reached 88 here at Media One.  Kelly says the warmth of the past two days is due to high pressure to our west is bringing a southerly flow northward.  Kelly says the warmth follows a much colder pattern -- that included some record lows for this time of year -- some 10 days ago.  He says we're in what's called an "amplified weather pattern" that exaggerates both cold and warm weather.  


 
There are now 77 total confirmed case of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County after two more were added Tuesday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the new cases are both men... one in his 60s, and the other in his 80s.  Wendel says there are now 21 active cases, with two of them hospitalized.  There are now 254 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there have been just over 2,500 negative test results so far.


All of upstate New York has now entered Phase-One reopening from the coronavirus shut-down... as the Mid-Hudson Region was given the go-ahead to reopen Tuesday.  Governor Andrew Cuomo adds that important for each Regional Control Room to locate hot spots... and, put them out when the COVID-19 Virus flares up.  Cuomo also addressed the need to get the economy going again.

Cuomo says he feels the government can have a roll in that by taking on major infrastructure upgrades while transportation volumes are down.  He says it's a way to improve those systems, and stimulate the economy and create jobs.  Cuomo says every president the past 20-plus years has talked about the need for infrastructure improvements... but, he feels the time for action is now.  The governor was on hand to "ring the bell" to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange this morning.


After having all staff in their skilled nursing and rehabilitation communities test negative for COVID-19... Heritage Ministries is announcing that they will begin taking new admissions starting today.  Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter says they had originally ceased all admissions -- effective a week ago -- in response to the new state mandate to test all nursing home employees twice-a-week for the virus.  Earlier... Rutter told us they were going to use various means of testing.

Rutter says "the 100-percent negative employee test rate is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication, and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines by all of our Heritage staff members."  He says they have told local hospitals and all referring partners that they are taking new admissions again.


There will be a limited, in-person season at the Lily Dale Assembly near Cassadaga this Summer.  In a printed release... the board of directors at the spiritualist retreat say they did much deliberation before reaching the decision.  The Assembly remains closed by law to the public... but, their guest houses, businesses and eateries are allowed to be open.  The release says they are now operating a "gate system" to keep their community both "closed and safe."  The Lily Dale season begins on June 26th... and, they will limit the number of visitors to 80 per day.  Daytime hours will be limited to 10 AM to 5:30 PM.

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WJTN News Headlines for May 26, 2020

People in more than 100 vehicles came to Lakewood on a mid-Summer-like afternoon Monday to commemoriate Memorial Day in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The "drive-in" program at the Chautauqua Mall was put on the local Blue Star Mothers chapter, and Koinania Church in Frewsburg, and broadcast here on WJTN Radio.  The Keynote address was given by Retired Major Greg Carlson, who is the director of the Veteran's Services Agency in Chautauqua County.  Those attending also heard from County Executive P-J Wendel, Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb, State Senator George Borrello, and Assemblyman Andy Goodell.


Governor Andrew Cuomo remembered both the nation's war dead... and, the nearly 100-thousand Americans who have died from COVID-19.  The govenor was joined Monday by daughter, Mariah, to lay a wreath in the waters of New York Harbor from the U-S Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.  Cuomo especially paid tribute to those who were on the front-lines, and died of COVID-19.

Cuomo then said he would be issuing an order that the families of those workers who died in the course of doing their jobs receive full death benefits from the state and local governments.  He says it's a way to honor those front-liners for their sacrifice.  He also called on the federal government to again establish a fund for the families of front-line workers who died of the COVID-19 Virus while performing their job duties.  He added that, the number of people in New York who died from the coronavirus dropped below 100 to 96 on Sunday.


There is one new case of coronavirus in Chautauqua County over the past day... bringing the county's total to 75 confirmed cases.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the new COVID-19 case is a woman in her 30s.  Wendel adds there are now 28 active cases,  with four people hospitalized, and they continue to recover.  He says there are now 43 people who have recovered... while 4 have died.  Wendel says 167 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the number of people responding to the 2020 Census in both Jamestown and New York state.  If you haven't done your part for the Complete Count this year... Mayor Eddie Sundquist says you still have opportunities to do so.  Sundquist says the current response rate in the city is just over 50-percent this year, after being at 64-percent in 2010.

Sundquist says you can still go on-line to "my2020Census.gov" and, follow the instructions to fill out the Census for everyone in your home.  If you don't have the Internet, and haven't received the mail-in form... Sundquist says he can also do it by phone, or wait for a Census taker to come to your home.  However, when and how that will be done has not yet been announced.


COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of another ethnic celebration.  The American Scandinavian Heritage Foundation has decided... no Scandinavian festival this year.  For the first time ever, this year's event was set to be held at the Jamestown arena, July 17th through the 19th.  Speaking for the foundation, Scott Axelson says they may do some kind of smaller 'one day' event in the late summer or fall, depending on how the community recovers from the coronavirus.  The ASHF 'mid-sommer' program on June 13th has also been cancelled.


The annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage this coming weekend will be different from the 61 that have come before.  Committee member, Ro Woodard of Falconer, says they'll be doing it all 'on line'.  She says it won't be the same as being outside, but will give people the essence of the experience.  The 'on line' program will feature the same top notch nature presenters that have become the hallmark of the Allegany State Park event.  Subjects to be covered by Zoom conference will include birds, bees, astronomy and fungi.  Ro says going virtual has NOT affected attendance, some 800 people have already signed up.  While they may maintain some of the 'virtual' experience in the future, Ro adds they look forward to getting back to Allegany next year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the park.  All of this year's virtual programs are free.  More information at alleganynaturepilgrimage.com.


A woman from Bemus Point woman is accused of making more than 100 harassing 9-1-1 phone calls with no legitimate purpose.  Sheriff's deputies say they were called to Belleview Road in the town of Ellery on a report of aggravated harassment coming from a resident.  Upon further investigation... officers determined that the calls were made by 63 year-old Sally Lawson.  Deputies say Lawson's calls included threats of violence and death towards 9-1-1 dispatchers and responding officers.  She was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment... and, issued an appearance ticket for Ellery Town Court.
 

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News Headlines for Mon., May 25, 2020

"Drive-in" Memorial Day Service in Lakewood getting underway...
The Media One Radio Group is teaming with the local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers to host a "drive-in" Memorial Day Service this afternoon in Lakewood.  The program is being held in the northeast parking lot of the Chautauqua Mall... behind the former Ruby Tuesday's... beginning now -- at 1 p.m.  Vice-President Kathy Collver with the Blue Star Mothers, Lake Erie-Chapter 4... says that's different than the National Day of Prayer program that faced the former Sears Auto Center.  Collver says mall officials felt that would be a better place to hold the service because the lay-out and pavement situation is better.  Collver came up with the idea after attending the National Day of Prayer program... and, says they have been helped in getting today's program together by Koinania Christian Fellowship in Frewsburg.  Chautauqua County Veteran's Services Director Greg Carlson will give the keynote address.  The entire program can be heard on WJTN 1240 AM and 101.3 FM... as well as wjtn.com.


Cuomo honors Memorial Day at USS Intrepid, along with those who died from COVID-19...
Governor Andrew Cuomo took time out late this morning to lay a wreath in the waters of New York Harbor from the U-S Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.  He paid tribute to the nation's war-dead during a time where about 100,000 people in the U-S have died from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Cuomo says they "remember the families of service members, and the pain they went through..." and "we honor their sacrifice."  Cuomo says "we honor" the front-line workers -- especially those in the health care industry -- because they have "risen to the challenge."  He then said he would be issuing an order that the families of those workers who died in the course of doing their jobs receive full death benefits.  Cuomo also called on the federal government to again establish a fund for the families of front-line workers who died of the COVID-19 Virus while performing their job duties.  He added that, for another day, the number of people in New York who died from the coronavirus were less than 100.  A total of 96 people died on Sunday in the state.


Wendel says four weekend case of COVID-19 reported...
For new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Chautauqua County since last Friday... with two added on Saturday and two more on Sunday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the two newest cases confirmed yesterday are a woman in her 30s... and, a man in his 70s... bringing the total number to 74 in the county.  Wendel adds there are now 27 active cases, including one person who is now hospitalized... and, 43 people have now recovered while four others have died.


Sundquist urges residents to fill out the 2020 Census on-line or mail-in...
The number of people responding to the 2020 Census... as you might expect during the COVID-19 Pandemic is down.  However... if you haven't done your part for the Complete Count this year... you still have opportunities to do so.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist says response at this time... compared to the last count in 2010... is down about 10-percent to about 55-percent.  At this time in 2010... Sundquist says there had been a 65-percent participation.  He says... if you haven't received the information in the mail... you can go right on-line to do it at "my2020census.gov."  If you don't have the internet, and haven't received the mail-in form... you can also do it by phone, or wait for a Census taker to come to your home. 


