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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 4, 2020

Three people were arrested during a traffic stop in Jamestown, after police allegedly found a large amount of cocaine in their vehicle Monday afternoon. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says officers pulled over the car near North Main and Lamont Streets about 3:30 PM.  He says the investigation revealed 20 year-old Islandah Mitchell, 22 year-old Kori Robinson and, 25 year-old Bruce Page were found in possession of 3.5-ounces of powder cocaine and 4.7-ounces of crack cocaine. Samuelson says the drugs were most likely to be sold on the streets of Jamestown, with an estimated value between $10,000 and $12,000. The trio was charged with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, more charges are expected.

A Jamestown-area woman has been arrested following a two-year long investigation into the theft of a large amount of money from two businesses, and one personal bank account.  Ellicott Town Police say they arrested 57 year-old Donna Spencer  for forging numerous checks from the three accounts since 2018.  Investigators say Spencer was arraigned on six counts of fourth-degree Grand Larceny, 9 of Grand Larceny in the third-degree and, 16 counts of second-degree forgery.  She also faces one count of petty larceny.  

Officials from the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services are tracking developments concerning the spread of COVID-19 closely.  Natalie Whiteman, emergency preparedness coordinator for the Department of Health and Human Services, says the county has been keeping in touch with area hospitals on a regular basis and has also contacted area schools but, says -- so far -- there have been no requests for testing locally.

Health and Human Services Epidemiologist Breeanne Agett says local residents should go about their daily lives, but do need to take precautions just as they would the flu.  She says the risk in New York state is "low" at this time. 

There's been a second reported case of the coronavius in New York State.  A 50-year-old man in Westchester County has tested positive for COVID-19 and it appears he contracted it through "community spread."  At a press conference in Albany yesterday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo said this was expected.

Cuomo says the man, who lives in Westchester, commuted to work in Manhattan.  He says the man also lives in a home with school-age children and, the man has an underlying respiratory illness.  He had not been to China nor to any of the countries on the watch list... but, did travel to Miami before the outbreak.  Two nearby private Westchester schools have closed as a precaution.  Cuomo also says that two families in Buffalo that traveled to Italy are under quarantine in their homes as they are being tested.

A bi-partisan group of federal lawmakers in Congress has met with the man tapped by President Trump to head up the country's response to the Coronavirus.  Corning Republican Tom Reed, who co-chairs the Problem Solver's Caucus, along with 13 other members, met with Vice-President Mike Pence on the matter Tuesday.  Reed later issued a statement, saying "the American people rightly expect us to rise above partisan politics, unite together, and immediately pass an emergency funding bill to combat this threat to our country and families.”

State Senator George Borrello did not vote in favor of a $40-million spending bill to fund New York's response to the Coronavirus.  During floor debate on the matter Monday night... Borrello called Governor Cuomo's bill an "egregious power grab" that's been tied to the funding.  The Irving Republican says he fully supports the funding appropriation but, adds he "could not support handing the Governor the power to act unilaterally during any event he deems an ‘emergency.’"  Borrello argues the bill would give Cuomo "sweeping and sole authority to suspend and alter any state or local law or rule and issue directives"  He says the language was "unnecessary..." and, adds a number of his colleagues feel the same way.