Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for July 14, 2020

It appears there are a number of issues that have to be addressed before the Jamestown City Council is ready to approve a proposed pilot program that would allow food trucks and carts in the downtown area.  Lawmakers discussed the proposal... which would include a 125-foot distance that food trucks would have to have between they and an existing restaurant.  Development Director Crystal Surdyk has led a committee that includes three council members looking at the proposal.

Some lawmakers again voiced much concern over such a proposal... including Marie Carrubba... whose family has been in the restaurant business.  Carrubba says most restaurants operate with very thin, 5-percent profit margins.  She says the coronavirus pandemic has especially hurt them because they can't have as many customers inside because of social distancing guidelines.  Councilman Jeff Russell says Gialy's restaurant owner Anthony Cusimano earlier in the day Monday complained to him about proximity of trucks, those vehicles taking up parking spaces downtown, and the fact they don't pay property taxes.

For the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began... an employee of the city of Jamestown has tested positive for COVID-19.  That from Mayor Eddie Sundquist during his report to the City Council at last night's work session.  Sundquist gave no specifics... but, does say there are working with Chautauqua County on the matter.  He says that person's close contacts have also been tested.

Sundquist says if anyone has to go into quarantine... they will be monitored... and, will have to possibly be tested before they return.  He also noted Governor Cuomo's new order yesterday that people coming to New York from any of the states on the state's quarantine list will have to fill out a form when they arrive, in addition to being in the 14-day quarantine.

Three new cases of the COVID-19 virus have been reported in Chautauqua County the past day... bringing the total to 179.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says they include a person under the age of 18... a man in his 50s, and another man in his 70s.  Wendel says there are now 37 active cases... and they continue to recover under local health department orders.  He says 135 people have now recovered... while 511 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders, and being monitored.  Wendel says there have now been 18,158 negative test results reported to date.

A long-standing store on Jamestown's westside reopened Monday after being closed recently when an employee tested positive for COVID-19.  Brigiotta's Farmland Store's Facebook page says if a person was in their 414 Fairmount Avenue location between Sunday, July 5th and Monday, July 6th... they could have been exposed to the employee.  In the post... Brigiotta's says they "will continue to follow local, state and federal guidelines to ensure the safety of our staff and community."  Prior to today... Brigiotta’s said they were sanitizing daily... but, "out of an abundance of caution" they had closed for continued sanitation, and awaited direction from the Chautauqua County Health Department. 

Public schools in New York state will reopen this Fall... provided they meet two very specific guidelines.  That from Governor Andrew Cuomo... who Monday announced the reopening will be done like the economic reopening was.  Cuomo says any of the state's regions that is currently in Phase-Four will be able to open back up... if their COVID infection rate remains 5-percent or lower on average for 14 days.  He says that if the region's infection rate spikes over a week's time, though, districts will have to shut-down.

Cuomo says the state's Education and Health Departments have laid out safety guidelines through his "Reimagine Education Advisory Council."  He says their guidelines include: districts have to be flexible... emphasize safety... maximize available space, and be innovative.  Cuomo says the approach to reopening schools is being driven by the data... not by emotion, or by just saying "all schools are reopening."  As of now... Chautauqua County is in Phase-Four... so if the infection rate remains under 5-percent in Western New York as of the first week of August... schools will be able to reopen.

An Ohio woman accused of enticing a 15 year-old Jamestown boy to have sex with her has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Buffalo.  U-S Attorney James Kennedy, Junior says today that the panel indicted 37 year-old Priscilla Vogelbacher from Oregon, Ohio on one count of enticement of a minor... and, two counts of interstate travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.  The prosecutor says Vogelbacher is accused of beginning an on-line relationship with the boy... and enticed him to engage in sexual activity... between November of 2018 and June of last year.  She is also accused of making two separate trips to Jamestown to have sex with the boy.  Kennedy says the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.