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WJTN News Headlines for July 31 2020

Negotiations over another COVID-19 economic stimulus bill have reportedly stalled in Washington, D-C.  New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, a former Congresswoman, says state and local governments need federal assistance.

Hochul, a Buffalo-area Democrat, is urging Republicans in Congress to step in... including local Congressman Tom Reed.  She's asking him to use his "influence" to help get money for the state and localities since New York has been one of the hardest hit states in the country.  Hochul made her comments following her visit to Jamestown to talk with local tourism officials about how they have been dealing with life in a world heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

There's been one new case of the coronavirus in Chautauqua County... and, there are nearly one-thousand people now in "domestic traveler quarantine."  That from County Executive P-J Wendel... who says there are now 229 confirmed cases of the coronavirus... and, 11 are currently active, and continue to recover.  Wendel says the new case is a man in his 20s.  He says there are now 209 cases that have recovered... and, 146 that are under local quarantine or isolation orders, and are being monitored.  Wendel says there have now been 22-thousand-850 negative test results so far.

The majority of public school board members in New York state say they want in-person classes this Fall... and, agree they are needed to help with childhood development.  However... how to do that safely in the era of COVID-19 is proving to be tricky for local districts.  That from School Boards Association Director Bob Schneider... who says state and federal funding will be a key because, it all comes with a price tag.

The need for funding for those items was the major concern expressed by board members -- if the state wants some kind of in-person instruction this year.  Schneider says they asked districts three questions regarding reopening... and, the majority said they were looking at some kind of "hybrid" model... which would include two or three days of classes... and, the rest will be on-line.  However... he says they also want younger, elementary school students to have more classroom time -- if possible. 

The New York State Field Band Conference has decided there'll be no competitions for high school marching bands this year.  Meghan Murray, Director of the Jamestown High School marching band, says she was not surprised with this week's annoucement.

Using on-line resources, the JHS band members have been meeting through July and preparing a show... as best they can. Ideally, Murray hopes the band will be able to perform for local audiences this fall... in a parade or at schools in the district.  Much of that hinges on rules still being formulated for the fall reopening.  The statewide cancellation of competitions means there'll be no Fall Festival of Bands at Strider Field in September.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the new Jamestown Community College budget a "particularily challenging" spending plan to put together.  That from JCC President Daniel DeMarte... who says the Board of Trustees approved the 2020-21 spending plan this week.  DeMarte says "given the continued economic uncertainty in our state, country, and throughout the world, this was a difficult budget to create."  DeMarte says the $31.4-million budget reflects a 20-percent reduction in state aid per full-time equivalent student, a 10-percent cut in FTE projections, and reduced occupancy of residence halls.  He adds there were also about $1.7-million in personnel custs in the budget. 

Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas says the city's Streets Department Facility on Lucas Avenue will remain closed until further notice after an employee underwent a test for COVID-19... and, had come in contact with other workers.  Rosas says the employee has been put in quarantine, and they are awaiting results.

Rosas says the action was taken after the city's Public Works Director was notified that the employee may have contracted the virus after being in close proxmity to someone who had COVID-19.

Local law enforcement agencies around Chatuauqua County have released their results from the state-wide Stop-DWI Crackdown during the Fourth of July weekend.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone says his deputies, municipal police departments.... and, the New York State Police took part in the initiative, which resulted in 41 vehicle stops, arrests and summonses.  Sheriff Quattrone says  the agencies work together to reduce the number of impaired driving injuries and deaths.  The statewide event is funded by a grant from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee.