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WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 14, 2020

New York's lieutenant governor said Monday that the COVID-19 curve is continuing to flatten state-wide.  However... Democrat Kathy Hochul says Western New York needs to prepare should there a 'surge' in this area.

Meanwhile, the state is working on developing a plan for recovery from COVID-19... and, her main focus with the administration is economic development.  However... she says they will not be doing "anything prematurely."  Hochul says the plan is being called "New York Forward."  She says a lot of it will depend on the availability of testing for those who had COVID-19 and whether they are able to re-enter the workforce.

There is also good news in Chautauqua County... as no new cases of the COVID-19 Virus were reported yesterday.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says the number of positive cases remains 24 after one was added yesterday.  Wendel adds that there are now just three "active cases..." while there are now 18 people who have recovered from the virus.  There have been three deaths... and, 127 people are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there have been 427 negative test results so far.  Wendel adds that "rainy quarantine days can help you plan your next grocery list--delivery.   As the stay-at-home COVID-19 suggestions continue, the grocery delivery options expand.   There may be a slight wait for delivery times, so, plan ahead."

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York's death toll from coronavirus has now topped 10,000 with hospitals still seeing 2,000 new patients a day.  However... during his Monday briefing in Albany, Cuomo said the number of deaths in the state fell below 700 -- to 671 -- for the first time in several days on Sunday.

Cuomo says the reason why New York state -- and, New York City in particular -- are being so hard hit is population density.... and, because COVID-19 is "very contagious..." it spreads very fast.  In addition... New York City's health department says the city is in danger of running out of swabs for COVID-19 tests and should only test hospitalized patients.  An April 11th memo to health care providers said there's -- quote -- ``a real possibility'' of running out of test swabs.  Officials in New York City, and the state, have pleaded for the federal government to provide widespread coronavirus testing. 

Democratic governors in the Northeast and along the West Coast are announcing separate state compacts to coordinate how to begin reopening society amid the coronavirus pandemic.  They did not announce a timeline but said they will consider the health of residents first and will be guided by science.  The Northeast coalition includes New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

New York's junior U-S Senator has announced new legislation designed to provide direct relief to small, and family farms who are suffering even more under the current shut-down.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibran says the "Relief for America’s Small Farmers Act" will provide crucial support for small farmers that they aren't getting from the recently approved CARES Act.  Gillibrand says there are two issues right now... getting farmers places to sell their goods, and secondly, protection for farm workers.

Currently... Gillibrand says farm bankruptcies are at an eight-year high and net farm income has dropped by nearly half since 2013.  She says the financial struggles of more than 30,000 New York farmers has only been exacerbated by the current crisis, which has devastated supply chains, as schools and restaurants have been forced to close.  The Relief for America’s Small Farmers Act will alleviate debt, keep farms open, and fortify the nation’s food supply.  Gillibrand says she's also working to find new places for farmers to send their milk and crops until the nation returns to some normalcy.

Jamestown will be receiving an additional 700-thousand dollars in federal funding to deal with housing and other issues triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says the city received notification recently from the U-S Department of Housing and Urban Development about the funding.  Sundquist says there are a couple of areas the city would like to have the funding used for.

However... Sundquist says they are still waiting for more information on what specifically the money can be used for.  Generally he says the money is to be used for emergency preparations, housing and economic stability.  The money is in addition to the city's annual CDBG and HOME Program allocation of more than $1.1-million.

A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly possessing child pornography last Thursday.  State Police in Jamestown say they received the case from the Troop A Computer Crimes Unit... and, executed  a search warrant at 21 year-old Misael Romero-Vasquez's residence.  Troopers say their investigation revealed five pornographic images of minors on his computer.  Romero-Vasquez was taken into custody on five-counts of Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child.  He's due to appear in Jamestown City Court next month.  Troopers were assisted by the Department of Homeland Security.