WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 6, 2020

Former Southern Tier Congressman Amory "Amo" Houghton has passed away from natural causes at his home in Corning.  The Finger Lakes Daily News confirms Houghton's passing Wednesday at the age of 93.  The former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Corning Incorporated, represented portions of the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier in Washington, D.C.  Houghton was elected to his first of nine terms in Congress in 1986.  Houghton did not always follow the party line and, was one of just a half-dozen Republicans to vote against authorizing President George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq in 2002.  Houghton also was one of just four Republicans who voted against both Impeachment articles against Bill Clinton.  Houghton was a World War-Two veteran.  He did not represent Chautauqua County during his final term in office due to redistricting.

Six Jamestown residents -- including three for failing to appear in court --  were arrested after city police allegedly found a quantity of methamphetamine during a home check Wednesday afternoon. City police Captain Bob Samuelson says patrol officers responded to 238 Fairmount Avenue to assist Child Protective Services and, reportedly found 29--grams of meth sitting out in plain view.  Taken into custody and charged with two-counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance were 35-year-old Hollie Petroff, 42-year-old John Ferguson, and 41-year-old Stephen Dean.  In addition, Samuelson says 34-year-old John Kellom-junior, 33-year-old Jared Gilbert, and 33-year-old Amanda Pennhollow were taken in on the bench warrants.  All six people were jailed pending arraignment.  Samuelson says the house was condemned following a investigation by the Jamestown Department of Development.

New York state's coronavirus caseload doubled yesterday to 22 and, New York City's mayor is imploring the federal government to send more test kits for the new virus.  Officials say the newly-diagnosed cases include two hospitalized patients in New York City and a hospitalized man in Long Island's Nassau County.  Governor Andrew Cuomo says the other positive tests were in people with mild symptoms or none at all in Westchester County.  That's where a cluster of cases emerged earlier in the week.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says officials' level of concern is rising. 

The risk of infection from Coronavirus in the United States -- as well as Chautauqua County -- is low , even with the number of reported cases increasing.  That from county Health and Humane Services Director Christine Schuyler,  who says her department is working closely with the State Department of Health to monitor local conditions, and educate and restrict movements of people who have traveled to affected countries.  County Executive P-J Wendel says Schuyler was in Albany yesterday for a state briefing.

Otherwise... Wendel -- whose been part of local meetings on the matter -- says it's important for people to just observe good, universal precautions to avoid Coronavirus, or the flu or common cold.  He says those include good handwashing with soap for at least 20-seconds, covering your cough, and, if you don't feel well, don't go to work or school.  Schulyer says the county has an existing Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, and, adds they are "working diligently with our partners, including emergency services, law enforcement, health care systems, and schools" to enhance their response. 

New York's Junior U-S Senator says she's disappointed to see Elizabeth Warren end her Democratic presidential bid after a disappointing finish in Super Tuesday states.  However fellow Democrat and, former Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand says she's "very proud" of the race run by Warren.  Gillibrand says it's great that half-a-dozen qualified women ran for the nomination.

Warren, whose from Massachusetts, told supporters Thursday afternoon that she refuses to "let disappointment blind" her.  She says she's spoken to front-runners Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, but, says she will wait to make a decision on whom to endorse.  While there is no woman left among the front-runners, Gillibrand says she's helping several women in "down-ballot" races,  including 10 people running for Senate.  Warren's campaign had the markers of success: robust poll numbers, impressive fundraising and a national organization.  But she was squeezed out by Sanders, who had an immovable base of voters she needed to advance.  Gillibrand made her comments during a conference call with state Media outlets.

The Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional District says she wants to help struggling Middle Class families again realize the "American Dream."  Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano says, to that end, she'll be holding another series of five town hall gatherings next week in the district to hear residents stories.  Mitrano says the Middle Class's problems really began with major tax cuts in the 1980s.

Mitrano says a new story in the on-line publication "The Business Insider" highlighted the problems facing the middle class.  Back in 1985, a family of four needed to make just over $13,000 over 30 weeks to meet basic expenses.  In 2018, that amount had risen to $54,441 over 53 months.  She says there's something wrong when the government is giving tax breaks to Corporate America, and the Middle Class is getting crushed.  Mitrano says cutting the highest tax rate from 35-percent to 21-percent did not mean the highest earners paid 21-percent.  In many cases she says they didn't because of tax loopholes.  Mitrano's first Town Hall meeting on economic issues will be held Monday night in Wellsville.