Local News Headlines

Wendel and Berke express concerns over COVID-19 case spike, and people in isolation or quarantine...
Chautauqua County officials are expressing serious concerns about a new peak in COVID-19 cases... and, a growing number of people in isolation or quarantine.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says today that there are 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Friday... bringing the local number to 170.  Wendel says those case are over a wide range of ages.  They include one pediatric case, two males and females in their teens, six people in their 20s, and five in their 30s.  The oldest person was in their 70s.  Wendel says there are now 35 active cases... but, 364 people are now in quarantine or isolation... and, those people "need to pay heed to their quaratine orders to prevent the spread."  County Physician Dr. Robert Berke called this a "sobering moment" because the county had been doing so well in stopping the spread.  Berke believes what we've been seeing across the country is what's starting to happen here... mainly large gatherings of people on or around Lake Erie, and or Chautauqua Lake.  Wendel says 128 cases have recovered in Chautauqua County... while no one is hospitalized.  He says there are also 17-thousand-801 negative test results to date.  In addition to social distancing, and, wearing a mask in public if you can't socially distance, Dr. Berke says wash your hands frequently... or use hand sanitizer if you can't.  

NYS eases visitor ban aimed at curing virus in nursing homes...

Certain nursing homes in New York can allow visitors with restrictions starting July 15 as the state eases a ban aimed at limiting spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable elderly residents.  Only nursing homes and long-term care facilities that have been "without COVID-19" for at least 28 days can allow limited visits, according to state Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.  It was also unclear how many of the state's approximately 600 nursing homes would qualify to open up visitors.  Roughly 500 nursing homes had reported COVID-19 cases among staffers in June, according to state survey data released this week. 

Current Mayor Sundquist, and retired Mayor Teresi comment on former Judge Alessi's passing...
Retired long-time Jamestown City Court Judge Samuel Alessi is being remembered as an "incredible person... and, a great guy."  Alessi passed away last Sunday at home at the age of 88.  He retired as judge in 1993, after spending 20 years on the bench.  Alessi is being remembered as someone who was involved with the community... and current Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist -- a fellow Democrat -- got to meet the judge the past few years.  Sundquist says he really got to know, and talk with Alessi, during his mayoral campaign.  Many of those conversations... until the Coronavirus shut-down in March... would take place at a local restaurant as part of what has been called the "Breakfast Club..." made up largely of city Democrats.  Sundquist says he was able to do that up until the shut-down.  However... retired Mayor Sam Teresi says the group had just restarted it's informal gatherings... and, they would gather at Judge Alessi's house.  Teresi says he knew Alessi for most of his life... adding that he was a classmate at Jamestown High School with Alessi's daughter, Sue... and, he also worked with Alessi on his County Legislature, and City Court Judge campaigns.

City man arested in Fredonia on Federal Warrant...
A Jamestown man wanted on federal warrants is accused of trying to evade State Police during a traffic stop in village of Fredonia earlier this week.  Troopers in Fredonia say they stopped 22 year-old Omar Velazquez on Route 60 for having an expired inspection sticker this past Tuesday night.  After giving police a fake name and date of birth... troopers say Velazquez attempted to run off through the Wal-mart parking lot where he was quickly apprehended and placed under arrest.  He was taken to State Police headquarters and further investigation revealed that Velazquez was wanted by the U-S Marshals for probation violation.  He was taken to the Chautauqua County Jail, and is being held pending further court action.

Borrello says Cuomo needs to make decision sooner than early August about reopening schools...
The region's State Senator says a decision by Governor Cuomo on the reopening of schools during the first week of August is still not early enough for local school districts.  In addition... 57th District Senator George Borrello says the reopenings should not be a "one-size" fits all matter.  He says urban districts are very different from rural ones... and, everyone can't be held back because of "hot spots."  Borrello also believes that the state legislature needs to be involved in the decision-making process regarding the reopening of schools... and, other aspects of running of state government during the COVID crisis.  Local Congressman Tom Reed also feels there need to be answers from Albany on the matter of reopening schools.  Reed agrees with Borrello that there are a "lot of moving parts" that need to be addressed... including testing teachers and others for COVID, getting PPE, and sanitizing buildings.  Reed made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call.  Borrello says it doesn't matter whether people like the governor or hate him... "we have a system of government" that has an executive and legislative branch. 

Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 21, 2021

There's been one new death reported from the COVID-19 Virus over the past day in Chautauqua County... bringing the local total to 51 since the pandemic began.  The county's Health Departm...

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