WJTN News Headlines for Mar. 30, 2020

There are now seven confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus in Chautauqua County after two more cases were reported last weekend.  County Executive P-J Wendel says no new positives were reported on Sunday.  Wendel says the new cases were reported Saturday.  He says one a woman in her 70s, with no recent travel.  The other is a woman in her 30s, with no recent travel outside the country.  However... she has traveled to the Buffalo-area.  Wendel and County Public Health Director Christine Schuyler continue to emphasize the need for social distancing.  In addition -- due to the outbreak -- Wendel says they have extended the deadline for paying delinquent county tax payments from April 15th to June 18th.  In addition to the seven confirmed cases of COVID-19... county officials say 21 people are in Mandatory Quarantine... while 38 are in Precautionary Quarantine.  They say 22 more are in Mandatory Isolation... and, there have been 87 negative test results to date. 


New York has surpassed 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, less than a month after the first case was detected in the state. President Trump has now issued a travel advisory urging people in the region to avoid traveling out of the area for 14 days.  The president had considered the idea of a quarantine, which caught officials, like Governor Andrew Cuomo, off guard.  However... Cuomo said Sunday that he believed the advisory against unnecessary travel was appropriate.

During his Sunday press conference in Albany... Cuomo said the "acutely ill" are the ones that wind up on ventilators, and the longer someone is on one, the less likely they are to survive.  The total number of statewide deaths isn't expected to be released until later today. But with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state's total fatalities was at least 1,026.


Public schools and most colleges in the region are currently closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  However... a 2015 Falconer High School graduate has finished his studies, and has begun work at a New York State Trooper.  Ryan Dustin was part of the Spring 2020 Class that graduated March 18th from the State Police Academy in Albany.  Dustin took Criminal Justice at Jamestown Community College, and later at Fredonia State before being accepted at the academy.

However... Dustin says the six-and-a-half months of training at the Academy was a little more rigorous than he first thought it would be.  He says there was a lot of physical, defensive training, training on equipment... and of course studying.  But... in the few weeks he's been working out of the State Police barracks in Jamestown, Dustin says he's enjoyed the experience.  He'll eventually be assigned to Troop "E" headquartered in Canandaigua.  However... he won't know exactly where for a few more weeks.  Two other county residents were also part of the 220-plus graduates from the State Police Academy.


The Jamestown City Council will vote tonight on freezing 11 Local Development Corporation loans -- that are in good standing -- during the Coronavirus outbreak.  The Finance Committee approved the two-month freezes last week for those businesses.  City Development Director Crystal Surdyk says the JLDC determined that all 11 businesses -- many of them restaurants -- have been very negatively impacted by the virus outbreak.

Surdyk made her comments after last Monday's work session.  The 11 businesses include Gialy's Restaurant, Jamestown Rental Properties, Crown Streeet Roasting Company, International Ordinance Technologies, and Jamestown Brewing Company.  Tonight's council meeting begins at 7:30 PM... but, the public will not be allowed to attend.  However... the meeting will be live streamed on Facebook live beginning at 7:30 PM.


Lakewood Mayor Randy Holcomb has submitted a $3.9-million budget -- his first proposal -- since being elected village mayor last November.  Holcomb says the spending plan has been sent to the village clerk's office... and is mainly comprised of department head requests.  Holcomb says he's taken a more "unconventional" step of including ALL department head request to insure that all elected members of the village board have a voice in the process.  Holcomb says the budget increases spending by $193,000 and has a tax rate increase of 44-cents per thousand assessed value.  A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Monday, April 13th... and, a final budget must be adopted by May 1st.

 
A man from Niagara Falls faces up to 10 years in federal prison for allegedly pointing a shotgun out of his truck, and fighting with a trooper on the State Thruway in the town of Hanover.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says 47 year-old Jose Gandia is also accused of having a pipe bomb in his truck... and nine others in his Niagara Falls home.  Kennedy says Gandia was charged in federal court with unlawful possession of a destructive device, and unlawful possession of a shortened shotgun.  Prosecutors say the incident began last Wednesday when the trooper found Gandia's vehicle stopped in an active work zone.  Kennedy says the trooper involved suffered a broken hand in the altercation.  After he was arrested... troopers say they found the shotgun and a rifle in Gandia's truck... along with a pipe bomb.  Police then closed that part of the Thruway for some time.  Police also went to Gandia's home... and, found nine more pipe bombs there.