Woman from Bemus Point arrested for allegedly making more than 100 harassing phone calls to Chautauqua County 9-1-1 Center...
A Bemus Point woman has been arrested for allegedly making more than 100 harassing 9-1-1 phone calls with no legitimate purpose.  Sheriff's officers say they were called to Belleview Road in the town of Ellery for a report of aggravated harassment.  Upon further investigation... deputies determined that the calls were made by 63 year-old Sally Lawson.  Officers say Lawson's calls included threats of violence and death towards 9-1-1 dispatchers and responding deputies.  Lawson was issued an appearance ticket for second-degree aggravated harassment for Ellery Town Court at a later date.


 

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News Headlines for Sat., May 23, 2020

City man arrested for alleged possession of "large amount" of Meth, and Fentanyl, along with cash...     
A Jamestown man has been arrested after allegedly being found with a large quantity of drugs and $1,700 in cash in his possession late Friday morning.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, the State Police K-9 unit and JPD Patrol were in the area of West Cowden Place -- near Charles Street -- just after 11:30 a.m.  Samuelson says officers spotted 36 year-old Walter Duprey driving a car on West Cowden, while being chased by another man yelling for him to stop.  Duprey allegedly saw police, and stopped the car and quickly got out.  Samuelson says he was driving with a suspended license, and did not have permission to drive the car.  Police later found a large amount of methamphetamine, fentanyl, scales, packaging materials and the cash in his possession.  Duprey was arrested on several drug related charges... including two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... and jailed pending arraignment.


Chautauqua County has first time double-digit day for COVID-19 Cases...
Chautauqua County has seen a double-digit increase in the number of new, positive cases of COVID-19 for the first time since the outbreak began in mid-March.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says that 10 new people have the Coronavirus... and, says no one age group is impacted.  He says one person is under the age of 18... two young adults... a male and female... and, three people in their 50s are among the confirmed cases.  Wendel adds, though, there are no hospitalizations.  Since last weekend, though, the county has seen 20 new cases of the virus.  As we head into the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend... she urged people to observe 6-feet social distancing, and wear a mask in public.  If you don't... she says you open yourself up to getting the virus... and, having to be quarantined for 14 days.  Schuyler says use "common sense."  With the 10 new positive cases... there are now 70 total confirmed cases.  He says there are now 27 active cases, and those people are recovering under Public Health orders.  He says 39 people have now recovered from the COVID-19 Virus.  There are now 189 people under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.


Cuomo says small gatherings can now be held this Memorial Day Weekend... including churches... but, use social distancing...
The start of the long Memorial Day Weekend brings a warning from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo as much of the state reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Stay vigliant.  During his daily press briefing... Cuomo says he's seen reports of a possible second wave of the coronavirus in different areas of the country.  He says he would hate to see the state have to go back to a shut-down.  With that... Cuomo urged New Yorkers to enjoy the weekend -- but, wear a mask in public -- especially if you can't realistically keep a 6-foot "social distance."  He also said the state will be starting up it's own small business loan program to help the majority of the state's businesses from having to close during the pandemic.  Cuomo says more than 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently since the outbreak began.  He says true small businesses have 20 or fewer employees.


Borrello opposes Governor Cuomo's decision to work with Gates Foundation to "Reimagine Education..."
The region's state Senator says he takes issue with Governor Andrew Cuomo's call to "reimagine" education using a greater reliance on computers and distance learning.  Irving Republican George Borrello says he believes the current use of distance learning has not worked out.  Borrello says all the educators and teachers he's talked with have almost been universal in saying that the quality of education during the shut-down has not worked well, despite the best efforts of teachers and administrators.  Borrello says he feels on-line learning does not compare to the quality of the education currently provided by teachers and staff.  He adds that it's essential for students to return to personalized instruction as soon as possible.  The governor recently enlisted the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to work with the state on ways to more incorporate on-line learning into school curriculum.


New York State Police say they'll be cracking down on drunk and impaired driving this Memorial Day Weekend...
As the Memorial Holiday weekend approaches, motorists can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and increased police patrols. That's the word from State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett... who says -- "as we take time this Memorial Day to honor those who died in service to our county, we remind motorists to make safety the top priority. If your holiday plans include alcohol, please arrange for a safe ride home. Driving impaired is a choice that often has serious and even deadly consequences." Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of this crackdown in order to more easily identify reckless or impaired drivers. During the 2019 Memorial Day weekend, Troopers arrested 225 people for drinking and driving... and, issued over 13,000 citations. 

 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for May 22, 2020

Two children are among the three new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... bring the total to 60.  County Executive P-J Wendel said Thursday the other case is a woman in her 30s.  Wendel says there are now 19 active cases... but, no one is hospitalized... and, they continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Director.  In addition... he says there are 209 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.


There will be no in-person Summer School in New York state this year due to ongoing risks for children returning to the classroom.  That Thursday from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says Summer school will be done as it has been since mid-March -- remotely.  As for the Fall... Cuomo says it's still too early to make a decision... but, he adds the state Education Department will be putting out guidelines to all district's shortly... and, those will have to be returned.

Cuomo says an increasing concern right now is an increase in cases involving a new "Inflammatory Syndrome" that's infected more than 150 children in the state.  He says the Pediatric Inflammatory Syndrome seems to be triggered by COVID-19 or it's anti-bodies, and has killed several children.  In addition... Cuomo says that "contact tracing" is fully underway in the state, and if someone you came in contact with over a two-week period tests positive for COVID-19... expect a call from "NY Contact Tracing."  He says it's an official message that you had a possible exposure to COVID-19.


A third person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Warren County. Officials say the individual is a resident of Warren County and was not tested for the virus at Warren General Hospital, but they are seeking medical treatment at this time. The County Commissioners say the Emergency Management Team is continuing to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information is released. Questions can be directed to the Warren County Department of Public Safety at 814-563-3598. 


The Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education approved an $88.3-million "Pandemic Budget" plan for the 2020-21 school year.  Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic... the district is looking at a drastic reduction in financial aid from the spending plan approved in March. District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe expressed his frustrations during an interview on the Dennis Webster show this morning.

During Tuesday night's school board meeting... Apthorpe presented his "Pandemic Budget" which includes a $2.9-million reduction from the original proposal, conferences and field trips.  However, he says if Governor Andrew Cuomo does come out with a 20-percent reduction in state aid, many student activities would go away, including sports, music and non-essential classes.  The entire presentation is available online at the district's website.... and, a public hearing will be held via video-conferencing June 1st at 6PM, prior to the June 9th vote. 


The success of the National Day of Prayer "drive-in" service in the parking lot of the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood has led to planning for a new, Memorial Day Program that meets COVID-19 safety guidelines.  The Blue Star Mothers, Lake Erie Chapter-#4 will host the ceremony next Monday at 1 PM in the northwest part of the parking lot at the mall off Fairmount Avenue.  Blue Star Mothers Vice-President Kathy Collver says members were meeting on-line about not being able to hold this Saturday's eighth-annual program when an idea came to her.

Collver was among the people who attended the National Day of Prayer program... which brought people in nearly 200 vehicles to the mall to commemorate the day.  Cars will be parked facing the former Ruby Tuesday restaurant for Monday's program... which will feature the keynote address by Chautauqua County Veteran's Services Director Greg Carlson.  The radio broadcast will be available Monday to both people attending... and, the general radio audience on Media One stations WJTN AM and FM beginning at 1PM.

Those businesses that now qualify to reopen under Phase One of the governor’s "NY Forward" initiative are being urged to get their state certification.  With that... the Jamestown Department of Development is hosting a webinar for construction businesses today at 12 Noon.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says businesses that need to get certified need to go on-line to www.forward.ny.gov to see if they qualify.  Sundquist says they must read and affirm the Detailed Industry Guidelines for Reopening, as well as print and fill out a Business Safety Template for all employees.  The safety templates do not need to be submitted to the State to reopen but should be kept on file.  The city's webinar on it is begin done in partnership with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the county's Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center, and the Builder’s Exchange of the Southern Tier.


Seven years after closing its doors... Petri Baking Products will make a return to the village of Silver Creek with plans to acquire its former location at 18 Main Street in order to re-open its soft cookie baking operation.  Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel is pleased with the announcement, saying that he was concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic might derail the project that's been in the works.

Renovations will return the facility to food grade status, and brand new machinery and equipment will be installed, including one new oven, with plans for future growth.  About 40 new jobs are planned when operations begin in early 2021, with over 100 projected during the first three years.  Wendel says the company's former President Anthony Habib will return as President and is currently assembling his leadership team. The county's Industrial Developement Agency, and the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation have been working closely with Habib and Petri's team to bring the project together. 

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WJTN News Headlines for May 21, 2020

A Sherman man has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing two juveniles over the past two months.  Sheriff's officers were called to investigate a suspicious situation back on May 5th... and, later learned that 20 year-old Trever Kneer of West Main Street had engaged in inappropriate actions with the two juveniles.  Deputies say Kneer was arrested Wednesday for second-degree sexual abuse, and three counts of forcible touching.  He was taken for Centralized Arraignment in Mayville... and, will appear in Sherman Town Court at a later date.

