Local News Headlines

WJTN News Headlines for Sept 25, 2020

Residents concerned about possible COVID-19 outbreaks in New York state schools will now have more information about those numbers.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that they are adding a second set of data to the School COVID Report Card they started earlier this month.  Deputy Superintendent of Financial Services Gareth Rhodes says the Department of Health will now include direct reports from the testing labs... he says that will matche that address of the student with the school district....

[CLIP]  Rhodes-RCard-#2  "to this dashboard...."

Rhodes says this way... parents will be able to see all the data the state is looking at to track COVID Cases associated with schools.  Also on Thursday... Governor Cuomo expressed concern over the Trump Administration's rush to get a vaccine... and, says he's put together a panel that will review the safety of any vaccine.  ABC News reports four vaccines are now in Phase-Three testing.  Cuomo says... once a vaccine is available... the next issue is implementing the vaccines. 

There are 10 new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County... with cases reported in most parts of the county.  The county's Health and Human Services Department reports one case in Lakewood, another in Falconer, and one in Bemus Point.  Two cases have been reported in the Stockton area.  Officials say that brings the local number of cases to 633... and 35 of those are active.  There are 588 that have now recovered.  Officials say 241 cases are under quarantine or isolation orders... and, there are 28 persons under the "domestic traveler quarantine."

One Chautauqua County Legislator immediately praised finance leaders, and county employees Wednesday night, for their efforts in holding down what was expected to be a big tax increase in 2021.  Sheridan Republican Terry Niebel  addressed the tentative spending plan at the end of Wednesday's meeting... thanking Wendel, legislators, and workers for what they've done in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  He praised the 150 workers who took voluntary furloughs, along with Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon, and others.  Including all spending lines... the 2021 budget totals about $293-million, with the general budget being around $260-million. 

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says 22 local governments in the state were designated as being in fiscal stress for 2019... and, there may be more as the COVID-19 pandemic plays out.  DiNapoli’s Fiscal Stress Monitoring System reports that none of those 22 muncipalities are located in Chautauqua County.  However... one town -- Dayton -- is located in Cattaraugus County.  Dayton is one of 18 local governments in "Moderate Fiscal Stress."  There were four in "Signifcant Stress..." including Niagara Falls.  DiNapoli says the scores are based on evaluations and scoring municipalities on financial indicators such as year-end fund balance, short-term borrowing, and, operating deficits. 

A former Southern Tier Congressman is endorsing the Democratic candidate for the 23rd Congressional District seat in this November's election.  Democrat Stan Lundine has announced he is again backing Penn Yan's Tracy Mitrano for the seat currently held by fifth-term incumbant Republican Tom Reed.  Mitrano accepted the endorsement in Jamestown... where Lundine was mayor... and later served at Lieutenant Governor.  She says she would serve in much the way Lundine, and the late Amo Houghton did.
On Wednesday... Mitrano was in Westfield for a town hall meeting... and, was in Lakewood earlier for a coffee house breakfast with residents.  She says many of the same issues were raised that had been previous talked about.  However... she says some brought up the need for improved rural broadband Internet access in the wake of the COVID Pandemic.  Her run against incumbant Republican Tom Reed is a repeat of the 2018 race for the 23rd District seat.

The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office is reminding all residents that the theft of signs is a crime in New York State.  Deputies say there's been various reports of political signs being taken... and, as Election Day approaches, there will likely be an increase in signs being put out.  Anyone taking a sign without permission could be subject to criminal charges.  If you believe a sign is hindering visibility  for traffic or is illegally placed, call the municipality involved.

The Fenton History Center will have its 'Saints and Sinners' cemetery tours in early October.  Fenton board President, Rick Lundquist, says the programs at Lakeview Cemetery have been reconfigured to be safe, despite COVID-19.

Live actors throughout the cemetery will tell tales of what Lundquist describes as ordinary people with extraordinary stories.  The walking tours will be held Saturday, October 3rd and 10th from 1 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM.  The popular 'Mausoleum and More' tour will be back too, on Sunday, October 11th.  Face masks will be required.  While there will be no horse drawn tours this year because of COVID-19... organizers have added a new 'virtual tour' with different stories... to be offered through a Zoom link.  Those virtual tours will be offered Friday evenings, on October 2nd and 9th.  Contact the Fenton at 664-6256 for costs and reservations for all tours.