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WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 8, 2020

Jamestown Public Schools are hoping for the best, but planning for worse in regards to whether or not classrooms will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended state-wide school closures until April 29th.

Dr. Apthorpe says schools were originally closed until April 20th.  In the meantime, the leadership team is in a two-week, comprehensive planning phase.... and, will meet with Principals on Tuesday, April 21st, to discuss the details. During the school board meeting Tuesday night, Apthorpe says they approved a motion to keep Dana Williams as the interim Principal of Jamestown High School.

Apthorpe also announced that the state education department announced plans to cancel the June 2020 regents exams. Students currently in grades 7-thru-12 who would have been scheduled to take a Regents exam, may be exempt.... meaning that they will not need to take the exam in order to graduate. All JPS updates can be found online at JPSNY.gov.

No new cases of the COVID-19 virus were reported Tuesday in Chautauqua County.  But... Public Health officials are still warning residents that the virus is out there, and you should continue "social distancing" of 6-feet from other people.  County Executive P-J Wendel says there are 19 confirmed cases so far... with two deaths reported.  Wendel says the number of "active cases" now totals 9... with 8 people now having recovered.  The Health and Human Services Department says there are 84 people under quarantine or isolation orders... while 204 tests have come back negative.

Chautauqua County is getting tough on anyone who spits... or coughs on a police officer or other first responders during the Coronavirus outbreak.  District Attorney Patrick Swanson says they will be investigating such incidents... and prosecuting them to "the fullest extent of the law."

Swanson says those possible charges include: second-degree attempted assault, third-degree menacing, and second-degree harassment.  He adds "it angers me that anyone would spit or cough at an officer... in an effort to intimidate or threaten them when they are performing their job related responsibilities."  Swanson says the decision to do this stemmed from a reported incident in the city of Dunkirk last weekend.

Small business owners trying to take advantage of the $2.2-trillion CARES Act have "overwhelmed" the system of trying to get loans and grants to keep them afloat.  Local Congressman Tom Reed says they've been fielding a lot of calls regarding the $350-billion Paycheck Protection Program, and not being able to get hold of the agencies they need.  Reed says federal lawmakers are looking at lifting the cap on that program.

Reed says, once you get hold of the bank on the phone, or on-line, it's important to have three items ready:  One is your previous year's tax return on hand... along with your most recent payroll tax return.  He says that's Form-941 from the Internal Revenue Service.  Thirdly... he says go to whoever manages revenues and expenses, and have that documentation ready.  The Corning Republican says his office has all that information on his website as well at  Reed-dot-House.GOV.   He made his comments during his weekly telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.

There will be no city easter egg hunt at Allen Park this Saturday -- likely the first time that's happened in Jamestown in more than 70 years.  City Parks and Recreation Coordinator Julia Ciesla-Hanley says in 72 years of egg hunts... in all kinds of weather and conditions... they had to call it off for this year.
Ciesla-Hanley says the Parks Department is walking a fine line... encouraging people to get out and use the parks during the virus shutdown, but NOT to gather in groups at playgrounds, basketball courts or other locations.