Religious gatherings of up to 10 people may now be held in New York state... provided there is strict social distancing.  That today from Governor Andrew Cuomo as much of the state has begun to reopen at Phase-One levels.  The issue of how soon churches and other religious programming can resume has been much discussed in recent weeks.  During Wednesday's press briefing... Cuomo said he's talked a lot about it with his Interfaith Advisory Council... adding he wants to be cautious.

Cuomo says he understands the religious community wanting to get back to holding in person services, and other programming.  He says churches can also do "drive-in" services with people in their cars using radio frequencies.  Cuomo also says it's important to do it "safely and smartly" with the faith community involved.  New Rochelle is where the COVID-19 outbreak in New York took off in March after several people at a gathering became infected with the virus.  


The state's new mandate requiring nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult day care facilities to test all staff for COVID-19 will begin shortly.  But, New York officials acknowledge that those facilities were having difficulty implementing the new rule due to cost and staffing issues.  Governor Cuomo's Executive secretary, Melissa DeRosa, says they have sent out testing kits to those facilities.

During the Governor's daily press briefing Wednesday... DeRosa said they have sent out 320-thousand kits, and they have arrangements with commercial labs to run the tests.  However... members of the Republican Conference in the State Senate are blasting the new rule.  Local Senator George Borrello of Irving says it's an unfunded mandate... and, providing the initial 320,000 test kits isn't enough.  Borrello and the others are urging the Cuomo administration to go to once-a-week testing as recommended by the Healthcare Association of New York state and the Centers for Disease Control.


There are three new cases of the coronavirus in Chautauqua County, putting the county's total at 57 now since the outbreak began.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the three new cases include two women, one in her 20s, the other in her 70s, as well as a man in his 50s.  Wendel says there are currently 16 active cases, including no hospitalized cases, and who continue to recover.  He says 37 people have now recovered, while 202 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders by the Public Health Director and are being monitored.  In addition, he says there have been 1,894 negative test results to date.

 Chautauqua County's representative in Congress has announced an inter-regional coordination pledge involving health networks and hospitals across three regions of New York State.   Corning Republican Tom Reed says the Western, Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier New York Health Care Network and Hospital Pledge reflects a good-faith effort by medical providers to ensure local hospitals and health care networks are working together during the pandemic.

Reed says the pledge will also help prevent specific localities from unfairly backsliding into additional shutdown orders, which would have devastating impacts on providers and the local economy.  The Corning Republican made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier media.

The United Veterans Council reminds the community there is NO flag placement tonight (Thursday) at Lakeview Cemetery.  The council's secretary, Melodie Paladino, says they are grateful for the large group of volunteers that has gathered in recent years to place flags on veterans' graves.  But the current restrictions on crowd size left the job to be done by around 10 members of the United Veterans Council.  Paladino adds they regret they could not share the work this year, but they do encourage people to visit the cemetery to view the flag display and honor the fallen.  Also, after consultation with the mayor earlier in the spring, the United Veterans Council also decided NOT to hold Monday's Memorial Day parade, and the ceremony that follows at Soldiers Circle. 


The Jamestown School Board has approved a proposed $88.3-million budget for the 2020-21 school year that includes no property tax increases.  However... there would be some significant cuts.  The proposed spending plan will be presented for public vote via absentee ballots, with ballots due back to the District Clerk by June 9th at 5PM -- by mail or in person.  In addition to the School Budget proposition, the absentee ballot will also include a proposition for Prendergast Library Association asking the public to approve a tax levy of $350,000 dollars for the purpose of funding the library.  Three seats are also up for election to the school board... with the three incumbants running.  They are Paul Abbott, Shelly Leathers and Christine Schnars.  The Public Hearing for the Proposed 2020-21 Budget will be on June 1st at 6PM on the district's website JPSny.org.


No one was hurt, but there were some anxious moments in the village of Lakewood late Tuesday afternoon when a sailboat flipped over on Chautauqua Lake.  Lakewood Fire Chief Kurt Hallberg says their rescue crew was called to the area of the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club about 5:30 PM after a man was spotted near the boat in the water.  The male subject was pulled out to safety with no injuries.  

Nine new sex-abuse lawsuits have been filed in upstate New York against three Boy Scout local councils.  Lawyers say the filings Tuesday signal an escalation of efforts to pressure councils nationwide to pay a big share of an eventual settlement in the Boy Scouts' bankruptcy proceedings.  An injunction blocks the lawyers from proceeding with lawsuits against local councils through June 8th.  But, several lawyers say they will press for the injunction to be lifted unless financial information is fully disclosed.  If it's lifted, there could be a wave of new lawsuits in New Jersey, California and the rest of New York. 

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WJTN NEWS FOR MAY 19, 2020

For only the fourth time in history, the Chautauqua County Fair has been cancelled this year.  Fair board President, Dave Wilson, made the announcement Monday night, saying, "It became clear that cancellation was the prudent choice for the fair to do its part to improve community health and safety, and reduce the cycle of infection."  The only other time the fair was cancelled was during World War 2, when the fairgrounds were used as a prisoner of war camp.  In speaking to the impact of the decision, Dave Wilson said, "We are heartbroken for the small businesses, family farms, competitors, exhibitors and everyone who relies on the income and exposure the Chautauqua County Fair brings them."  The fair was set to run July 20th through the 26th at the fairgrounds on Central Avenue in Dunkirk.  


It's official, the Babe Ruth 13-Year-Old World Series that was to be played in Jamestown this summer will now take place in August of 2021. Vice President and Commissioner of Babe Ruth Baseball Robert Faherty says the difficult decision comes due to a number of factors, including the healthy and safety of players and families, travel concerns and the economy. In addition... Jamestown Babe Ruth Committee Vice President and Public Relations Division Director Kim Ecklund says they are fortunate to still be hosting the 40th Anniversary of the 13 year-old World Series at Diethrick Park next year.
In a printed release, Robert Faherty says.... "knowing the people of Jamestown and their sincere dedication to the Babe Ruth League program, we are confident in their commitment to provide the perfect setting for the managers, coaches, players, as well as their families and fans, to enjoy another big-league experience in 2021". More details will be provided in the future.


It's what Western New Yorkers -- including those in Chautauqua County -- have been waiting about two months to hear.  Governor Andrew Cuomo was at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo yesterday morning to say that -- with additional contact tracers now signed up -- the region can reopen today.  Cuomo says those tracers will be trained today, and that allows the region to move to "Phase-One" reopening then. Cuomo also gave the go-ahead for Pro Sports teams to begin their reopening process... including sports teams like the NFL's Buffalo Bills... and, the Sabres of the NHL.


After reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 in Chautauqua County last weekend... there are no new cases Monday.  County Executive P-J Wendel says that leaves the current total of positive cases at 53... while there are still 14 active cases.  Wendel adds that 35 people have now recovered from the Coronavirus... but, there are now 230 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  


Now that Western New York is preparing to 'open up' from the Coronavirus shutdown, the focus will switch from meeting seven basic benchmarks to KEEPING them at the right levels.  Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist is a member of the Regional Control Room that will key an eye on the metrics.

Sundquist says if problems come up, the Control Room can put a 'hold' on further phases, but hopefully won't have to reverse any steps.  If that ends up being the case, "it's a problem."  The mayor believes that an increasing number of cases in Chautauqua County does not contradict a re-opening. With the Capital District and Western New York on the way to opening, only downstate areas will remain fully shut down.  

New York's top fiscal watchdog says the state is holding it's own in the wake of the major, economic "earthquake" in mid-March when the Coronavirus shut-down began.  State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli who was a guest during an on-line program hosted by the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Monday afternoon... and, says one of the early effects has been a significant loss in sales tax revenues.

DiNapoli adds sales tax was also down in Cattaraugus County by nearly 24-percent.  He says at the beginning of April... the state had $8.6-billion in the bank.  However... he says they've already begun drawing down on that.  Combined with a slower rate of income tax filing -- because the deadline was extended to July 15th -- will mean a $9-billion reduction over the same period last year.  He says the state has received it's first Coronavirus stimulus check from Washington for $5.1-billion. There was also nearly $2-billion received for public school, and higher education funding.


The Jamestown Public School District has announced the last day of school for the current school year.  JPS Communications Coordinator Cathy Panebianco says in a printed release, all schools will close for the year on Wednesday, June 10th.... except Ring Elementary, which had to close for a day last February due to cleaning from a broken drainpipe.  Ring's last day will be Thursday, June 11th.  In addition, Panebianco says each school principal will notify students and families of end-of-year procedures, including books, sports uniforms and calculator returns.


City Council-Energy Projects-#2  6AM                     5/19

An energy company from Falconer has been approved for a $1.9-million project to install new energy efficient heating and cooling system at Jamestown City Hall.  In addition... Stark ESCo Southern Tier will also put up the new decorative lighting project for different buildings and structures downtown.  The measure was approved unanimously by the City Council last night.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says the LED lighting project is part of the city's Downtown Revitalization Initiative program.

