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WJTN News Headlines for Aug. 4, 2020

A Westfield man was killed yesterday afternoon in an accident at the Chautauqua County Landfill in Ellery.  Sheriff Jim Quattrone confirmed the accident Monday afternoon... which was reported about 1:30 PM.  Fire rescue crews from Sinclairville were called to the landfill... and, found 56 year-old Scott Deming with serious injuries.  Deming later died after being struck by a bulldozer pushing garbage into a pit.  A coroner was called to the scene.  Deming was an independent garbage hauler.

The man who has headed up both the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, and Manufacturer's Association of the Southern Tier will be transitioning out of those roles over the next year.  In a joint statement by MAST and the Chamber... officials said Todd Tranum will remain on with both organizations... as well as the "Dream It Do It Western New York" program... through July 31st of 2021.  Tranum says he's looking at some new endeavors... but, adds he appreciates both organizations.

Tranum has been involved with MAST since 1999... and, became head of both organizations after the county Chamber's first director, Pam Lydic, passed away in 2012.  He didn't provide details... but says his new endeavor has to do with his love for music.  Chamber Chairman Fred Johnson and MAST Board President Rhonda Johnson issued a joint statement... saying that both organizations "remain committed to serving the needs of businesses in the region."  They also said they are "very grateful" for Tranum's 21 years of "dedicated and well-considered leadership and service."

Nine new cases of the COVID-19 Virus have been reported in Chautauqua County... and, 15 cases are currently active.  County Executive P-J Wendel says there have now been 240 confirmed cases, and 216 have now recovered from the virus.  Wendel says the new cases include a person under the age of 18... a young female adult... a man and woman in their 20s... and a man and woman in their 40’s.  Wendel says 102 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... while one-thousand-21 people are under the "domestic traveler quarantine" for having come here from a state listed on the New York travel advisory. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says it's crucial that parents and teachers feel comfortable for schools in the state to open successfully this fall.  Local districts were required to submit their reopening plans to the state Friday, and initial decisions on the plans were expected from the state this week.  But... the Democratic governor stressed Monday that there needs to be a "full conversation" that answers parents' questions about reopening.
New York has managed to contain the virus recently, even as it surges in other parts of the country.  The state recorded three new deaths on Saturday and 556 people hospitalized, a decrease of 25 patients from the previous day.

Despite the challenges of the moment, the effort to collect funds to build a 'Hospice House' for Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care is moving forward.  The drive is being chaired by Mary and Dr. Bert Rappole.  So far, $1.1-million has been raised, with just under $1 million to go. Mary Rappole says the home... to be located next to the Hospice offices in Lakewood... will fill a paticular niche  in end of life care.

Bert Rappole adds the coronavirus shutdown has made the effort more difficult in a couple of ways... the first being the stock market free fall after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic... and, secondly the inability of talking to people "face to face."  The Rappoles want to connect with anyone interested in learning more about the 'Hospice House' project.  Contact them through Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care at 338-0033. 

New York state lawmakers recently wrapped up their 2020 session... but, will likely be back in Albany soon to deal with COVID-19-related budget issues.  That from State Senator George Borrello... who says the current pandemic... and, some other more "political" and policy items were dealt with by lawmakers.  One more local item... says Borrello... is that the state was able to restore some funding for Chautauqua Lake to form more collaborations deal with invasive weeds... and, algal blooms.

On the political front... Borrello says he was most concerned about Majority Democrats moving to not have an independent panel deal with re-drawing legislative district boundary lines.  He says one of the Senate's top Democratic leaders said they want to control the redrawing of lines to redistrict Republicans "out of existance."  Not too many years ago... Republicans in the Senate were accused of doing the same thing.  Otherwise... Borrello says lawmakers did make a few changes to the recently enacted Bail Reform Law.  However... the Sunset Bay Republican believes they were more for political expediency as opposed to good policy.