News Headlines for Sat., May 9, 2020

Polar vortex brings rare May snow, low temps to Eastern US, including Chautauqua County...
Mother's Day weekend got off to an unseasonably snowy start in areas of the northeast thanks to the polar vortex.  While most areas received just a trace of snow early Saturday, some higher elevation areas in northern New York and New England reported as much as 9 inches.  The spring snow and accompanying low temperatures came courtesy of the polar vortex, a batch of cold air being pulled down from the north.  Massachusetts hadn't seen measurable snow in May since 2002, while in Manhattan's Central Park, the flakes tied a record set in 1977 for the latest snow.  The Jamestown-area is expecting half an inch to an inch of snow.


Two new cases of COVID-19 reported in the county...
For the second day in a row... there are two new cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... bringing the local total to 42.  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who updated the numbers during his weekly COVID-19 Update Friday afternoon with Public Health Director Christine Schuyler.  Wendel says the new cases are both women, one in their 50s, and another in their 60s.  He says there are now six active cases, and 32 people who have now recovered.  Wendel adds there are now 81 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders from the Public Health Director... and, there have now been 1,266 negative test results to date.


Reed announces Quest Diagnostics to assist in ramping up testing in the 23rd Congressional District...
A significant increase in COVID-19 testing and available testing kits will be coming to the region to help ensure New York meets Gov. Andrew Cuomo's reopening guidelines.  That from local Congressman Tom Reed, who announced Thursday night Quest Diagnostics will provide local healthcare providers in Western New York, the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions with an intial 3,000 tests per day.  Reed says above the existing tests being done currently... this will exceed the re-opening standards covering 3-million residents. The Congressman says -- "this announcement is a critical component of the region's efforts to demonstrate to Albany that we have the resources in place to reopen as soon as possible.  Now that this critical benchmark has been overcome, I truly believe there is no reason why our region should not be opened on May 15."  Quest is set to provide testing as early as May 18.


Cuomo says numbers looking decent for possible reopening of some parts of NYS on May 15th...
If the numbers hold... it's looking promising that parts of Upstate New York will be able to start reopening from the COVID-19 shut-down a week from today.  However... Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo also reiterated during Friday's daily press briefing that the data and numbers will continue to drive that decision.  Cuomo says "I get it.." that people want to get back to some normalcy.  He says he's still looking at opening two "very low risk" areas -- low density manufacturing and construction -- for places where the numbers of cases and hospitalizations are low.  Cuomo also announced that the deadline for victims of child sexual abuse has been extended another five-months through Jan. 14, 2021 because the courts have not be up and running at full-capacity.  On Saturday... Cuomo said a new concern is the number of downstate, COVID-related cases of what appears to be Kawasaki Disease in 73 children ranging from toddlers to elementary school.


Democratic BOE members appealing ruling on holding Presidential Primary next month...
Democratic members of the state's Board of Elections have filed an appeal of a federal judge's reinstatement of the New York presidential primary.  The appeal by board Commissioner Andrew Spano and other members comes a day after the June 23 primary was reinstated by a federal judge in Manhattan, who said canceling it would be unconstitutional and deprive withdrawn presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang of proper representation at the Democratic convention.


Reopen NY Protest held Friday...
A pair of Facebook groups again held a drive-in demonstration Friday in Jamestown to protest New York's Stay-at-Home orders.  One of the organizers... Garrit Cain... says they again used the sidewalk at Dow Park on West Fifth Street to help call on county leaders to begin lifting restrictions that are part of the governor's PAUSE New York.  That order runs through Friday, May 15.  Cain says they wanted demonstrators -- who reportedly numbered about 50 -- to observe social distancing rules, and wear masks. 


National Comedy Center to hold Carlin birthday tribute....
An on-line, star-studded event has been planned for this coming Tuesday to help support the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.  The Live Stream Birthday Event will be held on May 12, at 8 p.m. for late, legendary Comedian George Carlin, at Comedy Center.org/Carlin.  Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson says the event will feature comedians, comedy writers, producers and friends who will reflect on Carlin’s art and long-standing influence.  It will include conversations with Norman Lear, Sebastian Maniscalco, Lewis Black, Jim Norton and George Carlin’s daughter Kelly Carlin.  She says there will also be tributes from Tim Allen, Bill Engvall, George Lopez, and others.  "Laughing Matters: Carlin’s Legacy” will be live streamed at ComedyCenter.org/Carlin with a simulcast via Facebook Live on the National Comedy Center Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/.