Ecklund says the heating and cooling project at City Hall will run about $1.1-million and come from the city's SMART City Capital Investment Program approved last September.  The LED lighting project will run $415,000 while several smaller projects will be using $440,000 from another Capital fund.  Ecklund says the projects should save the city at least $65,000 in costs.  In an e-mail read during the Zoom Conference meeting... resident Doug Champ questioned why the Board of Public Utilities District Heating and Cooling system was not utilized.  However... lawmakers wanted a system that met 2030 renewable energy standards. 


A Jamestown father and son were arrested following a disorderly person complaint at a grocery store parking lot last Saturday night.  City police were called to the scene at 340 Allen Street to investigate a man allegedly throwing rocks at vehicles.  Officers identified the suspect as 18 year-old Daniel Haney. When attempting to take him into custody, Haney reportedly failed to comply and tried to run off, but was apprehended.  Police say his father, 41 year-old Jeremy Haney, came out of his residence and tried to fight a group of people on scene.  He was taken into custody on a outstanding domestic violence warrant.  Jeremy Haney is being held pending arraignment and Daniel Haney was released with an appearance ticket due to the bail reform law.

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WJTN NEWS HEADLINES FOR MAY 18, 2020


There are several new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported from Chautauqua County last weekend.  County Executive P-J Wendel says four new cases were added on Saturday... while three more were added Sunday for a total of 53 in the county.  Wendel says the three new cases are two young adult males, and a woman in her 50s.  He says there are now 14 active cases, with those people now recovering.  Wendel adds there are now 35 people who have recovered... and, there are now 214 cases that are under quarantine or isolation orders and are being monitored. 

Protesters again took to the street on a sunny May afternoon in Jamestown in opposition to the Western New York region remaining under "stay-at-home" orders from Governor Cuomo.  More than 60 people were on hand at Dow Park -- saying that Chautauqua County should be considered separately from the Buffalo-area because the county's numbers are good enough to open.  Many motorists honked their horns as the protestors held signs and flags on the sidewalk.  Organizer Garrit Cain says they were there to give business owners a change to talk about how the shut-down has impacted them.  One was Kya Chadwick from Saphire Salon in Frewsburg... who feels it's more about the goverment having more power.  Saturday's protest was peaceful... and, featured several anti-Cuomo signs, and some pro-Trump signs.  Local and state legislators say Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties should be considered a "sub-region" that could reopen as part of Phase-One because they all meet the criteria.

Western New York may soon begin the planned process of 'opening up' from the coronavirus shutdown.   Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about it during his Sunday news conference. All that's needed now is to get enough 'contact tracers' in place...if the number of cases begins to surge.  The area had lagged in the categories related to hospital admissions... but those two metrics were met over the weekend.  It's unclear as to exactly what date 'phase one' could start here... but when it does, manufacturing and construction could get underway again.  


As calls grow nationwide for mandatory coronavirus testing in nursing homes, New York facilities are sounding alarms about the state's ambitious new demand to test roughly 185,000 workers twice a week.  Administrators worry there won't be enough test kits.... and, they have also questioned who will cover an expense estimated around $150 per test.  One is Heritage Ministries' Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter... says there are two issues.  Rutter says the cost for nursing homes... on average... could run between $50,000 and $75,000 a week.  However, the bigger problem is going to be -- if there's an outbreak and several employees go into quarantine, will there be enough staff to cover?  That's why, starting this Wednesday, Heritage is temporarily halting new admissions.  State officials have suggested the homes could send workers to free state testing sites. 

The city of Jamestown has extended it's State of Emergency another 30 days beginning last Saturday... when Mayor Eddie Sundquist's previous state of Emergency expried.  The mayor announced that City Hall remains closed to the the public... public garages will be closed... and, there will be no downtown parking enforcement through at least May 31st.  Monthly alternate parking regulations are still in effect. 


Local Congressman Tom Reed's opponent in the race for New York's 23rd District seat is blasting Reed for the way he is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.  During a conference call with area media... Tracy Mitrano accused Reed of politicizing "a matter of life and death." The Penn Yan Democrat zeroed in on Reed's criticism of Governor Andrew Cuomo's COVID-19 management practices.

During his weekly conference call last week... Reed criticized Cuomo's new guidelines for nursing homes, which now require all staff to be tested twice a week for the virus.  Mitrano says testing in nursing homes would help Western New York get closer to reopening.  She says 55-percent of the deaths in Erie County have been in nursing homes, and she says the governor wants more testing there to better isolate, and get rid of the virus there.  This is the second time Mitrano is running against the Corning Republican who has been a House member since 2010.

 
A man from the Cattaraugus County town of Machia has been arrested for allegedly abandoning three dogs he owned on his property.  Sheriff's deputies in Little Valley say they took 32 year-old Peter Vega, Junior of Brown Road into custody last Saturday in connection with a complaint filed last December 9th.  Vega is accused of animal cruelty... and, was charged with inadequate shelter, failure to provide sustenance, and neglect and failure to license dogs.  He was issued appearance tickets for Machias Town Court, and the dogs were taken to an animal rescue shelter.

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News Headlines for Sat., May 16, 2020

Silver Creek evacuations ordered due to flooding...
There were mandatory evacuations ordered in the Silver Creek area last night due to significant flooding from Friday afternoon's heavy rains.  The Post-Journal reported late Friday that an order, from the Silver Creek disaster coordinator, was for Oliver Street.  In addition... a voluntary evacuation has been issued for residents along Montgomery and Lincoln streets.  A reverse 911 message went out to area residents.


Cuomo lifts Pause NY in Five Regions... but, not WNY...
Five regions of New York state have been given the green light to resume some business activity after being shut-down for several weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  However... the Western New York Region... which includes Chautauqua County... is not one of them.  The Southern Tier Region -- east of Allegany County -- is among those that can reopen under Phase-one.  Cuomo emphasized those five regions have met all seven benchmarks his administration has set.  He said there's no politics or arbitrary nature to those five being able to reopen.  The Western New York region has been unable to meet the hospitalization rate and capacity numbers.  However... Cuomo did say that once a region meets the seven criteria... they can now reopen immediately.  He says that's unlike what some have said that those regions would have to wait two more weeks.  Cuomo says Phase-One allows more construction, manufacturing and curbside retail pickups are being allowed starting Friday in those five regions.


Wendel outlines effort by him, and other local leaders, to have "sub-region" considered for immediate reopening...
There are two new cases of the COVID-19 virus in Chautauqua County... but, overall... the county's numbers would be good enough to put it into Phase-One of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Reopening plan.  However... since the county is part of the Western New York Economic Region with Erie County... that's not happening today.  County Executive P-J Wendel started today's weekly press briefing with the numbers... including the new cases.  He says both are females, one in her 60s the other in her 70s.  Wendel says there are now 46 confirmed positive cases... with nine active cases, while 33 have fully recovered.  He adds there have still beeen four deaths... and, 149 people are under quarantine or isolation orders.  Another 1,656 people have come back negative for COVID-19.  He says it's disappointing that Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties can't reopen because all their benchmark numbers are good.  Wendel says they will continue to push the governor to allow them to reopen... and, they would like all three to be considered a "sub-region" that could be reopened.  Officials from the three counties are also looking to tie the governor's decision to join three other Western New York counties... Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans... which were able to be joined with the Finger Lakes Region.  That region, along with four others, were able to do a Phase-One reopening Friday.  **Another protest at Jamestown's Dow Park was held Saturday afternoon, pushing to have the county reopened to at least Phase-One because the county meets the governor's criteria.  More on that Monday.


Heritage nursing homes to temporarily halt new admissions next Wednesday due to increased COVID testing...
Nursing homes in Chautauqua County -- and the rest of Western New York -- are scrambling to make sure they can deal with the governor's order this week that all nursing home staff must be tested twice weekly.  The new directive takes effect next Wednesday... and, with that... Heritage Ministries will temporarily halt new admissions that day.  Heritage Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter... says there are two issues... the first is staffing.  Rutter says if they find a number of employees who test positive and are asymptomatic, they would lose those staffers for 14 days, and they need to be able to have enough staff to handle the work.  Rutter says the other issue is that of money to pay for 800 staff between their three facilities to be tested twice a week.  He says, on average, that would cost $50,000 to $75,000 a week to do.  So far... Rutter says they have been testing staff and others who have symptoms of COVID-19.  However... he says they're had no COVID cases among staff or residents. 


40th Annniversary Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown is cancelled due to COVID outbreak...
There will be no 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown this August.  Host President, Russ Diethrick, made the official announcement.  Diethrick says they are now revising plans to have the World Series in 2021.  Babe Ruth Baseball has cancelled the world series and regional tournaments for all age ranges, to keep the focus on local games once players can get back on the field.  This year's event in Jamestown would have marked the 40th anniversary of the first-ever 13-year-old World Series... held in Jamestown in 1980. 


