Local News Headlines

The Cattaraugus County Health Department announced their fourteenth and fifthteenth COVID-related deaths this week.. and, added 17 new positive cases.  On Sunday, health officials reported the death of 65  year-old female who developed respiratory failure and was unable to overcomes her illness.... and, the fifthteenth death tied to the virus was an 86-year-old male who also developed respiratory failure. To date, there have been 375 COVID-19 cases in Cattaraugus County.

The number of new COVID-19 Cases in Chautauqua County spiked to 32 Tuesday... with 24 of those being residents of Tanglewood Manor and Memory Garden in West Ellicott.  The county's Board of Health says there were 25 cases total reported in the Jamestown -- 14701 zip code.  The next highest number was 4 cases in Dunkirk... bringing the county's total to 904.  Health officials say -- at the direction of the State Health Department -- all residents who had previously tested negative during this outbreak were re-tested on Monday.  They add all of the new cases associated with the adult care facility were identified through this testing event.  There are 79 active cases among residents of the Tanglewood facilities... and, 11 others are reported among employees.  In all... there are now 149 active cases in the county... and 742 have now recovered.  There are still 18 people hospitalized.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul met with Chautauqua County officials during a stop in Mayville Tuesday morning.  County Executive PJ Wendel says one of the issues raised was about neighboring Pennsylvania and whether it will be added to New York's travel advisory.

Earlier today, Hochul said she doubted that Pennsylvania would be added to the travel advisory because the state has an infection rate of about 4-percent, which doesn't trigger the 10-percent infection rate limit in New York.  However, The rate of COVID-19 infections has risen enough in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut to require residents of those states to quarantine if they travel to New York. But Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York won't enforce rules requiring residents of those states to self-isolate for 14 days. He says this is due to due to "interconnected nature of the region and mode of transport" between these boarder states. 

With the clock ticking down to Election Day... officials are cautiously optimistic New York has fixed problems with mail-in voting that led to delays and disenfranchisement in a rocky June primary.  As many as 4 to 5-million New Yorkers are expected to cast absentee ballots after the governor authorized their widespread use because of the coronavirus pandemic.  In the primary... local elections boards struggled with the crush of mail-in ballots, and thousands were disqualified over technical issues.  But after a summer of refinements, officials say the state is better prepared.

The Robert H. Jackson Center will take a deep look at the Electoral College in a webinar at 4 PM on Wednesday.  President Kristan McMahon says the guest speaker will be Ohio State Professor Edward Foley, a expert on the college... the unique institution which actually elects the President every four years.

The webinar is free, but participants need to register in advance through the Jackson Center website or by calling the center at 483-6646.  The Jackson Center's John Q. Barrett will also be a part of the Wednesday program ... talking about Robert Jackson's dissenting opinion in the 1952 Supreme Court case 'Ray versus Blair.'  In his dissent, Jackson openly questioned the value of the Electoral College.  Wednesday's program will be recorded for future viewing through the Jackson Center's website.  

The Jamestown City Council has begun budget deliberations on Mayor Eddie Sundquist's proposed, $34.8-million 2021 budget.  Lawmakers Monday night reviewed the Public Works and Parks Department spending plans.  Finance Committee Chairwoman Kim Ecklund says she would like to see more information about 2020 revenues to date... and, more detail about new and added revenues next year.

Ecklund says the anticipated revenue increase from the city's parking fees includes Sundquist's proposal to increase the one-hour parking meter fees to one-dollar.  She adds that's not the only area looking at increases in anticipated revenue in 2021... including a "significant increase" in building permit revenues.  Sundquist's proposed budget increases some revenue lines due to increased fees.  Lawmakers will continue their intial review of the budget... which includes a 17-cent per thousand full value tax rate increase next week.