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WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 20, 2020

There have been no new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County from the past weekend, while 21 others have now recovered. 

 County Executive P-J Wendel also said late Sunday that there are only three active cases where people are recovering under Health Department orders.  Wendel adds there are 39 cases now under quarantine or isolation orders.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state may be on the "other side of the plateau" in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak but, he says New Yorkers need to remain vigilant to stop the spread.  

During his Sunday briefing on the number of new cases, and hospitalizations, Cuomo said the daily death toll had dropped again -- to 507 from Saturday.  Cuomo says they also saw new hospitalizations fall to 1,300 people after being at 2,000 several days in a row.

As for reopening the state, Cuomo says it will depend on ramping up on two kinds of testing.  He announced the state will begin large-scale anti-body testing of people today.  Cuomo says they'll be testing "thousands" to see if they have had the Coronavirus, recovered from it, and have developed anti-bodies for it.  In addition, Cuomo says diagnostic testing is needed to make sure that people going back to work don't have the virus.  The state's data shows that nearly 14,000 New Yorkers have died since the state's first coronavirus case was reported March 1st.

The U-S Department of Agriculture has put a new, $19-billion program in place to support farmers during the coronavirus crisis.

ocal Congressman Tom Reed says the USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct economic assistance to farmers and, includes two main components to the funding.  The first is $16-billion in direct assistance to farmers to address financial losses.  The second, totaling $3-billion, allows the Department of Agriculture to begin the purchasing and distribution of surplus crops, dairy, and meat.

Jamestown's new mayor says there are a number of concerns he has with the just-approved 2020-2021 New York state budget that was approved just after the April 1st deadline.  

Democrat Eddie Sundquist says the first is an on-going concern over several previous administrations and, now his own.  That's the fact that it's been about 35 years since New York State increased funding to local cities to maintain state highways in those municipalities.

In addition, Sundquist says it's a "strange budget" because of the enormous power it gives to the governor, and his budget director, to monitor and, make changes to the spending plan during the new fiscal year due to huge, projected budget shortfalls due to the Coronavirus outbreak.  Sundquist says everything is "up in the air" regarding the $177-billion spending plan, which already faced a $6.1-billion shortfall as the 2019-2020 fiscal year concluded.  He was also pleased to see Consolidated Highway Improvement Program..." or CHIPS funding remain flat for the new year.

A city man was arrested for allegedly being found in possession of a significant amount of marijuana last weekend in Mayville after sheriff's officers were called to check on a suspicious person on Route 394.  

Officers were called to the scene about 11:30 PM Saturday and, took 21 year-old Cody Wood into custody.  Deputies say they found Wood with 25 grams of marihuana, and narcotic related paraphernalia in his possession.  Wood was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and, second-degree unlawful possession of marihuana.  Wood was processed and released with appearance tickets for Chautauqua Town Court at a later date.

Two teenagers from Erie, Pennsylvania escaped serious injury last Saturday night in a one-car, rollover accident in the town of Ripley.  

Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene on Station Road about 10 PM on a report of the crash.  Officers say they found the unidentified 19 year-old driver, and 16 year-old passenger with injuries.  Both were taken to UPMC Hamot Medical Center in Erie for treatment of what were termed "minor injuries."  Officers say the incident is still under investigation and charges are pending.

The despair wrought on nursing homes by the coronavirus was laid bare Friday in a state survey identifying numerous New York facilities where multiple patients have died.  

Nineteen of the state's nursing homes reported 20 or more deaths linked to the pandemic.  One Brooklyn home was listed as having 55 deaths.  The list was far from complete, and was based on a survey sent by the state asking for details.