Kennedy man arrested for allegedly possessing Child Porn...
A Kennedy man faces ten counts of promoting a sexual performance by a child... after State Police allegedly found him in possession of child pornography.  Troopers out of Jamestown say they received a cyber tipline report that an IP address later determined to be 69 year-old John Lewis... allegedly uploaded images of child porn.  Officers executed a search warrant at Lewis's residence last Saturday, where they allegedly found more photographs.  He was taken into custody and released with an appearance ticket for Poland Town Court at a later date. 


 

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NEWS HEADLINES FOR MAY 15, 2020

A joint investigation by local, state and federal agencies has led to the arrest of a Jamestown man... and, the seizure of more than 100-grams of the deadly narcotic Fentanyl, and $50,000 cash.  City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and State Police initially did a vehicle stop shortly after 3 PM Wednesday on North Main Street at West Oak Hill Road... and arrested 57 year-old Alfredo Diaz.  Samuelson says they found 100-grams of Fentanyl... and, cash.  He says the Fentanyl found is "significant."

Samuelson says police later searched an apartment at 741 East Second Street... which turned up more Fentanyl, prescription medications, and $8,000 in cash.  He says police later searched a storage facility was located at 378 Livingston Avenue... and found more drugs and 44-thousnand dollars in cash.  Samuelson says -- all together -- authorities found just over 101-grams of Fentanyl... 49 suboxone strips, and $52,000 cash.  He says Diaz is jailed without bail on several Felony drug possession charges, and on a State Parole warrant. (** Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown can contact the Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477.  You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app confidentially.)


A Jamestown man faces third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child charges stemming from a phsyical domestic situation Thursday night. City police were called to a home on Glenview Avenue shortly after 6PM... and, found 45 year-old John Erickson-junior allegedly damaged a TV and menaced a victim during the incident. Police say their investigation also found Erickson punched a juvenile in the face, causing minor injury.  He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on additional charges of third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree menacing. 


An employee at a senior living facility in Westfield has reportedly been confirmed to have recently tested positive for the Coronavirus.  The Post-Journal is reporting that a spokesman for Absolut Care of Westfield said the employee, who was not identified, was placed into quarantine in accordance with New York State Department of Health regulations after receiving a positive test for COVID-19.  The spokesman says all residents and their families have been told about the positive case.  In addition, 32 staff who worked closely with the employee were tested... and, found negative.  In addition... every person at the Westfield location was tested today.


State Senator George Borrello is calling on Governor Cuomo to help the state’s nursing homes meet the new requirement to implement twice-weekly COVID-19 testing of their employees.  Borrello says, right now, that testing kit availability at that volume is simply not available in many regions of the state... and, he adds most facilities do not have the resources needed to purchase tests at that scale.  The Irving Republican says everyone supports taking "extra precautions" to protect nursing home residents, and "most facilities have been very diligent throughout this crisis."


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging member of Congress to pass the new Coronvavirus stimulus bill known as the HEROES Act.  The House is expected to take up the bill... which was drafted entirely by majority Democrats... and, is expected to cost about $3-trillion.  Cuomo says the bill would restore the State and Local Tax -- or SALT -- deducation that was repealed more than 3 years ago.

During his daily press briefing in Syracuse yesterday... Cuomo said package will provide $500-billion for state and local governments, which he says will benefit the state.  He says it will also fund important COVID-19 testing and tracing in the state.  Cuomo says -- including the state's early deficit of 6-billion dollars... and COVID costs and revenue losses... New York is facing a $61-billion budget gap.


There's a debate among headstrong New Yorkers over just when and where it is necessary to wear a mask in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 Virus.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered masks for anyone out in public who can't stay at least 6-feet away from other people.  The past two days... Cuomo urged residents to wear a mask in public to help combat the spread, and protect others who may be vulnerable.

Unfortunately... health care officials say pictures have surfaced in some parts of the country where restrictions have been lifted, and people are out and about in crowded locations without a mask on.  In New York City... Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to distribute 7.5 million masks.  New York City has seen at least 20,000 people killed by the virus.  But... some city dwellers are adopting their own exceptions to the rule.  It isn't unusual to see people leaving their masks dangling as they squeeze past people on crowded sidewalks or chat with friends.


It's not known if the positive COVID-19 case involving a worker at Absolut of Westfield has been factored into Chautauqua County's tally of positive cases.  However... there is no change from Wednesday's numbers as there are still 44 positive cases in the county... while seven cases are currently active.  County Executive P-J Wendel says 33 people have recovered from the virus... while 142 others are under quarantine or isolation orders. 
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In addition... County Executive Wendel Thursday announced he has extended the county's State of Emergency for up to 30 additional days as of yesterday afternoon.  He says that's due to the continuing novel Coronavirus pandemic.  The extension of the Local State of Emergency helps the County qualify for state and federal assistance related to the County’s response to the pandemic.  Wendel says the Western New York region has "not met the Governor’s metrics test for a Phase 1 re-opening." 

Two of the main elected officials from Chautauqua County have been named to the Western New York Regional "Control Room" that will monitor the reopening of the five-county area.  One of them is Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who calls it an honor to be selected along with several others to serve.  Sundquist says the other county official will be County Executive P-J Wendel.  He says Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, and county executives of the other counties will be involved in monitoring the situation once we reopen.

Sundquist says the panel is headed up by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul... who is from the Buffalo-area.  He says the group has already met, and begun discussing what they'll be doing once the region enters the first phase of reopening.  Sundquist says the panel will remain in place through all four of the governor's proposed phases of reopening the state.  So far... only four regions meet all seven of the governor's metrics -- or benchmarks -- to reopen.  Western New York so far has met five of them.

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WJTN NEWS FOR MAY 13, 2020


Hundreds of people across Chautauqua County got to catch a glimpse of a rare sight during the Noon hour Tuesday as three F-35 Air Force fighter planes performed a fly-over, honoring local health care workers and doctors.  They arrived near the Chautauqua Lake Bridge about 12:35 PM... then turned south-east towards Jamestown... and, UPMC Chautauqua Hospital.  Residents used several vantage points to see the F-35s.  The trio of planes from the 914th Air Refueling Wing of the Air Force Reserves at Niagara Falls, along with the Vermont National Guard, had conducted a required aerial refueling training operation.  Following the training... the F-35s flew over parts of Western New York to salute frontline workers during the COVID Outbreak.... as well as graduating high school seniors. 

The Girl Scouts of Western New York announced that all day and resident camps will not open this Summer due to health and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus. Girl Scouts Chief Executive Officer Alison Wilcox says it was a heartbreaking, but necessary decision.

Wilcox says the Girl Scouts have been monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Camp Association since the outbreak began in New York state. While the girls won't be able to physically go away to summer camp, they are hoping to facilitate an alternative experience virtually. Wilcox says they are continuing to monitor public health information provided. In addition, the suspension of all in-person Girl Scouts activities is extended until at least June 30th.


Chautauqua County has reported it's first pediatric case of Coronavirus.... bringing the total number of cases to 44.  County Executive PJ Wendel says there are now 8 active cases... while 32 others have now recovered... and 1,451 negative test results reported to date.

It will be up to regional control teams to monitor and gauge how well the Phase-One reopenings go in New York state.  Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the tentative green-light yesterday to three regional zones to begin reopening when New York Pause ends this coming Friday.  During his daily COVID-19 Press Briefing in Binghampton this afternoon... Cuomo said it's up to those regional and local teams to keep an eye on the daily infection and hospital rates to make sure there's not a big outbreak.

Yesterday... Cuomo said the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley and the Finger Lakes have met all seven benchmarks for opening some business activity and need to work out some logistical details by the end of the week.  


The eastern portion of the 23rd Congressional District appears ready to reopen when Governor Cuomo launches "New York -- Forward" this Friday.  However... Republican Representative Tom Reed says he's disappointed that the western three counties in his district -- including Chautauqua County -- appear not to be ready yet.  Reed says Western New York comes up short on two of the governor's benchmarks for reopening... hospital utilization and capacity.  However... he's been in constant contact with regional hospitals... and, he believes a different approach may work.

However... Reed feels Western New York region may well be able to meet the governor's benchmarks by this Friday.  He's been in contact with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul about the situation involving Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties.  State Senator George Borrello says many essential businesses have successfully reopened, and it's time to reopen more... and, it can be done safely.  


Another Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Outbreak.  The Village of Falconer and the Henry Mosher American Legion Post 638 "regrettably" announced the decision late Tuesday.  Officials say the "safety of our residents is of the utmost importance.  As a display of honor and remembrance to the men and women lost while in military service for the United States, we encourage our entire community to decorate their homes and businesses with American Flags, large and small." 
 

