A joint investigation by local, state and federal agencies has led to the arrest of a Jamestown man... and, the seizure of more than 100-grams of the deadly narcotic Fentanyl, and $50,000 cash. City Police Captain Bob Samuelson says members of the Jamestown Metro Drug Task Force, and State Police initially did a vehicle stop shortly after 3 PM Wednesday on North Main Street at West Oak Hill Road... and arrested 57 year-old Alfredo Diaz. Samuelson says they found 100-grams of Fentanyl... and, cash. He says the Fentanyl found is "significant."
Samuelson says police later searched an apartment at 741 East Second Street... which turned up more Fentanyl, prescription medications, and $8,000 in cash. He says police later searched a storage facility was located at 378 Livingston Avenue... and found more drugs and 44-thousnand dollars in cash. Samuelson says -- all together -- authorities found just over 101-grams of Fentanyl... 49 suboxone strips, and $52,000 cash. He says Diaz is jailed without bail on several Felony drug possession charges, and on a State Parole warrant. (** Anyone with information on illegal drug activity in Jamestown can contact the Drug Task Force at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. You can also contact their Tips 4-1-1 app confidentially.)
A Jamestown man faces third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child charges stemming from a phsyical domestic situation Thursday night. City police were called to a home on Glenview Avenue shortly after 6PM... and, found 45 year-old John Erickson-junior allegedly damaged a TV and menaced a victim during the incident. Police say their investigation also found Erickson punched a juvenile in the face, causing minor injury. He was taken to the city jail pending arraignment on additional charges of third-degree criminal mischief and third-degree menacing.
An employee at a senior living facility in Westfield has reportedly been confirmed to have recently tested positive for the Coronavirus. The Post-Journal is reporting that a spokesman for Absolut Care of Westfield said the employee, who was not identified, was placed into quarantine in accordance with New York State Department of Health regulations after receiving a positive test for COVID-19. The spokesman says all residents and their families have been told about the positive case. In addition, 32 staff who worked closely with the employee were tested... and, found negative. In addition... every person at the Westfield location was tested today.
State Senator George Borrello is calling on Governor Cuomo to help the state’s nursing homes meet the new requirement to implement twice-weekly COVID-19 testing of their employees. Borrello says, right now, that testing kit availability at that volume is simply not available in many regions of the state... and, he adds most facilities do not have the resources needed to purchase tests at that scale. The Irving Republican says everyone supports taking "extra precautions" to protect nursing home residents, and "most facilities have been very diligent throughout this crisis."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging member of Congress to pass the new Coronvavirus stimulus bill known as the HEROES Act. The House is expected to take up the bill... which was drafted entirely by majority Democrats... and, is expected to cost about $3-trillion. Cuomo says the bill would restore the State and Local Tax -- or SALT -- deducation that was repealed more than 3 years ago.
During his daily press briefing in Syracuse yesterday... Cuomo said package will provide $500-billion for state and local governments, which he says will benefit the state. He says it will also fund important COVID-19 testing and tracing in the state. Cuomo says -- including the state's early deficit of 6-billion dollars... and COVID costs and revenue losses... New York is facing a $61-billion budget gap.
There's a debate among headstrong New Yorkers over just when and where it is necessary to wear a mask in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 Virus. Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered masks for anyone out in public who can't stay at least 6-feet away from other people. The past two days... Cuomo urged residents to wear a mask in public to help combat the spread, and protect others who may be vulnerable.
Unfortunately... health care officials say pictures have surfaced in some parts of the country where restrictions have been lifted, and people are out and about in crowded locations without a mask on. In New York City... Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to distribute 7.5 million masks. New York City has seen at least 20,000 people killed by the virus. But... some city dwellers are adopting their own exceptions to the rule. It isn't unusual to see people leaving their masks dangling as they squeeze past people on crowded sidewalks or chat with friends.
It's not known if the positive COVID-19 case involving a worker at Absolut of Westfield has been factored into Chautauqua County's tally of positive cases. However... there is no change from Wednesday's numbers as there are still 44 positive cases in the county... while seven cases are currently active. County Executive P-J Wendel says 33 people have recovered from the virus... while 142 others are under quarantine or isolation orders.
In addition... County Executive Wendel Thursday announced he has extended the county's State of Emergency for up to 30 additional days as of yesterday afternoon. He says that's due to the continuing novel Coronavirus pandemic. The extension of the Local State of Emergency helps the County qualify for state and federal assistance related to the County’s response to the pandemic. Wendel says the Western New York region has "not met the Governor’s metrics test for a Phase 1 re-opening."
Two of the main elected officials from Chautauqua County have been named to the Western New York Regional "Control Room" that will monitor the reopening of the five-county area. One of them is Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist... who calls it an honor to be selected along with several others to serve. Sundquist says the other county official will be County Executive P-J Wendel. He says Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, and county executives of the other counties will be involved in monitoring the situation once we reopen.
Sundquist says the panel is headed up by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul... who is from the Buffalo-area. He says the group has already met, and begun discussing what they'll be doing once the region enters the first phase of reopening. Sundquist says the panel will remain in place through all four of the governor's proposed phases of reopening the state. So far... only four regions meet all seven of the governor's metrics -- or benchmarks -- to reopen. Western New York so far has met five of them.