A total of five new cases of the coronavirus were reported last weekend in Chautauqua County... along with a new death last Saturday. Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says there were two new cases Sunday... and they include a woman in her 50s, and one man in his 60s. Three new cases were reported Saturday... so there have now been 223 confirmed cases. Wendel says the death was a man in his 70s with severe underlying medical conditions... and, was newly-diagnosed. It's the county's ninth COVID death. Wendel says there are now 11 active cases... and, and 203 cases have now recovered. Wendel says there are 204 cases under quarantine or isolation orders... while one person is hospitalized... and, there are 701 persons are under the 'domestic traveler quarantine." He adds there have now been 21,692 negative test results to date.
A woman from Jamestown who was reported lost while hiking in the Hannum Road Gorge area of Chautauqua County was found and is safe after being treated for minor injuries. Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene about 9:30 PM last Thursday... and, the K-9 unit deployed K-9 Bentley to look for 27 year-old Kathleen Johnston. Officers were able to find her in the creek bed of the gorge... but, she was unable to walk out on her own. Erie County Sheriff's Office Air-One was called in... and, tried to land to extricate Johnston.. but, was unable to. The county's Tech Rescue Team was brought in... and, was able to get her out of the gorge. Johnston was treated for minor injuries. State Forest Rangers, Mayville Fire Dept and Chautauqua Fire dept assisted on scene with the rescue.
Local Congressman Tom Reed says there will be plenty of time for televised debates... but, adds now is not the time to be talking about them. The Incumbant Republican from Corning is responding to calls from Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano to have five TV debates in various parts of the Southern Tier District that will allow more people to see and hear the candidates before the November election. Reed says he's been talking with an meeting people... even with the coronavirus pandemic.
Reed says it seems like Mitrano is trying to "pacify" her ego... and, the debates are more about herself. He says he's focusing his attention on dealing with the virus, and it's fall-out, including businesses being shut-down, and many that have reopened struggling. Mitrano... who's from Penn Yan... says the debates could be held at times that agree with Reed's schedule, in various parts of the massive 23rd Congressional district. Both candidates now agree there were three scheduled debates in 2018. However... Mitrano says only one of them was shown in its entirety.
New York's quest to keep voters safe from COVID-19 by letting them vote by mail in the June primary has led to big delays in tabulating results, concerns about disenfranchisement -- and questions about whether there will be an even bigger mess in the fall. Election officials say it'll take until early August to finish counting a tidal wave of absentee ballots that overwhelmed a system typically handling only around 5-percent of the vote. About 1.8 million New Yorkers requested mail-in ballots for June's primary. Candidates and good-government activists say a bigger problem is that thousands of votes cast in good faith are getting invalidated during the counting process.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for federal probes into New York's ejection from trusted traveler security programs. The Democratic governor's call comes a day after Republican President Donald Trump's administration reversed itself and told a court it had misrepresented the facts in a lawsuit over the programs that allow vetted travelers to avoid long security lines at airports. On Friday... Cuomo called it an illegal act of political abuse by Trump administration officials.
A new fire truck has been put into service in the city of Dunkirk. A dedication ceremony was held last week for the Dunkirk Fire Department's new, Sutphen SPH-100 aerial tower ladder truck at Dunkirk Fire headquarters on Eagle Street. City Fire Chief Mike Edwards says the process of obtaining the new truck began about three years ago with assistance from Mayor Willie Rosas and the previous Common Council.
Edwards says the $1.2 million ladder truck is a major upgrade from the city's previous emergency ladder truck that had been in service for more than 30 years. He says they're "very happy with all the versatility" the new truck gives them. Edwards says the ladder truck comes at no cost to city taxpayers, and will be paid using the Fire Department's ambulance transfer revenues.
Two Chautauqua County men have been arrested on drug-related charges after the car they were riding in was stopped for a traffic violation in the town of Portland. Sheriff's deputies say they stopped the vehicle last Friday night on Lake Avenue... and, found the driver, 28 year-old Leroy Stepp of Westfield, in possession of quantity of methamphetamine, and he was driving with a suspended license. Officers say his passenger, 37 year-old Paul Dunn of Brocton, was also found in possession of a quantity of meth. Both men were charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance... while Stepp was also charged with second-degree unlicensed operation. Stepp and Dunn were issued appearance tickets for Portland Town Court.