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WJTN News Headlines for May 12, 2020


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has given the green light to three regions of the upstate area not as severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak to gradually re-start their economies.  During his daily press briefing in Rochester Monday... Cuomo said the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and Finger Lake regions could move to Phase-one on Friday after meeting all seven benchmarks for opening some business activity.  However... he also announced regional "control" or monitoring teams will be put in place to oversee the efforts.

Cuomo says the local and county governments involved need to work out some logistical details by the end of the week.  Some other areas are close behind.  He says New York will reopen certain low-risk business and recreational activities state-wide on May 15th.  Cuomo says those include landscaping and gardening, low-risk outdoor recreational activities -- like tennis -- and drive-in movie theaters.


The Western New York region is moving in the right direction in terms of the metrics being used to when it comes to reopening the economy.  However... Chautauqua County will not be part of that.  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is overseeing the efforts to reopen our region... which includes Erie County... where some of the highest numbers in the state are found.

Hochul says the key numbers will be daily infection and hospitalization rates... along with testing.  She adds that each region will have a "control group" to oversee the reopening process.  Hochul says she -- and several local leaders and health officials -- will be involved with that on a daily basis.  She reiterated that it's important to her and Governor Cuomo to reopen the economy, but she emphasized that public health is still the number one priority. 

There's one new case of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County over the past day.  County Executive P-J Wendel says that brings the total number to 43.  He says the new case is a woman in her 80s... and, he adds there are now seven active cases, who are recovering.  Wendel says 32 people have now recovered.  In addition... he says there are now 102 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there have now been 1,358 negative test results to date.

Chautauqua County may not be part of the first phase of openings this coming Friday... but, city lawmakers in Jamestown are looking over some possible options to help restaurants and some other businesses open up more soon.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... after there was word that at least a couple of restaurants are moving towards some outdoor business as the weather gets warmer.  Sundquist says some may need council action first, others may not.

Sundquist says... with some limited hours... some patio or sidewalk serve could be done with no changes to the city code.  However... others may need a local law to change the ordinance.  Meantime... he says city departments are moving ahead on plans to reopen sometime later.  Sundquist says Western New York so far meets five of the governor's seven metrics to go to Phase-one.  He made his comments yesterday morning on WJTN's Dennis Webster Show.


Another major festival in Chautauqua County has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and regional shut-down.  The 15th annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival has been cancelled this year.  The difficult decision was reached by the festival's committee... led by organizer Doug Clark of the 96th Highlanders Pipe and Drum Corp... late last week.  Clark says the decision was made with the safety of competitors, musicians and spectators first and foremost.  

The festival was to be held this coming August.  Clark says most disappointing is the fact this was shaping up as their best festival yet.  He says they were planning on having at least 80 male and female "heavy" athletes competing... and, a number of musical bands and groups performances.

A U-S Air Force flyover will take place early this afternoon to honor health care workers, first responders, and graduating seniors in Chautauqua County.  County Executive P-J Wendel says the 914th Air Refueling Wing of the Air Force Reserves at Niagara Falls, and the Vermont National Guard will be conducting a required aerial refueling training operation.  Following the training, KC-135s and F-35s will flyover portions of Western New York to salute frontline workers during the COVID Outbreak.  Wendel says three of the F-35s will break away from formation and come into Chautauqua County for a flyover of Chautauqua Lake between 12:15 and 12:30 PM.

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News Headlines for Mon., May 11, 2020

City man arrested on several Felonies after break-in, and brief imprisonment...
A Jamestown man has been arrested on several Felony charges after allegedly holding a woman and her children against their wills for a short time early last weekend.  City police were called to the scene of a domestic violence incident at 2 Stearns Ave. shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday.  Officers were told that 31 year-old Andrew Kiendl had forced his way into the house... violating four orders of protection the victims had against him.  Police forced entry, and arrested Kiendl on charges including second-degree burglary, unlawful imprisonment... and four counts of second-degree criminal contempt.  He was also jailed on five counts of endangering the welfare of a child. 


Cuomo administration officials clarify renewal of State of Emergency until June 7...
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the State of Emergency until June 7.  Under the new order, New York will remain in a state of emergency until that time.  However... the "New York Pause" which has shut-down non-essential business and other activity... remains in place until this Friday, May 15.  The Albany Times-Union reports the order's legal nuances caused confusion even within the administration, as evidenced by an initial statement from a Cuomo spokesman said if they "did nothing, (the pause and the state of emergency) would expire Saturday and everything would be open."  That statement was corrected later in the day by a Tweet from Cuomo's secretary Melissa DeRosa: "NY ON PAUSE was NOT extended to June 6.  The Executive Order extended the underlying legal authority for the (initial) executive order BUT did not change the text of any of the directives in NY ON PAUSE & so the expiration date on May 15th still stands until further notice." 


4-H members, leaders, await word on status of County Fair...
Leaders and members of Four-H are anxiously waiting for word on whether the the Chautauqua County Fair will be held this year.  4-H and Youth Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension Kate Ewer says she's hopeful it'll happen... but, ready if it doesn't.  She says they have a Plan B and C is necessary... and, they're waiting to hear what the state will allow -- possibly as soon at the end of this week.  4-H has around 250 members in Chautauqua County.  They bring around 150 animals to the Meat Animal Sale, with many other animals and projects on display.  Kate Ewer says Four-H'ers are finding ways to move forward in the midst of the shutdown.  She says some projects are being done by "virtual meetings."  The Chautauqua County Fair is planned for July 20 -- 26 at the fairgrounds in Dunkirk.


State Nursing Homes must now start twice-weekly COVID testing of staff...
New York nursing homes must start twice-weekly coronavirus testing for all staffers, and will no longer be sent COVID-19 patients leaving hospitals.  Governor Cuomo announced the policy Sunday after facing growing criticism over the handling of nursing facility outbreaks.  That requirement changes an earlier recommendation by the state... which Chautauqua County was going to be among the first to receive the testing and Personal Protective Equipment.  Public Health Director Christine Schuyler explains testing is now being offered to both residents and staff now.  To this point... Schuyler confirms that there have been no cases of the COVID-19 Virus in any county nursing homes.  Governor Cuomo, earlier in the weekend, came under increasing criticism for his handling of the crisis.  Health care watchdogs and lawmakers cite problems with testing and transparency that have prevented health officials -- and the public -- from grasping the full scale of the problem. 


No new cases of COVID in Chautauqua County over the past weekend...
There were no new case of the COVID-19 virus reported in Chautauqua County over the past weekend... so the number of confirmed cases remains at 42.  County Executive P-J Wendel says there are still six active cases, and those people continue to recover under orders from the Local Health Director.  Wendel adds there are now 32 people who have recovered from COVID-19... and, there are currently 95 cases under quarantine or isolation orders.  He adds 1,335 negative test results have been reported to date.


Borrello among those pushing for all Child Care to NYS to be released...
Child care advocates are accusing Governor Andrew Cuomo of not releasing most of the $160-million New York received from the CARES Act to provide emergency relief for the state’s childcare system.  State Senator George Borrello held a news conference following a "thank you" car parade that started in Jamestown last Friday, and ended at the Lake Shore Family Center in Irving observing Child Care Provider Appreciation Day.  Specifically... Borrello says only $30-million of the $163.4-million sent to the state has been allocated.  Borrello says child care providers are a critical component of the area's frontline workforce... and, he says "adequate" child care is going to be very important once people get back to work.


Comedy Center to celebrate "virtual" birthday party for the late George Carlin Tuesday night... 
An on-line, star-studded event will be held this Tuesday night to help support the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  The Live Stream Birthday Event will be held tomorrow night, May 12 at 8 p.m. for late, legendary Comedian George Carlin, who would have been 83 on Tuesday.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the event will feature comedians, comedy writers, producers and friends who will reflect on Carlin’s art and long-standing influence.  It will include conversations with Norman Lear, Sebastian Maniscalco, and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin.  "Laughing Matters: Carlin’s Legacy” will be live streamed at ComedyCenter.org/Carlin with a simulcast via the National Comedy Center's Facebook page.

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News Headlines for Sat., May 9, 2020

Polar vortex brings rare May snow, low temps to Eastern US, including Chautauqua County...
Mother's Day weekend got off to an unseasonably snowy start in areas of the northeast thanks to the polar vortex.  While most areas received just a trace of snow early Saturday, some higher elevation areas in northern New York and New England reported as much as 9 inches.  The spring snow and accompanying low temperatures came courtesy of the polar vortex, a batch of cold air being pulled down from the north.  Massachusetts hadn't seen measurable snow in May since 2002, while in Manhattan's Central Park, the flakes tied a record set in 1977 for the latest snow.  The Jamestown-area is expecting half an inch to an inch of snow.


Two new cases of COVID-19 reported in the county...
For the second day in a row... there are two new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... bringing the local total to 42.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who updated the numbers during his weekly COVID-19 Update Friday afternoon with Public Health Director Christine Schuyler.  Wendel says the new cases are both women, one in their 50s, and another in their 60s.  He says there are now six active cases, and 32 people who have now recovered.  Wendel adds there are now 81 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders from the Public Health Director... and, there have now been 1,266 negative test results to date.


