Local News Headlines

Lakewood man arrested on manslaughter charge in DWAI crash last February...
A Lakewood man faces vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by drugs charges in connection with a car crash that killed a 7 year-old Cassadaga girl earlier this year.  State Police were called to the scene on Route 60 in the town of Pomfret for a three-vehicle accident on Feb. 24, and, through investigation found a late-model Hyundai operated by 24 year-old Nicholas Mineweaser rear-ended a Kia that was stopped to turn left into a parking lot.  Troopers say the Kia was pushed into the on-coming lane and struck by a Tractor-trailer.  The 35 year-old driver was treated for non-life threatening injuries at Brooks Memorial Hospital. Officers say the 7 year-old passenger, identified as Emmaline Wilcox, was later pronounced dead at the hospital.  The suspect allegedly smelled like marijuana and a Drug Recognition Expert was brought in... and, it was later confirmed at Mineweaser was allegedly intoxicated by drugs.

Seven new cases of COVID-19 reported in Chautauqua County...
Chautauqua County has now exceeded 250 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus with seven new cases reported in the past day.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says, though, of the 23 active cases, only one is hospitalized.  Wendel says there are now 255 cases... and 223 cases have now recovered.  He says there are 126 cases under local quarantine or isolation orders... and, being monitored.  He adds that 1,120 persons are under "domestic traveler quarantine" for having arrived here from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory. 

Gillibrand uses Feedmore WNY in Falconer to push for legislation to extend and expand SNAP and Pandemic EBT programs...
New York's junior U.S. Senator is proposing a measure to  expand both the Supplimental Nutrition Assistance Program... and, the Pandemic EBT Program to help millions of families put food on the table.  Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand announced the move during a press conference at Feedmore Western New York's Chautauqua County headquarters in Falconer.  Gillibrand says the clock has run out on those benefits during the COVID Pandemic... and, it's estimated that 29-millon Americans went hungry last week.  She says food banks like Feedmore WNY have been going above and beyond to help families keep food on the table.  Feedmore's Executive Director, Katherine Sheck, was pleased the senator chose ot make her announcement in Falconer... and, says they have seen a better than 50-percent increase in need across the region... which translates to more than 6.6-million pounds of food distributed across the region... including the Falconer distribution center.  Gillibrand says... with school reopenings in flux... there will likely be millions of children who depend on the federal Free Breakfast and Lunch Program who won't get a meal during the day if they aren't able to go to school.

Cuomo gives green light for schools to open in NYS...
The green light has been given by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to all 749 school districts in the state to reopen.  Cuomo made the announcement during a conference call with statewide media outlets today... and, says the decision was made after reviewing the COVID-19 infection rates in all 10 regions of the state.  Cuomo says every region is "below the threshold that we established."  That threshold was an infection rate of under 5-percent.  A district would have to close for in-person class if the region's infection rate reaches 9-percent.  Regions also had to be in Phase-Four of the reopening in order for schools to open.  Cuomo says individual reopening plans for each district are subject to review by the State Department of Health, which will review them through the weekend... and then notify districts that have incomplete or deficient plans.  In addition... Cuomo says they are requiring all districts to post their remote learning plans and testing/contract tracing plans online, set dates for three to five discussion sessions with parents and their communities before August 21st.  He says they also have to have at least one separate discussion with teachers alone.

Whitaker reacts to Cuomo's announcement...
While Governor Cuomo's announcement clarified that all school districts in New York can reopen next month... some of the guidance has changed... and, districts will now have to make some modifications to their plans.  That from Jamestown School Superintdent Dr. Kevin Whitaker... who says the governor announced "additional requirements and modifications to the previously established guidance from the Department of Health, and State Education Department that we have been operating under since they were released in mid-July."  Whitaker says before they can address those... they need to get some clarification from the state on what needs to be done. 

Scharf to Conduct JHS A Cappella in the new year...
The Jamestown Board of Education has named Lauren Scharf as the next director of the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir.  She says she's "extremely exicited thrilled and honored to be filling this position."  For the past six years, Scharf has been choral director at Persell Middle School.  She becomes only the fifth director in the 96 year history of the Jamestown High School Choir... at a time when the coronavirus prevents choirs from rehearsing and performing in the usual ways.  Scharf replaces Norm Lydell, who retired earlier this year.   


Local News

WJTN News Headlines for Jan. 15, 2021

The Chautauqua County Health Department is reporting a 47th COVID-19 related death from Thursday... along with 105 new cases of the virus.  Health officials say there have now been 5,302 confirme...

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