Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Apr. 30, 2020

A city man is jailed on a Felony warrant following his arrest early Wedneday morning after the car he was driving got stuck a field at Jamestown's Chadakoin Park.  Officers were called to the scene on Washington Street just after 7 AM... and, found the vehicle behind a parking lot.  City police say 31 year-old Andrew Kiendl (Kin-dihl) fled when he saw officers approaching... and, he ran off through a wooded area.  Police called in three local K-9 units to help with the search... and, K-9 units from the State Police, and Lakewood-Busti Police tracked Kiendl to a Washington Street business.  He was arrested for fourth-degree criminal mischief, and on the Felony warrant.  The warrant includes charges of Aggravated Criminal contempt, second-degree burglary, and third-degree assault. 

The State of Emergency for the city of Jamestown due to the COVID-19 outbreak remains in effect until May 16th... but, there are no changes to current restrictions.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who adds that once the State of Emergency is lifted, there will still likely be no full reopening of businesses and activities.

Speaking to residents during a special conference call Wednesday... Sundquist applauded residents for largely following the stay-at home orders issued by the state and city.  He says there are no new local orders since the city closed it's playgrounds and basketball courts to keep people from gathering in one place.  Sundquist said there are a lot of questions surrounding the state budget, and it's impact on local governments.  He recently told City lawmakers that he and his financial team are projecting a one-million to $4-million shortfall during the 2020 fiscal year. 

Sundquist will also hold a Facebook Live "virtual" town hall this afternoon at 5 PM.

With the appropriate protocols, Assemblyman Andy Goodell believes some Chautauqua County businesses could open immediately... including manufacturing, low density office, and activities like tennis and golf.  As opposed to Governor Cuomo's plan, Goodell and State Senator George Borello think Chautauqua County could begin to open while Erie county remains closed.  Goodell says people from Buffalo are not likely to come here to watch office or manufacturing employees go to work.  The assemblyman hopes places like the National Comedy Center and Chatauqua Institution can have some activity this summer, but he concedes they will have to wait longer... with an eye on virus rates in a broader region including Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Cleveland.  Andy Goodell says Chautauqua County residents have... for the most part... strictly observed the COVID 19 restrictions, leading to a relatively low infection rate here. 

Chautauqua County is reporting one new case of the Coronavirus since Tuesday afternoon.  County Executive P-J Wendel says a woman in her 60s has become the 33rd case of COVID-19.  Wendel says there are now four active cases of the Coronavirus in the county... while 26 people have now recovered from the illness.  He says 48 cases are now under quarantine or isolation orders by the Public Health Director... and, he adds that there have been 804 negative test results to date.

Many hospitals in the upstate New York region will now be able to resume elective surgeries.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who said during his daily press briefing Wednesday that he was issuing an executive order allowing those surgeries... which had been halted during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor says Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties are among the 35 counties where hospitals are now eligible due to their low COVID-19 numbers and potential risk.  However... Erie County, where there have been higher numbers, is not included on the list.

The Lakewood Village Board has unanimously approved a $3.8-million budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year that holds the tax rate flat.  Mayor Randy Holcomb says the board yesterday morning adopted the spending plan... which included nearly three dozen changes in revenues and spending in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 shut-down.  Holcomb says the biggest is a new projection of a 50-percent loss in sales tax revenues.

Holcomb says they'll be monitoring the spending plan closely to keep spending and revenues in line.  The first-term Republican also thanked the board for it's hard work on getting the budget in place.  He says the new tax rate will be $7.90 cents per thousand assessed value.  That's up a tick from the current $7.89 per thousand.  The board had to approve the spending plan by this Friday... and, it goes into effect on June 1st.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 479 new COVID-19 deaths, raising the state's overall death toll to more than 2,000  The newly-reported deaths occurred over the past two weeks.  State health officials have been working to reconcile data provided by hospitals, health care systems, county and municipal health departments and long-term care facilities with the department's own records.  That resulted in the upward adjustment.  Pennsylvania's death toll now stands at 2,195.  The health department says more than 1,100 additional people have tested positive for the virus, raising the statewide total to over 44,000.

One of the regions biggest music festivals of the year has announced plans to postpone the event until Summer 2021.  Great Blue Heron Music Festival Organizer Julie Rockcastle says this would have been the 29th year for the Blue Heron... and, it was originally scheduled for July 3rd through-5th.  Rockcastle says the postponement is already causing financial stress.... and, they are accepting donations through their 'Heron Forever Fund.'  Ticketholders also have the option to donate your purchases, keep your ticket for next year's festival or get a refund.