Reed announces Quest Diagnostics to assist in ramping up testing in the 23rd Congressional District...
A significant increase in COVID-19 testing and available testing kits will be coming to the region to help ensure New York meets Gov. Andrew Cuomo's reopening guidelines.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who announced Thursday night Quest Diagnostics will provide local healthcare providers in Western New York, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions with an intial 3,000 tests per day.  Reed says above the existing tests being done currently... this will exceed the re-opening standards covering 3-million residents. The Congressman says -- "this announcement is a critical component of the region's efforts to demonstrate to Albany that we have the resources in place to reopen as soon as possible.  Now that this critical benchmark has been overcome, I truly believe there is no reason why our region should not be opened on May 15."  Quest is set to provide testing as early as May 18.


Cuomo says numbers looking decent for possible reopening of some parts of NYS on May 15th...
If the numbers hold... it's looking promising that parts of Upstate New York will be able to start reopening from the COVID-19 shut-down a week from today.  However... Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo also reiterated during Friday's daily press briefing that the data and numbers will continue to drive that decision.  Cuomo says "I get it.." that people want to get back to some normalcy.  He says he's still looking at opening two "very low risk" areas -- low density manufacturing and construction -- for places where the numbers of cases and hospitalizations are low.  Cuomo also announced that the deadline for victims of child sexual abuse has been extended another five-months through Jan. 14, 2021 because the courts have not be up and running at full-capacity.  On Saturday... Cuomo said a new concern is the number of downstate, COVID-related cases of what appears to be Kawasaki Disease in 73 children ranging from toddlers to elementary school.


Democratic BOE members appealing ruling on holding Presidential Primary next month...
Democratic members of the state's Board of Elections have filed an appeal of a federal judge's reinstatement of the New York presidential primary.  The appeal by board Commissioner Andrew Spano and other members comes a day after the June 23 primary was reinstated by a federal judge in Manhattan, who said canceling it would be unconstitutional and deprive withdrawn presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang of proper representation at the Democratic convention.


Reopen NY Protest held Friday...
A pair of Facebook groups again held a drive-in demonstration Friday in Jamestown to protest New York's Stay-at-Home orders.  One of the organizers... Garrit Cain... says they again used the sidewalk at Dow Park on West Fifth Street to help call on county leaders to begin lifting restrictions that are part of the governor's PAUSE New York.  That order runs through Friday, May 15.  Cain says they wanted demonstrators -- who reportedly numbered about 50 -- to observe social distancing rules, and wear masks. 


National Comedy Center to hold Carlin birthday tribute....
An on-line, star-studded event has been planned for this coming Tuesday to help support the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  The Live Stream Birthday Event will be held on May 12, at 8 p.m. for late, legendary Comedian George Carlin, at Comedy Center.org/Carlin.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the event will feature comedians, comedy writers, producers and friends who will reflect on Carlin’s art and long-standing influence.  It will include conversations with Norman Lear, Sebastian Maniscalco, Lewis Black, Jim Norton and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin.  She says there will also be tributes from Tim Allen, Bill Engvall, George Lopez, and others.  "Laughing Matters: Carlin’s Legacy” will be live streamed at ComedyCenter.org/Carlin with a simulcast via Facebook Live on the National Comedy Center Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/.

 

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WJTN NEWS HEADLINES FOR MAY 8, 2020

There are two new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... bringing the total number of positive case to 40.  

County Executive P-J Wendel adds that one of the two women, who are in their 20s, is the first from Fire Batallion Two -- the northwestern end of the county.  Wendel adds there are now five active cases, while 31 other people have now recovered from the virus.  There have been four deaths.  He says 74 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders from the Public Health Director.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is extending the state's moratorium on outbreak-related housing evictions another two-months.  

The Democrat said Thursday that a moratorium planned through June is now extended until August 20th.  Cuomo also announced the results of a study of 25 health care facilities in the New York City area to check on infection rates of 27,000 workers.  He says they found their rate of infection was no higher than the general public, meaning the use of masks, gloves and gowns work.

In addition, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also extended that state's moratorium on foreclosures and evictions by another two months.  It was to expire next Monday, but will now run through July 10th.  Back in New York, the state tallied 231 virus-related deaths Wednesday.  Though hospitalizations continued to decrease slowly to under 8,700, the daily death toll has hovered around 230 for four days.

Sheriff Jim Quattrone is recommending that Chautauqua County residents wear face masks or coverings when going out in public.  

While there is no criminal penalty under Governor Andrew Cuomo's executive order, Quattrone says they do receive complaints that are filed through the state.  Many of those complaints have involved individuals who are not wearing masks in stores. And if a store requires the use of masks and a person does not comply, Quattrone says they could face a charge.

As for not wearing a face mask in areas where social distancing is not possible, Quattrone says they are reminding individuals about the executive order.  He says there is no mechanism in place to enforce the executive order.  The governor's order is for people to wear a face mask, or cloth covering when they're in public and, social distancing cannot be observed.


U-S Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer today is calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to immediately send supplies and PPE to upstate facilities, including V-A Hospital in Buffalo.  Schumer says the V-A has moved too slowly in providing protective equipment to frontline healthcare workers. Today's announcement follows a report in March from the V-A's Office of the Inspector General, which found that 21 out of 54 VHA hospitals would run out of PPE in the weeks following the report. 

 
A pair of Facebook groups will again be holding a drive-in demonstration tomorrow in Jamestown to protest New York's Stay-at-Home orders.  

One of the organizers, Garrit Cain, says they'll again be on the sidewalk at Dow Park on West Fifth Street at 3 PM, and will be calling on county leaders to begin lifting restrictions that are part of the governor's PAUSE New York.  That order runs through Friday, May 16th.  Cain says they want demonstrators to observe social distancing rules, and wear masks.  They also say people can circle the park in their vehicles if they don't want to be outside.

 
A large gathering of people in their cars and trucks -- socially distanced -- joined together in the parking lot of the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood Thursday for the annual National Day of Prayer today.  

Dozens of vehicles were parked from the former Sears Auto Center, past the Jo-Ann Fabric Store for the program, put on by a non-denominational group of local clergy.  Koinania Christian Fellowship Pastor Ron Lemon introduced the program and urged people to look to God to protect them, and get them through this COVID-19 Pandemic.

Lemon was joined by local political leaders, including County Executive P-J Wendel and, State Senator George Borrello.  Other clergy members included the Reverend Mel McGinnis of Kiantone Congregational Church and, Pastor William Blair of the New Creation Assembly of God church in Jamestown.
 

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WJTN NEWS HEADLINES MAY 7, 2020


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is investigating what appears to be a repeat of a prank letter that was sent to local towns and others in Chautauqua County.  The phony, but, realistic looking letter states that Sheriff Jim Quattrone has declared "martial law..." and, officers will be confiscating any AR-15 semi-automatic rifles.  Quattrone says it's alarming this time around due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

As with the August situation, Quattrone says his office did NOT send out the letter, and what it says is not true.  He says confiscation of firearms is a violation of the second-amendment.  Quattrone says the envelopes and the letterhead look authentic.  He says if you receive such a letter, don't open it, but call the Sheriff's Office at 661-7232.


Jamestown firefighters battled an overnight fire late Tuesday through Wednesday morning that heavily damaged a home on the city's southside.  Fire Battalion Chief Cris Dahlgren says crews were called to 43 Adams Street shortly after 11 PM Tuesday and, found the structure fully-involved on arrival.  Dahlgren says the three occupants were able to get out safely, but their pet cat perished in the blaze.  The fire is believed to have started on the exterior porch, but Dahlgren says investigators are still looking into the cause at this time.  Crews were back in station shortly after 6 AM Wednesday morning. 


Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel says there's been one new case of COVID-19 in the county.  He says it's woman in her 50s, bringing the total number of positive cases county-wide to 38.  Wendel adds that there are now three active cases, who continue to recover under orders of the Public Health Director.  He adds there are now 31 recovered cases, with four deaths.  He says 65 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored, while there have been 1,105 negative test results to date.


Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel says ramping up testing and "contact tracing" of positive cases will play a big role in how soon New York state will allow Chautauqua County -- and others -- reopen.  Wendel says the county meets many of the health numbers that have to be met in Governor Andrew Cuomo's 12-Point Reopen New York plan.  Wendel says the county is already ramping up testing... especially for essential workers -- like health care professionals and day care workers.

Wendel says their "drive-thru" testing will continue tomorrow and Saturday at the Chautauqua Lake Central school bus garage.  He says contact the county's Department of Health and Human Services for more information.  Back to the governor's criteria for opening Wendel says one of the more difficult parts will be testing 30 people per 1,000 every month.  However... he says that testing ratio would be for the entire region.  He adds they also have 57 "contact tracers" ready to go... with another 27 on stand-by.


