Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Sept. 18, 2020

This week's fourth, COVID-19 relief bill being proposed by a bi-partisan group of House members is getting a lot of attention from the key players in trying to get a new deal in place.  Local Congressman Tom Reed... who co-chairs the Problem Solver's Caucus... says the 50 members of the panel were hoping their $1.5-trillion agreement would "jump-start" the stalled talks.  Reed says he talked today with some Senators... and, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is definately interested.

Mark Meadows is Chief of Staff for President Donald Trump... and, has been one of the point people for the administration on talks.  The Problem Solver's Caucus announced their "March to Common Ground" plan earlier this week... noting it includes a number of items that most federal lawmakers want... including stimulus checks and extended unemployment insurance, funding to boost COVID testing, and aid to state and local governments.  Reed made his comments for his weekly telephone conference call with regional media.

Two new, confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported the past day in Chautauqua County... bringing the total number of cases to 594.  Health Department officials say there are now 51 active cases, and four of those are hospitalized.  Interim County Executive P-J Wendel says 532 people have now recovered... while 285 cases under quarantine or isolation orders.  He says 31 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."  Wendel says there have now been 40,092 negative test results to date.

A reporting glitch apparently led the Dunkirk City School District to contest two confirmed cases of the coronavirus on New York state's COVID Report Card Wednesday.  That from Dunkirk Superintendent Mike Mansfield... who initially said this (Thursday) morning that there was human error in the submission, because they had no confirmation from the Chautauqua County Health Department. However... in discussions held this afternoon... the reports were found to be accurate... but, the two students at Elementary School 7 were not on site, but, were learning remotely.  Mansfield says the data remains on the dashboard.  He apologized for the confusion caused by the reporting mix-up.

The governor's budget director said Wednesday it's "premature" for some school districts to have laid off workers, and said New York will wait until after the November election to decide whether to slash state spending.  Budget director Robert Mujica told The Associated Press that the state has withheld $300-million in education funding -- which is a fraction of $26.4-billion in total school funding.  Mujica said the state won't be withholding school aid due at September's end. 

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is reporting 199 Vehicle stops, arrests and or summonses being issued over the long Labor Day Holiday period.  That from Sheriff Jim Quattrone... who says those took place during the New York State STOP-DWI Labor Day Enforcement Crackdown held August 19th through Labor Day, Monday, September 7th.  Quattrone says his department works with local and state agencies to reduce the number of impaired driving injuries and deaths.  He adds that "removing intoxicated drivers from Chautauqua County roadways is one of our top priorities."

A U.S. District Court judge has blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide.  The judge Thursday called them "a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service" before the November election.  Judge Stanley Bastian in Washington, said he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service.  The states challenged the Postal Service's so-called "leave mail behind" policy, where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load.  They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as First Class mail.