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WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 10, 2020

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus continues to climb in New York State.  

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that there are 142 confirmed cases, but very few people are being hospitalized. Of the 142 confirmed cases, 98 are in Westchester County and 19 in New York City.  

There are no cases of Coronavirus in western New York and Chautauqua County.  However, one local person is in precautionary quarantine.  That from County Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler, who addressed Jamestown City Council during last night's work session about what steps are being taken to protect local residents from the world-wide outbreak.  Schuyler says that individual is showing no signs of COVID 19 currently, but had traveled to a CDC-designated Level 3 country. 

Schuyler did not reveal any other information, noting that privacy laws prevent some information from being shared.  However, she emphasized that the risk locally is "very, very low."  Right now, she says they are urging residents to take similar precautions to preventing the spread of the flu, including washing your hand often, or using hand sanitizer, cover your cough and, stay home if you feel sick.  Schulyer says the bigger problem locally has been the flu.  But, she is hopeful that if people really focus on good handwashing, covering your cough, and staying home if your sick, will prevent further flu spread into the Summer months. Again, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in Western New York or Chautauqua County.

The two top Democratic leaders in Congress are calling on President Trump to support a series of steps to help Americans deal with the coronavirus outbreak -- from paid sick leave to widespread and free testing -- and other moves.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer say Mr. Trump should put the health and safety of the public first.  They said such steps should take priority over moves to help companies deal with financial losses - like tax cuts for corporations.  Among the steps  they are pushing: paid sick leave for workers impacted by the quarantine orders and enhanced unemployment insurance for workers.

A brief foot chase led to the arrest of a man wanted on multiple warrants out of the city of Jamestown... and, drug possession charges late Sunday night.  

City police say they attempted to take 26 year-old Brandon Sorenson into custody in the area of North Main and East First Streets around 11:30 PM, but he ran off.  Officers were able to take him into custody and a search revealed Sorenson was in possession of a digital scale, two bags of 0.8-grams of methamphetamine and, plastic bags commonly used for packaging narcotics.  He's being held in the city jail pending arraignment on charges of obstruction, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia. 

A Conewango Valley man has been sentenced to 18 years in state prison after pleading guilty last December to first-degree rape and first-degree criminal sex act.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson says 35 year-old Dennis Park -- formerly of Jamestown -- received two terms of nine-years for each count from County Court Judge David Foley.  Swanson says that follows Park's plea agreement.

Swanson says the civil confinement possibility comes from the fact that Park was first accused of rape when he was still a teenager in 2002.  He was convicted of raping a 5-year-old child at that time.  Swanson feels the sentence sends a strong message that rape and other sex crimes will not be tolerated and, offenders will be held accountable.  Park's guilty pleas were entered shortly before Park was set to go to trial for a second time after a mistrial was declared in August.  The sexual assault charges stem from two incidents in 2018, in which two women said Park assaulted them while brandishing a knife.