There will be no Summer Collegiate baseball at Diethrick Park this summer after the Perfect Game League cancelled the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 Outbreak.  This was to be the Jamestown Tarp Skunks inauguaral season... but, General Manager Frank Fanning says the Tarp Skunks orgtanization is "committed to bring you baseball fun and excitement in 2021."  Fanning says -- first and foremost -- “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose lives have been devastated from the effects of COVID19."  Field Manager Jordan Basile says he's "disappointed..." but adds they'll be ready to go in 2021.  Team officials say the Tarp Skunks will continue with certain scheduled releases throughout the remainder of 2020, and they hope to attend public appearances whenever it is safe to do so later in the year.


Chautauqua Opportunities, Incorporated is receiving a five-year, $4.7-million grant from the federal government for it's Head Start program.  Local Congressman Tom Reed announced Wednesday that the funds were being provided through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Reed says he wants to make sure "our children are prepared for school and given all the opportunities they need to thrive.  This grant funding will benefit both the children in Head Start and their families by providing a safe and educational environment.”  COI they provide services to more than 440 children under the age of 5 in Chautauqua County.

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WJTN NEWS HEADLINES FOR MAY 6, 2020

No one was hurt, but a pet cat perished in a fully-involved structure fire in the City of Jamestown last night. That from Fire Batallion Chief Chris Dahlgren, who says crews were called to 43 Adams Street shortly after 11 PM... and, found the home engulfed in flames. Dahlgren says the three residents living inside were able to get out safely, but the house was heavily damaged... and, may need to be demolished. Investigators are still searching for a cause, but the Chief says the blaze is believed to have started on the exterior porch. Firefighters were back in station shortly after 6 o'clock this morning. 


Plans are being made by Jamestown city officials so they are ready to reopen local government when New York state gives the okay.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who says they will begin at four-phased reopening once  "New York PAUSE" has been lifted by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Right now... that date is May 15th... and, Sundquist says they're looking at a 25-percent, 50, 75, and 100-percent opening over a period of time.

Sundquist says city department heads will work out their own plans... with protocols for being able to interact with the public.  He says that also includes places that will have to be disinfected, and how regularily that will have to be done.  Sundquist says department heads will get back to him soon with those plans, and they'll be shared with City Council.


For the second-day in a row... there have been no new positive cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County.  County Executive P-J Wendel also says more than one-thousand people tested have come up negative.  Wendel says there are still 37 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus... while there are four active cases.  He says 29 people have recovered from the virus... while there have been four deaths.  Wendel says there are now 65 cases under quarantine or isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored.


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the national debate over when to reopen outbreak-ravaged economies boils down to the value placed on people's lives.  The Democratic governor made the argument as political pressure intensifies to relax restrictions keeping people at home and off the job.  Cuomo Tuesday also defended state's requests to include state and local aid in any new COVID-19 Relief bill.

Cuomo says states will need funding to fully implement efforts to do further diagnostic and anti-body testing... as well as "contact tracing" to locate positive cases who are "asymptomatic."  The New York Democrat also blasted Republicans who contend that stuff aid is a "Blue state bail-out."  Cuomo has opted for a slower approach that will allow parts of the state to phase in economic activity later this month if they meet and maintain benchmarks. Cuomo claims his plan avoids the trade-off between economic and human costs because it will be controlled by officials constantly monitoring fatalities and hospitalizations.


Chautauqua County's Republican Congressman says he has no problem with providing states with the aid they need to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic.  However... Corning's Tom Reed says he also wants to have the money approved for local governments, and school districts, get to them without the state's being able to get their hands on it.  Reed adds it's time for the smaller counties, cities and others to get help.

A number of local mayors, town supervisors and others have expressed concern over whether they'll be receiving any kind of aid to deal with holes in their budgets.  As far as school districts go... Reed says there's a good chance they will get some kind of help in one of the next COVID Relief bills... but, adds that must go directly to the schools.  Public school districts are reportedly looking at state aid cuts of 20 to 50-percent this year.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.


Mayville Mayor Ken Shearer believes tourists will come to Chautauqua County this summer, despite the cancellation of many events.

Shearer says it's important to remember people come to Chautauqua County for more than just the entertainment.  He says there are two big lakes -- Chautauqua and Erie -- and there is plenty of park and forest land... and, trails to enjoy.  Shearer says he's confident public health can be maintained if residents and visitors follow the appropriate protocols.  He also notes that the timing of the virus outbreak has given summer businesses the opportunity to refigure their operations for 2020, saying, "We're not... all of a sudden... waking up on June 28th to find out nobody's coming."


New York state is now reporting more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities as the state faces scrutiny over how it's protected vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.  At least 4,813 residents with confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 have died at 351 of New York's 613 nursing homes since March 1st.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration's new list released late Monday that includes the reported number of both confirmed and presumed deaths as of Sunday evening. 

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WJTN News Headlines for May 5, 2020

A major project to develop more than 100-units of housing in downtown Jamestown may be able to move forward soon now that a task force has been able to negotiate changes to it's plans.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk updated the City Council during last night's work session on the Gateway Lofts project on Water Street... which has been stalled in the city's Planning Commission most of the year.  Surdyk says the main issue is the inital plan doesn't satisfy the city's Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

Back in February... Surdyk says the planning commission approved a positive environmental declaration for the $30-plus million project... meaning a full environmental Impact statement would have to be done.  Developers said that could set the project back several months.  However... Surdyk says a task force -- which included representatives for both sides -- agreed to a mitigation plan.  She says the developers will now withdraw their inital plan at the next commission meeting, and replace it with the mitigated proposal.


No new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Chautauqua County this past day... and, more people have now recovered from it.  County Executive P-J Wendel reported Monday that there are still 37 confirmed cases... but, adds that 29 people have now recovered.  Wendel adds that there are now four active cases... and 75 others that are under quarantine or isolation orders.  There have also been 988 negative test results so far.

The COVID-19 Pandemic will have a major impact on Chautauqua County's summer tourism season, now that Chautauqua Institution's board of trustees voted last Friday to call off all in-person events at the institution.  County Executive P-J Wendel says there was a lot involved in institution's decision.

Wendel says he spoke with Chautauqua President Michael Hill on Saturday when the decision was announced.  The executive says Chautauqua Institution's decision was based on "volumes of data and analysis..." and, more than a month of meetings prior to the decision being made.  


School districts across New York state will be holding school budget votes, and school board elections on Tuesday, June 9th.  However... it will be done by absentee vote due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  That from state School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider, who says the date is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's order last Friday that cancelled in-person classes through the end of the academic year.  Schneider says their legal team went through the order late Friday.

School votes in the state's approximately 700 districts were to take place later this month... but, were previously postponed by Governor Cuomo.  Schneider says NYSSBA is doing all it can to support district's in any way they can because they're looking at a 20 to 50-percent reduction in state aid due to the pandemic.  He says they are lobbying New York's Congressional delegation for some funding in a fourth COVID-19 Relief bill... if there is one.

Local business owners were encouraged Monday afternoon to put forth a "good faith" effort, and keep close records for their Payroll Protection Program.  That way... they will likely have their loan from the federal government forgiven.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed... who spoke to a virtual gathering of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.  Reed says he's already received a number of inquiries about the matter, and has spoken directly with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin about it several times.

Reed says the end of that eight-week period is coming up soon for many... and, he says that 75-percent meant to cover payroll for people who aren't working has to be accounted for.  He also told employers that, under this "good faith" effort, you can use 25-percent for such things as utilities, and rent.  He reminded business leaders that the eight-week program is designed "to cover that payroll exposure." 


A Jamestown woman was arrested two times Sunday afternoon in separate domestic disputes with drugs in her possession.  Just before 2:30 PM.... city police were called to fight-in-progress between two women in the area of English and Allen Streets.  During the investigation, officers say one woman -- 41 year-old Sarah Johnson -- allegedly ran from the scene, leading police on brief foot chase.  She was taken into custody after allegedly resisting arrest, and was released with an appearance ticket.   About an hour later... police responded to Winsor and Chandler Streets for a fight involving a knife... and, determined Sarah Johnson had allegedly chasing a woman through the street with the weapon.  She was found in possession of a suboxone strip out of the prescription container and was again arrested.  Police say Johnson had been released just 13-minutes prior to the second incident occuring.  She's being held pending arraignment. 


The city of Jamestown and it's Board of Public Utilities has announced a decision to open the Yard Waste Site on Monroe Street through May 15th.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says he's "thrilled" that they've been able to work with everyone involved to get the site opened in response to many citizen requests.  To avoid overcrowding at the site... Sundquist says the site will be manned by Public Works employees, and open from 7:30 AM to 3 PM Mondays through Fridays.  He says residents will be asked to come to the site on their normal garbage pickup day to prevent overcrowding of the site. 

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WJTN News Headlines for June 3, 2020

The Western New York Region -- including Chautauqua County -- can now officially move to Phase-Two of the COVID-19 reopening today.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo who made the announcement duri...

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