WJTN News Headlines for June 19, 2020

The Chatuauqua County Office for the Aging is holding a Free Mask and Sanitizer Giveaway this morning. Director Mary Ann Spanos says the event runs until Noon today at all three Office for Aging Service's locations... including West Third Street in Jamestown, North Erie Street in Mayville and Cliffstart Court in Dunkirk.  Spanos says older adults in the county can receive resource booklets in addition to personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer. For more information, call 753-4582.

The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office has released the details of a fatal motor vehicle accident, which claimed the life of a 59 year-old man last Sunday. Deputies say the unidentified man was traveling west on Interstate0-86 in the Town of Coldspring shortly after 10 AM when he lost control of his Ford Explorer.  Police say the SUV travelled off the road and down through a field striking multiple trees.... a chain-link fence... and, a guardrail at the end of Lower Jones Hill Road. After the vehicle struck the guardrail, deputies say it overturned multiple times before coming to rest upside down.  The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by the County Coroner. Crews from the Coldspring and Randolph Fire Departments and Randolph Fire EMS assisted at the scene. 

Two Smethport Pennsylvania residents were arrested in the Town of Allegany for allegedly leaving their dog unattended in a hot vehicle earlier this month. Sheriff's Officers in Little Valley say their June 6th investigation found witnesses saw a red pick-up truck in the Home Depot parking lot, not running with the windows closed and a dog inside. Deputies say with the temperatures reaching above 90-degrees, witnesses attempted to find the owners, with no luck. Officers responded to the scene shortly after with Allegany Police and found the Cocker Spaniel in distress. They were able to unlock the truck and remove the dog from the vehicle. A bystander provided shade and water, until the owners exited the Home Depot. Deputies say 81 year-old Darell Goodwill and 74 year-old Lynn Goodwill face animal neglect charges and are scheduled to appear in court at a later date. The Cocker Spaniel is currently being held by the Dog Control Officer until further proceedings.  

There will be some changes to this year's 24th annual Laurel Memorial Run/Walk in Chautauqua County due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Resource Center's Steve Waterson helps organize the event with creators Wayne and Elain Hotelling of Silver Creek.  The races are held in honor of their oldest daughter.  Waterson says the only actual in-person event this year will be the Jamestown to Dunkirk relay.

Waterson says there will be no events in Silver Creek due to the pandemic.  He says people can still register on-line and they can do a "virtual" 8-K run or 5-K Walk anytime.  Waterson says the relay run will be held on July 17th, but it will again be scaled back from the usual event.  For more information, and to sign up go on-line to runsignup.com/Race/NY/SilverCreek/LaurelMemorialRunWalk.

The Lucille Ball Little Theater of Jamestown will have its first ever telethon/fundraiser Saturday from 9 AM to 9 PM on Facebook.  Board member and Public Relations Co-chair, Holly Weston, says some of the theater's 'amazingly talented community members' will be singing, dancing, doing a full reading of the play 'The Importance of Being Earnest'... and presenting some surprises as well. The Little Theater's been hit hard by the coronavirus shutdown, which took down the play 'Clue... On Stage' in the middle of its run, and led to the cancellation of two musicals, as well.  Weston says, the telethon will show the theater is alive. There'll be a 'donate button' on screen throughout the Saturday telethon.  A preview of scheduled performances will be up on the Little Theater facebook page today (Friday).

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's issued two new executive orders regarding the COVID-19 reopenings after warning people that social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines will be enforced.  During his next-to-last daily COVID-19 Briefing... Cuomo said he was signing the orders... the first of which allows the State Liquor Authority to shut-down a bar or restaurant and suspend their liquor license immediately for violations.  Cuomo says the other deals with the outside front of those businesses.

Cuomo maintains the state has worked hard to bring the numbers down... and, he wants to see compliance continue.  In addition... Cuomo says he wants public schools, and colleges and universities to begin developing their reopening plans.  He says those need to address reopening, monitoring, containment and shut-down plans -- if needed.  Cuomo also offered an example of contact tracing working in Central New York... where infection numbers went up this week.  He says they traced 34 cases to an Apple processing plant in Oswego County.  

A teenage boy was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the road on his bicycle Wednesday night in the town of Ellicott.  Town Police say Celoron Firefighters were called to 669 Baker Street Extension, near the city line, shortly before 6:30 PM.  The investigation revealed the driver of an eastbound car reportedly did not see the 14 year-old crossing the road on his bike and struck him.  Police say the child was transported to Bergman Park then airlifted to an Erie, Pennsylvania hospital for treatment.  The driver was identified as Maynard Wagner, of Ashville.  Wagner, nor his passenger were injured in the accident. Police say no charges have been filed at this time. 

Local State Senator George Borrello wants Governor Cuomo to immediately release reopening guidelines for colleges and universities.  After Borrello issued his statement... Cuomo did come out with his request for educational entities to start developing plans.  Borrello says college administrators need to make plans for the fall semester... and, students and their parents also need to know.

Borrello is also concerned that students attending public and private campuses in New York State could decide to go other states where reopening plans have been made... and, they will be opening soon.  He's concerned that New York may lose college students to other states.  Reopening of higher education institutions is currently included in Phase-Four of the reopening... which will likely occur in early July for upstate regions and mid-July downstate.

Work is continuing on a possible, fourth federal stimulus bill to help local governments and states still dealing with COVID-19 issues.  During his visit to Chautauqua County this week... local Congressman Tom Reed said there's been talk of a $2-trillion package that would include some direct funding for local governments. Reed believes a package could worked out in July, possibly around the 4th of July.  The Corning Republican says he will work to ensure that local governments get the aid directly, away from state control.

The first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Virus in a local nursing home has been reported by Heritage Ministries at one of it's three facilities.  Chief Clinical Officer Jeremy Rutter told our Dennis Webster on WJTN Thursday that the resident recently tested positive... but, was asymptomatic.  Rutter says that person has been isolated, and is doing well.  That person is in a special COVID unit, and his being treated by different staff.  Recently... Governor Cuomo announced that most nursing homes would only have to test staff and personnel once-a-week.  The first case of a staff person getting COVID-19 was reported about a month ago at Absolut of Westfield.