WJTN News Headlines for May 22, 2020

Two children are among the three new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus in Chautauqua County... bring the total to 60.  County Executive P-J Wendel said Thursday the other case is a woman in her 30s.  Wendel says there are now 19 active cases... but, no one is hospitalized... and, they continue to recover under orders of the Local Health Director.  In addition... he says there are 209 cases under quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.

There will be no in-person Summer School in New York state this year due to ongoing risks for children returning to the classroom.  That Thursday from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who says Summer school will be done as it has been since mid-March -- remotely.  As for the Fall... Cuomo says it's still too early to make a decision... but, he adds the state Education Department will be putting out guidelines to all district's shortly... and, those will have to be returned.

Cuomo says an increasing concern right now is an increase in cases involving a new "Inflammatory Syndrome" that's infected more than 150 children in the state.  He says the Pediatric Inflammatory Syndrome seems to be triggered by COVID-19 or it's anti-bodies, and has killed several children.  In addition... Cuomo says that "contact tracing" is fully underway in the state, and if someone you came in contact with over a two-week period tests positive for COVID-19... expect a call from "NY Contact Tracing."  He says it's an official message that you had a possible exposure to COVID-19.

A third person has tested positive for COVID-19 in Warren County. Officials say the individual is a resident of Warren County and was not tested for the virus at Warren General Hospital, but they are seeking medical treatment at this time. The County Commissioners say the Emergency Management Team is continuing to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information is released. Questions can be directed to the Warren County Department of Public Safety at 814-563-3598. 

The Jamestown Public Schools Board of Education approved an $88.3-million "Pandemic Budget" plan for the 2020-21 school year.  Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic... the district is looking at a drastic reduction in financial aid from the spending plan approved in March. District Superintendent Bret Apthorpe expressed his frustrations during an interview on the Dennis Webster show this morning.

During Tuesday night's school board meeting... Apthorpe presented his "Pandemic Budget" which includes a $2.9-million reduction from the original proposal, conferences and field trips.  However, he says if Governor Andrew Cuomo does come out with a 20-percent reduction in state aid, many student activities would go away, including sports, music and non-essential classes.  The entire presentation is available online at the district's website.... and, a public hearing will be held via video-conferencing June 1st at 6PM, prior to the June 9th vote. 

The success of the National Day of Prayer "drive-in" service in the parking lot of the Chautauqua Mall in Lakewood has led to planning for a new, Memorial Day Program that meets COVID-19 safety guidelines.  The Blue Star Mothers, Lake Erie Chapter-#4 will host the ceremony next Monday at 1 PM in the northwest part of the parking lot at the mall off Fairmount Avenue.  Blue Star Mothers Vice-President Kathy Collver says members were meeting on-line about not being able to hold this Saturday's eighth-annual program when an idea came to her.

Collver was among the people who attended the National Day of Prayer program... which brought people in nearly 200 vehicles to the mall to commemorate the day.  Cars will be parked facing the former Ruby Tuesday restaurant for Monday's program... which will feature the keynote address by Chautauqua County Veteran's Services Director Greg Carlson.  The radio broadcast will be available Monday to both people attending... and, the general radio audience on Media One stations WJTN AM and FM beginning at 1PM.

Those businesses that now qualify to reopen under Phase One of the governor’s "NY Forward" initiative are being urged to get their state certification.  With that... the Jamestown Department of Development is hosting a webinar for construction businesses today at 12 Noon.  Mayor Eddie Sundquist says businesses that need to get certified need to go on-line to www.forward.ny.gov to see if they qualify.  Sundquist says they must read and affirm the Detailed Industry Guidelines for Reopening, as well as print and fill out a Business Safety Template for all employees.  The safety templates do not need to be submitted to the State to reopen but should be kept on file.  The city's webinar on it is begin done in partnership with the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the county's Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center, and the Builder’s Exchange of the Southern Tier.

Seven years after closing its doors... Petri Baking Products will make a return to the village of Silver Creek with plans to acquire its former location at 18 Main Street in order to re-open its soft cookie baking operation.  Chautauqua County Executive P.J. Wendel is pleased with the announcement, saying that he was concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic might derail the project that's been in the works.

Renovations will return the facility to food grade status, and brand new machinery and equipment will be installed, including one new oven, with plans for future growth.  About 40 new jobs are planned when operations begin in early 2021, with over 100 projected during the first three years.  Wendel says the company's former President Anthony Habib will return as President and is currently assembling his leadership team. The county's Industrial Developement Agency, and the Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation have been working closely with Habib and Petri's team to bring the project together.