City Police are investigating a suspicious situation involving two men approaching two students walking to Lincoln Elementary School... and, trying to talk with them. Jamestown Police Captain Bob Samuelson says the two males followed the students along Front Street about 12:45 PM Thursday... and, then tried to talk to them. Samuelson says the students did the right thing... and, immediately notified the school's principal. He says JPD is continuing to investigate the situation, and is asking anyone with information to contact them at 483-7537 or via the Anonymous Tips Line at 483-TIPS... that's 483-8477. Samuelson says all calls will be kept confidential. He also urges parents to talk with their children about the importance of not talking to strangers.
There have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported this week in the Jamestown Public School District. That from JPS Superintendent Kevin Whitaker, who says that classrooms are a relatively safe place to be. Whitaker says the places that are the most defined in "expected behaviors and supervised" ... tend to be the safest. The superintendent says he knows parents want their children to be safe while in class and there is a lot of compliance. He says safety protocols are being followed.
There are 22 new cases of the COVID-19 Virus being reported in Chautauqua County the past day... with 10 of those in the city of Dunkirk. The county's Health Department says that brings the total number of cases to 1,152 since the pandemic began. County Executive P-J Wendel says Fredonia and Forestville each report three new cases of the virus. There were no cases reported in Jamestown. Wendel says there are 153 active cases... and four of those are employees of Tanglewood Manor... and, 14 are residents. In the north county... there are 23 cases tied to a private event held recently. Wendel says 984 COVID cases have now recovered.
State data shows that nearly 3-thousand people tested positive for COVID-19 in New York in one day, a milestone that illustrates the steady erosion of the progress the state made to get the virus under control this summer. After averaging as few as 600 positive tests per day in August... autumn has brought a disturbing upswing. Governor Andrew Cuomo has said weddings, birthdays and other private gatherings have fueled the spread, on top of universities and schools opening their doors.
Chautauqua County Executive P-J Wendel has signed the 2021 budget that was approved by the county legislature last week, and includes a 4.6-percent tax increase. Wendel adds that he did not veto any of the amendments made by the legislature during last week's budget vote... and, says he understand why the changes were made. Those changes pushed the tax levy to just over 4-percent. Wendel says he had hoped to give property owners some tax relief.
Lawmakers decreased the anticipated sales tax figure by half-a-million dollars... and also brought back a "contingency" line item of $500,000 as a buffer for any losses due to the pandemic. The final county budget increases the current tax rate of $8.46 per thousand full value... to $8.51. That's a five cent increase. The legislature approved the amended budget last week by an 18-to-1 margin. Wendel made his comments for this coming weekend's "Community Spotlight" program on the six Media One Radio Group stations.
The math is not in Tracy Mitrano's favor... but, she is not yet conceding the 23rd Congressional District election to incumbant Tom Reed. During a media conference call Thursday... the Penn Yan Democrat said there don't appear to be enough absentee ballots to change the outcome of her race. However... Mitrano says she wants to make sure the votes of her supporters are counted... regardless of the outcome.
Mitrano's campaign officials say their most recent information shows 46,950 absentees have been returned in the 23rd District... and, that includes nearly 10-thousand in Chautauqua County. The majority of those -- just over 50-percent -- were cast by Democrats. Republican's cast 27.64 percent of the absentees. During a late Election Night press conference at his campaign headquarters in Corning... Reed told a small group of supporters he's ready to get back to work. Reed says the ongoing pandemic led him to call the press conference at the headquarters instead of the downtown Hotel they usually have.
The fate of Democrats' bid for a supermajority in New York's Legislature remained uncertain Thursday as election officials prepared to start counting a mountain of absentee ballots. Democrats need two more Senate seats for a veto-proof majority. The party had hoped anger at President Donald Trump would translate into big gains for Democrats in New York, especially in suburban areas. But... their expected "blue wave" doesn't appear to have happened.